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“How did we get into this mess?” Two new books offering a deeper look into the state of democracy in America

December 12, 2018
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“How did we get into this mess?” Two new books offering a deeper look into the state of democracy in America

“How did we get into this mess? Every morning, many Americans ask this as, with a cringe, they pick up their phones and look to see what terrible thing President Trump has just said or done.” Those lines are stolen directly from the opening of the jacket copy for Boston College political scientist Alan Wolfe’s new book The Politics of Petulance, which just published this October. And they now seem more appropriate than ever. With the Mueller inquiry rapidly decreasing the degrees of separation between individuals who have already been indicted, and members of Trump’s inner circle, including the President himself, institutional corruption and the unraveling of the electorate’s faith in the modern democratic system are topics now making front page news on an almost daily basis. But while the headlines might seem to implicate the Trump administration in particular in the current state of affairs, in the New York Times Book Review, Norman J. Ornstein offers a review of two new books from the University of Chicago Press that take a deeper look at the issue, teasing out the historical, cultural, and institutional trends that the authors argue are the real culprits responsible for “what ails America.”  Ornstein’s review offers a nice summary of both . . .

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Holiday gift book sale! 40% off–one week only!

December 3, 2018
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Holiday gift book sale! 40% off–one week only!

              You know that what folks on your holiday gift giving list want is books, right? Fortunately, that’s what we’ve got: book after book after book, including art, biography, science, literature, poetry, and much more, all 40% off this week only–December 3 through 9–if you order directly from our site. Get The Writer’s Map, which the Weekly Standard called the book of the year. Or Philip Ball’s Beyond Weird, which the Washington Post said was the easily best book for general readers on quantum physics they’d ever seen. Or the David Ferry’s brilliant new translation of The Aeneid; pair it with a different sort of epic, the Bodleian Library’s stunning catalog Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth. Or Alligator Records founder Bruce Iglauer’s rollicking memoir of his life in the music business. There’s something here for everyone on your list, and it’s all 40% off this week. Time to get shopping!     . . .

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A notable retirement, a reorganization of responsibilities, and two promotions—a new era at the University of Chicago Press

November 29, 2018
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A notable retirement, a reorganization of responsibilities, and two promotions—a new era at the University of Chicago Press

  An era will pass on December 31st with the retirement of executive editor Doug Mitchell after forty-one years at the University of Chicago Press. During his tenure at Chicago, Doug has made an incalculable impact on several scholarly fields, including sexuality studies, sociology, history, and rhetoric. Doug began his publishing career in the college division of Scott, Foresman, then came to the Press in 1977. Some of Doug’s distinctive early acquisitions were books by the Annales historians, works in social and cultural theory, studies in the production of knowledge, and, most famously, the National Book Award–winning Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, by John Boswell. Boswell’s book became the spearhead for Doug’s field-defining list in sexuality studies. For his role in shaping and amplifying that field, Doug was honored in 1998 with a Lambda Literary Award. Doug also published important books in rhetoric and communication and drew on his musical gifts to bring Chicago a line of important books in jazz studies. Perhaps the greatest of Doug’s achievements was to build a community of sociologists linked by a love of culture, narrative, and first principles, for which the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction awarded him its coveted George . . .

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The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center welcome former UPNE publishers

November 14, 2018
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The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center welcome former UPNE publishers

We’re please to be able to share some good news that’s perfectly timed for University Press Week—#TurnItUP! The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center are pleased to announce that Autumn House Press, Brandeis University Press, Carnegie Mellon University Press, Dartmouth College Press, New Issues Poetry & Prose, Oberlin College Press, Omnidawn Publishing, and 2Leaf Press, all formerly distributed by UPNE,  as well as books published under UPNE’s own imprint, are joining the CDC and will be marketed and sold by the University of Chicago Press. All orders for books from these publishers can now be directed to the CDC. Joseph D’Onofrio, the director of the CDC, said “The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center are pleased to welcome our new publishers from UPNE to the family. We look forward to helping them flourish, as they continue to publish great and compelling books.” Founded in 1998, Autumn House Press publishes full-length collections of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The press concentrates on publishing the work of excellent contemporary writers who have a following among readers, but whose work has been overlooked by commercial publishers. Autumn House Press believes art and literature are essential to the growth of a . . .

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In the wake of the midterms, time to #TurnItUP!

November 13, 2018
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In the wake of the midterms, time to #TurnItUP!

                                The University Press week blog tour continues, today with a focus on politics. Georgetown University Press  provides readers with some resources. A post from Teachers College Press features a list of books on politics and education.  A Q&A with Michael Lazzarra, author of Civil Obedience (Critical Human Rights series) about how dictatorships are supported by civilian complicity is posted by the University of Wisconsin Press.  Rutgers University Press highlights three recent politics books: The Politics of Fame by Eric Burns and the reissues of classics Democracy Ancient and Modern by M.I. Finley and Echoes of the Marseillaise by Eric Hobsbawn. UBC Press describes their new Women’s Suffrage and the Struggle for Democracy series.  Over at LSU Press, there’s a post about their new list dealing with contemporary social justice issues, pegged to Jim Crow’s Last Stand and the recent state vote to ban non-unanimous criminal jury verdicts.  An interview with Dick Simpson and Betty O’Shaughnessy, authors of Winning Elections in the 21st Century can be found courtesy of the University of Kansas Press.  Harriet Kim provides a selection of interesting politics titles that she recently brought back . . .

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University Press Week is here: Time to #TurnItUP!

