Mississippi Books and Writers

October 1999

Note: Prices listed below reflect the publisher's suggested list price. They are subject to change without notice.

Witness to America: An Illustrated Documentary History of the United States from the Revolution to TodayWitness to America: An Illustrated Documentary History of the United States from the Revolution to Today

Nonfiction edited by Stephen E. Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley

Harper Resource (Hardcover, $39.95, ISBN: 0062716115)

Publication date: October 1999


In this newly revised and updated edition, two of our most distinguished historians, Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley, bring together a stunning collection of eyewitness accounts and illustrations that chronicles the American experience from the perspectives of those who participated in its making.

Originally edited in 1939 by Henry Steele Commager and Allan Nevins, Witness to America includes more than 150 works drawn from more than two hundred years of American history, from the first shots of the Revolutionary War to the closing of the Twentieth Century. From Patrick Henry’s rousing “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, to John Brown’s stand at Harper’s Ferry; from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s promise of a New Deal to Neil Armstrong’s account of walking on the moon, this sweeping volume brings the milestones in American history vividly to life.

Here are unique and revealing selections from such historical figures as John Adams, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, as well as influential individuals including Booker T. Washington, Charles Lindbergh, Ernie Pyle, Rosa Parks, and Betty Friedan. While many of the selections come from notable citizens, most are from ordinary Americansschoolteachers, students, homemakers, pioneers, and soldierswho describe the everyday events that have epitomized American life over the course of its history.

Witness to America sweeps across the vast territory that is our nation, illuminating the movements, ideas, inventions, and events that have shaped and defined usfrom the Pony Express to the PC; from the frontier to the rise of suburbia; from farming to modernization and the information age. Within these pages discover the art of whaling, learn about survival on the gold rush trail, experience the glory and trauma of war, and glean new insight on the great leaders. Here are debates and speeches, diary entries, letters, memoirs, court records, and moreincluding many first-person accounts that make history come alive as never before, such as a powerful description of the atomic explosion from a correspondent on the Enola Gay, and a young student’s evaluation of the changing roles of women at her high school. The selections explore the diverse facets of America’s cultural and political heritage and the constant shift and flux of everyday life, indelibly demonstrating both the variety and vitality of the American character.

Illustrated with spectacular photographs, drawings, and paintings and featuring a 74-minute audio CD with actual clips and dramatizations of many of the entries, Witness to America is a fascinating, highly readable, and entertaining collection that shows us what America isand where it may go as it enters the next century.

Frontier ChildrenFrontier Children

Nonfiction by Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith

University of Oklahoma Press (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 0806131616)

Publication date: October 1999

Description from Booklist:

Probably one of the most neglected subjects relating to the American frontier is the children. This is surprising in that children were as integral a part of frontier life as adults, and to a large extent they were a major incentive for many of the families seeking a better future there. Written records and journals are a necessary component of historic research, but in the case of children, especially Indians and African Americans, such resources are virtually nonexistent. Despite this limitation, the authors have been able to reconstruct stories of children on the frontier from later-life memories and from oral history transcripts. They have wisely verified, when possible, the accuracy of their sources, for such reports are often heavily filtered through the passage of time and thus misleading. Excellent use is made of photographic evidence, which is quite extensive. Reproduced in this volume are more than 200 vintage photographs as well as several line illustrations. All of the many facets of the frontier experience are examined in relation to how they affected the world of children. —Fred Egloff

Outside ChanceOutside Chance

By Louisa Dixon

Genesis Press (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 1885478631)

Publication date: October 1999


With the aid of a psychotic highway patrolman, the Governor’s right-hand man fakes his own death, and murder follows murder in a rollercoaster ride of suspense served up Southern-style in this second novel in the Laura Owen trilogy.

Pilgrims: Sinners, Saints, and ProphetsPilgrims: Sinners, Saints, and Prophets: A Book of Words and Photographs

By Marty Stuart

Rutledge Hill Press (Hardcover, $29.99, ISBN: 1558537732)

Publication date: October 1999

Description from the publisher:

Marty Stuart, one of the most popular country artists, portrays well-known and not-so-well-known pilgrims through spectacular photographs and well-written words. Marty portrays in the book “a life that ain’t easy, but one that I understand.”

Novels 1926-1929 Novels 1957-1962: The Town, The Mansion, The Reivers

By William Faulkner

Library of America (Hardcover, $35.00, ISBN: 1883011698)

Publication date: October 1999


William Faulkner’s fictional chronicle of Yoknapatawpha County culminates in his three last novels, rich with the history and lore of the domain where he set most of his novels and stories. The Town (1957), the second novel of the Snopes trilogy that began with The Hamlet, charts the rise of the rapacious Flem Snopes and his extravagantly extended family as they connive their way into power. In The Mansion (1959), the trilogy’s conclusion, a wronged relative finally destroys Flem and his dynasty. Faulkner’s last novel, The Reivers: A Reminiscence (1962), distinctly mellower and more elegiac than his earlier work, is a picaresque adventure that evokes the world of childhood with a final burst of comic energy. Novels 1957-1962, like previous volumes in The Library of America’s edition of the complete novels of William Faulkner, has been newly edited by textual scholar Noel Polk to establish an authoritative text, that features a chronology and notes by Faulkner’s biographer Joseph Blotner.

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