Jan 15

We’re 80!

80th logo_lsup-tsr_BW (1)This year marks LSU Press’s 80th anniversary and to celebrate our continuing contribution to scholarship and culture we will be highlighting select titles from our prestigious (and long) list of books.

As thriving university press for eight decades, LSU Press has been in operation throughout the Great Depression, World War II, and the centennial of the Civil War in the 1960s. The Press rang in the 1970s with poetry collections by Joyce Carol Oates and Miller Williams and was awarded its first Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for A Confederacy of Dunces. In the decades following, LSU Press titles by Lisel Mueller (1996) and Claudia Emerson (2005) would also win Pulitzer Prizes. As the publisher of historically important work like the classic, annotated edition of Twelve Years a Slave and as well as novels with significant cultural impact like The Lost Get-Back Boogie by James Lee Burke, LSU Press has remained an integral part of our University and its mission to disseminate knowledge and support creativity.

Follow LSU Press on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter now to see the titles we’ve published from the advent of the paperback to the digital revolution.

Feb 15

LSU Press titles receive PROSE Award honorable mentions

Two LSU Press titles, Southern Waters by Craig Colten and In Tune by Ben Wynne, received PROSE Award honorable mentions. Congratulations to both authors!

Full list of 2015 PROSE Award winners

Jan 15

Disease, Resistance, and Lies: A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

LSU Press is proud to announce that one of our 2014 titles has been selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine: Dale Graden’s Disease, Resistance, and Lies: The Demise of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to Brazil and Cuba.

In the early nineteenth century the major economic players of the Atlantic trade lanes—the United States, Brazil, and Cuba—witnessed explosive commercial growth. Commodities like cotton, coffee, and sugar contributed to the fantastic wealth of an elite few and the enslavement of many. As a result of an increased population and concurrent economic expansion, the United States widened its trade relationship with Cuba and Brazil, importing half of Brazil’s coffee exports and 82 percent of Cuba’s total exports by 1877. Disease, Resistance, and Lies examines the impact of these burgeoning markets on the Atlantic slave trade between these countries from 1808—when the U.S. government outlawed American involvement in the slave trade to Cuba and Brazil—to 1867, when slave traffic to Cuba ceased.

In his comparative study, Dale Graden engages several important historiographic debates, including the extent to which U.S. merchants and capital facilitated the slave trade to Brazil and Cuba, the role of infectious disease in ending the trade to those countries, and the effect of slave revolts in helping to bring the transatlantic slave trade to an end.

Graden situates the transatlantic slave trade within the expanding and rapidly changing international economy of the first half of the nineteenth century, offering a fresh analysis of the “Southern Triangle Trade” that linked Cuba, Brazil, and Africa. Disease, Resistance, and Lies challenges more conservative interpretations of the waning decades of the transatlantic slave trade by arguing that the threats of infectious disease and slave resistance both influenced policymakers to suppress slave traffic to Brazil and Cuba and also made American merchants increasingly unwilling to risk their capital in the transport of slaves.

DALE T. GRADEN is professor of history at the University of Idaho and the author of From Slavery to Freedom in Brazil: Bahia, 1835–1900. You can find out more about his book at our website.

Nov 14

Dr. V. Ray Cardozier (1923–2014)

CardozierLSU Press mourns the passing of Dr. V. Ray Cardozier, professor emeritus of higher education administration at the University of Texas at Austin, who died on November 2.

A native of Louisiana and a 1947 graduate of LSU, Dr. Cardozier served at several universities, authored many books, and honored LSU Press with a most extraordinary gift.

In 1994, Professor Cardozier established an endowed fund to “support the publication of scholarly books of merit that might not otherwise be publishable because of limited markets.” Books could come from a variety of fields, including history, biography, social sciences, public affairs and natural sciences.

The V. Ray Cardozier Fund has supported the publication of over 50 books in the past 20 years. They range in subject matter, but each one has benefitted from the generous gift of one man who wanted to make a difference and to strengthen LSU’s commitment to scholarly publishing.

