Author Archives: Mary Sauers

Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

Apologies that this installment of Book Briefs has taken so long–we have been without a cataloger since December 1st, 2023, but our new cataloger starts July 15th!

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  We normally post every two months, but today we are catching up with our backlog of the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in January through June, 2024:

Antilla, by Henrietta Goodman. Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry Honorable Mention

The title poem of this collection refers to the phantom island of Antillia, included on maps in the fifteenth century but later found not to exist. The ghosts that haunt this collection are phantom islands, moon lakes, lasers used to clean the caryatids at the Acropolis, earlier versions of the self, suicides, a madam from the Old West, petroleum, snapdragons, pets, ice apples, Casper, and a “resident ghost” who makes the domestic realm of “the cradle and the bed” uninhabitable. The ghosts are sons, fathers “asleep in front of the TV,” and a variety of exes—“lost boys” with names like The Texan and Mr. No More Cowboy Hat whom Henrietta Goodman treats with snarky wit but also with grief, guilt, and love.

Although memories pervade this collection, these poems also look forward and outward into a world where social inequality and environmental disaster meet the possibility of metamorphosis.

Boundless Deep, and Other Stories, by Gen Del Raye. Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Boundless Deep, and Other Stories is a portrait of a family that holds together despite everything. By turns introspective, surreal, and bitingly funny, this collection of linked short stories spans seven decades across Japan and the United States and shows the tenacity of relationships fractured by language and distance.

At the funeral of her old boss, a grandmother confronts the legacy of the draft letters she delivered as a girl during World War II. Facing the loss of his job, a father becomes the caricature strangers have always believed him to be. A graduate student living far from home is worn down by the reality of what it takes to save even a small piece of the world. Along the way, we meet communist revolutionary Shigenobu Fusako hiding out in a Tokyo hotel, submariner and war criminal Nishina Sekio in his tortured dreams, and Edwin, a half-dolphin friend, wreaking havoc in a public pool. Written in the compressed style of Amy Hempel and Lucia Berlin, these stories examine characters whose struggles submerge them, weighing them down from every angle, until they can finally float free.

Brand Antarctica : How Global Consumer Culture Shapes Our Perceptions of the Ice Continent, by Hanne Elliot Fonss Nielsen. Series: Polar Studies

Antarctica is, and has always been, very much “for sale.” Whales, seals, and ice have all been marketed as valuable commodities, but so have the stories of explorers. The modern media industry developed in parallel with land-based Antarctic exploration, and early expedition leaders needed publicity to generate support for their endeavors. Their lectures, narratives, photographs, and films were essentially advertisements for their adventures. At the same time, popular media began to use the newly encountered continent to draw attention to commercial products. These advertisements both trace the commercialization of Antarctica and reveal how commercial settings have shaped the dominant imaginaries of the place.

By contextualizing and analyzing Antarctic advertisements from the late nineteenth century to the present, Brand Antarctica identifies five key framings of the South Polar continent: a place for heroes, a place of extremity, a place of purity, a place to protect, and a place that transforms. Demonstrating how these conceptual framings of Antarctica in turn circulate through our culture, Hanne Elliot Fønss Nielsen challenges common assumptions about Antarctica’s past and present, encouraging readers to rethink their own relationship with the Far South.

Bribed With Our Own Money : Federal Abuse of American Indian Funds in the Termination Era, by David R. M. Beck. Series: New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies

In Bribed with Our Own Money David R. M. Beck analyzes the successes and failures of Indigenous nations’ opposition to federal policy in the 1950s and 1960s. Focusing on case studies from six Native nations, Beck recounts how the U.S. government coerced American Indian nations to accept termination of their political relationship with the United States by threatening to withhold money that belonged to the tribes.

Termination was the continuation—and, federal officials hoped, the culmination—of more than a century of policy initiatives intended to end the political relationship between Indian tribal nations and the federal government. Termination was also intended to assimilate American Indian individuals into the country’s social and economic culture and to remove the remainder of reservation lands from federal trust. American Indians hoped to gain greater opportunities of self-governance and self-determination, but they wanted to do so under the protection of the federal trust relationship.

Bribed with Our Own Money analyzes both successful and unsuccessful efforts of Native nations to oppose this policy within the larger context of long-standing federal abuse of tribal funds. It is the first book to view federal termination efforts grounded in bribery for what they were: a form of coercion.

Buffalo Bill and the Mormans, by Brent M. Rogers.

In this never-before-told history of Buffalo Bill and the Mormons, Brent M. Rogers presents the intersections in the epic histories of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and the Latter-day Saints from 1846 through 1917. In Cody’s autobiography he claimed to have been a member of the U.S. Army wagon train that was burned by the Saints during the Utah War of 1857–58. Less than twenty years later he began his stage career and gained notoriety by performing anti-Mormon dramas. By early 1900 he actively recruited Latter-day Saints to help build infrastructure and encourage growth in the region surrounding his town of Cody, Wyoming.

In Buffalo Bill and the Mormons Rogers unravels this history and the fascinating trajectory that took America’s most famous celebrity from foe to friend of the Latter-day Saints. In doing so, the book demonstrates how the evolving relationship between Cody and the Latter-day Saints can help readers better understand the political and cultural perceptions of Mormons and the American West.

Creative Genius : The Art of the Nebraska Capitol, by Susanne Shore, Kevin Moser, and Drew Davies.

Few buildings reveal truths, inspire greatness, and narrate the creation of humanity. Creative Genius: The Art of the Nebraska Capitol documents such a place. The Nebraska Capitol—once called “a peak in the history of building accomplishment”—breaks the boundaries of architecture and art.

Creative Genius unveils new images of the art of the Capitol in striking detail. Included are some of the greatest works by some of America’s most recognized artists and visionaries.

Along with remarkable visuals, Creative Genius delivers insights into the extraordinary stories and vision behind the art. Steeped in history and lore, the building narrates the creation of the universe and life, as well as the epic journey of the peoples of Nebraska. This book reveals the themes driving the art, chronicles the stories behind artists and their creations, and celebrates the beauty embodied in this influential building.

Ethics at the Center : Jewish Theory and Practice for Living a Moral Life, by Elliot N. Dorff. Series: A JPS Scholar of Distinction Book

Ethics at the Center culls the best of Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff’s pioneering thinking in Jewish ethics over nearly five decades. Dorff shows that our response to moral issues depends ultimately on our conceptions of the nature of human beings and God; how Jewish law, theology, prayer, history, and community should also define and motivate Jewish responses to moral issues; and how the honorable and divergent stances of Western philosophy and other religions about moral living shed light on Judaism’s distinctive standpoints.

From there Dorff applies Judaism’s ethics to real life: abortion post–Roe v. Wade, sexual orientation and human dignity, avoiding harm in communication, playing violent or defamatory video games, modern war ethics, handling donations of ill-gotten gain after the fact. In conclusion he explores how Jewish family and community, holidays and rituals, theology, study, and law have moral import as well.

Dorff’s personal introduction to each chapter reflects on why and when he wrote its contents, its continuing relevance, and if—and if so, how—he would now change what he wrote earlier. Readers will experience not only his evolving ethical thought but many facets of the person and the Jew that Dorff is today.

Exile and the Jews : Literature, History, and Identity, Edited by Nancy E. Berg and Marc Saperstein. Series: JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought

This first comprehensive anthology examining Jewish responses to exile from the biblical period to our modern day gathers texts from all genres of Jewish literary creativity to explore how the realities and interpretations of exile have shaped Judaism, Jewish politics, and individual Jewish identity for millennia. Ordered along multiple arcs—from universal to particular, collective to individual, and mythic-symbolic to prosaic everyday living—the chapters present different facets of exile: as human condition, in history and life, in holiday rituals, in language, as penance and atonement, as internalized experience, in relation to the Divine Presence, and more. By illuminating the multidimensional nature of “exile”—political, philosophical, religious, psychological, and mythological—widely divergent evaluations of Jewish life in the Diaspora emerge. The word “exile” and its Hebrew equivalent, galut, evoke darkness, bleakness—and yet the condition offers spiritual renewal and engenders great expressions of Jewish cultural creativity: the Babylonian Talmud, medieval Jewish philosophy, golden age poetry, and modern Jewish literature.

Exile and the Jews will engage students, academics, and general readers in contemplating immigration, displacement, evolving identity, and more.

Forget I Told You This : A Novel, by Hilary Zaid. Series: Zero Street Fiction

Amy Black, a queer single mother and an aspiring artist in love with calligraphy, dreams of a coveted artist’s residency at the world’s largest social media company, Q. One ink-black October night, when the power is out in the hills of Oakland, California, a stranger asks Amy to transcribe a love letter for him. When the stranger suddenly disappears, Amy’s search for the letter’s recipient leads her straight to Q and the most beautiful illuminated manuscript she has ever seen, the Codex Argentus, hidden away in Q’s Library of Books That Don’t Exist—and to a group of data privacy vigilantes who want her to burn Q to the ground.

Amy’s curiosity becomes her salvation, as she’s drawn closer and closer to the secret societies and crackpot philosophers that haunt the city’s abandoned warehouses and defunct train depots. All of it leads to an opportunity of a lifetime: an artist’s residency deep in the holographic halls of Q headquarters. It’s a dream come true—so long as she follows Q’s rules.

The Forsaken and the Dead : The Bass Reeves Trilogy, Book Three, by Sidney Thompson. Series: The Bass Reeves Trilogy Series

**Books 1 & 2 of the Bass Reeves Trilogy adapted for the Paramount+ miniseries Lawmen: Bass Reeves
2023 Foreword INDIES Finalist in Historical Fiction
National Indie Excellence Award Winner in Western Fiction

All heroes have fatal flaws and a moment of defining hubris, but few rise from the ashes to achieve greater heights. In 1884 Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves was arrested for murder and placed among his own prisoners in Hell on the Border, the infamous federal jail in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It was the single greatest setback of his illustrious career, but it wouldn’t be his last mistake or trial by fire.

In The Forsaken and the Dead we meet Reeves again. In the 1890s, past his prime, Reeves proceeds through the valleys and shadows of Indian and Oklahoma Territories. Despite his caution and innovations as a lawman and detective, his nation no longer seems a product of his own making—so much like his children and his marriage to Jennie. While a modern world implodes around him and demons from his past continue to haunt his present, he remains resolute in his faith that he can be a steady rider on a pale horse.

Forward Without Fear : Native Hawaiians and American Education in Territorial Hawai’i, 1900-1941, by Derek Taira. Series: Studies in Pacific Worlds

During Hawai‘i’s territorial period (1900–1959), Native Hawaiians resisted assimilation by refusing to replace Native culture, identity, and history with those of the United States. By actively participating in U.S. public schools, Hawaiians resisted the suppression of their language and culture, subjection to a foreign curriculum, and denial of their cultural heritage and history, which was critical for Hawai‘i’s political evolution within the manifest destiny of the United States.

In Forward without Fear Derek Taira reveals that many Native Hawaiians in the first forty years of the territorial period neither subscribed nor succumbed to public schools’ aggressive efforts to assimilate and Americanize them but instead engaged with American education to envision and support an alternate future, one in which they could exclude themselves from settler society to maintain their cultural distinctiveness and protect their Indigenous identity. Taira thus places great emphasis on how they would have understood their actions—as flexible and productive steps for securing their cultural sovereignty and safeguarding their future as Native Hawaiians—and reshapes historical understanding of this era as one solely focused on settler colonial domination, oppression, and elimination to a more balanced and optimistic narrative that identifies and highlights Indigenous endurance, resistance, and hopefulness.

The Franz Boas Papers, Volume 2 : Franz Boas, James Teit, and Early Twentieth-Century Salish Ethnology. 2 Volumes– Part 1: 1894-1913, and Part 2: 1914-1922, Edited by Angie Bain, John Haugen, et al. Series: Franz Boas Papers Documentary Edition

The Franz Boas Papers, Volume 2 explores the development of the ethnography of Salishan-speaking societies on the North American Plateau as revealed through the correspondence between Franz Boas and the Scottish-born James Teit, who married into an Interior Salish family and community and became fluent in the Nlaka’pamux language. The letters between Teit (1864–1922) and Boas (1858–1942) chronicle Teit’s varied career as an ethnographer, from shortly after his initial meeting with Boas in 1894 until Teit’s death at the age of fifty-eight. A postscript documents Boas’s contribution to Teit’s legacy through the posthumous publication of the manuscripts Teit left unfinished at his death.

Teit made significant contributions to ethnography and the history of southern British Columbia through his photography of the people with whom he worked, his contributions to ethnomusicology and ethnobotany, his anthologies of mythic narrative, and his collections of Interior Salish—primarily Nlaka’pamux—material culture. In addition to collaborating with Boas in the development of Interior Salish ethnography, between 1909 and 1922 Teit worked to support Indigenous groups in British Columbia who were seeking recognition of Aboriginal title and resolution of their outstanding land claims.

The Franz Boas Papers, Volume 2 meticulously tracks the impact of the differing career trajectories of Teit and Boas on the primary product of their collaboration—the initial development of the ethnography of societies speaking Interior Salish languages. This second volume of the Franz Boas Papers Documentary Edition is an essential primary source of archival materials for research libraries and for students and scholars of Northwest Coast and Interior Mountain West ethnohistory, Native American and Indigenous studies, history of anthropology, and modern U.S. history. It is also an essential source for Indigenous and settler descendant communities.

Let Our Bodies Change the Subject, by Jared Harel. Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry

National Jewish Book Award Finalist
Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist

Let Our Bodies Change the Subject is a poetry collection that dives headlong into the terrifying, wondrous, sleep-deprived existence of being a parent in twenty-first-century America. In clear, dynamic verses that disarm then strike, Jared Harél investigates our days through the keyhole of domesticity, through personal lyrics and cultural reckonings. Whether taking a family trip to Coney Island or simply showing his son snowflakes on Inauguration morning, Harél guides us toward moments of intimacy and understanding, humor and grief.

