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Summer Picks from Government Documents

By Scott West

Summer vacation is on the minds of many … but your tax dollars are at work 12 months a year at the Government Publishing Office. Enjoy some summer reading compliments of the Federal Depository Library Program!


  • Michael Carlowicz et al.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2018)
  • NAS 1.2:EA 7/21

“NASA studies Earth in novel ways and with ingenious tools, examining it from beneath the crust to the edge of the atmosphere. This book provides a visual journey of our beautiful and compelling planet as viewed from above.”  An extraordinary collection of images. Available in print.

The Evolution of Forward Surgery in the US Army: From the Revolutionary War to the Combat Operations of the 21st Century

  • Col. Lance P. Steahly, M.D. (retired) and Maj. David W. Cannon Sr. (retired)
  • Borden Institute, U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School (2018)
  • D 104.2:SU 7/3

This book explores advances in medicine and surgery; the impact of disease upon troop strength; and the challenges of forward surgery in theaters of conflict in World War II. The evolving care models feature the story of the Korean War mobile army surgical hospital. The authors also review helicopter air evacuation in Vietnam, along with improved surgical techniques. Available in print and online.

A Grave Misfortune: The USS Indianapolis Tragedy

  • Richard A. Hulver & Peter C. Luebke (eds.)
  • Naval History & Heritage Command (2018)
  • D 221.19:7

“It is indisputable that the loss of life attributed to the sinking of Indianapolis could have been mitigated had the proper individuals in the Navy realized sooner that the ship was overdue. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The United States Navy did, however, learn from this disaster and took immediate steps to ensure that no Sailor or Marine would again face a similar situation. Available in print and online.

The Mayaguez Crisis, Mission Command, and Civil-Military Relations

  • Christopher J. Lamb
  • Joint History Office, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2018)
  • D 5.2:M 45

In 1975, Cambodian Khmer Rouge forces seized the U.S. merchant vessel SS Mayaguez in international waters and took the crew hostage.  The rescue mission freed the vessel and crew but cost the lives of 41 service members. Lamb explains what U.S. leaders hoped to accomplish and why the crisis unfolded the way it did. Available in print.

Nomination of Kirstjen M. Nielsen

  • Hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • Nov. 8, 2017
  • Y 4.G 74/9:S.HRG.115-392

This hearing represents another executive appointment that only survived a little longer than the process necessary to publish the nomination hearing. Nielsen resigned April 7, 2019. Available in print and online.

Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019-2028

  • Congressional Budget Office (December 2018)
  • Y 10.32:2019-2028

Report has a variety of sources, including legislative proposals, U.S. administration budget proposals, congressional staff, private groups and other government entities. The options reflect a range of possibilities rather than to rank priorities or present a comprehensive list. “In keeping with CBO's mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, this report makes no recommendations.”  Available in print.

Self-Driving Cars: Road to Deployment

  • Hearing before the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce & Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy & Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Feb. 14, 2017
  • Y 4.C 73/8:115-6

Chairman Robert Latta (Ohio) explains that as the auto industry works to make self-driving vehicles a reality, "adequately testing these vehicles will be critical to refining their systems for commercial deployment and gaining consumer confidence.”  Witnesses include representatives from General Motors, Volvo and Toyota as well as Lyft and the Rand Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty. Available in Print and Online.

The State of Civil & Human Rights in the United States

  • Hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate
  • Dec. 9, 2014
  • Y 4.J 89/2:S.HRG.113-895

Sen. Dick Durbin (Illinois), chair, explains that his subcommittee “has tried to look intently not just to our past, but to our present and to our future to examine what more needs to be done to protect civil and human rights in America. We tried to understand in this Subcommittee the human impact of the issues we debate by hearing directly from those most affected.” Witnesses include representatives from the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the ACLU, and the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights.  In addition, Sen. Cory Booker (New Jersey), Rep. Keith Ellison (Minnesota) and Rept. Luis Gutierrez (Illinois) also testify. Available in print and online.

World War I Battlefield Companion

  • American Battle Monuments Commission (2018)
  • Y 3.AM 3:2 W 89

The centennial year of the end of World War I witnessed commemorations and memorial ceremonies at American historical sites throughout Europe. Using this battlefield companion as a guide, travelers can find their way to key American battle sites and cemeteries and gain a better understanding of the history behind the monuments and memorials. Available in print and online.

Yellowstone National Park Trip Planner 2019

  • National Park Service
  • I 29.2: Y 3/18/2019

Who knew government documents could help in planning a summer vacation? This small but powerful guide provides a map as well as information on park safety, services and camping. Available in print.

— Scott N. West is an information resources specialist in the University Libraries.

Postscript: In May 2019, Roesch Library celebrated 50 years in the Federal Depository Library Program.

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