Category Archives: Daily Notes

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Becoming King colorMartin Luther King dreamt of a nation where all inhabitants of the United States would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by their personal abilities and qualities. King became the face of the civil rights revolution through adhering to Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence and leading a movement based on peace, not conflict. On August 28, 1963, 250,000 demonstrators stood before the Lincoln Memorial while King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, one year before the United States passed a law prohibiting all racial discrimination.

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 11.13.14 AMFor his tireless dedication and commitment towards civil rights and social justice, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on this day in 1964. At 35, he became the youngest person to have ever received this esteemed award.

In honor of Dr. King, his legacy, and the 54th anniversary of his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, here is an excerpt of his acceptance speech, which he made in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 1964.


 

“Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when 22 million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice. I am mindful that only yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, crying out for brotherhood, were answered with fire hoses, snarling dogs and even death. I am mindful that only yesterday in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young people seeking to secure the right to vote were brutalized and murdered. And only yesterday more than 40 houses of worship in the State of Mississippi alone were bombed or burned because they offered a sanctuary to those who would not accept segregation. I am mindful that debilitating and grinding poverty afflicts my people and chains them to the lowest rung of the economic ladder.

Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 12.29.27 PMAfter contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 12.30.27 PM.pngThis faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.

Today I come to Oslo as a trustee, inspired and with renewed dedication to humanity. I accept this prize on behalf of all men who love peace and brotherhood. I say I come as a trustee, for in the depths of my heart I am aware that this prize is much more than an honor to me personally.

I think Alfred Nobel would know what I mean when I say that I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners – all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty – and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.”

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Spotlight on the 2018 AUSA Annual Meeting

From October 8–10, over 30,000 attendees and over 700 exhibitors met in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to take part in the largest land warfare trade show in the United States and North America—the AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition.

The University Press of Kentucky is beyond proud of our authors who were represented in the authors’ panel on Monday for the AUSA Book Program, and we wanted to showcase their explosive new releases.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.05.00 PM.pngAfter the United States declared war against Germany in April 1917, the US Army established the Tank Corps to help break the deadlock of trench warfare in France during World War I. The army envisioned having a large tank force by 1919, but when the war ended in November 1918, only three tank battalions had participated in combat operations. Shortly after, Brigadier General Samuel D. Rockenbach, Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) Tank Corps under General John J. Pershing, issued a memorandum to many of his officers to write brief accounts of their experiences that would supplement official records. Their narratives varied in size, scope, and depth and covered a range of topics, including the organizing, training, and equipping of the tank corps.

For the first time since these reports were submitted, Pershing’s Tankers: Personal Accounts of the AEF Tank Corps in World War I presents an unprecedented look into the experiences of soldiers in the US Army Tank Corps. The book provides fresh insight into the establishment and combat operations of the tank corps, including six personal letters written by Colonel George S. Patton Jr., who commanded a tank brigade in World War I. Congressional testimony, letters, and a variety of journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in this collection provide additional context to the officers’ revealing accounts.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.05.18 PM.pngTo remember and honor the memory of the American soldiers who fought and died in foreign wars during the past hundred years, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) was established. Since the agency was founded in 1923, its sole purpose has been to commemorate the soldiers’ service and the causes for which their lives were given. The twenty-five overseas cemeteries honoring 139,000 combat dead and the memorials honoring the 60,314 fallen soldiers with no known graves are among the most beautiful and meticulously maintained shrines in the world.

In the first comprehensive study of the ABMC, Thomas H. Conner traces how the agency came to be created by Congress in the aftermath of World War I, how the cemeteries and monuments the agency built were designed and their locations chosen, and how the commemorative sites have become important “outposts of remembrance” on foreign soil. War and Remembrance: The Story of the American Battle Monuments Commission powerfully demonstrates that these monuments—living sites that embody the role Americans played in the defense of freedom far from their own shores—assist in understanding the interconnections of memory and history and serve as an inspiration to later generations.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.05.39 PM.pngJohn R. Deane Jr. (1919–2013) was born with all the advantages a man needs to succeed in a career in the US Army, and he capitalized on his many opportunities in spectacular fashion. The son of one of George C. Marshall’s closest assistants, Deane graduated from West Point with the first class of World War II and served in combat under the dynamic General Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr. After the war, he led a German espionage unit in operations against the Soviets, personally led the first foot patrol following the course of the Berlin Wall as it was being constructed, participated in the 1965 Dominican Republic intervention, and saw combat in Vietnam. In 1975, he received his fourth star and became commander of the US Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command.

