Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interview with Civil War Author

Michael Peake, a resident of Corydon, Indiana, is an author and historian specializing in Indiana German genealogy and history as related to the American Civil War. Since retiring from federal service in 1996, Peake has devoted his time to researching Union and Confederate German-American military organizations.

Peake is the author of the new IHS Press book Blood Shed in this War: Civil War Illustrations by Captain Adolph Metzner, 32nd Indiana. Here he talks about his new book on Metzner's stunning visual diary of sketches, drawings, and watercolors from the Civil War.

How long have you been interested in the Civil War?

My interest in the Civil War evolved from a lifelong passion for military history, and history in general. Since the early 1990s, I have been drawn to Germans in the American Civil War after discovering the nation’s oldest surviving Civil War monument dedicated to casualties of the First German, Thirty-second Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. I had intended only to write a brief article about the condition of the monument, but after learning details of the Thirty-second Indiana, and how little had been done on the regiment's history, I determined to tell the story of the sacrifice offered by these Germans who served to prove themselves worthy of citizenship. My extensive research into Indiana’s first ethnic Civil War infantry regiment is the cornerstone of a project that grew into an investigation of America’s largest ethnic bloc, and the numerous German military organizations that served on both sides during the war.

How did you learn about Metzner and his artwork?

Soon after beginning research into the regiment I developed a detailed genealogical database on all those who served with the Thirty-second Indiana. It was through this venue that I discovered Adolph Metzner’s activities during and after the war. My first encounter with his artwork, in 1994, consisted of a thirteen-image spread in the August 1974 issue ofCivil War Times Illustrated. The article provided limited information on the regiment, the artist, his work and the current owner of the collection. Fortunately, an ad on page 23 of the same issue offered two prints from the collection for sale, and identified Mr. E. Burns Apfeld as living in Rockford, Illinois. Realizing the importance of this art to my project, I attempted to locate Mr. Apfeld only to discover the family had relocated without leaving a forwarding address, and my search for the collection owner came to a frustrating halt.

Several years later, Time/Life published a multi-volume set titled Voices of the Civil War in which seven Metzner images were utilized in two volumes. The picture credits provided Mr. Apfeld’s location as Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the hunt was on! I managed to contact Mr. Apfeld by phone and during a lengthy conversation I explained what I had in mind, and how important this collection could be to the regiment history. We had an extremely amiable talk, but several months passed, leading me to believe that nothing would come from my effort. One day, out of the blue, a disk arrived by mail from Mr. Apfeld that contained thirty of the Metzner images. I was baffled that no correspondence was included, not even a title on the disk. Undeterred, I immediately set about marrying these images into a booklet with photographs from a second Metzner collection (Adolph G. Metzner Collection, Lot #8751, Library Of Congress) and wrote a condensed history related to those art images. This was accomplished within a week of receiving the disk, and a short time later, I mailed the product back to Mr. Apfeld. My efforts were rewarded by the arrival of a disk containing nearly the entire collection, again accompanied with no correspondence. Mr. Apfled’s faith in me has bound us together in a lasting friendship, and I am honored to tell his ancestor’s story.

What makes Metzner’s work unique?

Any Civil War art created by a soldier is unique in itself and there are numerous extraordinary aspects to Metzner’s artwork. I believe that, foremost, this collection, created in the field by an exceptionally talented soldier, provides a rare view of the terrible struggle men encountered in the Western Theater. When arranged chronologically, Metzner’s work becomes a visual diary of what his regiment experienced during three years of combat in battles from Kentucky to the severe contest for Atlanta. Images from this collection will be important to more than a dozen communities across five states due to the historic content portrayed. Less than 20 percent of Metzner’s art has been utilized in publication, and when it has been used the information provided was limited, or incorrect.

Why do you think the subject of the Civil War still fascinates so many people?

As the Metzner art collection exemplifies, after 150 years there is still fresh and exciting material to be discovered by serious research. As another example, in recent years, Joseph Reinhart of Louisville, Kentucky has uncovered a treasure trove of Civil War material hidden in German-language newspapers that remain largely untranslated. His translations of soldiers’ letters sent home to the editors of these newspapers provide accounts not to be found in any other source. But another reason for this fascination becomes a bit more personal when considering family links that many have to a war that forever marked a nation. During my years of researching the Thirty-second Indiana, I have met dozens of proud regiment descendants who have provided encouragement, support and friendship as I strive to gather their ancestors’ stories.

Are you working on any other projects relating to the Civil War?

Blood Shed In This War was an absolutely necessary sidestep I took away from the larger project of creating the regiment history of the Thirty-second Indiana. The regiment history endeavor spawned several sidebar projects, such as the Metzner book. Those sidebars include what is likely the most extensive genealogical Civil War regiment database in existence and a substantial newspaper history volume of transcribed articles taken from over sixty war-era newspapers printed across the country. Among other projects, I plan to write a final report on the First German, Thirty-second Indiana monument now that the nine year preservation effort to save the nation’s oldest surviving Civil War monument has reached a successful conclusion. After I began researching the Thirty-second Indiana, I set aside two projects I was working on that I intend to return to eventually. One covers two of my ancestors, brothers from Nelson County, Kentucky, who enlisted in the Confederate Ninth Kentucky Infantry at Munfordville, Kentucky in October 1861, while the Thirty-second Indiana was at New Haven, not far from the brothers’ home. The other project relates to the Seventieth Ohio Regiment, a mostly green organization that underwent their baptism at Shiloh under Sherman and served in his command all the way through the March to the Sea. On returning to Cincinnati following the war, the regiment was involved in a steamboat disaster on the Ohio River downstream from Brandenburg, Kentucky resulting in the loss of several veterans killed and injured. I have now expanded my research to cover all ethnic German military organizations serving both sides during the war that I plan on examining in detail on my web site, germanmansons.com, now in development.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

19 Stars of Indiana

The nineteen outstanding contemporary Hoosier men--one for each star in the Indiana state flag--profiled by Michael S. Maurer in his new book 19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Men, are leaders and pioneers who have excelled in a variety of pursuits, including law, business, philanthropy, government, medicine, music, art, athletics, religion, and education.

The book, pubished in association with IBJ Media, Indianapolis, and the Indiana Historical Society, features the inspiring stories of Hoosiers shot out of a fighter jet, liberating a concentration camp, subject to court martial, knocked cold in front of twenty thousand fans, facing bigotry, and caught in the middle of ethnic slaughter--lives full of excitement, adventure, and achievement.

