Press Releases

Press Release: Three Parker Novels by RICHARD STARK

August 14, 2009
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Press Release: Three Parker Novels by RICHARD STARK

According to the New York Times, Donald Westlake was “one of the most successful and versatile mystery writers in the United States,” with over 100 books to his name. The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of his Parker series, written under the pseudonym Richard Stark, to print for a new generation of readers to discover—and become addicted to. These reprints will feature volumes 1-16 of the incredible series, through Butcher’s Moon. Stark’s ruthless antihero is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir. Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style—and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency—Richard Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre. Read the press release, and read this interview with the author. Also see our complete list of books currently available in the series. . . .

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New Digital Editions from the University of Chicago Press

July 15, 2009
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New Digital Editions from the University of Chicago Press

The University of Chicago Press is pleased to announce that beginning this month, in partnership with BiblioVault, the digital repository run by Chicago Distribution Services for scholarly presses, we now offer over 700 titles available for direct download through our Web site. No more lugging twenty pounds of books across campus, no more waiting for recalls and interlibrary loans, no more papercuts; just load Adobe’s Digital Editions software on your computer or handheld device and start downloading! The Press currently offers three e-book licensing options: Perpetual ownership at list price, 180-day ownership for about 50% off, and 30-day ownership for just $5.00. According to Patti O’Shea, executive director of information systems at Chicago, “the limited-time plans will allow students who only need a book for a semester-long course, or for a research paper they’re working on, to get the book immediately and own it for only as long as they need it.” If you’d like to test how it works go ahead and download a sample chapter from Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, or for more information see our info page and press release for Chicago Digital Editions. . . .

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Press Release: Weiner, At the Barriers

July 14, 2009
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Press Release: Weiner, At the Barriers

Maverick gay icon of poetry Thom Gunn (1929—2004) and his body of work have long dared the British and American poetry establishments to either claim or disavow him. To critics in the UK and United States alike, Gunn demonstrated that formal poetry could successfully include new speech rhythms and open forms. Along the way, Gunn’s verse captured the social upheavals of the 1960s, the existential possibilities of the late twentieth century, and the tumult of post-Stonewall gay culture. The first book-length collection of essays on this major poet, At the Barriers surveys Gunn’s career from his youth in 1930s Britain to his final years in California, bringing together some of the most important poet-critics from both sides of the Atlantic to assess his oeuvre. This landmark volume traces how Gunn, in both his life and his writings, pushed at boundaries of different kinds, be they geographic, sexual, or poetic—and how his influence has only grown since his death. Read the press release. . . .

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A New Series from the University of Chicago Press

June 25, 2009
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American Beginnings, 1500—1900 Edited by Edward Gray, Stephen Mihm, and Mark Peterson Our new series, American Beginnings will publish original books, written by scholars but accessible to students and a general readership, that address critical issues in American history from the initial period of European contact through the beginning of the twentieth century. The series will focus particularly on questions of power, in all its manifold forms, in the centuries when America evolved from a loose collection of disparate colonies to a full-fledged nation-state. While it will include books on the kinds of institutions typically associated with power— government, legal systems, and voluntary organizations, to name a few—the series also seeks studies that explore expressions of power in more intimate contexts, such as the family and the household. By affording a broad chronological frame, American Beginnings encourages work that moves beyond conventional periodization and in turn brings new insight to the formative influences on the early American past. The series will include works by senior and junior scholars from a broad array of subfields, including political history, labor history, African American history, gender history, and financial history. In doing so, it hopes to facilitate novel interdisciplinary discussions about the practices . . .

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Press Release: Brooks, Black Men Can’t Shoot

June 24, 2009
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Press Release: Brooks, Black Men Can’t Shoot

The lure of a career playing professional basketball—those infamous “hoop dreams”—is often blamed for distracting young African Americans from their studies and pushing them to spend more time on the playground than in school. But this jaundiced view ignores how much these young men can learn on the court—an education that Scott N. Brooks vividly brings to life in Black Men Can’t Shoot. Brooks coached summer league ball in Philadelphia for four years, becoming intimately involved in the lives of the young black men on his team. Since no one is a born athlete, Brooks shows us that becoming a good player is a learning process—one that transcends the game of basketball and helps mold these kids into responsible adults. He illuminates this process through the stories of two young men, Jermaine and Ray, following them through their high school years, their breakthroughs and frustrations on the court, and their troubles at home. Black Men Can’t Shoot is at once a moving coming-of-age story, a thrilling sports tale, and a clear-eyed look at surviving the ghetto. Read the press release. Also, read an excerpt. . . .

