A Taste of Upstate New York

On Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, Taste of Syracuse will take place in and around Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse, NY. This year’s 20th anniversary celebration includes $1 samples from some great restaurants in Syracuse as well as music and entertainment. With a tagline like “Eat your heart out!” and the buzz surrounding the event so far, it’s clear that people are excited about all the food Syracuse has to offer. But what about the rest of Upstate New York?

If you’re a local, you probably know the salt potato got its start in Syracuse, but did you know the chicken wing was born in Buffalo? Or that the potato chip originated in the kitchen of a glitzy Saratoga Springs hotel? Upstate New York is actually the birthplace of many of America’s favorite foods. In his recent book A Taste of Upstate New York, Chuck D’Imperio travels across the region to discover the stories and people behind 40 iconic foods of Upstate New York.

View included photographs, a map, and create your own cultural and historic food tour by purchasing a copy here.

a taste of upstate cover.


Democracy Day and a Newly Released SU Press Book

Last Sunday, May 29, was Democracy Day in Nigeria. Democracy Day commemorates the restoration of democracy in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which took place in May of 1999 when a newly elected President of Nigeria took office, ending multiple decades of military rule.

To celebrate Democracy Day and to remind us that democracy is a work in progress we present one of SU Press’s latest releases: Civil Society, Conflict Resolution, and Democracy in Nigeria. In it, author Darren Kew offers a deeply comprehensive account of Nigerian civil society groups in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Kew blends democratic theory with conflict resolution methodologies to argue that the manner in which groups—and states—manage internal conflicts provides an important gauge as to how democratic their political cultures are.

A short excerpt from the book is below:

“The dramatic wave of democratic revolutions that swept the globe in the late 1980s and early 1990s lionized the reputations of the civil society groups that helped to lead them, and thereafter inspired movements worldwide in the new millennium. Stunning images of trade unionists, human rights activists, student leaders, community associations, and other civil society organizations facing down communist dictatorships in Europe, military juntas in Africa, and authoritarian governments elsewhere raised expectations among many democracy advocates regarding the roles these groups could play. Western donors channeled increasing funds for civil society groups in authoritarian or transitional countries in the hope that they too could rise like Nelson Mandela or Vaclav Havel to lead their nations down the democratic path.

But what exactly is the contribution that civil society groups make to democratic development? Robert Putnam’s pathbreaking 1993 book, Making Democracy Work, caught the prevailing Western donor perspective and framed the academic debate on civil society’s contribution when he reached a straightforward and appealing conclusion: More is better. Putnam argued that, regardless of the make, type, or orientation of a nation’s civil society associations, the denser the number of these groups, the deeper and more effective a country’s democracy will be.

Nearly thirty years since the revolutions of 1989, however, scholars and activists alike have grown less enamored of the contribution of civil society. Western policymakers have become particularly impatient with African civil society partners, who appear to have had little success at breaking the neopatrimonial lock on politics that predatory elites retain in many countries on the continent, Nigeria most of all. A growing body of evidence and scholarly analysis has led to increasing skepticism with unqualified portrayals of the democratic contribution of civil society groups. They point to the need for more nuanced approaches to civil society both as an analytical concept and as an object of democracy-promotion policies.

This book seeks to contribute to the search for a more precise understanding of the contribution of civil society to the democratization process. Do some civil society groups promote democratic political development more effectively than others, and if so, which ones and why? I provide extensive evidence from Nigeria that the answer to this question is indeed yes, and that the civil society groups who are themselves more democratic are more effective democracy-promoting organizations. Consequently, donor agencies seeking to promote democratic development through civil society groups are advised first to encourage these groups to “practice what they preach” by democratizing themselves.” (xi – xii)

To read more, consider purchasing a copy here.

civil society cover

In Honor of Black History Month


The Syracuse University Press would like to recommend the following book

The Rev. J. W. Loguen, as a Slave and as a Freeman: A Narrative of Real Life  being published this spring.

