Friday, May 26, 2017


From Voice of America (VOA): "Masked gunmen attacked a bus of Coptic Christians traveling to a monastery in Egypt, killing at least 26 people, officials said Friday."


Deutsche Welle (DW): "Philippines troops backed by tanks and helicopters battled on Friday to retake a southern city of 200,000 people overrun by militants linked to the so-called 'Islamic State' (IS) earlier this week."


United States

The Culinarians: Lives and Careers
From the First Age
of American Fine Dining
Nonfiction book by David S. Shields
Estimated Shipping Date: October 9, 2017

University of Chicago Press:
He presided over Virginia's great political barbeques for the last half of the nineteenth century, taught the young Prince of Wales to crave mint juleps in 1859, catered to Virginia's mountain spas, and fed two generations of Richmond epicures with terrapin and turkey. 
This fascinating culinarian is John Dabney (1821–1900), who was born a slave, but later built an enterprising catering business. Dabney is just one of 175 influential cooks and restaurateurs profiled by David S. Shields in The Culinarians, a beautifully produced encyclopedic history of the rise of professional cooking in America from the early republic to Prohibition. 
Shields's concise biographies include the legendary Julien, founder in 1793 of America's first restaurant, Boston's Restorator; and Louis Diat and Oscar of the Waldorf, the men most responsible for keeping the ideal of fine dining alive between the World Wars. Though many of the gastronomic pioneers gathered here are less well known, their diverse influence on American dining should not be overlooked — plus, their stories are truly entertaining. We meet an African American oyster dealer who became the Congressional caterer, and, thus, a powerful broker of political patronage; a French chef who was a culinary savant of vegetables and drove the rise of California cuisine in the 1870s; and a rotund Philadelphia confectioner who prevailed in a culinary contest with a rival in New York by staging what many believed to be the greatest American meal of the nineteenth century. He later grew wealthy selling ice cream to the masses. Shields also introduces us to a French chef who brought haute cuisine to wealthy prospectors and a black restaurateur who hosted a reconciliation dinner for black and white citizens at the close of the Civil War in Charleston. 
Altogether, Culinarians is a delightful compendium of charcuterie-makers, pastry-pipers, caterers, railroad chefs, and cooking school matrons — not to mention drunks, temperance converts, and gangsters — who all had a hand in creating the first age of American fine dining and its legacy of conviviality and innovation that continues today.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Healing Wounds

James Cook University, Australia:
Every day 12 Australian diabetics have a limb amputated because of a non-healing wound. Globally, it's one every 30 seconds. 
A molecule produced by a Thai liver parasite could be the solution to those non-healing wounds — and scientists from the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) are now able to produce a version of the molecule on a large enough scale to make it available for laboratory tests and eventually clinical trials.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Rise and Kill First: The Secret History
of Israel's Targeted Assassinations
Nonfiction book by Ronen Bergman
Publication Date: January 23, 2018

About Rise and Kill First 
The page-turning, news-breaking, inside account of Israel’s state-sponsored assassination programs, from the man hailed by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel's] best investigative reporter."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:


University of California, Berkeley: "Humans are not the only species to show a strong work ethic and scruples. UC Berkeley researchers have found evidence of conscientiousness in insects, reptiles, birds, fish and other critters."


Deutsche Welle (DW): "Morocco is a transit country for many sub-Saharan Africans on their way to Europe. But some now prefer not to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea, opting instead for a new life in Morocco itself."


University of Tennessee at Knoxville:
Snakes, although as social as birds and mammals, have long been thought to be solitary hunters and eaters. A new study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, shows that some snakes coordinate their hunts to increase their chances of success. 
Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor of psychology at UT, observed the Cuban boa — the island nation's largest native terrestrial predator— in bat caves for the study. 
Many Cuban caves shelter large bat colonies, and in some of them small populations of boas regularly hunt the bats as they fly out at dusk and return at dawn. Dinets noticed that the boas hung down from the ceiling of the cave entrance and grabbed passing bats in midair. He found that if more than one boa was present, the snakes coordinated their positions in such a way that they formed a wall across the entrance. This made it difficult or impossible for the bats to pass without getting within striking distance of at least one boa. 
Such group hunts were always successful, and the more snakes were present, the less time it took each to capture a bat. But if there was only one boa, it sometimes failed to secure a meal. 
These findings were recently published open access in the journal Animal Behavior and Cognition
To date, only a handful of snakes have been observed to hunt in groups, and coordination among them — or among any other group-hunting reptiles — has never been proven, Dinets said. 
Only a few of the world's 3,650 snake species have ever been observed hunting in the wild, so very little is known about snakes' diverse hunting tactics. 
"It is possible that coordinated hunting is not uncommon among snakes, but it will take a lot of very patient field research to find out," Dinets said. 
He added that observing the Cuban boa, although an amazing spectacle, is becoming increasingly difficult since only the most remote caves still have boas. The boas are being hunted for food and possibly the pet trade. 
"I suspect that if their numbers in a cave fall, they can't hunt in groups anymore and might die out even if some of them don't get caught by hunters," Dinets said. "A few of these caves are in national parks, but there's a lot of poaching everywhere."