Maurer served as Secretary of Commerce under Indiana governor Mitch Daniels. Maurer is a regular columnist for the Indianapolis Business Journal and an irregular contributor to the New York Times crossword puzzle. He lives in Carmel, Indiana, with his wife, Janie. The Maurer's have three children and eight grandchildren.

19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Men costs $24.95 and can be purchased from the IHS's History Market.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Art from a Civil War Soldier

Captain Adolph G. Metzner’s stunning visual diary of sketches, drawings, and watercolors, published for the first time in the new IHS Press book Blood Shed in This War: Civil War Illustrations by Captain Adolph Metzner, 32nd Indiana by Michael A. Peake, depict his world during three years of service with the First German, Thirty-second Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry campaigning in the Western Theater during the Civil War. Metzner chronicled the day-to-day life of a soldier’s world, at first with humor, and later, with a stark reality of life and death on the battlefield.

Metzner was born on August 16, 1834, in a village in the southwestern corner of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and earned a degree as a prescription pharmacist. In 1856he immigrated to the United States, establishing himself as a druggist in Louisville, Kentucky. Four months after the start of the Civil War, the young druggist traveled to Indianapolis to assist in organizing a German regiment.

Once encamped with the Thirty-second, Metzner immediately began to set his impressions down on paper, recording the regiment’s activity with details as vividly descriptive as any written word and creating a series of caricatures of his associates with a tinge of comical exaggeration likely influenced by the subject. With the initial loss of comrades at the battle of Rowlett’s Station, Kentucky, on December 17, 1861, Metzner’s art changed. From that point on his work showed the turmoil and struggle the men experienced through Shiloh and General Braxton Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky to Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and culminating with the move on Atlanta. Humor was fleeting in the later days of war, and Metzner’s work mirrored that fact.

Throughout his service with the regiment, Metzner produced his works on any available material. With his training in pharmaceutical techniques, it is likely that he produced tints from natural materials such as berries and bark when supplies became scarce. After his assignment as a topographical engineer following the battle of Stones River, materials were readily available to the artist, and periods of inactivity gave Metzner ample opportunity to create his works of art.

After being wounded at Chickamauga, Metzner returned to Indianapolis, and his artwork went into storage with the remainder of his war gear. He did, however, create one postwar oil painting. While in the field, Metzner made several sketches of artillery batteries in different operations, and after returning to Indianapolis, he created his last known work, a beautiful 18 1/2 x 23 1/4 oil on canvas that appears to be a culmination of his study of man, horse, and motion. The end result shows the depth of one who has witnessed war, or who has “seen the elephant,” as Civil War veterans called it.

Three years of service resulted in great sacrifice for the Thirty-second Regiment. In September 1861, 905 men left Indianapolis. Three years later, only 281 original enlistees returned to muster out of service, with another 89 mustering out in absentia. Combat claimed the lives of 171 men, including 7 officers. Another 98 died of disease. More than 441 men were wounded, many carrying scars from numerous battles. Some died much later from their wounds, and scores became permanently disabled due to injuries or disease

Peake, a resident of Corydon, Indiana, is an author and historian specializing in Indiana German genealogy and history as related to the American Civil War. Since retiring from federal service in 1996, Peake has devoted his time to researching Union and Confederate German-American military organizations.

Blood Shed in This War costs $34.95 and is available from the IHS's History Market.

Interview with Wabash History Author

W. William Wimberly II, the author of the new IHS Press book Hanna's Town: A Little World We Have Lost, was well placed to write a history of Wabash, Indiana. Wimberly was raised in the community and it was there that his father served as a minister for thirty years. Here he talks about his experiences with the book,

What inspired your to write Hanna's Town?

1. I grew up from age one in an old, faded-elegant part of Wabash, wondering how such an elaborate town happened, and noting that the past seemed more lavish, more exuberant than its present appearance. 2. As a teen I learned that a small, rather remote, park in town had once been its cemetery and that it was named for a Mr. Hanna who founded Wabash. 3. When I was a junior-year-abroad student in Britain my mother asked me to check up on some remote Scots-Irish ancestors named Hanna: I realized I might have a family connection with Wabash's founder (There is but it's distant)... and yet I still didn't know how Hanna's Town grew into the faded-elegant town that raised me ... so I wrote a book ... and the fact that I had never used my Ph.D. in history helped snag me. Once retired to Wabash I had no excuse.

What was the toughest part of doing your research?

Following my father's advice to "keep the seat of the pants attached to the seat of the chair" while taking notes from the county museum's exensive collection of local newspapers back to 1847. It seemed to take forever.

What about Wabash surprised you the most?

1. The chronically awful condition of streets (dirt, mud, steep): bad surfaces right up to the end of the nineteenth century, and cruelly steep until cut down in the 1860s. 2. The prevelance of prostitution, possibly institgated by the presence of canal hands in the early days, perpetuated later by rail laborers, etc., but also eventually catering to upper crust clients rather openly. 3. The founders' capacity for multi-tasking: managing up to several business enterprises at once, while at the same time being deeply involved in religious, fraternal, political and community-improvement projects.

Is there a personality from the period covered that especially caught your attention?

I usually name Naaman Fletcher, journalist and newspaper publisher. He was incidentally one of the founders of Phi Gamma Delta, before he moved to Wabash. He died too young, but in his brief career he was an untiring candidate for civic improvements: he articulated a bright future for Wabash but he also scolded his readers cuttingly for failure to improve Wabash culturally and structurally more quickly. A secular Old Testament prophet was Naaman Fletcher.

How well does Wabash remember its past?

Not especially well. Many folks know about the US/Native American treaty of 1826; that Hugh Hanna was the founder; that canals and railroads were formative; and that it was the "first electrically lighted city in the world." The knowledge is largely anecdotal and out-of-context, verbal hand-me-down stuff. Interest has been raised by the excellent refounding of the county museum, a showpiece. Of course, now there will be no excuse for not knowing.

Do you plan another book on Wabash?

Not as a sequel to Hanna's Town. A good friend, Pete Jones, has, over his career (history teacher, journalist), already done a huge chunk of the research for the twentieth century. I encourage him to pick up where I left off--and I think he will do it. I have been laying groundwork for another kind of work, more in the memoir/history genre, set mostly in Wabash in the late twentieth century, but what will come of that only time will tell.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Price Wins Dunn Award

Nelson Price of Indianapolis, Indiana, is the winner of the 2010 Jacob P. Dunn Jr. Award for the best article to appear in the Indiana Historical Society's illustrated history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Price won for his article "Ryan White: Twenty Years Later," which appeared in the magazine's winter 2010 issue.