Rev. Loguen was popularly known as the “Underground Railroad King” in Syracuse, where he helped over 1,500 fugitives escape from slavery. With a charismatic and often controversial style, Loguen lectured alongside Frederick Douglass and worked closely with well-known abolitionists such as Harriet Tubman, William Wells Brown, and William Lloyd Garrison, among others.

Originally published in 1859, The Rev. J. W. Loguen chronicles the remarkable life of a tireless young man and a passionate activist.


CSPAN To Feature SUP Author

Author Marsha Weissman will be featured in C-SPAN’s “Cities Tour” this weekend. Dr. Weissman was interviewed about her book, “Prelude to Prison: Student Perspectives on School Suspension” as part of C-SPAN Cities Tour looking at issues affecting the Central New York community.

“Prelude to Prison” explores the link between school suspension and incarceration in the United States through the voices of young people. Syracuse, New York was the venue for this study. The segment will air on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 8 p.m. EST on C-SPAN2’s Book TV.

The segment will be available indefinitely on the C-SPAN Video Library site at C-SPAN.PRELUDE TO PRISON COVER

Tel Aviv Broadcast on Bridging the Divide


On Wednesday morning TLV1, a radio station in Tel Aviv featured the SUP book Bridging the Divide: The Selected Poems of Hava Pinhas-Cohen edited and translated from the Hebrew by Sharon Hart-Green.

Pinhas- Cohen’s poems portray everyday life in modern Israel through a sacred yet personal language. Awarded the coveted Prime Minister’s Prize for her poetry, Pinhas-Cohen is a poet whose verse in English translation is long overdue. Sharon Hart-Green has worked closely with the poet herself on these translations, several of which have appeared in journals such as the Jewish Quarterly and the Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought. Her lively translations display the dazzling breadth and depth of Pinhas-Cohen’s oeuvre, making Bridging the Divide not only the first but the definitive English-language edition of this vital Hebrew poet’s work.

TLV1 is an English-language radio station broadcasting from Tel Aviv. Each month, listeners from over 210 countries and territories, residing in more than 10,500 cities around the world, log on and tune in.

Hava Pinhas-Cohen is an Israeli writer and poet. She is the editor of Dimui, a journal of literature, criticism, and Jewish culture, and the author of several poetry collections. Pinhas- Cohen was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize (1996), the ACUM Prize (1998), the Kugel Prize (2000), the Alterman Prize (2002), and the Rishon LeZion Prize for Creativity in Hebrew Language (2015). Sharon Hart-Green has a PhD in modern Hebrew literature from Brandeis University and has taught Hebrew and Yiddish literature at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Not a Simple Story: Love and Politics in a Modern Hebrew Novel.

Covered Bridges of New York State


On Sunday November 15th, The Post Standard ran a wonderful article on covered bridges in upstate New York. For readers who would like to learn more about these beautiful and historical structures, the Syracuse University Press suggests the book Covered Bridges of New York State, a stunning and comprehensive guide to the design, evolution, and romance of historic covered bridges extant in New York State. Learn more about them by purchasing a copy.

A Guide by Rick L. Berfield and photographs by Richard R. Wilson.

Sunday Funnies Turns 100 and Related SU Press Books

Featured image

Enter a caption

This past weekend CBS Sunday Morning featured a fascinating look at comics in the segment “The King of Sunday funnies turns 100.” A century ago, King Features Syndicate was created by newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. The syndicate brought comics like Blondie and Dagwood, Popeye and Dennis the Menace to popularity.

Featured image

Featured image

Featured image

Fans of comics will be happy to know that the Syracuse University Press has recently published the following books- Gene Basset’s Vietnam Sketchbook: A Cartoonist’s Wartime Perspective by Thom Rooke. As well as, Peanuts, Pogo, and Hobbes: A Newspaper Editor’s Journey Through the World of Comics by George Lockwood and Captain America, Masculinity, and Violence: The Evolution of a National Icon by J. Richard Stevens.

%d bloggers like this: