New Books

Celebrate Black History Month with New Books from UMass Press

 

UMass Press continues its proud tradition of offering strong and various titles in African American studies, literature, and history. Here are some of our newest books:

Black Bostonians and the Politics of Culture, 1920-1940 by Lorraine Elena Roses

9781625342423In the 1920s and 1930s Boston became a rich and distinctive site of African American artistic production, unfolding at the same time as the Harlem Renaissance. Lorraine Elena Roses employs archival sources and personal interviews to recover this artistic output.

An Abolitionist Abroad: Sarah Parker Remond in Cosmopolitan Europe by Sirpa Salenius

Sarah Parker Remond (1826–1894) left the free black community of Salem, Massachusetts, where she was born, to become one of the first women to travel on extensive lecture tours across the United Kingdom.

Measuring the Harlem Renaissance: The U.S. Census, African American Identity, and Literary Form by Michael Soto

Michael Soto examines how the U.S. Census placed persons of African descent within a rigid taxo9781625342508nomy of racial difference and thus defined a uniform African American identity in Harlem. Soto explores how black writers and intellectuals during the same period described a far more complex community of interracial social contact and intra-racial diversity.

The Harlem Renaissance and the Idea of a New Negro Reader by Shawn Anthony Christian

Many scholars have written about the white readers of the Harlem Renaissance, but during the period many black writers, publishers, and editors worked to foster a cadre of African American readers. Shawn Anthony Christian illustrates that the drive to develop and support black readers was central in the poetry, fiction, and drama of the era.

Forthcoming:

Remember Little Rock by Erin Krutko Devlin

In Remember Little Rock Erin Krutko Devlin explores public memories surrounding the iconic Arkansas school desegregation crisis of 1957 and shows how these memories were vigorously contested and sometimes deployed against the cause.9781625342683

Ragged Revolutionaries: The Lumpenproletariat and African American Marxism in Depression-Era Literature by Nathaniel Mills

 In Ragged Revolutionaries, Nathaniel Mills argues that the lumpenproletariat was central to an overlooked yet vibrant mode of African American Marxism formulated during the Great Depression by black writers on the Communist left, including Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and Margaret Walker.

All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn by Jason Sokol

 All Eyes Are Upon Us explores the history of racial struggles in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York from World War II to the present—struggles that involve warring traditions of welcoming inclusion and violent segregation.

 

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New Books: May 2015

This month, UMass Press releases titles in American Studies and British/European Studies.

9781625341440On the Cusp by Daniel Horowitz: Part personal memoir, part collective biography, and part cultural history, Horowitz’s newest book reconstructs the undergraduate career of Yale College’s class of 1960 and follows them into the next decade. He begins by looking at curricular and extracurricular life on the all-male campus, then ranges beyond the confines of Yale to larger contexts, including the local drama      urban renewal, the lingering shadow of McCarthyism, and decolonization movements around the world. He ponders the role of the university in protecting the prerogatives of class while fostering social mobility, and examines the growing significance of race and gender in American politics and culture, spurred by a convergence of the personal and the political. Consistent with much of Horowitz’s previously published scholarship on postwar America, this work further exposes the undercurrent of discontent and dissent that ran just beneath the surface of the so-called Cold War consensus.

On the Cusp is a book of many pleasures. Horowitz writes about his college years with both the memoirist’s attention to color and detail, and the historian’s attention to scale . . . a valuable retrospective and reappraisal for those who remember these years; it will be an education in itself to those who do not.” – Matthew Frye Jacobson, William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and history, Yale University

For more information on the works of Daniel Horowitz, click here

9781625341662Forms of Association by Paul Yachnin and Marlene Eberhart: In today’s connected and interactive world, it is hard to imagine a time when cultural and intellectual interests did not lead people to associate with others who shared similar views and preoccupations. In this volume of essays, fifteen scholars explore how these kinds of relationships began to transform early modern European culture. Forms of Association grows out of the “Making Publics: Media, Markets, and Association in Early Modern Europe” (MaPs) project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This scholarly initiative convened an interdisciplinary research team to consider how “publics” developed in Europe from 1500 to 1700. This collaborative study provided a dynamic way of understanding the political dimensions of artistic and intellectual works and open the way toward a new history of early modernity. This collection represents the issues and questions coming out of the MaPs project, and how Renaissance scholarship could be advanced by projects like this one.

