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New notable additions to AA/PG library in September

Masterofwar Bobrick, Benson.  Master of War: The Life of General George H. Thomas.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Although during his time he was considered by some to be the greatest Civil War Union general, George H. Thomas' reputation faded in contrast to those of Ulysses S. Grant and William Sherman and as a result, Thomas is much less famous than the other two today. The author tries to correct this. Among his many accomplishments, Thomas gave the Union its first major victory at Mill Springs, Tennessee, helped secure Middle Tennesee, saved the day at Chickamauga, destroyed Hood's army in Nashville to end the war in the West, and used his spy network to help capture Jefferson Davis in Georgia. He was also the only Union general to destroy two Confederate armies. Bobrick's book traces the life of Thomas and his many accomplishments in order to reestablish the fame and distinction of the general.

Chana, Leonard F., Susan Lobo, and Barbara Chana.  The Sweet Smell of Home: The Life and Art of Leonard F. Chana.  Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2009.

Leonard F. Chana (1950-2004) was a self-taught artist from the Tohono O'odham Nation in southern Arizona. In the 1980s Chana began creating art often depicting life in the Tohono O'odham community. He also used his art to address struggles confronted by indigenous peoples and many of his works were used for posters and logos for community-based Native American organizations. His artwork provides a view into Native worlds and also serves as a means of recovery both personally and for his community. Through the artwork and interviews with the artist, this book depicts and celebrates the life of the Tohono O'odham people and this artist's unique vision.

Ferling, John.  The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American IconNew York: Bloomsbury, 2009.

George Washington played one of the most important roles in the creation of the United States, by serving as the leader of the Virginia army in the French and Indian War, commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, president of the Constitutional Congress, and the first president of the United States. Portrayed as the American version of the ancient Roman Cincinnatus, Washington has been portrayed as a self-effacing patriot unsullied by politics. While Washington's character has been analyzed by biographers, Ferling focuses on Washington's political activities. This book reveals that far from being above the fray of politics, Washington was a highly political individual as a young man until the last years of his life. The author presents the father of the country as a real-life person with political ambitions and who cannily used politics to further his interests.

Gambone, Robert L.  Life on the Press: The Popular Art and Illustrations of George Benjamin Luks Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009.

George Benjamin Luks (1866-1933) was a member of a group of realist artists known as "the Eight" or the "Ashcan school" which depicted the grittier side of life in American cities, especially New York City and Philadelphia. Although well-known for his paintings, Luks first established a career as a newspaper artist-reporter. His sketches for books, newspapers, and journals span four decades and provide a revealing look at urban America. Although his painting became more well-known, Luks continued to draw and publish his sketches. This book reviews his graphic work spanning his career and provides new insights into an artist looking closely at the urban American condition.—Doug Litts

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