Tag Archives: University Press

New Releases: Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace series

For those headed to Arlington this week for the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) annual meeting, swing by our booth; say hello to our representative, Melissa Hammer; and browse a few of these great new titles!

Click here to view all titles in the Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace series.

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Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow
Confidential Diplomacy and Détente
Richard A. Moss
Foreword by Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

“Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow will become an instant classic. For all of the books that mention the back channels—Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s most important foreign policy tools—this is the first to exhaustively mine the archives to explain their origin, how they were used, and to what end. Lucidly written and superbly researched, future works on Nixon foreign policy will have no choice but to consult this essential work. It is a must read to understand the era.”—Luke Nichter, author of Richard Nixon and Europe: The Reshaping of the Postwar Atlantic World

Most Americans consider détente to be among the Nixon administration’s most significant foreign policy successes. The diplomatic back channel that national security advisor Henry Kissinger established with Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin became the most important method of achieving this thaw in the Cold War. Kissinger praised back channels for preventing leaks and streamlining communications. These methods, however, were widely criticized by State Department officials and by an American press and public weary of executive branch prevarication and secrecy.

Richard A. Moss’s penetrating study documents and analyzes US-Soviet back channels from Nixon’s inauguration through what has widely been heralded as the apex of détente, the May 1972 Moscow Summit. He traces the evolution of confidential-channel diplomacy and examines major flashpoints, including the 1970 crisis over Cienfuegos, Cuba, the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT), US dealings with China, deescalating tensions in Berlin, and the Vietnam War.

Employing newly declassified documents, the complete record of the Kissinger-Dobrynin channel—jointly compiled, translated, annotated, and published by the US State Department and the Russian Foreign Ministry— as well as the Nixon tapes, Moss reveals the behind-the-scenes deliberations of Nixon, his advisers, and their Soviet counterparts. Although much has been written about détente, this is the first scholarly study that comprehensively assesses the central role of confidential diplomacy in shaping America’s foreign policy during this critical era.


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Foreign Policy at the Periphery
The Shifting Margins of US International Relations since World War II
Edited by Bevan Sewell and Maria Ryan

“Even after the United States became a global superpower, some regions of the world remained peripheral to American interests. What set these areas apart? And why did the U.S. eventually become drawn into their affairs? In this smart collection of original essays, an all-star lineup of historians answers these questions, and more, and uncovers the powerful dynamics that have shaped America’s rise to globalism.”—Andrew Preston, Cambridge University

As American interests assumed global proportions after 1945, policy makers were faced with the challenge of prioritizing various regions and determining the extent to which the United States was prepared to defend and support them. Superpowers and developing nations soon became inextricably linked, and the decolonization of states such as Vietnam, India, and Egypt assumed a central role in the ideological struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. As the twentieth century came to an end, many of the challenges of the Cold War became even more complex as the Soviet Union collapsed and new threats arose.

Featuring original essays by leading scholars, Foreign Policy at the Periphery examines relationships among new nations and the United States from the end of the Second World War through the global war on terror. Rather than reassessing familiar flashpoints of US foreign policy, the contributors explore neglected but significant developments such as the efforts of evangelical missionaries in the Congo, the 1958 stabilization agreement with Argentina, Henry Kissinger’s policies toward Latin America during the 1970s, and the financing of terrorism in Libya via petrodollars. Blending new, internationalist approaches to diplomatic history with newly released archival materials, this book brings together diverse strands of scholarship to address compelling issues in modern world history.


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Reagan and the World
Leadership and National Security, 1981-1989
Edited by Bradley Lynn Coleman and Kyle Longley
Foreword by Jack Matlock Jr.

“Coleman and Longley have assembled a terrific line-up of contributors, and both are accomplished scholars whose reputations and skills enhance this valuable contribution to understanding a contested presidency.”—Richard H. Immerman, author of Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz

Throughout his presidency, Ronald Reagan sought “peace through strength” during an era of historic change. In the decades since, pundits and scholars have argued over the president’s legacy: some consider Reagan a charismatic and consummate leader who renewed American strength and defeated communism. To others he was an ambitious and dangerous warmonger whose presidency was plagued with mismanagement, misconduct, and foreign policy failures. The recent declassification of Reagan administration records and the availability of new Soviet documents has created an opportunity for more nuanced, complex, and compelling analyses of this pivotal period in international affairs.

