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THE SOCIETY OF MIDLAND AUTHORS

MEMBERS' NEW BOOKS

Ted Kooser
The Blizzard Voices
University of Nebraska Press, September 2006
ISBN: 0-8032-5963-8
64 pp. $9.95
    purchase online

The Blizzard Voices is a collection of poems recording the devastation unleashed on the Great Plains by the blizzard of January 12, 1888. Based on the actual reminiscences of the survivors as recorded in documents from the time and written reminiscences from years later, this new edition features a new introduction by Ted Kooser.


Robert Vivian
The Mover of Bones
University of Nebraska Press, September 2006
ISBN: 0-8032-4679-X
176 pp. $23.95
    purchase online

In one hand, Jesse Breedlove holds a bottle of Cuervo Gold—or what’s left of it—in the other, the shovel with which he has just unearthed the bones of a small girl buried in the cellar of a Catholic church in Omaha, Nebraska. So begins Breedlove’s odyssey across the literal and mythical landscapes of America.


Marlene Targ Brill
Barak Obama: Working to Make a Difference
Millbrook Press
ISBN: 0822534177 library binding
ISBN: 0822560569 paperback
48 pages; $25 library binding; $6.95 paperback
    www.amazon.com

"Brill offers a warm, personal portrait of the politician, beginning with his parents' disparate background and his multinational upbringing and moving through his political awakenings, higher education, and public life. . . . an intimate portrait that is bolstered by her (Brill's) own interviews with Obama's colleagues, schoolmates, and friends."
   —Booklist


Bruce Guernsey
The Lost Brigade
Water Press and Media
ISBN: 0-9744524-9-1
70 pages; $12.95     www.waterpressandmedia.com

"The poems in this fine collection sing of soldiers who return from the wars, stricken revenants from Grant to the poet's father. Bruce Guernsey has given us an Odyssey in small, lyric and elegiac, a lonely, haunted and haunting, moving book forever homeward bound."
   —Robert Fagles

"More than just a book of poems, The Lost Brigade is a document, a history to be read and remembered."
   —John Haines


Alexander Polikoff
Waiting for Gautreaux: A Story of Segregation, Housing, and the Black Ghetto
Northwestern University Press  www.nupress.northwestern.edu
ISBN: 0-8101-2344-4
$29.95    

On his thirty-ninth birthday in 1966, Alexander Polikoff, a volunteer ACLU attorney and partner in a Chicago law firm, met friends to discuss a pro bono case. They talked about the Chicago Housing Authority construction program. All the new public housing, it seemed, was going into black neighborhoods. If discrimination was prohibited in public schools, wasn't it also prohibited in public housing? And so began Gautreaux v. CHA and HUD, a case that would roll on decade after decade, carrying Polikoff and his colleagues to the nation's Supreme Court.

Sometimes Kafkaesque, sometimes simply inspiring, and never less than absorbing, the story of Gautreaux moves with ease through local and national civil rights history, legal details, political matters, and the personal costs--and rewards--of a commitment to fairness, equality, and justice.


Michael Argetsinger
Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Roads Racing
David Bull Publishing  
ISBN: 1-893618-54-4
$49.95 hardcover; 400 pages    www.bullpublishing.com

The 1950s and 1960s were a time of tremendous change in racing. In this exciting, fast-paced biography author Michael Argetsinger shows how Walt Hansgen’s life encompassed the conflict between amateur and professional racing, the extraordinary advances in technology, and the joyful ambition of his era. The result is a vivid account of the remarkable history of post-war American road racing.


John F. Wasik    www.johnwasik.com  
The Merchant of Power: Sam Insull, Thomas Edison, and the Creation of the Modern Metropolis
Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.
ISBN: 1-4039-6884-5
$24.95 hardcover, 288 pp.   www.amazon.com

A timely rags-to-riches story, The Merchant of Power recounts how Sam Insull--right hand to Thomas Edison--went on to become one of the richest men in the world, pivotal in the birth of General Electric and instrumental in the creation of the modern metropolis with his invention of the power grid, which fuels major cities today. John Wasik, awarded the National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism, had unprecedented access to Sam Insull's archives, which includes private correspondence with Thomas Edison. The extraordinary fall of a man extraordinary for his time is revealed in this cautionary tale about the excesses of corporate power.


Deborah Blum    
Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death
The Penguin Press, August 2006
ISBN: 1-59420-090-4
$25.95 hardcover, 380 pp.   www.amazon.com

The story of a small group of scholars who, at the close of the 19th century, launched a scientific investigation into the supernatural, seeking to use research methods to answer questions of faith. The result was the best ghost hunt in scientific history and experiments with mediums and psychics that, even today, remain inexplicable. Led by eminent researchers including William James and two Nobel laureates, the ghost hunt became an exploration of reality itself that still resonates today.


Michael Sheehan    http://seniors.tcnet.org 
On the Lamb in a Doggy Dog World: At Play with the English Language
Arbutus Press
ISBN: 09766104-9-3
$16.95 - Paperback   www.arbutuspress.com

A collection of both zany and serious essays on the English language. Chapters include Student Bloopers, Nautical Names, Bar Jokes, and Word Games of his own invention.

Sheehan's radio show, Words to the Wise, 5 years on the air and counting, continues to retain and gain loyal listeners. He begins each show with the introduction:

"This is Words to the Wise, where grammar matters, spelling matters, and word choice matters—not because they’re sacred cows, but because we need them to communicate accurately and securely. Our language is meant not to confine us, but to set us free. That’s why the motto of this show is: "The limits of my language are the limits of my world."
   [Ludwig Wittgenstein]


Lori Andrews    www.loriandrews.com 
Sequence
St. Martin's Minotaur, June 13, 2006
ISBN: 0312352700
$23.95 - 288 pages    amazon.com

Compared in reviews to Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell, Lori Andrews has launched a mystery series featuring Dr. Alexandra Blake of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). When a serial killer targets women near Navy bases, Alex is pulled away from her genetics disease research to cover forensics on the case—and finds her own life in jeopardy.


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