Posts tagged “Books


Two Days Until Race Day

The Belmont Stakes is coming up this weekend, and we’re all wondering the same thing. Will California Chrome win the Triple Crown? If California Chrome succeeds, he will be the first horse since 1978 and the 12th in American thoroughbred racing history to win the coveted honor. Many fans know the history of the successful, as well as the failed, attempts at the Triple Crown. But what about the history of the sport as a whole? Where and how did American thoroughbred racing begin?

ImageWe know you wish you could fast-forward to know whether California Chrome will pull off the win. But while you wait, become acquainted with the roots of horse racing in New York with The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime: Horse Racing, Politics, and Organized Crime in New York, 1865-1913 by Steven A. Reiss.

Reiss explores the beginnings of horse racing through a detailed look into New York’s role as the sport’s capital in the early years of the industry. Examining the connections between horse racing, politics, organized crime, and gambling, Reiss offers a comprehensive account of one of America’s earliest major sports.

Whether or not California Chrome creates history at Belmont, The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime will give you a new appreciation for thoroughbred racing.


A New Season of Reading

Attention all readers! We are excited to share our new Fall 2014 catalog. We have a great lineup of books including biographies, short stories,  literary translations, and many others.

9780815610434Michael Long (author of Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life After Baseball) returns with another inspiring biography. In Gay is Good, Long collects the letters of gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny. These letters are lively and colorful because they in Kameny’s inimitable voice—a voice that was consistently loud, echoing through such places as the Oval Office, the Pentagon, and the British Parliament.9780815633662

Our Director’s Choice book for this season is a fascinating exploration of sacred wampum belts. These belts depict significant moments in the lives of the people in Eastern Woodlands tribes, portraying everything from weddings to treaties. Reading the Wampum conveys the vitality and continuance of wampum traditions in Iroquois art, literature, and community.


We are thrilled to be publishing Monarch of the Square, the first anthology of Muhammad Zafzāf’s work to be translated into English. Regarded as “Morocco’s Tolstoy,” Zafzāf creates stories that bring to life the flavors and sites of Casablanca, and the daily struggle to survive in remote rural villages. Filled with irony, sarcasm, and sympathy, these tales offer profound reflections on the human condition.


View the full fall catalog to read about all of our upcoming books.


Author Spotlight: Dave Dyer

Book: Steel’s: A Forgotten Stock Market Scandal from the 1920s

Dave DyerDave Dyer is an independent investor and freelance writer.  He is also the author of Steel’s, “a fascinating and thoroughly engaging story of Buffalo-based Steel’s department store told by a master storyteller” as described by Field HorneDyer’s Spring 2013 title was published by the Syracuse University Press in March.

Could you provide the audience with a brief description of Steel’s?

“My grandmother’s brother, Clayton Pickard, vanished in 1923 and I set out to find what happened to him. Through a long string of lucky breaks and coincidences, I learned about him even though he had changed his name. I also learned that he worked for the L. R. Steel Company, and I was again lucky enough to acquire about 20 lbs. of original documents from that company. The box contained newsletters from the early 1920s with thousands of photographs and other documents. It was like finding an unopened time capsule.

The documents gave an inside view of a chain store business run by a very creative and visionary entrepreneur named Leonard Rambler Steel.  The business consisted of 75 retail stores, but the real money maker was his scheme to sell stock in the business. He promoted stock sales by making a silent film about his business…probably one of the first infomercials. The film helped him sell stock to 60,000 people, and they all lost their money when the company went bankrupt in 1923.  Steel had other big ideas, like developing Niagara Falls into a permanent World’s Fair that would be dedicated to the glory of electricity and international commerce, but he never got around to implementing that one.

There were fraud indictments for some of the executives in 1923, but Leonard Rambler Steel died suddenly, at only 44, while he was on a train to seek a loan from Henry Ford to resurrect his company.  Clayton Pickard was not charged, but I expect his disappearance was related to the scandal.  Eventually, all the indictments were dropped and the story was no longer as newsworthy since the charismatic founder was dead.  There is no other account of this story in print and it might have been lost forever if I had not been lucky enough to find that box of documents.”

What went through your mind when you began to discover the stock market scandal?

“I started reading the documents to find out about my grandmother’s brother, but I soon found Leonard Rambler Steel to be more interesting.  At first, I assumed that there must be a book or some historical article on this amazing story, but I could find none. I visited Buffalo a couple of times and found newspaper articles from the 1920s, but nothing recent.

