Hello and welcome to the Columbia University Press virtual exhibit booth for this year’s meeting of the American Political Science Association. We would have loved to see you in San Francisco, but so long as the coronavirus pandemic is with us, virtual conferences will have to do.
Usually just one of our editors attends a conference because an editor’s remit and the conference’s fields often overlap perfectly. But APSA is one of those rare and happy conferences in which three lists and three editors converge. My name is Stephen Wesley, and I handle CUP’s books on American politics. Over the next few days I’ll be joined by my colleagues Caelyn Cobb, who publishes in global politics and international relations, and Wendy Lochner, who publishes political theory and philosophy.
But first I’d like to highlight a few of our newest books in domestic U.S. politics. As I pulled this list together, I could not help but notice how eerily prescient these titles turned out to be. I’ll chalk that up to our authors’ incredible foresight.
For example, as the fall semester approaches, millions of parents are weighing the options of homeschooling their children. In Homeschooling the Right: How Conservative Education Activism Erodes the State, the political scientist Heath Brown explores the political roots of the most powerful state-level lobby in America—conservative homeschoolers—and the conscious tactics meant to erode civic institutions and recapture the public square. How did this group mobilize and rise to power? And what does it mean for public schools—especially now?
Another book explores racial unrest in American cities and how to alleviate it. In Human Relations Commissions: Relieving Racial Tensions in the American City, the public administration experts Brian Calfano and Valerie Martinez-Ebers explore race-relations committees that have sprouted in American cities since the Watts Riots of the 1990s. They ask: How can these commissions ease racial discord and distrust?
In Oath Keepers: Patriotism and the Edge of Violence in a Right-Wing Antigovernment Group, the social scientist Sam Jackson sheds light on the internal narratives of this radical group that you may remember from the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014. He considers how movements like this frame their activities to themselves and to the public, often with mash-ups of pivotal moments in American history like the Founding and the Revolutionary War, as well as the Waco siege and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.