Conflicts in Health Policy

Conflict in Health Policy COVER FRONT ONLY

Edited by Bonnie Stabile, Introduced by Randy S. Clemons & Mark K. McBeth

When conflicts arise in health policy, the insights of policy scholars can contribute to crafting solutions to seemingly intractable problems.   Beyond their mere technical attributes, health and medical policy issues require political acumen and policy knowledge to diagnose problems, inform debate, and devise policy interventions.  The cases in this volume cover a range of health issues and illustrate how political theory and philosophy are critical to efforts aimed at treating public health challenges.

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Designing, Adapting, Strategizing in Online Education

 Designing, Adapting, Strategizing in Online Education COVER FRONT ONLYEdited and Introduced by Phil Ice

This volume emerged from the increasingly well known International Scientific Conference on eLearning and Software for Education, an event which wrestles with the development of technology for teaching and is indeed thoroughly international in the education leaders who participate. Adapting software to individual learners, social media in the classroom, game theory in teaching  and other cutting edge topics are debated.

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NEW Kindle Matchbook program

Beginning in October, the Kindle Matchbook program will be available for all Westphalia Press titles currently on Kindle. What this means is when you buy a paperback version of a book, you can get the Kindle version for $1.99! This price applies to all books, no matter the paperback price (unless, of course, we offer the Kindle version for free). Click HERE for details.

Gunboat and Gun-runner

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by T.T. Jeans

Admiral T.T. Jeans was a decorated British Naval officer with considerable experience in the Middle East.  He wrote this fast-moving novel based on his experiences and those of his comGunboat and Gunrunner COVER FRONT ONLYpatriots.  The plot turns on efforts of Iran to stir trouble by providing arms to Middle Eastern insurgents. While published in 1927, it could as well have been written about arms smuggling in the 21st century, which makes policing the waters of the Gulf a present priority.


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by Edmund G. Gardner

Professor Robert Langdon, in Dan Brown’s thriller, tells his Harvard class, “My friends, it is impossible to overstate the influence of Dante Alighieri’s work. Throughout all of history, with the sole exception perhaps of Holy Scripture, no single work of writing, art, music, or literature has inspired more tributes, imitations, variations and annotations than The Divine Comedy. Edmund Gardner was one of the great Dante scholars of his Dante Cover FRONT ONLYtime and an astute guide to the background to Dan Brown’s adventures with Dante.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Edmund Garret Gardner was seen as one of England’s greatest Dante scholars. Aside from publishing voluminously on Dante, he also penned a series of travel guides to Italian cities published by J. M. Dent. The British Academy awards the Edmund G. Gardner Memorial Prize in Italian Studies every five years, in honor of his accomplishments.

Collecting Old Books: Percy Fitzgerald’s The Book Fancier

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Collecting Old Books COVER FRONT ONLY
It takes one to know one’ is true of avid readers, and certainly of bibliophiles who are acquainted with Percy Fitzgerald, a man who enjoyed writing about old books as much as he did reading them. His observations and prejudices about his favorites will inevitably start a conversation with those who agree or disagree with him, as he reaches out from the page to grab the hand of fellow browsers to sit and talk for a while.

Gilded Play: Mary J. Jacques’s Pranks and Pastimes

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Edited and Introduced by Devin Proctor

During America’s late nineteenth-century, parlor games were a dominant leisure activity of the upper classesGilded Play COVER FRONT ONLY. The ‘Gilded Age,’ as Mark Twain termed it, was characterized by the separation between leisurely wealth and the harsh existence of the underclasses, cleft even wider with the increase of industrial production. This “Book of Games, Parlor Performances and Puzzles” is a reprint of an original 1888 edition that promised the wealthy hours upon hours of diversion from boredom with guessing games, pantomimes, word games, outlined charades, and so on. In its use of traditional European games mixed with American stereotypes, it is a unique look into the temperament of the times.


Fishing the Florida Keys: Wendell Endicott’s Adventures with Rod and Harpoon Along the Florida Keys

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Fishing the Florida Keys COVER FRONT ONLYFew people connect Endicott House, the famous conference center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with fishing in Florida, but actually the handsome mansion that has been the site of so many notable meetings is a bricks-and-mortar memorial to one of America’s most enthusiastic sports fishermen, Wendell Endicott. This book is his magnum opus, an important piece of Florida history and a lasting contribution to folklore and fishing in the Keys.

