Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in September and October 2021:

Antisemitism on the Rise : the 1930s and Today Edited by Ari Kohen and Gerald J. Steinacher ; Series: Contemporary Holocaust Studies

We live in uncertain and unsettling times. Tragically, today’s global culture is rife with violent bigotry, nationalism, and antisemitism. The rhetoric is not new; it is grounded in attitudes and values from the 1930s and the 1940s in Europe and the United States.

Antisemitism on the Rise is a collection of essays by some of the world’s leading experts, including Joseph Bendersky, Jean Cahan, R. Amy Elman, Leonard Greenspoon, and Jürgen Matthäus, regarding two key moments in antisemitic history: the interwar period and today. Ari Kohen and Gerald J. Steinacher have collected important examples on this crucial topic to illustrate new research findings and learning techniques that have become increasingly vital with the recent rise of white supremacist movements, many of which have a firm root in antisemitism.

Part 1 focuses on the antisemitic beliefs and ideas that were predominant during the 1930s and 1940s, while part 2 draws comparisons between this period and today, including examples of ways to teach others about contemporary antisemitism. The volume seeks to inform readers about the historical progression of antisemitism and in doing so asks readers to think about what is at stake and how to bridge the gap between research and teaching.

Black Cowboys of Rodeo : Unsung Heroes from Harlem to Hollywood and the American West by Keith Ryan Cartwright ; Forward by Danny L. Glover.

They ride horses, rope calves, buck broncos, ride and fight bulls, and even wrestle steers. They are Black cowboys, and the legacies of their pursuits intersect with those of America’s struggle for racial equality, human rights, and social justice. Keith Ryan Cartwright brings to life the stories of such pioneers as Cleo Hearn, the first Black cowboy to professionally rope in the Rodeo Cowboy Association; Myrtis Dightman, who became known as the Jackie Robinson of Rodeo after being the first Black cowboy to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo; and Tex Williams, the first Black cowboy to become a state high school rodeo champion in Texas.

Black Cowboys of Rodeo is a collection of one hundred years of stories, told by these revolutionary Black pioneers themselves and set against the backdrop of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, segregation, the civil rights movement, and eventually the integration of a racially divided country.

Boarding School Voices : Carlisle Indian Students Speak by Arnold Krupat

Boarding School Voices is both an anthology of mostly unpublished writing by former students of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and a study of that writing. The boarding schools’ ethnocidal practices have become a metaphor for the worst evils of colonialism, a specifiable source for the ills that beset Native communities today. But the fuller story is one not only of suffering and pain, loss and abjection, but also of ingenious agency, creative syntheses, and unimagined adaptations.

Although tragic for many students, for others the Carlisle experience led to positive outcomes in their lives. Some published short pieces in the Carlisle newspapers and others sent letters and photos to the school over the years. Arnold Krupat transcribes selections from the letters of these former students literally and unedited, emphasizing their evocative language and what they tell of themselves and their home communities, and the perspectives they offer on a wider American world. Their sense of themselves and their worldview provide detailed insights into what was abstractly and vaguely referred to as “the Indian question.” These former students were the oxymoron Carlisle superintendent Richard Henry Pratt could not imagine and never comprehended: they were Carlisle Indians.

The Burglar’s Christmas by Willa Cather

The Burglar’s Christmas was originally published near the beginning of Willa Cather’s writing career in 1896 under the pseudonym of Elizabeth L. Seymour. The story follows William Crawford on the cold streets of Chicago as he contemplates the multiple failures plaguing his life, including his time at college and careers in journalism, real estate, and performing. Distraught, he tries one more role: thief. Attempting to burgle a residence and caught in the act by the lady of the house, William must come to terms with the choices that led him to that moment. Cather provides a heartwarming short story of redemption and love at Christmas, a timely reminder that kindness is in everyone, just waiting to be uncovered.

Centering the Margins of Anthropology’s History Edited by Regna Darnell and Frederic W. Gleach ; Series: Histories of Anthropology Annual, v. 14.

The series Histories of Anthropology Annual presents diverse perspectives on the discipline’s history within a global context, with a goal of increasing the awareness and use of historical approaches in teaching, learning, and conducting anthropology. The series includes critical, comparative, analytical, and narrative studies involving all aspects and subfields of anthropology.

