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A Thrilling And Truthful History Of The Pony Express

RRP $16.99

An excerpt from the beginning of
CHAPTER I. "THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT"

THE school-boy of half a century, and more, ago was taught by his geography that a large area west of the Missouri River, and not very far from the banks of that dark stream, was the "Great American Desert."

In somewhat uncertain lines that arid waste was shown on the map of the republic in his atlas, less known than the sirocco-swept Sahara. But before this almost unknown territory had been eliminated from his books, he began to learn through the everyday sources of information that this region was being encroached upon by the advance skirmishers of civilization.

The boy did not comprehend it all, but as he stepped along in years it became plainer and plainer, and by the time he had reached manhood and its affairs, his own progress and that of the far West had so broadened and improved that what he had learned of the "Great American Desert" had become a dim reminiscence.

First, the boy had seen a few of the volunteer soldiers of the Mexican War, who had come back to the States, and who had brought with them a mustang pony, curious Mexican jewelry and Indian trappings, a sombrero, and a serape of bright colors, a buffalo robe, and other things that specially impressed his youthful fancy. He heard the returned soldier talk to the "old folks" about the West and Southwest - not yet touching the Great American Desert, but getting quite close to it.

This set the boy to looking westward.

Then he heard of the discoveries of gold in California. Sutter's mill-race was his property, in a way, and he was well acquainted with neighbors who went away, far toward the "jumping-off-place," to the "diggings." Then came the song "Joe Bowers," that told the sad tale of a man who went to "Californy" to win a fortune for his sweetheart, and how she proved false because Joe had gone so far that he never could possibly get back, and she married a redheaded butcher and had a red-headed baby - according to Joe's wail of woe.

Then, through letters home, from the argonauts and other adventurers, the boy learned of emigrant trains that crossed the vast plains, and of the Overland Stage coaches, the great, swinging ships of the plains that were nearly like the caravels of Columbus, but following one after another, until there was an undulating line of them stretching from start to finish across the map, in his mind, of billowy prairie, sand-bottomed and treacherous streams, white-faced desert, mountain defiles, snow-crowned peaks, and so on to Sutter's Mill, and thereabout.

And the boy was close to the beginning of the facts.

Much was printed in the newspapers and magazines of the day concerning all this, and the boy devoured it. Now and then a book came within his reach that fairly teemed with the wonderful West and the exploits of men and women, and even some boys, like himself, in the long journey across the continent, and actually over the Great American Desert.


A History Of Daoism And The Yao People Of South China

RRP $305.99

The term Yao refers to a non-sinitic speaking, southern "Chinese" people who originated in central China, south of the Yangzi River. Despite categorization by Chinese and Western scholars of Yao as an ethnic minority with a primitive culture, it is now recognized that not only are certain strains of religious Daoism prominent in Yao ritual traditions, but the Yao culture also shares many elements with pre-modern official and mainstream Chinese culture. This book is the first to furnish a history-part cultural, part political, and part religious-of contacts between the Chinese state and autochthonous peoples (identified since the 11th century as Yao people) in what is now South China. It vividly details the influence of Daoism on the rich history and culture of the Yao people. The book also includes an examination of the specific terminology, narratives, and symbols (Daoist/ imperial) that represent and mediate these contacts. "This is an important piece of work on a little studied, but very interesting subject, namely, Taoism among the non-Sinitic peoples of South China and adjoining areas." - Professor Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania "This brilliant study by Eli Alberts has now cleared away much of the cloud that has been caused by previous, mostly impressionistic scholarship on the "Dao of the Yao." - Professor Barend J.ter Haar, Leiden University


A Military History Of The Ottoman Empire

RRP $253.99

The Ottoman Army had a significant effect on the history of the modern world and particularly on that of the Middle East and Europe. This study, written by a Turkish and an American scholar, is a revision and corrective to western accounts because it is based on Turkish interpretations, rather than European interpretations, of events. As the world's dominant military machine from 1300 to the mid-1700's, the Ottoman Army led the way in military institutions, organizational structures, technology, and tactics. In decline thereafter, it nevertheless remained a considerable force to be counted in the balance of power through 1918. From its nomadic origins, it underwent revolutions in military affairs as well as several transformations which enabled it to compete on favorable terms with the best of armies of the day. This study tracks the growth of the Ottoman Army as a professional institution from the perspective of the Ottomans themselves, by using previously untapped Ottoman source materials. Additionally, the impact of important commanders and the role of politics, as these affected the army, are examined. The study concludes with the Ottoman legacy and its effect on the Republic and modern Turkish Army.

This is a study survey that combines an introductory view of this subject with fresh and original reference-level information. Divided into distinct periods, Uyar and Erickson open with a brief overview of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire and the military systems that shaped the early military patterns. The Ottoman army emerged forcefully in 1453 during the siege of Constantinople and became a dominant social and political force for nearly two hundred years following Mehmed's capture of the city. When the army began to show signs of decay during the mid-seventeenth century, successive Sultans actively sought to transform the institution that protected their power. The reforms and transformations that began frist in 1606successfully preserved the army until the outbreak of the Ottoman-Russian War in 1876. Though the war was brief, its impact was enormous as nationalistic and republican strains placed increasing pressure on the Sultan and his army until, finally, in 1918, those strains proved too great to overcome. By 1923, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk emerged as the leader of a unified national state ruled by a new National Parliament. As Uyar and Erickson demonstrate, the old army of the Sultan had become the army of the Republic, symbolizing the transformation of a dying empire to the new Turkish state make clear that throughout much of its existence, the Ottoman Army was an effective fighting force with professional military institutions and organizational structures.


Tiny Trains 2007/2008

RRP $20.99

Following the great success of our guides covering Standard and Narrow Gauge Railways throughout Britain, we are publishing this new guide which focuses on Miniature Railways with a gauge of 7 and a quarter inches or less. With detailed directions, opening times and news about steam working (where applicable) combined with photographs and a wealth of other information, this is an essential buy not only for railway enthusiasts but for anyone looking for a good day out - especially with children.


A History Of Shakespeare On Screen

RRP $12.99

A History of Shakespeare on Screen chronicles how film-makers have re-imagined Shakespeare's plays from the earliest exhibitions in music halls and nickelodeons to today's multi-million dollar productions shown in megaplexes. Topics include the silent era, Hollywood in the Golden Age, the films of Laurence Olivier and Orson Welles, the television scene to include the BBC plays, the avant-garde cinema of Jarman and Greenaway, and non-Anglophone contributions from Japan and elsewhere. This second edition updates the chronology to the year 2003 and includes a new chapter on such recent films as John Madden's Shakespeare in Love, Kenneth Branagh's Love's Labours Lost, Michael Almereyda's Hamlet, and Billy Morrissette's Scotland, Pa. A filmography, bibliography, and index of names makes it invaluable as a one-volume reference work for specialists, while the accessible style will ensure that it also appeals to a wider audience of Shakespeareans and cinephiles.



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