Feb 18

January Roundup: News, Events, Reviews

January was another fantastic month here at LSU Press! We have lots of exciting news, and want to share it with you. On to Petersburg by Gordon C. Rhea was announced as a finalist for the 2018 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, and Reconstruction in Alabama by Michael W. Fitzgerald was chosen as a 2017 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. Joelle Biele and Jennifer Atkins wrote fantastic posts for the LSU Press Blog. We also published new books by Cindy Ermus and Sylvie Dubois, Emilie Gagnet Leumas, and Malcolm Richardson.

Below you’ll find a list of our February titles, upcoming events with our authors, and some recent publicity and reviews of our books.  If you want to keep up with the press in real time, follow us on  TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

New in February

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Click here if calendar does not load.

Selected Publicity and Praise

Schooling in the Antebellum South: The Rise of Public and Private Education in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama by Sarah L. Hyde

“This book should inspire further scholarship that connects this regional history on education with broader issues such as race and whiteness, gender, and slavery, specifically the tension between slaveholders and non-slaveholders over the establishment of state public school systems.”—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

The Slaveholding Crisis: Fear of Insurrection and the Coming of the Civil War by Carl L. Paulus

“By exploring the interrelated politics of fear and exceptionalism, Paulus contributes to a broader shift in historians’ understanding of slavery, nationalism, and sectionalism in the nineteenth-century United States.”—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity since the Eighteenth Century by Andrew Sluyter, Case Watkins, James Chaney, and Annie Gibson

“Because of the impressive scholarship seen in Andrew Sluyter, Case Watkins, James Chaney, and Annie Gibson’s Hispanic and Latino New Orleans, a better spatial history of these oft-forgotten communities now exists.”—Historical Geography

Stepdaughters of History: Southern Women and the American Civil War by Catherine Clinton

“Clinton should be commended for going places many scholars avoid.”—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 

The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns: Union Soldiers and Trench Warfare, 1864-1865 by Steven E. Sodergren:

“Steven E. Sodergren has produced a noteworthy book that uses a soldier-eye-view approach to describe the effect the last year of fighting had on the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac, and how they adapted to various changes.”—Civil War News

Legendary Louisiana Outlaws: The Villains and Heroes of Folk Justice by Keagan LeJeune:

“Those working on outlaws will find a resourceful study and an interesting gloss on contemporary intersections of legends, politics, and heritage.”—K. Brandon Barker, Journal of Folklore Research

The Atheist Wore Goat Silk: Poems by Anna Journey:

“Utilizing tactile poems that sweat on the page, from both a Texas and Mississippi past, The Atheist Wore Goat Silk acts as a prolonged fermata, where the speaker must reckon with her past and come to terms with it, although not gently.”—Alyse Bensel, The Pleiades Book Review

Reconstruction in Alabama: From Civil War to Redemption in the Cotton South by Michael Fitzgerald:

“Michael W. Fitzgerald’s new treatment of the story is an eye-opening reengagement with this period.”—Edwin C. Bridges, The Alabama Review

The Guerrilla Hunters: Irregular Conflicts during the Civil War edited by Brian D. McKnight and Barton A. Myers:

“What these scholars have done in this book is to take a fresh look at Civil War-era guerrilla warfare.”—Missouri Historical Review

In the Wake of War: Military Occupation, Emancipation, and Civil War America by Andrew F. Lang:

“The book argues that the Civil War era ushered in the long age of American wars of military occupation, and the work thus considers these occupations through the eyes of the occupier, revealing dynamic internal wars that were just as complex and consequential as those waged on the front lines.”—Andrew F. Lang in coversation on The Way of Improvement blog

Jan 18

On to Petersburg by Gordon C. Rhea, 2018 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize Finalist

Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History have announced the finalists for the 2018 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, including On to Petersburg: Grant and Lee, June 4-14, 1864 by Gordon C. Rhea!

Co-founded in 1990 by businessmen and philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize is awarded annually to a work that enhances the general public’s understanding of the Civil War era. According to Gettysburg College, this year’s finalists were recommended to the board from over one hundred book submissions reviewed by a three-person jury: James Oakes, Elizabeth Varon, and Peter Cozzens. The other finalists include:

  • Edward Ayers, The Thin Light of Freedom:  The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America (W.W. Norton and Company).
  • Ron Chernow, Grant (Penguin Press).
  • Tera Hunter, Bound in Wedlock:  Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century (Harvard University Press).
  • Cate Lineberry, Be Free or Die (St. Martin’s Press).
  • Graham Peck, Making an Antislavery Nation (University of Illinois Press).
  • Adam I.P. Smith, The Stormy Present: Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics: 1846—1865 (University of North Carolina Press).

“We are pleased to see these books—the seven best works of the year on the Civil War period—chosen as finalists for the Lincoln Prize,” said Jim Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “The Prize is in its 28th year and any of these outstanding books would make a worthy addition to our distinguished list of past Lincoln laureates.”