November 12, 2018
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Your inbox is full from the weekend. You can’t figure out which problem to tackle first. Wouldn’t you rather pour a cup of coffee and go traveling? Fortunately for you, it’s University Press week, and we’ve got a blog tour kicking off today! Set your browser humming with these offerings: •Duke University Press writes about how partnerships with museums have helped them build a strong art list. •Athabasca University Press offers a playlist by author Mark A. McCutcheon of all the songs featured in his book The Medium Is the Monster: Canadian Adaptations of Frankenstein and the Discourse of Technology. •Rutgers University Press dedicates a post to our their book Junctures in Women’s Leadership: The Arts, by Judith Brodsky and Ferris Olin. •Yale University Press features a post by author Dominic Bradbury about how immigrants enrich a country’s art and architecture. •University of Minnesota Press is running a post about their author Adrienne Kennedy, who will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame on November 12th. That’s just the start of a week full of reasons to #TurnItUp! . . .

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Is the book of the year already here?

November 8, 2018
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Is the book of the year already here?

That’s what Alan Jacobs thinks. In one of the strongest reviews we’ve ever read (and we read a lot of reviews), for the Weekly Standard, he praises The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands to the skies: Barring some unforeseen miracle of publishing occurring in the next few weeks, The Writer’s Map will be my book of the year for 2018. It gathers intelligently charming meditations from writers and festoons them with map after map after map after map of imaginary, and sometimes non-imaginary, lands. (Only after several days of staring at the beautifully reproduced images did I force myself to read the words, but I am glad I finally did.) I am so enamored of this book that I bitterly resent what takes me away from it, whether that be the need to eat, or sleep, or write this review. But when duty calls, I sometimes answer. We couldn’t agree more. In this oversized, richly illustrated volume, editor Huw Lewis-Jones has gathered a roster of stars—folks like Philip Pullman, Lev Grossman, Miraphora Mina, Robert Macfarlane, and many more—to share the stories of how they, as writers, engage with, explore, and are enchanted by maps. This is a book for everyone who remembers huddling . . .

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Honoring 37+ years of service: Marketing Director Carol Kasper retires

October 31, 2018
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Honoring 37+ years of service: Marketing Director Carol Kasper retires

This coming Friday will mark the end of a remarkable era: University of Chicago Press Marketing Director Carol Kasper will retire after more than 23 years as head of the Marketing Department, and nearly 38 years working at the Press. We’ll let Press Director Garrett Kiely tell the story: By any measure, January 20, 1981 was a momentous day. Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, the Iran hostage crisis ended, and Carol Ann Kasper started work at the University of Chicago Press as a part-time receptionist in the Journals Division. When Carol arrived at the Press in 1981, she was not a stranger to the University of Chicago. She was an ABD doctoral student in the English Department who had earned an M.A. in American Literature from the University after graduating with a B.A. in English and a minor in German from Case Western Reserve University (She put that German experience to good use on her many visits to the annual Frankfurt Book Fair). She was promoted to full-time Marketing Copywriter later in 1981, Direct Marketing Manager in 1983, and was named Marketing Director in 1995. She has enjoyed a storied 23-year tenure . . .

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Magic, Mayhem, and Maps in the Harlem Jazz Age

October 10, 2018
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  Historian Susan Schulten takes us on a deep dive into the fascinating story behind a favorite map from her new book, A History of America in 100 Maps. In 2016, the Beinecke Library at Yale University paid $100,000 to add Elmer Simms Campbell’s energetic profile of interwar Harlem to its celebrated collection of black history and culture. The Library described Campbell’s image as a “playful rendering” of the age, but it also captures the complex dynamics that made Harlem the cultural capital of black America. Campbell’s success may even have surprised him. After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, he moved to Manhattan in 1929 to seek work, though faced a string of rejections due to his race before catching a break at the newly founded Esquire magazine in 1933. For the next four decades, Campbell supplied the magazine with cartoons and illustrations that shaped its knowing, urban, and often cheeky sensibility. Though he initially struggled to find work, Campbell immediately found in Harlem’s jazz scene. He quickly befriended Cab Calloway, who, along with Duke Ellington, presided over legendary performances at the Cotton Club. The men became drinking buddies and regulars at Harlem’s famed clubs and speakeasies, all of . . .

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When and how baseball became America’s Pastime: An interview with David Rapp

October 4, 2018
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When and how baseball became America’s Pastime: An interview with David Rapp

David Rapp has had a long career as a political journalist–including serving as editor of Congressional Quarterly. But he’s always been as much a baseball fan as a politics junkie, and this spring we published his first foray in that realm: Tinker to Evers to Chance: The Chicago Cubs and the Dawn of Modern America. Booklist called it “a potent reminder of how American first fell in love with its national pastime,” while Chicago magazine praised Rapp’s account of “a changing America that became suddenly and almost inexplicably gripped by baseball fever.” We asked Rapp some questions about baseball, then and now, and how it became what we’ll be watching in the playoffs tonight. It’s almost hard to imagine America without baseball. But clearly the sport had to start somewhere. Can you talk about what baseball was like at the turn of the century? After captivating American crowds with a freewheeling, if also rule-bending, form of entertainment in the 1880s, organized baseball turned cynical and sour in the 1890s. The players were crude and foul-mouthed. The fans were raucous, hungry for violence, and they cheered for mayhem on the field. And the owners were blatantly corrupt. Emerging fads like bicycling and “pedestrianism,” or walking races, . . .

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