Press Releases

Press Release: Schultz, The Chicago Conspiracy Trial

April 16, 2009
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Press Release: Schultz, The Chicago Conspiracy Trial

In 1969, the Chicago Seven were charged with intent to “incite, organize, promote, and encourage” antiwar riots during the Democratic National Convention. The Chicago Conspiracy Trial is an electrifying account of the months-long trial that commanded the attention of a divided nation. John Schultz, on assignment for the Evergreen Review, witnessed the whole trial, from the jury selection to the aftermath of the verdict. His vivid account exposes the raw emotions and judicial corruption that came to define one of the most significant legal events in American history. “A beautiful, compelling, tear-jerking, mind-boggling book.” —William Burroughs “A probe into the American conscience.” —David Graber, Los Angeles Times Read the press release or read an excerpt. . . .

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Press Release: Silvertown, An Orchard Invisible

April 15, 2009
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Press Release: Silvertown, An Orchard Invisible

Every year around this time, dedicated gardeners tear open packets of seeds and carefully bury them in the rich soil of their gardens, where, months later, they emerge as beautiful flowers, delectable herbs, and nutritious vegetables. All from those tiny, unimpressive seeds … With An Orchard Invisible, Jonathan Silvertown finally gives the humble seed its due. His richly anecdotal natural history begins with the first appearance of seeds—which evolved from fernlike ancestors nearly 400 million years ago—and from there spans the globe and traverses epochs all the way to the present. Deftly marrying science and culture, Silvertown explores the evolution of seeds and the wide variety of uses to which humans have put them over the centuries, from spices to perfumes, dyes to pharmaceuticals. Along the way, he delves into such unexpected topics as the Salem witch trials and Lyme disease, while never losing sight of the real story behind all the world of seeds: the constant drive of evolution, with its irrepressible habit of stumbling upon new and better solutions to the challenges of life on earth.Writing with winning charm and an eye for unforgettable details, Silvertown has crafted a book sure to delight gardeners and science buffs alike. . . .

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Press Release: Pager, Marked

April 15, 2009
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Press Release: Pager, Marked

New in paperback!—Marked gives us our first real glimpse into the tremendous difficulties facing ex-offenders in the job market. Devah Pager matched up pairs of young men, randomly assigned them criminal records, then sent them on hundreds of real job searches throughout the city of Milwaukee. Her applicants were attractive, articulate, and capable—yet ex-offenders received less than half the callbacks of the equally qualified applicants without criminal backgrounds. Young black men, meanwhile, paid a particularly high price: those with clean records fared no better in their job searches than white men just out of prison. Such shocking barriers to legitimate work, Pager contends, are an important reason that many ex-prisoners soon find themselves back in the realm of poverty, underground employment, and crime that led them to prison in the first place. “Pager shows that ex-offenders, white or black, stand a very poor chance of getting a legitimate job.… Both informative and convincing.” —Library Journal Read the press release or read an excerpt. . . .

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Press Release: Uglow, Nature’s Engraver

April 14, 2009
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Press Release: Uglow, Nature’s Engraver

Thomas Bewick’s (1753-1828) History of British Birds was the first field guide for ordinary people, illustrated with woodcuts of astonishing accuracy and beauty. In Nature’s Engraver, Jenny Uglow tells the story of the farmer’s son from Tyneside who became one of Britain’s greatest and most popular engravers. It is a story of violent change, radical politics, lost ways of life, and the beauty of the wild—a journey to the beginning of our lasting obsession with the natural world. “A refined and engaging biography, as beautifully wrought, in its way, as Bewick’s woodcuts.” —New York Times “Uglow’s clear prose sparkles like Bewick’s River Tyne.” —Los Angeles Times “This is a lovely book, not just in the quality and sympathy of the writing but in the care of its design and illustration. has turned a rich but undramatic life into a vignette as full of interest and details as one of Bewick’s own woodcuts.” —Sunday Telegraph Read the press release. . . .

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A New Series from the University of Chicago Press

April 13, 2009
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A New Series from the University of Chicago Press

Series Editors William G. Howell University of Chicago Jon Pevehouse University of Chicago The Chicago Series on International and Domestic Institutions will feature innovative books on how domestic political institutions influence foreign policy, as well as how changes in the international arena influence domestic political dynamics. The series supports research that is geographically and temporally broad, methodologically pluralistic, and that crosses boundaries by engaging theoretical traditions in American, comparative, and international relations. The series will include works that focus on either international political economy or international security—or both. Topics of interest include: • The interaction of domestic political institutions and interstate conflict; • The influence of interest groups on foreign economic policies, including trade and investment; • The interaction of international institutions and changing domestic political institutions. If you or a colleague has a project that you think would be appropriate for the series, please feel free to contact the editors at: whowell@uchicago.edu and pevehouse@uchicago.edu. You may also contact David Pervin, the Press’s senior editor for international relations, economics, and law, at dpervin@press.uchicago.edu. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Hickey, The Invisible Dragon