Price was one of several Hoosiers honored at the Society's Founder's Day dinner on Monday, December 6, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. Pictured here is Price (center) along with Tom Hoback, IHS board of trustee chairman (left), and Ray E. Boomhower, Traces senior editor.

Named for the noted Indiana historian and author, the $500 award honors the article that in the opinion of the Traces editorial board and staff best serves the magazine’s mission. This mission involves presenting thoughtful, research-based articles on Indiana history in an attractive format to a broad audience of readers.

Dunn, who helped revitalize the Society in the 1880s, produced such standard works as the two-volume Greater Indianapolis (1910) and his five-volume Indiana and Indianans (1919). In his remarkable career, Dunn also worked on a variety of Indianapolis newspapers, campaigned to establish free public libraries, endeavored to preserve the language of the Miami Indians, and prospected for minerals in Haiti.

Price is the author of several books, including Indiana Legends: Famous Hoosiers from Johnny Appleseed to David Letterman, Legendary Hoosiers, and Indianapolis Then and Now. A former feature writer and columnist for the Indianapolis Star, he is the host of Hoosier History Live! on WICR-FM (88.7) radio at 11:30 a.m. every Saturday.

Friday, December 03, 2010

History of Wabash, Indiana, Released

In late autumn 1902 a macabre scene unfolded at the original burial ground of Wabash, Indiana, which had been called both the Old Cemetery and Hanna’s Cemetery. The task at hand was the disinterment of four bodies. The newest of the four graves held whatever might be left of the corpse of Colonel Hugh Hanna who, more than any other single citizen, was the founding father and civic icon of the prospering, rather stunning little city. It might be argued that Hanna’s disinterment was a high-water mark in an outpouring of visible progress, cultural energy, and palpable optimism that his town had experienced during the preceding sixty-seven years.

As author W. William Wimberly II notes in his new IHS Press book Hanna's Town: A Little World We Have Lost, those years ought not to be evaluated nostalgically, however. History emphatically records that Wabash was neither an ideal society by 1902 nor even outstandingly progressive for its time. It continued to display rustic and seedy aspects of its unpolished past. Wabash was still home to racism, gender inequity, crime, prostitution, pollution, and wide (possibly widening) divisions between rich and poor, drunk and sober, labor and management, educated and uneducated.

Although the twentieth century would leach from towns such as Wabash what had once loomed large with them: a sense of communal significance and a pioneer can-do confidence. The opportunity to create a community out of a forest wilderness would be gone. One could no longer simply lay out a plat on uninhabited land, start building infrastructure, hoping to keep up with the demand of those rushing in to live there, and to be engaged mostly in building anew and in adding to, rather than in replacing or restoring what others had left behind. The new century inevitably overwhelmed some of the spirit of the old century: two world wars, the Great Depression, the urbanization of America, and the growth of industry would re-shape the nation. The coming ubiquity of the automobile was part of a travel and communication revolution that tied large regions of the nation together around urban centers. Folks in communities far from city suburbs, as in Wabash, began to believe they were again in the hinterlands of progress rather than the very engine of it, as their nineteenth-century counterparts so often were.

By 1902, before the complications of the new century washed over them, Wabash citizens had reasons to stand tall and proud. A sincere local boosterism was all but a religion. The wilderness had been subdued. In its place was a city of almost palpable optimism, boasting a bustling economy, a sense of community, civic pride, broad economic connections, architectural achievements, and various other cultural pretensions, all of which more than fulfilled any visionary hopes early settlers may have cherished. Many streets at last were paved. By the time its founder was reburied, the town had achieved a kind of apotheosis: progressive, confident, quite possibly gorgeous—Hanna’s town.

Wimberly received a PhD in early American history from Indiana University. He holds degrees from Hanover College and Princeton Theological Seminary. An ordained minister, he served Presbyterian churches in four Hoosier locations: Brazil, Spencer, La Porte, and Fort Wayne. Hanna’s Town is the history of nineteenth-century Wabash, Indiana, where the author was raised and where his father was a minister for thirty years. He is married to Tracy Temple, a Wabash native, and they have two sons. He has been honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash and Hanover College’s Civic Leadership Award.

Hanna's Town costs $24.95 and is available from the IHS's History Market.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Shadow of Shiloh" Author Talk

Author Gail Stephens will discuss her new IHS Press book Shadow of Shiloh: Major General Lew Wallace in the Civil War as part of the Indiana Historical Society's free Author Talk series at noon on Monday, November 29. The program will be held in the Multipurpose Room at the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis. Stephens will also sign copies of her book, which will be on sale in the IHS's History Market on the first floor.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Interview with Wallace Author

A retired U.S. Department of Defense employee who serves as a volunteer at the Monocacy National Battlefield, Gail Stephens, author of the new IHS Press book Shadow of Shiloh: Major General Lew Wallace in the Civil War, also lectures on the Civil War, teaches courses at area colleges, and gives battlefield tours. Here she talks about her experiences in writing about Wallace.

What inspired you to write a book about Lew Wallace's Civil War career?

I've been a volunteer at Monocacy National Battlefield, south of Frederick, Maryland, for ten years. On July 9, 1864, at the battle of Monocacy, Wallace, with 6,500 men, half of whom had never fought in a battle, held a veteran Confederate army of 14,000 for an entire day, giving Ulysses S. Grant time to reinforce a vulnerable Washington, D.C, only thirty miles to the south.

I was curious how a man who had accomplished this feat could have been out of field command between the fall of 1862 and March 1864. I was told that he had failed Grant at Shiloh on April 6, 1862, when he arrived too late to fight that day, and that Grant had gotten rid of him. That Wallace should have been so very careless, cowardly, or incompetent was difficult for me to reconcile with the man who fought at Monocacy. I decided to see what answers I could find in the primary sources and this book is the result.

How important were your actual visits to battlefields in writing the book?

Crucial. A battlefield must be seen to be interpreted and ground must be walked in order to understand why officers and men made the decisions they made. In October 2005, with seven other historians, I walked the entire route of Wallace's controversial April 6 march to the battlefield of Shiloh. What we learned that day in terms of the length, difficulty, and timing of the march is key to my conclusions about that controversy.

Just how good a general was Wallace?