“I will try,” he admits, “to be better than myself, which is all/I’ve ever wanted and everything I need.” Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Let Our Bodies Change the Subject is a secular prayer. Hoping against hope, Harél works to reconcile feelings of luck and loss, of living for joy while fearing the worst.

Loving the Dying, by Len Verwey. Series: African Poetry Book

Loving the Dying is a collection of poems on life’s different stages. Set against the backdrop of a conflicted society, Len Verwey looks at a person’s life from youth and growing up to aging and dying, considering what the ineluctable reality of death might imply about how we should think about our lives.

These are poems of uncertainty rather than certainty. The more overtly biographical ones end with as many questions as they start with, and there is often sympathy for the outsider or the marginalized voice. Varying in tone and complexity, Verwey’s poems focus on the tension between escapism and reality, truth and delusion (for individuals and societies), and the need to face death if we are to care for the aged and learn to understand the process of dying.

As in his first poetry collection, In a Language That You Know, Verwey continues his effort to understand the successes and failures of the South African post-apartheid journey, with both humor and some despair.

Marcias : Queer Cultures and State Violence in Argentina and Spain, 1942-1982, by Javier Fernandez-Galeano. Series: Engendering Latin America

In Maricas Javier Fernández-Galeano traces the erotic lives and legal battles of Argentine and Spanish gender- and sexually nonconforming people who carved out their own spaces in metropolitan and rural cultures between the 1940s and the 1980s. In both countries, agents of the state, judiciary, and medical communities employed “social danger” theory to measure individuals’ latent criminality, conflating sexual and gender nonconformity with legal transgression.

Argentine and Spanish queer and trans communities rejected this mode of external categorization. Drawing on Catholicism and camp cultures that stretched across the Atlantic, these communities constructed alternative models of identification that remediated state repression and sexual violence through the pursuit of the sublime, be it erotic, religious, or cultural. In this pursuit they drew ideological and iconographic material from the very institutions that were most antagonistic to their existence, including the Catholic Church, the military, and reactionary mass media. Maricas incorporates non-elite actors, including working-class and rural populations, recruits, prisoners, folk music fans, and defendants’ mothers, among others. The first English-language monograph on the history of twentieth-century state policies and queer cultures in Argentina and Spain, Maricas demonstrates the many ways queer communities and individuals in Argentina and Spain fought against violence, rejected pathologization, and contested imposed, denigrating categorization.

My Grandfather’s Altar : Five Generations of Lakota Holy Men, by Richard Moves Camp, edited by Simon J. Joseph. Series: American Indian Lives

Richard Moves Camp’s My Grandfather’s Altar is an oral-literary narrative account of five generations of Lakota religious tradition. Moves Camp is the great-great-grandson of Wóptuȟ’a (“Chips”), the holy man remembered for providing Crazy Horse with war medicines of power and protection. The Lakota remember the descendants of Wóptuȟ’a for their roles in preserving Lakota ceremonial traditions during the official prohibition period (1883–1934), when the U.S. Indian Religious Crimes Code outlawed Indian religious ceremonies with the threat of imprisonment.

Wóptuȟ’a, his two sons, James Moves Camp and Charles Horn Chips, his grandson Sam Moves Camp, and his great-great-grandson Richard Moves Camp all became well-respected Lakota spiritual leaders. My Grandfather’s Altar offers the rare opportunity to learn firsthand how one family’s descendants played a pivotal role in revitalizing Lakota religion in the twentieth century.

The Narrator : A Problem in Narrative Theory, by Sylvie Patron, translated by Catherine Porter. Series: Frontiers of Narrative

The narrator (the answer to the question “who speaks in the text?”) is a commonly used notion in teaching literature and in literary criticism, even though it is the object of an ongoing debate in narrative theory. Do all fictional narratives have a narrator, or only some of them? Can narratives thus be “narratorless”? This question divides communicational theories (based on the communication between real or fictional narrator and narratee) and noncommunicational or poetic theories (which aim to rehabilitate the function of the author as the creator of the fictional narrative).

Clarifying the notion of the narrator requires a historical and epistemological approach focused on the opposition between communicational theories of narrative in general and noncommunicational or poetic theories of the fictional narrative in particular. The Narrator offers an original and critical synthesis of the problem of the narrator in the work of narratologists and other theoreticians of narrative communication from the French, Czech, German, and American traditions and in representations of the noncommunicational theories of fictional narrative. Sylvie Patron provides linguistic and pragmatic tools for interrogating the concept of the narrator based on the idea that fictional narrative has the power to signal, by specific linguistic marks, that the reader must construct a narrator; when these marks are missing, the reader is able to perceive other forms and other narrative effects, specially sought after by certain authors.

The Nebraska Sandhills, Edited by Monica M. Norby, Judy Diamond, and Aaron Sutherlen, et al.

“Like a rumpled wool blanket, the Nebraska Sandhills spreads out over twenty thousand square miles of north central Nebraska and is the largest stabilized dune field in the Western Hemisphere. It is also the largest intact mixed-grass prairie left on the continent.”

This description by photographer Michael Forsberg alludes to the exceptional physical geography of the Nebraska Sandhills, a place of rolling grasslands, rivers, and wetlands created by the Ogallala Aquifer that underlies the region. Home to abundant wildlife, from pronghorn antelope to sandhill cranes, the Sandhills are an ecological treasure. Dotted with ranches and small towns, the Sandhills are rich with deep cultural history, including those of Indigenous peoples, settlers, Black homesteaders, immigrants, ecotourists, and some adventurous golfers.

The Nebraska Sandhills features nearly forty essays about the history, people, geography, geology, ecology, and conservation of the Nebraska Sandhills. Illustrated with hundreds of remarkable color photographs of the area, this is the most up-to-date and illuminating portrayal of this remarkable yet largely unknown region of the United States.

A New Deal for Quilts, by Janneken Smucker.

During the Roosevelt administration’s efforts to combat the Great Depression, the quilt became an emblem for how to lift one’s family out of poverty, piece by piece. A New Deal for Quilts explores how the U.S. government drew on quilts and quilt-making, encouraging Americans to create quilts individually and collectively in response to unemployment, displacement, and recovery efforts. Quilters shared their perspectives on New Deal programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and the National Recovery Administration, which sent quilts as gifts to the Roosevelts and other officials. Federal programs used quilts’ symbolic heft to communicate the values and behaviors individuals should embrace amid the Depression, perceiving the practical potential of crafts to lift morale and impart new skills. The government embraced quilts to demonstrate the efficacy of its programs, show women how they could contribute to their families’ betterment, and generate empathy for impoverished Americans.

With more than one hundred period photographs and images of quilts, A New Deal for Quilts evokes the visual environment of the Depression while conveying ways craft, work, race, poverty, and politics intersected during this pivotal era. Accompanying the book is a fall 2023 exhibit at the International Quilt Museum, featuring 1930s quilts drawn from its renowned collection.

The New Nancy : Flexible and Relatable Daily Comics in the Twenty-First Century, by Jeff Karnicky. Series: Encapsulations: Critical Comics Studies

In The New Nancy Jeff Karnicky explores how today’s successful daily comic strips are flexible and relatable, and he uses Olivia Jaimes’s 2018 reboot of the long-running comic strip Nancy to illustrate the ways that contemporary comics have adapted to twenty-first-century technology and culture.

Because comic creation has become part of the gig economy, flexible comics must be accessible to both online and print readers, and they must quickly grab readers’ attention. Flexible comic creators like Jaimes must focus both on the work of producing comics and on building an audience.

Daily comics also must form a relatable connection with readers. Most contemporary comic creators cultivate an online persona through which they engage readers with specific identities, beliefs, and expectations. This work might form a mutually beneficial bond that results in a successful daily comic strip, but it risks becoming fraught, toxic, and sometimes even dangerous.

Jaimes cultivates a relatable persona in connection with longtime readers and new fans. Nancy finds its humor in both nostalgic objects (like cookie jars) and contemporary technological objects (like smartphones). Rebooted comic strips like Nancy directly confront the stereotypical representations that haunt the past of comics. Focusing on Nancy’s role in contemporary culture, Karnicky uses literary studies, cultural studies, and media studies to argue that Jaimes’s comic strip has something to say about comics, contemporary culture, and the intersection of the two.

Object-Oriented Narratology, by Marie-Laure Ryan and Tang Weisheng. Series: Frontiers of Narrative

The quick spread of posthumanism and of critiques of anthropomorphism in the past few decades has resulted in greater attention to concrete objects in critical theories and in philosophy. This new materialism or new object philosophy marks a renewal of interest in the  existence of objects. Yet while their mode of existence is independent of human cognition, it cannot erase the relation of subject to object and the foundational role of our experience of things in our mental activity.

These developments have important implications for narratology. Traditional conceptions of narrative define its core components as setting, characters, and plot, but nonhuman entities play a crucial role in characterizing the setting, in enabling or impeding the actions of characters, and thus in determining plot.

Marie-Laure Ryan and Tang Weisheng combine a theoretical approach that defines the basic narrative functions of objects with interpretive studies of narrative texts that rely more closely on ideas advanced by proponents of new object philosophy. Object-Oriented Narratology opens new theoretical horizons for narratology and offers individual case studies that demonstrate the richness and diversity of the ways in which narrative, both Western and non-Western, deals with humans’ relationships to their material environment and with the otherness of objects.

On Our Own Terms : Indigenous Histories of School Funding and Policy, by Meredith L. McCoy. Series: Indigenous Education

On Our Own Terms contextualizes recent federal education legislation against the backdrop of two hundred years of education funding and policy to explore two critical themes: the racial and settler colonial dynamics that have shaped Indian education and an equally long and persistent tradition of Indigenous peoples engaging schools, funding, and policy on their own terms. Focusing primarily on the years 1819 to 2018, Meredith L. McCoy provides an interdisciplinary, methodologically expansive look into the ways federal Indian education policy has all too often been a tool for structural violence against Native peoples. Of particular note is a historical budget analysis that lays bare inconsistencies in federal support for Indian education and the ways funds become a tool for redefining educational priorities.

McCoy shows some of the diverse strategies families, educators, and other community members have used to creatively navigate schooling on their own terms. These stories of strategic engagement with schools, funding, and policy embody what Gerald Vizenor has termed survivance, an insistence of Indigenous presence, trickster humor, and ironic engagement with settler structures. By gathering these stories together into an archive of survivance stories in education, McCoy invites readers to consider ongoing patterns of Indigenous resistance and the possibilities for bending federal systems toward community well-being.

Origins of the Syma Species, by Tares Oburumu. Series: African Poetry Book

Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets

Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Tares Oburumu’s collection is a brief history of where he came from: Syma, a neglected oil-producing region of Nigeria. After growing up with a single mother in the creek- and brook-marked region, and himself now a single parent, Oburumu examines single parenthood and how love defines family circles. Mixing music, religion, and political critique, Origins of the Syma Species evokes pasts and futures.

Inspired by the relative chaos found in the origin of things, Oburumu’s poems explore how the beauty of chaos binds us to our ancestral roots. In his poems Oburumu identifies with anyone who is a single parent or is dealing with the lonely trauma of a broken home. His poems instill hopefulness in a world that has the means to throw many into poverty and agony.

Pakistan and American Diplomacy : Insights from 9/11 to the Afghanistan Endgame, by Ted Craig.

Pakistan and American Diplomacy offers an insightful, fast-moving tour through Pakistan-U.S. relations, from 9/11 to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as told from the perspective of a former U.S. diplomat who served twice in Pakistan. Ted Craig frames his narrative around the 2019 Cricket World Cup, a contest that saw Pakistan square off against key neighbors and cricketing powers Afghanistan, India, and Bangladesh, and its former colonial ruler, Britain.Craig provides perceptive analysis of Pakistan’s diplomacy since its independence in 1947, shedding light on the country’s contemporary relations with the United States, China, India, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. With insights from the field and from Washington, Craig reflects on the chain of policy decisions that led to the fall of the Kabul government in 2021 and offers a sober and balanced view of the consequences of that policy failure. Drawing on his post–Cold War diplomatic career, Craig presents U.S.-Pakistan policy in the context of an American experiment in promoting democracy while combating terrorism.                                  

Resisting Oklahoma’s Reign of Terror : The Society of Oklahoma Indians and the Fight for Native Rights, 1923-1928, by Joshua Clough. Series: New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies

The oil and natural gas boom in pre–World War I Oklahoma brought unbelievable wealth to thousands of tribal citizens in the state on whose lands these minerals were discovered. However, as Angie Debo recognizes in her seminal study of the period, And Still the Waters Run, and, more recently, as David Grann does in Killers of the Flower Moon, this affluence placed Natives in the crosshairs of unscrupulous individuals. As a result, this era was also marked by two of the most heinous episodes of racial violence in the state’s history:  the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and the Osage Murders between 1921 and 1925. 

In Resisting Oklahoma’s Reign of Terror Joshua Clough details the responses of one largely forgotten Native organization—the Society of Oklahoma Indians (SOI)—to the violence and pillaging of tribal resources during the 1920s. Clough provides historical understanding of its formation and its shared values of intertribal unity, Native suffrage, and protection of Native property. He also reveals why reform efforts were nearly impossible in 1920s Oklahoma and how this historical perspective informs today’s conflicts between the state and its Indigenous inhabitants.

