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Originally published Monday, July 25, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Local books: civil discourse, crime in Portland and treasures from mechanical junk

New in local books: a plea for civil discourse from Gregory Wolfe; how to succeed in officer-candidate school; crime in 1950s Portland; and a manual for transforming mechanical junk into treasure.

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New releases

"Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age" by Gregory Wolfe (ISI Books, $29.95). In this book, author Wolfe makes a plea for civil discourse in sorting out contemporary political and cultural issues. "And the best way to do that ... is to draw nourishment from the deepest sources of culture: art and religious faith," says the publisher. Wolfe is writer in residence at Seattle Pacific University.

"The Ultimate Officer Candidate School Guidebook: What You Need to Know to Succeed at Federal and State OCS" by Captain Ryan N. Pierce (Savas Beatie, $18.95). A nuts-and-bolts guide to success in officer-candidate school, for those considering joining or re-entering the Army, Army Reserves or Army National Guard. Pierce is a captain in the Washington Army National Guard. He lives in Burien.

"Dark Rose: Organized Crime and Corruption in Portland" by Robert C. Donnelly (University of Washington Press, $22.50). For Portland expats: The story of a dark era in the Rose City of the 1950s, when Oregonian investigative reporters exposed "organized crime rackets in Portland and rampant corruption in the city's law enforcement institutions," according to the publisher. Donnelly is an assistant professor of history at Gonzaga University.

"Unscrewed: Salvage and Reuse Motors, Gears, Switches, and More from your Old Electronics" by Ed Sobey (Chicago Review Press, $16.95). Sobey, Seattle-based founder and director of the Northwest Invention Center (invention-center.com), wrote this how-to manual on how to "salvage hidden treasures or repurpose old junk ... Fight the mindset of planned obsolescence," says the publisher.

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