In Lessons in Leadership: My Life in the US Army from World War II to Vietnam, this exceptional soldier not only discusses working with some of the army’s most influential and colorful leaders—including James M. Gavin, William E. DePuy, William Westmoreland, and Creighton Abrams Jr.—but also the many junior officers who helped him develop the leadership skills for which he became well known. Throughout, he offers eyewitness accounts of key Cold War–era events as well as wise observations concerning the leadership and management challenges facing the Department of Defense. Ably edited and annotated by Jack C. Mason, Deane’s illuminating memoir also features interviews with several of Deane’s contemporaries, whose comments and recollections are interspersed to provide depth and context to the narrative.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.06.06 PM.pngAlthough much has been written about the Western Front in World War I, little attention has been given to developments in the east, especially during the crucial period of 1914–1915. Not only did these events have a significant impact on the fighting and outcome of the battles in the west, but all the major combatants in the east ultimately suffered collapses of their political systems with enormous consequences for the future events.

Available for the first time in English, The Forgotten Front: The Eastern Theater of World War I, 1914-1915 features contributions from established and rising scholars from eight countries who argue German, central, and eastern European perspectives. Together, they illuminate diverse aspects of the Great War’s Eastern Theater, including military strategy and combat, issues of national identity formation, perceptions of the enemy, and links to World War II. They also explore the experiences of POWs and the representation of the Eastern Front in museums, memorials, and the modern media.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.03.17 PM.pngGeneral Jacob L. “Jake” Devers (1897–1979) was one of only two officers—the other was Omar C. Bradley—to command an army group during the decisive campaigns of 1944–1945 that liberated Europe and ended the war with Nazi Germany. After the war, Devers led the Army Ground Forces in the United States and eventually retired in 1949 after forty years of service. Despite incredible successes on the battlefield, General George C. Marshall’s “dependable man” remains one of the most underrated and overlooked figures of his generation.

In Jacob L. Devers: A General’s Life, James Scott Wheeler delivers a groundbreaking reassessment of the American commander whose contributions to victory in Europe are topped only by General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s. Wheeler’s exhaustively researched chronicle of Devers’s life and career reveals a leader who demonstrated an extraordinary ability to cut through red tape and solve complex problems. Nevertheless, Eisenhower disliked Devers—a fact laid bare when he ordered Devers’s Sixth Army Group to halt at the Rhine. After the war, Eisenhower’s and Bradley’s accounts of the generals’ disagreements over strategy and tactics became received wisdom, to the detriment of Devers’s reputation.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.04.01 PM.pngIn the winter of 1944–1945, Hitler sought to divide Allied forces in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Luxembourg and Belgium. He deployed more than 400,000 troops in one of the last major German offensives of the war, which became known as the Battle of the Bulge, in a desperate attempt to regain the strategic initiative in the West. Hitler’s effort failed for a variety of reasons, but many historians assert that Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr.’s Third Army was ultimately responsible for securing Allied victory. Although Patton has assumed a larger-than-life reputation for his leadership in the years since World War II, scholars have paid little attention to his generalship in the Ardennes following the relief of Bastogne.

In Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge, Captain John Nelson Rickard explores the commander’s operational performance during the entire Ardennes campaign, through his “estimate of the situation,” the US Army’s doctrinal approach to problem-solving. Patton’s day-by-day situational understanding of the Battle of the Bulge, as revealed through ULTRA intelligence and the influence of the other Allied generals on his decision-making, gives readers an in-depth, critical analysis of Patton’s overall effectiveness, measured in terms of mission accomplishment, his ability to gain and hold ground, and a cost-benefit analysis of his operations relative to the lives of his soldiers. The work not only debunks myths about one of America’s most controversial generals but provides new insights into his renowned military skill and colorful personality.