Through this examination of the SOI, Clough fills the historiographic gap regarding formal Native resistance between the dissolution of the national Society of American Indians in 1923 and the formation of the National Congress of American Indians in 1944. Dismissed or overlooked for a century as an inconsequential Native activist organization, the history of the SOI, when examined carefully, reveals the sophistication and determination of tribal members in their struggle to prevent depredations on their persons and property.

Shift : A Memoir of Identity and Other Illusions, by Penny Guisinger. Series: American Lives

Penny Guisinger was not always attracted to women. In Shift she recounts formative relationships with women and men, including the marriage that produced her two children and ultimately ended in part due to her affair with her now-wife. Beginning her story as straight and ending as queer, she struggles to make sense of how her identity changed so profoundly while leaving her feeling like the same person she’s always been. While covering pivotal periods of her life, including previous relationships and raising her children across the chasm of divorce, Guisinger reaches for quantum physics, music theory, planetary harmonics, palmistry, and more to interrogate her experiences. This personal story plays out against the backdrop of the national debate on same-sex marriage, in rural, easternmost Maine, where Guisinger watched her neighbors vote against the validity of her family.

Shift examines sexual and romantic fluidity while wrestling with the ways past and present mingle rather than staying in linear narratives. Under scrutiny, Guisinger’s sense of her own identity becomes like a Mobius strip or Penrose triangle—an optical illusion that challenges the dimensions and possibilities of the world.

Storytelling in Kabuki : An Exploration of Spatial Poetics of Comics, by Steen Ledet Christiansen. Series: Encapsulations: Critical Comics Studies

Steen Ledet Christiansen’s Storytelling in “Kabuki” explores the series created by David Mack—a slow, recursive narrative that focuses on the death of Kabuki and her past. The series ran from 1994 to 2004 in a variety of miniseries, one-shots, and spin-offs, rather than following a conventional American monthly release schedule. Most of the series explores different perspectives on the same event and adds background to Kabuki’s past, usually through surreal sequences, dreams, and near-death experiences. The flexibility of comics’ approach to chronology, space, focalization, narrative, and fictionality enabled Mack to produce an unusual experience. Kabuki tells a story that can only exist via comics.

Christiansen analyzes the visual design of the series, a heterogeneous collection of styles depending on the story. To understand Kabuki, it is crucial to explore the visual styles, as well as the use of visual and spatial rhymes and mixed media forms. Because Kabuki employs a complex layering of focalizations, diegetic levels, and metafictional self-reflectivity that is rare in mainstream American comics, it utilizes a narrative poetics that focuses on constant repeating, restating, and returning to the same events.

Kabuki’s unique compositional layering allows Christiansen to provide a clear example of how comics work while also expanding on critical vocabulary, especially in terms of spatial poetics. By exploring spatial form, Christiansen illuminates and gives a critical framework to a different and underexamined aspect of comics.

Wardship and the Welfare State : Native Americans and the Formation of First-Class Citizenship in Mid-Twentieth-Century America, by Mary Klann. Series: New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies

Wardship and the Welfare State examines the ideological dimensions and practical intersections of public policy and Native American citizenship, Indian wardship, and social welfare rights after World War II. By examining Native wardship’s intersections with three pieces of mid-twentieth-century welfare legislation—the 1935 Social Security Act, the 1942 Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act, and the 1944 GI Bill—Mary Klann traces the development of a new conception of first-class citizenship.

Wardship and the Welfare State explores how policymakers and legislators have defined first-class citizenship against its apparent opposite, the much older and fraught idea of Indian wardship. Wards were considered dependent, while first-class citizens were considered independent. Wards were thought to receive gratuitous aid from the government, while first-class citizens were considered responsible. Critics of the federal welfare state’s expansion in the 1930s through 1960s feared that as more Americans received government aid, they too could become dependent wards, victims of the poverty they saw on reservations. Because critics believed wardship prevented Native men and women from fulfilling expectations of work, family, and political membership, they advocated terminating Natives’ trust relationships with the federal government. As these critics mistakenly equated wardship with welfare, state officials also prevented Native people from accessing needed welfare benefits.

But to Native peoples wardship was not welfare and welfare was not wardship. Native nations and pan-Native organizations insisted on Natives’ government-to-government relationships with the United States and maintained their rights to welfare benefits. In so doing, they rejected stereotyped portrayals of Natives’ perpetual poverty and dependency and asserted and defined tribal sovereignty. By illuminating how assumptions about “gratuitous” government benefits limit citizenship, Wardship and the Welfare State connects Native people to larger histories of race, inequality, gender, and welfare in the twentieth-century United States.

Westerns : A Women’s History, by Victoria Lamont. Series: Postwestern Horizons

At every turn in the development of what we now know as the western, women writers have been instrumental. Yet the myth that the western is male-authored persists. Westerns: A Women’s History debunks this myth once and for all by recovering the women writers of popular westerns who were active during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the western genre as we now know it emerged.

Victoria Lamont offers detailed studies of some of the many women who helped shape the western. Their novels bear the classic hallmarks of the western—cowboys, schoolmarms, gun violence, lynchings, cattle branding—while also placing women characters at the center of their adventures and improvising with western conventions in surprising and ingenious ways. In Emma Ghent Curtis’s The Administratrix a widow disguises herself as a cowboy and infiltrates the cowboy gang responsible for lynching her husband. Muriel Newhall’s pulp serial character Sheriff Minnie comes to the rescue of a steady stream of defenseless women victims. B. M. Bower, Katharine Newlin Burt, and Frances McElrath use cattle branding as a metaphor for their feminist critiques of patriarchy. In addition to recovering the work of these and other women authors of popular westerns, Lamont uses original archival analysis of the western-fiction publishing scene to overturn the long-standing myth of the western as a male-dominated genre.

Who Would You Kill to Save the World?, by Claire Colebrook. Series: Provocations

2024 Hugh J. Silverman Book Prize in Philosophy and Literature

Who Would You Kill to Save the World? examines how postapocalyptic cinema uses images from the past and present to depict what it means to preserve the world—and who is left out of the narrative of rebuilding society. Claire Colebrook redefines “the world” as affluent Western society and “saving the world” as preventing us from becoming the othered them who are viewed in their suffering. Colebrook further examines how the use of postapocalyptic cinema is a humanist—Western, capitalist, colonizing, white, heteronormative, and individualist—creation and challenges the notion that a world built on foundations of exploitation is worth saving.

Colebrook combines postapocalyptic fiction, concern over the global climate crisis, colonialism, and anti-Blackness to explain how contemporary postapocalypse blockbusters circulate ideas of whiteness and the right of the privileged to rebuild the world. Who Would You Kill to Save the World? is a provocative addition to the field of extinction studies and challenges the conceptual frames we use to define ourselves.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Friday Reads: Atlantis, by David Gibbins

I am a huge fan of adventure novels and movies, so over the years I have really enjoyed the various books of Clive Cussler, Steve Berry, Dan Brown, David Baldacci, and Lee Child. An action/adventure author that I hadn’t read, David Gibbins, popped up on my radar recently, so I decided to try his first novel in the Jack Howard series, Atlantis, and it did not disappoint! Atlantis was written in 2005, and there are now 11 books in the series , so I’m really looking forward to reading the next one!

Archaeologist Jack Howard is a brave but cautious man. When he embarked on a new search for buried treasure in the Mediterranean, he knew it was a long shot. When he uncovered a golden disc that spoke of a lost civilization more advanced than any in the ancient world, he started to get excited. But when Jack Howard and his intrepid crew finally got close to uncovering the secrets the sea had held for thousands of years, nothing could have prepared them for what they would find in the murky depths – not only a shocking truth about a lost world but an explosive secret that could have devastating consequences today. Jack is determined to stop the legacy of Atlantis from falling into the wrong hands, whatever the cost. But first he must do battle to prevent a global catastrophe! **Synopsis courtesy of Fantastic Fiction**

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for January and February, 2024.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Bureau of Sociological Research, the Nebraska Foster Care Review Office, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, to name a few.

Items are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking directly in the .pdf below. 

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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Friday Reads: The Indigo Girl

The Indigo Girl, by Natasha Boyd, is an exceptional example of historical fiction, one of my favorite genres. In this incredible story of ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice, an extraordinary sixteen-year-old girl in Colonial South Carolina defies all expectations to achieve her dream.

“The year is 1739. Eliza Lucas is sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their family’s three plantations in rural South Carolina and then proceeds to bleed the estates dry in pursuit of his military ambitions. Tensions with the British, and with the Spanish in Florida, just a short way down the coast, are rising, and slaves are starting to become restless. Her mother wants nothing more than for their South Carolina endeavor to fail so they can go back to England. Soon her family is in danger of losing everything.

Upon hearing how much the French pay for indigo dye, Eliza believes it’s the key to their salvation. But everyone tells her it’s impossible, and no one will share the secret to making it. Thwarted at nearly every turn, even by her own family, Eliza finds that her only allies are an aging horticulturalist, an older and married gentleman lawyer, and a slave with whom she strikes a dangerous deal: teach her the intricate thousand-year-old secret process of making indigo dye and in return—against the laws of the day—she will teach the slaves to read.

So begins an incredible story of love, dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Based on historical documents, including Eliza’s letters, this is a historical fiction account of how a teenage girl produced indigo dye, which became one of the largest exports out of South Carolina, an export that laid the foundation for the incredible wealth of several Southern families who still live on today. Although largely overlooked by historians, the accomplishments of Eliza Lucas influenced the course of US history. When she passed away in 1793, President George Washington served as a pallbearer at her funeral.” [Audible]

This book is set between 1739 and 1744, and Natasha Boyd has done extensive research and masterful writing to form the story of a remarkable young woman whose actions were before her time. I listened to the Audible version, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, and highly recommend this story about a little known piece of American history: the story of The Indigo Girl.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for November and December, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the Nebraska Crime Commission, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Every two months we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in November and December, 2023:

Great Plains Forts, by Jay H. Buckley and Jeffery D. Nokes; Series: Discover the Great Plains

Great Plains Forts introduces readers to the fortifications that have impacted the lives of Indigenous peoples, fur trappers and traders, travelers, and military personnel on the Great Plains and prairies from precontact times to the present. Using stories to introduce patterns in fortification construction and use, Jay H. Buckley and Jeffery D. Nokes explore the eras of fort-building on the Great Plains from Canada to Texas. Stories about fortifications and fortified cities built by Indigenous peoples reveal the lesser-known history of precontact violence on the plains.

Great Plains Forts includes stories of Spanish presidios and French and British outposts in their respective borderlands. Forts played a crucial role in the international fur trade and served as emporiums along the overland trails and along riverway corridors as Euro-Americans traveled into the American West. Soldiers and families resided in these military outposts, and this military presence in turn affected Indigenous Plains peoples. The appendix includes a reference guide organized by state and province, enabling readers to search easily for specific forts.

Making Space : Neighbors, Officials, and North African Migrants in the Suburbs of Paris and Lyon, by Melissa K. Byrnes; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

Since the 2005 urban protests in France, public debate has often centered on questions of how the country has managed its relationship with its North African citizens and residents. In Making Space Melissa K. Byrnes considers how four French suburbs near Paris and Lyon reacted to rapidly growing populations of North Africans, especially Algerians before, during, and after the Algerian War. In particular, Byrnes investigates what motivated local actors such as municipal officials, regional authorities, employers, and others to become involved in debates over migrants’ rights and welfare, and the wide variety of strategies community leaders developed in response to the migrants’ presence. An examination of the ways local policies and attitudes formed and re-formed communities offers a deeper understanding of the decisions that led to the current tensions in French society and questions about France’s ability—and will—to fulfill the promise of liberty, equality, and fraternity for all of its citizens. Byrnes uses local experiences to contradict a version of French migration history that reads the urban unrest of recent years as preordained.

Modern Jewish Theology : the First One Hundred Years, 1835-1935, Edited by Samuel J. Kessler and George Y. Kohler; Series: JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought

Modern Jewish Theology is the first comprehensive collection of Jewish theological ideas from the pathbreaking nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, featuring selections from more than thirty of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the era as well as explorations of Judaism’s identity, uniqueness, and relevance; the origin of ethical monotheism; and the possibility of Jewish existentialism. These works—most translated for the first time into English by top scholars in modern Jewish history and philosophy—reveal how modern Jewish theology developed in concert with broader trends in Jewish intellectual and social modernization, especially scholarship (Wissenschaft des Judentums), politics (liberalism and Zionism), and religious practice (movement Judaism and the struggles to transcend denominational boundaries).

This anthology thus opens to the English-language reader a true treasure house of source material from the formative years of modern Jewish thought, bringing together writings from the very first generations, who imagined biblical and rabbinic texts and modern scientific research would produce a synthetic view of God, Israel, and the world. A general introduction and chapter introductions guide students and nonspecialists through the key themes and transformations in modern Jewish theology, and extensive annotations immerse them in the latest scholarship.

Reading the Contemporary Author : Narrative, Authority, Fictionality, Edited by Alison Gibbons and Elizabeth King; Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Readers, literary critics, and theorists alike have long demonstrated an abiding fascination with the author, both as a real person—an artist and creator—and as a theoretical concept that shapes the way we read literary works. Whether anonymous, pseudonymous, or trending on social media, authors continue to be an object of critical and readerly interest. Yet theories surrounding authorship have yet to be satisfactorily updated to register the changes wrought on the literary sphere by the advent of the digital age, the recent turn to autofiction, and the current literary climate more generally. In Reading the Contemporary Author the contributors look back on the long history of theorizing the author and offer innovative new approaches for understanding this elusive figure.

Mapping the contours of the vast territory that is contemporary authorship, this collection investigates authorship in the context of narrative genres ranging from memoir and autobiographically informed texts to biofiction and novels featuring novelist narrators and characters. Bringing together the perspectives of leading scholars in narratology, cultural theory, literary criticism, stylistics, comparative literature, and autobiography studies, Reading the Contemporary Author demonstrates that a variety of interdisciplinary viewpoints and critical stances are necessary to capture the multifaceted nature of contemporary authorship.

