Blog Archives

The United States’s changing role in the “higher education ecosystem”

August 31, 2010
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The United States’s changing role in the “higher education ecosystem”

For much of the last century American universities have held their place as global leaders in higher education, but recently, with the United State’s economic dominance increasingly jeopardized by rising world powers such as China, and to a lesser extent India, there have been some quiet grumblings about a possible “reverse brain drain.” Numbers of US born grad students in the sciences have, of late, been on the decline, while many foreign-born students—who make up a significant portion of the domestic scientific community, and who continue arrive in droves to attend the nation’s elite research institutions—are increasingly able to find high quality employment in their home countries. And while other factors may come into play—post 9/11 restrictions on employment visas, political decisions that redirect funding for scientific research— a new book from the National Bureau of Economic Research, American Universities in a Global Market edited by Charles T. Clotfelter, offers some fascinating insights into this phenomenon, viewing the issue in terms of economics, and drawing on the knowledge of some of the world’s leading economists to help analyze it. From a recent interview with Clotfelter for Inside Higher Ed: Q. There’ve been lots of recent analyses of American higher education’s . . .

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A window into the architectural process

August 27, 2010
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A window into the architectural process

Contemporary architecture has undergone some radical transformations alongside advancements in technology that allow architects and engineers to design and construct buildings that were impossible just a few years ago. Viewing the finished works—works like Daniel Liebeskind’s Fredrick C. Hamilton building, or Frank Gehry’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts—inevitably evokes questions about their construction. How were they built, and how do some of these precariously tilted structures remain standing? In his recent book Architecture Under Construction—a collection of eighty black and white images of some of our most unusual new buildings in the process of their construction—Guggenheim Award-winning photographer Stanley Greenberg explores the complex mystery and beauty of buildings before they receive their obscuring skin. Stephen Longmire writes for a recent article in the Chicago Reader: By arriving before anyone else—except the builders, who are nowhere to be seen—Greenberg is able to study the guts of these iconic constructions. It’s a matter of political principle for the New York-based photographer, whose two previous books, Invisible New York (1998) and Waterworks (2003), explore the seldom-seen infrastructure of his home town. “During the Bush years, everything was hidden,” he told me in a recent interview. “I wanted to look beneath . . .

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“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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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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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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H. Allen Brooks, 1925—2010

August 13, 2010
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H. Allen Brooks, 1925—2010

H. Allen Brooks, architectural historian at the University of Toronto known for coining the name “Prairie School” and authoring a number of important books on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and pioneering architect and designer Le Corbusier, passed away last Monday at the age of 84. In 1997 the Press published: Le Corbusier’s Formative Years: Charles-Edouard Jeanneret at La Chaux-de-Fonds. According to this entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia his comprehensive biographical account of Le Corbusier’s early career—the culmination of over twenty years of research—was applauded for the challenge it posed to existing scholarship, “correcting the mistaken impression that Le Corbusier’s work had begun in Paris,” and “was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in biography and won a first prize from the Association of American Publishers for books in architecture and urban planning.” To find out more Brooks’ fascinating life and groundbreaking studies on the history of modern architecture navigate to the Canadian Encyclopedia or read his obituary at the University of Toronto website. Or follow the link for more on Le Corbusier’s Formative Years. . . .

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