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Press Release: Camille, The Gargoyles of Notre Dame

June 16, 2009
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Press Release: Camille, The Gargoyles of Notre Dame

Any fan of the public radio show This American Life will remember the classic episode in which host Ira Glass takes Michael Camille, renowned scholar of the Middle Ages, to Medieval Times—the chain of “castles” that offer such attractions as jousting shows and meals served by “wenches.” Glass was “wondering what this academic is going to think,” one of Camille’s colleagues later recalled. “But Michael’s attentive, delighted response captures so much of his pleasure in discovery.” The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame, the last work Camille completed before his passing in 2002, reflects not only that trademark joie de vivre but also the intellectual heft he embodied just as fully. Constructed in the 1800s, the famous gargoyles represent a later era’s notion of the Middle Ages (not entirely unlike Medieval Times). In his sweeping, comprehensive history of these chimeras, Camille shows for the first time how they transformed an iconic thirteenth-century cathedral into a modern monument. From the nineteenth-century reconstruction of Notre-Dame through the gargoyles’ twentieth-century afterlives, Camille tells a story that will delight anyone whose imagination has been sparked by the enigmatic creatures who gaze at Paris from one of the world’s most celebrated vantage points. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Williams, The AMS Weather Book

June 1, 2009
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Press Release: Williams, The AMS Weather Book

As the monstrous and soon to be infamous Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans, the National Weather Service issued this dire warning: “Devastating damage expected…. A most powerful hurricane with unprecedented strength…. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks.“ Few Americans would deny the eerie accuracy of that prediction or forget the destruction wrought by that vicious storm. Extreme weather like Katrina can be a matter of life and death. But even when it is pleasant—72 degrees and sunny—weather is still central to the lives of all Americans. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a topic of greater collective interest. America has one of the most varied and dynamic weather systems in the world. Every year, the Gulf coast is battered by hurricanes, the Great Plains are ravaged by tornados, the Midwest is pummeled by blizzards, and the temperature in the Southwest reaches a sweltering 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether we want to know if we should close the storm shutters or just carry an umbrella to work, we turn to forecasts. But few of us really understand the science behind them. All that changes with The AMS Weather Book. The most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to our weather and our . . .

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Press Release: Gere, Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism

May 21, 2009
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Press Release: Gere, Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism

Throughout human history, people have looked to the ancient world for lost knowledge and timeless wisdom—perhaps never more so than in the aftermath of World War I, whose swathe of devastation left millions dead and the Enlightenment dream in ruins. So when British archaeologist Arthur Evans began publishing breathless accounts of the ancient Minoan civilization he was uncovering on Crete—pagan, pacifistic, and matriarchal—it fired the imaginations of a whole generation of artists and intellectuals. With Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism, Cathy Gere tells the story of Evans’s excavations and their wide-ranging influence on the world of Western ideas. Over the first three decades of the twentieth century, Evans’s fanciful depiction of Minoan society drew the fervent attention of writers, artists, and thinkers who were at the forefront of the burgeoning modernist movement, including Robert Graves, H.D., Girgio de Chirico, Sigmund Freud, and James Joyce. As Gere traces the unexpected paths of Evans’s ideas through the lives and works of these figures, what emerges is an unforgettable portrait of an age of wrenching change—and of those who responded to it with intellectual vigor and fervid innovation. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Buhs, Bigfoot

May 19, 2009
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Press Release: Buhs, Bigfoot

Let’s get this straight from the start: Bigfoot doesn’t exist. All the reported sightings are almost certainly either mistakes or hoaxes. At the same time, Bigfoot is America’s premier homegrown monster, a figure as familiar as—if far hairier than—Uncle Sam. And he remains big news: when two men from rural Georgia claimed last autumn that they’d killed a Bigfoot, reporters and camera crews flocked to their press conference, and more than 1,000 news stories followed worldwide. Just what makes this shaggy beast so enduring? With Bigfoot: The Life and Times of a Legend, Joshua Blu Buhs hacks his way through the forest of myths, mysteries, and pseudoscience surrounding Bigfoot to write a cultural history of this modern monster. Buhs begins his trek in the forests of nineteenth-century America, with tales of wildmen roaming the hills; he then travels to the Himalayas to come to grips (not literally) with the Abominable Snowman, then back to the late 1950s in northern California, where the contemporary creature first emerged as a media marvel. Along the way, we meet hunters and hucksters, charlatans and serious seekers, as Buhs travels the back roads of America in an attempt to understand Bigfoot’’s hold on our imagination. . . .

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Press Release: Bass, Nature’s Great Events

May 18, 2009
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Press Release: Bass, Nature’s Great Events

In 2007, the landmark series Planet Earth made its American debut on the Discovery Channel, garnering massive critical acclaim and enthralling television audiences—and readers—nationwide. Featuring breathtaking sequences of predators and prey, lush vistas of forests from the tops of towering trees, and images of creatures from the ocean’s depths, Planet Earth brought unknown wonders from the natural world straight into our homes in high-def and forever changed the way we see the world. Enter the highly anticipated follow-up, Nature’s Most Amazing Events, which makes its television debut this spring along with its counterpart, Nature’s Great Events, the same documentary in illustrated book form. Exploring six of the most spectacular natural phenomena on our planet, this series and the book are epic in every sense, charting seasonal and annual events that transform entire ecosystems and the life experiences of the thousands of animals within them, from the largest mammals to the smallest microorganisms. Using groundbreaking filming techniques and state-of-the-art scientific and photographic technologies, Nature’s Great Events shows life in action and across the globe. The six events include the flooding of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, which turns sprawling swaths of desert into an elaborate maze of lagoons and swamps; the . . .

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