To Educate American Indians : Selected Writings from the National Educational Association’s Department of Indian Education, 1900-1904, Edited by Larry C. Skogen; Series: Indigenous Education

To Educate American Indians presents the most complete versions of papers presented at the National Educational Association’s Department of Indian Education meetings during a time when the debate about how best to “civilize” Indigenous populations dominated discussions. During this time two philosophies drove the conversation. The first, an Enlightenment era–influenced universalism, held that through an educational alchemy American Indians would become productive, Christianized Americans, distinguishable from their white neighbors only by the color of their skin. Directly confronting the assimilationists’ universalism were the progressive educators who, strongly influenced by the era’s scientific racism, held the notion that American Indians could never become fully assimilated. Despite these differing views, a frightening ethnocentrism and an honor-bound dedication to “gifting” civilization to Native students dominated the writings of educators from the NEA’s Department of Indian Education.

For a decade educators gathered at annual meetings and presented papers on how best to educate Native students. Though the NEA Proceedings published these papers, strict guidelines often meant they were heavily edited before publication. In this volume Larry C. Skogen presents many of these unedited papers and gives them historical context for the years 1900 to 1904.

Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country : Ruin, Realism, and Possibility in the American West, Edited by Mark Fiege, Michael J. Lansing, and Leisl Carr Childers

Wallace Stegner is an iconic western writer. His works of fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Angle of Repose and Big Rock Candy Mountain, as well as his nonfiction books and essays introduced the beauty and character of the American West to thousands of readers. Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country assesses his life, work, and legacy in light of contemporary issues and crises. Along with Stegner’s achievements, the contributors show how his failures offer equally crucial ways to assess the past, present, and future of the region.

Drawing from history, literature, philosophy, law, geography, and park management, the contributors consider Stegner’s racial liberalism and regional vision, his gendered view of the world, his understandings of conservation and the environment, his personal experience of economic collapse and poverty, his yearning for community, and his abiding attachment to the West. Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country is an even-handed reclamation of Stegner’s enduring relevance to anyone concerned about the American West’s uncertain future.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for September and October, 2023.  Included are reports from various Nebraska Legislative Committees, the Nebraska Foster Care Review Board, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in September and October, 2023:

Almost Somewhere : Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail, by Suzanne Roberts. Series: Outdoor Lives.

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award in Outdoor Literature

It was 1993, Suzanne Roberts had just finished college, and when her friend suggested they hike California’s John Muir Trail, the adventure sounded like the perfect distraction from a difficult home life and thoughts about the future. But she never imagined that the twenty-eight-day hike would change her life. Part memoir, part nature writing, part travelogue, Almost Somewhere is Roberts’s account of that hike.

John Muir wrote of the Sierra Nevada as a “vast range of light,” and that was exactly what Roberts was looking for. But traveling with two girlfriends, one experienced and unflappable and the other inexperienced and bulimic, she quickly discovered that she needed a new frame of reference. Her story of a month in the backcountry—confronting bears, snowy passes, broken equipment, injuries, and strange men—is as much about finding a woman’s way into outdoor experience as it is about the natural world Roberts so eloquently describes. Candid and funny, and finally, wise, Almost Somewhere not only tells the whimsical coming-of-age story of a young woman ill-prepared for a month in the mountains but also reflects a distinctly feminine view of nature.

This new edition includes an afterword by the author looking back on the ways both she and the John Muir Trail have changed over the past thirty years, as well as book club and classroom discussion questions and photographs from the trip.

The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1887-1888, Volume 2, Edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias, and Katie Sommer. Series: The Complete Letters of Henry James

This second volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1887–1888 contains 182 letters, of which 120 are published for the first time, written from late December 1887 to November 19, 1888. These letters continue to mark Henry James’s ongoing efforts to care for his sister, develop his work, strengthen his professional status, build friendships, engage timely political and economic issues, and maximize his income. James details work on The Aspern PapersThe ReverberatorPartial Portraits, and The Tragic Muse. This volume opens with some of James’s social visits, includes the death of longtime friend Lizzie Boott, and concludes with James on the Continent.

Ecologies of Imperialism in Algeria, by Brock Cutler. Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization.

Between 1865 and 1872 widespread death and disease unfolded amid the most severe ecological disaster in modern North African history: a plague of locusts destroyed crops during a disastrous drought that left many Algerians landless and starving. The famine induced migration that concentrated vulnerable people in unsanitary camps where typhus and cholera ran rampant. Before the rains returned and harvests normalized, some eight hundred thousand Algerians had died.

In Ecologies of Imperialism in Algeria Brock Cutler explores how repeated ecosocial divisions across an expansive ecosystem produced modern imperialism in nineteenth-century Algeria. Massive ecological crises—cultural as well as natural—cleaved communities from their homes, individuals from those communities, and society from its typical ecological relations. At the same time, the relentless, albeit slow-moving crises of ongoing settler colonialism and extractive imperial capitalism cleaved Algeria to France in a new way. Ecosocial divisions became apparent in performances of imperial power: officials along the Algerian-Tunisian border compulsively repeated narratives of “transgression” that over decades made the division real; a case of poisoned bread tied settlers in Algiers to Paris; Morocco-Algeria border violence exposed the exceptional nature of imperial sovereignty; a case of vagabondage in Oran evoked colonial gender binaries. In each case, factors in the broader ecosystem were implicated in performances of social division, separating political entities from each other, human from nature, rational from irrational, and women from men. Although these performances take place in the nineteenth-century Maghrib, the process they describe goes beyond those spatial and temporal limits—across the field of modern imperialism to the present day.

Encountering Palestine : Un/Making Spaces of Colonial Violence, Edited by Mark Griffiths and Mikko Joronen. Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth.

Encountering Palestine: Un/making Spaces of Colonial Violence, edited by Mark Griffiths and Mikko Joronen, sits at the intersection of cultural and political geographies and offers innovative reflections on power, colonialism, and anti-colonialism in contemporary Palestine and Israel. Organized around the theme of encountering and focusing on the ways violence and struggle are un/made in the encounter between the colonizer and colonized, the essays focus on power relations as they manifest in cultural practices and everyday lives in anti/colonial Palestine.

Covering numerous sites in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel, Encountering Palestine addresses a range of empirical topics—from marriage and queer aesthetics to policing, demolition, armament failure, and violence. The contributors utilize diverse theoretical frameworks, such as hyperreality, settler capitalism, intimate biopolitics, and politics of vulnerability, to help us better understand the cultural making and unmaking of colonial and anti-colonial space in Palestine. Encountering Palestine asks us to rethink how colonialism and power operate in Palestine, the ways Palestinians struggle, and the lifeways that constantly encounter, un/make, and counter the spaces of colonial violence.

Galloping Gourmet : Eating and Drinking With Buffalo Bill, by Steve Friesen.

Galloping Gourmet explores an unfamiliar side of a familiar character in American history, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. In this entertaining narrative Steve Friesen explores the evolving role of eating and drinking in Buffalo Bill’s life (1846–1917). Friesen starts with Buffalo Bill’s culinary roots on the American Plains, eating simple foods such as cornbread, fried “yellow-legged” chicken, and hardtack. Buffalo Bill discovered gourmet dining while leading buffalo-hunting expeditions and scouting. As his fame increased, so did his desire and opportunities for fine dining: his early show business career allowed him to dine at some of the best restaurants in the country.

Friesen examines the creation of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1883, in which Cody introduced his diverse cast of employees to dining that equaled America’s best restaurants. One newspaper reporter observed that “Colonel Cody displays no more care about anything than the proper feeding of horse and man.” Cody opened the first Mexican restaurant east of the Mississippi and introduced American foodways to Europe. Equally comfortable eating around a campfire on the plains or at Delmonico’s in New York City, he also dined with leading celebrities of his day. In the final section Friesen addresses the controversies surrounding Cody’s drinking, his death, and his ongoing culinary legacy. Galloping Gourmet includes an appendix of more than thirty annotated period recipes.

Godfall : a Novel, by Van Jensen. Series: Flyover Fiction.

When a massive asteroid hurtles toward Earth, humanity braces for annihilation—but the end doesn’t come. In fact, it isn’t an asteroid but a three-mile-tall alien that drops down, seemingly dead, outside Little Springs, Nebraska. Dubbed “the giant,” its arrival transforms the red-state farm town into a top-secret government research site and major metropolitan area, flooded with soldiers, scientists, bureaucrats, spies, criminals, conspiracy theorists—and a murderer.

As the sheriff of Little Springs, David Blunt thought he’d be keeping the peace among the same people he’d known all his life, not breaking up chanting crowds of conspiracy theorists in tiger masks or struggling to control a town hall meeting about the construction of a mosque. As a series of brutal, bizarre murders strikes close to home, Blunt throws himself into the hunt for a killer who seems connected to the Giant. With bodies piling up and tensions in Little Springs mounting, he realizes that in order to find the answers he needs, he must first reconcile his old worldview with the town he now lives in—before it’s too late.

The Grapes of Conquest : Race, Labor, and the Industrialization of California Wine, 1769-1920, by Julia Ornelas-Higdon. Series: At Table.

California’s wine country conjures images of pastoral vineyards and cellars lined with oak barrels. As a mainstay of the state’s economy, California wines occupy the popular imagination like never before and drive tourism in famous viticultural regions across the state. Scholars know remarkably little, however, about the history of the wine industry and the diverse groups who built it. In fact, contemporary stereotypes belie how the state’s commercial wine industry was born amid social turmoil and racialized violence in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century California.

In The Grapes of Conquest Julia Ornelas-Higdon addresses these gaps in the historical narrative and popular imagination. Beginning with the industry’s inception at the California missions, Ornelas-Higdon examines the evolution of wine growing across three distinct political regimes—Spanish, Mexican, and American—through the industry’s demise after Prohibition. This interethnic study of race and labor in California examines how California Natives, Mexican Californios, Chinese immigrants, and Euro-Americans came together to build the industry. Ornelas-Higdon identifies the birth of the wine industry as a significant missing piece of California history—one that reshapes scholars’ understandings of how conquest played out, how race and citizenship were constructed, and how agribusiness emerged across the region. The Grapes of Conquest unearths the working-class, multiracial roots of the California wine industry, challenging its contemporary identity as the purview of elite populations.

The Incarceration of Native American Women : Creating Pathways to Wellness and Recovery Through Gentle Action Theory, by Carma Corcoran. Series: New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies.

In The Incarceration of Native American Women, Carma Corcoran examines the rising number of Native American women being incarcerated in Indian Country. With years of experience as a case management officer, law professor, consultant to tribal defenders’ offices, and workshop leader in prisons, she believes this upward trajectory of incarceration continues largely unacknowledged and untended. She explores how a combination of F. David Peat’s gentle action theory and the Native traditional ways of knowing and being could heal Native American women who are or have been incarcerated.

Colonization and the historical trauma of Native American incarceration runs through history, spanning multiple generations and including colonial wartime imprisonment, captivity, Indian removal, and boarding schools. The ongoing ills of childhood abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and drug and alcohol addiction and the rising number of suicides are indicators that Native people need healing. Based on her research and work with Native women in prisons, Corcoran provides a theory of wellness and recovery that creates a pathway for meaningful change. The Incarceration of Native American Women offers students, academics, social workers, counselors, and those in the criminal justice system a new method of approach and application while providing a deeper understanding of the cultural and historical experiences of Native Americans in relation to criminology.

Nebraska Volleyball : the Origin Story, by John Mabry.

When Title IX was enacted in 1972, the University of Nebraska volleyball program, like many across the country, received a fraction of the funding and attention given to the school’s mighty football program. The players had to organize a run from Lincoln to Omaha to raise money for uniforms. The women were asked to wait their turn to use the weight room. Today the Nebraska women’s volleyball team is one of the sport’s most decorated programs—with more career wins than any other program and five NCAA National Championships—and draws standing-room-only crowds at home games in the 8,000-seat Devaney Center.

Nebraska Volleyball is the first book to recount how volleyball took hold at Nebraska, through Pat Sullivan, the team’s first coach; through such early figures as Cathy Noth, a decorated player and later an assistant coach into the 1990s; through Terry Pettit, who coached the team for twenty-three seasons and led it to its first National Championship in 1995; and through John Cook, who took over as head coach in 2000. John Mabry highlights the small Nebraska towns that have sent some of the best players to the program and helped build statewide support for the team. Public television helped too, with its power to broadcast games early on and thus build a following across the state.

The success of Nebraska’s volleyball program is one of the greatest stories in sports. As Karch Kiraly, head coach for the U.S. National Women’s Volleyball Team, said: “If you want to learn about women’s college volleyball, your first stop has to be Lincoln, Nebraska.”

Of Love and War : Pacific Brides of World War II, by Angela Wanhalla. Series: Studies in Pacific Worlds.

Between 1942 and 1945 more than two million servicemen occupied the southern Pacific theater, the majority of whom were Americans in service with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. During the occupation, American servicemen married approximately 1,800 women from New Zealand and the island Pacific, creating legal bonds through marriage and through children. Additionally, American servicemen fathered an estimated four thousand nonmarital children with Indigenous women in the South Pacific Command Area.