April 2, 2009
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Press Release: Hickey, The Invisible Dragon

In 1993, Dave Hickey published a sharply opinionated book on art called The Invisible Dragon. It was a small volume, but the response was outsized—and, in many cases, outraged. While artists flocked to it, drawn by its forceful call for attention to beauty, huge numbers of more theoretically oriented professional critics absolutely savaged it, calling Hickey everything from naïve to reactionary. Sixteen years later, Hickey’s back—and time hasn’t dulled his edge. With this new edition of The Invisible Dragon, Hickey has both revised and dramatically expanded his controversial book, addressing his critics and supporters both, while simultaneously placing the book—and the reactions it provoked—firmly in the context of larger cultural battles of the time. Bringing the works of Warhol, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Mapplethorpe to bear on the current situation of contemporary art, museum culture, and art criticism, Hickey argues powerfully for a renewed attention to the inherently democratic—and thus essential—concept of beauty. Writing with a liveliness and excitement rarely seen in serious criticism, Hickey invests The Invisible Dragon with the passion and drama that lie at the heart of great art. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Burgoyne and Marckwardt, The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa

April 2, 2009
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Press Release: Burgoyne and Marckwardt, The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa

Ever since the U.S. military invaded Iraq in 2003, the nightly news has offered accounts of troops fighting a lethal and adaptive insurgency, where the divisions between enemy and ally are ambiguous at best, and where working with the local population is essential for day-to-day survival. But what does this mean for soldiers on the ground? And how can troops facing deployment quickly adapt to such a hostile environment? From the lessons they learned during multiple tours of duty in Iraq, two American veterans of the war have written a tactical primer based on the military classic The Defence of Duffer’s Drift. Over the course of six dreams, a young officer deployed for the first time in Iraq fights the same battle again and again, learning each time—the hard way—which misconceptions he needs to discard and which lessons he must learn to defeat a dangerous enemy and achieve a lasting victory. Accompanied by the Boer War-era novella that inspired it, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa offers an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to understand how the United States plans to win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Mann, Breakfast with Thom Gunn

April 1, 2009
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Press Release: Mann, Breakfast with Thom Gunn

Randall Mann’s Breakfast with Thom Gunn is a work both direct and unsettling. Haunted by the afterlife of Thom Gunn (1929-2004), one of the most beloved gay literary icons of the twentieth century, the poems are moored in Florida and California, but the backdrop is “pitiless,” the trees “thin and bloodless,” the words “like the icy water” of the San Francisco Bay. Mann, fiercely intelligent, open yet elusive, draws on the “graceful erosion” of both landscape and the body, on the beauty that lies in unbeauty. With audacity, anxiety, and unbridled desire, this gifted lyric poet grapples with dilemmas of the gay self embroiled in—and aroused by—a glittering, unforgiving subculture. Breakfast with Thom Gunn is at once formal and free, forging a sublime integrity in the fire of wit, intensity, and betrayal. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Campion, The Lions

March 31, 2009
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Press Release: Campion, The Lions

In his second collection of poems, Peter Campion writes about the struggle of making a life in America, about the urge “to carve a space” for love and family from out of the vast sweep of modern life. Coursing between the political and personal with astonishing ease, Campion writes at one moment of his disturbing connection to the public political structure, symbolized by Robert McNamara, then in the next, of a haunting reverie beneath a magnolia tree, representing his impulse to escape the culture altogether. He moves through various forms just as effortlessly, as confident in rhymed quatrains as in slender, tensed free verse. In The Lions, Campion achieves a fusion of narrative structure and lyric intensity that proves him to be one of the very best poets of his generation. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Polito, Hollywood & God

March 31, 2009
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Press Release: Polito, Hollywood & God

Hollywood & God is a virtuosic performance, filled with crossings back and forth from cinematic chiaroscuro to a kind of unsettling desperation and disturbing—even lurid—hallucination. From the Baltimore Catechism to the great noir films of the last century, from Cotton Mather and a nineteenth-century minstrel boy to B-movie actress Barbara Payton, a female Elvis impersonator, and even Paris Hilton, Polito tracks the stars, rituals, snares, hijinks, and mysteries at the crossroads of American spiritual and media life across a diversity of styles, tones, and eras. Mixing lyric and essay, collage and narrative, memoir and invention, Hollywood & God is an audacious book, as contemporary as it is historical, as sly and witty as it is devastatingly serious. Read the press release. . . .

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