Review Roundup: August 2021

LSU Press publishes the works of a host of talented scholars and writers. Each month, we take a moment to recognize the impact these authors and their works are having on communities nearby and around the world.


Mannequin and Wife cover image

Mannequin and Wife, by Jen Fawkes, has been nominated for the 2020 Shirley Jackson Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. The book is one of six nominees in the Single-Author Collection category.

Southern Journey cover image

The maps created by Justin Madron and Nathaniel Ayers for Southern Journey: The Migrations of the American South, 1790–2020, by Edward L. Ayers, have received the International Cartographic Association Excellence in Cartography Award for 2021. The International Map Industry Association wrote that the maps deliver “a riveting narrative of the interwoven complex causes of the ebbs and flows that have shaped the southeastern United States. The dominant eye-catching topaz-and-turquoise honeycomb maps are highly effective in intentionally addressing the ambiguity of inconsistent geographic areas over time.”

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The American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA) has selected John Maxwell Hamilton’s Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda as its 2021 Book of the Year. This award recognizes the best book in journalism history or mass media history published during the previous calendar year. AJHA member Susan Swanberg called the book “a brilliant exposé of the machinations of misbegotten missions of George Creel, his cronies, his Committee on Public Information, and their impact on Woodrow Wilson.”


Poetry book No More Time, by Greg Delanty, received a thoughtful, in-depth review in the Times Literary Supplement. In it, Clíona Ní Ríordáin writes about Delanty’s history as a climate change activist and how his political activism melds with his poetry. Ríordáin also discusses Delanty’s experimentation with various forms, from Dante-inspired sonnet sequences to haiku to cruciform poems.

The Howling Storm cover image

“It will no doubt stand as the seminal work on this topic,” says Lesley J. Gordon in her review of Kenneth W. Noe’s The Howling Storm: Weather, Climate and the American Civil War. In her article appearing in the Alabama Review, Gordon also writes that “it is hard to imagine anyone replacing this invaluable tome any time soon.”

Marketing the Blue and Gray cover image

Writing for H-Net Online, Evan C. Rothera praises Lawrence A. Kreiser Jr.’s Marketing the Blue and Gray: Newspaper Advertising and the American Civil War for taking the unique tactic of examining “a part of the newspaper that scholars often ignore: advertisements.” Rothera writes that the book makes important contributions to our understanding of US history and deserves to be widely read.

As We Were Saying cover image

Abby N. Lewis reviewed As We Were Saying: Sewanee Writers on Writing, edited by Wyatt Prunty, Megan Roberts, and Adam Latham, for Chapter 16: “Each contributor writes with a palpable love of language and a passion for guiding fellow writers and readers toward a stronger connection with literature.” According to Lewis, the essays in the collection “describe the challenges of reading and writing while also drawing attention to the life-changing joys and revelations of the written word.”

Reclaiming Assia Wevill cover image

In a Modernism/modernity review of Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick’s Reclaiming Assia Wevill, Janet Badia takes a deep dive into the book’s place within the realm of feminist literary studies. Badia describes the book as “a brilliantly engaging study of Assia’s legacy, of the erasure of women’s voices and work in culture, and of the ways gendered scripts entrap us all.”

Between Freedom and Progress cover image

In his H-Net Online review, Dustin McLochlin praises David Prior’s Between Freedom and Progress: The Lost World of Reconstruction Politics: “Prior’s work feels revolutionary, yet obvious. It comes across as a recapping of our understanding of Reconstruction, yet it also provides a wonderful new rubric to understand our interpretations of the era. In other words, it’s good history.”

Manipulating the Masses cover image

Writing for American Purpose, Nicholas J. Cull calls John Maxwell Hamilton’s Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda “history as public service, delivered with grace and advancing our progress on the vital road to understanding the relationship between government and media in America and, by extension, in the wider world.”

American Discord cover image

The editors of StrategyPage reviewed American Discord: The Republic and Its People in the Civil War Era, edited by Megan L. Bever, Lesley J. Gordon, and Laura Mammina. The review describes the book as “a valuable read for anyone seriously interested in the Civil War and American society in the mid-nineteenth century.”

The Other 1980s cover image

“You should read The Other 1980s because it is original, spirited, and is a phenomenal book for both comic fans and comics studies scholars!” says Dan Newland. Newland’s enthusiastic review of Brannon Costello and Brian Cremins’s edited volume on lesser-known but influential comics of a pivotal decade in comics studies appears in the current issue of The Comic Book Yeti.

The Scars We Carve cover image

In his H-Net Online review of Allison M. Johnson’s The Scars We Carve: Bodies and Wounds in Civil War Print Culture, Eric Walls writes that the book “deserves a place in the canon of Civil War–era studies” due to its thought-provoking exploration of gender in literature and journalism of the period. The review praises the book for “revealing insights into the minds of men and women of the Civil War era and how literature and journalism facilitated an emotional, spiritual, psychological, cultural, political, and yes, physical reckoning of the war. ”

What Through the Field Be Lost cover image

Erik Schreiber’s World Socialist Web Site review of Christopher Kempf’s What Though the Field Be Lost calls the book of poems “a serious and honest attempt to understand contemporary America” that is “rich in observation and history.” The review describes the book’s ability to “juxtapose Kempf’s personal experience with historical events, contemporary news reports, first-person accounts and allusions to literature and mythology. . . mak[ing] the interaction between past and present evident in a powerful and felicitous way.”

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