A Conversation with Kwoya Fagin Maples, author of Mend

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 12.46.43 PMKwoya Fagin Maples, author of Mend: Poems, amplifies the forgotten voices of black women whose bodies were used to further science at the expense of their humanity through her profoundly intimate, and sometimes devastating, verse. This collection of poems explores imagined memories and experiences relayed from hospital beds. The speakers challenge James Marion Sims’s lies, mourn their trampled dignity, name their suffering in spirit, and speak of their bodies as “bruised fruit.” At the same time, they are more than his victims, and the poems celebrate their humanity, their feelings, their memories, and their selves. A finalist for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, this debut collection illuminates a complex and disturbing chapter of the African American experience.

How did you first become acquainted with James Marion Sims, and did you learn about his experimentation on enslaved women at the same time, or did that knowledge come later?

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 12.51.35 PM.pngI didn’t intentionally set out to write historical persona poems. I was at a time in my writing career where I was weary of writing about myself. I’d just graduated from my MFA program and I felt a little lost—not knowing the direction I wanted my writing to take. Before Mend, I mainly wrote lyrical or language poems. During a Cave Canem summer workshop another writer mentioned the story of enslaved women—mothers, who were the subjects of gynecological experimentation conducted by Dr. James Marion Sims of Montgomery, Alabama. I’d been asking her about her own experience with motherhood. When I got back to my room, I googled the story, and I was immediately captivated by it. There was so little information online about it at that time, and no record of the women’s experiences. Not even all of their names. All of this was stunning and heartbreaking. I suppose from the beginning I deeply connected with the women emotionally—as if they were my family. At that time, I knew this story had not been told from their perspective. I imagined they’d been waiting on it to be told. I wrote one poem that same night. It was titled “The Door.” It is fortuitous that my editor, Lisa Williams, later chose it to be the book’s prefatory poem.

Can you describe the research you did in preparing to write these poems?

I began by collecting and studying slave narratives. Most of my research was conducted by use of the Library of Congress. I listened to music recordings from that time period and studied photographs of southern enslaved women in order to develop voices. I read Sims’s autobiography, surgical notes, and letters. By the time I finished writing Mend, I’d poured through hundreds of slave narratives and read several books surrounding the case, including Harriet Washington’s Medical Apartheid, which related several cases of medical experimentation conducted on people of color in the United States. Anarcha, Betsey, Lucy, and the other unnamed women of Mt. Meigs were not alone. I found that medical experimentation was commonly practiced by doctors and slaveholders. In her book, Washington uses the term “medical plantations,” arguing that what yielded for these doctors (instead of a traditional crop) was advancement in their respective fields and establishment of wealth. The poem I wrote in direct response to this idea is “What Yields,” an eleven-sectioned sonnet corona in Mend.

After spending so much time in research, when the poems came again for the book, they came in the voices of the women themselves. In 2011, at a writing residency provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, I began writing. I hadn’t written anything since that first poem a year earlier. I didn’t feel I’d have permission until I’d done my due diligence of researching. I didn’t automatically feel as though I could tell these women’s stories just because I was a black woman. I’d never been born a slave. Something that happened in the process of writing this book that I didn’t expect was how my own experience with matrescence would affect the work. In March of 2012, I found I was pregnant for the first time. After having written poems that endeavored to show the scope of the women’s lives, including their motherhood, there was so much I wanted to go back and revise. I didn’t plan on how being a mother would affect my work or the poems of this collection, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

How do the persona poems in Mend compare to your other poetry?

Mend is my first collection of historical persona poetry. I’ve written only a few other persona poems. My other work draws from my personal impressions and life experiences. I’m not an overtly political poet, but my work is political, nonetheless. Often, an argument is being made. The book I’m currently writing draws mainly from my childhood, and shows my obsession with the ocean. I’m from Charleston, SC, and that enters my work as well.

Earlier this year, the statue commemorating Sims was removed from New York’s Central Park and will be relocated to the Brooklyn cemetery where he is buried. It will include a plaque explaining the “legacy of non-consensual medical experimentation on women of color broadly and Black women specifically that Sims has come to symbolize.” Is this an appropriate step for the city to take and what more can or should be done concerning his memorials there and elsewhere?

