Peter Wallenstein Revisits “Loving v Virginia” and the Supreme Court Ruling for The Daily Beast

9780700620005The court’s ruling in Loving v. Virginia—and the states’ reactions to it—paved the way for gay marriage explains Peter Wallenstein in this compelling and timely article with The Daily Beast. To learn more about the parallels between the court cases, explore “Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving vs Virginia” by Peter Wallenstein.

Pope’s Address Offers Reminders of Auschwitz

9780700612802As TIME reports, “Pope Francis denounced . . . the ‘great powers’ of the world for failing to act when there was intelligence indicating Jews, Christians, homosexuals and others were being transported to death camps in Europe during World War II.”  UPK collaborators, Michael J. Neufeld and Michael Berenbaum, meticulously recall the Allies attempt inside “The Bombing of Auschwitz.”


“Field Guide to Common Grasses” Selected as 2015 Notable Book by State Library of Kansas

9780700619450Iralee Barnard’s “Field Guide to the Common Grasses of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska” has been selected by The State Library of Kansas as a 2015 Notable Book.  The Kansas Notable Book List is the only honor for Kansas books by Kansans and features quality titles with wide public appeal, either written by Kansans or about a Kansas-related topic. A committee of Kansas Center for the Book (KCFB) Affiliates, Fellows, librarians and authors of previous Notable Books identifies these titles from among those published the previous year, and the State Librarian makes the selection for the final List. An awards ceremony will be held at the Kansas Book Festival, September 12, 2015, to recognize the talented Notable Book authors.

Lock K. Johnson’s “A Season of Inquiry Revisited” by UPK, NPR, and PBS — More Timely Than Ever

9780700621477Loch K. Johnson’s forthcoming “A Season of Inquiry Revisited: The Church Committee Confronts America’s Spy Agencies” serves as a timely read in relation to major news from NPR and PBS. David Welna leads NPR’s discussion titled, “Latest Domestic Surveillance Issues Conjure Up Church Committee’s Probe,” while PBS’s Independent Lens documentary 1971, not only tells the story of how the FBI’s COINTELPRO domestic spying operation was exposed, it also links the story to 1975 and the Church Committee investigation of US spy agencies. For the full account, be certain to acquaint yourself with Loch K. Johnson’s timely read, available for pre-order here:

Henry Johnson’s Medal of Honor, Harlem’s Rattlers, and the Power of History

9780700621385On June 2, 2015, President Barack Obama awarded William Henry Johnson the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military honor possible, for his extraordinary valor in repelling a large German patrol in the early morning of May 15, 1918, the last year of World War I. Johnson, a private in the famed 369th Regiment of African American soldiers who fought in the French Army in 1918, received the highest French Army decoration for his deed, but the U.S. Army ignored him because of his race.

Johnson died in 1929; however, decades later, Senator Charles Schumer of New York, along with his staff, and devoted constituents took up the struggle in collaboration with historian Jeffrey T. Sammons of New York University to advocate for Johnson’s bravery and military accomplishments.

In April 2014, the University Press of Kansas published Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality by Sammons and co-author John H. Morrow, Jr. of the University of Georgia. This substantial tome, which devotes chapters to Johnson’s epic combat and postwar life and which plumbed relevant sources in American and French archives, made the case for Johnson’s Congressional Medal of Honor–and epitomizes the positive power of history well done to right historic injustice.

–Written by John H. Morrow, Jr., co-author of “Harlem’s Rattlers”

The Betwixt Years of William Howard Taft

9780700620012In a recent New York Times article on what makes a great ex-president, Professor Justin S. Vaughn of Boise State University features William Howard Taft and his work as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. For the full story of Taft’s years as an ex-president that led to the Court read Chief Executive to Chief Justice: Taft betwixt the White House and Supreme Court by Lewis L. Gould.

Explore the Influence of the American West on the Harlem Renaissance

9780700620869-1Jacob Lawrence, celebrated in a Museum of Modern Art exhibit as the artist of “The Migration Series“–which portrays the exodus of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North–is also the artist of the painting “Black Cowboys,” featured on the cover of Emily Lutenski’s “West of Harlem: African American Writers and the Borderlands,” which traces the influence of the American West on the Harlem Renaissance.