In Reagan and the World, leading scholars and national security professionals offer fresh interpretations of the fortieth president’s influence on American foreign policy. This collection addresses Reagan’s management of the US national security establishment as well as the influence of Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and others in the administration and Congress. The contributors present in-depth explorations of US-Soviet relations and American policy toward Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. This balanced and sophisticated examination reveals the complexity of Reagan’s foreign policy, clarifies the importance of other international actors of the period, and provides new perspectives on the final decade of the Cold War.


9780813169057US Presidential Elections
Candidates, Campaigns, and Global Politics from FDR to Bill Clinton
Edited by Andrew Johnstone and Andrew Priest

“This book is part of an important trend in examining the connection between domestic policies and foreign policy. Its chapters will have enduring relevance.”—Elizabeth N. Saunders, author of Leaders at War: How Presidents Shape Military Interventions

While domestic issues loom large in voters’ minds during American presidential elections, matters of foreign policy have consistently shaped candidates and their campaigns. From the start of World War II through the collapse of the Soviet Union, presidential hopefuls needed to be perceived as credible global leaders in order to win elections—regardless of the situation at home—and voter behavior depended heavily on whether the nation was at war or peace. Yet there is little written about the importance of foreign policy in US presidential elections or the impact of electoral issues on the formation of foreign policy.

In US Presidential Elections and Foreign Policy, a team of international scholars examines how the relationship between foreign policy and electoral politics evolved through the latter half of the twentieth century. Covering all presidential elections from 1940 to 1992—from debates over American entry into World War II to the aftermath of the Cold War—the contributors correct the conventional wisdom that domestic issues and the economy are always definitive. Together they demonstrate that, while international concerns were more important in some campaigns than others, foreign policy always matters and is often decisive. This illuminating commentary fills a significant gap in the literature on presidential and electoral politics, emphasizing that candidates’ positions on global issues have a palpable impact on American foreign policy.


Other great books in the series:

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#ReadUPK in the Washington Post

The following editorial has been re-published from the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog (12/16/2016).

Trump may be borrowing Nixon’s ‘back channel’ strategy in his contacts with Russia

by Richard A. Moss

News that the president-elect’s son, Donald Trump Jr., met with pro-Russian Syrian opposition in Paris, or that two Russian officials acknowledged longer term contacts with the Trump campaign, has prompted concern about undue foreign influence — especially given recent news that the CIA has concluded that Russian hacking during the election was designed to help Donald Trump. Those worries have escalated with the president-elect’s apparent selection of Rex Tillerson, chief executive of ExxonMobil who has made multibillion-dollar deals with Russia President Vladimir Putin, for secretary of state — especially since Russian Duma members applaud his nomination.

But we can look at the incoming Trump administration’s contacts with Russian officials in a different way. The Trump team may be taking a page from Richard M. Nixon’s 1968 playbook by using “back channels” to improve U.S.-Russian relations. Perhaps the incoming administration can achieve detente — a relaxation of tensions — through this more informal approach to diplomacy. If that’s what’s going on, the Trump team might wish to be mindful of this approach’s longer-term pitfalls.

 

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Richard A. Moss is the author of Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow

Nixon used two ‘back channels’ before taking office

 

Before his narrow victory in November 1968, Nixon used two back channels to get messages to the Soviet leadership. First, Nixon dispatched his longtime aide and personal friend, Robert Ellsworth, to contact Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin and Soviet Charge d’Affaires Yuri Cherniakov. Once he did so during the campaign, Ellsworth conveyed the incoming Nixon administration’s views on a variety of issues, such as the ratification of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Middle East.

The second channel — one that would probably raise eyebrows today — involved Henry Kissinger and a KGB intelligence officer, Boris Sedov. This connection functioned informally during the presidential campaign when Kissinger was a foreign policy adviser to Nixon and petered out shortly after Kissinger became national security adviser. The Kissinger-Sedov contact added the dimension of Soviet intelligence seeking additional information about the main players in the incoming Nixon administration and corroborating the Ellsworth-Dobrynin-Cherniakov exchanges.

