A penetrating, accessible portrait of the activist whose execution galvanized the world. Hanged by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa became a martyr for the Ogoni people and for human rights activists, as well as a symbol of modern Africans’ struggle against military dictatorship, corporate power, and environmental exploitation.

Nation on Board

Becoming Nigerian at Sea

By Lynn Schler

Schler’s study of Nigerian seamen during Nigeria’s transition to independence provides a fresh perspective on the meaning of decolonization for ordinary Africans. She traces the workers’ shift from optimism to disillusionment, providing a working-class perspective on nation building in Nigeria and illustrating the hopes for independence and subsequent disappointments.

Since the 1980s, scholars have made the case for examining nineteenth-century culture — particularly literary output — through the lens of economics. In Culture and Money in the Nineteenth Century: Abstracting Economics, two luminaries in the field of Victorian studies, Daniel Bivona and Marlene Tromp, have collected contributions from leading thinkers that push New Economic Criticism in new and exciting directions.

In the decades since the Vietnam War, veteran memoirs have influenced Americans’ understanding of the conflict. Yet few historians or literary scholars have scrutinized how the genre has shaped the nation’s collective memory of the war and its aftermath.

The Gun in Central Africa

A History of Technology and Politics

By Giacomo Macola

Examining the history of warfare and political development through a technological lens, Macola relates the study of military technology to the history of gender. A lively analysis of the social forms and political systems of central Africa, this work focuses on the question of why some societies embraced the gun while others didn’t, and how the technology shaped them in the precolonial years.

Imraan Coovadia takes his homeland’s transition from imperial to metric measurements as his catalyst, holding South Africa up to the light and examining it from multiple perspectives, his sere, direct sentences lighting a fire as he parses South Africa across the decades, from 1970 into the present.

The follow-up to 2012’s Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement brings readers along with Suzi Parron, her new husband, Glen, their dog Gracie, and their converted van Ruby as they leave the stationary life behind. With no permanent home, Suzi and Glen follow the barn quilt trail full time as Suzi collects the stories behind these painted quilt squares that, since the movement began in Ohio in 2001, have appeared on barns in forty-eight states and in two provinces.

Capitol Punishment

An Andy Hayes Mystery

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins

All eyes are on swing state Ohio in the midst of a presidential election, and protecting a controversial reporter seems simple enough to Andy. But then a body shows up in the Statehouse.

In this concise biography, Scully shows us how the life of Nobel Peace Prize winner and two-time Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaks to many of the key themes of the twenty-first century. Among these are the growing power of women in the arenas of international politics and human rights; the ravaging civil wars of the post–Cold War era in which sexual violence is used as a weapon; and the challenges of transitional justice in building postconflict societies.

The Jerrie Mock Story

The First Woman to Fly Solo around the World

By Nancy Roe Pimm

In the third installment of our series Biographies for Young Readers, Nancy Roe Pimm gives us the life of Jerrie Mock, who in 1964 became the first woman to fly solo around the world. Mock, born in Newark, Ohio, received little attention for her feat, despite accomplishing what her childhood heroine Amelia Earhart died trying. Meticulously researched, Mock’s story as presented by Pimm is engaging, accessible, and packed with inspiration for middle-grade readers aspiring to adventure.

The poems of Compass and Clock take their inspiration from the intersection of the natural world and the human, exploring the landscapes in which those intersections occur. Those landscapes range from David Sanders’s native midwestern countryside to the caves of Lascaux and an enchanted lake where relics of lost lives are washed ashore.

In Animal Purpose, Michelle Y. Burke explores the lives of men and women as they stand poised between the desire to love and the compulsion to harm. She scours the hard edges of the world to find “fleeting softness,” which she wishes “into the world like pollen that covers everything.”