In Of Love and War Angela Wanhalla details the intimate relationships forged during wartime between women and U.S. servicemen stationed in the South Pacific, traces the fate of wartime marriages, and addresses consequences for the women and children left behind. Paying particular attention to the experiences of women in New Zealand and in the island Pacific—including Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and the Cook Islands—Of Love and War aims to illuminate the impact of global war on these women, their families, and Pacific societies. Wanhalla argues that Pacific war brides are an important though largely neglected cohort whose experiences of U.S. military occupation expand our understanding of global war. By examining the effects of American law on the marital opportunities of couples, their ability to reunite in the immediate postwar years, and the citizenship status of any children born of wartime relationships, Wanhalla makes a significant contribution to a flourishing scholarship concerned with the intersections between race, gender, sexuality, and militarization in the World War II era.

Rise Up! : Indigenous Music in North America, by Craig Harris.

Music historian Craig Harris explores more than five hundred years of Indigenous history, religion, and cultural evolution in Rise Up! Indigenous Music in North America. More than powwow drums and wooden flutes, Indigenous music intersects with rock, blues, jazz, folk music, reggae, hip-hop, classical music, and more. Combining deep research with personal stories by nearly four dozen award-winning Indigenous musicians, Harris offers an eye-opening look at the growth of Indigenous music.

Among a host of North America’s most vital Indigenous musicians, the biographical narratives include new and well-established figures such as Mildred Bailey, Louis W. Ballard, Cody Blackbird, Donna Coane (Spirit of Thunderheart), Theresa “Bear” Fox, Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joanne Shenandoah, DJ Shub (Dan General), Maria Tallchief, John Trudell, and Fawn Wood.

Settler Aesthetics : Visualizing the Spectacle of Originary Moments in The New World, by Mishuana Goeman. Series: Indigenous Films.

In Settler Aesthetics, an analysis of renowned director Terrence Malick’s 2005 film, The New World, Mishuana Goeman examines the continuity of imperialist exceptionalism and settler-colonial aesthetics. The story of Pocahontas has thrived for centuries as a cover for settler-colonial erasure, destruction, and violence against Native peoples, and Native women in particular. Since the romanticized story of the encounter and relationship between Pocahontas and Captain John Smith was first published, it has imprinted a whitewashed historical memory into the minds of Americans.

As one of the most enduring tropes of imperialist nostalgia in world history, Renaissance European invasions of Indigenous lands by settlers trades in a falsified “civilizational discourse” that has been a focus in literature for centuries and in films since their inception. Ironically, Malick himself was a symbol of the New Hollywood in his early career, but with The New World he created a film that serves as a buttress for racial capitalism in the Americas. Focusing on settler structures, the setup of regimes of power, sexual violence and the gendering of colonialism, and the sustainability of colonialism and empires, Goeman masterfully peels away the visual layers of settler logics in The New World, creating a language in Native American and Indigenous studies for interpreting visual media.

The Sonoran Dynasty in Mexico : Revolution, Reform, and Repression, by Jürgen Buchenau. Series: Confluencias.

Two generals from the northwestern state of Sonora, Álvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elías Calles, dominated Mexico between 1920 and 1934, having risen to prominence in the course of the Mexican Revolution. Torn between popular demands for ending the privileges of wealthy foreign investors and opposition by a hawkish U.S. administration and enemies at home, the two generals and their allies from their home state mixed radical rhetoric with the accommodation of entrenched interests.

In The Sonoran Dynasty in Mexico Jürgen Buchenau tells the story of this ruling group, which rejected the Indigenous and Catholic past during the decades of the revolution and aimed to reinvent Mexico along the lines of the modern and secular societies in western Europe and the United States. In addition to Obregón and Calles, the Sonoran Dynasty included Adolfo de la Huerta and Abelardo L. Rodríguez, four Sonorans among six presidents in less than two decades. Although the group began with the common aims of nationalism, modernization, central political control, and enrichment, Buchenau argues that this group progressively fell apart in a series of bloody conflicts that reflected broader economic, political, and social disagreements. By analyzing the dynasty from its origins through its eventual downfall, Buchenau presents an innovative look at the negotiation of power and state formation in revolutionary Mexico.

Ted Kooser : More Than a Local Wonder, by Carla Ketner, illustrated by Paula Wallace.

Long before Ted Kooser won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, served as the U.S. Poet Laureate, and wrote award-winning books for children, he was an unathletic child growing up in Iowa, yearning to fit in. Young Teddy found solace in stories, and one specific book, Robert McCloskey’s Lentil, inspired him to become a writer. As a child and later, while working in the insurance industry, Ted honed his craft and unique style as he wrote about the people and places of the rural Midwest. Ted Kooser: More Than a Local Wonder celebrates the power of stories and of finding oneself through words.

Washington State Politics and Government, by T.M. Sell. Series: Politics and Governments of the American States.

In the twenty-first century, as many candidates actively campaign against the very government they seek to serve in, and as many people appear to believe their government irreparably broken, T. M. Sell argues that in Washington State, the system works better than most realize. In Washington State Politics and Government Sell explains how the many parts of government function and introduces readers to a diverse array of individuals who work in government, including how they got there and what it is they’re trying to do. Sell covers the three branches of state government, plus county, city, special purpose district, and tribal governments. He explains the state budgets and taxes; the functions of major and better-known state agencies; how policy is made; the political landscape of Washington; and parties, voting, and elections.

Sell discusses economic development, including the importance of high-tech industry, aviation, Amazon.com, and more traditional parts of the state economy, such as timber and agriculture. He also provides a contemporary look at Washington’s elected officials, constitution, judiciary, media, demographics, and political culture and landscape. With this volume, any Washington citizen, student of politics, or specialist in government can gain insight into the state’s current political system.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Happy Birthday Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse!

July 2023 marked the 51st anniversary of Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse operations!

Prior to 1972 there was no comprehensive program in the state for collecting and preserving Nebraska government publications. In 1971 the Nebraska Library Commission began surveying other states and Nebraska libraries to find out how such a program should work and drafting proposed legislation to give the program legal authority. In January 1972 LB 1284 was introduced in the Nebraska Legislature, passed and signed by the Governor in March establishing the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. The program was launched in July of that year.

State Depository Program
“There is hereby created, as a division of the Nebraska Library Commission, a Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse shall establish and operate a publications collection and depository system for the use of Nebraska citizens” The original legislation has been amended several times to exclude Junior Colleges and reduce the number of mandatory copies that agencies must send, but the basic operation of the program remains the same.

Federal Depository Program
The legislation also directed the Library Commission to provide access to federal publications. “The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse shall provide access to local, state, federal and other governmental publications to state agencies and legislators and through interlibrary loan service to citizens of the state.” The Commission began participating in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in 1972. It served as Nebraska’s Regional Federal Depository until 1984, when Love Library at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln became the Regional. The Commission is now a selective depository and has reduced its selections to about 2% of the publications offered through the program.

How Publications are Collected

Agencies are currently defined as “every state office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, commission, and agency of the state and, when applicable, all subdivisions of each, including state institutions of higher education defined as all state-supported colleges and universities”

The first challenge facing the new Clearinghouse service was creating a comprehensive list of these agencies. The next challenge was getting them to send their publications. Unlike some other states, Nebraska does not use a central printing agency that could make extra copies for the documents program. A network of contact persons is used instead.

“Every state agency head or his or her appointed records officer shall notify the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse of his or her identity.” Every few years the Library Commission sends agency directors letters with a form for designating an agency contact person. The contacts are sent a packet of information about the Clearinghouse service.

In the early years of the program agencies supplied more copies to the Clearinghouse than they do now and both the statutorily designated recipients and the contract depositories received paper publications. Space restrictions at the depositories, cost limitations for the agencies, and a desire to preserve publications in a long-lasting format resulted in a reduction in the number of paper copies normally required from each agency.

The current statute reads “The records officer shall upon release of a state publication deposit four copies and a short summary, including author, title, and subject, of each of its state publications with the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse for record purposes…. Additional copies, including sale items, shall also be deposited in the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in quantities certified to the agencies by the clearinghouse as required to meet the needs of the Nebraska publications depository system, with the exception that the University of Nebraska Press shall only be required to deposit four copies of its publications.”

One copy is kept at the Library Commission and copies are forwarded to the Historical Society and Library of Congress. Until the spring of 2005 microfiche copies were produced from the fourth copy and distributed to Nebraska depositories.

State Agency Responsibilities

Processing and Cataloging

Once the list of agencies was compiled in 1972 a classification system based on agency names (NEDOCS) was created and the first Guide to State Agencies was published. The Guide lists agencies with their five digit alpha-numeric code and traces agency creation, mergers, discontinuance, and classification number changes. Originally a print publication reissued every few years, the Guide is now continuously updated online.

The Statute states that “The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse shall publish and distribute regularly to contracting depository libraries, other libraries, state agencies and legislators, an official list of state publications with an annual cumulation. The official list shall provide a record of each agency’s publishing and show author, agency, title and subject approaches.”From 1972 until 1991 The Nebraska State Publications Checklist was produced. The Checklist included abstracts with a title, subject and agency index. It was issued on microfiche several times a year with an annual cumulation. In 1992 the Checklist was discontinued and publications began receiving full OCLC cataloging. Nebraska publications now are listed in the WorldCat, the OCLC database of catalog records contributed by its member libraries worldwide. The WorldCat can be searched without cost by any Nebraska citizen from NebraskAccess with a driver’s license number or password obtained from their local library. Older records from the Checklist can also be searched using the Library Commission catalog. Publications received are listed in What’s Up Doc and compiled into an annual publication. 

The Depository Program

Contrary to what the word “clearinghouse” might make one think, the Library Commission is not a warehouse distributing giveaway or sale copies of Nebraska publications. The Commission is in fact prohibited by law from doing that. At first copies were forwarded to the Nebraska State Historical Society, Library of Congress, and Center for Research Libraries. This was amended later to exclude the Center for Research Libraries.

The legislation also authorized the Library Commission to “enter into depository contracts with any municipal or county public library, state college or state university library, and out-of-state research libraries. The requirements for eligibility to contract as a depository library shall be established by the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. The standards shall include and take into consideration the type of library, ability to preserve such publications and to make them available for public use, and also such geographical locations as will make the publications conveniently accessible to residents in all areas of the state.”

By 1975 contracts had been signed with six institutions willing to serve as depositories. More depositories were added over the years, bringing the total since 1990 to 13 plus the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Depository Library Responsibilities

Making Government Information Accessible

Internet technology has created an opportunity to greatly improve public access to government information. Most state agencies now post key publications to their web sites, and much legislative information is available online. The Library Commission was already making extensive use of the Internet to direct users to Nebraska government information, and had created special web sites such as Nebraska State Government Publications Online and Nebraska Legislators, Past and Present.

In 2005 breakdown of the microfiche camera at the state Records Management Division led to a decision to discontinue fiche production and redirect the program toward providing online access to the same high-priority documents that were formerly sent to depositories on microfiche. They are downloaded or scanned, archived on a Library Commission server, and searchable via Nebraska State Government Publications Online and the NLC catalog. Instead of microfiche, depositories receive regular alerts via What’s Up Doc blog postings which include stable urls that can be used in library catalog records.

The Library Commission partners with the Official State of Nebraska Web Site to offer an “Ask a Librarian” link citizens can use to email, or telephone our reference desk. Many government information links are provided from our NebraskAccess site.

Resources for Government Information

Formats and distribution methods may change, but the Publications Clearinghouse will continue to use new technology and strategies for making government information accessible to Nebraskans.

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Friday Reads: The Brothers Hawthorne, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

After Holli Duggan wrote a Friday Reads post about it, I listened to the Inheritance Games trilogy last year–and loved it! So when a fourth book in this YA series was released this summer, I had to listen to that as well, and it did not disappoint. A 5th book, The Grandest Game, is due out in July 2024.

Four brothers. Two missions. One explosive read. And the stakes have never been higher.  
 
Grayson Hawthorne was raised as the heir apparent to his billionaire grandfather, taught from the cradle to put family first. Now the great Tobias Hawthorne is dead and his family disinherited, but some lessons linger. When Grayson’s half-sisters find themselves in trouble, he swoops in to do what he does best: take care of the problem—efficiently, effectively, mercilessly. And without getting bogged down in emotional entanglements.
 
Jameson Hawthorne is a risk-taker, a sensation-seeker, a player of games. When his mysterious father appears and asks for a favor, Jameson can’t resist the challenge. Now he must infiltrate London’s most exclusive underground gambling club, which caters to the rich, the powerful, and the aristocratic, and win an impossible game of greatest stakes. Luckily, Jameson Hawthorne lives for impossible.
 
Drawn into twisted games on opposite sides of the globe, Grayson and Jameson—with the help of their brothers and the girl who inherited their grandfather’s fortune—must dig deep to decide who they want to be and what each of them will sacrifice to win.

** Synopsis courtesy of Audible.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for July and August, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Administrative Services, Nebraska Colleges & Universities, the Nebraska Board of Examiners, the Nebraska Department of Labor, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in July and August, 2023:

Bad Subjects : Libertine Lives in the French Atlantic, 1619-1815, by Jennifer J. Davis. Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

In a lively account that spans continents, Jennifer J. Davis considers what it meant to be called a libertine in early modern France and its colonies. Libertinage was a polysemous term in early modern Europe and the Atlantic World, generally translated as “debauchery” or “licentiousness” in English. Davis assesses the changing fortunes of the quasi-criminal category of libertinage in the French Atlantic, based on hundreds of cases drawn from the police and judicial archives of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France and its Atlantic colonies alongside the literature inspired by those proceedings.

The libertine life was not merely a subject for fiction nor a topos against which to play out potential revolutions. It was a charge authorities imposed on a startlingly wide array of behaviors, including gambling, selling alcohol to Native Americans, and secret marriages. Once invoked by family and state authorities, the charge proved nearly impossible for the accused to contest, for a libertine need not have committed any crimes to be perceived as disregarding authority and thereby threatening families and social institutions. The research in Bad Subjects provides a framework for analysis of libertinage as a set of anti-authoritarian practices and discourses that circulated among the peoples of France and the Atlantic World, ultimately providing a compelling blueprint for alternative social and economic order in the Revolutionary period.