Both Ellsworth and Kissinger were assessing whether the Soviet leadership might be open to working through back channels. These contacts quickly led to the Kissinger-Dobrynin Channel, which came to define U.S.-Soviet relations during the Nixon administration and led to detente.

Many analysts consider “the Channel” to have been an effective tool. At a 2007 conference hosted by the State Department, Russian-born scholar Vladislav Zubok stressed that there was “a 90 percent chance . . . that there would not have been a summit in Moscow in ’72, and such a productive summit that it was, without the back channel.”

Back channels can convey messages more subtly than formal contact  

The early back-channel forays also helped communication during the transition between Nixon’s election and inauguration. Nixon used both channels to kill the idea of an early U.S.-Soviet summit championed by his predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson. As Nixon explained later, he did not “want to be boxed in by any decisions that were made before [he] took office.” The Soviet leadership received Nixon’s intended messages via Ellsworth and Kissinger. The private exchanges kept the issue out of the spotlight and set a precedent of back channels as preferred communication mediums for both Washington and Moscow.

Because of an exchange between Kissinger and Sedov, Nixon added a line to his inaugural address. At the posh Pierre hotel in New York City on Jan. 2, 1969, Sedov told Kissinger that the Soviet leadership “was very interested that the inaugural speech contain some reference to open channels of communication to Moscow.” Kissinger recommended that a phrase be included, and Nixon initialed his agreement on a memo two days later.

“I was never clear whether this request reflected an attempt by Sedov to demonstrate his influence to Moscow,” Kissinger wondered years later, “or whether it was a serious policy approach by the Politburo. In any event I saw no harm in it.”

And so in his inaugural address, Nixon proclaimed, “our lines of communication will be open.” The gesture cost nothing but almost certainly established goodwill between the new administration and the Soviet leadership.

Why use U.S.-Russian back channels?  

 

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Nixon, Dobrynin, and Kissinger at Camp David in 1973. Source: NPMP

When used to supplement rather than supplant traditional diplomacy, back channels may offer a protected forum free from leaks to explore points of agreement, disagreement and potential conflict. For instance, on relations with Vietnam, Nixon and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev disagreed. The United States wanted the Soviets to cut aid and push Hanoi to negotiate, while Moscow wanted the United States to stop bombing North Vietnam and withdraw its troops from Indochina. Nevertheless, via back-channel exchanges, Nixon and Brezhnev eventually reached tacit agreement on broader issues, like the status and tone of U.S.-Soviet relations, and had a successful summit meeting in Moscow in May 1972.

If they choose, Russian and U.S. leaders may use back channels to clearly convey what they see as their core interests, to explore potential areas of cooperation, and to try to mitigate conflict or escalation.

Back channels are like regular diplomacy, but with more intimacy and without the bureaucracy. Like intimacy, it requires willing partners. Kissinger found one in Dobrynin, and Nixon in Brezhnev; both the United States and the Soviet Union benefited during the short-lived period of detente that enabled the two superpowers to start cooperating on arms control and in other areas, like agreements signed at the Moscow Summit on avoiding naval incidents at seabilateral trade, science and technology, public health, environmental protection, and collaboration on space exploration(the Apollo-Soyuz docking in 1975).

Of course, U.S.-Russian relations are now strained. The two nations have been backing different sides in the Syrian civil war; Russia has invaded and annexed a portion of Ukraine, resulting in U.S. sanctions; NATO installed a missile defense site in Romania and began another in Poland; and the Russians have sent nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, to note a few issues. While there is no Cold War now, both countries remain nuclear powers. In the Internet era, when provocations and communications travel instantly around the globe, keeping back channels open could conceivably help prevent or minimize confrontation.

If the Trump team is indeed in informal contact with the Russians, which it denies, some observers may find comfort in the idea that diplomacy — even the back-channel variety — is underway.