University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign:
Brown-headed cowbirds are unconventional mothers. Rather than building nests and nurturing their chicks, they lay their eggs in the nests of other species, leaving their young ones to compete for resources with the foster parents' own hatchlings. Despite their reputation as uncaring, absentee moms, cowbird mothers are capable of making sophisticated choices among potential nests in order to give their offspring a better chance of thriving, a new study shows.

World War II

Scripps Institution of Oceanography: "Two B-25 bombers associated with American servicemen missing in action from World War II were recently documented in the waters off Papua New Guinea by Project Recover — a collaborative team of marine scientists, archaeologists and volunteers who have combined efforts to locate aircraft and associated MIAs from World War II."


University of Washington:

Long Ago

University of Toronto, Canada: "Humans and chimpanzees split from their last common ancestor several hundred thousand years earlier than believed — and this occurred in Europe, not Africa — according to an international team of scientists."


Ethiopia: The Living Churches of an Ancient Kingdom
Nonfiction book by Philip Marsden and Mary Anne Fitzgerald
Edited by Carolyn Ludwig and Morris Jackson
Photographs by Nigel Pavitt, Frederic Courbet, Justus Mulinge
with Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
Shipping Date: September 12, 2017

Oxford University Press:
The ancient Axumite Kingdom, now a part of Ethiopia, was possibly the first nation in the world to convert to Christianity. In AD 340 King Ezana commissioned the construction of the imposing basilica of St. Mary of Tsion. It was here, the Ethiopians say, that Menelik, son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, brought the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments. By the fifth century, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church had spread beyond Axum into the countryside, aided by nine saints from Byzantium, and over the next ten centuries a series of spectacular churches were either built or excavated out of solid rock in the region, all of them in regular use to this day. Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has the best known cluster, but the northern state of Tigray, less famous and more remote, has many churches that are masterpieces of design. 
Ethiopia: The Living Churches of an Ancient Kingdom traces the broad sweep of ecclesiastical history, legend, art, and faith in this sub-Saharan African kingdom and describes some seventy of the most breathtaking churches, with their astounding architecture, colorful decoration, and important religious festivals, all illustrated by more than eight hundred superb color photographs by some of the most celebrated international photographers of traditional cultures. This magnificent, large-format, full-color volume is the most comprehensive celebration yet published of the extraordinary Christian architectural and cultural heritage of Ethiopia. 
Ethiopia is the third book on iconic sacred places published by Ludwig Publishing and the American University in Cairo Press, following the bestselling success of The Churches of Egypt and The History and Religious Heritage of Old Cairo.

Monday, May 22, 2017


In southern Bangladesh early this morning, a tiger snatched a honey collector from a boat. Searchers found the 55-year-old man's dead body.


BBC News: "A professional big-game hunter was crushed to death by an elephant that had been shot, according to reports in South Africa."

Sunday, May 21, 2017


United States

Hauntings of the Underground Railroad:
Ghosts of the Midwest
History book by Jane Simon Ammeson
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Indiana University Press:
Before the Civil War, a network of secret routes and safe houses crisscrossed the Midwest to help African Americans travel north to escape slavery. Although many slaves were able to escape to the safety of Canada, others met untimely deaths on the treacherous journey ― and some of these unfortunates still linger, unable to rest in peace. In Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest, Jane Simon Ammeson investigates unforgettable and chilling tales of these restless ghosts that still walk the night. This unique collection includes true and gruesome stories, like the story of a lost toddler who wanders the woods near the Story Inn, eternally searching for the mother torn from him by slave hunters, or the tale of the Hannah House, where an overturned oil lamp sparked a fire that trapped slaves hiding in the basement and burned them alive. Brave visitors who visit the house, which is now a bed and breakfast, claim they can still hear voices moaning and crying from the basement. Ammeson also includes incredible true stories of daring escapes and close calls on the Underground Railroad. A fascinating and spine-tingling glimpse into our past, Hauntings of the Underground Railroad will keep you up all night.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


From Voice of America (VOA): "Weeks after Jakarta elected a governor whose campaign called for Islam to dominate politics and society, the leader of Indonesia's — and the world's — largest Islamic organization has appealed for strengthening secular values."