Butterfly Nebula, by Laura Reece Hogan. Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry

Winner of the Backwaters Prize in Poetry, Butterfly Nebula reaches from the depths of the sea to the edges of space to chart intersections of the physical universe, the divine, the human, and the constantly unfolding experience of being “one thing in the act of becoming another.” This collection of poems teems with creatures and cosmic phenomena that vivify and reveal our common struggle toward faith and identity. The longing and metamorphosis of the human heart and soul are reimagined in an otherworldly landscape of firework jellyfish, sea slug, stingray, praying mantis, butterfly and moth, moon and star, and celestial events ranging from dark matter and Kepler’s Supernova remnant to a dozen classified nebulae. Our desire for purpose and renewal collides with the vast constellation of divine possibility in this collection, which invites the reader to enter a transformative world both deeply interior and embracing of the far-flung cosmos.

Fictionality and Multimodal Narratives, Edited by Torsa Ghosal and Alison Gibbons. Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Fictionality and Multimodal Narratives interrogates the multimodal relationship between fictionality and factuality. The contemporary discussion about fictionality coincides with an increase in anxiety regarding the categories of fact and fiction in popular culture and global media. Today’s media-saturated historical moment and political climate give a sense of urgency to the concept of fictionality, distinct from fiction, specifically in relation to modes and media of discourse.

Torsa Ghosal and Alison Gibbons explicitly interrogate the relationship of fictionality with multimodal strategies of narrative construction in the present media ecology. Contributors consider the ways narrative structures, their reception, and their theoretical frameworks in narratology are influenced and changed by media composition—particularly new media. By accounting for the relationship of multimodal composition with the ontological complexity of narrative worlds, Fictionality and Multimodal Narratives fills a critical gap in contemporary narratology—the discipline that has, to date, contributed most to the conceptualization of fictionality.

The Gathering of Bastards, by Romeo Oriogun. Series: African Poetry Book

Like I knew, standing
on the seashore, the hunger
wracking a migrant’s body
is movement.
—from Romeo Oriogun’s “Migrant by the Sea”

The Gathering of Bastards chronicles the movement of migrants as they navigate borders both internal and external. At the heart of these poems of vulnerability and sharp intelligence, the poet himself is the perpetual migrant embarked on forced journeys that take him across nations in West and North Africa, through Europe, and through American cities as he navigates the challenges of living through terror and loss and wrestles with the meaning of home.

The JPS Bible Commentary : Psalms 120-150, The Traditional Hebrew Text with the JPS Translation, Commentary by Adele Berlin. Series: JPS Bible Commentary

The Jewish Publication Society’s highly acclaimed Bible Commentary series provides the Hebrew text of the Bible, the JPS English translation, and a line-by-line commentary. This volume presents commentary on Psalms 120–150, based on the most recent research on the language of the Bible, its literary forms, and the historical context that may have given rise to the psalms. The commentary pays special attention to the message of each psalm and to how the poetry shapes the message. At the same time, it draws on traditional Jewish interpretations of the meaning of the psalms.

¡Vino! : The History and Identity of Spanish Wine, by Karl J. Trybus. Series: At Table

¡Vino! explores the history and identity of Spanish wine production from the mid-nineteenth century to today. Nineteenth-century infestations of oidium fungus and phylloxera aphids devastated French and Italian vineyards but didn’t extend to the Iberian Peninsula at first, giving Spanish vintners the opportunity to increase their international sales. Once French and Italian wineries rebounded, however, Spanish wine producers had to up their game. Spain could not produce only table wine; it needed a quality product to compete with the supposedly superior French wines. After the Spanish Civil War the totalitarian Franco regime turned its attention to Spain’s devastated agricultural sector, but the country’s wine industry did not rebound until well after World War II. In the postwar years, it rebranded itself to compete in a more integrated European and international marketplace with the creation of a new wine identity. As European integration continued, Spanish wine producers and the tourism industry worked together to promote the uniqueness of Spain and the quality of its wines.

Karl J. Trybus explores the development of Spanish wine in the context of national and global events, tracing how the wine industry has fared and ultimately prospered despite civil war, regional concerns, foreign problems, and changing tastes.

The Women Who Built Omaha : a Bold and Remarkable History, by Eileen Wirth.

During the 1930s the Federal Writers’ Project described Omaha as a “man’s town,” and histories of the city have all but ignored women. However, women have played major roles in education, health, culture, social services, and other fields since the city’s founding in 1854. In The Women Who Built Omaha Eileen Wirth tells the stories of groundbreaking women who built Omaha, including Susette “Bright Eyes” LaFlesche, who translated at the trial of Chief Standing Bear; Mildred Brown, an African American newspaper publisher; Sarah Joslyn, who personally paid for Joslyn Art Museum; Mrs. B of Nebraska Furniture Mart; and the Sisters of Mercy, who started Omaha’s Catholic schools. Omaha women have been champion athletes and suffragists as well as madams and bootleggers. They transformed the city’s parks, co-founded Creighton University, helped run Boys Town, and so much more, in ways that continue today.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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The Veterans Health Library: Helping Veterans Stay Well and Well-Informed

What is the Veterans Health Library?

The Veterans Health Library (VHL) is coordinated by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The VHL is a comprehensive online health resource provided to assist Veterans, their families, and caregivers understand and maintain their best health no matter where they receive care. It features timely health topics and provides a list of Veteran Resources based on the most-frequently searched topics. Health information on the website is regularly reviewed to ensure it remains evidence-based, up-to-date, and relevant to the needs of Veterans. With more than 1.6 million page views per year, the VHL is a popular resource for health information that empowers Veterans to better understand their health, their healthcare, and their options.

How does one access the Veterans Health Library? Who can use it?

The Veterans Health Library is a free-of charge platform available to anyone with an internet connection and its contents can be used by anyone regardless of where they receive their care. There is no required sign-up or login for the Veterans Health Library and users can access health information from the site at any time. Users may simply go to https://www.veteranshealthlibrary.va.gov.

VHL content is crafted to aid its users to better understand and manage their own healthcare. Many VHL resources link to uniquely Veteran-focused information, benefits, and programs that help inform Veterans, their families, and caregivers. The VHL can also be accessed by Veterans through MyHealtheVet, an online portal for Veterans receiving healthcare through VA. MyHealtheVet serves to help Veterans manage their prescriptions, appointments, secure messages with medical staff, and their health records.

What health content is available?

The Veterans Health Library hosts health information and resources, written using plain language, health literacy, and accessibility principles, with many materials in both English and Spanish. This includes over 1,600 health information sheets and 6,000 medication information sheets, all in an easy to print format. The VHL offers a catalogue of over 250 health videos across 15 categories such as Cancer (18 videos), Diabetes (15), Medications (19), Pregnancy and Women’s Health (18), and others. It contains in-depth Online Guides on topics such as cardiology, dental, eye and vision care, general health, and orthopedics.  Interactive Go-to Guides include text, videos, printable action plans, quizzes and more to help Veterans better manage their chronic conditions such as asthma, chronic heart disease, diabetes, heart failure, lung disease, and stroke recovery and prevention. Additional Decision Aid Tools help Veterans to better understand treatment options, share results with their healthcare team, and work with them in developing a personalized treatment plan. The Decision Aid Tools assist Veterans in talking with their providers about their own personal health decisions around colorectal cancer screenings, diabetes care, and both flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

How do users navigate the Veterans Health Library?

The VHL provides a four-minute video tour to help users understand how to get the most out of the VHL and find what they need. The web tour is fully transcribed and designed to help users learn the website and how to share it with Veterans and others.

There are several ways for Veterans, their families, and caregivers to quickly and easily find the health information they need on the website. There is a main search box that provides a keyword search across all content categories and formats. Below the search box there is an alphabetical browse of the Health Encyclopedia articles. Each article includes a side-bar full of links to related content and VA resources relevant to the health topic within the article.

The Veterans Health Library provides browsable clusters of curated content that serve users who wish to explore additional health information through the tabs on Living WellDiseases & ConditionsTests & TreatmentsMedicationsRehabilitationMental HealthLiving With… [chronic conditions], and Additional Resources. Each of those categories are broken down into sub-categories that range from a few to a few dozen related resources. This curated approach leads users to dozens of related resources within the VHL as well as resources and benefits available through other VA programs, so Veterans and users can find the information they need.

When should I suggest the Veterans Health Library to a Veteran or other user?

The VHL offers resources to help Veterans better understand and take an active role in their health care. Share the VHL with Veterans, their family members, and caregivers as a tool they can use to better understand and manage their own health. Specific resources may be beneficial with certain health situations such as:

  • Instructional graphics to help Veterans understand how to take their medicines.
  • Tracking diaries to support self-care and self-management of health conditions.
  • Online guides to help prepare for surgical procedures.
  • Preventive screening information to stay up to date with recommended tests.
  • Health sheets to educate family members and caregivers on Veteran health issues.

By recommending the VHL to Veterans and those close to them, you can help empower them to take charge in pursuit of their best health.

How can I learn more?

The Veterans Health Library provides an overview of its contents and functions and has a list of frequently asked questions. You can also contact the My HealtheVet Help Desk via the online form or by calling 1-877-327-0022. The Help Desk is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am – 8 pm EST. You can provide feedback through the user survey linked on every page. Together, librarians can help ensure that Veterans are well and well-informed.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for May and June, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, the Nebraska Board of Parole, the Nebraska Foster Care Review Office, the Nebraska Legislature, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in May and June, 2023:

Agriculture in the Midwest, 1815-1900, by R. Douglas Hurt.

After the War of 1812 and the removal of the region’s Indigenous peoples, the American Midwest became a paradoxical land for settlers. Even as many settlers found that the region provided the bountiful life of their dreams, others found disappointment, even failure—and still others suffered social and racial prejudice.

In this broad and authoritative survey of midwestern agriculture from the War of 1812 to the turn of the twentieth century, R. Douglas Hurt contends that this region proved to be the country’s garden spot and the nation’s heart of agricultural production. During these eighty-five years the region transformed from a sparsely settled area to the home of large industrial and commercial cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Detroit. Still, it remained primarily an agricultural region that promised a better life for many of the people who acquired land, raised crops and livestock, provided for their families, adopted new technologies, and sought political reform to benefit their economic interests. Focusing on the history of midwestern agriculture during wartime, utopian isolation, and colonization as well as political unrest, Hurt contextualizes myriad facets of the region’s past to show how agricultural life developed for midwestern farmers—and to reflect on what that meant for the region and nation.

The First Migrants : How Black Homesteaders’ Quest for Land and Freedom Heralded America’s Great Migration, by Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld.

The First Migrants recounts the largely unknown story of Black people who migrated from the South to the Great Plains between 1877 and 1920 in search of land and freedom. They exercised their rights under the Homestead Act to gain title to 650,000 acres, settling in all of the Great Plains states. Some created Black homesteader communities such as Nicodemus, Kansas, and DeWitty, Nebraska, while others, including George Washington Carver and Oscar Micheaux, homesteaded alone. All sought a place where they could rise by their own talents and toil, unencumbered by Black codes, repression, and violence. In the words of one Nicodemus descendant, they found “a place they could experience real freedom,” though in a racist society that freedom could never be complete. Their quest foreshadowed the epic movement of Black people out of the South known as the Great Migration.

In this first account of the full scope of Black homesteading in the Great Plains, Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld weave together two distinct strands: the narrative histories of the six most important Black homesteader communities and the several themes that characterize homesteaders’ shared experiences. Using homestead records, diaries and letters, interviews with homesteaders’ descendants, and other sources, Edwards and Friefeld illuminate the homesteaders’ fierce determination to find freedom—and their greatest achievements and struggles for full equality.

French St. Louis : Landscapes, Contexts, and Legacy, Edited by Jay Gitlin, Robert Michael Morrissey, and Peter J. Kastor. Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

A gateway to the West and an outpost for eastern capital and culture, St. Louis straddled not only geographical and political divides but also cultural, racial, and sectional ones. At the same time, it connected a vast region as a gathering place of peoples, cultures, and goods. The essays in this collection contextualize St. Louis, exploring French-Native relations, the agency of empire in the Illinois Country, the role of women in “mapping” the French colonial world, fashion and identity, and commodities and exchange in St. Louis as part of a broader politics of consumption in colonial America. The collection also provides a comparative perspective on America’s two great Creole cities, St. Louis and New Orleans. Lastly, it looks at the Frenchness of St. Louis in the nineteenth century and the present.

French St. Louis recasts the history of St. Louis and reimagines regional development in the early American republic, shedding light on its francophone history.

Hoarding New Guinea : Writing Colonial Ethnographic Collection Histories for Postcolonial Futures, by Rainer F. Buschmann. Series: Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology

Hoarding New Guinea provides a new cultural history of colonialism that pays close attention to the millions of Indigenous artifacts that serve as witnesses to Europe’s colonial past in ethnographic museums. Rainer F. Buschmann investigates the roughly two hundred thousand artifacts extracted from the colony of German New Guinea from 1870 to 1920. Reversing the typical trajectories that place ethnographic museums at the center of the analysis, he concludes that museum interests in material culture alone cannot account for the large quantities of extracted artifacts.

Buschmann moves beyond the easy definition of artifacts as trophies of colonial defeat or religious conversion, instead employing the term hoarding to describe the irrational amassing of Indigenous artifacts by European colonial residents. Buschmann also highlights Indigenous material culture as a bargaining chip for its producers to engage with the imposed colonial regime. In addition, by centering an area of collection rather than an institution, he opens new areas of investigation that include non-professional ethnographic collectors and a sustained rather than superficial consideration of Indigenous peoples as producers behind the material culture. Hoarding New Guinea answers the call for a more significant historical focus on colonial ethnographic collections in European museums.

