Review Roundup: June 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.


Manipulating the Masses

The History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) has selected John Maxwell Hamilton’s Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda as the winner of its AEJMC Book Award. This award honors the best journalism and mass communication history book published in 2020. The book was also selected as a finalist for the Frank Luther Mott KTA Journalism & Mass Communication Research Award.

Naming the Leper

Christopher Lee Manes’s LSU Press poetry book, Naming the Leper, won the Summerlee Book Prize from the Center for History & Culture of Southeast Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast at Lamar University. This award recognizes the best book-length publication related to the history, culture, or creative activities of the region.

French Connections

French Connections: Cultural Mobility in North America and the Atlantic World, 16001875 won the 2020 Wilson Book Prize from McMaster University’s Wilson Institute for Canadian History. This prize honors explorations of Canadian history that succeed in making Canadian historical scholarship accessible to a wide and transnational audience.

Mothers of Ireland

Mothers of Ireland, by Julie Kane, is a co-winner of this year’s Poetry by the Sea Book Award and was also a longlist finalist for the 2021 Julie Suk Award.

Double Effect

Martha Serpas’s Double Effect was likewise a longlist finalist for the Julie Suk Award, which recognizes the best poetry book published by a small, literary, or university press from the previous year.

Encyclopedia of Louisiana Musicians

The Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) has named Gene Tomko’s Encyclopedia of Louisiana Musicians a finalist for its upcoming ARSC Awards. The book is recognized in the “Best Historical Research on Record Labels or General Recording Topics” category.


The Howling Storm

Kenneth W. Noe’s The Howling Storm: Weather, Climate, and the American Civil War has received two very positive reviews this month. Writing for the Civil War Monitor, Lindsay R. S. Privette calls the book “a magnum opus that successfully challenges historians to rethink all they have ever known of the war.” Andrew J. Wagenhoffer of Civil War Books and Authors writes that this “impressive new tome . . . brings weather effects out of the realm of excuse making and into their proper place as a major variable impacting victory and defeat on the Civil War battlefield.”

What Light He Saw I Cannot Say

In his review of Sidney Burris’s What Light He Saw I Cannot Say for Florida Weekly, Roger Williams describes the collection as a book of “holy poems I know I’ll be carrying, bible-like, for the rest of my life.” Williams writes that Burris “flings almost seven decades of born-on-the-border (of Virginia and North Carolina) light and singing language at darkness and suffering.”

Mercies in the American Desert

In his Adirondack Daily Enterprise review of Mercies in the American Desert, by Benjamin Landry, Christian Woodard calls the collection “a powerful offering from yet another strong, fearless poetic voice that we’re lucky to have among us.” Woodard notes that “Landry is a young poet, and this book succeeds on its boldness and variety.”

The World is a Book, Indeed

Writing for Life & Letters magazine at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Liberal Arts, Alexandra Reshanov comments that Peter LaSalle, in The World Is a Book, Indeed, uses “narrative techniques from fiction in his travel essays, creating an experience that is immersive rather than simply instructive.” The resulting hybrid, Reshanov writes, “feels less like travel writing and more like stories set in foreign locations.”

Jimmy Carter and the Birth of the Marathon Media Campaign

“Roessner’s insightful analysis helps give shape to those paradoxes that all historians of political journalism must deal with,” says Kathryn J. McGarr in her review of Amber Roessner’s Jimmy Carter and the Birth of the Marathon Media Campaign for American Journalism. McGarr notes that the book “gives Carter’s political apparatus the attention it deserves to better explain the origins of the permanent presidential campaign.”


Prospects, by Judith Hall, was one of multiple Hall books that Lisa Russ Spaar recently reviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Spaar writes that Hall’s “intelligence, conscience, and psychological astuteness take the temperature of their subjects with uncompromising poetic and personal courage.”

The Defeat of Black Power

In a review for the University of Chicago Press Journals, Kenneth Jolly calls Leonard Moore’s The Defeat of Black Power: Civil Rights and the National Black Political Convention of 1972 “an important and thoughtful analysis of the African American electorate and political vision of Black Power in the early 1970s.”

President without a Party

Daniel J. Burge recently reviewed Christopher J. Leahy’s President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler in Virginia Magazine. Burge writes that “those looking for an updated biography of John Tyler will not be disappointed.” Referring to the book as “gracefully written,” Burge acknowledges that “a short review can hardly do justice to a biography such as this.”

Dixie's Italians

Anthony J. Stanonis discusses Jessica Barbata Jackson’s Dixie’s Italians: Sicilians, Race, and Citizenship in the Jim Crow Gulf South in a recent issue of Italian American Review. “Dixie’s Italians provides an overdue, insightful study. . . . Jackson helps us understand the interplay of race and whiteness in the incorporation of Italians not only in the Gulf South but also in the United States as a whole,” Stanonis writes.

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