Cardozier Fund recipients’ comments:

Having my edition of Anthony Benezet’s antislavery writings brought to print by LSU Press was the realization of a 20-year dream. The excellence of the Press’s editing and promotion staff made the resulting book far more satisfying than even I could have hoped.
David Crosby, ed. The Complete Antislavery Writings of Anthony Benezet, 1754-1783: An Annotated Critical Edition

For me, it has meant the satisfaction on seeing my book in print after years of thinking about the subject. And because my book is on Lincoln, it has I hope generated some conversation about the meaning of liberty, equality, and democracy, all things I am sure Mr. Cardozier (whom I never met) valued.
John Barr, Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present

The publication Delta Empire with such a distinguished press exposed the book to a much larger readership than would otherwise have been possible. More importantly, funding from the V. Ray Cardozier fund made it possible to price the book at a rate that would permit teachers to assign it to both undergraduate and graduate classes, extending the book’s readership even more.
Jeannie Whayne, Delta Empire: Lee Wilson and the Transformation of Agriculture in the New South

The publication of my book was the culmination of a several years-long effort to address an important aspect of pre-Civil War U.S. economic history: the role of the federal government in stimulating economic growth and development. My approach was necessarily quantitative, which made the eventual book more of a challenging read than I might have wished and, therefore, not likely to have seen publication without Mr. Cardozier’s endowment of LSU Press. I am profoundly grateful.
Paul Paskoff, Troubled Waters: Steamboat Disasters, River Improvements, and American Public Policy, 1821–1860

I am very grateful to Mr. Cardozier for his generous support of LSU Press. My first book with LSU helped land me a tenure track job, and my second book should help me get tenure. His support of the Press has been instrumental in the advancement of my career.
Jonathan White, Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman

To see the final product, a result of many years of hard work preparing and researching and writing and editing a project of mine, finally in print and with a gorgeous cover, was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Aaron Astor, Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation, and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri

Publishing my book with the help of the V. Ray Cardozier Endowment at LSU Press allowed me to present more than ten years of research to a broader public than I ever would have realized through other means. Additionally, publication proved my professional development so that I not only earned a promotion, but also I found that other resources became available to me to help with my future research, as a result of my first publication.
Michael Gagnon, Transition to an Industrial South: Athens, Georgia, 1830–1870

Oct 14

Start and Finish Your Holiday Shopping at Season’s Readings

Join LSU Press and The Southern Review for Holiday Book + Journal Sale
Meet Local Authors and Support Louisiana’s Non-Profit Publisher
Friday, November 21, 2014, 4:30–6:30 p.m., LSU Faculty Club

Music fans, food lovers, art aficionados, architecture enthusiasts, history buffs, fiction and poetry readers—check off everyone on your holiday shopping list in one evening at LSU Press + The Southern Review’s holiday book and journal sale. This year’s Season’s Readings, on Friday, November 21, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Faculty Club, boasts a wide array of great titles, more than a dozen local authors, and free gift wrapping.

Special guests will be in attendance to sign copies of LSU Press books:

The Next Elvis’s Barbara Sims
The Louisiana Field Guide editors Ryan Orgera and Wayne Parent
The Cottoncrest Curse‘s Michael Rubin
The War of 1812, Conflict and Deception’s Ronald Drez
Louisiana Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon
Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues’s John Wirt
Accalia and the Swamp Monster’s Kelli Scott Kelley
Louisiana Saturday Night’s Alex V. Cook
“The Bone Lady” Mary Manhein
African American Foreign Correspondents’s Jinx Broussard
Along the River Road‘s Mary Ann Sternberg
The Architecture of LSU’s J. Michael Desmond
Louisiana Aviation‘s Vincent Caire
Treasures of LSU editor Laura F. Lindsay
Best of LSU Fiction editors Nolde Alexius and Judy Kahn
Nature Photographer C. C. Lockwood

Many other LSU Press titles and issues of The Southern Review will be available for sale. New releases as well as favorites like A Confederacy of Dunces and Fonville Winans’ Louisiana will be discounted 20 percent, and gift wrapping will be free.

The LSU Faculty Club is located at the corner of Highland Road and Raphael Semmes, across Highland from the LSU Union. For more information on Season’s Readings please contact LSU Press at 225.578.8282 or visit the event page on Facebook. Presented with support from the LSU Barnes & Noble.

Oct 14

The stories behind the songs

Join us tonight, 30 October, from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, for a music-themed book festival to kick off the Louisiana Festival of Books. LSU Press authors Barbara Barnes Sims (author of The Next Elvis), John Wirt (author of Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues), and Alex Cook (author of Louisiana Saturday Night) will be at Lagniappe Records to sign their books. You’ll get to meet our authors and receive 20% off books and records! This event is free and open to the public.