The winner of the 2018 Prize will be announced on Monday, February 12th—the 209th anniversary of the famed president’s birthday. All of the finalists will be invited to an event in April hosted at the Union League Club in New York City, where the winner will be recognized and awarded a $50,000 prize and a bronze replica of Augusts Saint-Gauden’s life-size bust “Lincoln the Man.”

Please join us in congratulating Gordon Rhea and wishing him the best of luck, as the judges and the board deliberate their final decision. If you are interested in reading more about Rhea’s Overland Campaign series, check out this interview he did recently with John Banks and buy On to Petersburg today!

Jan 18

Reconstruction in Alabama, a 2017 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

It is with great pleasure that LSU Press announces that Reconstruction in Alabama by Michael W. Fitzgerald has been selected as a 2017 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title.

Fitzgerald is a professor of history at St. Olaf College and the author of Urban Emancipation: Popular Politics in Reconstruction Mobile, 1860-1890 and The Union League Movement in the Deep South: Politics and Agricultural Change During Reconstruction.

In Reconstruction in Alabama, Fitzgerald offers the first comprehensive reinterpretation of that state’s history in over a century. The civil rights revolutions of the 1950s and 1960s transformed the literature on Reconstruction in America by emphasizing the social history of emancipation and the hopefulness that reunification would bring equality. Much of this revisionist work served to counter and correct the racist and pro-Confederate accounts of Reconstruction written in the early twentieth century.

Fitzgerald’s work not only revises the existing troubling histories of the era, it also offers a compelling and innovative new look at the process of rebuilding Alabama following the war. Attending to an array of issues largely ignored until now, Fitzgerald’s history begins by analyzing the differences over slavery, secession, and war that divided Alabama’s whites, mostly along the lines of region and class. He examines the economic and political implications of defeat, focusing particularly on how freed slaves and their former masters mediated the postwar landscape. For a time, he suggests, whites and freedpeople coexisted mostly peaceably in some parts of the state under the Reconstruction government, as a recovering cotton economy bathed the plantation belt in profit. Later, when charting the rise and fall of the Republican Party, Fitzgerald shows that Alabama’s new Republican government implemented an ambitious program of railroad subsidy, characterized by substantial corruption that eventually bankrupted the state and helped end Republican rule. He shows, however, that the state’s freedpeople and their preferred leaders were not the major players in this arena: they had other issues that mattered to them far more, like public education, civil rights, voting rights, and resisting the Klan’s terrorist violence.

After Reconstruction ended, Fitzgerald suggests that white collective memory of the era fixated on black voting, big government, high taxes, and corruption, all of which buttressed the Jim Crow order in the state. This misguided understanding of the past encouraged Alabama’s intransigence during the later civil rights era. Despite the power of faulty interpretations that united segregationists, Fitzgerald demonstrates that it was class and regional divisions over economic policy, as much as racial tension, that shaped the complex reality of Reconstruction in Alabama.

Reconstruction in Alabama is one of 504 books and digital resources chosen by the CHOICE editorial staff from among the over 5,300 titles reviewed by CHOICE during the past year.

These outstanding works were selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as an importantoften firsttreatment of their subject. Constituting about nine percent of the titles reviewed by CHOICE during the past year, and two percent of the more than 25,000 titles submitted to CHOICE during this same period, Outstanding Academic titles are truly the “best of the best.”


Jan 18

December Roundup: News, Events, Reviews

December is always a special time of the year. Here’s some news from LSU Press last month. Visitations by Lee Upton was named one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Indie Books of December. Books by Brannon Costello, Richard Campanella, and Kathryn Fontenot were included in holiday gift guides in the New Orleans Advocate and Forces of Geek. Philip Gould was awarded the 2016 James William Rivers Prize. Andrew F. Lang, Ed Falco, Michael Patrick Cullinane, and Bryan Giemza and Maria Hebert-Leiter wrote fantastic posts for the LSU Press Blog. And we published new books by Ed Falco, Michael Patrick Cullinane, Urmi Engineer Willoughby, Andrew F. Lang, April E. Holm, and James O. Heath.

Below you’ll find a list of our January titles, upcoming events with our authors, and some recent publicity and reviews of our books. If you want to keep up with the press in real time, follow us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

New in January

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Click here if calendar does not load.

Selected Publicity and Praise

Girl after Girl after Girl: Poems by Nicole Cooley

“You probably know someone who needs a wrapped copy of this weirdly fascinating book for the holidays, perhaps with a tiny doll half-strangled amid the ribbons.”—Kenyon Review

Armies in Gray: The Organizational History of the Confederate States Army in the Civil War by Dan C. Fullerton

“This very well documented work is an immensely useful reference for anyone seriously interested in the Civil War”—NYMAS Review

The Secret Life of Bacon Tait a White Slave Trader Married to a Free Woman of Color by Hank Trent

The Secret Life of Bacon Tait opens a rare window into that dank and depressing world, and we are indebted to the author for the light he has shed on this dark corner of southern history. ”—Civil War Book Review

Promise: Poems by Sally Van Doren

“Sally Van Doren’s poetry is taut and honed, punctuated with tantalizing references to the senses and the sensual.”—Happening in the Hills