I think that the battle of Monocacy and his defense of Cincinnati in September 1862 demonstrate how good he actually was. He understood the importance of terrain because at Monocacy he picked a position, on high bluffs with a river in his front, where he had an edge that would in part make up for his much smaller force. He placed his best troops--the veteran division from Grant's army--where he expected the most fighting, and his green troops along the periphery. He used his one six-gun battery of artillery judiciously to protect a bridge and to provide aid to his veteran division. Most important, he knew how long to fight and when to give it up.

At Cincinnati he showed that he was not only good at fighting but good at organizing. Between September 2 and 10, 1862, with Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith's Confederate army just eighty miles away, he assembled a force of 72,000 volunteers, completed seven miles of fortifications with eight artillery batteries, and armed eighteen steamboats to patrol the Ohio River, a herculean task. On September 10, when Major General Harry Heth's division of 10,000 moved on Cincinnati at Smith's order, Heth judged the city to well defended and retreated. Wallace had good military instincts, was a tough, scrappy fighter, and had a natural ability to lead men and choose where and how he would fight. However, Wallace had a problem with authority, and he was not a team player, fatal qualities in the army.

What was Wallace's greatest service to the Union cause during the war?

Wallace had some great military moments, his afternoon attack at Fort Donelson, which regained the potential Confederate escape route for the Union, his defense of Cincinnati, and his "brilliant little battle of Monocacy," which helped save Washington, DC, but one non-military event may trump those.

In 1864, when Wallace took command of the Middle Department, President Abraham Lincoln told him that he had a most important task--to ensure that slavery was abolished in Maryland by a constitutional process and without excessive military intervention. In previous elections, the Union military had exercised a heavy hand in secession-prone Maryland. The stakes were very high in 1864 when Maryland first prepared to vote on which delegates they would send to a constitutional convention where the key issue was whether to abolish slavery. The state's voters would then be asked whether they approved of the amended constitution. Lincoln desperately wanted one of the border states to abolish slavery via a peaceful constitutional process and demonstrate that democracy was firmly entrenched in the Union. Wallace worked closely with the Unionist governor of Maryland, Augustus Bradford, and local judges of election to ensure that the election was fair and peaceful, so his troops remained in their encampment. It worked. Slavery was abolished in Maryland on November 1, 1864, and Wallace had a 100-gun salute fired from Fort McHenry, the inspiration for "The Star-Spangled Banner." One Marylander wrote Wallace that his name would forever be associated "with a cause more enduring than that of many a stricken field--that of free institutions and their consolidation forever."

Did Wallace every achieve any kind of "peace" about what happened at Shiloh?

I don't think so. Shiloh was widely discussed and even though Grant exonerated him in his memoirs, but even after they were published, the criticism continued. For a man to whom honor was a tangible concept, this criticism was a constant thorn in his side. He fought the charges whenever and wherever he could, but they always pained him.

What is your next project?

I'm writing an essay on the role of national cemeteries in battlefield preservation, more specifically on whether the men who created the national cemeteries on Civil War battlefields like Gettysburg and Shiloh understood that in creating these hallowed places, they were preserving the core of what would become today's national battlefield parks. When that's published, I would like to dig more deeply into the 1864 advance on Washington, D.C., so memorably delayed by Wallace, in particular the reasons behind Robert E. Lee's decision to send an army to seize the Union capital, the reasons why the Union high command was so slow to realize Washington was vulnerable, and the repercussions from the campaign.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wallace's Civil War Career Explored

Thirty-two years after the battle of Shiloh Lew Wallace returned to the battlefield, mapping the route of his April 1862 march. Ulysses S. Grant, Wallace’s commander at Shiloh, expected Wallace and his Third Division to arrive early in the afternoon of April 6. Wallace and his men, however, did not arrive until nightfall, and in the aftermath of the bloodbath of Shiloh, Grant attributed Wallace’s late arrival to a failure to obey orders. By mapping the route of his march and proving how and where he had actually been that day, the sixty-seven-year-old Wallace hoped to remove the stigma of “Shiloh and its slanders.” That did not happen. Shiloh still defines Wallace’s military reputation, overshadowing the rest of his stellar military career and making it easy to forget that in April 1862 he was a rising military star, the youngest major general in the Union army.

Wallace was devoted to the Union, but he was also pursuing glory, fame, and honor when he volunteered to serve in April 1861. In Shadow of Shiloh, author Gail Stephens specifically addresses Wallace’s military career and its place in the larger context of Civil War military history. A central issue in the book is the tension between citizen-soldiers and West Pointers that occurred in the officer ranks. The general assumption in current Civil War histories is that the West Pointers were more competent at war than the citizen-soldiers. That was not true in Wallace’s case. He had a talent for battle, which he demonstrated at Fort Donelson, Monocacy, and even Shiloh. But Wallace’s disdain for military rules and protocol and his arrogance, fueled by early promotion, alienated his West Point superiors such as Grant and, especially, Henry Halleck, the general in chief of the Union armies.

Wallace was an extraordinary man—lawyer, politician, general, author, inventor, and adventurer. It is hoped that this book sheds new light on the long-standing issues surrounding Wallace’s Civil War career and puts his great service to the nation in perspective.

Stephens is a retired U.S. Department of Defense employee who serves as a volunteer at the Monocacy National Battlefield. She lectures on the Civil War, teaches courses at area colleges, and gives battlefield tours.

Shadow of Shiloh costs $27.95 and is available from the IHS's History Market.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

IHS Press Author Wins Award

IHS Press author and editor Ray E. Boomhower was named a winner of the 2010 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award. Boomhower received the Regional Author award during a gala awards dinner at the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, October 9.

Public nominations were submitted from across the state and eligibility included any published writer who was born in Indiana or has lived in Indiana for at least five years. An eight-member, statewide Award Panel selected the winners in three categories and finalists from the pool of nominated authors:

• National Author - $10,000 prize: a writer with Indiana ties, but whose work is known and read throughout the country. National authors were evaluated on their entire body of work. Winner: Scott Russell Sanders

• Regional Author - $7,500 prize: A writer who is well-known and respected throughout the state of Indiana. Regional authors were evaluated on their entire body of work. Winner: Ray Boomhower; Finalists: Colleen Coble and Andrew Levy

• Emerging Author - $5,000 prize: A writer with only one published book. Emerging authors were evaluated on their single published work. Winner: Greg Schwipps; Finalists: Douglas Light and Micah Ling

In its second year, this award recognizes the contributions of Indiana authors to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation. The Award is a program of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation, and is funded by the generosity of The Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

IHS Press Authors Finalists in Best Books Competition

IHS Press authors Wes D. Gehring and Elizabeth O'Maley have been named as finalists in the 2010 Best Books of Indiana contest sponsored by the Indiana Center for the Book. The contest was created to honor Indiana's long and illustrious literary heritage and recognize Hoosier authors.

