Review Roundup: November 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.


LSU Press is pleased to congratulate several of our authors who have received recent awards.

The Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) presented geographer Richard Campanella the 2020 SESAH Publication Award for The West Bank of Greater New Orleans, his historical geography of one of New Orleans’s most overlooked areas. The SESAH Publication Award honors outstanding scholarly publications about the built environment of the South. Read more about the award here.                        

The Gulf South Historical Association selected The Place with No Edge: An Intimate History of People, Technology, and the Mississippi River Delta, environmental historian Adam Mandelman’s new book on man’s historic and modern relationship with the Mississippi River, as winner of the Michael V. R. Thomason Book Award for Best Book on Gulf South History.

Jessica Barbata Jackson’s groundbreaking study on the immigrant experience of Sicilians and Italians in the American South, Dixie’s Italians: Sicilians, Race, and Citizenship in the Jim Crow Gulf South, won the 2020 Book Award  of the Italian American Studies Association (IASA). The IASA gives this award every other year to a book that makes an “outstanding scholarly contribution to the field of Italian American studies.” Find out more about the award here.

Fan studies researcher Ashley Hinck recently received two awards for Politics for the Love of Fandom, her seminal examination of “fan-based citizenship.” First, the National Communication Association’s Political Communication Division gave Politics the Roderick P. Hart Outstanding Book Award. Hinck’s title also tied for the Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association’s Best Single Work by One or More Authors.


Award-winning Civil War scholar Gary W. Gallagher’s new book, The Enduring Civil War: Reflections on the Great American Crisis, caught the attention of Eugene L. Meyer of the Washington Independent Review of Books. Meyer describes the latest of more than forty books by Gallagher as “both timeless and timely,” featuring essays on historiography and historians that are “welcome additions to the canon.” Read more of Meyer’s review here.

Gallagher also did a two-part interview with Keith Harris for his The Rogue Historian podcast. Listen to part 1 here and part 2 here. Harris’s interview takes up some of the many themes of Gallagher’s new book, including the emancipation, the Union cause, memory, and historiography.

Anglican and Episcopal History recently reviewed Two Charlestonians at War: The Civil War Odysseys of a Lowcountry Aristocrat and a Black Abolitionist, Barbara L. Bellows’s intimate depiction of the lives of two American citizens brought together by the American Civil War. Writer Glen Bowman praises Bellows’s “portraits of two native Charlestonians who lived completely separate lives, except for a brief moment when they met on a Civil War battlefield.” Subscribe to read Anglican and Episcopal History here.

Andrew J. Wagenhoffer offers a preview of Michael Burden’s new, annotated edition of an important antebellum memoir, Touring the Antebellum South with an English Opera Company: Anton Reiff’s Riverboat Travel Journal, in Civil War Books and Authors. Read his thoughts on the book here.

Longtime New Orleans journalist John Pope praises the research and methodology behind Richard Campanella’s new book, The West Bank of Greater New Orleans, in a recent article for the New Orleans Advocate: “Campanella bucks trend with a 264-page narrative that blends geography, economics, hydrology, sociology, and history, along with the stories of people like John McDonogh and the Destréhans and Harveys who were forces in its history and whose names adorn parts of it.” Read Pope’s full write-up here.

The November issue of Choice features reviews of two LSU Press titles. Reviewer J. D. Smith describes Reinterpreting Southern Histories: Essays in Historiography, edited by Craig Thompson Friend and Lorri Glover, as “essential” and “recommended for all collections.” “Its nineteen essays abandon regionalism for transnational and global contexts, interdisciplinarity, and basic reassessments of whether a distinctly ‘southern’ history existed following the Civil War,” writes Smith.

Choice also reviews Swamp Souths: Literary and Cultural Ecologies, a collection of essays about southern swamps edited by Kirstin L. Squint, Eric Gary Anderson, Taylor Hagood, and Anthony Wilson. Reviewer B. Almon says, “Most readers will not have given thought to swamps in southern culture, but this important book shows how significant this ‘chronotope’ (as Mikhail Bakhtin would call it) really is.” You can access the full reviews of both titles with a subscription at

In his review of Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick’s “stunning new volume,” Reclaiming Assia Wevill: Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Literary Imagination, Gary Leising acknowledges the value of the book as an act of “feminist recuperation” of Assia Wevill’s life and influence: “Goodspeed-Chadwick shows that viewing Assia Wevill in a limited, one-dimensional manner affects the ways in which we might see other women, both in literature and in our own times.” Read Leising’s full review in the journal Plath Profiles here.

The team at Good Morning America spoke with Kishonna L. Gray, author of Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming, about the experiences of people of color as online gamers. Listen to Gray talk about her new book, gamer harassment, and intersectional perspectives at this link.