Volume 14, Centering the Margins of Anthropology’s History, focuses on the conscious recognition of margins and suggests it is time to bring the margins to the center, both in terms of a changing theoretical openness and a supporting body of scholarship—if not to problematize the very dichotomy of center and margins itself.

The essays explore two major themes of anthropology’s margins. First, anthropologists and historians have long sought out marginalized and forgotten ancestors, arguing for their present-day relevance and offering explanations for the lack of attention to their contributions to theory, analysis, methods, and findings. Second, anthropologists and their historians have explored a range of genres to present their results in provocative and open-ended formats. This volume closes with an experimental essay that offers a dynamic, multifaceted perspective that captures one of the dominant (if sometimes marginalized) voices in history of anthropology. Steven O. Murray’s career developed at the institutional margins of several academic disciplines and activist discourses, but his distinctive voice has been, and will remain, at the center of our history.

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out : Counter-Conduct and LGBTQ Evangelical Activism by Jon Burrow-Branine ; Series: Anthropology of Contemporary North America

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out provides a look into a community that challenges common narratives about what it means to be LGBTQ and Christian in the contemporary United States. Based on his participant-observation fieldwork with a faith-based organization called the Reformation Project, Jon Burrow-Branine provides an ethnography of how some LGBTQ and LGBTQ-supportive Christians negotiate identity and difference and work to create change in evangelicalism.

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out tells the story of how this activism can be understood as a community of counter-conduct. Drawing on a concept proposed by the philosopher and historian Michel Foucault, Burrow-Branine documents everyday moments of agency and resistance that have the potential to form new politics, ethics, and ways of being as individuals in this community navigate the exclusionary politics of mainstream evangelical institutions, culture, and theology.

More broadly, Burrow-Branine considers the community’s ongoing conversation about what it means to be LGBTQ and a Christian, grappling with the politics of inclusion and representation in LGBTQ evangelical activism itself.

The Front by Journey Herbeck ; Series: Flyover Fiction

For one family living on the very western edge of the Great Plains, life runs parallel to the forces that had always endangered its existence. There was a price to obtain this parallel life, of course, but the family had paid it and for once found a way to survive. They had a little water. They had a little food. They had a little work. They were fine—until they weren’t.

Taking place in the span of twenty-four hours, The Front follows a man and his nine-year-old niece as they try to escape the apocalyptic circumstances that have come to their home. Traveling north through outbreaking war, the pair navigate the disintegrating balance between rival powers. As new lines are drawn, the neutral spot their family had come to occupy is no longer recognized by either side, and the only chance for safety is to try to cross the Northern Line.

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree : My Basketball Odyssey by Sheldon Anderson

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree chronicles Sheldon Anderson’s basketball career from grade school in small-town Moorhead, Minnesota, in the 1960s, to inner-city high school and college ball in Minneapolis, to a professional career in West Germany, and finally to communist Poland, where he did PhD research while on a basketball junket behind the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s.

Because he was the only American player in the league at the time, and with help from a Polish scholar, Anderson was one of the first Western scholars to gain access to Communist Party documents. He’s also likely the only American scholar to have funded his research by playing semi-pro basketball in a communist country.

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree is much more than a basketball story. Anderson provides insights into the everyday lives of people on either side of the Iron Curtain, such as the English coach he played for in West Germany, an elderly woman he visited many times in East Germany, and a sailmaker’s family he lived with in Warsaw. He reflects on German, Polish, and Cold War history, providing a commentary on the times and the places where he lived and played, and the importance of basketball along the way.

The Light of Earth : Reflections on a Life in Space, by Al Worden with Francis French ; Series: Outward Odyssey : A People’s History of Spaceflight

Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden was one of the highest-profile personalities among the Apollo astronauts, renowned for his outspokenness and potent views but also recognized as a warm and well-liked person who devoted much of his life after retiring from NASA to sharing his spaceflight experiences.

Worden had nearly finished writing this book before his passing in 2020 at the age of eighty-eight. Coauthored with spaceflight historian Francis French, The Light of Earth is Worden’s wide-ranging look at the greatest-ever scientific undertaking, in which he was privileged to be a leading participant.

