Author Archive

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

banner-upw2016soul

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.

upweek-2016

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.


The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

Today, we honor those have courageously risked their lives in order to serve our country and protect our freedom.

Veterans Day, formerly called Armistice Day, was first celebrated on November 11, 1919 to pay tribute to the soldiers who fought in World War I. It was on this day in 1918 at 11:00 AM, the Allied Nations and Germany reached a ceasefire, which ultimately ended the First World War. After World War II and the Korean War, the holiday was changed to Veterans Day, in order to honor all military personnel.

Here are a few books that offer a glimpse into the sobering and chilling effects of war.

geneThom Rooke’s Gene Basset’s Vietnam Sketchbook: A Cartoonist’s Wartime Perspective

In 1965, Gene Basset, a will-known political cartoonist, was sent to Vietnam by his newspaper to sketch scenes of the war in order to help the public better understand the events occurring in Southeast Asia. He came back with sketches that portrayed the everyday, often mundane, aspects of wartime with an intimate touch that eases access to the dark subject matter.

 

Andrew J. Dunar’s America in the Teensamerica

As part of his America in the Twentieth Century series, Dunar examines the social, political, and economical events and trends beginning in 1910. He covers the election of 1912, World War I, social change in the late Progressive Era, the influence of war on women and minorities, and changes in the motion picture industry.

 

 

art-politics-190D.H. Melhem’s Art and Politics / Politics and Art

Melhem’s collection of poetry offers a unique voice for the individual triumphs and ongoing catastrophic conflicts of our world, such as the Trojan War, World War I, the Gulf War, the Iraq war, and the conflict over Palestine. Her background as a painter and sculptor brings a visual and tactile quality to her work.


Beth Roy on Racism and Police Brutality

41-shots-190For the past few years, a simple but powerful phrase has dominated newspaper headlines, social media news feeds, and spoken conversations: Black Lives Matter. The activist movement began in 2012 after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, leaving Martin to be posthumously placed on trial for his own murder. Martin’s death sparked outrage both online using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and on the streets in the form of violent and non-violent protests. The highly-publicized deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland spurred the anger and division already brewing in the public.

While the deaths of these teenagers have sparked a recent discussion of the prevalence of racism, racial profiling, and police brutality in the country, this type of violence has a long history.

In the essay below, Beth Roy, author of 41 Shots…and Counting: What Amadou Diallo Teaches Us about Policing, Race, and Justice, offers her own insight on the ongoing police violence and the polarization within our nation.


In the early 1990s, I wrote a book about white racism, linking it with disappointment in the promises of the American dream—Bitters in the Honey: Tales of Hope and Disappointment across Divides of Race and Time. A decade later, I explored the ways law enforcement came to over-predict the killing of black men by (mostly white) police officers—41 Shots…and Counting: What Amadou Diallo Teaches Us about Policing, Race, and Justice (published by Syracuse University Press).

In the last months, both those themes have dominated American politics and protests. Tilting left or right, toward Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump, anger at the failure of the state to accomplish economic security for 99% of the nation’s people—both working and middle class, white and people of color—produced an election campaign of extremes. Twisting through narratives of complaint pointedly by white voters was the plaintive cry: But, Uncle Sam, you promised! Since my study 25 years ago, I believe the nature of the promise has eroded somewhat under the continuous current of increasing wealth inequality. But for white people, it remains essentially the same: If we work hard, we are entitled not just to exist but also to prosper. Outrage about the betrayal of that bargain exploded in 2008 with the economy’s crash and the rise of the Occupy movement.

Now, Black Lives Matter is raising the fundamental, one might say “shadow,” question of whether people of color are even promised existence. White people may believe they are due affluence, but black people question whether they are entitled to even the most fundamental safety—from those police officers sworn to protect and serve.

These two protests, coursing through American life today, intertwine with each other repeatedly. But rarely do we read them as two currents in a single downward rushing river. I posit their inextricable unity: If black lives do not matter, white lives won’t prosper. Racism defeats the ability of the 99%, of all races, all heritages, all orientations, to truly call for the necessary changes to our polity. Without the understanding that racism undermines the rights of all citizens, we may occupy but we will not change the structures of our society that ensure inequality. As long as the social contract extends unequally to people of different races, there is no true social contract at all. White people’s anger can too easily be deflected toward those of a different social status, whether black or immigrant. The force of a unified citizenry to insist on right treatment is seriously deflected and does not succeed.

Those of us who write books, together with those who read them, need to play a role in making crystal clear how class and race bind like two strands of civil DNA. We are not the decisive architects of social change—­­that is the role of young people in the streets and in movement leadership. But our research, our advocacy for justice, our encouragement of those we teach to act on their convictions can make a valuable contribution.