New Books – 12/03/2014

We have a few new books hitting the shelves, today. Stop by and be the first to check one out! Our new titles are:

Naming Jack the Ripper by Russell Edwards Bringing together ground-breaking forensic discoveries – including vital DNA evidence – and gripping historical detective work, Naming Jack the Ripper constructs the first truly convincing case for identifying the world’s most notorious serial killer.

In 2007, businessman Russell Edwards bought a shawl believed to have been left beside the body of the fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes. He knew that, if genuine, the shawl would be the only piece of crime scene evidence still in existence. It was the start of an extraordinary seven-year quest for Russell, as he sought to authenticate the shawl and learn its secrets. He had no idea this journey would take him so far.

After undergoing extensive forensic testing by one of the country’s top scientists, the shawl was not only shown to be genuine, and stained with Catherine Eddowes’ blood, but in a massive breakthrough the killer’s DNA was also discovered – DNA that would allow Russell to finally put a name to Jack the Ripper . . .

Dr. Mütter’s Marvels In Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, Christin O’Keefe Aptowicz chronicles the remarkable life of Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter (1811-59), a dazzling, young American surgeon who was so flamboyant and audacious that he wore colorful silk suits to perform surgery, embellished his last name with an umlaut, and was described as the “[P.T.] Barnum of the surgery room.”

Rising to the challenges of operating on the severely deformed while they remained awake (as was the standard practice) – and when others viewed them only as “monsters” – Mütter was a revolutionary figure whose compassion-based philosophies and innovative surgical ideas and breakthrough clashed with the constraints of the era. The vast collection of medical oddities he amassed to serve as teaching tools for his enormously popular lectures as a professor of medicine would later become the foundation for one of the most (in)famous museums in the world: Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum.

From Mütter’s childhood as an orphan in the antebellum south and his years spent studying radically avant-garde plastic surgery in Paris to his struggles to establish himself in the medical mecca of Philadelphia and the tumultuous rivalries among his fellow doctors, many of whom publicly mocked Mütter’s philosophies and procedures, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels delves deep into the life and career of a man who was truly ahead of his time.

Through Mütter’s humanist eyes, we are given a front-row seat to the evolution of American medicine: bleedings and leechings and surgeries performed on fully conscious patients; the standardization of medical schools and the institution of pre- and post-operative care; the discovery of anesthesia and the medical community’s frustrating resistance to the antisepsis practices of washing hands and sterilizing tools; the unimaginable medical cases resulting from the rise of industrialism; the harrowing challenges women faced, both as largely mistreated and misunderstood patients and as aspiring doctors striving to be seen as equals; all of it set against the calamitous backdrop of a country marching toward the Civil War.

Based on more than fifteen years of research, including full access to the extensive archives of the Mütter MuseumDr. Mütter’s Marvels is suffused with fascinating period detail, compelling narrative, and memorable characters. Illustrated with more than seventy startling images, this is the never-been-told-before true story of a dramatic turning point in American medicine through the journey and influence of one extraordinary man.

Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, The Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever by Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell Lance Armstrong won a record-smashing seven Tour de France yellow jerseys after staring down cancer and in the process became an international symbol of resilience and courage. In a sport constantly dogged by blood-doping scandals, Armstrong seemed above the fray. Never had cycling – or any sport – boasted such a charismatic and accomplished champion.

Then in the summer of 2012, the legend imploded. The rumors that had long haunted Armstrong began to solidify. Buried evidence surfaced. Hushed-up witnesses came forth. Armstrong’s Tour victories were stripped from him. His sponsors abandoned him. And in a final disgrace, he resigned as chairman of his own foundation. In January 2013, Armstrong finally admitted to doping during the Tours; and in an interview with Oprah, he described his “mythic, perfect story” as “one big lie.” But his admission raised more questions than it answered – because he didn’t say who had helped him dope or who had helped him to avoid getting caught.

With more than three years of extensive reporting, deep sourcing and interviews with nearly every key player, including Armstrong, Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell have have established themselves as the undisputed authorities on this story. While not just a story about doping and cheating, neither is it a pure sports tale. It is a parable of epic proportion, an account of both entangled business interests and human fallibility. And most of the story remains to be told.

Wheelmen reveals the broader tale of how Armstrong and his supporters used money, power, and cutting-edge science to conquer the world’s most difficult race. It introduces US Postal team owner, Thom Weisel, who brought business acumen and ingenuity unprecedented to professional cycling and ousted USA Cycling’s top leadership to gain control of the sport in the United States, ensuring Armstrong’s dominance. Meanwhile, sponsors fought over contracts with Armstrong and his foundation as the entire sport of cycling began to benefit from the “Lance effect.”