Gehring is a finalist in the nonfiction category for his book Steve McQueen: The Great Escape. O'Maley is a finalist in the children/young adult category for her book By Freedom's Light.

Twelve titles, published between January 1 and December 31, 2009, have been selected as finalists in the 2010 competition. A panel of judges in each of four categories considered all entries and granted awards at their discretion. The winners will be announced on or before Friday, October 15, 2010.

All current and past Best Books entries are available in the Indiana State Library's collections. Two copies of each entry circulate to State Library patrons and are available to most public, school, and academic libraries in Indiana via interlibrary loan. One copy does not circulate and remains in the State Library's collections indefinitely

Friday, August 06, 2010

New Book Outlines Immigrant's Tale

Born into the Mexican Revolution, Maria Perez entered an arranged marriage at age fourteen to Miguel Arredondo. The couple and their tiny daughter immigrated to the United States in the 1920s, living in a boxcar while Miguel worked for a Texas railroad and eventually settling in East Chicago, Indiana, where Miguel worked for Inland Steel.

Their true story, which is featured in the new IHS Press book Maria's Journey, written by Ramón Arredondo and Trisha (Hull) Arredondo, includes much of early-twentieth-century America: the rise of unions, the plunge into the Great Depression, the patriotism of World War II, and the starkness of McCarthyism. It is flavored by delivery men hawking fruit and ice, street sports, and Saturday matinees that began with newsreels. Immigration status colors every scene, adding to their story deportation and citizenship, generational problems unique to new immigrants, and a miraculous message of hope.

Ramón Arredondo’s career has spanned the fields of law enforcement, administration, public policy, and business. Currently, he serves as a commissioner of the Ports of Indiana. Trisha (Hull) Arredondo began her career as an educator before becoming a successful advocate for health care and education for women, children, and migrants.

Maria's Journey costs $19.95. The paperback book is available from the IHS's History Market.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Interview with Beer Book Author

A Bloomington-based independent journalist and writer, Douglas A. Wissing, author of the new IHS Press book Indiana: One Pint at a Time; A Traveler's Guide to Indiana's Breweries, brings some family history to his work detailing the history and culture of the Hoosier State's brewing history. Wissing is a descendant of nineteenth-century Indiana-German brewers. In the following interview, Wissing, who has covered the war in Afghanistan, reflects on his experiences writing about Indiana's brewing past and present.

Did you know much about the history of beer in Indiana before you began your research for Indiana: One Pint at a Time?

From growing up in southern Indiana, I had experience with later industrial beers brewed in Evansville, Fort Wayne, and South Bend, and knew about some of the historical breweries dotted around the state, including one called Hack and Simon in my hometown of Vincennes, where there are still some old brewery buildings. But not much beyond that.

When I began research on the book, it was a big shock to eventually figure out that more than 500 breweries have operated in the Hoosier State since the Harmonists began the Indiana brewing tradition in 1816.

Were there any individuals in Indiana’s early beer history that caught your attention?

Some of the pioneer brewers captured my fancy: George Bentel, the German utopianist who was the brewer for the Harmonist communards in New Harmony. He was the first brewer in Indiana, and his house still stands on Brewery Street in New Harmony. It was very cool to track down one of his recipes, which the Brewers of Indiana Guild--today's organization of Hoosier craft brewers--used for their "replicale" for this year. About ten craft brewers around the state brewed Bentel's recipe for a dark lager, so as part of the book kick-off, Hoosiers can drink Indiana's First Beer this summer.

There was another early brewer who was associated with the second New Harmony communal experiment that followed the progressive ideas of Robert Owen. His name was Hew Ainslie, who was an iconoclastic Scottish poet who'd followed his dream to frontier of Indiana. He became a well-regarded brewer in New Albany, while continuing to parse the poesy of his years on the Wabash River.

And of course there was Ezra Boswell, a one-eyed Quaker brewer who opened Indiana's second brewery in Richmond in late 1817. Boswell learned his trade in Great Britain, before migrating to the Quaker town.

Beyond being a brewer and father of eleven children, Boswell was a town leader, as the citizens elected him as town clerk and later onto the board of trustees. Richmond was a straight-laced town, so there was some "tongues of slander" when it became known the trustees were drinking Boswell's brews at town expense.

How much traveling did you do to research microbreweries now in the state?

Oh, I wandered all over the place. Beyond my trips to research archives and locales about historical breweries, I visited all the contemporary craft brewery operating in the state at the time--almost three dozen at this point. This is the most breweries operating in Indiana since Prohibition.

Was there anything that surprised you about beer in Indiana during your research?

I had a funny experience down in Vincennes, where I descended from French and Alsatian-German stock. I was in the public library looking at an early-20th-century county history, the type that include biographies and engraved photos of the leading businessmen and professionals of the day. It is a good source of information on historic breweries, as they were often one of the major industries in town. I was looking for info on the Hack and Simon Brewery, which was a big regional player with a brewery that stretched a couple of blocks long near what is today the Vincennes University campus.

I was flipping through this hundred-year-old county history, when I suddenly encountered a photo of my father--or so I first thought. After I got over the disjuncture of seeing what I thought was a totally impossible picture, I learned it was a picture of my great-grandfather John Ebner. (They always said my long-deceased father looked like the Ebner side of the family.) As I read the bio, I realized John Ebner was the founder of the Hack and Simon brewery, first naming Eagle Brewery before leasing it to Hack and Simon. I never knew he was a brewer, though he had a mansion in Vincennes, which was typical for the Indiana-German brewers of the heyday of lager brewing. I learned John Ebner was an Alsatian, who'd served in the French Foreign Legion in Africa before immigrating here. Made me think I came by both my wanderlust and love of beer honestly.

Have you ever tried to homebrew?

I believe I am one of the worst homebrewers ever. I have brewed horrible beer--beer so bad not even my son's post-college rock-and-roll band, Johnny Socko, would drink it. Those guys would drink any virtually free beer, so it was a real sign that I needed to stick to writing about beer, rather than trying to actually brew it. I think the world is a better place for that decision.

What is your favorite Indiana beer?

