University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

“When I see people with an “I Voted!” sticker, my first thought is, ‘Shame on you!'” Guest poster Jason Brennan pulls no punches in his Election 101 post at the Princeton University Press Blog. Using the analogy of a jury in a murder case, Brennan claims that, due to the high stakes in political elections, people who are uninformed or not considering the evidence objectively should not vote at all.

Indexes have long been a key component of scholarly research and, as such, an important part of any scholarly book. However, with the advent of ebooks and other searchable digital formats, the role of indexes (like the role of so many parts of traditional physical books) is changing. At the Sydney Publishing blog, Agata Mrva-Montoya discusses the complications involved in bringing the index into the digital age.

Julia Child would have been 100 years old on August 15, and in honor of her centennial birthday, the JHU Press Blog has a guest post by David Strauss on Child’s continuing popularity in the US. While Strauss readily acknowledges that Nora Ephron’s recent film Julie and Julia has a good deal to do with Child’s continuing appeal, he also believes that the fact that people see Julia Child as “a person with real integrity” is a crucial part of why she remains such a well-loved figure today.

At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, guest poster James J. Berg examines Gore Vidal’s professional connection and personal friendship with Christopher Isherwood. Two of the major American literary figures of the twentieth century, Vidal and Isherwood first connected over a discussion of Vidal’s third novel, The City and the Pillar, and maintained a close friendship for the rest of Isherwood’s life.

One of the most confusing and oft-confused parts of publishing a book (particularly a scholarly book!) is the need to take care of all permissions issues early in the process. Unsure of what the term “permissions” means or what is entailed in taking care of permissions? At the AMACOM Books Blog, guest poster and Associate Editor Michael Sivilli has an excellent explanation of what permissions are, why they are necessary, and when they should be taken care of.

At This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Marie Cummings argues that free speech issues have been raised by the massacre in the Sikh temple near Milwaukee. The shooter, Wade Michael Page, was heavily involved in various white supremacist organizations, and was involved in the white power music scene. As Cummings puts it, “all citizens of the United States are entitled to their beliefs, ideals, and individual ways of life, but the question is, at what cost to their fellow man’s dignity, respect, and equality?”

Over the weekend, there was a piece in the NYTimes about assisted suicide, and at the NYU Press Blog, Howard Ball reflects on the article and on the way it supports his case for assisted suicide. He ends his post with an impassioned plea: “A small number of dying persons do not want to live a life devoid of living as they have been. They want to retake control of their lives. They have the constitutional, moral, and philosophical liberty to die with dignity. That is all they ask of us!”

David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies was recently pulled from distribution by his publisher, Thomas Nelson. Barton’s rapid rise to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s is a fascinating story, and at the Harvard University Press Blog, they share an excerpt from The Annointed by Randall Stephens and Karl Giberson, the story of modern evangelical leaders. In this excerpt, Stephens and Giberson explain how Barton, with a BA in religious education, became one of the most popular Christian historians of the last two decades.

Battle for control of the internet have been raging (somewhat quietly) in governments around the world over the last few years. At the OUPblog, Robin Mansell claims that at the root of these battles lies the fact that we still don’t agree on (or know) how the internet benefits and/or harms society and individual people. The push and pull of democratic free-speech rights, copyright law, and individual safety is particularly clear in arguments about the regulation of the internet.

UNC Press has just published a collection of color photographs taken in the Japanese American internment camp at Heart Mountain in Wyoming, edited by Eric L. Muller. At the UNC Press Blog, Muller gives an interview about finding the photographs, what they show, and why they are crucially important in understanding the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with another installment of the Yale Press Log’s excellent series on the art of translation. This week, YUP talks to Romanian novelist Norman Manea and the translator of a new English edition of Manea’s novel The Lair, Oana Sanziana Marian. They discuss whether certain languages are more interchangeable than others, whether culture can be translated, and whether someone reading a translation should KNOW that they are reading a translation.

That’s it for this week. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading. Thanks!

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