"In this rich, challenging, and enjoyable book, Friend examines the social, cultural, economic, political, and military histories of Kentucke (now Kentucky) from the 1720s to the War of 1812. ... The merits of this sweeping book are too numerous to chronicle sufficiently in this brief review. Nevertheless, Friend is at his strongest in his examination of the roles of memory and mythology in justifying white domination." —American Studies
A judging panel consisting of 60 librarians and booksellers will determine the winners of Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards, along with Editor’s Choice Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction. The winners will be announced Friday, June 28 at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago, IL at the PopTop Stage. The two Editor’s Choice Prizes will be awarded $1,500 each. ForeWord’s Independent Publisher of the Year will also be announced.
IUP authors B.J. Hollars and Meredith Mason Brown will sign copies of their books at Book Expo America (BEA) May 31. The conference will be held in the Javits Center in New York City. Brown (Touching America's History) will be signing autographs from 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m. at Table #6. Hollars (Sightings) will be signing autographs from 3:30 p.m.-4 p.m. at Table #19. In addition to the signing, Brown and his book will also be featured in PW Daily.
BEA runs from May 29-June 1. For more information, visit BEA's website.
Learn more about these books in the trailer for Sightings and the podcast for Touching America's History.
Today is National Train Day! Learn more about railroad history and why trains still matter in these books:
Railroads and the American People H. Roger Grant
"With plenty of detail, Grant brings a bygone era back to life, addressing everything from social and commercial appeal, racial and gender issues, safety concerns, and leaps in technology. But Grant never loses sight of the big picture and the essential role the railroads played in American life. He writes with authority and clarity in a work that can appeal to both casual and hardcore enthusiasts." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Available July 2013 Off the Main Lines A Photographic Odyssey Don L. Hofsommer
In this visually stunning and comprehensive photographic essay, railroad historian and photographer Donovan L. Hofsommer records the end of branchline passenger service, the demise of electric railroads, the transition from steam to diesel power, as well as the end of common carrier freight service on the Colorado narrow gauge.
Available October 2013 John Frank Stevens Civil Engineer Clifford Foust
One of America's foremost civil engineers of the past 150 years, John Frank Stevens was a railway reconnaissance and location engineer whose reputation was made on the Canadian Pacific and Great Northern lines. Drawing on Stevens’s surviving personal papers and materials from projects with which he was associated, Clifford Foust offers an illuminating look into the life of an accomplished civil engineer.
"Sobel's updated version of the acclaimed history of the remarkable military family focuses on the legendary World War II battlefield genius General George S. Patton Jr. (1880-1945) and his son Major General George Smith Patton (1923-2004) who forged his own distinguished military history in the Korean and Vietnam Wars." —Armchair General
What can historical artifacts teach us about history? In his new book Touching America’s History, Meredith Mason Brown uses 20 objects to summon up major developments in American history. He discusses how these artifacts reveal the birth, growth, and shaping of what is now America on this episode of the IU Press podcast:
"King's work is fresh and accessible. It fills key gaps in scholarship on slavery and would make for a worthwhile read for anyone from the casual reader of history to the scholar. As a result, Stolen Childhood is recommended for purchase by academic libraries and public libraries that have strong nonfiction collections." —Tennessee Libraries
"Gerald Sorin’s biography of the Jewish-leftist writer Howard Fast (1914-2003) examines Fast’s life through the lens of his political identity. ... [S]uch a critical view is bound to stimulate new debate over the role of the artist in Cold War America." —Jewish Book Council
Now that the 2012 presidential election is over, how will history remember it? Author David M. Jordan shows that historical memories of elections can change over time. Specifically, he looks at the 1944 presidential race in his book FDR, Dewey, and the Election of 1944 (now available in paperback). Jordan discusses the fascinating campaign between FDR and Dewey in an interview orignally posted on our blog last year:
Many assume that FDR’s 1944 re-election was a given, but the presidential race was much closer than many recall. Why has the historical memory of this election changed?
I believe that the historical memory of FDR as a candidate who never lost is part of it—“how could FDR even have a close election?”—and the fact that it was very much a part of the war and the war effort. Also perhaps the fact that Dewey lost again four years later tends to lower him in the historical memory.
What were the reasons that the election was so close?
The country seemed to be trending toward more conservatism and the liberalism of the New Deal was fading as the economy improved. A lot of folks were also unhappy with the government-imposed restrictions of the war effort, and the rumors about Roosevelt’s health had some effect, as did all the Communism talk by the Republicans. And, while it didn’t affect the electoral college vote, FDR’s popular vote in the South went down, as the Democratic strength in the South started on its way down.
What is one of the most interesting aspects of the election?
The most interesting aspect of the election in my eyes was the struggle for the selection of the Democratic vice-presidential nominee: the down-grading of Wallace, the push for Byrnes and others, the reluctance of Truman, and, most of all, the “hands-off” and sometimes duplicitous attitude of Roosevelt.
In the preface, you write about some of your childhood recollections of this presidential election. What is your most vivid memory from that time?
What I remember most is my mother’s constant talk about how bad FDR was. I also have a vivid memory of going to my local barber shop and, while waiting, picking up and reading LIFE magazine and a feature on Senate races across the country; I particularly recall reading about Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts and Wayne Morse of Oregon.
FDR’s personal physician made misleading statements about the president’s health to keep the public in the dark about the seriousness of his condition. Do you think it’s possible to keep this kind of information a secret today?
No, I think today’s media would never stand for something like what Dr. McIntire did. Even then, the reporters could see that Roosevelt looked a lot different from before and they felt that there was something they weren’t being told, but they had nowhere else to turn. Today, even if the mainstream media were to go along with some kind of a cover-up, all those magazines that turn up next to the supermarket check-out lines would have a field day with the president’s health secrets.
How did Dewey, who has been described as “cold,” “humorless,” and having “little natural political endowment,” end up securing the 1944 Republican nomination?
The main reason he got it was the fact that Republican politicians across the country felt that Dewey was the only one who could carry New York State against Roosevelt. They looked at what he had done in the 1938 and 1942 statewide elections and they figured he had a good chance of carrying NY (as well as the other eastern states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, etc.). Most of them liked Bricker much better than Dewey, but they didn’t think Bricker had any real chance to crack the eastern-states bloc. And, of course, Dewey had very persuasive agents like Brownell and Jaeckle going around the country pushing his (invisible) candidacy and getting delegates lined up.
What were some new or surprising facts you learned while doing research for your book?
I never knew about Willkie and the Wisconsin primary until I started on the book or the Warren VP-boom that he scuttled or the struggle to permit some sort of military voting.
How long did it take you to complete the research for the book?
Looking back, I would say it was some six or seven years, with my first research trip to Notre Dame to go through the Frank Walker papers.
PW offers the following praise for the book: "Grant never loses sight of the big picture and the essential role the railroads played in American life. He writes with authority and clarity in a work that can appeal to both casual and hardcore enthusiasts."