March 2014 Review Roundup: UPF Books in the News!

We hope you enjoy these highlights from reviews our books received last month. You’ll also catch a few glimpses of what our authors have been up to lately. Take a look!


In a recent Tampa Bay Times op-ed, Brandon Haught looks at science education in Florida’s private schools. Haught is the author of the new book Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom.


The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer

by James Dempsey

“What do you call a person who was slandered by Ernest Hemingway, cuckolded by E.E. Cummings, befriended and promoted T.S. Eliot, treated by Sigmund Freud, led modernist art’s charge into American culture in the 1920s and declared officially insane not long after? … A damn good subject for a biography.”Worcester Magazine

The Worcester Telegram is also intrigued: “Scofield Thayer, in many ways, was a real-life … version of Jay Gatsby.”

Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana

by Marc Frank

“[Frank] hides neither his admiration for Cuba nor his pride at its citizens’ ability to survive the numerous tumultuous times and turbulences that outsiders repeatedly predicted would lead to chaos in the streets and, finally, the end of the Castro regime.”Los Angeles Review of Books


Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles

by Lynn Waddell

“Paradise on earth has become a travel-writing cliché, but if you’re a nudist biker in Florida with a swinger partner, a pet iguana, and a mud buggy, it would seem that you have found yours.”—Weekly Standard

 Author Lynn Waddell gave the Huffington Post a behind-the-scenes look at her experience writing Fringe Florida:

“The research forever changed the way I look at the world and the humanity of people who do things many consider weird. Of course, the state is a microcosm of all strangeness, which is what led me to write the book.” (BONUS: You’ll get to read part of a chapter!)

Check out the April/May issue of Pointe Magazine!

Jennifer Kronenberg, principal dancer at Miami City Ballet and author of So, You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer?, is featured in the Dancer Spotlight.

“Unlike many ballerines, Kronenberg, 37, has taught regularly at MCB’s summer intensive. The sometimes startling gaps in her students’ knowledge has inspired Kronenberg to write a how-to guide.”


 Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock

by Bob Kealing

Uncut Magazine chose Calling Me Home as one of its best music books of 2013, saying that Bob Kealing “added a layer of detail to the Parsons story missing even from supposedly definitive GP histories.”

The Georgia Historical Quarterly was amazed by the book’s “Faulknerian components of a gothic narrative that even Cormac McCarthy would have difficulty conjuring.”

Enchantments: Julian Dimock’s Photographs of Southwest Florida

by Jerald T. Milanich and Nina J. Root

“A unique and invaluable record of Southwest Florida during the days it was one of the country’s last frontiers.”—Naples Daily News

100-year-old pioneering photographs from this book were displayed last month at the Marco Island Historical Museum. Missed the exhibit? Make sure to pick up a copy of Enchantments!


The Archaeology of French and Indian War Frontier Forts

Edited by Lawrence E. Babits and Stephanie Gandulla

“In this exceptional volume, the authors bring archaeology to the study of this key conflict. Fifteen noted scholars contribute important articles on a good sampling of these forts and the military strategy they represented. … An important contribution to a field of study that is just taking off. It sets the stage for new investigations of the dozens of frontier forts that remain unexplored.”—American Archaeology

Inside Bush v. Gore

Charley Wells

“[This] spellbinding book shows the remarkable human side of the Bush v. Gore saga. But more importantly, it captures an essential chapter of Florida history and presents a new and different look at one of the most well-known legal disputes of all time.”Florida Law Review


Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future

by Steven Noll and David Tegeder

“Tells the story of the transformation of twentieth-century American liberalism, the fracturing of the New Deal coalition, and the birth of the environmental movement. … Ditch of Dreams is not only highly readable, it’s still highly relevant as we struggle to balance the need for economic development with the imperative to preserve the natural world.”

Listen to the full interview with author Steven Noll on New Books in American Studies.

Check back next month for more review highlights!

Uncommonly Savage

New from the University Press of Florida!

Uncommonly Savage: Civil War and Remembrance in Spain and the United States

by Paul D. Escott

“Reminds us that both losers and victors often had powerful motives to remember—and to forget.”—Caroline E. Janney, author of Remembering the Civil War

Spain and the United States both experienced extremely bloody and divisive civil wars that left lasting social and emotional wounds. In this book, award-winning historian Paul Escott compares how both countries processed their civil wars for generations afterward. He looks at the impact of civil war violence on memory, politics, and reconciliation. The first book of its kind on Spain and the United States, Uncommonly Savage is a pioneering and illuminating work.

Pitching Around Fidel

Now available!

