Monthly Archives: August 2010

“The 17 Most Innovative University Presses”

August 24, 2010
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“The 17 Most Innovative University Presses”

While most mainstream media coverage of the publishing industry devotes itself to reviews of trade titles from major commercial publishing houses, the Huffington Post has recently devoted several articles to plumbing the depths of the publishing world to bring to light some of the hidden gems independent and university publishing houses have to offer. Following up on their recent spotlight of independent literary presses, the HufPo‘s Anis Shivani has penned a new article “devoted to the most exciting university presses in the country” the best of which, Shivani writes, “combine profound scholarship with accessible language, to present books that are both of the moment and can claim a place in the canon.…” Shivani continues, “the misimpression should be removed: university presses do not publish boring or excessively weighty or arcane books. They may not be into showmanship and high-stakes publicity maneuvers, but their steady, unrelenting focus on particular subject areas creates vast bodies of new knowledge that the mainstream reviewing community makes a great mistake in ignoring.” Case in point, check out some of our most recent general interest offerings on our website. From Roger Ebert’s The Great Movies III to Robert K. Elder’s Last Words of the Executed to . . .

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William James, 100 years gone

August 23, 2010
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William James, 100 years gone

This Thursday, August 26th, will mark the centenary of the death of William James, and to mark that date the online literary site The Second Pass has declared this William James Week. In an introductory post, the site’s editor, John Williams, writes, I read The Varieties of Religious Experience for the first time about four years ago, and I quickly became a James fanatic.… I’ve found since discovering his work for myself that fellow fans share my affection for him, my sense that he is almost a real friend—a remarkable feeling to have for any author, much less one who has been gone for a century. It’s a feeling that is far from uncommon from those who read James—in many ways he is the opposite of his brother Henry, warm where Henry is cerebral, accessible where Henry is occluded, open and even friendly where Henry is stand-offish. On a recent episode of Melvyn Bragg’s BBC show “In Our Time,” philosopher Jonathan Ree described James in similar terms: First of all, I think William James is one of the greatest philosophers ever, and he’s untypical. Twentieth-century philosophers, I think, fall into two groups: they’re either nitpicking, pettifogging bureaucrats or else they’re . . .

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The Bible of the Publishing Industry and its #1 Evangelist

August 23, 2010
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The Bible of the Publishing Industry and its #1 Evangelist

Anita Samen, one of the many brilliant minds behind the new sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style—and as managing editor at the press, also one of its foremost devotees, evangelists, and hermeneutists—made an appearance on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight last Thursday to discuss the new 16th edition and the updated CMOS online website. Check out the archived video below: See more about the book or check out some of the various subscription options for the Chicago Manual of Style Online. Or, get started by sampling some of the free content offered on the site including the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide and the ever popular Q&A. . . .

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A thief walks into a bookstore…

August 20, 2010
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A thief walks into a bookstore…

A fictional character walks into a bookstore and asks to see the guy who dreamed him up. It’s not the set up to a joke; it’s the plot of the winner of 57th Street Books‘s Parker Flash Fiction contest. Back in May, we told you about the score: the best 350-word story would win a set of all twelve gorgeously designed reissues of Richard Stark‘s crime thrillers from the University of Chicago Press and publication on The Front Table, the webzine of The Seminary Co-op Bookstores. Parker, though famous for his dangerous crimes and daring escapes, had not been known to lurk around bookstores—until now. Check out the third place entry—which finds Parker stealing a first-edition copy of The Hunter, the book in which Stark introduced Parker for the first time—and the runner-up—where there tables are turned and Parker foils, rather than commits, a heist—before getting to the winner. And if those short inventions leave you craving more Parker, the next three additions to the series—Deadly Edge, Plunder Squad, and Slayground—will be out next month. In the meantime, read an interview with the author, the master mystery writer Donald Westlake (who wrote the series under the pseudonym Richard Stark), or . . .