“With the overall high quality of the essays, the significant voices that are addressing the issues, and the direction forward that it suggests for work in the early modern period, this is an excellent collection and a valuable publication for scholars.” – Shannon Miller, San Jose State University

For more titles on British and European history, please visit our subject listings.

9781625341433Storytelling and Science by David K. Hecht: No single figure embodies Cold War science more than renowned physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The “Father of the Atomic Bomb” has drawn Americans to the story of the Manhattan Project he helped lead, and the riveting McCarthy politics that caught him in its crosshairs. Journalists and politicians, writers and artists have told Oppenheimer’s story in many different ways since he first gained notoriety in 1945. In Storytelling and Science, Hecht examines why they did so, and what they hoped to achieve through their stories. In these different renditions, Oppenheimer was alternately portrayed as hero and villain. Yet beneath the varying details of these stories, Hecht discerns important patterns in the ways that scientists shape popular understandings – and misunderstandings – of science.

“An original contribution to its field that opens the way to similar studies of the public images of other scientists and their science.” – David C. Cassidy, author of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century

For more titles in American Studies, review this list.

9781625341358Dickens and Massachusetts by Diana C. Archibald and Joel J. Brattin: Charles Dickens traveled to North America twice, in 1842 and twenty-five years later in 1867-68, and on both trips Massachusetts was part of his itinerary. Massachusetts was the one state that met and even exceeded Dickens’s expectations for “the republic of [his] imagination.” This volume provides insight from leading scholars who have begun to reassess the significance of Massachusetts in the author’s life and work. The collection begins with a broad biographical and historical overview, enhanced by images to tell the story of Dickens’s relationship with the vibrant cultural and intellectual life of Massachusetts. The second section includes essays that consider the importance of Dickens’s many connections to the commonwealth.

“This book fills an important gap in our understanding of Dickens’s first trip to America. Authored by some of the most highly respected scholars in Dickens studies and including thorough and authoritative research, this volume makes a timely and original contribution.” – Nancy Aycock Metz, author of The Companion to Martin Chuzzlewit

For more titles on British and European Literature, review this subject list.

9781625341570Making the Desert Modern by Chad H. Parker: In 1933, American oilmen, representing what later became the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), signed a concession agreement with the Saudi Arabian king granting the company sole proprietorship over the oil reserves in the country’s largest province. Aramco built the infrastructure necessary to extract oil and also carved an American suburb out of the Arabian desert, with all the air-conditioned comforts of Western modern life. At the same time, executives cultivated powerful relationships with Saudi government officials and, to the annoyance of U.S. officials, even served the monarchy in diplomatic disputes. Before long, the company became the principal American diplomatic, political, and cultural agent in the country, a role it would continue to play until 1973, when the Saudi government took over its operations. In this book, Chad H. Parker tells Aramco’s story, showing how an American company seeking resources and profits not only contributed to Saudi “nation building” but helped define U.S. foreign policy during the early Cold War.

“A valuable case study of ‘private diplomacy,’ Making the Desert Modern will serve as a model for a growing number of scholars in diplomatic history who are turning their attention to the roots of economic globalization and the interplay between corporations and states in an international context.” – Christian G. Appy, author of American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity

For more books in the Culture, Politics and the Cold War series, visit our website.

New Books: April 2015

This month, UMass Press releases the first book-length history of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games:

9781625341655The Sarajevo Olympics: A History of the 1984 Winter Games by Jason Vuic: To most, the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia seemed a success. This unlikely candidate city hosted an international sports competition at the highest level, housing and feeding hundreds of athletes and thousands of tourists while broadcasting a positive image of socialist Yugoslavia to the world. As an independent scholar of Balkan and Eastern European history, Vuic helps readers fully see these historic Winter Olympics in context with the area’s history. He retraces the history of the Olympic movement as he analyzes the inner workings of the International Olympic Committee during the troubled 1970s and 1980s, and places the 1984 Winter Games in the context of Cold War geopolitics.

“The lively writing of Jason Vuic re-lights the torch for all of us in a colorful remembrance of the best and the worst of what the Olympics can be.” – Marty Dobrow, author Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Six Minor Leagues in Search of the Baseball Dream

For more information on this title, click here.