The documents revealed an unusual company; women in management and some employees in their eighties. When I started reading about the movie, I was hooked.  The movie was released in 1922 and it was 3 hours long. It was shown for free all over North America to generate leads for his stock selling scheme. He made 50 copies of the 10-reel film, and each one had a different ending; each ended with views of his store in the locality where it was shown. He anticipated the value of localization in advertising and this amazing insight was what convinced me that the story needed to be researched and documented.”

When did you decide to research your great uncle, Clayton Pickard?

“My grandmother had always wondered about her vanished brother and I thought it would be easy to resolve the mystery since so many old records are now digitized and searchable. I did not anticipate that he would change his name!

Also, my grandmother always told me that I was a lot like Clayton. When you grow up hearing something like that, you remember it.  Finally, when I was digitizing some old family photos, my wife commented that I really do look a bit like him.”

steelsAre there any unresolved questions you have regarding your findings?

“Yes, I would love to know what happened to all 50 copies of the film.  When the company went bankrupt, they were scattered all over the country in small town movie houses. Some were probably not returned because there was no company to return them to.  Is there a much deteriorated copy still in some attic?

The last showing was in the Erie County prosecutor’s office looking for evidence of fraud, but they have not been able to locate it now.  I offered to spend a couple of days just opening boxes in their long-term storage area, but they were prudent enough not to take me up on that.”

As an independent investor, how did writing Steel’s influence you in relation to your work?

“I have been fascinated with the stock market for over 30 years and I specialize in analyzing small growth companies with unique technology for some niche market.  I love to find a creative company with an idea that actually works. I was the ideal person to appreciate the documents that I found.”

What do you hope the audience takes from your story?

“Sometimes failure is more interesting than success, especially when the person who failed had the talent needed to succeed.  And, to quote Leonard Rambler Steel,

“The line between success and failure is so finely drawn that often all that is required is one step forward to land on the winning side.”  L. R. Steel, December 24, 1920′”

What can we expect next from you?

“First, I would love to see Steel’s made into a movie or TV show. The characters are so vivid and a film based in Buffalo when it was a boom town in the 1920s just might work. If anyone knows an agent who could make this happen, I’m available. Also, if the publication of the book happens to turn up a copy of the lost silent film (hey, I’ve been lucky on everything else) that would be a nice ending.

Although Steel’s is my first book, I have several hundred other shorter publications, mostly magazine articles, newspaper editorials, and lots of stock market newsletters and commentary. I am about half way through a second book called, I Knew a Guy Who Worked Once.  It is a guide for people who want to reach escape velocity from corporate life by using aggressive investing techniques.  It is based on some investment courses that I taught and I hope it will be one of the few humorous investment books.

I have two other projects in the planning stage. One is a history book about the influence of weather on history.  There has been lots of recent discussion about mankind’s potential effect on the weather, but less about the effect of weather on human events.  I am interested in things like the sudden hurricane that saved Washington, DC, from being burned by the British in August, 1814 or the tornado that helped General “Mad” Anthony Wayne win the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794.  Also, my wife and I are planning a book about how to turn underutilized urban land into public parks. We have done this once and created a 22-acre urban nature preserve.  We are now in the process of repeating this with a smaller parcel that will be used as a dog park. We hope to document the lessons we have learned.”

For more information on Dave Dyer’s Steel’s, visit the Syracuse University Press website.  It is available for sale now!

Author Spotlight: Peter Makuck

Book: Allegiance and Betrayal: Stories

CapturePeter Makuck is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University.  He is the author of Long Lens: New and Selected Poems and two collections of short stories, Breaking and Entering and Costly Habits.  His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in the Georgia Review, Hudson Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, the Nation, and Gettysburg Review.

Tell us about Allegiance and Betrayal.

“Like writing itself, putting together a collection of stories is yet another process of discovery.  You become aware of unifying themes in your work, as well as certain obsessions.  I discovered that fiction not included in my two previous collections, plus more recent stories, have in common family matters and friendships, as well as themes of allegiance and betrayal.  Some of these stories also have coastal settings in common.”

What made you choose to write your book in a post-World War II setting?  Has this time period always interested you?

“I came of age in post-World War II America.  I was about five when the war ended. I can remember my grandfather spreading the news, yelling, neighbors cheering, singing, drinking, and dancing in the street in front of our house when victory was declared.”

Do you think your theme of family is strengthened by the World War II setting?

“Well, it’s almost a cliché but nonetheless true that post-war America in the 1950s is a setting dominated by two-parent families, stay-at-home mothers, and safe neighborhoods where kids played ball in the streets, rode bikes, and climbed trees together.  For me, it was also a time of parochial education reinforced by the family’s traditional Roman Catholicism.”

Do you have a personal connection to any of the stories in Allegiance and Betrayal?

“Most my stories are triggered by what I’ve experienced, witnessed, or know.  Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish film director, says that everything not autobiography is plagiarism.  But I doubt he means literal autobiography.  An incident in your life might just be a starting point.  You develop, add characters, expand, and lie (Picasso said that art is the lie that make you see the truth).  If you have promising raw material in front of you, why bother to invent?  The odds are that you will have a more compelling connection with what you have actually seen or experienced, an enthusiasm that might well be contagious to a reader.  A friend once told me he knew where one of my stories came from and proceeded to describe the event.  I told him he was right, but wasn’t my version a lot more interesting than what actually happened?  On the other hand, my mother was hurt by my first published story where I hadn’t invented enough to disguise real events and people.  In graduate school, hungry to get into print, I expanded on an incident in the extended family.  I had already published a poem about my grandfather’s death that my parents and the rest of the family were quite happy about.  But I had no intention of showing them the story.  An old high school friend, however, noticed my name on the cover of a journal just shelved in the Yale bookstore, bought two copies, and dropped one at my father’s gas station.  Big mistake.  A learning experience, as they say.  The story made a splash and got me letters of interest from a few agents, but I never reprinted it and I promised myself never to let something like that happen again.”

allegianceWhat kind of research did you have to conduct in order to write this book?

“Very recently I did some research about tarot cards and fortune telling—something I needed for a scene in a story still not quite finished.  But normally, I write about what I know.  In this new collection, there are several stories about deep-sea fishing and scuba diving. I’ve done that a lot.  No research necessary.  At an AWP conference some years ago, I was talking to two poets about scuba diving.  A few weeks later I got a phone call from one of them who wanted to write a poem about the subject and asked me a lot of questions, especially about what you heard while underwater.  The residual prankster in me was tempted to lie, say something about the plucking of harp strings and that once I heard Paul McCartney and the Wings singing “Band on the Run,” likely coming from a boat anchored nearby.  But I didn’t.  All to say, you risk losing an authoritative voice if you flub the details.  The old workshop wisdom: Write about what you know.”

You have written significantly more poetry than stories.  Do you ever wish you wrote more stories, or do you prefer poetry?

“That’s a good question.  I’m really addicted to both even though I’ve written more poetry, perhaps because I edited a poetry journal for thirty years or so.  I also write essays and a lot of reviews.  The plus is that if you are working in a number of genres, you don’t get blocked.  If you get stuck on a poem or a story, say, put it on the back burner, and turn to a review.  When working on something else, I find the problem with the poem or story will often solve itself.  I also like to write stories because it gives my sense of humor a chance to exercise.  I like to laugh, but I don’t have the talent to write funny poems.  The short story allows me to have characters interact in humorous ways.”

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

“I came to reading and writing late.  I was an action junkie in high school, an average student at best, and faked my way through.  I thought nothing could be more boring than quietly hunkering down to read a book.  And I didn’t.  In college freshman English, one of our first assignments was to read a short story by William Faulkner, “Barn Burning,” then write an essay.  I loved Faulkner’s vocabulary and use of language.  I said to myself, “Man, what have I been missing!”  A week later, our teacher told the class he was going to read two of the best essays, examples of quality writing he expected from everyone.  To my great surprise, one of the essays was mine.  I’d never been praised for anything in high school, nor did I deserve to be.  Now I had a new identity.  My teacher urged me to join the staff of the literary magazine, and I did.  I suppose you could draw a fairly straight line from that short story in freshman comp to my doctoral dissertation on Faulkner.  All along the way I was writing poetry, reviews, and fiction as well.”

Has your writing career affected your style of teaching English at East Carolina University in any way? If so, how?

“I never had the benefit of a creative writing course.  Few colleges and universities offered them when I was a student.  So my writing career certainly had an influence on the way I taught fiction and poetry writing courses.  I would talk about what I had slowly learned the hard way, through trial and error, talk about clichés, revision, narrative structure, round and flat characters, sound, rhythm, imagery, scene, dialogue etc.  On the other hand, when teaching a course on Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, Welty, O’Connor, or a course on Modern or Contemporary poetry, I’d revert to my academic training as a literary critic but still try to make the lectures lively as possible in order to interest students in these great writers.”

Peter Makuck’s Allegiance and Betrayal was published this April.  For more information or to purchase a copy (at our 30% SPRING SALE discount), visit the Syracuse University Press website.

What Book Would You Give Your Mother?

Here are the results from our SU Press Staff Survey on book suggestions for Mother’s Day!  We shared our ideas, now we want to hear from you!