The Wisdom of Thomas Starr King: Thomas Starr King’s Substance and Show

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Two pThe Wisdom of Thomas Starr King COVER FRONT ONLYeaks, one in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and one in Yosemite National Park, are named after Thomas Starr King. He left a brilliant career in Boston to go to San Francisco in 1860, where his convincing oratory was credited with keeping California firmly on the Union side in the Civil War. Along with his commitment to emancipation and the Northern cause, he had a sharp wit and an enviable prose style, which this volume illustrates well.

Mr. Garfield of Ohio: James S. Brisbin’s The Early Lfe and Public Career of James A. Garfield

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Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich

There is a lot more to the life of President James Garfield than being shot. He was an educator, clergymMr. Garfield of Ohio COVER FRONT ONLYan, and congressman who carried on those duties with considerable distinction, as well as being a mathematician who discovered, after everyone else for thousands of years had not, an alternative Euclidean proof. While he is honored at Williams College, where his son Harry was longtime president, and as a huge statue on the grounds of the United States capitol, he deserves more attention and this new edition of a useful biography may encourage that.

Outlining Magic Circles: Jessie Bancroft’s Games for the Playground, Home, School, and Gymnasium

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Edited and Introduced by Devin Proctor

Games for the Playground, Home, School, and Gymnasium, first published in 1909, has been called “thOutlining Magic Circles COVER CONCEPT FRONT ONLYe most comprehensive and scholarly book on games.” It contains rules and variations of hundreds of games for schools, summer camps, parties, etc., as well as Jessie H. Bancroft’s insightful and lengthy introduction exploring the purposes, materials, uses, and even the ritual origins of games. This volume reprints the entirety of the 1912 edition and adds a new introductory essay examining the anthropological study of the relationship of ritual and gaming since the book was published.

High Impact Threats to Critical Infrastructure: Conference Proceedings of the InfraGard National EMP SIG Sessions 

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Edited and Introduced by Charles L. Manto

The EMP SIG addresses any high-impact threat that could cause long-term nationwide collapse of critical infrastructure. These threats include EMP, extreme space weather, cyber attacks, coordinated physical attacks or widespread pandemics. The EMP SIG provides trusted communications and information for InfraGard members active in any critical infrastructure in any community to enhance planning, mitigation, and sustainable infrastructure. The EMP SIG attracts leading subject matter experts who have agreed to join advisory panels and make themselves available for local InfraGard chapters that may need their special guidance.

The firEMP SIG front cover copyst time that a broad range of military and civilian government agencies and their private sector counterparts led contingency plans for nationwide collapse of critical infrastructure that could last for more than a month was in October 2011 when the National Defense University, the US Congressional EMP Caucus, InfraGard National’s EMP SIG and Maryland’s Emergency Management Agency co-hosted a series of workshops and exercises covering these scenarios focusing on geomagnetic disturbances. In the following December, eight of those participants provided an overview of the results and ramifications of those meetings at the Dupont Summit 2011 hosted by the Policy Studies Organization.

One year later, the Dupont Summit 2012 hosted sessions by InfraGard National’s EMP SIG that updated activities from the prior year ranging from FERC’s notice of a proposed rule making on GMD protection to the new FBI i-Guardian cyber protection program.

These conference proceedings include links to updated on-line exhibits and uploaded videos provide presentations by technology and policy leaders on the most serious threats to technology-based society most likely to be experienced in our life times.


New Sources on Women and Freemasonry

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Edited and Introduced by Pierre Mollier

There has been a great lack in international scholarship concerned with ritual and secrecy because so much ofWomen in Freemasonry COVER FRONT ONLY copy the good work is being done in languages that the mono-lingual English-speaking world has no idea exist. The strength of the articles in this collection will come as a considerable surprise even to experts in the field, because the research in Europe is very advanced and frankly is of such high quality that those who are not linguists should look to their laurels. Much is being done in discovering un-mined material in archives and the selections for this volume are a feast of new bibliographical references.

Naturism in the United States

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Naturism in the United States COVER FRONT ONLYThis controversial book has been a stalwart part of the reading lists of those attracted to naturism, which involved much more than simply taking off clothes and lying on a beach. The complex relationship that involves nudity with disciplines as disparate as yoga and environmentalism makes the subject perennially pertinent. Frances and Mason Merrill traveled widely and exhaustively to produce a survey of permanent usefulness.