Wheelmen offers a riveting look at what happens when enigmatic genius breaks loose from the strictures of morality. It reveals the competitiveness and inventiveness that sparked blood doping as an accepted practice and shows how Americans methodically constructed an international operation of spies and breakthrough technology to reach the top. 

Lance Armstrong survived and thrived against nigh-insurmountable odds and built a team of unmatched accomplishment. But in the end, his own outsized ambition destroyed it. At last exposing the truth about Armstrong and American cycling, Wheelman paints a living portrait of what is, without question, the greatest conspiracy in the history of sports.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng “Lydia is dead. but they don’t know this yet.” So begins the story of this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970’s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee: their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue – in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’ case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy, Jack, is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family – Hannah – who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers an daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer by William Knoedelseder From countless bar signs, stadium scoreboards, magazine ads, TV commercials, and roadside billboards, the name Budweiser has been burned into the American consciousness as the “King of Beers.” Over a span of more than a century, the company behind it, Anheuser-Busch, as has attained legendary status. A jewel of the American Industrial Revolution, in the hands of his founders – the sometimes reckless and always boisterous Busch family of St. Louis, Missiouri – it grew into one of the most fearsome marketing machines in modern times. In Bitter Brew, critically acclaimed journalist Knoedelseder paints a fascinating portrait of immense wealth and power accompanied by a barrelful of scandal, heartbreak, tragedy, and untimely death.

This engrossing, vivid narrative captures the Busch saga through five generations. At the same time, it weaves a broader story of American progress and decline over the past 150 years. It’s a cautionary tale of prosperity, hubris, and loss.

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry by Gary Greenberg For more than two years, author and psychotherapist Gary Greenberg has embedded himself in the war that broke out over the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – the DSM – the American Psychiatric Association’s compendium of mental illnesses and what Greenberg calls “the book of woe.”

Since its debut in 1952, the DSM has been frequently revised, and with each revision, the “official” view on which psychological problems constitute mental illness. Homosexuality, for instance, was a mental illness until 1973, and Asperger’s gained recognition in 1994 only to see its status challenged nearly twenty years later. DSM-5, the newest iteration, has shaken psychiatry to its foundations. The APA has taken fire from loyal former leaders for extending the reach of psychiatry into daily life by encouraging doctors to diagnose more illnesses and prescribe more therapies – often medications whose efficacy is unknown and whose side effects are severe. Critics, including Greenberg, argue that the APA should not have the naming rights to psychological pain or rights to the hundreds of millions of dollars the organization earns, especially when even the DSM’s staunchest defenders acknowledge that the disorders listed in the book are not real illnesses.

Greenberg’s account of the history behind the DSM, which has grown from pamphlet-sized to encyclopedic since it was first published, with his behind-the-scenes reporting of the deeply flawed process by which the DSM-5 has been revised, is both riveting and disturbing. Anyone who has received  a diagnosis of mental disorder, filed a claim with an insurer, or just wondered whether daily troubles qualify as true illness should know how the DSM turns suffering into a commodity, and the APA into its own biggest beneficiary. Invaluable and informative, The Book of Woe is bound to spark intense debate among expert and casual readers alike.

Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre Ben Macintyre told the true stories of a remarkable World War II double agent and of how the Allies employed a corpse to fool the Nazis and assure a decisive victory. In Double Cross, Macintyre returns with the untold story of the grand final deception of the war and of the extraordinary spies who achieved it.

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, tricked the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring that Hitler kept an entire army awaiting a fake invasion, saving thousands of lives and securing an Allied victory at the most critical juncture in the war.

The story of D-Day has been told from the point of view of the soldiers who fought in it, the tacticians who planed it, and the generals who led it. But this epic event in world history has never before been told from the perspectives of the key individuals in the Double Cross system. These include its director (a brilliant, urbane intelligence officer), a colorful assortment of M15 handlers (as well as their counterparts in Nazi intelligence), and the five spies who formed Double Cross’s nucleus: a dashing Serbian playboy, a Polish fighter pilot, a bisexual Peruvian party girl, a deeply eccentric Spaniard with a diploma in chicken farming, and a volatile Frenchwoman whose obsessive love for her pet dog very nearly wrecked the entire plan. The D-Day spies were, without question, one of the oddest military units ever assembled, and their success depended on the delicate, dubious relationshp between spy and spymaster, both German and British. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is revealed here for the first time.

With the same depth of research, eye for the absurd, and masterful storytelling that have made Ben Macintyre an international bestselling author, Double Cross is a captivating narrative of the spies who wove a web so intricate it ensnared Hitler’s army and carried thousands of D-Day troops across the Channel in safety.

*Book descriptions are from the book jackets themselves and are not the intellectual property of this publication.

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