Manipulating the Masses

Ahead of November’s presidential election, Manipulating the Masses author John Maxwell Hamilton appeared on National Public Radio’s Marketplace to talk about the World War II–era roots of modern government propaganda. Listen to his interview here.

The International Journal of Communication recently featured a review of Ashley Hinck’s Politics for the Love of Fandom. Reviewer Kyle A. Hammonds says, “Hinck’s work cultivates a powerful framework for future explorations of fandom, communication, and civic life.” Read more of his comments on Hinck’s award-winning work here.

In her article on Andy Oler’s Old-Fashioned Modernism: Rural Masculinity and Midwestern Literature, C. Elizabeth Raymond notes that readers “will find much worth pondering in Oler’s suggestive connections to expansive themes of middle western regional identity.” Read more of Raymond’s review in the new issue of Annals of Iowa, here.

Annie Thorn scored an interview with professor of British history Michael J. Turner ahead of the release of his new book, Stonewall Jackson, Beresford Hope, and the Meaning of the American Civil War in Britain. Read the interview on Thorn’s website, here.

H-CivWar editor Niels Eichhorn conducted an interview with Kenneth W. Noe about Noe’s new book, The Howling Storm: Weather, Climate, and the American Civil War. Watch the four-part video of the interview here.

Bryan Wagner’s book The Life and Legend of Bras-Coupé: The Fugitive Slave Who Fought the Law, Ruled the Swamp, Danced at Congo Square, Invented Jazz, and Died for Love was featured recently on the front page of USA Today. Writer Daphne Duret drew heavily on Wagner’s book for her in-depth article on the historical legacy of police brutality.


Kathryn Nuernberger gave Romances, the latest collection from poet and Cincinnati Review editor Lisa Ampleman, a glowing review in the Cleveland Review of Books. “Romances is erudite and funny in its treatment of historical figures, compassionate but pointed in its critique of ubiquitous sexisms in contemporary life, and refreshingly honest in its vulnerable confessions,” writes Nuernberger. “Ampleman’s ability to juxtapose the past with the present in insightful and resonant ways is a unique gift, and it’s well worth reading this book to discover the drama of courtly love unfolding all around us all the time.” Read the full review here.

Cork, Ireland’s morning newspaper, Echo Live, recently printed an interview with poet Greg Delanty, author of No More Time. According to reporter Maeve Lee, in his latest collection Delanty “has created a representative underworld for plants and creatures, correcting the centuries-old attitude that humans stand above the natural world.” Read the full interview here.

Jen Fawkes continues to garner praise for her debut short story collection, Mannequin and Wife. Buzzfeed recently included her book in its list of “15 Books from Smaller Presses You Won’t Be Able to Put Down,” calling it “an engaging book by an accomplished writer.” See the full lineup of books here. Library Journal reviewed Fawkes’s book in a recent issue, describing the collection as “both creepy and surreal” and “good reading, especially for fans of the fantastical.” Get free access to Library Journal during the COVID-19 pandemic here. Finally, William Woolfitt interviewed Fawkes for his Speaking of Marvels blog. In the interview, Fawkes described Mannequin and Wife as “a literal map of my obsessions. Old things, the ties that bind us, genre-blending, classic Hollywood, femme fatales, Shakespeare, cannibalism, loneliness, coping strategies, nostalgia, the unknowable-ness of other people (not to mention ourselves), the deep ironies of human existence, and our all-powerful, all-consuming need for control.” Read the full exchange between Fawkes and Woolfitt here.

Kristina Marie Darling wrote a wide-ranging review of Pleiades Press editor Jenny Molberg’s new poetry collection, Refusal. “It’s impossible to stop reading because of the raw exposure and bravery that leap off the page,” said Darling. Read Darling’s full review in the latest issue of Tupelo Quarterly.

In his review of Martha Serpas’s new collection, Double Effect, Brian Volck praises the “fresh, direct language; resonant musical lines; and reverent attentiveness to the fragile beauty of human bodies and imperiled landscapes” that characterize Serpas’s poetry. According to Volck, “Serpas renders the textures of life in Cajun country as incisively as Eliot did the nineteenth-century English Midlands.” Read his full review on the blog Close Reading, here.

Food & Wine magazine included Jay Ducote and Cynthia Lejeune Nobles’s new cookbook, Jay Ducote’s Louisiana Outdoor Cooking, in its roundup of “50 Cookbooks We’re Diving into This Fall.” The editors said about Ducote and Nobles’s book, “If you need smart, delicious recipes for chicken andouille gumbo and crawfish rolls, or less traditional but no less addictive variations like crawfish étouffée arancini and wild duck and oyster gumbo, look no further.” See all of the editors’ picks here.

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