Spying on America: Leon G. Turrou’s The Nazi Spy Conspiracy in America

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Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich

Spying On America COVER FRONT ONLYLeon Turrou was the FBI agent closest to the Nazi spy ring in America in the late 1930s.  His leaks to the American press and the book he was allegedly writing led to him being fired from the Bureau by J. Edgar Hoover. But he did publish his book, this book, and then Hollywood made a movie of the case that starred none other than Edward G. Robinson. Turrou was one of America’s original whistleblowers.

Opportunity and Horatio Alger: Horatio Alger’s Mark Mason’s Triumph

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Opportunity and Horatio Alger COVER FRONT ONLY

Edited and Introduced by Wallace Boston

Horatio Alger created youthful heroes whose persistence and pluck triumphed over enormous odds, often having to educate themselves by a flickering candle and late at night. Readers could identify with the challenges of self-education in a society where only a few had advantages.  Mark Mason is one of the most appealing of the Alger success stories, a classic of Americana.

Original Mark Mason’s Triumph cover

Why Kindergarten Matters: Elizabeth Harrison’s A Study of Child Nature

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Why Kindergarten Matters COVER FRONT ONLY

Elizabeth Harrison was one of the founders of kindergarten education in the United States and a crusader for higher teaching standards in the primary schools.  Her work contributed to the founding of National Louis University in Chicago and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), and this volume sets forth her much admired philosophy of education.


How Washington Lost His Birthday and Other Masonic Essays: Gaston Lichtenstein’s How George Washington Lost His Birthday

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Edited and Introduced by Guillermo De Los Reyes

This book by Gaston Lichtenstein is an antiquarian’s pleasure. An antiquarian is an enthusiast for thingHow Washington Lost His Birthday COVER FRONT ONLYs historical, and historians sometime regard being called an antiquarian as an insult, as a slur on their scholarship. But rather than a term of abuse, the word can be a compliment, suggesting intellectual curiosity and a passion for proof. That is the case with Lichtenstein, who was eclectic in his writing career, producing work on Freemasonry, Iberian prisoners of war, Atlantic City piers, colonial North Carolina, and in the case of this book, George Washington’s birthday. He was a highly readable author who loved to browse in all kinds of areas, and probably is a better companion by the fireside than many more pretentious scholars.



Careers in the Face of Challenge: Horatio Alger’s Telegraph Boy

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Careers in the Face of Challenge COVER FRONT ONLYEdited and Introduced by Wallace Boston

The young Horatio Alger heroes often sold newspapers or delivered telegrams, a reminder of how technology has moved on.  But they hoped for better things and in the Alger novels their diligence and hard work won the day and they ended up getting the educations they deserved and the success that their exemplary morality earned. The reader will find this prototypical Alger story both a good read and food for thought in an era when the technology has indeed moved on but the challenges have remained.

Original Telegraph Boy cover

War in Syria: R. M.P. Preston’s The Desert Mounted Corps

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War in Syria COVER FRONT ONLYDuring World War I, some of the most daring military excursions were carried out in the Middle East by the Desert Mountain Corps during 1917 and 1918. The Corps included substantial numbers from Australia and other parts of the then British Empire. Much of their activity was in what is now Syria.  Given the later problems of the region and the current civil war in Syria, albeit today a Syria with different boundaries than then, the battles fought by the DMC have considerable interest.

The original printed volume of The Desert Mounted Corps contained two fold-out map inserts, which have been reproduced in miniature in this new edition. The links below lead to full size, full color scans of those inserts.

MAP 1, between pgs 122 & 123

MAP 2, between pgs 294 & 295

Homeopathy: B.F. Bittinger’s Historical Sketch of Washington’s Hahnemann Monument 

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One oHomeopathy COVER FRONT ONLYf the more imposing monuments in Washington is not to a general or to a congressman but to a leader in the homeopathic movement. One may wonder whether homeopathic remedies are effective; there is not an iota of proof that the promises the movement makes are ever kept, but homeopathic systems continue to be financed by governments, including India and Britain, and to be patronized by notables such as the British royal family. The monument therefore is one of the capital’s most interesting, if controversial sights.