But of course, Nixon — for all his accomplishments — isn’t usually held up as a president to admire, given his illegal actions in the Watergate scandal, leading to the only U.S. presidential resignation in history. Relying on back channel communications too exclusively means operating in secrecy while avoiding — or even disdaining — the news media. Circumventing the usual systems, his example tells us, has its risks.

Richard A. Moss is an associate research professor, co-director of the Halsey Bravo research effort, and a faculty affiliate in the Russian Maritime Studies Institute at the United States Naval War College’s Center for Naval Warfare Studies. His book, “Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow: Confidential Diplomacy and Détente,” is available now.

Author’s note: The thoughts and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the U.S. government, the U.S. Department of the Navy or the Naval War College.

Happy 100th Birthday to Kirk Douglas!

One of the original leading men, Kirk Douglas came along in the final days of the major studio system, and he was one of the first box office stars to take charge of his own destiny by  becoming involved in the production and marketing of the films in which he appeared.

He was a vital force in such classics as Out of the Past (1947), Champion (1949), Detective Story (1951), Ace in the Hole (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Lust for Life (1956). He formed his own company, Bryna, and made such major films as Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), Lonely Are the Brave (1962), and Seven Days in May (1964).

Along the way, he distinguished himself in a number of westerns, including The Big Sky (1952), Man without a Star (1955), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), and The War Wagon (1967), while also tackling several action roles in historical period pictures like 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954), Ulysses (1955), and The Vikings (1958).

conversations_with_classic_film_stars_coverRenowned for his support of liberal causes, Douglas is often credited with helping break down the dreaded Hollywood anti-Communist “blacklist” by hiring blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo (who also celebrates a birthday today!) to write the screenplay for Spartacus.
In a conversation with Douglas in conjunction with Draw!, a 1984 HBO TV western, Ronald Miller asked the iconic actor about his work with other leading actors and actresses, antiheroes, and working within the studio system. You can find a full transcript of their conversation in Conversations with Classic Film Stars—a perfect gift for the film buff this holiday season.

In the excerpt below, Miller and Douglas discuss the unique art of filmmaking, and its pitfalls, as well as Douglas’s involvement in the Oscar-winning, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Excerpted from Conversations with Classic Film Stars:

Miller: You’ve worked with every kind of movie director and you don’t have a reputation for getting into disputes with them, but you are known for demanding a collaborative atmosphere on the set. Explain that.

Douglas: I’ve worked with [Joseph] Mankiewicz, [Howard] Hawks, [Elia] Kazan, [William] Wyler, [Billy] Wilder. I’ve been very fortunate. All of them work differently. I’ve even directed a couple of pictures, so I have respect for the work. But no matter what anyone says, it’s a collaborative art form. No matter how much one person is a binding force, it’s still a collaboration.

I think the problem today is that we’ve been contaminated by the European concept of the auteur system. I’ve had movies where I bought the book, developed the script, and cast the whole picture, but then the director walks in and says, “It must be a John Smith film!” I think sometimes we emphasize that too much.

Miller: Though you’ve avoided big hassles with your directors, you’ve had a few disputes with studio managements, haven’t you?

Douglas: Let me give you an example of that: Lonely Are the Brave. You need the proper selling of a picture like that. I thought Universal just threw it away. They didn’t give it a chance. They took it out of circulation. Then there were all those great reviews and people said, “Where’s the picture?” Their ego prevented them from making a different campaign for the picture. The longer I’m in this business, the more amazed I am that a movie can be made, good or bad.

Miller: You’ve taken lots of chances in your career, but I imagine one of your greatest frustrations was not being able to play McMurphy on the big screen in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest after acquiring the rights to the book from Ken Kesey and playing the part on the stage in New York.

douglas-kirk_03Douglas: It was way ahead of its time. When I took it to Broadway, the critics didn’t know what to make of it. The audience loved it, but it didn’t do very well. I tried for nearly twelve years to make it as a movie. I took it to every studio. But they wouldn’t do it, even with a limited budget. Finally, I went into partnership with my son, Michael, and we were able to find somebody outside of the industry to put up the money and we made a little picture that I never predicted would be a hit. So it did over $200 million! Nobody knows what will really be successful.

