The Presidency of George H. W. Bush Revised By Historian John Robert Greene

9780700620791In 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.

Boy Scouts of America and Gay Rights

9780700619511As 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.

The Wall Street Journal Describes Sherry Simpson as “Being Smarter Than the Average Bear”

9780700619351Fresh off her win as 2015 recipient of the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Book, Sherry Simpson is profiled within this article from The Wall Street Journal about her award-winning book, “Dominion of Bears: Living With Wildlife in Alaska.”

Washington Post Highlights POTUS’s Post-Presidency with Burton I. Kaufman

9780700618613Burton 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.’”

The Wall Street Journal Shares Carl Cohen’s Take on Affirmative Action

9780700619962The Wall Street Journal reviews Carl Cohen’s “A Conflict of Principles” and writes, “What is at stake, he makes clear, is the principle of equal treatment under the law that stirred the civil-rights advocates of old and that remains today our best guide to a fair and just society.”

Publisher’s Pick: New Books from UPK

9780700620890As 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

Vietnam and Command Ethics–Sorley Featured in LA Times

9780700609529Much 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.