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CMOS 16 Goes Digital

August 20, 2010
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CMOS 16 Goes Digital

And we’re live! The evening of August 17, Press IT staff flipped the so-called switch, and The Chicago Manual of Style Online, 16th Edition, was successfully launched to much fanfare from editors, writers, and style mavens alike. As the very first edition to be published simultaneously in print and online, this revision begins a fresh chapter in the hundred-year history of the venerable Manual. Much has changed since the last edition came out in 2003, and the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style has been reorganized to reflect the way publishing professionals work in the digital age. Replete with the clear, well-considered advice on style and usage that devotees of The Chicago Manual of Style have come to expect, the sixteenth edition also provides a wealth of new information and guidelines for electronic workflow and processes. After the launch, The Chicago Manual of Style Online subscribers automatically received the sixteenth-edition content update, while retaining their access to the fifteenth-edition content. Garrett Kiely, director of the Press, explains why. “We took this unusual step of keeping the previous edition available in our online product because of the way editors and authors work. Many will be involved in projects that . . .

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“The Earliest Royko”

August 19, 2010
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“The Earliest Royko”

An article in this week’s edition of the Reader points to a new online collection of articles by Mike Royko. The Reader‘s Michael Miner notes that the articles were recently unearthed by Royko’s son, David Royko, while he was in the process of collecting images for the Press’s latest addition to the Royko canon, Royko in Love: Mike’s Letters to Carol. Though titled “The Earliest Royko” the new articles fall chronologically after the contents of Royko in Love which collects correspondence between Royko and his childhood sweetheart, Carol Duckman, while Royko was stationed at Blaine Air Force Base in Washington state . The new articles pick up after Royko returned to Illinois to serve at O’Hare Field where Royko finagled his way into taking charge of the base newspaper, the O’Hare News. Characteristically Royko, Miner writes: “Was there ever a time when Royko was too young to sound like Royko? He must have been a wisenheimer from day one. If the cold war was good for anything it was absurdity, and here he is at 22, strutting his stuff.” Read the Reader article or browse “The Earliest Royko” on David Royko’s website. Find out more about about Royko in Love . . .

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Bobby Thomson, Leo Durocher, and the “shot heard ’round the world”

August 18, 2010
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Bobby Thomson, Leo Durocher, and the “shot heard ’round the world”

Bobby Thomson who famously hit the ninth-inning homer that handed the Giants the 1951 National League pennant 5-4 against the Dodgers—colloquially known as the “shot heard ’round the world”—passed away Monday at his home in Savannah, Georgia. He was 86. There are many accounts of the fateful moment that rocketed Thomson to baseball stardom, a moment which some would argue was one of the most dramatic in the history of baseball. Thomson’s obituary in the NYT quotes the eminently quotable mid-century sportswriter Red Smith: Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again. But such hyperbolic journalistic accounts aside, first-hand narratives of the action from the players themselves are a bit more rare. In 2009 the press published Leo Durocher’s Nice Guys Finish Last. Durocher is known not only for sharing in the glory of Thomson’s win as the Giants’ manager at the time (only a few years earlier he was given the boot by the Dodger’s GM), but also for an entire career as one of the most loud mouth, cantankerous, and controversial figures . . .

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CMOS 16: Paper vs. pixels

August 17, 2010
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CMOS 16: Paper vs. pixels

It’s unofficially here! Though the official publication date is set for the 31, the new Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition rolled in to our warehouses not long ago, and then began rolling right back out the door and into the waiting hands of wordsmiths across the globe. Meanwhile our IT department officially flips the switch on the updated Chicago Manual of Style Online later on this evening—the first ever simultaneous release of both a physical and digital edition of the CMOS. This is certainly a cause for celebration, but with the increasing popularity of the online experience, one might begin to ponder the future of the CMOS‘s physical incarnation. Will we ever see a day in which most editors opt for mouse clicks and full text searches over thumbing through tables of contents and indexes? Though obviously embracing the digital medium, the New Yorker‘s Book Bench blogger Eileen Reynolds writes: Surely, someone must enjoy having the whole manual available at the click of of the mouse, but I’ll stick with the book. After spending so many hours squinting at a screen, trawling for information on the Internet, any excuse to pull a hefty tome off the shelf is a . . .

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For all those who didn’t know not “grounding your club in a bunker” was even a rule

August 16, 2010
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For all those who didn’t know not “grounding your club in a bunker” was even a rule

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On the Symbolism of the “Ground Zero Mosque”

August 16, 2010
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On the Symbolism of the “Ground Zero Mosque”

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