Happy Kentucky Derby Day!

Amanda Cooper, Marketing Intern, University Press of Kentucky

It’s the first Saturday in May, which means it’s Kentucky Derby Day! To celebrate the 148th Run for the Roses, the University Press of Kentucky is proud to present four titles that delve into the history and the grand tradition of Thoroughbred racing.

The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event by James C. Nicholson

“Many books have been published about the Kentucky Derby that deal with elements of the race such as the horses, jockeys, owners, and trainers. This book is much more than that—it places the Derby within the history of the Commonwealth and in the broader context of American culture.” —John Kleber, editor of The Kentucky Encyclopedia

“Nicholson has done a masterful job of researching the historical events that made the Derby the enthralling and significant event it is. You may never get to experience the thrill of entering the winners’ circle and smelling the wonderful aroma that emanates from the garland of roses that signifies the greatest achievement in the sport of Thoroughbred racing, but this wonderful book will take you on a journey that gets you as close as any piece of writing possibly could.” —Chris McCarron, two-time Kentucky Derby winner and Hall of Fame inductee, from the foreword

The Kentucky Mint Julep by Joe Nickell

“Nickell gives us the history and lore of the beverage as well as a travel guide to Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail. He adds plenty of recipes, both traditional and modern, and even a page for writing your own.” —Bloomsbury Review

“Presents information you will find nowhere else… The recipes run from the basic to fancy ones using champagne or added flavors, making it a great resource for entertaining. Any fan of the derby or mint juleps will find this book a charming addition to their shelf.” —Horse-Races.net

Racing for America: The Horse Race of the Century and the Redemption of a Sport by James C. Nicholson

“James Nicholson’s Racing for America is a captivating exploration of a critical moment in American racing and how a match race run nearly a century ago influences our era of horse racing. He weaves together the disparate forces and personalities that come together to bring post-war America the diversion of the Old World versus the New, and, in the process, creates a portrait of a sport overcoming its near-death experience to rival baseball for America’s favorite sport. Come for the story of this legendary horse race and stay for an engrossing examination of how modern spectacles like the Breeder’s Cup came to be.” —Jennifer S. Kelly, author of Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown

“Nicholson once again has discerned and described the many ways the sport of Thoroughbred racing can respond to, reflect, and perhaps even advance American attitudes and ambitions. He provides another highly intriguing and lively narrative which will grasp and entertain readers, whether new to the subject of racing or already familiar with the historic sport.” —Edward L. Bowen, author of 22 books on Thoroughbred racing

The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy by Pellom McDaniels III

“We have waited a long time for a scholar to pull together the story of Isaac Murphy and nineteenth-century American and Kentucky life with the exquisite interpretation that Pellom McDaniels offers in this manuscript… This work is path-breaking for the detailed study it offers into the texture and layers of life in Lexington, particularly black Lexington, during the post-Civil War decades and into the Gilded Age.” —Maryjean Wall, author of How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders

“A persuasive blend of storytelling and historical analysis, this is an enlightening account for horsemen, sports lovers, and historians of post Reconstruction-era American race relations. Pellom McDaniels’ success is that he brings into sharp relief the devolving social and cultural context of African-American jockey Isaac Burns Murphy’s childhood, apprenticeship, and career. The author convinces the reader of Murphy’s personal discipline and singular achievements—enabled despite an increasingly hostile environment by the support of family and the larger African-American community’s commitment to the project of self-advancement.” —Myra Young Armstead, Bard College

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s