The French Foreign Legion: David King’s Ten Thousand Shall Fall

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The French Foreign Legion COVER FRONT ONLYFew military units attract the attention of Hollywood and novelists as does the Foreign Legion. Those old enough will remember Buster Crabbe as Captain Gallant in the 1950s television serial about the swashbuckling Legionnaires. The non-fictional reality is rather more stark and gritty, and perhaps this volume is much closer to the truth, — even if Gary Cooper and Victor Mature (who both starred in Legion film potboilers) had a better time of it.

Earthworms, Horses, and Living Things: William DuPuy’s Our Animal Friends and Foes

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William AtEarthworms, Horses, and Living Things COVER FRONT ONLYherton DuPuy was a well-known naturalist who wrote anecdotally and personally about nature in Animal Friends And Foes, Insect Friends And Foes, The Nation’s Forests, and Plant Friends And Foes.  In another vein he authored Green Kingdom, his account of the life of a forest ranger, and controversially produced Hawaii And Its Race Problem.  He also wrote for Harper’s and had a connection with the Department of the Interior and, less happily, with the military’s chemical warfare projects.


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Original Our Animal Friends and Foes cover

Meeting Minutes of Naval Lodge No. 4 F.A.A.M. 1812

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Edited and Introduced by Isaiah Akin

This book contains the Meeting minutes of Naval Lodge No. 4 F.A.A.M. of Washington DC from 1812, along with articles about the people mentioned and the Washington Navy Yard where many of them worked, and gives insight into Freemasonry in early America.

In the book, you will find images of the original minutes from 1812, and on the opposite page, you will find a transcription of those minutes to make reading a bit easier. In addition, notes and articles of historical interest have been added.

Strictly speInfuriating coveraking, minutes are a record of what happened at a particular meeting. They list who attended, what motions were made, what votes taken, and so on. At first glance, they can be very dry, very mundane. Although written 200 years ago with quill pens and by candlelight, they closely resemble minutes taken at meetings today.

But it is that similarity that makes them so important. These minutes help ensure a sense of continuity. They help preserve a shared Masonic history and culture.

These minutes help us realize that when George Washington became a Mason in 1752, he went through a ceremony very similar to what we went through to become Masons. They remind us that the symbols we use, and the values we cherish, are very similar to those embraced by Elias Ashmole when he became a Freemason in 1646.

These minutes are a symbol that just as Freemasonry has existed for hundreds of years, so it will continue for hundreds more.


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Lariats and Lassos: Bernard S. Mason’s How to Spin a Rope

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By Bernard S. Mason

No self-respecting cowboy would refer to a lasso.  A rope was a rope. Roping was the activity and rope was the instrument.

However, the magic that could be worked fascinated Americans, and the Wild West Show for a time rivaled the circus as exciting entertainment in the nineteenth century. Fascinated, youngsters practiced Lariats and Lassos COVER FRONT ONLYat being Wild Bill Hickoks.  In a later era, Will Rogers entranced audiences with his rope tricks accompanying his famous monologues.

This short introduction to the basics of the lasso was almost a bible to generations of backyard enthusiasts. Certainly it is a reminder of a time when having fun did not require a flat screen.

Original How to Spin a Rope cover

Anti-Masonry and the Murder of Morgan: Lee S. Tillotson’s Ancient Craft Masonry in Vermont

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Edited and Introduced by Guillermo De Los Reyes

The anti-Masonic movement during the 1820s and 1830s is sometimes related by scholars to the develoAnti-Masonry and the Murder of Morgan COVER FRONT ONLYpment of the American party system.  Certainly individuals migrated to the Know Nothing and Whig movements and eventually to the incipient Republican party, but more research is needed.  No state was more influenced by anti-Masonry than Vermont, where many of the lodges closed their doors because of the hysteria about Masonic influence. So this scarce volume is welcome background to a puzzling period in political history.



A Definitive Commentary on Bookplates: Edward Gordon Craig’s Nothing, or The Bookplate

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Edward Gordon Craig was an artist philosopher whose daring stage sets were many years ahead of their time and whose theories about the use of masks in theater remain startling even today.  His work with bookplates is too little remembered, but the designs are a wonderful introduction to his aesthetic theories and his experiments with light and shadow, as this unique volume illustrates.

