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Books: Zeitgeist

On this page we offer works on the historical and social context that go to make up the zeitgeist (spirit of the age). These publications focus on art, archeology, historical and social research.

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Emerging Revolutionary War Series

new New!

Just in time for the upcoming 250th anniversary events, this new series gives an overview of the key events, people and stories of America’s war for independence. Each book provides background of the major battles, politics, and biographies aimed at general audiences. You can expect each to be supplemented with dozens of original photos and all-new maps to bring these events into perspective.

192 pp.
$44.95

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A Single Blow: the Battles of Lexington and Condord

new New!

"I have now nothing to trouble your Lordship with, but an affair that happened on the 19th instant . . ." General Thomas Gage penned the above line to his superiors in London, casually summing up the shots fired at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The history of the Battles of Lexington and Concord were the culmination of years of unrest between those loyal to the British monarchy and those advocating for more autonomy and dreaming of independence from Great Britain in the future. On the morning of April 19th, Gage sent out a force of British soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith to confiscate, recapture, and destroy the military supplies gathered by the colonists and believed to be stored in the town of Concord. Due to the alacrity of men such as Dr. James Warren, Paul Revere, and William Dawes, utilizing a network of signals and outriders, the countryside was well-aware of the approaching British, setting the stage for the day’s events. When the column reached the green of Lexington, Massachusetts, militiamen awaited their approach. The first shots of April 19th would be fired there. The rest of the day unfolded accordingly. Historians Phillip S. Greenwalt and Robert Orrison unfold the facts of April 19, 1775, uncovering the amazing history that this pivotal spring day ushered in for the fate of Massachusetts and thirteen of Great Britain’s North American colonies with A Single Blow.

192 pp.
$14.95

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A Handsome Flogging: The Battle of Monmouth

new New!

June 1778 was a tumultuous month in the annals of American military history. Somehow, General George Washington and the Continental Army were able to survive a string of defeats around Philadelphia in 1777 and a desperate winter at Valley Forge. As winter turned to spring, and spring turned to summer, the army—newly trained by Baron von Steuben and in high spirits thanks to France’s intervention into the conflict—marched out of Valley Forge in pursuit of Henry Clinton’s British Army making its way across New Jersey for New York City. What would happen next was not an easy decision for Washington to make. Should he attack the British column? And if so, how? “People expect something from us and our strength demands it,” Gen. Nathanael Greene pressed his chieftain. Against the advice of many of his subordinates, Washington ordered the army to aggressively pursue the British and not allow the enemy to escape to New York City without a fight. On June 28, 1778, the vanguard of the Continental Army under Maj. Gen. Charles Lee engaged Clinton’s rearguard near the small village of Monmouth Court House. Lee’s over-cautiousness prevailed and the Americans were ordered to hasty retreat. Only the arrival of Washington and the main body of the army saved the Americans from disaster. By the end of the day, they held the field as the British continued their march to Sandy Hook and New York City. In A Handsome Flogging: The Battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778, historian William Griffith retells the story of what many historians have dubbed the “battle that made the American army,” and takes you along the routes trekked by both armies on their marches toward destiny. Follow in the footsteps of heroes (and a heroine) who, on a hot summer day, met in desperate struggle in the woods and farm fields around Monmouth Court House.

192 pp.
$14.95

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Victory or Death: The Battles of Trenton and Princeton

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December 1776: Just six months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, George Washington and the new American Army sit on the verge of utter destruction by the banks of the Delaware River. The despondent and demoralized group of men had endured repeated defeats and now were on the edge of giving up hope. Washington feared “the game is pretty near up.” Rather than submit to defeat, Washington and his small band of soldiers crossed the ice-choked Delaware River and attacked the Hessian garrison at Trenton, New Jersey on the day after Christmas. He followed up the surprise attack with successful actions along the Assunpink Creek and at Princeton. In a stunning military campaign, Washington had turned the tables, and breathed life into the dying cause for liberty during the Revolutionary War. The campaign has led many historians to deem it as one of the most significant military campaigns in American history. One British historian even declared that “it may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater or more lasting results upon the history of the world.” In Victory or Death, historian Mark Maloy not only recounts these epic events, he takes you along to the places where they occurred. He shows where Washington stood on the banks of the Delaware and contemplated defeat, the city streets that his exhausted men charged through, and the open fields where Washington himself rode into the thick of battle. Victory or Death is a must for anyone interested in learning how George Washington and his brave soldiers grasped victory from the jaws of defeat.