Pitching Around Fidel: A Journey into the Heart of Cuban Sports, Revised Edition

by S. L. Price

S. L. Price, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated since 1994, has been called a “Master of the New Journalism” by the New York Times. We’re pleased to announce that his acclaimed book Pitching Around Fidel is available again in a new edition. This book tells the story of one journalist’s quest to discover the secret to the unbridled passion Cuban players show for their sports. As you travel through the island with Price, you’ll meet some of Cuba’s greatest athletic heroes and discover the truth behind its unparalleled sports culture.

“Price describes a lovely, proud, impoverished people caught in [a] repressive system that destroys thousands as it celebrates a handful.”—Kirkus

“It’s an unforgettable story of supremely gifted athletes, the utter madness of politics, and the scent of big money across the sea.”—Carl Hiaasen

“Unprecedented… Astonishing.”—Miami Herald

“Price is one of the finest writers on sports anywhere.”—USA Today

Black Power in the Caribbean

Black Power in the Caribbean

Edited by Kate Quinn

We’re excited to announce the publication of the landmark volume Black Power in the CaribbeanHere’s what people have been saying about the book:

“An altogether path-breaking collection of riveting essays.”—Robert A. Hill, Editor in Chief of The Marcus Garvey & UNIA Papers

“A fascinating, original, and much-needed history of the development of Black Power on the various islands of the Caribbean.”—Stephen Tuck, author of We Ain’t What We Ought to Be

“The little-understood role of the Afro-Caribbean Left in the English-speaking islands receives a powerful dose of insight here.”—Paul Buhle, author of C.L.R. James: The Artist as Revolutionary

“A scintillating addition to Black Power’s vibrant historiography. While its geographic focus is relatively small, its implications for our understanding of black radical politics could not be broader. It proves beyond a doubt that Black Power was a truly transnational phenomenon.”—Joe Street, author of The Culture War in the Civil Rights Movement

“Most case studies of the Black Power phenomenon which swept through the Caribbean islands in the seventies focus mainly on one or two Caribbean islands. The value and importance of Kate Quinn’s book is that it marshals studies drawn from as far south as Trinidad and Tobago to others as far North as Jamaica and Bermuda. It also has the advantage of looking at cultures and languages other than English. The book is a must-read.”—Selwyn Ryan, author of Eric Williams, The Myth and the Man

Stinking Stones and Rocks of Gold

Stinking Stones and Rocks of Gold: Phosphate, Fertilizer, and Industrialization in Postbellum South Carolina

By Shepherd W. McKinley

From our New Perspectives on the History of the South series comes the first ever book on the role of phosphates in the South Carolina plantation economy. In this top-down, bottom-up history, Shepherd McKinley shows how phosphate mining boosted the fertilizer industry after the Civil War and gave freed people an alternative to sharecropping. Open this book to discover a key factor in the birth of southern industry that had long-term impacts for America and the South.

Collectors, Collections, and Collecting the Arts of China

Collectors, Collections, and Collecting the Arts of China: Histories and Challenges

Edited by Jason Steuber, with Guolong Lai

Essential reading for anyone interested in how the passion of collecting, that pursuit of beautiful and compelling objects, contributed to the formation of our present-day understanding and appreciation of Chinese art.—Kris Imants Ercums, Curator of Asian Art, Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas

With the wax and wane of the relationship between China and the West, art collectors have had to adjust to major changes in access to Chinese art. This book explains exactly why, and looks at the history of specific dealers and collectors. These intriguing case studies are full of art objects—bronze, jade, ceramics, sculpture, and painting—and deal with hot-button issues of provenance and authenticity. Find out how changing tastes, political climates, ambitions, and personalities formed some of the most important collections of Chinese art in the world today.

The Life and Lies of Paul Crouch

The Life and Lies of Paul Crouch: Communist, Opportunist, Cold War Snitch

by Gregory S. Taylor

“Incisive, provocative, thoughtful, jargon-free, a good read.”—Daniel Leab, author of I Was a Communist for the FBI

After fifteen years of devoted service, Paul Crouch left the Communist Party as public perceptions of Communism shifted in the years following World War II. He became a paid government informer and zealous advocate for the anti-Communist movement: he named Robert Oppenheimer, Charlie Chaplin, and many others as Communists, stated that the Communist conspiracy had reached the very doorsteps of the White House, and claimed the civil rights movement was Communist inspired. Though much of his testimony was later exposed as perjury, Paul Crouch remained defiant to the end. This book tells the fascinating story of one person who was dedicated to both sides of the Cold War divide.


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