Press Releases

Joseph Leo Koerner wins Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award

May 5, 2010
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Joseph Leo Koerner wins Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award

Joseph Leo Koerner, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University and the author of The Moment of Self-Portraiture in German Renaissance Art and The Reformation of the Image, has been awarded one of three Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Awards for 2009. The awards, which include a hefty cash prize of up to $1.5 million each, “honor scholars who have made significant contributions to humanistic inquiry and enable them to teach and do research under especially favorable conditions while enlarging opportunities for scholarship and teaching at the academic institutions with which they are affiliated.” You can find the official press release at the Andrew W. Mellon website. More about Koerner’s books: The Moment of Self-Portraiture in German Renaissance Art In this groundbreaking and elegantly written study, Joseph Koerner establishes the character of Renaissance art in Germany. Opening up new modes of inquiry for historians of art and early modern Europe, Koerner examines how artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Hans Baldung Grien reflected in their masterworks the changing status of the self in sixteenth-century Germany. The Reformation of the Image Martin Luther preached the radical notion that we are saved through faith alone. . . .

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Free e-book of the month

May 4, 2010
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Free e-book of the month

If you missed our one-day-only free download of Mark Monmonier’s newest book, No Dig, No Fly, No Go, not to worry. Starting today and for the rest of the month you have another chance to sample the fascinating work of this prolific author/geographer with a Monmonier classic, Cartographies of Danger: Mapping Hazards in America—May’s free e-book of the month. About the book: No place is perfectly safe, but some places are more dangerous than others. Whether we live on a floodplain or in “Tornado Alley,” near a nuclear facility or in a neighborhood poorly lit at night, we all co-exist uneasily with natural and man-made hazards. As Mark Monmonier shows in this entertaining and immensely informative book, maps can tell us a lot about where we can anticipate certain hazards, but they can also be dangerously misleading. “No one should buy a home, rent an apartment, or even drink the local water without having read this fascinating cartographic alert on the dangers that lurk in our everyday lives.… Who has not asked where it is safe to live? Cartographies of Danger provides the answer.”—H. J. de Blij, NBC News Also read Monmonier’s list of ten risky places. E-books from the . . .

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Press Release: Preib, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City

May 4, 2010
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Press Release: Preib, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City

Martin Preib is an officer in the Chicago Police Department—a beat cop whose first assignment as a rookie policeman was working on the wagon that picks up the dead. Over the course of countless hours driving the wagon through the city streets, claiming corpses and taking them to the morgue, arresting drunks and criminals and hauling them to jail, Preib took pen to paper to record his experiences. Inspired by Preib’s daily life as a policeman, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City chronicles the outer and inner lives of both a Chicago cop and the city itself. The book follows Preib as he transports body bags, forges a connection with his female partner, trains a younger officer, and finds himself among people long forgotten—or rendered invisible—by the rest of society. Preib recounts how he navigates the tenuous labyrinths of race and class in the urban metropolis, including a domestic disturbance call involving a gang member and his abused girlfriend and a run-in with a group of drunk yuppies. Preib’s accounts, all told in his breathtaking prose, range from noir-like reports of police work to streetwise meditations on life and darkly humorous accounts of other jobs in the city’s . . .

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Free e-book today: Monmonier’s No Dig, No Fly, No Go

May 3, 2010
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Free e-book today: Monmonier’s No Dig, No Fly, No Go

On Monday, May 3 only, the University of Chicago Press is pleased to offer the e-edition of Mark Monmonier’s brand new book No Dig, No Fly, No Go: How Maps Restrict and Control as a free download from our website. “Once again through his popular writing, Monmonier has made the lines of a map jump off the page and talk to us, only this time they scream and shout in a threatening voice, ‘No!'” The book examines use of the map as a source of authority across time and space: we encounter maps used to divide up property and to exclude people; maps that function as devices of colonialism and ways of divvying up the oceans; and maps that corrupt voting and regulate human behavior. Read this book, and perhaps never again will you casually ignore those cartographic lines, borders, and red zones that really do rule the world.”—Keith C. Clarke, University of California, Santa Barbara E-books from the University of Chicago Press are offered in Adobe Digital Editions format for Mac, PC, and a number of mobile devices such as the Sony Reader, IREX, BeBook, and more. Check out these links to find out more about Adobe Digital Editions . . .

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Press Release: Gibbons, Slow Trains Overhead

April 29, 2010
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Press Release: Gibbons, Slow Trains Overhead

Few people writing today could successfully combine an intimate knowledge of Chicago with a poet’s eye, and capture what it’s really like to live in this remarkable city. Embracing a striking variety of human experience—a chance encounter with a veteran on Belmont Avenue, the grimy majesty of the downtown L tracks, domestic violence in a North Side brownstone, the wide-eyed wonder of new arrivals at O’Hare, and much more—these new and selected poems and stories by Reginald Gibbons celebrate the heady mix of elation and despair that is city life. With Slow Trains Overhead, he has rendered a living portrait of Chicago as luminously detailed and powerful as those of Nelson Algren and Carl Sandburg. Gibbons takes the reader from museums and neighborhood life to tense proceedings in Juvenile Court, from comically noir-tinged scenes at a store on Clark Street to midnight immigrants at a gas station on Western Avenue, and from a child’s piggybank to nature in urban spaces. For Gibbons, the city’s people, places, and historical reverberations are a compelling human array of the everyday and the extraordinary, of poverty and beauty, of the experience of being one among many. Penned by one of its most prominent writers, . . .

