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Subject: History

A Crisis of Loyalties: The Destruction and Abandonment of the Gosport Navy Yard

Stephen Chapin Kinnaman

February 2024 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-904-1
Availability: In stock
318pp. [Color] ¦ $82 £65 €76

In the opening days of the American Civil War, the U.S. Navy suffered the catastrophic loss of its most valuable navy yard at Gosport, Virginia, commonly known as the Norfolk Navy Yard. Its fate was sealed by Virginia’s vote for secession and the subsequent resignation of most of the yard’s Southern officers, leaving its commandant, Charles Stewart McCauley, virtually defenseless. Early in the morning of Sunday, 21 April, fleeing federal forces set fire to and abandoned the Gosport Navy Yard, burning ten warships and surrendering 1,200 naval guns to Virginia’s militia. A year later, the Confederate ironclad "Virginia", built on the charred hulk of the steam frigate "Merrimack", chose the sloop "Cumberland"—the one ship to escape Gosport—as her first target during the Battle of Hampton Roads. "Virginia" then attacked the frigate "Congress", leaving in her wake nearly 280 dead or wounded Union sailors and two sunken ships. The birds from the disaster of Gosport had finally come home to roost. In his quest to uncover the details behind Gosport’s destruction, the author methodically cross-tracked chronologies, carefully examined primary sources and dug deeper into the principal officers’ backgrounds to grasp just what was in their minds during the hours leading up to the navy yard’s burning. This fresh focus has yielded a more nuanced explanation of McCauley’s decision to hold back "Merrimack", of Paulding’s rush to burn the yard and run, and of opportunities for success missed by all three commodores present. "A Crisis of Loyalties" is the first full-length work of history to present the entire story of the destruction and abandonment of the Gosport Navy Yard.

Attired: Perspectives on Historical Costume

Edited by Damayanthie Eluwawalage, Delaware State University

ISBN: 978-1-64889-852-5
Availability: Available 4 weeks
146pp. ¦ $77 £61 €72

This publication explores the integrative narratives of historical costume in the novel universal perspective of literature, leisure, ornamentation, customs/traditions, and theoretical contexts. The adaptation, mutation, and transformation of attire are the result of complex interactions between many factors, such as economic conditions, political conditions, social conditions, psychological conditions, and technology. The meanings encoded in the costume are one of the noticeable hallmarks of any society. This proposed book investigates multidisciplinary topics, for instance, embellishments such as needlework and embroidery; the historical concept of fight, physical encounter, combat, or bout and its connection with related-attire; the contribution of dress to the narrative process of Virgil’s 'Aeneid'; and the theory and philosophy of fashion.

The Disease of Liberty

Thomas Jefferson, History, & Liberty: A Philosophical Analysis

M. Andrew Holowchak

February 2024 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-819-8
Availability: In stock
224pp. ¦ $77 £62 €72

Liberty for Jefferson was 'the' driving force of human history and a realizable state of the human organism and of a society of men. Study of history and anthropology showed that humans were moving from the barbaric independence suffered in primal hordes, which lived inefficiently on lands, to a more economical, human-friendly use of land in social settings, demanding laws for order. Those laws, historically, favored the powerful few to the detriment of the hoi polloi. As a pupil of the Enlightenment, Jefferson argued that all humans were by nature equal, and thus, deserving of as much civic liberty as a reason-oriented and sciences-loving society, a Jeffersonian republic, could guarantee them. This book, philosophical, explains how such a society was possible, given Jefferson’s conception of the nature of man, and how the realization of one such society could lead, through contagion, to a global community of such societies. There are a large number of books that cover Jefferson’s political ideology (e.g., Gordon Wood’s 'Empire of Liberty' and Adrienne Koch’s 'The Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson')—too many to limn—but none that gets at the philosophical implications of TJ’s views on liberty. This book, examining TJ as a natural scientist and philosophy, examines and situates him in the manner of other great political ideologists of his day—e.g., Hume and Kant.

Tolkien’s Transformative Women: Art in Triptych

Annie Brust, Kent State University

January 2024 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-623-1
Availability: In stock
282pp. ¦ $78 £61 €72

J.R. R. Tolkien has been revered as the father of twentieth-century fantasy; however, many initially criticized him for his handling of the textual matter as male-centric magical lands that did not feature prominent female roles or significant female characters. This book will highlight the vast community of powerful female figures that Tolkien created in his fantasy writing, stemming from the distinct and dominant female forces he created in his academic translation and poetry. These fierce women serve as a culmination of the powerful forces of women and female character that originated in Medieval, Norse, and Celtic traditions. They help to create the framework from which Tolkien shaped his female community, not merely as singular figures, as previously featured, but as a dynamic network of figures who shape Tolkien's creative art. For the first time, this discussion looks at the entire community of women, featuring previously excluded figures from his academic works and highlighting translation bias in modern manuscripts of the extant medieval works that influenced these women. It also seeks to create a comprehensive guide and detailed appendices exploring the female characters and influences throughout his writing portfolio. This book seeks to uncover the hidden voices of the past to find their rightful home in the strong female voices of the present, rewriting history to regain a sense of the past.

A Shot in the Dark: A History of the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group

Paul Jeffrey Cook, Temple University

February 2024 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-816-7
Availability: In stock
358pp. ¦ $81 £65 €76

This book presents the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) as an example of successful change by the Army in wartime. It argues that creating the AWG required senior leaders to create a vision differing from the Army’s self-conceptualization, change bureaucratic processes to turn the vision into an actual unit, and then place the new unit in the hands of uniquely qualified leaders to build and sustain it. In doing this, it considers the forces influencing change within the Army and argues the two most significant are its self-conceptualization and institutional bureaucracy. The work explores three major subject areas that provide historical context. The first is the Army’s institutional history from the early 1950s through 2001. This period begins with the Army seeking to validate its place in America’s national security strategy and ends with the Army trying to chart a path into the post-Cold War future. The Army’s history is largely one of asymmetric warfare. The work thus examines several campaigns that offered lessons for subsequent wars. Some lessons the Army took to heart, others it ignored. As the AWG was a direct outgrowth of the failures and frustrations the Army experienced in Afghanistan and Iraq, the book examines these campaigns and identifies the specific problems that led senior Army leaders to create the AWG. Finally, the work chronicles the AWG’s creation in 2006, growth, and re-assignment from the Army staff to a fully-fledged organization subordinate to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command in 2011 to its deactivation. This action resulted not from the unit’s failure to adapt to a post-insurgency Army focusing on modernization. Rather, it resulted from the Army failing to realize that while the AWG was a product of counterinsurgency, it provided the capability to support the Army during a period of great strategic and institutional uncertainty.

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