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Santa Barbara Independent’s Q&A with Robert M. Senkewicz, co-author of “Junipero Serra: California, Indians, and the Transformation of a Missionary”.

Read more about the book.

Read more about the book.

 

There are so many books out on Serra. Why another one? What did you think you might find out that would be different? Rose Marie Beebe and I were doing some work on early California, and the missions always kept coming up. We’d consult the translations out there of Serra’s letters, and they were really, really stiff. So we began to wonder, “Serra can’t be that stiff.” We started wondering what a different translation of Serra’s letters would look like. That was the main thing. A lot of stuff on Serra, he’s presented in one extreme or the other: selfless, magnanimous saint or genocidal-maniac-type person. We thought let’s try to avoid the extremes and take him on his own terms and see where that leads us. That turned out to be something that hadn’t been done about Serra.

How did your translation differ than what had been done before? How does Serra shine through the ages in a different way? What happens is his emotions tend to come out more openly in the translation that Rose Marie did. He’s an administrator, so he writes a lot of boring bureaucratic stuff. Unfortunately, that tone in previous translations seeps into letters that are personal. We tried to separate those so when he’s writing another missionary or the governor, his emotions come out. This allows us to see him as a much more complicated, complex kind of figure.

Read the rest of the interview…Click here

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Junipero Serra: The Man Behind the Canonization Controversy

Serra

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On July 24, Professor Beebe and Professor Senkewicz will speak about their just-completed book, “Junipero Serra: California, Indians, and the Transformation of a Missionary” at Santa Clara University. Their work is an attempt to get behind the controversy over the canonization of Serra and to illuminate the man himself. While the work of Beebe and Senkewicz is historical and does not take a position on the canonization, what they have to say is sure to assist both those who believe Serra should be canonized as an intrepid evangelizer of the New World and those who believe that Serra was a central figure in the destruction of the Native American way of life and thus is unworthy of the honor of sainthood. The canonization is scheduled to take place during the visit of Pope Francis to Washington, D.C., this September.

Event information: http://www.scu.edu/events/index.cfm?event=49031

Read more about the book: http://bit.ly/1JeFCTN

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“Colorado: A Historical Atlas” is now available!

9780806141848

Chock-full of the best and latest information on Colorado, this new edition features thirty new chapters, updated text, more than 100 color maps and 100 color photos, and a best-of listing of Colorado authors and books, as well as a guide to hundreds of tourist attractions.

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Dwayne Mack, author of “Black Spokane: The Civil Rights Struggle in the Inland Northwest,” talks about his new book.

Dwayne MackIn 1981, decades before mainstream America elected Barack Obama, James Chase became the first African American mayor of Spokane, Washington, with the overwhelming support of a majority-white electorate. Chase’s win failed to capture the attention of historians—as had the century-long evolution of the black community in Spokane. In Black Spokane: The Civil Rights Struggle in the Inland Northwest, Dwayne A. Mack corrects this oversight—and recovers a crucial chapter in the history of race relations and civil rights in America. Read more about the book…

 

Courtesy of  Berea College Magizine.

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“A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps”, by Barbara Rylko-Bauer is the gold medalist in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards biography category!

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Buy the Book

 

“Compelling. Riveting. Exquisite. Barbara Rylko-Bauer brings an anthropologist’s mind, eye, heart, and ear to the untold story of a young Polish physician ensnared as subject and accessory to the Nazi project of slave labor and mass murder. In no uncertain terms, A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps reaffirms the dignity of survival, resilience, and solidarity in the face of human suffering. The book sets a high bar for the new genre of intimate ethnography.”—Gelya Frank, author of Venus on Wheels: Two Decades of Dialogue on Disability, Biography, and Being Female in America

“Barbara Rylko-Bauer is a patient and painstaking documentarian and a superb writer with a knack for revealing how forces and events beyond the control or the ready understanding of her protagonists came to affect even their most intimate thoughts and daily lives, and to shape their recollections. Through a mother and daughter’s incandescent collaboration, the rough stone of memory is tumbled and polished, emerging as a fiery gem.”—Paul Farmer, author of Haiti after the Earthquake and To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation

“A necessary and important book about a time period already well described but not from this point of view. Rylko-Bauer adds a poignant and often moving annex to Holocaust literature without centering her narrative on that cataclysm. Her mother’s story, while only a sliver of it, encompasses enough horror to give meaning to the much more pervasive devastation of the Jewish community.”—Gretchen Schafft, author of From Racism to Genocide: Anthropology in the Third Reich

GoldAbout the IPPYs

The “IPPY” Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers. Established as the first awards program open exclusively to independents, over 3,000 “IPPYs” have been awarded to authors and publishers around the world.