Here Worden gives readers his refreshingly candid opinions on the space program, flying to the moon, and the people involved in the Apollo and later shuttle programs, as well as sharing hard-hitting reflections on the space shuttle program, the agonies and extraordinary sights and delights of being a NASA Apollo astronaut, and the space program’s triumphs and failures.

Worden delves into areas of personal grief that reveal the noble and truly human side of the space program’s earliest years. He does not hold back when discussing the shocking deaths of his fellow astronauts in the three major tragedies that struck the space agency, nor does he shy away from sharing his personal feelings about fellow Apollo astronauts including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Worden was known as a charismatic speaker and one of the most thoughtful Apollo astronauts. His candid, entertaining, and unique perspective in The Light of Earth will captivate and surprise.

Long Rules : An Essay in Verse by Nathaniel Perry ; Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry

A book-length poem in six sections, Long Rules takes readers to five Trappist monasteries in the southeastern United States to consider the intersections of solitude, family, music, and landscape. Its lines unspool in a loose and echoing blank verse that investigates monastic rules, sunlight, Saint Basil, turnips, Thomas Merton, saddle-backed caterpillars, John Prine, fatherhood, and everything in between. Looking inside and outside the self, Perry asks, what, or whom, are we serving? Winner of the Backwaters Prize in Poetry, this essay in verse contemplates the meaning of solitude and its contemporary ramifications in a time of uncertainty.

A Long Voyage to the Moon : The Life of Naval Aviator and Apollo 17 Astronaut Ron Evans by Geoffrey Bowman ; Series: Outward Odyssey : A People’s History of Spaceflight

As command module pilot of Apollo 17, the last crewed flight to the moon, Ron Evans combined precision flying and painstaking geological observation with moments of delight and enthusiasm. On his way to the launchpad, he literally jumped for joy in his spacesuit. Emerging from the command module to conduct his crucial spacewalk, he exclaimed, “Hot diggity dog!” and waved a greeting to his family. As a patriotic American in charge of command module America, Evans was nicknamed “Captain America” by his fellow crew members.

Born in 1933 in St. Francis, Kansas, Evans distinguished himself academically and athletically in school, earned degrees in electrical engineering and aeronautical engineering, and became a naval aviator and a combat flight instructor. He was one of the few astronauts who served in combat during the Vietnam War, flying more than a hundred missions off the deck of the USS Ticonderoga, the same aircraft carrier that would recover him and his fellow astronauts after the splashdown of Apollo 17.

Evans’s astronaut career spans the Apollo missions and beyond. He served on the support crews for 1, 7, and 11 and on the Apollo 14 backup crew before being selected for Apollo 17 and flying on the final moon mission in 1972. He next trained with Soviet cosmonauts as backup command module pilot for the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission and carried out early work on the space shuttle program. Evans then left NASA to pursue a business career. He died suddenly in 1990 at the age of fifty-six.

Negative Geographies : Exploring the Politics of Limits Edited by David Bissell, Mitch Rose, and Paul Harrison ; Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth

Negative Geographies is the first edited collection to chart the political, conceptual, and ethical consequences of how the underexplored problem of the negative might be posed for contemporary cultural geography. Using a variety of case studies and empirical investigations, these chapters consider how the negative, through annihilations, gaps, ruptures, and tears, can work within or against the terms of affirmationism. The collection opens up new avenues through which key problems of cultural geography might be differently posed and points to the ways that it might be possible and desirable to think, theorize, and exemplify negation.

Rhymes With Fighter : Clayton Yeutter, American Statesman, by Joseph Weber

From a hardscrabble childhood in the Great Depression on the dusty plains of rural Nebraska, Clayton Yeutter (1930–2017) rose to work for four U.S. presidents, serving in the cabinets of two of them. His challenge, posed by one of President Ronald Reagan’s aides, was this: go and change the world. As U.S. trade representative he did just that, opening the global trading arena with bold efforts that led to NAFTA, the creation of the World Trade Organization, and extraordinary growth in cross-border business. Today’s global trading regime began with Yeutter.

