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Book Beat: June 1998

Recent publications from CLAS faculty.

Black May: The Epic Story of The Allies' Defeat of the German U-Boats in May 1943

Black May: The Epic Story of The Allies' Defeat of the German U-Boats in May 1943Michael Gannon, Department of History 
(Harper Collins, 1998)
Available through Amazon

Given the strategic importance of events of May 1943, it is natural to ask, How did Black May happen and why?  Who or what was responsible?  Were new Allied tactics adopted or new weapons employed?

This book answers those questions and many others. Drawing on original documents in German, British, US, and Canadian archives, as well as interviews with surviving participants, Gannon describes the exciting sea and air battles, frequently taking the reader inside the U-boats themselves, aboard British warships, onto the decks of torpedoed merchant ships, and into the cockpits of British and U.S. aircraft.


With a loud explosion, but no flash, one of Hasenchar's wakeless torpedoes struck Harbury on the starboard side in No. 5 hold, blowing off its hatches and flooding it. The time was 0046 on 5 May. A fracture in the tunnel door allowed water into the engine room, which began to fill with sea water. The Master, Captain W.E. Cook, made his way to the bridge wings, where he saw that the ship was settling by the stern. Third Officer W. Skinner fired the required white rockets. Only twenty-one or twenty-two years old, Skinner had previously gone down once with a mined ship, a second time with a ship sunk by Japanese aircraft off Ceylon, and, after the latter sinking, he had been sunk yet a third time by a Japanese cruiser that shelled the ship that rescued him. Said Cook later about Skinner's fourth experience, he was "most reliable and cool."

Guide to the University of Florida and Gainesville

Guide to the University of Florida and GainesvilleKevin McCarthy, Department of English and Murray Laurie (retired Graduate School Editor) with photographs by Karelisa Hartigan 
(Pineapple Press, 1998)
Available through Amazon  

In September 1906, 102 young men arrived at the newly established University of Florida in Gainesville to find two unfinished red brick buildings rising in Gothic splendor from a landscape of dusty paths, isolated sinkholes, tall pines, and newly planted oak trees. Students today encounter a completely different campus—three square miles of classrooms, dormitories, laboratories, administration buildings, and other facilities, set in the middle of a friendly, green, and growing city.

The big beautiful, bewildering campus of the University of Florida is unpacked in this informative and useful guidebook, but there's more to Gainesville than just UF. The city boasts charming historic neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown entertainment district, and unspoiled natural environments such as the Devil's Millhopper and Paynes Prairie are just minutes away.

Each significant building on campus and in town is described here, with information on its history, architecture, location, and present use. Over a hundred black-and-white photographs and fifteen maps complete this thorough tour. Whether you're an alum, new student, or long-time Gainesville resident, thumbing through this book is sure to provide you with a fresh perspective on the unique places and character of the University of Florida and Gainesville.


The town, which was officially established January 24, 1854, was named Gainesville after General Edmund Pendleton Gaines (1777-1849). General Gaines was a well-known, much admired military man who had served in the War of 1812. He had captured the traitor Aaron Burr and later fought in the Second Seminole War (1835-42).

The new town of Gainesville, which consisted of some 103 acres, was bounded by present-day Fifth Avenue on the north, Sweetwater Branch on the east, Second Place on the south, and Second Street on the west.

The Physiology of Fishes

The Physiology of FishesEdited by David H. Evans, Department of Zoology  
(CRC Press, 1998)
Available through Amazon

As in the bestselling first edition, The Physiology of Fishes, Second Edition, is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art review of the major areas of research in modern fish physiology. This Second Edition is entirely revised, with 17 of the 18 chapters written by new authors. It also includes four entirely new chapters:  Feeding and Digestion, Growth and Metabolism, Immunity, and The Central Nervous System.

International contributions from leading experts detail current knowledge of locomotion and energetics, gas exchange and cardiovascular physiology, homeostasis, and neurophysiology and neuroendocrine control.


A distinctive group of herbivorous fishes are those that feed on the fruits, seeds, flowers, and leaves of trees in the regions. The fishes, especially species in the several genera of the Characidae, swim into the flooded forest and feed on the fruits and seeds as they fall into the water. These fishes appear to store up large fat reserves during the rainy season, and although some crush seeds with the powerful molariform teeth, others pass viable seeds and may be important dispersal agents for some tropical forest trees.

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