I'm not being coy when I say I don't have a favorite Indiana beer. There are just a lot of great beers being brewed across the state. Many folks know that the Three Floyds Brewery in Munster, Indiana, was rated the top brewery in the world, as well as having their Dark Lord imperial stout being ranked as the world's best beer. But that's just the start. Hoosier brewers up and down the state are brewing world-class beer--and getting recognized for it. And we get to drink it right here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

IHS Press Releases New Beer Book

Indiana: One Pint at a Time; A Traveler's Guide to Indiana's Breweries, just released from the Indiana Historical Society Press and written by Douglas A. Wissing, explores the history and living artisanal culture of the state's long, vibrant brewing tradition.

Using regional, ethnic, and commercial lens, the text depicts the early-nineteenth-century origins of Indiana's commercial breweries, through the early-twentieth-century heyday when forty-one Hoosier breweries hustled beer, to the mid-twentieth-century consolidation and decline.

The book focuses on Indiana brewing's remarkable post-1989 renaissance. Today more than thirty breweries produce award-winning craft microbrews across the state. Indiana: One Pint at a Time provides a travel guide to these craft breweries, interweaving their stories with Indiana architecture, ethnicity, and regional specificity, connecting the dynamics of today with the luster of the past.

Wissing is a Bloomington-based independent journalist and author. A descendant of nineteenth-century Indiana-German brewers, he has written articles for numerous publications and is the author of the book Pioneer in Tibet. Wissing has reported widely on the war in Afghanistan, including radio work for BBC and the Indiana NPR network.

Indiana: One Pint at a Time costs $24.95. The paperback book is available from the IHS's History Market.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Interview with Fall Creek Massacre Author

Chairman of the Department of History and Political Science at Anderson University, David Thomas Murphy teaches courses in Western Civilization, Modern German history, the history of modern Europe, and the history of the Holocaust and comparative genocides. Murphy tackles a different subject in his new book Murder in Their Hearts: The Fall Creek Massacre. In the following interview he explains how he came to write about this tragic incident in Indiana's pioneer past.

How did you get interested in writing about the Fall Creek Massacre?

Through my work as a teacher of history here at Anderson University. One of the courses I teach regularly is called "Historical Inquiry", and it's designed to get our advanced history majors working on topics that use primary research materials. One of the most accessible ways to do that, in my experience, is to have students complete either a genealogical or local history project, and I always require that. A few years ago, one of my students in the course who came from the Pendleton area did his project on the Fall Creek Massacre.

I am originally from northern Illinois, and had never heard of the Massacre. The paper really intrigued me, and when I looked for more information on the episode, I didn't find much. There was Jessamyn West's novel, and there were a few articles, but no archivally-based, book-length study. And that was the beginning of the project. (And, yes, I do thank that student in the preface.)

In doing your research, did anything surprise you about the event?

A couple of things surprised me. One was the variety and complexity of the attitudes held toward Native Americans by the settlers of the early white Indiana community. There were of course a few truly racist Indian haters, and that didn't surprise me so much. But I have come to believe that such unalloyed hostility was anything but the norm. Most of the whites, so far as their feelings are today discernible, seem to have regarded their native neighbors with mingled respect, fear, suspicion, tolerance and at times sympathy for a people whom many believed had been treated cruelly by fate. John Johnston, the Indian agent in the area, for example, had a deep respect for the nobility of character he believed he saw in many of his charges, while never romanticizing them or ignoring their sometimes fearsome cruelty in battle.

I was also surprised by the sophistication of the land speculation business on the frontier. Every settler of any means was deeply committed to the steady appreciation of land values--investment in land was the stock market of that time and place - and the steps taken to exploit (and manipulate) that generator of wealth seemed like they could have been taken from the headlines of the last few years.

The unreliable nature of frontier record-keeping took some getting used to as well. I have done two previous books on aspects of modern German history, so I know that error creeps into the official record at times. But I still found in early county records a casual disregard for getting basic facts straight that surprised me.

How hard was it to reconcile the conflicting accounts of the event?

Sometimes it was not hard at all. For example, it was pretty easy to use contemporary newspaper accounts, which were carefully dated, of course, to figure what dates in the transcripts were accurate and which had to be incorrect.

Other times it was very difficult, and could finally be resolved only by making judgments about what seemed most plausible. A dozen conflicting accounts of the tribal origins of the victims of the Massacre are out there, and sometimes the same witness will identify them as of one tribal group at one time and as of a different group later. So, I had to take the results of modern anthropological research about who was most likely to have been here in numbers at the time, consider that with the testimony of the earliest and most knowledgeable sources, and try to decide where the truth seemed most probably to lie. I believe I came up with a defensible and plausible solution, but there is no way to say, categorically, that my view on this, or some similar matters, is the right one.

Were there books or authors that you drew upon for inspiration as you wrote your book?

While I was working on this book, Larry McMurtry, whose writings I admire, published a book called "O, What a Slaughter", about interracial violence in the Old West. That book gave me some ideas about how a person might present such events in a way that was historically accurate, and appealing to readers who, while not experts, are discriminating, perceptive and educated. I relied a lot upon the Indiana histories of Barnhart and Carmony, upon James Madison's Indiana Way, and Drew Cayton's Frontier Indiana. And I think anyone interested in writing regional history that is accurate, sophisticated, and written with verve can do a lot worse than consider John Bartlow Martin's Indiana: An Interpretation.

What is your next project?

I am working on two books now. One is a study of Jewish and Catholic interfaith relations in the West over the last two centuries. It is really just in the beginning stages, and relates to some earlier research I have done in German history. The other is a book about literature and education tentatively entitled "The Twenty-First Century Mind-Diet." We'll see what happens with that.

IHS Press Releases Book on Fall Creek Massacre

In March of 1824 a group of angry and intoxicated settlers brutally murdered nine Indians camped along a tributary of Fall Creek. The carnage was recounted in lurid detail in the contemporary press and the events that followed sparked a national sensation.

As author David Thomas Murphy notes in the new IHS Press book Murder in Their Hearts: The Fall Creek Massacre, although violence between settlers and Native Americans was not unusual in the Old Northwest Territory during the early nineteenth century, in this particular incident the white men responsible for the murders were singled out and hunted down, brought to trial, convicted by a jury of their neighbors, and, for the first time under American law, sentenced to death and executed for the murder of Native Americans.