The Korean War Remembered : Contested Memories of an Unended Conflict, by Michael J. Devine. Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

Michael J. Devine provides a fresh, wide-ranging, and international perspective on the contested memory of the 1950–1953 conflict that left the Korean Peninsula divided along a heavily fortified demilitarized zone. His work examines “theaters of memory,” including literature, popular culture, public education efforts, monuments, and museums in the United States, China, and the two Koreas, to explain how contested memories have evolved over decades and how they continue to shape the domestic and foreign policies of the countries still involved in this unresolved struggle for dominance and legitimacy. The Korean War Remembered also engages with the revisionist school of historians who, influenced by America’s long nightmare in Vietnam, consider the Korean War an unwise U.S. interference in a civil war that should have been left to the Koreans to decide for themselves.

As a former Peace Corps volunteer to Korea, a two-time senior Fulbright lecturer at Korean universities, and former director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, Devine offers the unique perspective of a scholar with half a century of close ties to Korea and the Korean American community, as well as practical experience in the management of historical institutions.

The Mobilized American West, 1940-2000, by John M. Findlay. Series: History of the American West

In the years between 1940 and 2000, the American Far West went from being a relative backwater of the United States to a considerably more developed, modern, and prosperous region—one capable of influencing not just the nation but the world. By the dawn of the twenty-first century, the population of the West had multiplied more than four times since 1940, and western states had transitioned from rural to urban, becoming the most urbanized section of the country. Massive investment, both private and public, in the western economy had produced regional prosperity, and the tourism industry had undergone massive expansion, altering the ways Americans identified with the West.

In The Mobilized American West, 1940–2000, John M. Findlay presents a historical overview of the American West in its decades of modern development. During the years of U.S. mobilization for World War II and the Cold War, the West remained a significant, distinct region even as its development accelerated rapidly and, in many ways, it became better integrated into the rest of the country. By examining events and trends that occurred in the West, Findlay argues that a distinctive, region-wide political culture developed in the western states from a commitment to direct democracy, the role played by the federal government in owning and managing such a large amount of land, and the way different groups of westerners identified with and defined the region. While illustrating western distinctiveness, Findlay also aims to show how, in its sustaining mobilization for war, the region became tethered to the entire nation more than ever before, but on its own terms. Findlay presents an innovative approach to viewing the American West as a region distinctive of the United States, one that occasionally stood ahead of, at odds with, and even in defiance of the nation.

My Side of the River : an Alaska Native Story, by Elias Kelly. Series: American Indian Lives

In 1971 the U.S. government created the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and extinguished Alaska Native aboriginal rights to hunting and fishing—forever changing the way Alaska Natives could be responsible for their way of life. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service claimed all wildlife management responsibility and have since told Natives when, where, and how to fish, hunt, and harvest according to colonial management doctrines. We need only look at our current Alaska salmon conditions to see how these management efforts have worked.

In My Side of the River, agricultural specialist Elias Kelly (Yup’ik) relates how traditional Native subsistence hunting is often unrecognized by government regulations, effectively criminalizing those who practice it. Kelly alternates between personal stories of friends, family, and community and legal attempts to assimilate Native Alaskans into white U.S. fishing and hunting culture. He also covers landownership, incorporation of Alaska residents, legal erasure of Native identity, and poverty rates among Native Alaskans. In this memoir of personal and public history, Kelly illuminates the impact of government regulations on traditional life and resource conservation.

Remembering World War I in American, by Kimberly J. Lamay Licursi. Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

Poised to become a significant player in the new world order, the United States truly came of age during and after World War I. Yet many Americans think of the Great War simply as a precursor to World War II. Americans, including veterans, hastened to put experiences and memories of the war years behind them, reflecting a general apathy about the war that had developed during the 1920s and 1930s and never abated. 

In Remembering World War I in America Kimberly J. Lamay Licursi explores the American public’s collective memory and common perception of World War I by analyzing the extent to which it was expressed through the production of cultural artifacts related to the war. Through the analysis of four vectors of memory—war histories, memoirs, fiction, and film—Lamay Licursi shows that no consistent image or message about the war ever arose that resonated with a significant segment of the American population. Not many war histories materialized, war memoirs did not capture the public’s attention, and war novels and films presented a fictional war that either bore little resemblance to the doughboys’ experience or offered discordant views about what the war meant. In the end Americans emerged from the interwar years with limited pockets of public memory about the war that never found compromise in a dominant myth. 

The Visible Hands That Feed : Responsibility and Growth in the Food Sector, by Ruzana Liburkina. Series: Our Sustainable Future

The Visible Hands That Feed provides crucial insights into the rifts and regularities that are characteristic of today’s food systems. These insights attend to the widespread disquiet about the ethics and politics of food production and trade. While challenging utopian thinking, these findings give hope by elaborating on the promising nature of what falls between political and moral agendas.

In The Visible Hands That Feed Ruzana Liburkina approaches the food sector against the backdrop of its pivotal role for social and ecological relations to trace the potentials and limitations for sustainable change from within. Drawing on the results of ethnographic fieldwork in Europe and South America, Liburkina conducts an in-depth exploration of the practices, visions, concerns, and relationships that unfold at the very locations where food is grown, processed, stored, and served. By scrutinizing two critical notions in relation to sustainability—responsibility and growth—Liburkina offers insights into how sustainable change might be understood and further supported. In this first study of food production and provisioning that is grounded in participant observation in four types of food sector enterprises—farms, food processing companies, foodservice distributors, and public caterers—Liburkina fills an important gap in the literature on sustainable futures by offering detailed and diverse empirical insights into corporate food production and provisioning.

When Women Ruled the Pacific : power and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Tahiti and Hawai’i, by Joy Schulz. Series: Studies in Pacific Worlds

Throughout the nineteenth century British and American imperialists advanced into the Pacific, with catastrophic effects for Polynesian peoples and cultures. In both Tahiti and Hawai‘i, women rulers attempted to mitigate the effects of these encounters, utilizing their power amid the destabilizing influence of the English and Americans. However, as the century progressed, foreign diseases devastated the Tahitian and Hawaiian populations, and powerful European militaries jockeyed for more formal imperial control over Polynesian waystations, causing Tahiti to cede rule to France in 1847 and Hawai‘i to relinquish power to the United States in 1893.

In When Women Ruled the Pacific Joy Schulz highlights four Polynesian women rulers who held enormous domestic and foreign power and expertly governed their people amid shifting loyalties, outright betrayals, and the ascendancy of imperial racism. Like their European counterparts, these Polynesian rulers fought arguments of lineage, as well as battles for territorial control, yet the freedom of Polynesian women in general and women rulers in particular was unlike anything Europeans and Americans had ever seen. Consequently, white chroniclers of contact had difficulty explaining their encounters, initially praising yet ultimately condemning Polynesian gender systems, resulting in the loss of women’s autonomy. The queens’ successes have been lost in the archives as imperial histories and missionary accounts chose to tell different stories. In this first book to consider queenship and women’s political sovereignty in the Pacific, Schulz recenters the lives of the women rulers in the history of nineteenth-century international relations.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Friday Reads — Atlas : The Story of Pa Salt, by Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker

Earlier this year, I read and did a Friday Reads post about The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley. Atlas : The Story of Pa Salt is the 8th book in that series, released in May of this year after a two-year gap, and let me tell you, it was worth the wait! Sadly, Lucinda Riley died of oesophageal cancer in 2021, and her son, Harry Whittaker, completed this final book in the series. And once again, it does not disappoint. Spanning a lifetime of love and loss, crossing borders and oceans, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt, draws Lucinda Riley’s saga to its stunning, unforgettable conclusion. I listened to the audio version and was amazed at how masterfully all of the pieces of the seven previous books came together. I won’t say more, because to do so would give away too much, but trust me when I say–this book was a non-stop page-turner!

1928, Paris. A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family. Gentle, precocious, talented, he flourishes in his new home, and the family show him a life he hadn’t dreamed possible. But he refuses to speak a word about who he really is.

As he grows into a young man, falling in love and taking classes at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, he can almost forget the terrors of his past, or the promise he has vowed to keep. But across Europe an evil is rising, and no-one’s safety is certain. In his heart, he knows the time will come when he must flee once more.

2008, the Aegean. The seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan, to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly.

To the surprise of everyone, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. The sisters must confront the idea that their adored father was someone they barely knew. And even more shockingly: that these long-buried secrets may still have consequences for them today. In this epic conclusion to the Seven Sisters series, everything will be revealed! [Audible]

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for March and April, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Brand Committee, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in March and April, 2023:

The Begging Question : Sweden’s Social Responses to the Roma Destitute, by Erik Hansson ; Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth

Begging, thought to be an inherently un-Swedish phenomenon, became a national fixture in the 2010s as homeless Romanian and Bulgarian Roma EU citizens arrived in Sweden seeking economic opportunity. People without shelter were forced to use public spaces as their private space, disturbing aesthetic and normative orders, creating anxiety among Swedish subjects and resulting in hate crimes and everyday racism.

Parallel with Europe’s refugee crisis in the 2010s, the “begging question” peaked. The presence of the media’s so-called EU migrants caused a crisis in Swedish society along political, juridical, moral, and social lines due to the contradiction embodied in the Swedish authorities’ denial of social support to them while simultaneously seeking to maintain the nation’s image as promoting welfare, equality, and antiracism.

In The Begging Question Erik Hansson argues that the material configurations of capitalism and class society are not only racialized but also unconsciously invested with collective anxieties and desires. By focusing on Swedish society’s response to the begging question, Hansson provides insight into the dialectics of racism. He shrewdly deploys Marxian economics and Lacanian psychoanalysis to explain how it became possible to do what once was thought impossible: criminalize begging and make fascism politically mainstream, in Sweden. What Hansson reveals is not just an insight into one of the most captivating countries on earth but also a timely glimpse into what it means to be human.

The Collected Writings of Sherman and Grace Coolidge, Edited by Tadeusz Lewandowski

Sherman and Grace Coolidge were a remarkable couple in many respects. Sherman Coolidge (Runs On Top), born in the early 1860s into the Northern band of Arapahos, experienced the extreme violence of the Indian Wars, including the death of his father, as a young boy. Grace Wetherbee Coolidge was born into wealth and privilege in 1873, only to reject her life as a New York heiress and become a missionary on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. It was there that Sherman and Grace met and later married in 1902.

After eight years together at Wind River, both went on to achieve prominence: Sherman as the president of the Native-run reform group the Society of American Indians (1911–1923), Grace as the author of Teepee Neighbors, a book describing her time on the reservation that drew praise from critics such as H. L. Mencken. Sherman was an Episcopal priest and a mesmerizing speaker who had the unique ability to blend his assimilated Western perspective with Arapaho values to educate the American public about the significant challenges facing Native peoples, including endemic poverty, racism, and inequality. Offering unprecedented entrée into the most significant writings and documents of a leading Native American advocate and his wife, this volume is an intimate portrait of their life and contributes to our understanding of American Indian activism at a key moment of Indigenous resurgence against the settler state.

Empire Between the Lines : Imperial Culture in British and French Trench Newspapers of the Great War ; by Elizabeth Stice. Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military 

Although the Great War was sparked and fueled by nationalism, it was ultimately a struggle between empires. The shots fired in Sarajevo mobilized citizens and subjects across far-flung continents that were connected by European empires. This imperial experience of the Great War influenced European soldiers’ ideas about the conflict, leading them to reimagine empires and their places with them and eventually reshaping imperial cultures.

In Empire between the Lines Elizabeth Stice analyzes stories, poetry, plays, and cartoons in British and French trench newspapers to demonstrate how British and French soldiers experienced and envisioned empires through the war and the war through empire. By establishing the imperial context for European soldiers and exploring representations of colonial troops, depictions of non-European campaigns, and descriptions of the German enemy, Stice argues that while certain narratives from prewar imperial culture persisted, the experience of the war also created new, competing narratives about empire and colonized peoples.

Empire between the Lines is the first study of its kind to consult British and French newspapers together, offering an innovative lens for viewing the public discourse of the trenches. By interrogating the relationship between British and French soldiers and empire during the war, Stice increases our understanding of the worldview of ordinary men in extraordinary times.

The First Atomic Bomb : the Trinity Site in New Mexico, by Janet Farrell Brodie. Series: America’s Public Lands

On July 16, 1945, just weeks before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that brought about the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II, the United States unleashed the world’s first atomic bomb at the Trinity testing site located in the remote Tularosa Valley in south-central New Mexico. Immensely more powerful than any weapon the world had seen, the bomb’s effects on the surrounding and downwind communities of plants, animals, birds, and humans have lasted decades.

In The First Atomic Bomb Janet Farrell Brodie explores the history of the Trinity test and those whose contributions have rarely, if ever, been discussed—the men and women who constructed, served, and witnessed the first test—as well as the downwinders who suffered the consequences of the radiation. Concentrating on these ordinary people, laborers, ranchers, and Indigenous peoples who lived in the region and participated in the testing, Brodie corrects the lack of coverage in existing scholarship on the essential details and everyday experiences of this globally significant event. The First Atomic Bomb also covers the environmental preservation of the Trinity test site and compares it with the wide range of atomic sites now preserved independently or as part of the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Although the Trinity site became a significant node for testing the new weapons of the postwar United States, it is known today as an officially designated National Historic Landmark. Brodie presents a timely, important, and innovative study of an explosion that carries special historical weight in American memory.