BBC News: "Up to 20 CIA informants were killed or imprisoned by the Chinese government between 2010 and 2012, the New York Times reports, damaging U.S. information-gathering in the country for years."


United States

Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled
Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America
Nonfiction book by Steven J. Ross
Publication Date: October 24, 2017

Bloomsbury Publishing:
The chilling, little-known story of the rise of Nazism in Los Angeles, and the Jewish leaders and spies they recruited who stopped it. 
No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city's Jews and to sabotage the nation's military installations: plans existed for hanging twenty prominent Hollywood figures such as Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, and Jack Warner; for driving through Boyle Heights and machine-gunning as many Jews as possible; and for blowing up defense installations and seizing munitions from National Guard armories along the Pacific Coast. 
U.S. law enforcement agencies were not paying close attention — preferring to monitor Reds rather than Nazis — and only Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the way. From 1933 until the end of World War II, attorney Leon Lewis, the man Nazis would come to call "the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles," ran a spy operation comprised of military veterans and their wives who infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in Los Angeles. Often rising to leadership positions, this daring ring of spies uncovered and foiled the Nazi's disturbing plans for death and destruction. 
Featuring a large cast of Nazis, undercover agents, and colorful supporting players, Hitler in Los Angeles, by acclaimed historian Steven J. Ross, tells the story of Lewis's daring spy network in a time when hate groups had moved from the margins to the mainstream.


United States

Hollywood's Spies: The Undercover Surveillance
of Nazis in Los Angeles
Nonfiction book by Laura B. Rosenzweig
Available: September 2017

NYU Press:
Tells the remarkable story of the Jewish moguls in Hollywood who established the first anti-Nazi Jewish resistance organization in the country in the 1930s. 
In April 1939, Warner Brothers studios released the first Hollywood film to confront the Nazi threat in the United States. Confessions of a Nazi Spy, starring Edward G. Robinson, told the story of German agents in New York City working to overthrow the U.S. government. The film alerted Americans to the dangers of Nazism at home and encouraged them to defend against it. 
Confessions of a Nazi Spy may have been the first cinematic shot fired by Hollywood against Nazis in America, but it by no means marked the political awakening of the film industry's Jewish executives to the problem. Hollywood’s Spies tells the remarkable story of the Jewish moguls in Hollywood who paid private investigators to infiltrate Nazi groups operating in Los Angeles, establishing the first anti-Nazi Jewish resistance organization in the country — the Los Angeles Jewish Community Committee (LAJCC). 
Drawing on more than 15,000 pages of archival documents, Laura B. Rosenzweig offers a compelling narrative illuminating the role that Jewish Americans played in combating insurgent Nazism in the United States in the 1930s. Forced undercover by the anti-Semitic climate of the decade, the LAJCC partnered with organizations whose Americanism was unimpeachable, such as the American Legion, to channel information regarding seditious Nazi plots to Congress, the Justice Department, the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department. 
Hollywood’s Spies corrects the decades-long belief that American Jews lacked the political organization and leadership to assert their political interests during this period in our history and reveals that the LAJCC was one of many covert "fact finding" operations funded by Jewish Americans designed to root out Nazism in the United States.


United States

Warner Bros: The Making
of an American Movie Studio
Nonfiction book by David Thomson
Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Yale University Press:
Behind the scenes at the legendary Warner Brothers film studio, where four immigrant brothers transformed themselves into the moguls and masters of American fantasy. 
Warner Bros charts the rise of an unpromising film studio from its shaky beginnings in the early twentieth century through its ascent to the pinnacle of Hollywood influence and popularity. The Warner Brothers — Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack — arrived in America as unschooled Jewish immigrants, yet they founded a studio that became the smartest, toughest, and most radical in all of Hollywood. 
David Thomson provides fascinating and original interpretations of Warner Brothers pictures from the pioneering talkie The Jazz Singer through black-and-white musicals, gangster movies, and such dramatic romances as Casablanca, East of Eden, and Bonnie and Clyde. He recounts the storied exploits of the studio's larger-than-life stars, among them Al Jolson, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Doris Day, and Bugs Bunny. The Warner brothers' cultural impact was so profound, Thomson writes, that their studio became “one of the enterprises that helped us see there might be an American dream out there."