In the aftermath of the slayings, federal and state authorities perhaps motivated more by the encouragement of economic growth and the preservation of regional security than a commitment to justice for the victims, nevertheless, were determined to maintain the fragile peace of interracial coexistence. Their success in doing so proved to be local, temporary, and imperfect.

Murphy is chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Anderson University, where he also serves as codirector of the University Honors Program. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Illinois. His previous works include The Heroic Earth: Geopolitical Thought in Weimar Germany, 1918-1933 (1997) and German Exploration of the Polar World, 1870-1940 (2002).

Murder in Their Hearts costs $13.95 and is available from the IHS History Market.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

IHS Author Television Interview

IHS Press author Norbert Krapf, Indiana's Poet Laureate, was interviewed last week by WISH-TV, Channel 8, in Indianapolis.

In the interview, Krapf discusses his recent article in the spring 2010 issue of the IHS Press popular history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History detailing his decision to return to Indiana from Long Island, New York, and the writing of his memoir The Ripest Moments: A Southern Indiana Childhood, published by the IHS Press in 2008.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Juvenile Fiction Book Honored

The IHS Press book By Freedom’s Light, written by Elizabeth O’Maley, won an honorable mention honor in the juvenile fiction category in ForeWord Reviews 2009 Book of the Year Awards. ForeWord named 201 Book of the Year Award winners in 60 categories at a ceremony Wednesday, May 26, at BookExpo America in New York City. These books, representing the best independently published works from 2009, were selected by a panel of librarian and bookseller judges.

ForeWord’s founder and publisher, Victoria Sutherland, spoke at the awards ceremony and announced the winners. “This year more than ever before, we heard from the judges how great the finalist books were and how difficult it was to make their decisions,” she said. “Despite this tough economy, independent publishers are producing some of the best books out there, and we are happy to honor them today.”

By Freedom’s Light, a historical novel for grades four and up, examines both the harshness of a slave society and the brave acts of people who helped slaves find freedom.

Thirteen-year-old Sarah Caldwell is an unhappy Indiana pioneer. She misses her sister, Rachel, who stayed behind in North Carolina. Worse yet, their widowed father has married a Quaker schoolteacher, whom Sarah discovers is a secret abolitionist. When Rachel and her family arrive for a visit, Sarah is overjoyed. Rachel brings Polly, a slave girl, with her. As Polly and Sarah become friends, Sarah questions her beliefs about slavery. Soon she is faced with a life-altering decision.

Friday, May 14, 2010

IHS Press Book Wins National Book Honor

IHS Press author Jim McGarrah's 2007 book, A Temporary Sort of Peace: A Memoir of Vietnam, has won the Legacy Nonfiction Prize for 2010 from the Eric Hoffer Award for Short Prose and Independent Books.

Titles in the Legacy Nonfiction category are nonfiction books more than two years of age that hold particular relevance to any subject matter or art form. Unlike many in the industry, the Eric Hoffer Award believes "good books last longer than one season."

"Eric Hoffer was a great American philosopher," said McGarrah. "His foundation honors, in their own words, 'independent publishers and authors who who write and release extraordinary books to little or no recognition.' To have received the Legacy Nonfiction Award for 2010 gives me the encouragement I need to keep writing literary books that provoke lasting thought and strengthens my belief that the best words in the best order can actually help make the world a little better place."

In honoring McGarrah's work, the Hoffer Award noted the following: "McGarrah paints a remarkable canvas in a true-life account of his time in the Vietnam War. Our senses become in tune, as we feel, hear, smell, and touch the Viet Cong jungle. McGarrah offers a glimpse into his life before Viet Nam, his military years, the aftermath of coming home, and his later return to Vietnam. Some accounts are candid and bold, such as his teenage quest for sex or the brutal reality of the Viet Cong jungle. It is an honest and memorable story."

Each year, independent publishers (academic, independent, small press, and self-published authors) release extraordinary books to little or no recognition. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $1,500 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions, as well as the winners of the Montaigne Medal and the da Vinci Eye. The book awards are covered in the US Review of Books. After the contest, books are donated to libraries, schools, and hospitals where appropriate.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

IHS Press Author to Appear on Radio Program

Ray E. Boomhower will be appearing on the Hoosier History Live! radio program to discuss his new IHS Press book Fighter Pilot: The World War II Career of Alex Vraciu at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 10, on WICR, 88.7 FM.

Hoosier History Live! is a weekly radio adventure through Indiana history, live with call-in, hosted by Nelson Price, historian and author of Indiana Legends and Indianapolis: Then and Now. Each week, the program includes a featured guest and topic, a call in from The Roadtripper with a tip about a Hoosier heritage-related road trip, and a Hoosier History Trivia question, complete with a prize for the correct answer. It is the nation's first and only call-in talk-radio show about history, premiering as a live weekly show on Jan. 12, 2008. The call-in number is (317) 788-3314.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

IHS Press Books Nominated for Awards

Three books published by the IHS Press in 2009 have been named as finalists in ForeWord Reviews 2009 Book of the Year Awards.

The books selected as finalists and their categories are:

* By Freedom’s Light, by Elizabeth O’Maley, juvenile fiction

* My Indiana: 101 More Places to See in Indiana, by Earl Conn, travel guide

* Steve McQueen: The Great Escape, by Wes Gehring, biography

The finalists, representing 360 publishers, were selected from 1,400 entries in sixty categories. The winners will be determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers selected from ForeWord Review’s readership. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners, as well as Editor's Choice Prizes for fiction and nonfiction, will be announced at a special program at BookExpo America in New York City on May 25. The winners of the two Editor's Choice Prizes will be awarded $1,500 each. The ceremony is open to all BEA attendees.

ForeWord's Book of the Year Awards program was designed to discover distinctive books from independent publishers across a number of genres.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Alex Vraciu Biography Released

On the morning of June 19, 1944, as U.S. troops were battling Japanese forces on Saipan in the Mariana Islands in the Pacific, American pilots based on aircraft carriers offshore rushed to their planes to protect their fleet from an enemy attack from the air.

Calling the mission a “once-in-a-lifetime fighter pilot’s dream” when he spotted a large mass of enemy planes bearing down on the U.S. ships, one navy pilot from Indiana, Alex Vraciu, flying a Hellcat fighter from the USS Lexington, pounced on the Japanese and shot down six dive bombers in just eight minutes. “I looked ahead,” Vraciu later told a Chicago Tribune reporter. “There was nothing but Hellcats in the sky. I looked back. Up above were curving vapor trails. And down on the sea, in a pattern 35 miles long, was a series of flaming dots where oil slicks were burning.”

