Feb 18

February Roundup: News, Events, Reviews

What an incredible month we have had at LSU Press! The Cemeteries of New Orleans by Peter B. Dedek was given an honorable mention in the Louisiana Literary Awards. Hood’s Texas Brigade by Susannah Ural, Civil War Logistics by Earl Hess, In the Wake of War by Andrew Lang, and The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns by Steven Sodergren were all selected as finalists for the 2017 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Awards. Karen Celestan and Cindy Ermus wrote fantastic posts for the LSU Press Blog. And we published new books by Leonard M. Moore, Eric Waters and Karen Celestan, Matthew Baker, Katy Simpson Smith, Claudia Emerson, Chanda Feldman, Joelle Biele, Gary Fincke, and Amy Meng.

Below you’ll find a list of our March 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 March

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Selected Publicity and Praise

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

“Brian D. McKnight and Barton A. Myers, in partnership with the Louisiana State University Press, have assembled a valuable set of essays on irregular warfare during the Civil War.” —John H. Matsui, The Civil War Monitor

A Horse With Holes In It by Greg A. Brownderville:

“The tone is conversational, the craft meticulous, and the subject matter eclectic, touching on everything from the Parthenon frieze to the Beebe blackbird deaths, Sweet Willie Wine to Walter Pater.” —Hope Coulter, The Arkansas Review

Maintaining Segregation: Children and Racial Instruction in the South, 1920-1955 by LeeAnn G. Reynolds:

“LeeAnn Reynolds expands our understanding of the complexity and insidious nature of segregation and, moreover, adds nuance and historiographical insight to the growing body of scholarship on children and youth during segregation through this comprehensive analysis.” —Jon N. Hale, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth


The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns is a comprehensively researched, persuasively argued, and engagingly written study that advances significantly our understanding of this pivotal period in the Civil War.”  —The Civil War Book Review

New Directions in Slavery Studies: Commodification, Community, and Comparison edited by Jeff Forret and Christine E. Sears:

“Taken together, the pieces in New Directions in Slavery Studies. . . enrich the scholarship on American slavery by using case studies not only to provide links between various times and places but also to draw connections among themes that inform slavery studies. The threads weave together to reveal a pulsing, dynamic history of slaveries that will benefit educators, challenge scholars, and force all of us to question the present.”—Kelly Houston Jones, Journal of Southern History

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

“Hyde has written a book that is sure to challenge conventional thinking about public schools in the South.” —Allison Fredette, Journal of Southern History

Confederate Political Economy: Creating and Managing a Southern Corporatist Nation by Michael Bonner:

Confederate Political Economy is a well-researched and cogently argued book. . . .[it] has much to teach students of the Civil War era about the political culture and economic policies of a proslavery republic.” —Max Mishler, Journal of Southern History

Lt. Spalding in Civil War Louisiana: A Union Officer’s Humor, Privilege, and Ambition by Michael D. Pierson:

“Pierson’s discussion based on a relatively unknown soldier’s candid letter certainly broadens our understand of Civil War soldiers’ lives.” —Curtis D. Johnson,Journal of Southern History

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

“In its examination of military occupation during the Civil War and Reconstruction, In the Wake of War powerfully underscores differences in contemporary white and black attitudes toward what the army’s role should be (and could be) in changing society.” —Civil War Books and Authors


“Carl Paulus’ richly rewarding book reminds that warfare, and those who engage in it, have always been in the eyes of beholders.” —The Civil War Book Review

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

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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

Jun 16

Confederacy of Dunces included in LOC’s “America Reads”

A Confederacy of Dunces has been included in The Library of Congress’s “America Reads,” an exhibition showcasing 65 books—chosen by the public—that had a profound effect on American life.

“America Reads” Exhibition to Open June 16 (Library of Congress)

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.

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!


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.

Nov 13

How do you get to a dance hall in Eunice?