Book Reason
The Photographed Cat
Picturing Close Human-Feline Ties, 1900–1940

Arnold Arluke and Lauren Rolfe


She loves my cat
Improbable Women
Five Who Explored the Middle East

William Woods Cotterman


We’re both on a journey and can see ourselves in one of these women
Sheva’s Promise
Chronicle of Escape from a Nazi Ghetto

Sylvia Lederman


Female strength
Beyond Home Plate
Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball

Edited by Michael G. Long


It’s hot right now!
Selections from The Art of Party-Crashing
in Medieval Iraq

al-Khatib al-Baghdadi
Translated from the Arabic and illustrated by Emily Selove


It’s funny and she would find it so too
Different Kinds of Love
Leland Bardwell


Looks funny and interesting
Walking Seasonal Roads
Mary A. Hood
It will make her travel or at least consider it more!

The Fall 2013 Catalog is Now Available!

Fall 2013 catalogAttention readers!  The Fall 2013 Catalog has arrived and just in time for Graduation and Mother’s Day.  This season we offer a number of wonderful trade and scholarly titles.  Be sure to take some time to browse the online catalog on the Syracuse University Press website.  Remember, online orders on ALL books are 30% off during the month of May for our Spring Sale so take advantage of the limited-time discounts (05spring13).  Books make the perfect gift for a new graduate, special mom or simply even a little treat for yourself!

Top Picks:

Unknown Museums of Upstate New York: A Guide to 50 Treasures
By Chuck D’Imperio

Unknown Museums of Upstate NYUnknown Museums of Upstate New York is an informative and entertaining guide to the rich resources available at fifty small, often overlooked, regional museums. Even those familiar with the upstate area will likely have never visited and perhaps never heard of some of the treasures this guide unearths, such as the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum, the Kazoo Museum, and the Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage and Museum. D’Imperio tells each museum’s story, in light of its cultural and historical relevance, and he provides a wealth of information about the museums as places of interest to visit, not just to read about. In addition to information on ticket prices, hours of operation, and travel directions, Unknown Museums of Upstate New York highlights key information about the collections and offers suggestions for how visitors can make the most of their visit, listing nearby and related venues of interest to the regional explorer. Each of these museums deserves a visit, but you won’t find any of them in New York City. They’re some of the gems of Upstate New York, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find them without this guide.

Poets Translate Poets: A Hudson Review Anthology
Edited by Paula Deitz, with an Introduction by Mark Jarman

Poets Translate PoetsPoets Translate Poets originates from the perception that while the poetry translated in the Hudson Review over the years—from ancient Greek to contemporary Russian—constitutes a history of world literature, the translators themselves are among the most distinguished American and British poets. These poems belong as much to them as to the original authors.

The collection features eighty-three poems in twenty-four languages, translated by sixty writers; it represents the best of more than five hundred translated works originally published in the Hudson Review over the last seven decades. The value of this anthology lies in the artistry of its translators, including William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore, combined with the range of its originals, from classical epics to Old French, Middle English, and medieval Japanese, to lesser-known twentieth-century works by Bulgarian and Swedish poets. Among its translations are Ezra Pound’s remarkable re-creation of Sophocles’s Women of Trachis and Richard Wilbur’s transformation of Pierre Corneille’s alexandrines into English heroic couplets in Le Cid.  Beyond the pleasures it provides as a collection of world poetry translated for an English reader, Poets Translate Poets offers a privileged exploration of the craft of translating poetry.

The Photographed Cat: Picturing Close Human-Feline Ties, 1900–1940
By Arnold Arluke and Lauren Rolfe

The Photographed CatWith more than 130 illustrations, The Photographed Cat: Picturing Close Human-Feline Ties, 1900–1940 is both an archive and an analytical exploration of the close relationships between Americans and their cats during a period that is significant for photography and for modern understandings of animals as pets. This volume examines the cultural implications of feline companions while also celebrating the intimacy and joys of pets and family photographs. In seven thematic sections, Arluke and Rolfe engage with the collection of antique images as representations of real relationships and of ideal relationships, noting the cultural trends and tropes that occur throughout this increasingly popular practice. Whether as surrogate children, mascots, or companions to women, cats are part of modern American life and visual culture. Entertaining, smart, and filled with a collector’s trove of wonderful images, The Photographed Cat pays homage to the surprising range of relationships we have with cats and offers thoughtful consideration of the ways in which we represent them.

SU Press Spring Sale

Save 30% on ALL SU Press online orders during the month of May.  For the discount, enter the code 05spring13 at checkout.  The sale ends May 31 so don’t miss out on the savings.  You can never have enough books – start shopping now!Spring Sale

Latest Issue of Banipal Reviewed Three SU Press Books

Banipal, Magazine of Modern Arab Literature, featured three SU Press reviews in the latest issue 46.

