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William Lewis, Esquire: Enlightened Statesman, Profound Lawyer, and Useful Citizen Dean and the Historian: Their Lives and Times through Letters
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William Lewis, Esquire: Enlightened Statesman, Profound Lawyer, and Useful Citizen Dean and the Historian
Lewis (1752-1819) was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, Federalist and abolitionist. His descendant Esther Ann McFarland spent years locating records by and about Lewis and compiling this study. “History buffs will be fascinated by this authentic account of the role a leading Phila. lawyer played in shaping the character of our nation while we transitioned from colonial to post-revolutionary times. As an advisor to our Founding Fathers, a champion of individual rights, a strong advocate for abolition of slavery, a state legislator, an inaugural officer of the Phila. Bar Assoc. and Pennsylvania’s first U.S. Attorney and second fed. judge, William Lewis had a major impact on the development of our laws and the balance achieved by our fed. and state governments.” Illus. William S. Middleton, a graduate of the Univ. of PA School of Med., taught thousands of students during his 63 years at the Univ. of Wisconsin (UW) School of Med. One of his most important decisions was to establish a medical history dep’t. and appoint as its first chair, Erwin Ackerknecht, the pioneering medical historian. The correspondence between the dean and the historian began in 1947 and continued until 1974. Both men fought for causes they believed in: Middleton for improved veterans’ healthcare, better training of physicians, and the establishment of medical libraries; and Ackernecht for a social view of medicine and rejection of fascism in education. The letters show how these two outstanding men viewed the world and viewed themselves, as they discuss their daily lives and concerns, and above all, their friendship. Illus.
The Tower of the Winds in Athens: Greeks, Romans, Christians, and Muslims: Two Millennia of Continual Use: Memoirs, APS (Vol. 270) Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 (Transactions 105, Part 1)
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Tower of the Winds in Athens Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939
The Tower of the Winds has stood in the shadow of the Acropolis in
Athens for more than 2,100 years. This tall octagonal building, one of
the best preserved monuments from the classical period, was built by the
architect-astronomer Andronikos of Kyrrhos
as a horologion for keeping time. Almost all its features have been
attributed to the period of construction by the Greeks or renovations
made by the Romans. The building, however, was in use almost
continuously for two millennia, which includes Byzantine
and Ottoman phases. Pamela Webb, a classical archaeologist, examines
the Tower throughout its entire functional existence. A series of
appendices helps to put the Tower in broader context for the
post-classical periods. Winner of the 2016 John Frederick Lewis
Award. Illus.

Johannes Höber left Nazi Germany for America in November 1938. His wife Elfriede was unable to leave for another year, after the outbreak of World War II. Fifty years later, their son discovered the letters this brilliant couple exchanged during the tumultuous months they were separated. Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 collects those letters with an introduction, notes and an epilogue that set the letters in the context of their time. Together, the letters portray the intense relationship of a fascinating couple in a critical period in world history.

The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266) Speaking in Tongues: APS, Transactions (Vol. 106, Part 4) 2016
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The House of Barnes Speaking in Tongues
The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy is a beautifully written study of the extraordinary art collector and volatile personality Albert C. Barnes.  The book places him in the context of his own era, shedding new light on the ideas and movements (about art collecting, education, and aesthetics) that shaped so much of his thinking.

The Barnes’ major holdings of largely post-impressionist art include more than 800 paintings, with a strong focus on Renoir (181 canvases), Cézanne (69), Matisse (59), and Picasso (46 paintings and drawings). In its entirety, it is the greatest single collection of such art that has remained intact.  

The last chapters of the book address the controversial events surrounding the Barnes Foundation’s move to Philadelphia, including vehement opposition—as well as strong support. There is an analysis of the Foundation’s financial plight, a review of the major court cases over the decades, and a characterization of the fervent reactions following the court’s decision to allow the move to take place.

The monograph is recommended for a broad audience, including those interested in art and art collecting, the role of art in education, and the development of cultural institutions.
Raised in a Lebanese mountain village, Fedwa Malti-Douglas came to America at the age of 13. After a rich academic career, Professor Malti-Douglas turned her attention to other muses, publishing a novel (Hisland, SUNY Press) in 1998, and poetry (including a chapbook of visual poetry). Fedwa’s honors include the 1997 Kuwait Prize in Arts and letters, and the National Humanities Medal for 2014, presented in 2015 by President Barack Obama. This volume tells the story of a family torn apart by divorce, death, and exile, and reunited by an inherited form of muscular dystrophy. It has been praised as “a memoir of unpitying clarity,” “deeply moving and arresting,” which “crosses landscapes of sadness, of happiness, of pain and peace, of alienation and acceptance, toward a healing enlargement of the soul.” Color photos.



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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson

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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson
The Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson and the American Philosophical Society, by Patrick Spero, With research assistance by Abigail Shelton and John Kenney.


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