New Books: March 2015

This month, UMass Press is pleased to release the publications of the 2014 winners of the Juniper Prize for Poetry and the Juniper Prize for Fiction:

9781625341488Violin Playing Herself in a Mirror by David Kutz-Marks: With rhetorical estrangements that recall John Ashberry, and rhythms and ambitions that recall Wallace Stevens and Walt Whitman, the voice in these poems is nonetheless distinct, aware that its own time is finite – “a minor catarrh/after which the throat clears and it’s nighttime again” – but striving with each movement for the sublime. The poems challenge our identities, our thoughts, and our quarrels with each other as they dart back and forth between interior spaces and real human relationships.

“We tend to turn to poetry –as poetry itself turns – to honor, investigate, propose, court, grieve, and speculate, and all these things happen with purpose in Violin Playing Herself in a Mirror. With this book Kutz-Marks amplifies what might have been and what might be.” – Dara Wier, author of Hat on a Pond

For more information on this title, click here.

9781625341372Desert sonorous by Sean Bernard: Undercover space aliens share an RV outside Tucson. A high school girl tries to make sense of the shooting of Gabby Giffords. Basketball fans stalk their team’s head coach. A young couple falls in and out of love over the course of several lifetimes. And teenage cross-country athletes run on and on through these ten stories set amid the strange desert landscapes of the American southwest. Desert sonorous is a unique and energetic debut collection, blending realism with flashes of experimentation. Contemporary issues – immigration, drought, shootings – hover above a cast of memorable characters in search of life’s deeper meanings. As they struggle along, comic and resigned, intelligent and quiet, sad and frustrated, their strivings resound because their lives are in so many ways our own.

“This collection works by stealth, like alien lights sweeping over a desert plain. Should we celebrate Bernard as our newest bard of the desert? Yes, as surely as America is on a remote 24/7 hum, throbbing alongside its desert highways.” – Edie Meidav, Juniper Prize for Fiction judge and author of Lola, California

For more information on this title, click here.

For more information about the Juniper Prize Program, please visit our website. The 2015 winners for the Juniper prizes will be announced next month.

New Books: February 2015

Newest releases for our design and literature lists at UMass Press

9781625341228Isaiah Rogers by James F. O’Gorman: When architect Isaiah Rogers died in 1869, the Cincinnati Daily Times noted that “in his profession he was, perhaps, better known than any other person in this country.” Yet until now there has been no study that fully examines his remarkable, influential, and instructive career. Rogers designed buildings from Maine to Georgia and from Boston to Chicago to New Orleans, supervising their construction while traveling widely to procure materials and workmen for the job. He finished his career as Architect of the Treasury Department during the Civil War. In this richly illustrated volume, James F. O’Gorman offers a deft portrait of an energetic practitioner at a key time in architectural history, the period before the founding of the American Institute of Architects in 1857.

“This is a substantial book by a major scholar, and it is original, splendidly written and interpreted, and filled with the kind of rich specific detail that will make it a valuable reference to which historians will turn again and again. It is a significant contribution to the scholarship of American culture.” – Michael L. Lewis, author of American Art & Architecture

For more books on architecture, click here.

 

9781625341129A Kiss from Thermopylae by James R. Guthrie: Born into a family of attorneys, Dickinson absorbed law at home. She employed legal terms and concepts regularly in her writings, and her metaphors grounded in law derive much of their expressive power from a comparatively sophisticated lay knowledge of the various legal and political issues that were roiling nineteenth-century America. This book reveals a new dimension of Dickinson’s writing and thinking, indicating that she was familiar with the legal community’s idiomatic language, actively engaged with contemporary political and ethical questions, and skilled at deploying a poetic register ranging from high romanticism to low humor.

A Kiss from Thermopylae established beyond doubt the importance of legal reasoning to Dickinson’s poetry, and it also contributes importantly to the value of the ‘law and literature’ subdiscipline.” – Gary Stonum, author of The Dickinson Sublime

For more books about the life and works of Emily Dickinson, click here.

 

9781625341143Transatlantic Romanticism by Andrew Hemingway and Alan Wallach: That the Romantic movement was an international phenomenon is a commonplace, yet to date, historical study of the movement has tended to focus primarily on its national manifestations. This volume offers a new perspective. In thirteen chapters devoted to artists and writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, leading scholars of the period examine the international exchanges that were crucial for the rise of Romanticism in England and the United States.

“A cogent and stimulating series of reflections on Anglo-American art and literature associated with the broad cultural category of Romanticism.” – Brian Lukacher, author of Joseph Gandy: Architectural Visionary in Georgian England

For more books of literary criticism, click here.