Review Roundup: June 2019

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


Andrew S. Bledsoe and Andrew F. Lang’s edited volume, Upon the Fields of Battle: Essays on the Military History of America’s Civil War made this month’s Military Review. Dr. Christopher M. Rein called Bledsoe and Lang’s collection, “a welcome resource for those who wish to better inform themselves on various aspects of the Civil War” that “demonstra[tes] the topic of the Civil War military history remains robust in the wake of the recent sesquicentennial commemoration.”

Upon the Fields of Battle is also reviewed in the April edition of Civil War News. Reviewer Thomas J. Ryan says Battle‘s editors “set out to present a balance between traditional and more modern approaches to Civil War history and interpretation. The qualifications of the contributors are aptly reflected in the clear, concise, and well-researched essays in this collection.”

The newly-released An East Texas Family’s Civil War: The Letters of Nancy and William Whatley, May-December 1862 got a brief mention in the Booknotes section of Civil War Books and Authors.

Surveying the Early Republic: The Journal of Andrew Ellicott, U.S. Boundary Commissioner in the Old Southwest, 1796-1800, edited by Robert D. Bush, garnered a review in the latest edition of Historical Geography, the journal of the Association of American Geographers. Reviewer Andrew Milson had this to say about Bush’s work: “The student of historical geography who reads Ellicott’s journal will come away with a new appreciation for the perilous politics that were at play in the drawing of a seemingly benign border.”

“This is a fascinating treatment of the relationships between bodies, popular entertainment, and notions of gendered representation in France during the Belle Époque, the period between 1871 and 1914,” says Chris Brickell of Uncovering Paris: Scandals and Nude Spectacles in the Belle Époque by Lela F. Kerley. Brickell goes on to say, “This is a readable and persuasive addition to the literature on bodies, their experiences, and their social meanings.” His review appears in the May issue of Journal of the History of Sexuality.


Penelope Lemon: Game On!, written by the incredibly funny and talented Inman Majors, was featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Writer Robert Stubblefield has this to say about Majors’ novel: “A writer successful in the long game establishes, explores, and eventually defines a territory. Penelope Lemon: Game On! is a stellar addition to Inman Majors’s growing body of Southern comic novels and contains and concentrates their best elements.”


Landscape with Headless Mama, the debut collection from Mexican American poet Jennifer Givhan, received high praise in The Adroit Journal. Writer Luiza Flynn-Goodlett calls the book, “a thrilling journey through the underworld of women’s relationships—with mothers, with children, with lovers, with nature—a testament to the darkness and depths that undergird, and often overtake, the search for belonging and connection.”

Marilyn Nelson, author of several titles, including The Cachoeira Tales and Other Poems and Mama’s Promises, recently received a huge honor: the 2019 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. This award, selected once a year by the Poetry Foundation, honors the lifelong work of a single American poet. Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine, had this to say about Nelson: “Marilyn Nelson has been committed throughout her career to meticulously chronicling the contemporary and historical experience—and contributions—of Black people in America. Everyone who cares about how life is lived and felt in this country should read her vivid and deeply considered work.”

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