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.
Randy Harelson, co-author of New Roads and Old Rivers, received the Louisiana Cultural Award for Preservation Education at a dinner held on April 22. The Cultural Awards are given each year by the Louisiana State Office of Cultural Developments to recognize individuals and organizations making outstanding contributions to Louisiana’s culture.
The Minnesota Book Awards, presented annually by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, gave its top honor in poetry to Matt Rasmussen’s debut collection, Black Aperture. Winner of the 2012 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and shortlisted for the National Book Award, Black Aperture explores the tragedy of a brother’s suicide in a collection that blurs the edge between grief and humor. Destructive and redemptive, Black Aperture opens to the complicated entanglements of mourning: damage and healing, sorrow and laughter, and torment balanced with moments of relief.
Created to increase awareness and readership of Minnesota authors, the Minnesota Book Awards held their 26th annual Book Awards gala earlier this month, with a record 960 guests in attendance and author John Moe as master of ceremonies. A full list of finalists and winners can be found on the website of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.
As scholarly publishers, we devote a considerable portion of our resources to prizes: researching which awards books are eligible for, budgeting to cover the costs of submissions, sending copies of books to judges, and then waiting in anticipation of happy news.
Prizes are a big deal. For the authors, obviously, but also for the publishers who have nurtured and promoted the book and believe it should win–if only the judges will agree with us.
And sometimes, they do. Today was one of those days. Matt Rasmussen, a fine poet and a really nice guy, was selected by the judges of the National Book Award as a finalist for his poetry collection, Black Aperture. A moving and personal series of poems focused on the suicide of his brother, the poems could have veered quickly towards maudlin. Instead, we are given an insightful look into the ways grief and anguish converge with laughter and love.
Clearly, the NBA judges recognized the originality of Rasmussen’s work and the skill of his delivery, and here’s hoping for a win for him on November 20th!
Director, LSU Press
LSU Press Poet Ava Leavell Haymon was recently selected as Louisiana’s new poet laureate. She will serve a two-year term from 2013–2015.
“I’m honored and thrilled to be appointed poet laureate of the state of Louisiana,” Haymon said. “Past laureates, distinguished poets all, have worked hard during their appointments to encourage the natural love of words and poems that exists already in adults and children alike. I take these former laureates as models, with gratitude. To be enthusiastic about this great art form comes easily to me, and to evangelize for it utilizes some of my preacher’s-daughter fervor.”
Haymon is the author of the poetry collections Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread, Kitchen Heat, The Strict Economy of Fire, and the forthcoming Eldest Daughter, all published by LSU Press. She teaches poetry writing in Baton Rouge, and directs a writers’ retreat center in the mountains of New Mexico.
Haymon’s latest book, Eldest Daughter, will be published by LSU Press in August. The poems display her mastery of the craft and engage readers with the poetic gifts they have come to expect from her. As in previous collections, she combines the sensory and the spiritual in wild verbal fireworks. Concrete descriptions of a woman’s life in the mid-twentieth-century American South mix with wider concerns about family lies and truths, and a culture that supports or forbids clear speech.
Sustaining Southern Identity: Douglas Southall Freeman and Memory in the Modern South, by Keith D. Dickson, won the prestigious Richard Slatten Award for Excellence in Biography from the Virginia Historical Society this month. The award aims to recognize distinguished contributions to Virginia biography.
The volume focuses on Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Douglas Southall Freeman, who, perhaps more than any other writer in the first half of the twentieth century, helped shape and sustain a collective identity for white southerners. A journalist, lecturer, radio broadcaster, and teacher of renown, Freeman wrote and spoke on themes related to southern memory throughout his life.
The book offers a masterful intellectual biography of Freeman as well as a comprehensive analysis of how twentieth-century southerners came to remember the Civil War, fashion their values and ideals, and identify themselves as citizens of the South. Dickson’s work underscores Freeman’s contributions to the enduring memory of Confederate courage and sacrifice in southern culture. The longtime editor of the Richmond News Leader, Freeman wrote several authoritative and extraordinarily influential multivolume historical narratives about both Confederate general Robert E. Lee and the high command of the Army of Northern Virginia. His contributions to the enduring southern memory framework—with its grand narrative of Confederate courage and sacrifice, and its attachment to symbols and rituals—still serve as a touchstone for the memory-truths that define a distinct identity in the South.
Dr. Dickson is a professor of military studies at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, a college within the National Defense University.
“Delta Empire” Wins the J. G. Ragsdale Book Award in Arkansas History
Baton Rouge, LA—Delta Empire: Lee Wilson and the Transformation of Agriculture in the New South, by Jeannie Whayne, won the J.G. Ragsdale Book Award in Arkansas history, presented annually by the Arkansas Historical Association. The award, which recognizes Delta Empire as the year’s best nonfiction book on Arkansas history, will be presented at the association’s annual conference, April 12–14, 2012, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
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Contact: Erin Rolfs
LSU Press Books and Authors Garner Awards in 2012
Baton Rouge, LA—This year several LSU Press books and authors have already been acknowledged for outstanding contributions to their fields. These awards reinforce LSU Press’s commitment to excellence and their contributions to Louisiana State University’s 2020 flagship agenda.
We publish such great books you can’t pick just one! Congratulations to Sam Davis Elliott, author of Isham G. Harris of Tennessee, and J. Roderick Heller, author of Democracy’s Lawyer, who were both awarded the 2010 Tennessee History Book Award.
From the Chairman of the TLA Selection Committee, Carol Roberts: “Each year Tennessee Library Association and Tennessee Historical Commission present an award to the most qualified history book that reflects TN history. This year LSU press had two biographies that really presented fresh topics in the category. These were so well written and presented that they tied.”