My name on his tonguemy name on his tongue
Laila Halaby

“These poems carry our breath through the pain, wit, and candour of disorienting memoir….Hers is a poetry that manages to be open and simple, but rich and dense at the same time.”

A Muslim Suicide
Bensalem Himmich, translated by Roger muslim-suicideAllen
Winner of the 2012 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

“In depicting Ibn Sab’in’s physical and spiritual journey Himmich re-creates the political tensions together with the intellectual and religious antagonism of the time.”

Gender, Nation, and the Arabic Novel: Egypt, 1892-2008
Hoda Elsaddagender

“Examines and radically reconsiders over a century of Egyptian Arabic novels and the literary discourse surrounding them, unearthing works that have traditionally been excluded from the dominant cultural canon.”

Welcome to March and Women’s History Month

March is made up of more than just spring break and St. Patrick’s Day; it’s a month to celebrate women’s history!  Women’s History Month is a national tribute to women of all generations who’ve impacted society in a positive way.  According to, the month originated as a week beginning March 7, 1982, but later, after heavy petitioning, was passed by Congress as the month of March.  Syracuse University Press joins the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in honoring this special month dedicated to the many triumphant women of past time.

frontiers-of-feminityLooking for an interesting read this month?  Pick up Karen Morin’s Frontiers of Femininity: A New Historical Geography of the Nineteenth-Century American West.  This collection of essays illustrates how geography was fundamental to the formation of women’s identity and explores the self-expression of professional travel writers like Isabella Bird.  Winifred Curran of DePaul University writes, “”This is the kind of book that I would like to give to every American historian I know; this is what geography adds to history, breaking open the notion of the Great Man tradition, writing women in, exploring multiple identities and the role of these identities in both the representation of landscapes and the people who inhabit those landscapes.”

For more information on Frontiers of Femininity by Karen Morin visit the Syracuse University Press website.

“Falling Up” Book Signing With Thomas Holliday

The event was held at the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado on Feb. 22, 2013.

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Let the Author Talks Begin!

In honor of our year-long 70th Anniversary celebration, Syracuse University Press presents two author events this week.  Fall 2012 authors, Bill Rezak and Thomas Holliday will each be holding a book talk and signing for an audience of interested readers.  If you’re around the area, we invite you to attend these events, engage with our authors, and be part of the celebration!  For more information, please contact Syracuse University Press at 443-5541 or

Bill Rezak

Rezak picThe Arab and the Brit: The Last of the Welcome Immigrants

Bill Rezak was president of Alfred State College from 1993 until his retirement in 2003. He was dean of the School of Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia. Rezak is a mechanical engineer and spent eighteen years in the design and construction of power plants before moving to higher education.

“Rezak re-creates, in novel form, detailed genealogical accounts and emigrations by his Arab and British forebears who share values of ambition, hard work, devotion to family and education.”—James A. Jacobs, author of Transgressions: A Novel

Thursday, Feb. 21 at Barnes & Noble

3454 Erie Blvd. East, Dewitt, NY at 7:00 p.m.

Thomas Holliday

Thomas Holliday author photoFalling Up: The Days and Nights of Carlisle Floyd, The Authorized Biography

Thomas Holliday has directed multiple productions of over fifty operas, operettas, and musicals in Europe and the United States. He has worked as a composer, conductor, opera educator, writer, and lecturer on operatic subjects.

“Tom Holliday’s astonishingly comprehensive biography of one of America’s preeminent composers makes great reading because it marries the private and the professional, the trials and the triumphs of a long and fascinating career.”—Hal Prince, Tony Award–winning producer and director

Friday, Feb. 22 at Tattered Cover Book Store

1628 16th Street, Denver, CO 80202 at 7:30 p.m.

Author K. Animashaun Ducre Event a Success!

Thursday, February 7 at 6:30p.m. author K. Animashaun Ducre’s book talk and signing was held at the Community Folk Art Center.  A Place We Call Home: Gender, Race, and Justice in Syracuse was published in January and is available for purchase at the Syracuse University Press website.

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All photos taken by Krithika Sathyamurthy.

Celebrating 70 Years of Scholarly Publishing

TwitterWe are proud to celebrate 70 years of scholarly publishing.  Since its inception, Syracuse University Press has been committed to serving scholars and scholarship, promoting a diverse culture and intellectual expression, and preserving the history, literature, and culture of our region.  Through the publication of significant and groundbreaking books, we have been able to extend the reach and influence of Syracuse University, making evident the university’s commitment to knowledge and ideas.  For the past 70 years and the years ahead, our goal has been and will remain steadfast: to produce rigorously edited, beautifully designed, intelligent, interesting books.  In honor of our anniversary, Syracuse University Press will host six authors over the course of the spring semester.  We invite you to attend these readings, engage with our authors, and be part of our celebration.