Independent publishers are extremely diverse, in both style and geography. This year’s IPPY medalists represent 45 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia, six Canadian provinces, and ten countries overseas: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

 

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Book details misconceptions about smallpox’s role in Native depopulation

9780806146881

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When University of Kansas researcher Paul Kelton came across a description from missionary Daniel Butrick that documented a Cherokee ritual aimed at fighting smallpox, it revolutionized Kelton’s thinking about the role diseases played in European colonization of the Americas.

“There are a lot of books out there that are dedicated to how Europeans came to acquire so much land in the Americas, but it seems lately that these books are beholden to this idea — that it was germs above all else that allowed Europeans to come and take over,” said Kelton, associate professor of history. “This explanation, which one can find in the popular works of Jared Diamond and Charles Mann, I found was very problematic because it was based on anecdotal-type evidence rather than a thorough type of investigation of how diseases actually spread and how indigenous peoples experienced disease.”

As part of his new book, “Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation’s Fight against Smallpox, 1518-1824,” Kelton disputes the idea that infectious diseases themselves gave Europeans an advantage over Native Americans because indigenous peoples did not have the right medicine or knowledge base to fight these new diseases, such as smallpox.

Read more from the University of Kansas website…

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Pima County Public library announced their Southwest Books of the Year for 2014 and OU Press published two of the eight winners!

Congratulations to Denise Chávez, author of The King and Queen of Comezón and Larry Ball, author of Tom Horn in Life and Legend!

Read more about the awards…

ChavezComezón: It’s more than an itch. It’s a long-standing desire that will never be fulfilled. And, in this novel by award-winning author Denise Chávez, it is also a border town in New Mexico whose denizens’ longings are as powerful as they are, all too often, impossible.

Between New Mexico and México, between Cinco de Mayo and the 16th of September, between the dreams and the realities of Comezón’s characters, something has to give. Each character is attempting to find love in this feverish fiesta called Life. And in the deft hands of Denise Chávez this tragicomic novel gives unerringly: pleasure, surprise, and the satisfaction of a tale well told.

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Tom Horn

Some of the legendary gunmen of the Old West were lawmen, but more, like Billy the Kid and Jesse James, were outlaws. Tom Horn (1860–1903) was both. Lawman, soldier, hired gunman, detective, outlaw, and assassin, this darkly enigmatic figure has fascinated Americans ever since his death by hanging the day before his forty-third birthday. In this masterful historical biography, Larry Ball, a distinguished historian of western lawmen and outlaws, presents the definitive account of Horn’s career.

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University of Oklahoma Press receives five “Outstanding Academic Title” awards from “Choice.”

This year’s Outstanding Academic Title list includes 651 books chosen by the Choice editorial staff from among the over 7,000 titles reviewed by Choice during the past year. Comprising almost 9 percent of the titles reviewed by Choice during the past year, and less than 3 percent of the more than 25,000 titles submitted to Choice during the same period, “Outstanding Academic Titles” are truly the “best of the best.”

Use promo code “Choice2014” in the shopping cart and save 30% on any of our “Outstanding Academic Titles” winners!

Ethnic Cleansing and the Indian: The Crime That Should Haunt America
By Gary Clayton Anderson
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American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890
By Jerome A. Greene
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Claiming Tribal Identity: The Five Tribes and the Politics of Federal Acknowledgment
By Mark E. Miller
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The Mixtecs of Oaxaca: Ancient Times to the Present
By Ronald Spores and Andrew K. Balkansky
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A Cheyenne Voice: The Complete John Stands in Timber Interviews
By John Stands in Timber and Margot Liberty
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Choice, is a magazine published by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). It is considered the premier source for reviews of academic books, electronic media, and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education.

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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.