Review Roundup: February 2020

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


We are delighted to announce that John T. Whatley’s An East Texas Family’s Civil War: The Letters of Nancy and William Whatley, May–December 1862 is cowinner of the 2020 Liz Carpenter Award, conferred by the Texas State Historical Association. The Liz Carpenter Award recognizes the best scholarly books on the history of women and Texas published during the calendar year. You can read more about the award and its history on TSHA’s website here.

April E. Holm’s A Kingdom Divided: Evangelicals, Loyalty, and Sectionalism in the Civil War Era is “well-written and thought-provoking,” says Evan C. Rothera in his review for H-Net. As Rothera notes, Holm makes the case that many people of the Civil War era blamed the coming of the war on the churches—a topic of interest to “all students of religion and politics in the nineteenth-century United States.” Check out the full review on H-Net here.

Jeffrey Zvengrowski recently applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Jefferson Davis, Napoleonic France, and the Nature of Confederate Ideology, 1815–1870, finding that the test revealed quite a bit about the international tensions he discusses: “Page 99 explains that even though he had been irked that Napoleon III’s fledgling but very expansion-minded empire appeared to regard the U.S. as a potential client state at best, Davis concluded by the mid-1850s that the U.S. would have to accept becoming ‘a junior partner’ of Napoleonic France due to ‘growing Republican power’ as well as undeniable French organizational and technological superiority.” You can read more of Zvengrowski’s analysis here.

Carolyn A. Bercier, former museum curator and author of The Frescoes of Conrad Albrizio: Public Murals in the Midcentury South,appeared on a recent episode of Art Rocks!, a Louisiana public television series showcasing local art and artists. Bercier spoke about the continuing legacy of Conrad Albrizio, who created numerous public murals in Louisiana from the 1930s through the 1960s. Watch this episode to learn more about Albrizio.

Ashley Baggett reviewed Walter C. Stern’s Race and Education in New Orleans: Creating the Segregated City, 1764–1960 for Louisiana History: “Stern provides important insight into the role of education in urban development and segregation. His work is a vital addition and demands new ways of thinking about public schools and race.” Race and Education in New Orleans won the 2018 Kemper and Leila Williams Prize and will be released in paperback later this year.


Veteran reporter Peter Copeland recently talked to Robert Friedman of the Washington Beacon about the changing world of journalism, the importance of quality reporting, and, of course, his new book, Finding the News: Adventures of a Young Reporter. You can read Friedman’s article here.


Julie Kane, former Louisiana state poet laureate and author of the new collection Mothers of Ireland, stopped by the studio of New Orleans radio station WWNO for a recent episode of Susan Larson’s The Reading Life. You can hear her discuss the new collection, its inspiration, and the legacy of the Kane family here.

Nick Ripatrazone, editor of The Millions, included Lisa Ampleman’s new collection, Romances, on his list of “Must-Read Poetry” for February. He describes Ampleman’s unique brand of humor as “a little whimsical, a little absurd, always clever,” and calls her “the perfect guide” for the illogical, unpredictable subject of love. See his full review here.

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