Along with our author gatherings, Syracuse University Press will also bring the celebration online with monthly guest blog posts, SUP Superlative Trivia and a Fluff Photo Campaign.  Follow our blog, Facebook, and Twitter to join in on the excitement.

We thank all those who’ve supported us over the past 70 years and hope you’ll stand by us for the next 70 years as we continue to spread knowledge through reading.  For more information on how you can support Syracuse University Press, please contact Ronald Thiele at 315-443-2537 or visit

In Praise of Books Events

SU Press Heads to Chicago for AJS

springtimeDecember 14-16, the 44th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) will take place in Chicago, Illinois at the Sheraton Chicago.  This year the SU Press will not only attend the international event, but also prepare a display table promoting the latest Jewish Studies titles.  Some of the featured books include From Our Springtime: Literary Memoirs and Portraits of Yiddish New YorkLouis Marshall and the Rise of Jewish Ethnicity in America: A Biography, A Portrait of Pacifists: The Life and Thought of Louis Lowy, Contemporary Sephardic Identity in the Americas and Place and Ideology in Contemporary Hebrew Literature.

The AJS Conference is the largest international meeting of Jewish studies scholars; hosting close to 1,000 attendees.  With a book exhibit of prominent publishers, over 100 open sessions, and a gala banquet to top off the weekend, this annual gathering provides a unique celebration for Jewish studies scholarship.

Visit the AJS website for a complete conference schedule.

The Spring/Summer 2013 Catalog is Now Available!

Spring/Summer Book Catalog 2013Attention all readers!  The Syracuse University Press Spring/Summer 2013 book catalog is now available on our website.  This season we offer a wide array of new titles in series such as Sports History, Middle East Literature and Irish Studies, among others.  There is sure to be a book of interest for all!

If you’re a baseball fanatic, we have the perfect read for you.  Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball, edited by Michael G. Long, is an anthology of the baseball legend’s columns in the New York Post and the New York Amsterdam News discussing his insights on his professional career and the years following.  Most of you remember Jackie as the star athlete who crossed baseball’s color line, but what you don’t know is what happened after those historic years.  For a look inside the full story of the Hall of Famer’s life, be sure to pick up Jackie Robinson’s story, Beyond Home Plate, this April.

Another interesting title coming out this March is Steel’s: A Forgotten Stock Market Scandal From the 1920’s by Dave Dyer.  This historic story takes you back into the rise and fall of the retail empire, created by Leonard Rambler Steel.  After finding thousands of original documents and photos from the L.R. Steel Company, Dave Dyer provides a first-hand account on the uncovering of a massive stock market scandal that had been forgotten by history.  With no other published accounts of this scandal, you must get your hands on Steel’s to learn the truth about the fascinating story of Buffalo-based Steel’s department store.

View the full Spring/Summer 2013 book catalog for more information on these two books and any of the other new SU Press books coming this spring!

What’s on Your Holiday Wish List?

SU Press Book Display at SU Bookstore

Stop into the SU Bookstore to view the special SU Press book display in honor of University Press Week,  last week (November 11 – November 17).  The display will remain up for the entire year.

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SUP Spook-tacular Read!

This Halloween, we have a special treat for all you scary book lovers! Ghost Dance by Gregory O’Donoghue is a vibrant book of poetry with symbolic depth. Poet and long-time friend of the author, Maurice Riordan, describes Gregory as “sensitive to the preternatural and the ghostly presences.” This eerie Dedalus Press title is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. For more information on this book visit the Syracuse University Press website.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

University Press with a Big Influence

University Presses are nonprofit publishers that spread knowledge through scholarly, creative and intellectual literature.  As part of their academic institution, they place a large emphasis on community involvement and international reach.  To illustrate the prevalent impact University Presses have on society, the AAUP created a mapping project in honor of University Press Week this November 11-17.  For this project, they encouraged Presses to create a Google map of their footprint in the world based on authors, subjects, events, etc.  Each University Press map shares a story of their many years of influence and the united mission they live by each day.

Syracuse University Press’s Influence Map demonstrates their geographic impact over the past 3 years.  Each red flag marks the area of influence of a book subject and the yellow flag indicates where the author is from.

When Chancellor William Pearson Tolley founded the Press in 1943 his intent was that such a venture should enhance the school’s academic standing.  This map illustrates that with more than 1,200 titles in print and a global reach spanning 6 continents, Syracuse University Press proudly continues to sustain his values 69 year later.

Click on the Map for a detailed view.