The Forgotten Diaspora : Mesoamerican Migrations and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, by Travis Jeffres. Series: Borderlands and Transcultural Studies

In The Forgotten Diaspora Travis Jeffres explores how Native Mexicans involved in the conquest of the Greater Southwest pursued hidden agendas, deploying a covert agency that enabled them to reconstruct Indigenous communities and retain key components of their identities even as they were technically allied with and subordinate to Spaniards. Resisting, modifying, and even flatly ignoring Spanish directives, Indigenous Mexicans in diaspora co-created the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and laid enduring claims to the region.

Jeffres contends that tens of thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of central Mexican Natives were indispensable to Spanish colonial expansion in the Greater Southwest in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These vital allies populated frontier settlements, assisted in converting local Indians to Christianity, and provided essential labor in the mining industry that drove frontier expansion and catapulted Spain to global hegemony. However, Nahuatl records reveal that Indigenous migrants were no mere auxiliaries to European colonial causes; they also subverted imperial aims and pursued their own agendas, wresting lands, privileges, and even rights to self-rule from the Spanish Crown. Via Nahuatl-language “hidden transcripts” of Native allies’ motivations and agendas, The Forgotten Diaspora reimagines this critical yet neglected component of the hemispheric colonial-era scattering of the Americas’ Indigenous peoples.

From the Boarding Schools : Apache Indian Students Speak, by Arnold Krupat

Arnold Krupat’s From the Boarding Schools makes available previously unheard Apache voices from the Indian boarding schools. It includes selections from two unpublished autobiographies by Sam Kenoi and Dan Nicholas, produced in the 1930s with the anthropologist Morris Opler, as well as material by and about Vincent Natalish, a contemporary of Kenoi and Nicholas.

Natalish was one of more than one hundred Apaches taken from Fort Marion to the Carlisle Indian School by its superintendent, Captain Richard Henry Pratt, in 1887. A considerable number of these students died at the school, and many who were sent home for illness or poor health did not recover. Natalish, however, remained at Carlisle and graduated in 1899. He married, had a son, and lived and worked in New York. He also actively sought the release of his relatives and other Apaches held prisoner at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Apache people have been telling and circulating stories among themselves for generations. But in contrast to their neighbors the Hopis and the Navajos, Apaches have produced relatively few written autobiographical narratives, and even fewer about their boarding school experiences. Supplementing the narratives with detailed cultural and historical commentary, From the Boarding Schools brings these lived experiences from the archives into current discourse.

The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere, by Paulette F.C. Steeves

2022 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere is a reclaimed history of the deep past of Indigenous people in North and South America during the Paleolithic. Paulette F. C. Steeves mines evidence from archaeology sites and Paleolithic environments, landscapes, and mammalian and human migrations to make the case that people have been in the Western Hemisphere not only just prior to Clovis sites (10,200 years ago) but for more than 60,000 years, and likely more than 100,000 years.

Steeves discusses the political history of American anthropology to focus on why pre-Clovis sites have been dismissed by the field for nearly a century. She explores supporting evidence from genetics and linguistic anthropology regarding First Peoples and time frames of early migrations. Additionally, she highlights the work and struggles faced by a small yet vibrant group of American and European archaeologists who have excavated and reported on numerous pre-Clovis archaeology sites.

In this first book on Paleolithic archaeology of the Americas written from an Indigenous perspective, The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere includes Indigenous oral traditions, archaeological evidence, and a critical and decolonizing discussion of the development of archaeology in the Americas.

Losing Eden : An Environmental History of the American West, by Sara Dant. New Edition. Series: Environment and Region in the American West

Historical narratives often concentrate on wars and politics while omitting the central role and influence of the physical stage on which history is carried out. In Losing Eden award-winning historian Sara Dant debunks the myth of the American West as “Eden” and instead embraces a more realistic and complex understanding of a region that has been inhabited and altered by people for tens of thousands of years.

In this lively narrative Dant discusses the key events and topics in the environmental history of the American West, from the Beringia migration, Columbian Exchange, and federal territorial acquisition to post–World War II expansion, resource exploitation, and current climate change issues. Losing Eden is structured around three important themes: balancing economic success and ecological destruction, creating and protecting public lands, and achieving sustainability.

This revised and updated edition incorporates the latest science and thinking. It also features a new chapter on climate change in the American West, a larger reflection on the region’s multicultural history, updated current events, expanded and diversified suggested readings, along with new maps and illustrations. Cohesive and compelling, Losing Eden recognizes the central role of the natural world in the history of the American West and provides important analysis on the continually evolving relationship between the land and its inhabitants.

Mud, Blood, and Ghosts : Populism, Eugenics, and Spiritualism in the American West, by Julie Carr

Populism has become a global movement associated with nationalism and strong-man politicians, but its root causes remain elusive. Mud, Blood, and Ghosts exposes one deep root in the soil of the American Great Plains. Julie Carr traces her own family’s history through archival documents to draw connections between U.S. agrarian populism, spiritualism, and eugenics, helping readers to understand populism’s tendency toward racism and exclusion.

Carr follows the story of her great-grandfather Omer Madison Kem, three-term Populist representative from Nebraska, avid spiritualist, and committed eugenicist, to explore persistent themes in U.S. history: property, personhood, exclusion, and belonging. While recent books have taken seriously the experiences of poor whites in rural America, they haven’t traced the story to its origins. Carr connects Kem’s journey with that of America’s white establishment and its fury of nativism in the 1920s. Presenting crucial narratives of Indigenous resistance, interracial alliance and betrayal, radical feminism, lifelong hauntings, land policy, debt, shame, grief, and avarice from the Gilded Age through the Progressive Era, Carr asks whether we can embrace the Populists’ profound hopes for a just economy while rejecting the barriers they set up around who was considered fully human, fully worthy of this dreamed society.

Recovering Women’s Past : New Epistemologies, New Ventures, Edited by Severine Genieys-Kirk. Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

Feminist rewriting of history is designed not merely to reshape our collective memory and collective imaginary but also to challenge deeply ingrained paradigms about knowledge production. This feminist rewriting raises important questions for early modern scholars, especially in bringing to life the works of our foremothers and in reconsidering women’s agency.

Recovering Women’s Past, edited by Séverine Genieys-Kirk, is a collection of essays that focus on how women born before the nineteenth century have claimed a place in history and how they have been represented in the collective memory from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. Scrutinizing the legacies of such politically minded women as Catherine de’ Medici, Queen Isabella of Castile, Emilie du Châtelet, and Olympe de Gouges, the volume’s contributors reflect on how our histories of women (in philosophy, literature, history, and the visual and performative arts) have been shaped by the discourses of their representation, how these discourses have been challenged, and how they can be reassessed both within and beyond the confines of academia. Recovering Women’s Past disseminates a more accurate, vital history of women’s past to engage in more creative and artistic encounters with our intellectual foremothers by creating imaginative modes of representing new knowledge. Only in these interactions will we be able to break away from the prevailing stereotypes about women’s roles and potential and advance the future of feminism.

Without Warning : The Tornado of Udall, Kansas, by Jim Minick

In 1955 the small town of Udall, Kansas, was home to oil field workers, homemakers, and teenagers looking ahead to their futures. But on the night of May 25, an F5 tornado struck their town without warning. In three minutes the tornado destroyed most of the buildings, including the new high school. It toppled the water tower. It lifted a pickup truck, stripped off its cab, and hung the frame in a tree. By the time the tornado moved on, it had killed 82 people and injured 270 others, more than half the town’s population of roughly 600 people. It remains the deadliest tornado in the history of Kansas.

Jim Minick’s nonfiction account, Without Warning, tells the human story of this disaster, moment by moment, from the perspectives of those who survived. His spellbinding narrative connects this history to our world today. Minick demonstrates that even if we have never experienced a tornado, we are still a people shaped and defined by weather and the events that unfold in our changing climate. Through the tragedy and hope found in this story of destruction, Without Warning tells a larger story of community, survival, and how we might find our way through the challenges of the future.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Friday Reads : The Seven Sisters, by Lucinda Riley

Some of you may already know about, and have read this series, but I just recently discovered The Seven Sisters, by Lucinda Riley, and I’m amazed I didn’t know about it sooner. There are currently seven books in the series, one for each sister, whose names are based on the star cluster named the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades in Greek mythology. An eighth and final book is due out in May of this year, telling the story of their adoptive father, Pa Salt.

I have to tell you, I was hooked from the very first book, and am currently listening to and reading book seven. Each sister, her talent, and her story has a connection to a unique person, thing, and piece of history, from all over the world.

Book 1– The Seven Sisters: Maia D’Aplièse and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home–a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva–having been told that their beloved adoptive father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt, has died.

Each of them is handed a tantalising clue to their true heritage–a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil . . .

Eighty years earlier, in the Belle Époque of Rio, 1927, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into aristocracy. But Izabela longs for adventure, and convinces him to allow her to accompany the family of a renowned architect on a trip to Paris. In the heady, vibrant streets of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

Book 2–The Storm Sister: Ally D’Aplièse is about to compete in one of the world’s most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father’s sudden, mysterious death. Rushing back to meet her five sisters at their family home, she discovers that her father—an elusive billionaire affectionately known to his daughters as Pa Salt—has left each of them a tantalising clue to their true heritage.

Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway….

There, Ally begins to discover her roots—and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over a hundred years before and sang in the first performance of Grieg’s iconic music set to Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister missing?

Book 3– The Shadow Sister: Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father – the elusive billionaire, named Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted by him from the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to their true heritage, but Star – the most enigmatic of the sisters – is hesitant to step out of the safety of the close relationship she shares with her sister CeCe. In desperation, she decides to follow the first clue she has been left, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world…

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in the Lake District, living close to her idol, Beatrix Potter, when machinations outside of her control lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious players, Alice Keppel. Flora is pulled between passionate love and duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a game – the rules of which are only known to others, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life…

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

Book 4–The Pearl Sister: CeCe D’Aplièse has always felt like an outcast. But following the death of her father—the reclusive billionaire affectionately called Pa Salt by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe—she finds herself more alone than ever. With nothing left to lose, CeCe delves into the mystery of her origins. The only clues she holds are a black and white photograph and the name of a female pioneer who once lived in Australia.

One hundred years earlier, Kitty McBride, a Scottish clergyman’s daughter, abandons her conservative upbringing to serve as the companion to a wealthy woman traveling from Edinburgh to Adelaide. Her ticket to a new land brings the adventure she dreamed of and a love that she had never imagined.

When CeCe herself finally reaches the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia, something deep within her responds to the energy of the area and the ancient culture of the Aboriginal people. As she comes closer to finding the truth of her ancestry, CeCe begins to believe that this untamed, vast continent could offer her what she never thought possible: a sense of belonging, and a home.

Book 5–The Moon Sister: After the death of her father – Pa Salt, an elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from around the globe – Tiggy D’Aplièse, trusting her instincts, moves to the remote wilds of Scotland. There she takes a job doing what she loves: caring for animals on the vast and isolated Kinnaird estate, employed by the enigmatic and troubled Laird, Charlie Kinnaird. 

Her decision alters her future irrevocably when Chilly, an ancient gypsy who has lived for years on the estate, tells her that not only does she possess a sixth sense, passed down from her ancestors, but it was foretold long ago that he would be the one to send her back home to Granada in Spain. 

In the shadow of the magnificent Alhambra, Tiggy discovers her connection to the fabled gypsy community of Sacromonte, who were forced to flee their homes during the civil war, and to ‘La Candela’, the greatest flamenco dancer of her generation. From the Scottish Highlands and Spain to South America and New York, Tiggy follows the trail back to her own exotic but complex past. And under the watchful eye of a gifted gypsy bruja, she begins to embrace her own talent for healing. 

But when fate takes a hand, Tiggy must decide whether to stay with her newfound family or return to Kinnaird and Charlie…. 

Book 6–The Sun Sister: To the outside world, Electra D’Aplièse seems to be the woman with everything: as one of the world’s top models, she is beautiful, rich and famous.

Yet beneath the veneer, Electra’s already tenuous control over her state of mind has been rocked by the death of her father, Pa Salt, the elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from across the globe. Struggling to cope, she turns to alcohol and drugs. As those around her fear for her health, Electra receives a letter from a complete stranger who claims to be her grandmother.

In 1939, Cecily Huntley-Morgan arrives in Kenya from New York to nurse a broken heart. Staying with her godmother, a member of the infamous Happy Valley set, on the shores of beautiful Lake Naivasha, she meets Bill Forsythe, a notorious bachelor and cattle farmer with close connections to the proud Maasai tribe. But after a shocking discovery and with war looming, Cecily has few options. Moving up into the Wanjohi Valley, she is isolated and alone. Until she meets a young woman in the woods and makes her a promise that will change the course of her life for ever.

Sweeping from Manhattan to the magnificent wide-open plains of Africa, The Sun Sister is the sixth instalment in Lucinda Riley’s multi-million selling epic series, The Seven Sisters.

Book 7–The Missing Sister: They’ll search the world to find her. The six D’Aplièse sisters have each been on their own incredible journey to discover their heritage, but they still have one question left unanswered: who and where is the seventh sister?

They only have one clue – an image of a star-shaped emerald ring. The search to find the missing sister will take them across the globe – from New Zealand to Canada, England, France and Ireland – uniting them all in their mission to complete their family at last.

In doing so, they will slowly unearth a story of love, strength and sacrifice that began almost 100 years ago, as other brave young women risk everything to change the world around them.

Each book is so well written, and each voice performed so well, that I felt like I was really in each sister’s history and location. I’m excited to finish Book 7, and can’t wait for Book 8: Atlas, the Story of Pa Salt. Synopses courtesy of Audible.com and Amazon.com

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for January and February, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the Nebraska Courts System, the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, the Nebraska Department of Labor, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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