Books to Fuel Your Olympic Spirit

Alpine skiing, curling, figure skating – the Winter Olympics are full of snow-themed fun, but only for about two weeks. What are you supposed to do for the rest of winter? If you can’t get enough of the Olympics, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Olympic-themed books below:

In Tarnished Rings, Stephen Wenn, Robert Barney, and Scott Martyn tell the story of the Salt tarnished240Lake City slush fund scandal of 1998-99. Following suspicion that these funds were used to obtain votes in the city’s bidding process, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) spent weeks under scrutiny. Delving into the IOC and the Olympic Movement, while also exploring the broader notions of leadership and crisis management, Tarnished Rings is sure to keep you entertained on a snowy day.

Diving a bit deeper into the world of business, Sports Business Unplugged features a collection of Rick Burton and Norm O’Reilly’s recent columns from the SportsBuiness Journal. Tackling sportscurrent and complex subjects such as gender equity, diversity, and collegiate athletics, Burton and O’Reilly discuss the future of sports as well as their importance in maintaining a healthy and prosperous society.

Having been the Chief marketing Officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Syracuse University professor Rick Burton recently shared his perspective on what it was like to be a part of the Olympic Committee with the local news.

To get you excited about warm weather and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, our when-running-240forthcoming book, When Running Made History, shares the firsthand accounts of  world-class runner, Roger Robinson, on the ways in which running has been interwoven with, and shaped by, recent history. Robinson recalls the victory of Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian athlete in the Rome Olympics of 1960. He shares his unique perspective on the intimate intersection of history and running.

Whether you need more of the Olympics or simply want a day inside by the fire, these books are sure to offer you new perspectives on the long-running world-wide event.



A Brief Look into Irish American Women and Politics

Below, you’ll find an interview with author Tara McCarthy about her novel Respectability and Reform: Irish American Women’s Activism, 1880-1920. The book focuses on a handful of women and the contributions they made as leaders, organizers, and activists in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. McCarthy is an associate professor of history at Central Michigan University, with research interests in the areas of immigration, American women, and social reform movements.


1.       What inspired you to write Respectability and Reform: Irish American Women’s Activism, 1880-1920?

The project began as my dissertation at the University of Rochester. Not much research had been done on Irish American women at that point, and I wanted to focus on politically active women, which had not been done yet. I was looking for a project that could keep my interest for a long time, and I wanted to feel invested in it.

2.       You mention that the Irish American nationalism embraced by these women opened doors for further activism in the community and political sphere. Why do you think this sense of nationalism was such an important catalyst, and how did their actions affect the trajectory of women’s activism in America?

I think nationalism unified people. People disagreed within the nationalist movement, of course, but so many women were also nationalists. It was something that people could agree on (at least to a degree) and  both men and women were drawn to it, but it also gave women the opportunity to become leaders, organizers, public speakers, and demonstrators often for the first time.

3.       Can you tell us how you narrowed down which women to discuss and which movements to focus on (Irish nationalist, labor, suffrage) when writing Respectability and Reform: Irish American Women’s Activism, 1880-1920?

I started with women who left behind letters, diaries, autobiographies, etc. There aren’t that many unfortunately, but I also read widely in the Irish American press. This helped me identify which women and organizations to focus on. I looked very generally at what kinds of groups women were joining and leading before I decided to focus on these three movements, but there was much overlap between the three in terms of people and time period so I eventually chose to organize around those three.

4.       It is mentioned that many accounts of Irish American women in America focus on their roles in the home rather than in the public sphere. What do you make of this and what compelled you to do the opposite in your research?McCarthy blogpost.png

 Irish immigrant women went overwhelmingly into domestic service—they served as maids in middle-class homes. This is an important aspect of Irish American history, and this was their job. When I began this project, I wanted to focus on politics, but I did not realize that suffrage would become such a large part of the final manuscript.

5.       Can you share one of the most memorable facts or anecdotes you uncovered upon doing your research on these women?

 I didn’t really expect to find so many women, and it is hard to stop doing research.  I wish I could find out more about them.  Are there particularly exciting finds? Yes. I was pretty excited to realize that Delia Parnell was a suffragist and that New York suffragists were working for Irish votes, but I am particularly pleased with the women that I can add to the historical record—women who have not been featured in other research.

 6.       Knowing the state of the women’s movement today, why do you feel it is important to shed light on the stories of these Irish American women and their involvement in political activism and the public sphere?