Remembering Dr. Thomas Szasz

Last Saturday, the world lost a renowned and highly influential psychiatrist at the age of 92. Dr. Thomas Szasz, survived by his two daughters, one brother and a grandson, was a professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Throughout his lifetime, he wrote hundreds of articles and 35 books, most of which were published by Syracuse University Press. Szasz was recognized for his passion for the field, as well as his psychiatric beliefs that led to the introduction of many new ideas. He continued his research and writing up until his death and his theories will live on in the field of psychiatry for years to come. Syracuse University Press is deeply saddened by the loss, but honored to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented and wonderful man.

Selected Titles from the Thomas Szasz Library:

Suicide Prohibition: The Shame of Medicine (2011)

“Another masterpiece. Szasz has produced a strong philosophical, psychiatric, forensic, sociological, and ethical analysis of suicide. I emphasize sociological, as it is a worthy heir to Durkheim’s classical contribution.”—Henry Lothane, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Psychiatry: The Science of Lies (2008)

“[Thomas Szasz] is the preeminent critic of psychiatry in the world.”
—Richard Vatz, Towson University

The Medication of Everyday Life: Selected Essays (2007)

“[Szasz] continues his iconoclastic career in this short bookof essays spanning much of his professional life. He details how the medical and legal systems have combined to form a new type of government: the pharmacracy…. A wonderful, impassioned book that is, considering the recent media attention to psychopharmaceuticals, a welcome investigation of social ramifications involved.” –Publishers Weekly

The Meaning of Mind: Language, Morality, and Neuroscience (2002)

“Szasz is an original thinker whose theories, though open to challenge, are daring and profound. His new books should appeal not only to those interested in mental illness but to anyone caught up in the ongoing debate about the origin and nature of the mind.” –Publishers Weekly

Congratulations to Farzaneh Milani and Kamran Talattof

Farzaneh Milani’s Words, Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement and Kamran Talattof’s Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran: The Life and Legacy of a Popular Female Artist are co-recipients of the Latifeh Yarshater Book Award presented by the International Society of Iranian Studies.

The Latifeh Yarshater Book Award is given every two years to a work that contributes, directly or indirectly, to the improvement of the status of women in Persian societies.

The award, announced this month at the organization’s annual conference in Turkey, comes after Milani was named “Woman of the Year” by the Iranian Women Studies Foundation in June. In Words, Not Swords, Milani challenges what she sees as the narrow Western stereotype of the shrouded, oppressed Muslim woman who is a captive of her faith and her veil. Milani—born and raised in Tehran and educated in French and American schools—used the lens of poetry, prose and film to argue in the book that Iranian women’s true struggle is not against the veil, but for freedom of movement – the ability to choose where to go.

In conferring the award on Kamran Talattof’s Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran, the committee noted with appreciation the originality of the treatment of the theme of sexuality and its role in shaping, promoting, or hindering modernity in Iran. By focusing mainly on the life of one woman, Talattof creates a lively and thought provoking discussion of certain major political, social and cultural trends in modern Iran through finding the intersections between Shahrzad’s personal and public life and placing it within modern Iran’s past and present, its elite and popular cultures, thereby illuminating the central role played by what Talattof calls the tension between “Iranian modernity and traditional sexuality” in defining Iranian society.

Author Spotlight: Mary A. Hood

Book: Walking Seasonal Roads

Mary A. Hood is a professor emerita at the University of West Florida, a poet, as well as a talented writer. She is the author of The Strangler Fig and Other Tales: Field Notes of a Conservationist and Rivertime: Ecotravel on the World’s Rivers. In addition to books, she has published several collections of poetry, general articles on conservation and the environment, and scientific articles in the field of microbial ecology. Her newest book, Walking Seasonal Roads, was published in May and has received glowing reviews.

“With a naturalist’s eye and a poet’s heart, Mary Hood re-animates a sense of place in Walking Seasonal Roads.”—Edward A. Dougherty

Has writing Walking Seasonal Roads helped to shape your own identity?

“At my age, I imagine my identity is already pretty-much shaped, but writing “Walking Seasonal Roads” has not only helped clarify my ideas on the value of Place and Home, but has given me a sense of gratitude for the beauty of this area. Having traveled the world (logging in at 45 countries) I would claim this region as probably the most beautiful I have ever experienced.”

How have roads led you to reflect on your personal life?

“We all know that walking is good for both body and soul. Meditative walking has long been a valuable spiritual practice and a worthy activity for reflective thought. To walk and experience the natural world seasonal roads offer seems the ideal process for examining and reflecting on life in general and on one’s own life, in particular.”

What is your favorite road?