Miller: What do you think of Michael as a producer?

Douglas: I told him, “Michael, you’re the kind of producer I’d like to work with because you give everything to the other person even when you’re in the movie.” He did that in Romancing the Stone [1984]. He focused all the attention on the girl [Kathleen Turner]. I haven’t been that generous. I’ve been a producer, but I find a product like Spartacus or The Vikings or Seven Days in May or Paths of Glory and somehow there always seems to be a good part for me.

#ReadUP in the Community: Throwback to the Future

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

The theme of 2016’s #UPWeek is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

University Presses have been around a long time—the oldest, continuously operated UP, Johns Hopkins University Press, was founded in 1878! When you include University Presses like Cambridge and Oxford, university press publishing has been influencing scholarship and society for more than 200 years. In all that time, UPs have had to adapt to changing ideas in academia, changes in the market, and changes in readership—both culturally and technologically.

In 2016, University Presses continue to accommodate new and emerging scholarship and sustain research and public knowledge through initiatives that benefit their community. Click through to explore a few forward-thinking endeavors from AAUP member presses.

Yale University Press

Yale explores the future of communities through their title, City of Tomorrow.

Indiana University Press

IU Press authors talk about their favorite Indiana books and authors in preparation for Indiana University’s upcoming bicentennial celebration.

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Seminary Co-op Bookstores shares a Front Table newsletter from the 80s.

University of Michigan Press

Focusing on digital scholarship, UMP highlights their innovative Gabii project that allows users to engage with scholarship via a gaming platform, and the Fulcrum platform that they beta launched just a few weeks ago.

Columbia University Press

In order to look forward at possibilities for future collaboration between university presses, Columbia looks back at the history of their South Asia Across the Disciplines series, jointly published by the University of California Press, the University of Chicago Press, and Columbia University Press.

MIT Press

A look back at the MIT Press Bookstore and a look forward to their new location.

University of Toronto Press Journals

Throwing it back to the evolution of UTP Journals and the development of their online platforms.

University of Georgia Press

UGA Press shares their collaborative efforts to organize the Charleston Syllabus Symposium in September.

IPR License

IPR License shares how they are building a community of university presses on its onlight rights platform and helping them to increase their revenue stream from backlist rights sales.

 

#ReadUP in the Community: Spotlight on Staff

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

The theme of 2016’s #UPWeek is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

From volunteerism, to mentorships, and staff members with not-so-hidden talents and passions, our friends at AAUP member presses around the world are servicing their communities in myriad amazing ways. Here are just a few examples:

Wayne State University Press

WSUP highlights their new in-house designer as part of their “Shelf-Talkers” series.

University of Washington Press

Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow Niccole Leilanionapae’aina Coggins on community and food sovereignty.

University Press of Mississippi

UPM Project Editor Valerie Jones discusses her volunteer work for a Jackson spay/neuter clinic .

University of Wisconsin Press

Production manager Terry Emmrich, who is also a fine art printmaker, discusses the Art & Craft of Print.

Johns Hopkins University Press

After nine years in manuscript editing at JHU Press, Debby Bors explains her passion for university press publishing.

University of Chicago Press

Associate marketing manager Levi Stahl has built a community of crime fiction fans around the cult-classic mystery novels written by “Richard Stark.”

Purdue University Press

Editor Dianna Gilroy discusses the connections between her work at the press on the Human-Animal Bond series and her work in the local and global community raising awareness about the value of the human-animal bond and the need to help homeless animals.

Princeton University Press

Behind the scenes with Eric Henney, new editor of physical, earth, and computer science at Princeton University Press.

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Former Triliteral sales rep, John Edlund shares his favorite books that he represented throughout his career with Harvard, Yale and MIT.

#ReadUP in the Community: IndieBound in Kentucky

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

This year’s #UPWeek theme is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

We love to publish great books by great authors, but how do we get the books on your shelf? With a little help from our indefatigable partners in publishing: independent booksellers.

It takes a lot of love and passion for books, knowledge, and community to create a great bookstore. Indie booksellers promote new authors, help readers rediscover the classics, and bond community members through events, book clubs, meeting spaces, and even a cup of coffee.

