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THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Buchanan, Andrea J. (ed.): It's a Boy | Main | Napier, Bill: Splintered Icon »

Hamden Historical Society: Hamden (Images of America)

  

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Arcadia Publishing © 2004, 128 pages [amazon]
4 stars

This collection of photographs, produced by the Hamden Historical Society as part of the Images of America series, documents the history of Hamden, Connecticut, a suburb just north of New Haven, that was settled in the 17th century and incorporated in 1786. The book is organized geographically, its two hundred-odd photographs and reproductions divided among eight chapters that correspond to different sections of town: 1. Whitneyville; 2. Pine Rock, Hamden Plains, and Highwood; 3. Spring Glen; 4. State Street; 5. Dunbar Hills and Upper Dixwell Avenue; 6. West Woods; 7. Mount Carmel; 8. Centerville.

Most interesting, however, are the photographs of locations and buildings that remain recognizable today but survive in very changed form: Hamden Plaza in the 1950's; Whitney Avenue unpaved, and again bisected with trolley tracks; the town center, thronged with locals, during Hamden's sesquicentennial celebration in 1936.Among the photographs included in the book are pictures of local luminaries (Eli Whitney, Thornton Wilder), various civic groups, and prominent buildings--factories and libraries and schools. There are pictures of, or mention is made of, the locals who lent their names to various landmarks--Dunbar and Benham, Bassett and Woodin and Whalen, for example--which breathes life into the streets and parks and playgrounds Hamden locals use every day.

The captions of a couple of pictures hint at some very interesting stories:

"In the early 20th century, the ramshackle printing shop at 915 Whitney Avenue was the home of William Baldwin Beamish (seated). Beamish was a hermit who for 40 years was believed to be a man but, upon needing medical care, was discovered to be a woman. A Mrs. Beamish had supposedly died nearly three decades earlier, leading to the speculation that the husband lay buried in the Whitneyville Cemetery while the wife assumed his identity. Beamish only allowed men into the house; whenever a woman entered, Beamish would fly into a rage."

And on a lighter note:

The members of the Last Man's Club pause for a group photograph during the club's meeting on May 3, 1941, at the Café Mellone in New Haven. The Last Man's Club, founded in 1936, had as its members veterans, including a number from Hamden, who met once a year. The fellowship was based on a pledge, with 'no point or purpose other than that each member would try to outlive the other in order to win the bottle of wine to be quaffed by the last survivor.' Note the makeshift shrine (lower right) to members who had died during the preceding year."

Most interesting, however, are the photographs of locations and buildings that remain recognizable today but survive in very changed form: Hamden Plaza in the 1950's; Whitney Avenue unpaved, and again bisected with trolley tracks; the town center, thronged with locals, during Hamden's sesquicentennial celebration in 1936. These pictures would have been even more interesting, though, and the book much improved if the collection included at least one, but preferably several detailed street maps, with the town's geographical divisions and the buildings mentioned in the book marked. As it is the only map reproduced in the book dates to 1857 and is useless for the purpose of placing unfamiliar landmarks. Perhaps if the book is reprinted this failing could be remedied. In its current form, however, Hamden should be of interest to anyone whose ties to the town go at all deep.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.