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Press Release: Kammen, Digging Up the Dead

April 28, 2010
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Press Release: Kammen, Digging Up the Dead

When Edgar Allan Poe died in a Baltimore gutter in 1849, he was buried in an unmarked grave, his funeral attended by only a handful of friends. Within a few decades, however, his growing reputation led to his body being dug up and reburied not once, but twice, in more ostentatious quarters—the second move accompanied by a memorial service attended by such prominent figures as Tennyson and Whitman. And Poe’s bones may not yet be done with their travels: last year’s celebration of his bicentennial brought with it a public tussle between citizens of Baltimore and Philadelphia over each city’s right to call Poe’s legacy—and body—their own. Poe, however, is far from alone: as Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Michael Kammen reveals in Digging Up the Dead, Americans have been fighting over the remains of their heroes since the early days of the Republic. Vividly recounting the restless afterlives of such figures as Sitting Bull, Jefferson Davis, Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mark Rothko, Kammen shows how regional pride, mistaken identities, battles over reputations, and even crassly commercial tourism have all played parts in this impressively grisly obsession with exhumation. From the grotesqueries of grave robbing and skull fondling . . .

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Press Release: Riley Romey’s Order

April 20, 2010
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Press Release: Riley Romey’s Order

Romey’s Order is a charged sequence of poems voiced by an invented (and inventive) boy called Romey, set alongside a river in the South Carolina lowcountry. Intently visceral, aural, oral, Atsuro Riley’s poems bristle with musical and imaginative pleasures, with storytelling and picture-making of a new and wholly unexpected kind. “Romey’s Order is the world of a young boy growing up in backwoods South Carolina. His father is an ex-soldier, his mother the Japanese wife the father brought home from his time as a soldier. Thus the radical dichotomies in the young boy’s world, rendered in a dense and beautiful, intensely expressive and inventive language. This language is indebted to Hopkins as well as Heaney, full of a child’s invented word-play trying to capture the smells and textures and country-speech he is constantly assaulted by. The boy is obsessed with language, words that save the dense world from extinction. Words confer almost a magical immediacy to experience, but also wound: half-Asian, at the fair he finds a stall with a game called ‘Shoot the Gook Down.’ The author frames all this as his heritage: ‘This is the house … I come from and carry.’ The result is amazing and indelible, . . .

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Press Release: Royko, Early Royko

April 20, 2010
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Press Release: Royko, Early Royko

Combining the incisive pen of a newspaperman and the compassionate soul of a poet, Mike Royko became a Chicago institution—in Jimmy Breslin’s words, “the best journalist of his time.” Early Royko: Up Against It in Chicago will restore to print the legendary columnist’s earliest writings, which chronicle 1960s Chicago with the moral vision, ironic sense, and razor-sharp voice that would remain Royko’s trademark. This collection of early columns from the Chicago Daily News ranges from witty social commentary to politically astute satire. Some of the pieces are falling-down funny and others are tenderly nostalgic, but all display Royko’s unrivaled skill at using humor to tell truth to power. From machine politicians and gangsters to professional athletes, from well-heeled Chicagoans to down-and-out hoodlums, no one escapes Royko’s penetrating gaze—and resounding judgment. Early Royko features a memorable collection of characters, including such well-known figures as Hugh Hefner, Mayor Richard J. Daley, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Accompanied by a foreword from Rick Kogan, this new edition will delight Royko’s most ardent fans and capture the hearts of a new generation of readers. As Kogan writes, Early Royko “will remind us how a remarkable relationship began—Chicago and Royko, Royko and Chicago—and how it . . .

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Press Release: Paley, The Boy on the Beach

April 15, 2010
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Press Release: Paley, The Boy on the Beach

Study after study has tackled the question of how young children learn—and for decades Vivian Gussin Paley has argued that if we want the best answers to that question, we simply need to listen to children. In her nearly fifty years as a teacher and writer, Paley has done just that, listening closely as kids, at play and at school, tell stories, invent characters, and imagine situations to help them understand the complicated and surprising world around them. With The Boy on the Beach, Paley continues her listening, using the stories of young children—recounted in their own words—to help understand how they use play and stories to build community in the classroom, on the playground, and at home. She then follows a kindergarten class through one school year, letting us watch as the children get to know one another and their teacher, and incisively analyzing the role their increasingly shared imaginative lives play in their education and development. Never less than charming, yet rich with ideas and insight, The Boy on the Beach is vintage Vivian Paley, sure to be embraced by teachers and parents alike. Read the press release. Also read an excerpt from the book. . . .

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Press Release: Yuill, Medicine Show

April 15, 2010
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Press Release: Yuill, Medicine Show

In Medicine Show, inner conflict is wonderfully realized in the clash of down-home plain speech and European high culture utterances. Tom Yuill’s book mirrors an old-style hawking of wares, with all the charm and absurdity that results when high culture meets pop, when city meets small town, and when provincialism confronts urbanity. ”Medicine Show lives up to both halves of its title: a vivid, exhilarating imagination show that is also strong medicine. Tom Yuill examines the grief and desperation underlying postures and ruses of self-deception. The book’s brilliant adaptations and imitations of Hikmet and Villon cast a raking, skeptical light on Texas versions of the quasi-Byronic hero. Yuill’s sardonic, clear-eyed comedy is humane and antic: a born talker on a serious mission.“—ROBERT PINSKY “This is strong medicine: tough, dysphemistic at times, at times brilliantly rude, Yuill is a poet of praise but also a poet of the lowdown and the takedown, cutting in where other writers fear to go: ‘Your dead are real,’ he warns, ‘They’re on your shoulders, picking at your meals.’ Yuill is ready to see disgust, or violence, but even more ready to praise where praise is deserved. He’s tough on himself but kind to his great . . .

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