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Cat's Cradle Blog

Archive for July, 2010

Glenn R. Chavis, Our Roots, Our Branches, Our Fruit: High Point’s Black History, 1859-1960

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Chavis, Our Roots, Our Branches, Our Fruit 

I’m pleased to announce the release of a very special book by High Point, NC, native Glenn R. Chavis.  

In honor of the occasion, Cat’s Cradle Books has published its first print catalog, our current list of books related to African American life, history, literature, art, culture, and folklore.   For a copy of this catalog, contact us at info@catscradlebks.net.  

Glenn has written a compilation of information about the African American community of High Point, North Carolina from the incorporation of the town in 1859 to the sit-in era launched in 1960.  Glenn, born and raised in the black community during a time of segregation, has spent years researching the community’s history in government documents, city directories, newspapers, school records, and hundreds of other pieces of the past.  

His book contains 41 photographs of life in High Point’s black community, most of them never before published.  Our Roots, Our Branches, Our Fruit is a groundbreaking book; earlier focus on local history in this small New South city has been almost exclusively on the white community and on business and industrial leaders in particular.  

I was deeply honored to serve as editor of Glenn’s book.  The layout and design of the interior are also my work.   My editor’s preface, I hope, does the author justice.  Bob Brown, a High Point native and former White House adviser, contributed a foreword.  The High Point Historical Society is the publisher of record, and several local donors funded the cost of publication.  

Signed copies are available from the High Point Museum, which is presently the only outlet for this important book.  Future volumes in Glenn’s series are planned.  They include an upcoming sourcebook of information about segregated black schools in High Point, a study of black churches, and potentially several historical sourcebooks of land deeds held by High Point’s African Americans.   Glenn is also a storyteller, and many hope that he will eventually publish an anthology or two of  his well-researched personal essays and vignettes about High Point’s black history as well. 

Kathy Carter, Cat’s Cradle Books

Napoleon’s Conquest of Europe: The War of the Third Coalition

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Schneid, Napoleon's Conquest of Europe

In this book from Praeger Publishers, Frederick C. Schneid examines the War of the Third Coalition and its background of Napoleon’s diplomacy and alliance building.

It serves as an important addition to scholarship in Napoleonic Studies, as well as the larger fields of military and diplomatic history.

Napoleon’s Conquest of Europe is a volume in Praeger’s Studies in Military History and International Affairs Series (Jeremy Black, series editor).  Our copy is signed by the author on the half-title page.  

The book has been well received:

“Schneid increases his stature among the rising generation of U.S. historians of the Napoleonic Wars with this comprehensively researched and economically presented analysis of the War of the Third Coalition. Demonstrating command of a broad spectrum of sources, he smoothly integrates policy formation, diplomatic interaction, and military operations in a work meriting recognition as a standard introduction to the war that made Napoleon master of Europe.”   Dennis Showalter, Colorado College.

“An excellent synthesis, and unusual in that it deals in great detail with the factors leading to the formation of the Third Coalition against France (1803-1805) and the ensuing war. In some cases Schneid traces the diplomatic, economic, political, cultural and personal reasons leading to conflict back into the seventeenth century. The battles are crisply and accurately recounted – especially Austerliz – giving special attention to Napoleon’s enemies, which is lacking in most military histories.”   Owen Connelly, University of South Carolina.
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About the author: Frederick C. Schneid is a Professor of History at High Point University in North Carolina.  He has spent a career investigating the leadership and actions of Napoleon Bonaparte both on and off the battlefield.

Mind Traveling with Italian Post Cards

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

We plan to offer our growing inventory of vintage and antique postcards from Italy, the United States, and other places here in our bookstore website, as we can add them.
Our post card inventory includes many Italian postcards (cartoline italiane) as well as scenes from the United States and other countries. Postcard of the gorgeous Italian resort coast

For Italian postcards, we especially like the period from about 1900 to the 1960s.

Historically, it was a very dynamic period. Parts of northern Italy changed hands from Austria to Italy during World War I, and this is reflected in the postcards from the period 1900-1920. In 1922, Mussolini rose to power, place names in postcard photographs changed (there are Piazze B. Mussolini, for example, in the 1920s and 1930s that are renamed after WWII), and even cancellation marks changed (the year 1925, for example, was noted as the year 25 III, the third year of the Mussolini era).

Our favorite Italian postcards are the real photograph cards (vera fotografia), which are incredibly sharp in their detail.

Here are two examples.

Above is a color-tinted real photograph postcard by Ediz. Griffini Maria, a scene of Laigueglia on the Italian Riviera. Below is a postcard (cartolina) from another of our favorite studios, Foto Ghedina (Cortina, Italy).

As we are able to do so, we will add our postcards to our Cat’s Cradle Books website for your shopping convenience.

Blog with Cat’s Cradle Books

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

This is the brand-new blog for our updated and renovated website for used, rare, and out of print books.  Here’s where you’ll find news about books and authors, and about things related to our books in inventory.  Here, too, you’ll find news of “new” books added to our inventory.  We hope you will bookmark this blog and return again soon! 

Here in central North Carolina it’s brutally hot.  We’ve just emerged from a month-long drought.  As a result, I’ve been holed up researching and listing books in as cool a place as I can find.   Right now I am working through an amazing collection of first, early, and numbered editions of French-language fiction published in Paris between the wars.   The acquisition also contains quite a few Russian-language books from the 20th century, generally the late Soviet period – scarce fiction, mostly.  

I’ve also just listed some great Warner Brothers Screenplay Series titles published by the University of Wisconsin:  Green Pastures, High Sierra, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Mystery of the Wax Museum.  All 1979 first printings with dustjackets, each with a superb essay of film analysis, stills from the film, and the screenplay. 

That’s one of the good things about bookselling.  You never know what you’ll find in the next collection or lot. 

Look for RSS feed, email signup and Twitter notification links direct to this blog  in the near future.  If there is anything we can help you find, please let us know.  Let us know what you think about our posts, too.  We love feedback!

Until next time,

Kathy Carter at Cat’s Cradle Books