Original Nothing, or the Bookplate cover

Original Cables from the Pearl Harbor Attack: David Hurlburt’s War Comes to the U.S. – Dec. 7, 1941

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The Pearl Harbor attack, which launched United States participation in World War II, has been the subject of endless speculation as to how much President Franklin Roosevelt knew in advance about Japanese intentions, about the state of readiness of American forces in Hawaii, and about the handling of raw intelligence that might have spurred the American military to preparations. The attack itself was the subject of enormously interesting reports from reporters in the field. These were originally produced in a very limited circulation collection, which is here presented as original material for the study of one of history’s pivotal moments.


The Essence of Harvard: Charles W. Eliot’s Harvard Memories

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Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich

Charles W. Eliot was the longest tenured Harvard president and one of the founders of the modern American university. He became an iconic figure in American life, called upon for opinions on virtually every subject under the sun. His “five foot shelf” of books that everyone should read became a staple in the American home, and when inscriptions were to be chiseled on the fronts of post offices and libraries, it was to Eliot that an appeal was made for apt words. A dedicated Unitarian whose son, Samuel Eliot, became president of the denomination, he had a pragmatic and common sense approach to life that left little room for moping and despair — although he had his share of grief and loss. He remains not only an important figure in education, but also an exemplar of values of persistence and optimism that are still part of American psyche.

Collecting American Presidential Autographs

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Paul C. Richards, Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich

The collecting of autographs of American presidents is done with a passion that is not found about similar figures in other countries.  Canadian prime ministers or Finnish presidents are not the focus of hobbyists. The enthusiasm of getting a set of presidential signatures is something of a comment on the energetic American historical emphasis on the country’s chief executives. Even in George Washington’s time there were forgers who allegedly would produce a Washington letter for a drink at a tavern, so the authenticity of Presidents is a subject marked by intrigue and misadventure. Paul C. Richards’ scarce volume is a useful guide to a subject marked by increasingly high prices in the auction rooms. He was a great benefactor of Boston University, where his Robert Frost and Theodore Roosevelt collections are a permanent testimony to his relentless searching of attics and garrets and shrewd purchases.

Understanding Art

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Edited and Introduced by Daniel Gutierrez-Sandoval

Hendrik Willem van Loon was a Dutch-American professor, journalist, prolific writer, and illustrator. His most famous work, “The Story of Mankind” earned him the prestigious John Newbery Medal, extended by the American Library Association for distinguished contributions to American literature for children.

“How to Look at Pictures: a Short History of Painting” was originally published in 1938 as part of the wider efforts of the National Committee for Art Appreciation, formed at the encouragement of Eleanor Roosevelt and other nationally prominent people, to support the arts and boost the public’s spirit after the depression years. The book remains a classic attempt to promote and integrate the arts as part of the everyday life in American society.

Original How To Look At Pictures cover

Social Satire and the Modern Novel

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Arnold Bennett wrote thirty novels but has been somewhat neglected by modern critics. He was ahead of his time in appreciating Joyce, Lawrence, Faulkner and Hemingway.  His work is characterized by social irony without bitterness, and satire without nastiness. As this novel suggests, perhaps he has more in common with E.M. Forster than has been realized.


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Paddle Your Own Canoe

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Edited and Introduced by Wallace Boston

The protagonists in Horatio Alger stories are often, if one may play on a metaphor, up a creek without a paddle.  In this celebrated Alger novel, the young hero is comfortably ensconced at the Essex Classical Institute until misfortune makes his expensive education impossible. If the problem of financing an education resonates, it is because millions of Americans are frustrated in their ambitions because they now find that the price of education has soared far beyond their capacity to pay, with no prospect of an Alger quirk of fate to help.


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Original Strong and Steady cover

The Idea of the Digital University

By Frank McClusky & Melanie Winter

It is widely believed that college is not what it used to be. Politicians are calling for a full-scale overhaul of higher education. The public is losing its confidence in higher education. It is argued that American higher education is in crisis. The authors, who together have spent more than 70 years in higher education, are optimistic about the future of the university with one caveat.  The university must come to grips with the way the digital revolution has changed the acquisition, storage and transmission of information. Can the university adapt to these changes and still remain true to its essential mission?  This book provides a blueprint of how to do both.

Comprehensive, insightful and visionary.

Read the review at Kirkus.

