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Let us all take a break from politics and the pandemic for a week, or maybe two and take stock of some recent books worth reading in Arkansas.

As always these books can be obtained at local book stores in the area, along with ordering online for most publishers.

So here we go.

From the University of Arkansas Press in Fayetteville, two new editions of great old favorites for birdwatchers, hunters, fishermen and all types of outdoors folks have been updated and reissued. This pair of very valuable reference and photo books, Birds of Arkansas, and The Fishes of Arkansas, are wonderful books for personal libraries.

Also the UA Press has out, The War At Home: Perspectives on the Arkansas Experience during World War I, edited by Mark K. Christ. This 266-page volume of essays from nine noted state historians ranging from Arkansas' Women in the Great War, to Soldiers and Veterans at the Elaine Race Riot, to a very interesting examination of a pandemic of the day, Epidemic! The Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918."

The UA Press is also the proud home of the 2020 J. G. Ragsdale Book Award, Arkansas Travelers, by Andrew J. Milson. This compact book examines four of the early explorers of the state, with new computer enhanced mapping techniques showing their travels and what they saw and documented along the journeys.

Also available from Butler Books, in Little Rock and through the UA Press website, is a new and updated version of Grif Stockley's Blood in Their Eyes, with renewed attention to the Elaine Massacre that sparked valuable new studies on racial violence and exploitation in Arkansas and beyond. This revised edition draws from recently uncovered source material and explores in greater detail the actions of the mob, the lives of those who survived the massacre, and the regime of fear and terror that prevailed under Jim Crow.

Another new UA Press Book is "The Russell Doctors and the Evolving Business of Medicine, 1799--1989, by William D. Lindsey, William L. Russell, and Mary L. Ryan. This 264 page volume, deals with the evolution of four generations of American physician/businessman. The book that traces the lives and legacies of four generations of Russell physicians makes this an authentic American epic.

An upcoming book, due in the coming year, from the UA Press is the publication of "Minuteman: A Technical History of the Missile That Defined American Nuclear Warfare, by David K. Stumpf.

The book is a detailed history of the minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile program, which has served as a powerful component of U.S. nuclear strategies for over half a century. Minuteman is scheduled for February 2021.

The Butler Center of Little Rock and its arm of Butler Books, has some interesting titles for summer reading. Among the list is Seeds of Genius: Twenty-Five Years of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, edited by Charles O. Stewart. This 168-page book chronicles the founding of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame by Stewart and Patricia Y. Goodwin as a means of recognizing the best and brightest African Americans with Arkansas roots.

A new and surprising self-help book, comes from Butler Books called:

Lessons for New Military and Civilian Leaders, by Robert F. Griffin, M.D., is a 140-page paperback that chronicles Griffin's successful careers in both the military and the corporate world. Griffin, a retired U.S. Army surgeon, writes that the characteristics promoted in this book are those that the author derived from the leadership techniques or styles of the admirable leaders with whom he served.

As always, I will recommend a $20 membership in the Arkansas Historical Association and its four issues of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly each season during the year.

Locally, a $25 basic membership in the Washington County Historical Society delivers four issues of "Flashback," the historical quarterly about the county's history to one's mail box for excellent summer reading.

Maybe more books next week... why not?


Editorial on 05/27/2020

Print Headline: Summer Books Fill Void As Arkansans Recover From Virus

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