Friday, May 19, 2017


University of Queensland (UQ), Australia: "A team of international archaeologists say evidence from a remote cave in Australia's North West pushes back human occupation of Australia to around 50,000 years ago."


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): "The total area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is expanding, leading to a significant increase in its production, according to the latest survey report released today by UNODC."

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Associated Press (AP):

Peripheral Artery Disease

American Hearth Association:
Eating three or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day may lower your risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association journal. 
PAD narrows the arteries of the legs, limiting blood flow to the muscles and making it difficult or painful to walk or stand. 
Previous studies linked lower consumption of fruits and vegetables with the increased occurrence of coronary heart disease and stroke. However, there has been little research into the association of eating fruits and vegetables and PAD.


U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):
The fight to contain the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was hampered by the lack of an effective treatment or vaccine. Researchers funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have studied the blood of an Ebola survivor, searching for human antibodies that might effectively treat not only people infected with Ebola virus, but those infected with related viruses as well. Now the researchers have identified two such antibodies that hold promise as Ebola treatments.


United States

Ladies of the Ticker: Women and Wall Street
From the Gilded Age to the Great Depression
Nonfiction book by George Robb
Available: August 2017

University of Illinois Press:
Women who ran with the bulls and bears 
Long overlooked in histories of finance, women played an essential role in areas such as banking and the stock market during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet their presence sparked ongoing controversy. Hetty Green's golden touch brought her millions, but she outraged critics with her rejection of domesticity. Progressives like Victoria Woodhull, meanwhile, saw financial acumen as more important for women than the vote. 
George Robb's pioneering study sheds a light on the financial methods, accomplishments, and careers of three generations of women. Plumbing sources from stock brokers' ledgers to media coverage, Robb reveals the many ways women invested their capital while exploring their differing sources of information, approaches to finance, interactions with markets, and levels of expertise. He also rediscovers the forgotten women bankers, brokers, and speculators who blazed new trails — and sparked public outcries over women's unsuitability for the predatory rough-and-tumble of market capitalism. 
Entertaining and vivid with details, Ladies of the Ticker sheds light on the trailblazers who transformed Wall Street into a place for women's work.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Florida State University (FSU): "The giant Tyrannosaurus rex pulverized bones by biting down with forces equaling the weight of three small cars while simultaneously generating world-record tooth pressures, according to a new study by a Florida State University-Oklahoma State University research team."

Sky King

BBC News:


United States

Cotton Capitalists: American Jewish Entrepreneurship
in the Reconstruction Era
Nonfiction book by Michael R. Cohen
Available: December 2017

NYU Press:
A vivid history of the American Jewish merchants who concentrated in the nation's most important economic sector. 
In the nineteenth century, Jewish merchants created a thriving niche economy in the United States' most important industry — cotton — positioning themselves at the forefront of expansion during the Reconstruction Era. Jewish success in the cotton industry was transformative for both Jewish communities and their development, and for the broader economic restructuring of the South. Cotton Capitalists analyzes this niche economy and reveals its origins. Michael R. Cohen argues that Jewish merchants' status as a minority fueled their success by fostering ethnic networks of trust. Trust in the nineteenth century was the cornerstone of economic transactions, and this trust was largely fostered by ethnicity. Much as money flowed along ethnic lines between Anglo-American banks, Jewish merchants in the Gulf South used their own ethnic ties with other Jewish-owned firms in New York, as well as Jewish investors across the globe, to capitalize their businesses. They relied on these family connections to direct Northern credit and goods to the war-torn South, avoiding the constraints of the anti-Jewish prejudices which had previously denied them access to credit, allowing them to survive economic downturns. 
These American Jewish merchants reveal that ethnicity matters in the development of global capitalism. Ethnic minorities are and have frequently been at the forefront of entrepreneurship, finding innovative ways to expand narrow sectors of the economy. While this was certainly the case for Jews, it has also been true for other immigrant groups more broadly. The story of Jews in the American cotton trade is far more than the story of American Jewish success and integration — it is the story of the role of ethnicity in the development of global capitalism.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Central America