In the run-up to the Lagniappe signing, our own Alex Cook put together a Spotify playlist for his book. Here it is–enjoy!

A lot of driving went into writing Louisiana Saturday Night, and driving always means music to me. Some of these selections like J. Paul Jr or Joe Falcon were about getting me in the mood for the music I was about to witness at some far-off location. Songs like “Whipping Post” just open up a time-tunnel that can get a weary driver down a lonely highway home in one piece. Most of these were happenstance: the CD my frequent traveling companion Clarke Gernon was into at the moment. One I was into. I’d just seen Calexico play at JazzFest and couldn’t get “Not Even Stevie Nicks…” out of my head for a month.

One selection holds a particular memory: I was on some St. Landry Parish backroad, totally lost, listening to K-BON out of Rayne, La. and the announcer was talking about the time he got to meet Charles Mann at some festival appearance. he brought his grandson up to meet him as well and the pride and admiration in that moment was palpable; it filled the dark car with light. You’d have thought he was talking about meeting Elvis or Muhammad Ali or something. I never really liked the original Dire Staits version of “Walk of Life’ but in Charles Mann’s flattened delivery over an accordion shuffle, “the song about the sweet lovin’ woman/the song about the knife” – the whole of that song came clear and I understood something profound about swamp pop and Louisiana music in general. It is important because it is peculiar in nature and bizarrely extant in the face of the monoculture, but it is special because the people of Louisiana make it special.

Sep 14

Enter to win a free copy of Tough Day for the Army by John Warner

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tough Day for the Army by John Warner

Tough Day for the Army

by John Warner

Giveaway ends September 19, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Sep 14

Back to School: The College Board Desegregates the SATs

It’s September, and school is back in session! In honor of the end of summer and the start of another school year, we’ve asked Jan Bates Wheeler to swing by the blog and tell us the remarkable story of the desegregation of the College Board and its partner, Educational Testing Services.

In 1960, the College Board and its testing partner, Educational Testing Services (ETS), unexpectedly became participants in the movement to desegregate schools. Many southern black students wishing to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) complained that they were treated disrespectfully at the white high schools that administered the tests. Moreover, some were turned away altogether, left with no SAT scores to report to admissions offices. The injustice of this insidious barrier to higher education for the growing number of black students in the South wishing to enroll in college motivated the two organizations. “Standardized testing” meant that all those being tested should receive the same, fair treatment.

Working through the College Board’s newly established Southern Regional Office, the College Board and ETS desegregated SAT centers in the Deep South before the schools themselves integrated. The actual work of negotiating for desegregated testing fell on two College Board employees, Ben Cameron and Ben Gibson, both white southern liberals. For nearly four years, they traveled, separately, around Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, dropping in unannounced at hundreds of high schools to convince white school officials to allow black students into their segregated schools and treat them respectfully. State laws, local customs, and white supremacist organizations dictated otherwise. Consequently, Cameron and Gibson often faced open hostility and sometimes even the possibility of violence toward themselves and anyone whose cooperation they won. Their quiet, persistent strategy, reinforced by a contingency plan hatched with the Department of Defense that established test centers at military bases, eventually succeeded. Significantly, they accomplished most of their work prior to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which accelerated the pace of school desegregation.

Cameron and Gibson’s story, told through their candid reports and records of conversations with individual school officials, offers a unique perspective on school desegregation. Their responsibility placed them in the unusual position of advocating for school desegregation as part of their jobs. Their writings, apparently untouched for nearly fifty years, reveal the dedication required to reach a goal many thought unachievable. The College Board had charged the Southern Regional Office with expanding its programs throughout the South. Insisting on desegregated SAT test centers placed the College Board squarely in opposition to prevailing laws, customs, and attitudes—an unenviable and ill-advised position for any nascent business venture—and added a financial risk to their already daunting task.

In order to minimize the risk to all concerned, Cameron and Gibson pledged not to publicize their efforts in any way. Even years after they completed their work, the two men refused to write about their campaign for fear of compromising the safety of the school officials and military base commanders who had helped them. Their legitimate concern kept this story largely untold until now.