Written by award-winning biographer Ray E. Boomhower, Fighter Pilot: The World War II Career of Alex Vraciu, the sixth volume in the Indiana Historical Society Press’s youth biography series, examines the daring exploits of the Hoosier flier during his wartime career. A graduate of DePauw University, Vraciu learned to fly during his college years through a government program and joined the navy before America was thrust into the war following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Possessed with keen eyesight, quick reflexes, excellent shooting instincts, and a knack for finding his opponent’s weak spot, Vraciu became skilled in the deadly game of destroying the enemy in the skies over the Pacific Ocean. For a period of four months in 1944, Vraciu stood as the leading ace in the U.S. Navy. He shot down nineteen enemy airplanes in the air, destroyed an additional twenty-one on the ground, and sank a large Japanese merchant ship with a well-placed bomb hit.

Vraciu’s luck, however, finally ran out on December 14, 1944, during a strafing run against a Japanese airfield before the American invasion to retake the Philippines. Luckily he was almost immediately rushed to safety by a small group of U.S. Army in the Far East guerrillas, who had been battling the Japanese in the area for the past few years. The navy pilot spent the next five weeks with the guerrillas, receiving the honorary rank of brevet major while with them. Vraci finally marched into an American camp carrying with him a captured Japanese Luger pistol and sword.

Boomhower is senior editor with the Indiana Historical Society Press, where he edits the quarterly popular history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. His previous books have included biographies of author and Civil War general Lew Wallace, famed Hoosier war correspondent Ernie Pyle, suffragette and peace activist May Wright Sewall, World War II photographer John A. Bushemi, and astronaut Gus Grissom. In 1998 Boomhower received the IHS’s Hoosier Historian honor.

Fighter Pilot costs $17.95 and is available from the IHS's History Market.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Interview with Nuremberg Author

A graduate of the University of Rochester and the Boston University School of Law, Suzanne Bellamy practiced law for twenty-five years as a corporate counsel in Indianapolis. She used this experience to help her with her writing of the new Indiana Historical Society Press book Hoosier Justice at Nuremberg. Bellamy took took to answer a few questions about her book.

How did you first become involved with this project?

Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard approached me about five years ago about researching and writing this book. He was interested in how two judges from the Indiana Supreme Court had ended up as judges in the American military trials in Nuremberg, Germany after World War II. As a public history student and an attorney, I was instantly attracted to the topic as it combined both of my disciplines.

Did your training as a lawyer help with the research and writing of this book?

Definitely. In order to tell the story of Curtis Shake and Frank Richman, I had to tell the story of the trial in which each was involved. In Shake’s case, he was the presiding judge at the I.G. Farben trial. Richman was on the panel for the trial of Friedrich Flick and his associates. I needed to explain the counts of each indictment and the evidence presented relative to each such count in order to make sense of the verdicts and the responses thereto. I also did research at the law library on the significant cases brought before the Indiana Supreme Court during their tenures in which Shake and Richman wrote the majority opinions.

What did you learn in doing the project that surprised you?

I learned that these Hoosier judges were both men of depth whose stories each included tests of their character. In Shake’s case, he was accused as a young man of being a member of the Ku Klux Klan, which derailed his run for statewide office in Indiana. Richman was tested by his own political party when he was not renominated for his seat on the Indiana Supreme Court due to an opinion he had written contrary to his party’s position.

What is your next writing project?

I participated in writing several sections of the upcoming book on all of the Indiana Supreme Court justices which the Indiana Historical Society is publishing in July 2010. I am currently writing an institutional history of this decade for the American Legion Auxiliary, a national women’s patriotic organization.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Indiana Native Americans Explored in New Book

Native American ancestors inhabited the land of Indiana from around 9,500 BC. European contact with Indiana's Miami, Wea, Mascouten, and Shawnee tribes began in 1679. The history of Native Americans in the state is examined in the new Indiana Historical Society Press book The Native Americans.

Written by Elizabeth Glenn and Stewart Rafert, the book is the second volume in the IHS Press's Peopling Indiana series based on the 1996 publication Peopling Indiana: The Ethnic Experience. Each volume in the series includes an updated essay on one of the state's larger ethnic groups illuminating the migratory, settlement, and community-building experiences of the essay's subject group.

Native Americans in Indiana were forced into western reservations by the 1830s. By 1850 only a portion of the Miami remained in Indiana. Many natives either assimilated into white culture or hid their identity. This scenario changed when Native Americans served in the military and at home during World War II. Afterward, Indians from many lineages flocked to Indiana. Along with Indiana's Miami and Potawatomi, they are creating a diverse Indian culture, expressed through pan-Indian as well as tribal activities, that enriches the lives of all Hoosiers.

Glenn is professor emerita of the Ball State University Anthropology Department. An adjunt professor of history at the University of Delaware, Rafert is the author of The Miami Indians of Indiana, published by the IHS Press in 1996.

The Native Americans costs $13.95 and is available from the IHS's History Market.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book Examines Nuremberg Trials

In the years after World War II, as the world grappled with the enormity of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi regime, two Hoosiers had a significant role in the American response to unfolding events in Germany.

In the Indiana Historical Society Press book Hoosier Justice at Nuremberg, part of the Indiana Supreme Court Legal History Series, author Suzanne S. Bellamy examines how Frank Richman of Columbus, Indiana, and Curtis Shake of Vincennes, Indiana, both served with distinction as members of the Indiana Supreme Court. By early 1947 both justices had stepped down from the court to begin new phases in their profession. Shake resumed his law practice in Vincennes, and Richman planned to teach law. World events intervened when both men were called to serve as civilian judges in tribunals convened in Nuremberg to try secondary Nazi war criminals. Shake and Richman sat on the bench in the trials of leading German industrialists for crimes against humanity, applying international law according to American concepts of fairness.

Despite lingering doubts about the legitimacy of American judges having jurisdiction over German nationals, Richman and Shake responded with grace, competence, and high ethical standards, along with a little controversy. The book highlights the role two leading citizens of Indiana played in events that, more than sixty years later, still resonate across the world.

Bellamy is a graduate of the University of Rochester and the Boston University School of Law. She practiced law for twenty-five years as a corporate counsel in Indianapolis. As a freelance historical researcher and writer, she has worked on projects for the IHS, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Indiana Supreme Court.

Hoosier Justice at Nuremberg costs $6.95 and is available from the IHS's History Market.