Reconstruction in Alabama: From Civil War to Redemption in the Cotton South by Michael W. Fitzgerald

“The book demonstrates a masterful synthesis of the era. Students of the Civil War Era will appreciate its admirable attention to detail and its judicious conclusions. It’s a book not to be missed. ”—Civil War Book Review

Images of Depression-Era Louisiana: the FSA Photographs of Ben Shahn, Russell Lee, and Marion Post Wolcott edited by Bryan Giemza and Maria Hebert-Leiter

Images of Depression-Era Louisiana offers a sweeping view of a Louisiana not so unlike our own, standing on the precipice of great changes, all the while fighting to keep its head above water and its traditions intact.”—Louisiana Cultural Vistas

The Guerrilla Hunters: Irregular Conflicts during the Civil War edited by Brian D. McKnight and Barton Myers

“an excellent collection”—Civil War Book Review

Devils Walking: Klan Murders along the Mississippi in the 1960s by Stanley Nelson

“Nelson and Phillips did not write for other historians, they wrote for the people of Forsyth County, Georgia and the Delta region of Mississippi and Louisiana. They wrote to hold a mirror up to their neighbors. They wrote for you and me. In doing so, they offer a lesson for historians on the purpose of writing history.”—Reviews in American History

Oct 17

September Roundup: News, Events, Reviews

September was quite a month here at LSU Press! Blood Work: Imagining Race in American Literature, 1890—1940 by Shawn Salvant won 2016 C. Hugh Holman Award; Galaxie Wagon: Poems by Darnell Arnoult won the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing; and Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge won both a Certificate of Merit from the Association of Recorded Sound Collections Awards and the 2017 Blues Book of the Year from Living Blues magazine. Lee Upton, Kathryn Fontenot and Trent Brown wrote fantastic posts for the LSU Press Blog. And we published new books by Jennifer Atkins, Trent Brown, Nicole Cooley, Kathryn Fontenot, Earl J. Hess, and Gordon C. Rhea.

Below you’ll find a list of our October titles, upcoming events with our authors, and some selected publicity from September. And if you want to keep up with LSU Press in real time, follow us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

New in October

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Click here if calendar does not load.

Selected Publicity and Praise

Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems, 1997-2015 by Bruce Bond

Blackout Starlight is a milestone release. . . One can certainly read Bond for the sheer delight of beholding a thing well done. Fellow poets, however, will benefit from a deep consideration of his ambition, vision, and delivery.”—Colorado Review

Girl after Girl after Girl: Poems by Nicole Cooley

“. . . this collection, her fifth, is attempting something special in its unconditional study of mothers, daughters, and sisters—of all ages. That she employs time travel in her poems is impossible to explain, so we’ll just enjoy the experience.”—Foreword Reviews

The Cemeteries of New Orleans: A Cultural History by Peter B. Dedek

“Four stars. . . . An excellent primer on some of our city’s most important cultural treasures.”—New Orleans Magazine

Black Labor, White Sugar: Caribbean Braceros and Their Struggle for Power in the Cuban Sugar Industry by Philip A. Howard

Howard makes some of the strongest arguments for the development of a black class consciousness that crossed ethnic lines.”—World Sugar History Newsletter

Schooling in the Antebellum South: The Rise of Public and Private Education in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama by Sarah L. Hyde

“. . . Sarah Hyde treats us to a long-due examination of white education in the antebellum South.”—The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth

The Language of Vision: Photography and Southern Literature in the 1930s and After by Joseph R. Millichap

“His purposes in this slim volume are synthetic and, in the best sense of the word, provocative: to bring together two rich artistic and critical traditions in ways that demonstrate the mutually enlivening creative interplay at work, and that inspire further investigation.”—Modernism/Modernity

William & Mary commissioned a poem from Brenda Marie Osbey. You can watch her performance here:

Damn Yankees! Demonization and Defiance during the American Civil War by George C. Rable

“Award-winning Professor Emeritus George C. Rable has once again added to the historiography of the Civil War with his outstanding Damn Yankees! Demonization and Defiance during the American Civil War. . .”—H-War

On to Petersburg: Grant and Lee, June 4-15, 1864 by Gordon C. Rhea

“Unparalleled. . . .”—New York Journal of Books

From Nothing: Poems by Anya Krugovoy Silver

“In these poems, bracing honesty coincides with the quiet transformations of language. Especially moving are the expressions of praise that take shape in the absence of consolation.”—The Cresset Journal

The Richmond Times-Dispatch published an article on Ron Smith’s poetry.

Extreme Civil War: Guerrilla Warfare, Environment, and Race on the Trans-Mississippi Frontier by Matthew M. Stith

“Stith has researched his subject well and produced an engaging and well-balanced book. It deserves the attention of all Civil War historians.”—Kansas History

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.

Apr 14

Randy Harelson wins a Louisiana Cultural Award

Harelson LA Cultural Award

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.

Apr 14

Rasmussen Wins the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry

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.

Oct 13

The Long Haul to the Short List

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!

MaryKatherine Callaway
Director, LSU Press