Remarkably, throughout their campaign the two men consistently treated everyone with respect, no matter how offensive some school officials became. At one point, following an unsuccessful meeting with a South Carolina superintendent, Cameron took follow-up telephone calls from the official almost daily for three weeks, patiently “listenin’ ” and talkin’” until he achieved a desegregated center. Cameron and Gibson agreed that they would never leave an adversary “in a bad mood,” no matter what. Their ability to remain civil and even friendly in situations where widely divergent views collided stands in sharp contrast to today’s polarized exchanges. I admire the courage, dedication, patience, and powers of persuasion of Cameron and Gibson. Had they wanted to retreat and wait for school desegregation to solve their testing center problem, their superiors at the College Board would have acquiesced. Instead, the two men persisted.

Having found this “lost” story while looking for material for my dissertation, I felt responsible for sharing it. Besides contributing a minor chapter to an important period of U.S. history, Cameron and Gibson offer valuable lessons through the low-key, personal approach they brought to a difficult situation. As we reflect on important milestones in the Civil Rights movement, we might remember especially its characteristics of persistence, non-violence, and civility, exemplified by the SAT desegregation project, and consider the approach we ourselves might take in pursuing similar injustices.

Jan Bates Wheeler is associate director for Accreditation in the Office of Academic Planning at the University of Georgia, and the author of A Campaign of Quiet Persuasion: How the College Board Desegregated SAT® Test Centers in the Deep South, 1960-1965. This piece appeared for the first time at UGA’s Research Magazine, and it is reused here by permission.

Aug 14

Louisiana Dog Day Morning

In the dog days of summer after the fresh-split firewood reeking with the sweet acerbity of tannin is stacked in a neat pile close by the house, we become crepuscular. Like certain amphibians striving to maintain a proper balance of body fluid and temperature, we venture forth into the out-of-doors only in the twilight hours of dawn and dusk, leaving behind our artificial cocoons of refrigerated and dehumidified air. Even the cicadas are now out of sorts, droning about their business at mid-day when a pregnant cloud passes in front of the sun. In the first slow light of morning we sip strong coffee on the back porch facing east and the hardwood forest where the birdsong rises. The cardinal calls first; then the liquid flute of the wood thrush sounds from the understory.

Jefferson Island Sunset

Thoreau wrote of the wood thrush song, “Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; wherever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of Heaven are not shut against him.” This cousin of the bluebird is now tracking the declining hours of daylight with a mysterious sundial embedded deep within his brain. On a night in mid-August he will flush at a silent alarm and begin a nocturnal journey that will end for the season in the coastal lowlands of Central America. As for the cardinal, he suffers not from innate wanderlust and with his kind will still be around to serve as Christmas ornaments in the vanishing dogwood trees of Union Parish. With coffee cups almost empty, we are surprised this morning by the running-late possum that peeks over the edge of the porch on his routine check of the bird feeders. We all conclude that in spite of the bidding thrush and Thoreau’s doggerel to the contrary, it is time to seek shelter again until the evening respite.

Kelby Ouchley was a biologist and manager of national wildlife refuges for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for more than thirty years. He and his wife Amy live in the woods near Rocky Branch, Louisiana, in a cypress house surrounded by white oaks and black hickories. He is the author of Bayou-Diversity: Nature and People in the Louisiana Bayou Country.

Aug 14

Greetings from Tori Gill, Associate Director of Development

Greetings! My name is Tori Gill and I am the newly hired Associate Director of Development for LSU Press and The Southern Review. A month into my tenure, I am enthusiastic about the future of development here! My predecessor did a fantastic job in this role and I look forward to building on her successes.


As we embark on the new fiscal year I am excited about engaging with our current supporters and recruiting additional literary enthusiasts. Over the next couple of months you will be hearing about ways you can participate in our upcoming Annual Fund appeal. Please take a moment to see how you can join us in supporting LSU Press and The Southern Review as your essential gifts help us build our legacy of the best scholarly and creative writing.

I am pleased to announce that this year we plan to launch an exclusive benefit for our closest supporters: a membership card that will include discounts on all LSU Press books and The Southern Review when you buy at our scheduled events. Be on the lookout for a sneak peek at the card and information on how you can get involved.

In the latest edition of Cornerstone, our very own Leslie Green and her parents, Drs. Ed & Linda Green were featured with their generous endowment to honor Leslie’s 10-year work anniversary. The James Dudley Wells Memorial Endowment, named in memory of Leslie’s late older brother, will help support the publication of The Southern Review. Take a look at the article, entitled, “Cover to Cover.”


If you would like to learn more about what you can do to further our mission and help sustain great writing, please give me a call at 225-578-6416 or send me an email at vgill2@lsu.edu. Thank you in advance for your support and friendship!