Oregon State University:
Central American tropical forests are beginning to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening the livelihood of indigenous peoples there and endangering some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America. 
The culprit? Cocaine. 
The problem is not the cultivation of the coca plant — which is processed into cocaine — that is causing this "narco-deforestation." It results from people throughout the spectrum of the drug trade purchasing enormous amounts of land to launder their illegal profits, researchers say. 
Results of the study, which was funded by the Open Society Foundations and supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, have just been published in the journal Environmental Research Letters
"Starting in the early 2000s, the United States-led drug enforcement in the Caribbean and Mexico pushed drug traffickers into places that were harder to patrol, like the large, forested areas of central America," said David Wrathall, an Oregon State University geographer and co-author on the study. "A flood of illegal drug money entered these places and these drug traffickers needed a way that they could spend it. 
"It turns out that one of the best ways to launder illegal drug money is to fence off huge parcels of forest, cut down the trees, and build yourself a cattle ranch. It is a major, unrecognized driver of tropical deforestation in Central America."


Subject: Australian brown snakes (Pseudonaja)

Eastern brown snake

University of Queensland (UQ), Australia:
The "blood nuking" capabilities of adult brown snake venom only come about after an amazing transformation. 
New research led by University of Queensland scientist Associate Professor Bryan Fry has shown the venom of young brown snakes attacks the nervous system, while the venom of older snakes has dangerous effects on the circulatory system. 
"This is because young brown snakes specialize in lizards, then specialize in mammals as adults," Dr. Fry said. 
"Young brown snakes may produce clinical symptoms like that of a death adder, as they seek out and paralyze sleeping lizards. 
"Once older, their venom contains toxins that cause devastating interference with blood clotting, causing rodent prey to become immobilized by stroke.
(Photo Credit: © Stewart Macdonald)


United States

Depredation and Deceit: The Making
of the Jicarilla and Ute Wars
in New Mexico
Nonfiction book by Gregory F. Michno
Publication Date: September 14, 2017

University of Oklahoma Press:
The Trade and Intercourse Acts passed by Congress between 1796 and 1834 set up a system for individuals to receive monetary compensation from the federal government for property stolen or destroyed by American Indians. By the end of the Mexican-American War, both Anglo-Americans and Nuevomexicanos became experts in exploiting this system — and in using the army to collect on their often-fraudulent claims. As Gregory F. Michno reveals in Depredation and Deceit, their combined efforts created a precarious mix of false accusations, public greed, and fabricated fear that directly led to new wars in the American Southwest between 1849 and 1855. 
Tasked with responding to white settlers' depredation claims and gaining restitution directly from Indian groups, soldiers typically had no choice but to search out often-innocent Indians and demand compensation or the surrender of the guilty party, turning once-friendly bands into enemy groups whenever these tense encounters exploded in violence. As the situation became more volatile, citizens demanded a greater army presence in the region, and lucrative military contracts became yet another reason to encourage the continuation of frontier violence. Although the records are replete with officers questioning accusations and discovering civilians' deceit, more often than not the army was forced to act in direct counterpoint to its duties as a constabulary force. And whenever war broke out, the acquisition of more Indian land and wealth began the cycle of greed and violence all over again. 
The Trade and Intercourse Acts were manipulated by Anglo-Americans who ensured the continuation of the very conflicts that they claimed to abhor, and that the acts were designed to prevent. In bringing these machinations to light, Michno's book deepens — and darkens — our understanding of the conquest of the American Southwest.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Voice of America (VOA):


Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia:
The beaches of one of the world's most remote islands have been found to be polluted with the highest density of plastic debris reported anywhere on the planet, in a study published in the prestigious U.S. scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 
Despite being uninhabited and located more than 5000 kilometers from the nearest major population center, Henderson Island is littered with an estimated 37.7 million pieces of plastic. 
Part of the UK's Pitcairn Islands territory, the island is so remote that it's only visited every five to ten years for research purposes, but its location near the center of the South Pacific Gyre ocean current makes it a focal point for debris carried from South America or deposited by fishing boats.


BBC News: "One of Italy's largest migrant centers has been in the hands of the Mafia for more than a decade, police have said."