“My favorite seasonal roads are probably those in the Pulteney highlands because they run through such diverse landscapes, forests, ponds, fallow fields, pastureland and crop fields.”

Writing about a subject matter such as roads may seem simple yet complex in all actuality. What were your biggest challenges in your experiences and research for this book?

“The biggest challenge to writing this book was to make it work on multiple levels, to make it work as descriptive nature writing, as a history of other nature writers, as a little bit of a personal narrative and memoir, and as a calling forth of our responsibility to sustain our natural world.”

Were you inspired by any other author or novelist to write this book?

“There are so many fine and crafted writers today that it’s hard to say who has been the most inspiring. Our own New York writers, Diane Ackerman, Robin Kimmerer, and Linda Underhill have to be counted. And others, Barbara Hurd, Mary Swander, to list a few, have certainly influenced my writing.”

What have you learned while writing Walking Seasonal Roads?

“Probably the most interesting thing I learned while writing about seasonal roads is how differently we treat our land; the spectrum ranges from grass roots efforts at conservation by such folks as private landowners and the Finger Lakes Land Trust to loggers to corporate gas drilling via hydrofracking.”

If you’re interested in joining Mary Hood on her dirt road travels, Walking Seasonal Roads is available for purchase on the Syracuse University Press website.

Happy Birthday to the Hebrew Literature Legend, S.Y. Agnon

Blow out a belated birthday candle for the master of twentieth-century Hebrew literature.  Last week, July 17, was the birthday of Nobel Price-Winning author, S.Y. Agnon.  Known as “One of the Great Storytellers of our Time,” Agnon is praised for his theological and philosophical writing involving the conflict between traditional Jewish life and the modern world. His unique and thought-evoking style of writing has been recognized over the years through numerous awards, including the Israel Prize twice. S.Y. Agnon’s captivating writing style has inspired the work of many Hebrew authors to date, such as Yaniv Hagbi and Todd Hasak-Lowy.

Hagbi, a Hebrew, Aramaic, and Jewish Studies professor at the University of Amsterdam, explores Agnon’s attitudes towards Jewish language and tradition in his novel, Language, Absence, Play: Judaism and Superstructuralism in the Poetics of S.Y. Agnon. In this book, he refers to anthologies compiled by Agnon to examine his theoretical orientation integrated into his poetic ideas about language in Jewish theology. Another author of Hebrew literature, Sheila E. Jelen, describes Language, Absence, Play as “”A valuable study whose strength lies in its masterful close readings of Agnon’s work, as well as its comprehensive and relevant overview of post-structural theories of language and authorship.”

Todd Hasak-Lowy is an assistant professor of Hebrew language and literature at the University of Florida. In his book, Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew Fiction, he evokes similar thoughts of Agnon in arguing that Hebrew authors wrote with the belief that accurately representing Jewish society in their texts would both preserve the past and establish the future. While tracing the tensions between the differences of Jewish Fiction, Hasak-Lowy focuses on the texts of S. Y. Abramovitz, Y. H. Brenner, S. Yizhar and S.Y. Agnon.

Read more about each title on the Syracuse University Press website.


Collective Intelligence and Your e-Reader

By: Sylwia E. Dziedzic, Marketing Intern

For years, literature has been an exploration into the application of philosophical ideas and concepts. To some, reading provides an emotional escape into a virtual escapade. Others read to expand their imagination and use it as an aid for relaxation. But what if your interactivity patterns, such as the length of time spent on a particular page, content written in the margins, and words highlighted on your Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, or iPad were monitored? Data and analytics have undoubtedly changed the way mobile apps and gaming consoles are constructed for consumers. Therefore, we must ask the question: are editors more likely to test their books digitally before releasing it in print to ensure their content will sell? And of its counterpart: do readers accept the intrusion between their private journey with the author and words on the screen?

Patrick Berry, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric shared some of his thoughts:

“The increased use of digital books seems inevitable. My 12-year-old daughter is as comfortable with a Kindle as she is with a print book. But, the issue of privacy is an important one.

I’m especially interested in how digital books can help us rethink the boundaries of the book. What if books incorporated video or provided access to web-based content? I just completed a coauthored book-length multimodal project designed to document how people outside and within the United States take up digital literacies and fold them into the fabric of their daily lives. Transnational Literate Lives in Digital Times (coauthored with Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe) represents a first attempt at crafting a born-digital book

With roughly 40 million e-readers and 65 million tablets in use in the U.S., according to analysts at Forrester Research, it can be difficult to correctly analyze how many users are aware of the monitoring process. We also still don’t know whether the process will help authors to generate more grasping content. We can only hope that this process won’t permanently change authors’ writing styles and the attachment they feel for their novels. Only time will tell.