Abstract of the
United States 2017
The National Data Book
978-1-59888-875-1 • $179.00 • Cloth
Available December 2016
collection of statistics on
the social, political, and
economic conditions of the
United States….a snapshot
of America and its people.
“… this is an indispensable
purchase for all libraries…
An imprint of Rowman & Littlefield
tween the things I used to believe, / and wake
up not where I thought I was.” Kahf brilliantly
transposes the disorienting experience of life in
the U.S. for many immigrant and marginalized
women with the rich history of the Abrahamic
religions. —Diego Báez
House of Lords and Commons.
By Ishion Hutchinson.
Sept. 2016. 96p. Farrar, $23 (9780374173029); e-book,
$10.99 (9780374714543). 811.
For his second full-length book of poetry,
after the award-winning Far District (2010),
Hutchinson has crafted a tightly knit, deeply
resonant collection. Hutchinson’s formal
verse and measured lyrics disguise a frenetic
energy by burning slowly to a sudden boil.
“The Small Dark Interior” opens with a young
child gazing longingly at a newly, delicately
frozen pond but closes when the speaker’s
thoughts turn abruptly to forgiveness for his
father. “A Burnt Ship” catalogs the spilled belongings from a ship’s hold (“sunken masks,
/ god’s horn, perfume, ivory tusks, / market
dust”), before erupting in the expected, yet
still unsettling conclusion that “all were lost,
all were destroyed.” Other poems maintain
a serene inner stillness, an even calm that
complements the charged tension. “Moved
by the Beauty of Trees” simply repeats phrases
of “beauty,” “green,” and “leaves,” mimicking
the natural sound of rolling foliage in soft
breeze. The only downside is Hutchinson’s
affinity for short lines and short poems; readers will finish the collection longing for more.
Fans of Yusef Komunyakaa, Rowan Ricardo
Phillips, and Camille Rankine will especially
enjoy Hutchinson’s latest. —Diego Báez
American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses
By Ronald C. White.
Oct. 2016. 831p. Random, $35 (9781400069026). 973.8.
Ulysses S. Grant presents an intriguing historical irony: that such a successful military
figure, who rose to serve as the head of the
Union forces in the Civil War, could at the
same time bear a reputation for being one of our
weakest of presidents. The
author of the award-winning
A. Lincoln (2009) squares
this dichotomy in a rich,
dynamic narrative rightly
placed alongside other superior studies of the Civil
War, whether biographical or in more general
examinations of sociopolitical issues. White’s
compelling voice and provocative discernment
trump the lengthiness of his narrative, and as
a consequence, we are given a deeply involving life story judicious in its estimation of both
the military and political man. It is restorative
in its unvarnished but respectful and responsible analysis of Grant’s considerable impact.
Necessarily, many pages are given over to
battlefield strategies and results. Additionally,
Grant’s family life is paid fond attention to,
just as he paid close attention to his wife and
children during his entire military and presi-
dential years. The story ultimately ends on an
upbeat note, despite Grant’s race against death
from throat cancer, for the fact is he was able
to complete his now-classic Personal Memoirs,
published posthumously in 1895 to consider-
able and ongoing popular and critical acclaim.
American Women: Great Lives from
Ed. by Mary K. Trigg.
3v. 2016. 1,461p. illus. Salem, $395 (9781619259447).
An exemplary survey of significant American women in varied fields of endeavor, Trigg’s
three-volume set is a go-to source on trailblazers. Trigg features the usual suspects along
with the forgotten women—Mary Beard,
the founder of women’s history; Louise Beavers, a breakthrough black film star; Bharati
Mukherjee, a Calcutta-born author of peasant life stories. Comprehensive biographies
begin with birth and education and note the
foundations of character and greatness in such
females as lecturer-teacher Angela Davis and
singer Beverly Sills.
A 9-page chronology brings the stellar list
forward from seventeenth-century midwife
and theologian Anne Hutchinson to 2015
sports star Serena Williams. A 10-page filmography features the activism of Dolores Huerta,
Ella Baker, and Nellie Bly as well as the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, Josephine Baker, and
Lucille Ball. A lengthy appendix lists and describes organizations that honor and encourage
excellence among women. Trigg’s summation
of female achievement digs into the less known
niches of astrophysics, industry, enslavement,
and foreign missions. By introducing the reader to the altruism of Cherokee chief Wilma
Mankiller, the military success of Oveta Culp
Hobby, the congressional leadership of Bella
Abzug, the engineering skills of Lillian Gil-breth, and the urban reforms of Lillian Wald,
this reference source defeats gender and racial
stereotypes of what women can accomplish.
—Mary Ellen Snodgrass
YA/C: Suitable for high-school collections.
The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic
Story of the Indian Wars for the
By Peter Cozzens.
Oct. 2016. 576p. illus. Knopf, $35 (9780307958044).
The settlement or “conquest” of the trans-Mississippi West is embedded in our national
consciousness, and the military defeat and confinement of the various Indian tribes is an
integral part of that epic story. Cozzens, who has
written extensively on the various Indian wars,
offers a magnificent single-volume account of
the post–Civil War conflicts that shaped our
history and the mythology of the frontier, span-