A distinguished lawyer with a doctorate in economics, Yeutter also had deep business experience leading the giant futures trading organization the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now called the CME Group. But he never forgot his family’s farm roots, and those roots led him to another top job as President George H. W. Bush’s secretary of agriculture.

Yeutter’s intellectual firepower, paired with an engaging personality and a midwesterner’s beaming smile, made friends and found common ground with leaders and trade officials worldwide. Although a loyal GOP leader who served as counselor to a president and head of the Republican National Committee, Yeutter was a moderate who had admirers on both sides of the aisle.

This is his life story.

The St. Louis Commune of 1877 : Communism in the Heartland by Mark Kruger

Following the Civil War, large corporations emerged in the United States and became intent on maximizing their power and profits at all costs. Political corruption permeated American society as those corporate entities grew and spread across the country, leaving bribery and exploitation in their wake. This alliance between corporate America and the political class came to a screeching halt during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, when the U.S. workers in the railroad, mining, canal, and manufacturing industries called a general strike against monopoly capitalism and brought the country to an economic standstill.

In The St. Louis Commune of 1877 Mark Kruger tells the riveting story of how workers assumed political control in St. Louis, Missouri. Kruger examines the roots of the St. Louis Commune—focusing on the 1848 German revolution, the Paris Commune, and the First International. Not only was 1877 the first instance of a general strike in U.S. history; it was also the first time workers took control of a major American city and the first time a city was ruled by a communist party.

Stories From Saddle Mountain : Autobiographies of a Kiowa Family by Henrietta Tongkeamha and Raymond Tongkeamha ; Series: American Indian Lives

Stories from Saddle Mountain recounts family stories that connected the Tongkeamhas, a Kiowa family, to the Saddle Mountain community for more than a century. Henrietta Apayyat (1912–93) grew up and married near Saddle Mountain, where she and her husband raised five sons and five daughters. She began penning her memoirs in 1968, including accounts about a Peyote meeting, revivals and Christmas encampments at Saddle Mountain Church, subsistence activities, and attending boarding schools and public schools.

When not in school, Henrietta spent much of her childhood and adolescence close to home, working and occasionally traveling to neighboring towns with her grandparents, whereas her son Raymond Tongkeamha left frequently and wandered farther. Both experienced the transformation from having no indoor plumbing or electricity to having radios, televisions, and JCPenney. Together, their autobiographies illuminate dynamic changes and steadfast traditions in twentieth-century Kiowa life in the Saddle Mountain countryside.

This Jade World by Ira Sukrungruang ; Series: American Lives

This Jade World centers on a Thai American who has gone through a series of life changes. Ira Sukrungruang married young to an older poet. On their twelfth anniversary, he received a letter asking for a divorce, sending him into a despairing spiral. How would he define himself when he was suddenly without the person who shaped and helped mold him into the person he is?

After all these years, he asked himself what he wanted and found no answer. He did not even know what wanting meant. And so, in the year between his annual visits to Thailand to see his family, he gave in to urges, both physical and emotional; found comfort in the body, many bodies; fought off the impulse to disappear, to vanish; until he arrived at some modicum of understanding. During this time, he sought to obliterate the stereotype of the sexless Asian man and began to imagine a new life with new possibilities.

Through ancient temples and the lush greenery of Thailand, to the confines of a stranger’s bed and a devouring couch, This Jade World chronicles a year of mishap, exploration and experimentation, self-discovery, and eventually, healing. It questions the very nature of love and heartbreak, uncovering the vulnerability of being human.

The Track the Whales Make : New and Selected Poems by Marjorie Saiser, Introduction by Ted Kooser ; Series: Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry

Marjorie Saiser’s strong, clear language makes the reader feel at home in her poems. Dealing with all the ways love goes right and wrong, this collection honors the challenges of holding firm to who we really are, as well as our connections to the natural world.

The Track the Whales Make includes poems from Saiser’s seven previous books, along with new ones. Her poetry originates from the everyday things we might overlook in the hurry of our daily routines, giving us a chance to stop and appreciate the little things, while wrapped in her comforting diction. Because the poems come from ordinary life, there is humor alongside happiness and sadness, the mixed bag we survive or create, day by day.

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