Also by Frank McClusky & Melanie Winter: 

“Cathedrals, Casinos, Colleges and Classrooms: Questions for the Architects of Digital Campuses” in the Higher Learning Research Communications Journal.

The History of Photography

Edited and Introduced by Daniel Gutierrez-Sandoval

The life of George Eastman is very much a part of the history of contemporary photography. Founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, Eastman was an enthusiastic photographer himself who became instrumental in bringing photography to the mainstream. He invented the first commercial film, as well as the first Kodak cameras designed to be accessible to anyone, at a time when photography entailed expensive and complicated processes reserved only for trained and professional photographers. His inventions also became the basis for the development of the first motion pictures, making Eastman perhaps one of the most important figures in the formation of our modern image-based culture.


Treasures of London: P.H. Ditchfield’s London Survivals

Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich

Peter Ditchfield (1854-1930) was a graduate of Oriel College, Oxford, and sometime Inspector of Schools
 for Diocese Of Oxford. He was Rector of Barkham from 1886 until his death. A leading Freemason, he was Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of England as well as of the Mark Grand Lodge. He was a passionate historian of old England and wrote about English sporting customs, cathedrals, ancient guilds, village folk traditions, and in this volume about the byways of London. The destruction of parts of the old city during World War II makes this a valuable source of architectural history.



L’Enfant and the Freemasons: H. Paul Caemmer’s The Life of Pierre Charles L’Enfant

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Edited and Introduced by Guillermo De Los Reyes

The papers of Hans Paul Caemmerer (1922-1954) are deposited in the National Archives and include considerable correspondence concerning this book about Pierre Charles L’Enfant (1754–1825). It was Caemmerer who dispelled the belief that L’Enfant was an engineer, and found that he studied in the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture under his own father, an accomplished oil painter. L’Enfant’s big opportunity was to fill a blank canvas, physically and ideologically, of what became the capital. L’Enfant and pace, Caemmerer’s life of him, have been much cited by those who have caught a fever in terms of Washington as being of occult design.

Masonic Tombstones and Masonic Secrets: Dora C. Jett’s Minor Sketches of Major Folk

Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich
Freemasonry carries its secrets beyond death. Masonic funeral ceremonies, the placing of the apron and sprig of acacia in the coffin, and internment rites at burial are part of Craft’s rituals. The carvings on tombstones of Masonic cemeteries are a source of esoteric engravings and guide to evolving initiations and degrees. For the historian, a great value is the evidence they provide of past associations between the brethren behind the doors of the lodge. The old Masonic Burial Ground in Fredricksburg, Virginia, is a museum of patriots, and Jett’s long out of print book is a valuable footnote to early American history as well as to the lives connected in one way or another by the secret fraternity. Fortunately the cemetery still is properly maintained and this volume can serve as a guide.


Freemasonry in Old Buffalo: James Leroy Nixon’s History of Buffalo Consistory

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Buffalo had a reputation for being the “last city in the East” in terms of social mores, and in its heyday supported clubs and societies that had much in common with those in New York and Philadelphia. Some of these still survive, such as the Consistory of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Its headquarters are now in Buffalo’s suburbs, but its former building was originally a mansion of the Rand family and converted by the Masons in 1925 for Masonic use. In turn it was sold to the Jesuit Order in 1944 and renamed Berchman’s Hall. It is now Canisius High School. Genealogists will welcome this scarce volume, with its rolls of the Buffalo elite of a century and more ago.


Original Buffalo Consistory cover

No Bird Lacks Feathers: William Atherton Dupuy’s Our Bird Friends and Foes

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William Atherton Dupuy managed to combine a career in public service, playing a role in the Department of the Interior, with the writing of a number of books distinguished by the care he gave to selecting artists and orchestrating an unusually close connection between the illustrations and text. His observations on bird life remain both entertaining and insightful.


Original Our Bird Friends and Foes cover

The Genius of Freemasonry: William B. Clarke’s Leaves From Georgia Masonry

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The reader with a curiosity about the secrets of Freemasonry is confronted with a vast and eccentric literature, much of which is highly fanciful and often completely fictional. Finding books that have their feet on the ground, so to speak, is not easy. This is one, solid and truthful, and a good starting place for the curious who wonder about the world’s most celebrated discrete society.