One of the benefits of working for a press, like LSU Press, that publishes regional books is that it makes it very difficult to take for granted the cultural assets that surround us here in Louisiana. When you are charged with making sure each book finds a home—which is a quaint way of defining the ceaseless preoccupations of the marketing and sales department—it is a daily exercise to think through the meaning of a book’s subject, be that culinary, or musical traditions, historic places, a storied byway, a natural resource, or a slice of our literary heritage. The outcome of all that deep contemplation, aside from setting a price, print run, and discount, is always a striking realization of how immensely rich and varied Louisiana’s culture is, and moreover the difficulty inherent in drawing geographic lines around the origin of folklore in Acadiana or pinpointing the birth of a Cajun-French drinking song. In fact, it is the tradition of sharing—of communion—which is responsible for the pleasurable yet dizzying mix of influences that reveal themselves in nearly every regional title we’ve published.

So I am fascinated by the pursuit of accurately capturing a culture that is greater than the sum of its many disparate parts in something as finite as a book. When I get the chance I always ask our authors about this experience: How did you pull together this wonderful narrative or portfolio of images, and get to the heart of the story? How did you get to the truth about a Mardi Gras tradition when some of sources are oral histories that contradict each other? How did you find out about the dance hall in Eunice, Louisiana when there is no website or Facebook page for it? To be honest, these questions are as driven by the need to aim our marketing efforts in the right direction as my own curiosity, but on a broader level it takes into account the challenges of accessibility and very, very, subjective nature of how to define what is local.

None of the responses from these queried authors is the quite the same, but there is always a touch of journalistic integrity, a dogged quest for more information, and most of all an abiding respect for what they are researching–something short of scared but a thousand miles beyond seeing the matter as a commodity. They are, quite fittingly, driven by the desire to share as much as they can and explain it as accurately as possible, rather than forgoing the complexities of a story for the sake of commercialization.

I think it’s that approach, a balance between passion for a subject and a commitment to authenticity that makes our authors and our books so special, even vital. Perhaps it is the intersection of high academic standards and the privilege of being geographically close to so many valuable local resources that puts us in the best position to preserve regional culture and history—as it really is and not how it is most easily consumed.
From our fortunate position, I believe our books are not separate but part of that tradition of cultural communion. In staying true not only to the meaning of the culture that surrounds us, but to the custom of sharing, LSU Press and its titles serve as an extension of the heritage that we disseminate.


The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) is celebrating University Press Week November 10-16. This week started back in the summer of 1978 when 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.”

In the spirit of partnership that pervades the university press community, LSU Press and 36 other presses are uniting for the AAUP’s second annual blog tour during University Press Week. This tour highlights the value of university presses and the contributions they make to scholarship and our society. Individual presses will blog on a different theme each day, including profiles of university press staff members, the future of scholarly communication, subject area spotlights, the importance of regional publishing, and the global reach of university presses.

See a complete University Press Week blog tour schedule at: http://bit.ly/HjQX7n

Oct 13

What is LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander reading?

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander

Mike the Tiger: The Roar of LSU
by David G. Baker and W. Sheldon Bivin
156 pages / 10.00 x 10.00 inches / 132 color photos, 68 halftones

Sep 13

Remembering Coach Dietzel: A tribute by MaryKatherine Callaway, LSU Press Director

The first time Paul Dietzel visited us at LSU Press, we were immediately struck by his kindness. Smiling and self-effacing, he introduced himself by saying, “Call me Coach. Everyone does.” When his book was ready to move into production that signature phrase, Call Me Coach, became the title.

Over the next few years, as we published and promoted this book, we also marveled at Coach Dietzel’s boundless energy. Never too busy to speak with a fan, sign their endless collections of memorabilia, or simply listen to their stories, Coach Dietzel epitomized patience and good humor. The first to write a thank-you note to anyone at the Press who helped him, he seemed to truly appreciate everyone’s efforts to make the book as beautiful and readable as he had hoped it would be.

In fall of 2008, to highlight the publication of the book and the anniversary of his legendary success, we suggested hosting an event which became “Call Them Champions! A Conversation with Coach Paul Dietzel and Members of the 1958 National Championship Team.” In addition to Coach, several members of the 1958 champions–Don “Scooter” Purvis, Lynn LeBlanc, and Gus Kinchen–reminisced about Tiger football as Mike Rhodes moderated. Laughing and sharing favorite stories, they all seemed to enjoy the evening as much as Coach did.

The last time I saw Coach, he came to visit the offices this summer, to thank us again for all our hard work on the book and to say how happy he was with how it all turned out. So that will be my abiding memory of Coach: gracious and thoughtful, unpretentious and kind.

We will miss you, Coach.