Book Notes

The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2001 | Go to article overview

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The Arkansas Archeological Survey and the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, have recently issued an educational CD-ROM entitled "First Encounters: Native Americans and Europeans in the Mississippi Valley." Designed by George Sabo, "First Encounters" allows students to explore Native American and European interactions in Arkansas and surrounding areas through maps, artwork, archaeological images, and primary texts written in English, Spanish, and French. The material is organized to allow classroom flexibility and can be tailored for use in junior high, high school, or college courses in social studies, foreign language, anthropology, history, and geography. The CD-ROM has three tracks-English, Spanish, and Frenchand within each track the lessons are divided into modules containing primary materials, learning exercises, tutorials, quizzes, essay challenges, and bibliographies. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, "First Encounters" is available free to teachers and can be ordered online at http://www.uark.edu/depts/contact.

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, the archives and special collections division of the Central Arkansas Library System, recently announced the creation of the "Butler Center Book Series." The series is a natural extension of the Butler Center's mission to preserve Arkansas history and will enable the center to introduce new research to historians and the general public. Additionally, the center hopes to reprint important out-of-print books, thus allowing these rare items to find a new audience.

Crossroads of Arkansas: A One-Hour Arkansas Perspective, by John P. Gill, and Things Grew Beautifully Worse: The Wartime Experiences of Captain John O'Brien, 30th Arkansas Infantry, CSA, edited by Brian K. Robertson, are the inaugural books in the series. Gill, a Little Rock attorney, has written an engaging and informative "one hour" armchair guide to the Natural State, reminiscent of the 1930s WPA guide. The reader will not only "visit" the bigger cities and towns of Arkansas, but also smaller communities and learn about the area's history in the process. Extensively annotated by Brian K. Robertson, Things Grew Beautifully Worse is the story of an Irish immigrant to Arkansas who became a soldier, businessman, officer, and prisoner during the Civil War. Wounded and captured at the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stones River), Captain John O'Brien was ultimately transferred to Johnson's Island military prison in Ohio.

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