A Connecticut Christmas
Stories, Poems and Sermons, 1774 -1918

ISBN - 0-595-33061-4

Christmas in Connecticut! These words immediately evoke warm images of stained-glass churches on snow-blanketed town greens, merry bands of roving carolers, sleigh bells ringing in the icy night, and candlelit fir trees decorated with popcorn and cranberries. Such a romantic world, a glittering Christmas card now vanished into the past, comes to life in this new collection of stories, poems, and sermons-forgotten writings that document Christmas as a much-loved tradition from the late 1700s until World War I.

 

Puritan Connecticut not only ignored the holiday but made it illegal, yet by the 1850s Christmas in Connecticut was not only legal but a festive time of illuminated trees, colorful presents, Santa Claus, lavish family feasts, and quiet homilies about the birth of Christ in a Bethlehem manger. These early writings by Connecticut-born writers, like Harriet Beecher Stowe-mostly sentimental, often maudlin, but oddly quaint and sometimes surprisingly charming-have mostly disappeared into the dustbins of old bookstores. Now this lost, distant world reemerges. Outside it's snowing, the stockings hang on the fireplace mantel, and it's finally Christmas Eve. It's time for a little old-fashioned holiday storytelling.

 

 

 

Annie Trumbull Slosson
A Connecticut Local Colorist

ISBN - 0-7734-6396-8

Annie Trumbull Slosson (1832-1926) was an important short story writer who epitomized the American local color movement that flourished after the Civil War and ended at the beginning of the twentieth century. Along with writers like Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Wilkins Freeman and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, she helped establish the popular and critical model of the short story in which location and idiosyncratic characterization identified a particular region of the United States. In New England women dominated the genre, for the isolated farms and desolate villages were often places where women and old men lived - the young men had died in the war or had gone west in search of gold.

 

Slosson's first work, The China Hunter's Club (1878), helped establish the viability of local dialect, building on the tradition established by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Catherine Sedgwick. But in her two most important volumes, Seven Dreamers (1890) and Dumb Foxglove and Other Stories (1898) she reached full maturity, with stories that developed the mystical/psychological ramifications of her characters, mostly older women who abandoned the old-style Congregational/Calvinist puritanism of their forebears and embraced the new revisionist Protestantism - salvation by good deeds and decent behavior, a philosophy Slosson acquired in her schoolgirl days at Catherine Beecher's Hartford Female Seminary.

 

Slosson's eclipse as a writer occurred in the new century, as other styles of prose fiction emerged, and local colorists were relegated to secondary "women's" popular writing. As well, she began writing for the Sunday-school press, sentimental homilies that guaranteed her removal from the halls of serious literature. At the same time she became an entomologist, and her studies of the insect world, documented in important articles in entomological journals, became the central focus of her later life. Over one hundred newly-discovered insects bear the suffix slossonii. When she died in 1926, she was remembered by the scientific world but she was totally forgotten by the literary world. Slosson is a writer who needs to be rediscovered, for her stories are often works of considerable literary worth. This is the first full-length study of this pioneering woman, a book that looks at her rich and varied life, as well as her significant contributions to the worlds of literature and entomology.

 

 

 

For Love of Country
The Development of an American Identity in the Popular Novel 1893-1913

ISBN - 0-87700-224-X

An in-depth study of the book publishing activity in turn-of-the 20th-century America until the First World War, during which time romance fiction predominated, countering the new realism movement. This book is a cultural study of how popular values and American identity were both reflected in and influenced by this fiction trend.  

 

 

 

Mr. Dooley and Mr. Dunne
The Literary Comedian at the End of the Genteel Age

ISBN - 0-87700-265-7

 Introduction. 2. The birth of Dooley in Chicago. 3. The Spanish-American War and national acclaim. 4. The dimensions of Dooley: Dunne in New York 1900-1906. 5. Dooley in decline: American Magazine and beyond. 6. A humorist in the American tradition. 7. Ethnic humorist in a nativist world: a paradox?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dream Street
The American Movies and the Popular Imagination, 1889-1939

ISBN - 0-87700-258-4

Introduction; 2. The birth of movies at the end of the genteel age: Edison through 1918: D W Griffith, serials, the beginning of the star system. 3. Postwar America of the 1920s: A new world and an old: Cecil B De Mille, Griffith, Lubitsch, the western, the great age of silent comedy. 4. The sound of the Depression: the Talkies and the 1930s: musicals, monsters and a mouse; gangsters, cops, social reality, the western, Capra's comedy, stars, Gone With the Wind.

Other Works

 

 

American Letter
Immigrant and Ethnic Writing
Prentice-Hall, 1975. 

ISBN - 0-13-027896-3

An anthology of  multi-ethnic writings.

Ethnic Perspective in American Literature
Selected Essays On The European Contribution.
Di Pietro, Robert J.; Ifkovic, Edward (editors).

ISBN - 0-87352-126-9

A collection of essays exploring the ethnic diversity of the United States. Included is an essay by Ifkovic entitled: “The Yugoslav Contribution.”

The Yugoslavs in America

ISBN - 0-8225-0231-3

Study of South Slavs immigration to America, written for high school students.

A Bend in the River
Voices from a Community College 1970-2000

ISBN - 0-595-16615-6

The story of Tunxis Community College is emblematic of the changes seen in higher education in America since the 1960s. Created in 1970, the college is part of the public college system of Connecticut. Its 30-year history is filled with all the successes and pitfalls of any evolving, open-admission institution. Here is not only the factual history but, as well, a collection of "voices" from the people who fashioned a vibrant campus during the last three decades-the students, faculty and staff. Their story is one more example of the new democracy of higher education in America at the end of the twentieth century. 

 

 

 

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