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Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 (Transactions 105, Part 1) The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266)
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Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 The House of Barnes

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 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.
Speaking in Tongues: APS, Transactions (Vol. 106, Part 4) 2016 Benjamin Franklin, Swimmer: An Illustrated History (Transactions Vol 110, Part 1
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Speaking in Tongues Benjamin Franklin, Swimmer
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.

The story of Benjamin Franklin’s lifelong delight in swimming and his influence in making swimming popular in the western world has never been told. This book uses Franklin’s love of swimming to examine the founder’s life, times, and strong, inventive personality through a lens that historians have previously overlooked. Franklin’s personality emerges through the lens of swimming. We see him clearly as a leader, an inventor, and a strong, proud man. As he was in many fields, he was self-taught. He interacted with family, friends, and acquaintances through swimming. Swimming also offered him an entrée into British society.

Franklin discusses swimming in his Letters and in his Autobiography. Friends and family also comment on his swimming. Primary sources for this book include Franklin’s writing, that of his contemporaries, and other artistic and archaeological sources. When Franklin’s grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache was in his care in France he swam in the Seine. Bache’s Journal constitutes another important primary source for this book. The escapades of this engaging literate teenager in France with his grandfather never before have been published.

In 1968 the International Swimming Hall of Fame honored Franklin with membership. The citation mentions his various inventions that made swimming more efficient and his own feats as a swimmer, but most of all his success in promoting swimming as an essential part of any education. Benjamin Franklin’s advice about water safety and his conviction that everyone should learn to swim because it promotes health, hygiene, and safety is still relevant. Swimming has always been “useful knowledge.”

Sarah B. Pomeroy is Distinguished Professor of Classics and History, Emerita, at Hunter College and the Graduate School, CUNY. She is also Lady Joan Reid Author in Residence at Benjamin Franklin House, London, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the fields of women’s history and classical studies, she uses not only textual sources but also artistic and archaeological evidence in order to reconstruct the past. Her publications include Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity (1975, 1995); Women in Hellenistic Egypt from Alexander to Cleopatra (1984, 1990); Spartan Women (2002); The Murder of Regilla. a Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity (2007); and Pythagorean Women: Their Lives and Their Writings (2013). Her most recent book is Maria Sibylla Merian, Artist, Scientist, Adventurer (2017). Her books have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, and Chinese. Professor Pomeroy received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and she is an Honorary Fellow of St. Hilda’s College, the University of Oxford. Like Ben Franklin, she likes to play the harpsichord and to swim.

Transformational Journeys: An Ethnologist’s Memoir: Transactions, APS (Vol. 106, Part 5) The Power of Maps and the Politics of Borders: Papers from the conference held at the American Philosophical Society, October 2019: Transactions, APS (Vol. 110, Part 4)
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Transformational Journeys: An Ethnologist’s Memoir: Transactions, APS (Vol. 106, Part 5) The Power of Maps and the Politics of Border
This is the professional memoir of an ethnologist, who studies the cultures and languages of ethnic groups, in the present and in the past. Victoria R. Bricker’s journeys -- from Hong Kong to Shanghai during World War II, to the U.S. after the war, to Germany, Harvard, southeastern Mexico, and eventually to New Orleans -- influenced her choice of ethnology as a career and shaped that career over 50 years. Ethnology served as the stepping stone for intellectual forays into other related fields, such as linguistics, ethnohistory, epigraphy, and astronomy, all focused on the Maya people of southern Mexico and Central America. Bricker, a Professor Emerita who holds several other positions, is the author, with her husband, Harvey M. Bricker (1940-2017), of “Astronomy in the Maya Codices.” Illus. Some papers include: Unpacking the Meaning of Maps, Power, and Boundaries; The Legacy of Major Sebastian Bauman’s Map of the Siege of Yorktown; Mapping Old and New Empires in the Early U.S.; Cherokee Boundaries Above, Below, and Beyond; Cherokee Territoriality, Anglo-American Surveying, and the Creation of Borders in the Early 19th-Century West; Chickasaw and Cherokee Resistance to American Colonization, 1785-1816; Hydrography, Natural History, and the Sea in the 19th Century; William Darby’s “A Map of the State of Louisiana” and the Extension of American Sovereignty over the “Neutral Ground” in the Louisiana-Texas Borderland, 1806-1819; Initiating the World’s Longest Unfortified Boundary; Mapping Inequality, Resistance, and Solutions in Early National Philadelphia. Illus.



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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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