Professor Frank McAdams discusses “Vietnam Rough Riders: A Convoy Commander’s Memoir,” a memoir of his combat experience in the Vietnam War for C-SPAN Book TV’s college series from the University of Southern California.
In a recent Library Journal review of a biography of President George H. W. Bush the reviewer points readers “seeking a more scholarly analysis” to “The Presidency of George H. W. Bush” by John Robert Greene. Just released by the University Press of Kansas it offers a thorough reappraisal of the Bush presidency and ample attention to Bush’s post-presidency, including his relationship with his son, President George W. Bush, as well as the development of his close friendship with Bill Clinton. The elder Bush emerges from this reappraisal as a considerably more activist president, with a more activist administration, than was previously assumed. Greene’s concise and readable account drawing on the contents of the bush Library, the papers of James A. Baker III, and personal interviews, shows us the 41st president–and thus an important chapter in American history–in a new and more revealing light.
As the Boy Scouts’ president calls for an end to the banning of gay leaders, Richard J. Ellis’s book “Judging the Boy Scouts of America: Gay Rights, Freedom of Association, and the Dale Case” presents the landmark James Dale case from its initial filing in New Jersey through the final decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the Scouts. In addition to examining the legal issues at stake, including the effect of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the law of free association, Ellis also describes Dale’s personal journey and its intersection with an evolving gay rights movement. Throughout he seeks to understand the puzzle of why the Boy Scouts would adopt and adhere to a policy that jeopardized the organization’s iconic place in American culture—and, finally, explores how legal challenges and cultural changes contributed to the Scouts’ historic policy reversal in May 2013 that ended the organization’s ban on gay youth–though not gay adults–until now.
Burton I. Kaufman’s “The Post Presidency: From Washington to Clinton” receives highlighted mention by the Washington Post in relation to Barack Obama’s approaching post-presidency. “‘The Obamas’ moves are part of the ongoing evolution of the lives of ex-presidents,’ said Burton Kaufman, author of The Post Presidency: From Washington to Clinton. . . . ‘In the old days, presidents died after they left office. . . . What presidents do now, is they make lots of money.’”
As lawsuits against Obamacare again await a decision by the Supreme Court, many might wonder about the prominent role of state attorneys-general in bringing suits attacking the health care law. Recently we published the first study of litigation pursued by many state attorneys-general on policy issues, focusing on cases involving the liability of tobacco companies for the health consequences of smoking and litigation involving climate change and Obamacare. Paul Nolette’s “Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policymaking in Contemporary America” shows how states, working together, have sought to use the courts to influence the policies of the federal government from both the left and the right. Liberal state attorneys-general have used law suits to push the government to adopt aggressive policies against climate change while cases have been litigated by conservative state attorneys-general to stop Obamacare. Nolette explores the legal strategies employed in these cases, the involvement of private interest groups in supporting the litigation, and the role of state politics, especially the ambitions of the attorneys-general and their relationship to other state leaders, in determining who will sue. Charles Epp says that “Nolette’s rich, carefully researched analysis shows that AG’s litigation campaigns are coordinated, politically polarized, and enhance federal regulation as much as challenge it.”
One of the exciting aspects of publishing now is that the internet and blogs like this offer the opportunity to build new connections between our authors and new audiences for their ideas and work. As a publisher of books on current affairs as well as history, I am eager to see these books join the conversations about important issues. From time to time in this blog, we will highlight new Kansas books that can change the way we think about critical issues now or important events of the past. Paul Nolette’s book is a great example of the public affairs books we publish and that we will bring to your attention in this blog and through our other marketing efforts.
–Written by Chuck Myers, Director of University Press of Kansas
Much has been written about the forty-years following Saigon’s fall. Lewis Sorley, author of “Honorable Warrior: General Harold K. Johnson and the Ethics of Command,” provides his perspective as a third-generation West Point graduate who served in Vietnam as executive officer of a tank battalion. Learn more in this recent article from the Los Angeles Times, or pick up a copy of Sorley’s book for his full account.
American Experience, TV’s most-watched history series, recently featured The Big Burn, the story of the largest fire in US history. For first-hand accounts of the first forest rangers who fought the fire, there is no better source than “I’ll Never Fight Fire with My Bare Hands Again“ by Hal Rothman.
Popping up this spring, Kansas Wildflowers and Weeds by Michael John Haddock, Craig C. Freeman, and Janét E. Bare. 1,163 species of Kansas flora researched and resourcefully documented, along with 742 color photographs. Spring has sprung!