United States

Death on the Lonely Llano Estacado:
The Assassination of J.W. Jarrott,
a Forgotten Hero
Nonfiction book by Bill Neal
Foreword by Chuck Lanehart
Publication Date: July 15, 2017

University of North Texas Press:
In the winter of 1901, James W. Jarrott led a band of twenty-five homesteader families toward the Llano Estacado in far West Texas, newly opened for settlement by a populist Texas legislature. But frontier cattlemen who had been pasturing their herds on the unfenced prairie land were enraged by the encroachment of these "nesters." In August 1902 a famous hired assassin, Jim Miller, ambushed and murdered J.W. Jarrott. Who hired Miller? This crime has never been solved, until now. 
Award-winning author Bill Neal investigates this cold case and successfully pieces together all the threads of circumstantial evidence to fit the noose snugly around the neck of Jim Miller's employer. What emerges from these pages is the strength of intriguing characters in an engrossing narrative: Jim Jarrott, the diminutive advocate who fearlessly champions the cause of the little guy. The ruthless assassin, Deacon Jim Miller. And finally Jarrott's young widow Mollie, who perseveres and prospers against great odds and tells the settlers to "Stay put!"

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Papua New Guinea

BBC News: "Prison guards have shot dead 17 inmates after a mass breakout at Buimo prison in Papua New Guinea."


Hemingway at Eighteen: The Pivotal Year
That Launched an American Legend
Nonfiction book by Steve Powell
Foreword by Paul Hendrickson
Publication Date: October 1, 2017

Chicago Review Press:
In the summer of 1917, Ernest Hemingway was an 18-year-old high school graduate unsure of his future. The American entry in the Great War stirred thoughts of joining the army. While many of his friends in Oak Park, Illinois, were heading to college, Hemingway couldn't make up his mind, and eventually chose to begin a career in writing and journalism at one of the great newspapers of its day, the Kansas City Star. In six and a half months, Hemingway experienced a compressed, streetwise alternative to a college education, which opened his eyes to urban violence, the power of literature, the hard work of writing, and a constantly swirling stage of human comedy and drama. The Kansas City experience led Hemingway into the Red Cross ambulance service in Italy, where, two weeks before his 19th birthday, he was dangerously wounded at the front. Award-winning writer Steve Paul takes a measure of these experiences that transformed Hemingway from a "modest, rather shy and diffident boy" to a young man who was increasingly occupied by recording the truth as he saw it of crime, graft, exotic temptations, violence, and war. Hemingway at Eighteen sheds new light on this young man bound for greatness and a writer at the very beginning of his journey.


Associated Press (AP):

Saturday, May 13, 2017


Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried
to Change the World but Changed America
Nonfiction book by David A. Hollinger
Publication Date: October 17, 2017

Princeton University Press:
They sought to transform the world, and ended up transforming twentieth-century America. 
Between the 1890s and the Vietnam era, tens of thousands of American Protestant missionaries were stationed throughout the non-European world. They expected to change the peoples they encountered abroad, but those foreign peoples ended up changing the missionaries. Missionary experience made many of these Americans critical of racism, imperialism, and religious orthodoxy. When they returned home, the missionaries and their children liberalized their own society. Protestants Abroad reveals the untold story of how these missionary-connected individuals left their enduring mark on American public life as writers, diplomats, academics, church officials, publishers, foundation executives, and social activists. 
David Hollinger provides riveting portraits of such figures as Pearl Buck, John Hersey, and Life and Time publisher Henry Luce, former "mish kids" who strove through literature and journalism to convince white Americans of the humanity of other peoples. Hollinger describes how the U.S. government's need for people with language skills and direct experience in Asian societies catapulted dozens of missionary-connected individuals into prominent roles in intelligence and diplomacy. He also shows how Edwin Reischauer and other scholars with missionary backgrounds led the growth of Foreign Area Studies in universities during the Cold War. Hollinger shows how the missionary contingent advocated multiculturalism at home and anticolonialism abroad, pushed their churches in ecumenical and social-activist directions, and joined with cosmopolitan Jewish intellectuals to challenge traditional Protestant cultural hegemony and promote a pluralist vision of American life. Missionary cosmopolitans were the Anglo-Protestant counterparts of the New York Jewish intelligentsia of the same era. 
Protestants Abroad sheds new light on how missionary-connected American Protestants played a crucial role in the development of modern American liberalism, and helped Americans reimagine their nation as a global citizen.