 All of my research projects focus on women and social reform in some way. I find that students are very interested in learning about women’s history. They haven’t been as exposed to it as some other topics in history. So I do hope that the topic will resonate with readers, and I also hope that the current surge in organizing (and political activism) among women will also lead to more visibility for the roles that women have played in American culture and society, past and present.

 7.       What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book? The most rewarding?

 I think the answer is the same for both. Doing research on women is both challenging and rewarding. Sources can be hard to come by, and I knew going into this project that I had very few women to start with who were already somewhat “known” in historical works and had left sources. I love the research. I like to dig and find something new, but at the same time, there are serious limitations to what can be found on many of these women. Their life stories still have a lot of holes, so that is disappointing.

 8.       What do you hope readers take away from your book, Respectability and Reform: Irish American Women’s Activism, 1880-1920?

 I hope they enjoy seeing the complexity or roles in American and the Irish American community at the time. Women could be active in a number of ways. Women wanted to be active. Immigrants and the daughters of immigrants played an important role, not just in the development of the Irish nationalist movement in American, but also the labor and suffrage movements as well.


Because of Eva Wins Best Book Award

Congratulations to author Susan Gordon, her latest book Because of Eva: A Jewish Genealogical Journey has won the American Society of Journalists and Authors 2017 Book Award in the Memoir/Autobiography category. Judges said, “the author nicely interwove history with her family story and her personal quest. We liked how the story flowed and how tightly it is written, and, as one judge noted, ‘It is a beautiful addition to Jewish/WWII work.’”book cover jpg

Happy 100th Birthday to Ruth Colvin

Ceremony for 2006 Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. East Room.

Today, Ruth Colvin, a pioneer in literacy and a Syracuse resident, celebrates her centennial birthday.

After reading about the 1960 census from an article in the Post-Standard newspaper, Colvin learned that over 11,000 people in her town of Syracuse were functionally illiterate—and she set out to solve this issue. She spoke with local social service agents, community leaders, and church groups to better understand the problem of illiteracy and to recruit help. Colvin worked with literacy experts and specialists to create materials and programs that would be used to train volunteers and tutor adults. A year later, she started Literacy Volunteers of America in her basement.

She has published numerous training manuals and teaching materials, such as Tutor, I Speak English, and English as a Second Language, that are still used today by literacy tutors. In addition, Colvin has not only personally taught thousands of people to read, but also resided as the first president of LVA and a lifetime member of the board of directors.

In 2002, Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America merged to create ProLiteracy. Syracuse is still home to ProLiteracy, where they aim to “promote adult literacy through content development, programs, and advocacy.”

Widely recognized for her efforts, the Syracuse University alumna (’59) received the President’s Volunteer Action Award from President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and then Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2006. She was also inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

off240From South Africa and Madagascar to India and Cambodia, Colvin and her husband have traveled to 62 countries and provided literacy training in 26 developing nations. Colvin documented the global adventures she embarked on, the cultures she discovered, and the individuals she connected with, eventually publishing her journey in Off the Beaten Path: Stories of People Around the World (2011) through the Syracuse University Press.

‘Tis the Reading Season

Whether you’re shopping for a nature lover or a sports fan, we’ve got you covered with this book list for readers of every interest.

All of these books are part of our Holiday Sale. Enjoy 50% off selected New York State and regional books until December 31, 2016. Click here for more details.

slicesFor the Syracuse season-ticket holder:

Slices of Orange: A Collection of Memorable Games and Performers in Syracuse University Sports History by Sal Maiorana and Scott Pitoniak

Chronicling of the rich tradition of Syracuse University sports, this book recaptures heroics of running back Jim Brown’s 43-point performance against Colgate at old Archbold Stadium, the pain of Keith Smart’s jumper that denied Syracuse a national title in 1987, and the joy of forward Carmelo Anthony’s levitation act in the 2003 NCAA basketball championship game.

fanny-sewardFor the history buff:

Fanny Seward: A Life by Trudy Krisher

On April 14, 1865, the night of President Lincoln’s assassination, Booth’s conspirator Lewis Powell attempted to assassinate Secretary of State William Seward in his home just blocks from Ford’s Theatre. Seward’s beloved daughter, Fanny, recounts the night in poignant detail. Her diary entries from 1858 to 1866 offers her intimate observations on the people and events during one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.

