Barbershop Music in Danbury!

On the Sunny Side: The Danbury Mad Hatter Chorus, 1966-2016. Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox. Mad Hatter Chorus, 2017.   In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Mad Hatter Chorus located in Danbury, Connecticut, Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox has written the definitive history of the group. The Mad Hatters became a chartered group and official chapter of the Society … Continue reading Barbershop Music in Danbury!

The Fading World of Cinema: Review

Repertory Movie Theaters of New York City: Havens for Revivals, Indies and the Avant-Garde, 1960-1994. Ben Davis. McFarland, 2017. Ben Davis’ excellent new book thoroughly explores the history, culture and importance of the repertory movie theaters that influenced the art film scene in New York City from the 1960s into the 1990s. In this well organized … Continue reading The Fading World of Cinema: Review

Oneida versus the Moralists: A Review of The Ministers’ War

The Ministers’ War: John W. Mears, the Oneida Community, and the Crusade for Public Morality. By Michael Doyle. Syracuse University Press. 2018.   Antebellum activism is often refracted through an abolitionist lens, though few Northern evangelicals compartmentalized reform. Protestant ministers spearheading change could be found among any of a number of reform groups. In this … Continue reading Oneida versus the Moralists: A Review of The Ministers’ War

The Knickerbocker Myth—Review

Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York. By Elizabeth L. Bradley. Rutgers University Press, 2009, 151+ pp.     In his 1963 breakthrough novel Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. coined the term granfalloon to describe hollow collectives to which one accidentally belongs. For instance, if you live in California you are a “Californian” until the day … Continue reading The Knickerbocker Myth—Review

Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts: Book Review

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World. ByChristopher De Hamel. New York: Penguin Press, 2017. Christopher de Hamel’s love letter to medieval manuscripts celebrates every component of the medieval book: the beauty and craftsmanship of each hand-written page, the passion and tireless dedication of the scribes, the romantic interiors of modern archives … Continue reading Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts: Book Review

H.G. Wells and Bicycles: A Book Review

The War of the Wheels: H. G. Wells and the Bicycle, by Jeremy Withers, Syracuse: New York: Syracuse University Press, 2017. Jeremy Withers in The War of the Wheels: H. G. Wells and the Bicycle provides the “first in-depth analysis of bikes in Wells’ long and prolific writing career” (p. 3). This book joins other … Continue reading H.G. Wells and Bicycles: A Book Review

Blood and Faith: Christianity in White American Nationalism. By Damon T. Berry. Syracuse University Press, 2017. In the epilogue to Blood and Faith, St. Lawrence University religion professor Damon Berry evokes the 2016 presidential election: “If the economic policies of the new administration do indeed end up hurting the white working class that voted Trump … Continue reading

Book Review: An African American in Vermont (Post WWII)

THE SEEKING. By Will Thomas. Edited by Mark Madigan. University of New England Press, 344 pages, 2013 edited reprint of 1953 original.   The Seeking slipped under the radar, but deserves new attention. My copy literally got buried under an avalanche of titles that came my way and I failed to notice that my longtime … Continue reading Book Review: An African American in Vermont (Post WWII)

Book Review: The Banjo

The Banjo: America’s African Instrument. By Laurent Dubois, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016.  Laurent Dubois, professor of Romance Studies and History and director of the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University, asks a seemingly simple question early on in his book: “What sound will accompany the end of days?” … Continue reading Book Review: The Banjo

Book Review: The Glass Universe

Dava Sobel. The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars. New York: Viking, 2017. 324 Pg. $30. Dava Sobel has written another wonderful book about women and science. The Glass Universe tells the story of the dozens of women who worked in the Harvard College Observatory in … Continue reading Book Review: The Glass Universe