“Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?” Part 1

The Vietnam War is difficult to read about if you are interested in the military history  of the conflict because, unlike the Great War, World War II, and Korea, the authors of the survey histories spend more words laying blame among the Washington politicians and military brass than they do talking about the tactical and … Continue reading “Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?” Part 1

Summer Music Memories

If you have ever been a listener to popular music, you’ve probably had the experience of “summer” music – when a song or an album becomes identified with the summer season. It might be even be a particular summer – the summer just after high school graduation, or the summer you got your first full-time … Continue reading Summer Music Memories

March: Book 1

The first book in the graphic novel series titled March opens with John Lewis in his office on the day of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. He and Rosa Parks are standing in his office talking when an African American family from Atlanta comes in, asking to see Senator Lewis’s office. They realize that they are … Continue reading March: Book 1

Neutrality: an Explosive Step Closer to War

  When I started this series detailing how the United States became involved in the Great War (afterwards World War I), I envisioned two parts, but when I realized how complicated the story was, I realized it  was going to take three.    Last month's episode involved the sinking of the Lusitania.  The current blog … Continue reading Neutrality: an Explosive Step Closer to War

“What do y’all want to be called?”

[Excerpt: When All God’s Children Get Together, "Segregation Woes and New Life Today"] by Ann Miller Woodford Ann Miller Woodford is our guest contributor to this Shelf Life in the Mountains. She is a native of Andrews, NC, and is an author, artist, speaker, and founder/Executive Director of One Dozen Who Care, Inc., a community … Continue reading “What do y’all want to be called?”

My Favorite Mystery Writers 2

When I'm not reading history or biography I tend to read mysteries, suspense novels,  and / or thrillers.  I have written in this blog before about some of my favorite mystery authors.  Here goes with some more!   I love British police procedurals, series that have a strong woman as the main character, mysteries with a … Continue reading My Favorite Mystery Writers 2

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

with only 5% of the world's population, the U.S. has 25% of the world's prison population (see ACLU infographic at the bottom of this bl0g). Several weeks ago, the Jackson County Public Library hosted a screening of Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot for the 50 year anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery. … Continue reading Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

On Janisse Ray, Environment, and History’s Knack for Repeating Itself

I have recently revisited Georgia-born author Janisse Ray's work of nonfiction titled Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. The book's innards are in the title as Ray alternates chapters where she recounts her  childhood memories with contrasting subject matter of the unique ecology of southern Georgia's coastal plain otherwise known as the longleaf pine wiregrass ecosystem. Janisse Ray … Continue reading On Janisse Ray, Environment, and History’s Knack for Repeating Itself

Why Read Moby Dick?

I don't recall if I ever attempted to read Moby Dick in the past.  I have faint memories of seeing Gregory Peck on the movie screen as the one legged Captain Ahab driven to madness in his striving to get revenge from the great white whale.  At that time, over sixty years ago, we had Classic … Continue reading Why Read Moby Dick?

America the Dutiful

Freedom of information is an internationally recognized fundamental human right (as an extension of freedom of speech). The ideology of free speech is thought to have emerged in ancient Athens in the late 6th or early 5th century BC. England's Bill of Rights 1689, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), … Continue reading America the Dutiful