192 pp.
$14.95

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'They Were Good Soldiers'
by John U Rees

The role of African-Americans, most free but some enslaved, in the regiments of the Continental Army is not well-known, neither is the fact that relatively large numbers served in southern regiments and that the greatest number served alongside their white comrades in integrated units.

The book begins by discussing for comparison inclusion and treatment of black Americans by the various Crown forces (particularly British and Loyalist commanders and military units). The next section discusses broadly black soldiers in the Continental Army, before delving into each state. Each state's section first looks at the Continental regiments in that state's contingent throughout the war, and then adds interesting black soldiers pension narratives or portions thereof. The premise is to leave the reader with some insights into the common soldiers' wartime experiences. The book ends with a look into what African-American veterans experienced post-war in their communities and home states.

There have been no other book-length works that deal with the wartime experiences of black Continental soldiers in detail; additionally, the use of pension narratives of black soldiers to gain personal data and `hear' them tell their own stories is relatively new, and compelling.

210 pp.
$25.99

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Journal of the Early Americas

35-55 pages, full color.

This award winning magazine ran from 2010-2014 covering America from 1521 to 1848. In 2011 The Journal of Early Americas was given the prestigous, Library Journal Best Magazines aword. Each issue is filled with well layed out, full color illustrations in an easy to read format with well researched articles written by many noteworth authors. The Journal of the Early Americas was a family owned and operated magazine of the Criswell and Tesdahl families of Colorado. Originally from Indiana, the Criswell side of the family have been involved with historic re-enactment since 1974. The Tesdahls are from Iowa and have been near the heart of historic re-enactment since 1990. The family is a well educated bunch, including a university history professor, a graphics design professional but know the comunity and how to write in an easy way with articles and book reviews of interest to re-enactors and historians alike.

Journal of the Early America's complete set is now quite difficult to obtain. These issues are the last of the back issues all sold for $5 each regardless of availability. Some of these issues we have a relatively small amount in stock-so don't wait.

$5.00-$8.00 $5.00 each

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Death by Petticoat: American History Myths Debunked

Every day stories from American history that are not true are repeated in museums and classrooms across the country. Some are outright fabrications; others contain a kernel of truth that has been embellished over the years. Collaborating with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Mary Miley Theobald has uncovered the truth behind many widely repeated myth-understandings in our history in Death by Petticoat.

Softcover, 144 pp, 5 3/4" x 8 1/4",
$9.99

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A Modest Collection of Traditional Songs of the Colonial Period
by M. Richard Tully

This book contains 70 songs with a historical note about each. Made with both beginners and experts in mind anyone may pick up the book and begin at their own level. The songs were arranged to be easy to play on flute, whistle, or guitar. An appendices discusses guitar, flute, pipe, tabor, violin and other appropriate instruments of the period.

165 pp.
$24.95

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The Laundress (Jean-Baptisite Greuze)

This lively and engrossing book traces the history of the Getty Museum's painting, compares the work to other laundresses painted by Greuze, and explores social mores and the role of artist's model in the eighteenth century. It provides an enlightening account of Greuze's life and times and the influences on his work.

Excellent description of the laundresses of Paris among others and the first description we've read of exactly how linens were washed. The pictures also highlight clothing of the lower sort.

2004
$19.95 Softcover

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Chapbooks or Small Books

Small books were the first cheep paperbacks sold on the streets. They were sold as a single piece of paper and cut and stitched by the customer. Usually these pamphlets were printed without date or author. Because of this dating originals are based on sales records or the years publishers were in business. These are museum quality reproductions printed on white water marked paper and hand stitched with linen thread. Very careful editing is done to ensure strict retention of all original spelling including the long s.

Small books may be a very useful interpretive tool. Often they were read aloud in taverns and coffee shops. Sometimes several were brought to a professional book binder and made into one volume. Thousands were published throughout Europe and imported to the colonies.

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The Poor Unhappy Transported Felon's
Sorrowful Account of His Fourteen Years Transportation at Virginia, in-America.

Anonymous c. 1760s

This story describes the life of a young apprentice born in London who falls into bad company and finds himself being sold along with slaves to work on a plantation in Virginia. The entire story is written in rhyme that could be set to music and sung as a ballad. As an interpretive tool much may be learned about the slave trade, clothing, and the life of the laboring poor. Several original copies of this book are held in collections both public and private.

Dimensions: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
8 pp.
$2.00

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