Kentucky is unique in many ways, but one of the things we love most about our state is the number of amazing, dedicated, and energetic booksellers and bookstores across the Commonwealth!

With that in mind, we approached our #Indiebound friends with a few pressing questions about their reading communities, their favorite UPK books, and their favorite karaoke songs. . . . Get to know these champions of the written word, and stop by to snag a new book to #ReadUP!

Our Bookstores and Booksellers who Contributed here:

Our thanks to everyone who contributed their time and attention to helping us with this post. For a full list of independent booksellers in Kentucky, visit Indiebound.org or the American Booksellers Association.


Poor Richard’s Books, Frankfort
with Lizz Taylor

Find Poor Richard’s Books online here: http://www.poorrichardsbooksky.com

What do you love most about your reading community?
The Frankfort reading community is eager to listen to the recommendations my staff makes for “what their next read could be.”

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?

Crawfish Bottom by Doug Boyd is our top bestseller from the University Press of Kentucky titles.  This history of a local neighborhood originally right outside our front door has appeal for those who grew up here, as well as those who have heard the many colorful stories of this neighborhood.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
The Pearl that Broke its Shell by Nadia Nashimi.  She describes the young woman in Afghanistan trying to use education to advance their lives.  A great follow-up to Hosseini’s Kiterunner.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I would have liked to have been a doctor or detective, but I still do that type of work trying to find the books to suit my customers.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?

“You have been my friend—that in itself is a tremendous thing.”—E B White from Charlotte’s Web.  I love perusing my book shelves and remembering my “old friends.”

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?

Eleanor Roosevelt for her conviction, loyalty, and strength.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
My favorite thing to cook is food for my bookclub, the Absent-Minded Book Club (as we can never remember who is hosting or what we decided to read.  I love attempting a recipe that will enhance our latest reading experience.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
I could be Wonder-Book Woman as I must wear so many hats running Poor Richard’s Books.
My costume could be old book pages shaped to drape, but then I’d get caught up reading those old pages before I finish the costume.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?
I loved history, as the “truth is always stranger than fiction.”

What’s your favorite joke?
Not exactly a joke, but Mark Twain referenced Kentucky:  “I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because they are always 20 years behind.”

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I love to travel, hike and view art.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?
I actually like the privacy of my life out of the bookstore, where I am social all day long.

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
I think that Meryl Streep could handle it.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I have some medical background as my mother was in nursing school when I was reading Cherry Ames nurse mysteries as a young girl.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?
The Beatles—I even named my daughter Julia after that song.  I loved the french included in that piece.

Have you ever met any celebrities?
Robert Penn Warren was a real treat.  He said I could call him “Red,” when I didn’t know that he had been a redhead before his hair turned white.

Do you collect anything?
It’s hard to resist books, art and recipes.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
Music is in my head whenever I’m in a good mood.  But the selection varies from day to day.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
A science fiction show like Star Wars, or Star Trek would be an incredible adventure.

Name three things you can’t live without.
Books, color and peace!

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
Jane Austen is a favorite, as she responds to her world and admits her prejudices.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
A curious cat could work if folks didn’t have allergies.

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
We would be located in the middle of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter world.  How much fun to explore all the unique shops!

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Jane Austen for the reason previously stated.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
Definitely comfort food..maybe as satisfying as apple pie.


Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Crestview Hills
with Caitlin Fletcher