The Sims statue removal in New York was pivotal and refreshing. It meant that people were hearing the story of Anarcha, Betsey, Lucy, and the unnamed women, and listening. Later in the year, when I heard that the mayor of Columbia, SC was interested in having the statue of Sims removed from the Statehouse there, I knew I wanted to be part of efforts to make it happen. I contacted Joy Priest, a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, and we began organizing a protest in the form of a poetry marathon. I traveled from Birmingham to South Carolina. The protest was held in front of Sims’s statue. All day we read poetry, essays, and facts related to this case in medical history. Poetry is a powerful form of resistance. While we held up posters, we also passed out fliers with information about Sims and the experimentation. We reverenced the voices of Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy along with all the unnamed women by bringing them into the frame.

People who cause trauma to others should not be reverenced or held in such high esteem that they have statues erected in their honor. People with any moral decency should agree. Sims’s actions as a doctor jeopardized the lives of human beings and caused irreparable harm. Sims’s monuments were built in his honor without consideration of the circumstances surrounding his success. The women whose bodies he profited from became meaningless the day his statue was erected. Their existence was completely ignored. With these statues and others like it, marginalized people repeatedly receive the message that their experiences are of no importance. When we rectify our mistakes by removing or modifying problematic monuments or statues, we give people an opportunity to heal.

Jarmila Novotná: Singer, Actress, Icon, Ambassador

“Glamorous yet sensitive, Novotná believed and proved that any kind of
music, any kind of art, can bring people together for the common good:
to resist tyranny, to celebrate freedom, to heal and to nurture.”
—Joyce DiDonato, Grammy Award winning mezzo-soprano

A legendary beauty, hailed as one of the greatest si9780813176116nging actors of her time, Jarmila Novotná (1907–1994) was an internationally known opera soprano from the former Czechoslovakia. She began her opera career as a teenage soprano and debuted at the National Theater in 1925. After leaving her homeland, she began performing all across Europe and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Best known for her performances in Der Rosenkavalier, The Marriage of Figaro, and La Traviata, including over 200 performances at the Met, Novotná was an accomplished singer. Jarmila Novotná: My Life in Song offers Novotná’s perception of these great achievements, as well as with her ventures into modeling, theater, film, television, and radio. She continually defied the “sex siren” role that everyone from Franz Lehár to Louis B. Mayer wanted her to play. From the beginning of her career, she ignored the fascination that adoring men had for her uncommon beauty, choosing to embody her artistry in a variety of forms, including notable films like The Bartered Bride (1932), Frasquita (1934), and The Search (1948), which won her critical acclaim for her performance as a mother in search of her young son. She also used her fame to dame her a national heroine among the Czech people, serving as a cultural ambassador.

Editor William V. Madison brings Novotná‘s own English-language version of Jarmila Novotná: My Life in Song to readers for the first time. Throughout the memoir, Novotná shares stories of those she worked, her experience in the “unending party” that is Hollywood. She attended parties hosted by Mayer, co-founder of MGM Studios, who repeatedly offered her a movie contract. Novotná also offers profiles on the notable artistic figures who surrounded her, including singer Bing Crosby, Montgomery Clift,  composer Cole Porter, and conductor Arturo Toscanini, as well as dignitaries like Dwight Eisenhower and Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia.

Lavishly illustrated with photos from her personal collection, her memoir not only recounts her remarkable life and career, but also shares stories of her interactions with other artistic luminaires whom she worked with in a variety of settings. She also witnessed and recorded her thoughts on the birth of an independent Czechoslovakia, the country’s takeover by the Nazis, and its fall to the Soviets. With a foreword by late opera critic Brian Kellow, the autobiography sheds light on the fascinating life of one of the greatest opera singers of the twentieth century.

An event celebrating the exclusive English-language release of her best-selling memoir will be held at 7 pm Wednesday, October 10 at the Bohemian National Hall in New York City. William V. Madison will speak at the celebration, which will also feature Novotná’s granddaughter, violinist Tatiana Daubek, and the ensemble House of Time. An exhibition of archival images and memorabilia, courtesy of George Daubek, will be on display in the Hall’s Dvořák Room. Hosted by The Dvořák American Heritage Association, the event is free and open to the public, with limited seating.