Bookplates of the Kings: Christine Price’s Catalogue of Royal Bookplates

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Possibly the formal study of book plates can be dated to the work of Lord de Tabley in the 1880s. He attempted a schema of British plates, starting with the pre-Reformation period and identifying Jacobean, Queen Anne and Georgian styles. Plates as a reflection of the times have continued to multiply and, with the advent of the ebook, a growing number of plates are appended to electronic books. Royal bookplates, as this volume illustrates, are an important aspect of the subject.

A Guide to the Study of Book-Plates (Ex-Libris), by Lord de Tabley (then the Hon. J. Leicester Warren M.A.) was published in 1880 in London by John Pearson of 46 Pall Mall. The book established what is now accepted as the general classification of styles of British ex-libris: early armorial (previous to Restoration, exemplified by the Nicholas Bacon plate); Jacobean, a somewhat misleading term, but distinctly understood to include the heavy decorative manner of the Restoration, Queen Anne and early Georgian days (the Lansanor plate is Jacobean); Chippendale (the style above described as rococo, tolerably well represented by the French plate of Convers); wreath and ribbon, belonging to the period described as that of the urn, &c.


Material History and Ritual Objects: George Blake Dexter’s The Lure of Amateur Collecting

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Edited and Introduced by Devin Proctor

From the original 1923 front cover: “The habit of collecting is one that yields the greatest delight to its possessor, since the collector goes through the world always on the watch for the beautiful and rare. Mr. Dexter mounted the hobby as a child, and through many years of travel through many countries he has gratified it as occasion presented itself, until now he has a beautiful and unique collection, including articles of furniture, porcelain, jewels, plate and souvenirs from celebrities. Each one was acquired as the result of some interesting encounter or experience, and this book tells the stories of these various art objects.”

As the original cover promises, this book follows the ‘gratifications’ of George Blake Dexter, wealthy hobbyist and world traveller. Equally problematic and charming, Dexter’s adventures of acquisition take readers into a world of passionate collecting available to a privileged few. Whether seen as acts of addiction, empire, or merely of entertaining distraction, Dexter’s experiences are the crystallization of a cultural moment in a time too often forgotten



Making Trouble for Muslims: A. Rawlinson’s Adventures in the Near East

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Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich

Sir Alfred Rawlinson, the son of a famous Orientalist and envoy to Persia, was himself a pioneer aviator, celebrated sportsman, and important British intelligence officer. As a colonel in the British intelligence corps, he played a significant role in the Middle East. His capture, imprisonment, and unhappy deprivations at the hands of the Turks was in its time a celebrated incident.

Since the concept of Orientalism was popularized by Edward Said, the notion that views of the Muslim world were colored and slanted by Western prejudices has revised attitudes of the British imperial cadre that were such an influence on the region. Lawrence of Arabia and his contemporaries have been much more closely scrutinized than they were by earlier generations of scholars.  So Sir Alfred’s book can be read both as an eyewitness account of a highly formative era and for his attitudes so candidly expressed in this still exciting book.


The Thomas Starr King Dispute: Acceptance and Unveiling of the Statues of Junipero Serra and Thomas Starr King

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The Reverend Thomas Starr King left the amenities of bookish and comfortable Boston, where he was lionized as a charismatic and courageous preacher, to take a struggling Unitarian pulpit in a San Francisco that in the 1850s was hardly the sophisticated city that it is today.  He soon found himself involved in the desperate fight to keep California in the Union and slave free.  Not coincidentally, he became Grand Chaplain of the Masonic Grand Lodge of California, joining brother freemasons in the struggle against succession.


The Pope and the Freemasons: The Letter “Humanum Genus” of the Pope, Leo, XIII against Free-Masonry and the Spirit of the Age

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By Pope Leo XIII

Popes have never been enthusiastic about Freemasonry. Clement XII condemned the order in 1738, as did Benedict XIV in 1751. This was followed by interdicts by Pius VII in 1821, Leo XII in 1826, Pius VIII in 1829, Gregory XVI in 1832, and Pius IX 1646. The encyclical Humanum Genus by Leo XIII was the most ambitious attack yet, and linked Masonry to deism and Gnosticism. It remains perhaps the most sweeping condemnation by the Roman Catholic Church of the Masonic movement, and has been the source of considerable conflict and confrontation ever since it was issued.