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Charles M. Biles
The Congressional apportionment problem is deceptively easy to state: How many seats in the U. S. House of Representatives does each state get? However, the answer is a complex blend of mathematics, government, and politics that has involved some of the greatest political minds in American history.
Much of the complexity stems from a simple elementary school topic: how to round a decimal number. Resolution of this arithmetic problem with its resulting political consequences gives new meaning to the word decimated. Results of the process have affected the political power structure of the country and even played a decisive role in who won a presidential election.
The early history involves many well-known figures including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster and James K. Polk. The later history involves an interesting cast of characters and motivations from statisticians and mathematicians to presidents.
The History of Congressional Apportionment tells the rich story of the evolution of one facet of American government. Through the lens of Congressional apportionment, this book adds yet another chapter in the rich story of American history and the people, politics, and debates that helped shape the political system we have today.
American Prometheus: Carnegie’s Captain, Bill Jones presents a compelling historical memoir of the illustrious life of rebellious steel genius and inventor, Captain Bill Jones.
Hero of the Civil War and Johnstown Flood, Captain Bill Jones built and supervised the Edgar Thomson Steel Works, which in its first five years advanced to the rank of the world’s most productive and profitable steel mill. His “hands-on, all over” style solved Carnegie’s production problems on the spot, enlisted baseball teams from the Works’ departments to defuse ethnic strife, promoted the eight-hour work day, and patented inventions, including the Jones Hot Metal mixer, which revolutionized the steelmaking industry, all while turning down Carnegie’s offers of partnership.
A deft blend of historical narrative and family memoir, this absorbing account of Jones’ dynamic life as a founding key figure in post-Civil War America’s Second Industrial Revolution and as a philanthropist in his own right, is told by none other than his great-grandson. Tom Gage moves beyond the role of biographer and storyteller to delve into research that traces Jones’ relationship to the steel magnate and explores the mysteries posed by family lore.
African Masks from the Collection of James Gaasch contains photographs of the African masks and carvers from the Bwa (or Bwaba), Winiama and Mossi peoples of Burkina Faso, and the Bamana and Dogon peoples of Mali. Gaasch acquired many of these masks in the villages where they were carved. When possible, he interviewed the village carvers, the creators, of these dancing masks. Gaasch’s interviews with the carvers underscore the cultural context where traditional African world views persist. And, to the extent possible, they give voice to the masks to reveal their own significance. “They are, in our times, signifiers of cultures increasingly under siege, hostage to religious fanaticism, or to impoverishing globalization,” Gaasch explains. “This small book reaffirms the rights of these masks to continue to dance.”
John C. Schafer
Võ Phiến and the Sadness of Exile describes the life and work of one of the most respected writers in the Vietnamese diaspora. A well-known writer in Vietnam before he sought refuge in the United States in 1975, Võ Phiến continued to write in the U.S. He published numerous stories and essays and edited a seven-volume collection of works written in South Vietnam from 1954 - 1975. In this first book-length study in English of a modern Vietnamese writer, Schafer introduces readers to an author who has much to teach us about war, revolution and exile in a strange land.
Lori Dengler, Amya Miller, and Amy Uyeki
This sweet story, intended for lower elementary grades, is intended to provide a window for discussing earthquakes, tsunamis, marine debris, preparedness and cultural awareness in the classroom and within families.
On April 7, 2013, a little over two years after the magnitude 9 Tohoku-oki Japan earthquake triggered a massive tsunami off the coast of northeastern Japan, a lone boat washed up on the shores of Crescent City, California. The confirmation of the boat as belonging to a high school in Rikuzentakata was first step in an amazing story that has linked two tsunami-vulnerable communities on opposite sides of the Pacific and initiated friendships between high school students in Rikuzentakata. This story is now told in a children’s book to be released by Humboldt State University Press in November, 2015. Co-authored by Humboldt State University Emeritus Geology Professor Lori Dengler and Amya Miller, the Director of Global Public Relations in Rikuzentakata, the book features illustrations by Arcata artist Amy Uyeki.