 

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Meet the Press: Sarah Olson, Project Editor

meet_the_press_graphic

Name: Sarah Olson
Position: Project Editor
Hometown: Plainfield, IL.
Alma Mater: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

_______________________________

Tell us a little bit about your position at the press.

As a project editor in the Editing department, I am responsible for managing a portion of new projects each season as well as supervising all of our paperback reprints. I work with a project from the time it is launched as an unedited manuscript until it is printed as a book.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

I have always enjoyed The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy by Pellom McDaniels III, which happens to be one of the first UPK books I ever read!

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Maybe it’s because I’m from the flatlands of Illinois, but I tend to take visiting guests out to either the Red River Gorge or the Cumberland Falls area for some hiking or kayaking. Within Lexington, I love showing off horse country—I was captivated by the rolling green hills the first time I ever flew into Lexington! I also tend to take visitors to Great Bagel because I have a sick obsession.

What’s your favorite word?

I honestly can’t say that I have a favorite word.

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

Hmm, I think Garamond.

garamond1

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

I have always been drawn to a career with books in some capacity.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? What’s a random factoid about yourself?

I have been volunteering with a local nonprofit specializing in youth mentorship, therapeutic horsemanship, and horseback riding for a little over two years and I absolutely love it.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

That is a tough call, but my gut instinct says Ron Swanson.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

I am currently finishing up Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay. It is compelling and I highly recommend it.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?

Friends. I saw my first episode a few years ago (after assuming I wouldn’t like the show), and have been hooked ever since.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

If I were to do anything else as a job, I would definitely want to do something that involves working with children.

 

 

 

Visual Preview of Jarmila Novotná

In JARMILA NOVOTNÁ: MY LIFE IN SONG , editor William V. Madison brings Novotná’s own English-language version of her best-selling memoir to readers for the first time. The memoir details how, following her debut in 1925 at the National Theater in Prague, her fame quickly evolved into a tremendous musical career at a time of unprecedented political upheaval. Novotná provides eyewitness accounts of the Nazi takeovers of Germany and Austria, the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, and the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, as well as her extensive travels in the United States during and after World War II. The memoir is lavishly illustrated with photos from Novotna’s personal collection, a preview shown below.

FIG 1 Novotná with her parents and older sister (1907 or '08)

Novotná as a baby, with her father, Josef; her mother, Josefa; and her sister, Pavla. Prague, probably 1908.

FIG 7 Wedding day (1931, July 16)

Jarmila with George Daubek on their wedding day. Prague, July 16, 1931.

FIG 19 As Butterfly in San Francisco (US debut, 1939)

Making her American debut as Madame Butterfly, with Hertha Glatz (left) as Suzuki. San Francisco, 1939.

FIG 30 Showing off her gymnastic ability, 1940s

Showing off her gymnastic abilities in the 1940s.

FIG 46 Prize-winning headdress by Valerian Rybar, Bal de Tête, 1940s

Wearing Valerian Rybar’s prize-winning headdress to the Bal de Tête.

Pick up a copy of JARMILA NOVOTNÁ, coming soon, to see more stunning images from the legendary performer’s personal collection.

Fig Preserves Recipe from Savory Memories

The late Wade Hall was an acclaimed author, dedicated professor, and a friend to many. In memory of his passing three years ago today (September 26th, 2015), here is what he termed “the granddaddy of all fig recipes” in SAVORY MEMORIES9780813120461

 

Fig Preserves

6 cups of stemmed and chopped figs
1 thinly sliced lemon
3 cups of sugar

Combine the figs, lemon, and sugar in a heavy stainless-steel pot and let stand for three hours. Then bring to a boil and simmer until thick, about one hour. Seal in hot sterilized jars. Yield: six to seven half-pints.

 

Hall follows the recipe with the tongue-in-cheek promise, “If you eat enough of these fig preserves, you will soon be writing like Eudora Welty! I guarantee it”. Throughout the chapter, Hall discusses the legendary author who was a friend and mentor to him. He describes one particular memory after they had spent the afternoon chatting about her work. “I rushed out to get a jar of fig preserves and a camera. She agreed to sign a couple of books before we left and allowed me to take several pictures of her in her chair…holding my ‘lovely’ gift”. Pick up a copy of SAVORY MEMORIES for more of Hall’s deliciously creative fig recipes!