Find Joseph-Beth Booksellers online here: www.josephbeth.com

jb-crestviewWhat do you love most about your reading community?
I love how enthusiastic they are! There’s a preconceived notion that nobody reads anymore and I find that to be entirely false. People love their books, they love reading, and they love that anticipation of waiting for a new book. We get customers coming in asking for books that they’ve been waiting for years for. It’s beautiful.
What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?
I absolutely adored The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. It was full of rich characters and a plot that makes you want to never put down the book. Crystal was at our store for a signing when the book came out and she was so passionate about the book that it was hard to not enjoy it – so much love, thought, and imagination went into this book.
What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron. It’s beautiful. Diverse, interesting, and realistic. I loved it.
What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
Anything by Taylor Swift – usually “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Because no one sounds good singing that song and I love Taylor Swift.
If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
Gilmore Girls, probably. It’s quick, witty, and I would love to be best friends with Lorelai and Rory.
Name three things you can’t live without.
Books, laptop, and heat. Or food. Or my cat. This is a tough one.
If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
Hermione Granger.
If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
A quokka. They’re friendly, always smiling, and they’re helpful. Plus they’re really adorable.
If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
I couldn’t see us anywhere else except for the Cincinnati area. It’s our home!
If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Wow. I don’t know if I could choose just one. Stephen King is in my top list of favorite authors, so perhaps him. Or JK Rowling. Or Natalie Babbitt. There are so many.
If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
Something tasty. Like a cinnamon roll – because it’s sweet and comforting.
What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
I’m not very good at cooking, but I enjoy baking. I love baking brownies, which sounds incredibly simple; but for me it’s quite an achievement!
If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
Hydro and my super power would be manipulation of water. As for what I would wear, probably something practical without a cape.
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
English. Words have always come easily to me and reading has always been an escape for me.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went through the phases: I wanted to be a doctor, then a social worker, then a rockstar, but in the end . . . I realized I wanted to write and since then, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
Other peoples’ opinions of you does not define who you are.
If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?
Maybe Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird continues to be one of my favorite books and I would have loved to talk to her about writing.
What’s your favorite joke?
“Have you heard the cookie joke? You wouldn’t like it. It’s pretty crumby!”
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I’ve never completely finished writing a novel. I start a lot, but never finish them.
What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?
I’m terrified of heights. If they knew, perhaps they’d stop asking me to climb tall things!
If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
I don’t really know . . . I feel like I’m too weird for someone to portray. Maybe Anna Kendrick. She’s got the quirky weird thing down.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can roll my tongue. I don’t think that constitutes as a hidden talent. But it’s the only thing I can think of.
What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?
Nirvana. They still are, actually. My favorite song by them is “Heart Shaped Box.”
Have you ever met any celebrities?
Not any big ones. I’ve met a few authors because of work and I met this singer from Canada that I’ve been a fan of for going on ten years now, but no one incredibly big.
Do you collect anything?
Editions of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. It’s my favorite book of all time.

Wild Fig Books & Coffee, Lexington
with Crystal Wilkinson and Ron Davis

Find Wild Fig Books & Coffee online here: http://wildfigbooks.net

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William DeShazer for the New York Times

Learn more about Crystal, Ron, and Wild Fig Books & Coffee in this recent piece from the New York Times on neighborhood bookstores!

What do you love most about your reading community?
we love their enthusiasm for good books and emerging writers.

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?
the man who loved birds with UPofKy

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
the graphic novel, Beautiful Darkness. it was wonderful!

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?
ron – the first african to see a slave ship off the west coast so he could warn him to the coming danger and to take appropriate action against them.
crystal – ida b. wells because she remains an inspiration.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
we’re both introverts.

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Follow the adventures of the Wild Fig “Barista Barbie” on Instagram!

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
sam jackson as both of us.

Do you have any hidden talents?
crys – trapeze artist
ron – trained assassin for the nigerian secret service.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?crystal – prince, starfish and coffee
ron – funkadelic, maggot brain

Name three things you can’t live without.
tv remote… a car… werther’s originals.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
luke cage and spongebob because they would be awesome together.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
luke cage and spongebob (see above)

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
luanda, angola because it is so lovely.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
waffles. because… “waffles”.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?
art for ron because he paints.
english for crystal because she writes.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
ron wanted to be an architect.
crystal wanted to be a journalist.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
dont be poor.

Have you ever met any celebrities?
crys – bell hooks
ron – haki madhubuti

Do you collect anything?
african sculptures.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
crystal – starfish and coffee, because she loves prince
ron – black steel in the hour of chaos because he’s a public enemy fan.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
the 100. because we could build a life in the hills.

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
tie among gayl jones, toni morrison, and james baldwin because they are all great writers with excellent social insights.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
avocado toast because we make a great one at the store!


Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington
with Kelly Morton

Find Joseph-Beth Booksellers online here: www.josephbeth.com

What do you love most about your reading community?
The diversity and enthusiasm!

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend? 
The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. Plus anything about bourbon.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose? 
The Lorax. Someone needs to speak for the trees.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why? 
We kinda do – he’s a plastic dinosaur named Bob. No idea why.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
Listen carefully to everything I say, then completely ignore it and go with your gut.

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why? 
My grandfather while he was fighting in Germany during WWII; he died before I was born and it would be amazing to meet him and tell him what his service in Germany would lead to.

What’s your favorite joke? 
Two cows in a field. One cow says to the other, “Are you worried about that mad cow disease?” Other cow says, “No, I’m a helicopter.” ZING!!

Do you have any hidden talents? 
Nope. Both of them are pretty obvious.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song? 
Anything by Destiny’s Child. Also the VeggieTales theme song. I was a strange teenager.

Have you ever met any celebrities? 
Yes – if anyone asks, Jason Segel is like, the nicest guy ever.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why? 
Pie because even if you mess it up, it’s still delicious.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
I don’t have a clever name, but I’d be able to breathe underwater and talk to sea creatures. I’d wear scales and seaweed – I’m beginning to think I’m just a mermaid.

What was your favorite subject in school and why? 
Lunch because food. But also art because that’s a different kind of sustenance. And English because I loved reading.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I never really decided. I still haven’t. The nice thing about books is that you can become anyone you want in the pages.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? 
I’m an introvert. 

What’s something you wish everyone knew about you? 
I’m an introvert. Seriously. Let me go hide.

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
Someone completely unknown so they could get their big break!

Do you collect anything? 
Elephants, Harry Potter books, and scars, but the last one isn’t intentional.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why? 
Santeria” by Sublime because I know all the words.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why? 
Bob’s Burgers because I’m pretty sure Gene is my spirit animal and I think I’d fit in.

Name three things you can’t live without. 
Espresso, cute dresses, and my wiener dog.

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why? 
Cincinnati should count as a world city! Because we’re big enough but not too big, friendly but not overbearing, and we’re obsessed with buckeyes.

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why? 
Barbara Kingsolver because I bet she’d bring all sorts of treats to share.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why? 
A really, really big just-baked cookie because we’re warm and friendly.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it? 
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Yes, in a my-heart-is-crushed-and-I’m-dying-but-ok-with-it kind of way.

#ReadUP in Your Community: Day 1

carter_proclamation_smIn the summer of 1978 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a University Press Week “in recognition of the impact, both here and abroad, of American university presses on culture and scholarship.”

That influence continues today, as does the increasing vitality of university press publishing programs, the many ways and means by which works are now produced and distributed, and the urgent need for articulate discourse in times pervaded by sound bites. Today, a renewed University Press Week highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

This year’s #UPWeek theme is COMMUNITY—honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

 

The University Press Community as a whole has collected their works that best exemplify this year’s theme in a gallery where you can find a great new read (click below):

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You can also explore other University Press’s efforts to empower and inform their communities via our yearly blog tour. Today’s posts highlight the people in our neighborhoods, read more on their blogs:

Northwestern University Press

http://northwesternup.tumblr.com/

Rutgers Unviersity Press

Sneak a peek at Rutgers’ 250th anniversary celebrations and the press’s role in them (with lots of pictures!)

Fordham University Press

Featuring Professor Mark Naison, co-author of Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930s to the 1960s.

University of Toronto Press

Our history editor recounts her experiences running lectures at a nearby Jewish Community Centre in Toronto on Why History Matters Today, featuring a string of our higher education authors.

University of Toronto Press Journals

Featuring one of our journal editors and the work they are doing in their own communities related to the journal they are responsible for.

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Curated book list of favorite University Press titles from Haun Saussy, University of Chicago faculty and Columbia University Press and Fordham University Press author.

Athabasca University Press

We will be featuring members of our editorial committee.

University Press of Florida

An introduction to our “neighborhood” of readers, authors, bookstores, sales reps, staff, and more.