peanuts-240For the Sunday comics reader:

Peanuts, Pogo, and Hobbes: A Newspaper Editor’s Journey Through the World of Comics by George Lockwood

In this memoir, Lockwood draws upon his forty years in the newspaper industry as a reporter and editor, offering a unique glimpse into the world of newspaper cartoon strips. He details the production and promotion of countless comic strips, while also providing his own assessments of the most iconic cartoonists.

walking240For the nature lover:

Walking Seasonal Roads by Mary A. Hood

Having traveled nearly every seasonal road in Steuben County, New York, Hood finds they provide the ideal vantage to contemplate the meaning of place, offering intimate contact with plant and wildlife and the beauty of a rural landscape. Each road reveals how our land is used, how our land is protected, and how environmental factors have impacted the land. As a literary naturalist, Hood reflects on endangered and invasive species, as well as on issues of conservation and sustainability.

tumble-innFor the fiction enthusiast:

The Tumble Inn by William Loizeaux

Tired of their high school teaching jobs and discouraged by their failed attempts at conceiving a child, Mark and Fran Finley decide they need a change in their lives. Abruptly, they leave their friends and family in suburban New Jersey to begin anew as innkeepers on a secluded lake in the Adirondack Mountains. The Tumble Inn is a moving drama about home and about the fragility and resilience of love.

greatFor the environmentalist:

The Great Experiment in Conservation: Voices from the Adirondack Park by Michael Pearson

Representing a remarkable achievement in environmental scholarship and drawn from decades of research, The Great Experiment in Conservation captures the wisdom born of the last thirty years of the park’s evolution. The editors bring together leading scholars, activists, and practitioners—those who know the Park’s origin and the realities of living in a protected area—to narrate this history.

our-movie-houses-190For the film aficionado:

Our Movie Houses: A History of Film and Cinematic Innovation in Central New York by Norman O. Keim, with David Marc

Despite the tremendous contribution of both New York City and Hollywood to the evolution of American cinema, Syracuse and Central New York also played a strategic—yet little-known—role in early screen history. This book provides a highly readable and richly detailed account of the origins of American film in CNY, the colorful history of neighborhood theaters in Syracuse, and the famous film personalities who got their start in the unlikely snow belt of New York state.

wildFor the aspiring artist:

Wild Exuberance: Harold Weston’s Adirondack Art by Rebecca Foster and Caroline M. Welsh

Early in his career, critics and collectors widely recognized that Harold Weston (1894-1972), was capturing and saying something unusual in his paintings. Along with 104 color and ten black-and-white plates of Weston’s works, the catalog includes essays that cover myriad aspects of Weston’s life and art.

University Press Week 2016


University Press Week highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society. This year from November 14-19, the focus of University Press Week is community: “from the community of a discipline to a regional home and culture, from the shared discourse of a campus to a bookstore’s community of readers.”

Syracuse University Press illustrates community in many of our works, but most notably in Sean Kirst’s The Soul of Central New York. This collection of stories by Kirst beautifully showcases the love, resilience, and heartbreak within the community of Syracuse.

University presses across the nation are also participating in UP Week. Check out works by other presses that highlight community here.


Stop by our University Press Week display at the SU Bookstore!


Native American Heritage Month

native-student-program-logo-002In 1990, President George H.W. Bush declared November to be National American Indian Heritage Month. Since then, this commemorative month formally recognizes the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of this country. It not only allows Native people to share their culture and traditions, but also encourages educational programs on Native American history, rights, and issues.

At Syracuse University, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and other student organizations have lined up several speakers, performances, and film screenings in November as part of Native Heritage Month.

“Native Heritage Month presents events and programs not only to celebrate the culture and many contributions of indigenous peoples, but also to generate important dialogue about indigenous peoples’ history and current issues affecting indigenous communities and our world,” says James Duah-Agyeman, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “We invite, and encourage, all members of the campus community to participate and engage with these many opportunities.”

Upcoming events for Native Heritage Month include a New York State Education Department Native American Education Conference and a Sacred Lands Film Project Screening and Discussion with Toby McLeod, both on November 29. For the full schedule of events, access the Native Heritage Month calendar online.

Syracuse University Press also proudly publishes numerous books in Native American studies. We’ve compiled a list of just some of the contributions to the field.

For more Syracuse University Press books on Native American studies, click here.

%d bloggers like this: