Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TAMU Press author, Brandon Rottinghaus comments on Perry’s Ad

Governor Perry's latest ad, entitled "Strong," attracted roughly 750,000 views on YouTube in two days.

Brandon Rottinghaus, author of The Provisional Pulpit: Modern Presidential Leadership of Public Opinion (TAMU 2010) and Associate Professor of political science at UH commented on the controversial ad on KUHF Houston Public Radio. He says commenters who declared the ad promotes hatred and violence are more representative of the general electorate.

"His strategy right now is to ignore the general public at this stage, and focus in on the voters who are of very conservative stripe, but who are also very active. And that is going to be his strategy for trying to pry off some of the votes that have been siphoned by Newt Gingrich." — Rottinghaus

Rottinghaus also said that by hitting cultural issues so strongly, Perry has found a way to differentiate himself from the front-runners in Iowa.

Watch Perry’s ad here:

Rottinghaus’s The Provisional Pulpit: Modern Presidential Leadership of Public Opinion is for sale on the Press website and available in an edition. Read more about the book and get your own copy now!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Texas State students and staff launch Center for Texas Public History under TAMU Press author direction

The National Park Service needed help researching the history of a former Secret Service command outpost at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park at Stonewall and turned to public history professors Lynn Denton and Dan Utley in the Department of History at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Under Denton and Utley’s guidance, graduate researched a wide variety of records to complete a detailed analysis of the nationally significant historic site and recommended ways to interpret the building’s historic significance to park visitors.

“The students collected many stories from Secret Service agents and others who served at the LBJ Ranch during Johnson’s presidency,” said Utley. “The stories show LBJ’s personal side and his family’s interaction with the Secret Service. Now, the Park Service will be able to relate these stories to the public through that little Secret Service building near the ‘Texas White House.’”

Because Texas State’s History Department receives so many
requests for help with historical research and interpretation, the Center for Texas Public History was created to respond to the requests.

Details on the Center for Texas Public History:
-to be staffed by faculty and students in the department’s graduate program in public history
- Will focus on museum work, oral history, and cultural resource management available to government agencies, museums, historical commissions, community organizations and others that need help in researching and interpreting historical information for the public

Dan Utley is also the co-author of History Ahead: Stories beyond the Texas Roadside Markers (TAMU 2010).
History Ahead offers a rich array of local stories that interweave with the broader regional and national context, touching on themes of culture, art, music, technology, the environment, oil, aviation, and folklore, among other topics. Utley and author Cynthia Beeman have located these forgotten gems, polished them up to a high shine, and offered them along with convenient maps and directions to the marker sites.

For more information on The Center for Texas Public History, read “Texas State establishes new Center for Texas Public History” by Ann Friou.

Visit the Press website to read more about History Ahead, Dan Utley and order your copy!

Author Tyler Priest comments on Halliburton's BP spill claims

Halliburton has been in the news in defense against accusations it intentionally destroyed evidence about the quality of cement slurry in an oil well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico. The cement job on the Macondo well is expected to play a big role in
the court battle scheduled to start Feb. 27 in New Orleans of who should bear the blame for the blowout that killed 11 workers and led to the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

Tyler Priest, a University of Houston historian who specializes in the Gulf oil industry and author of The Offshore Imperative (TAMU 2007) confirms the cement failure will be a big issue in Cain Burdeau’s article “Halliburton defends itself against BP spill claims.”

"It seems like the big litigation is going to be between BP and its contractors," Priest said. "There's a lot of money at stake, and it's going to be decided in the courts."

Read the full article here.
Priest’s The Offshore Imperative gives a detailed account of the modern history of Shell Oil. Drawing on interviews with Shell retirees and many other sources, Priest relates how the imagination, talent, and hard work of personnel at all levels shaped the evolution of the company. The narrative also covers important aspects of Shell Oil’s corporate evolution, but the comp
any’s pioneering steps into the deep water fields of the Gulf of Mexico are its signature achievement. Priest’s study demonstrates that engineers did not suddenly create methods for finding and producing oil and gas from astounding water depths. Rather, they built on a half-century of accumulated knowledge and improvements to technical systems.
Read more about The Offshore Imperative and order your own copy here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Author Steven Fenberg appears on KUHT-TV’s Science and Technology Night

Steven Fenberg, author of Unprecedented Power (TAMU 2011), recently appeared on KUHT-TV's Science and Technology night. He talked about Jesse Holman Jones and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation’s development of synthetic rubber, a perfect topic for Pearl Harbor Day. View the full interview below!

In Unprecedented Power, Fenberg tells the story of Jesse Holman Jones, the Houston businessman who went to Washington as an appointed official and provided the pragmatic leadership that salvaged capitalism during the Great Depression and militarized industry in time to fight and win World War II.

Jones—an entrepreneur with an eighth- grade education who built Houston’s tallest buildings of the time—was considered to be the most powerful person in the nation, next to President Roosevelt. As chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Jones saved farms, homes, banks and businesses; built infrastructure; set the price of gold with FDR each morning in the president’s bedroom; and in the process made a substantial profit for the government. Then Jones turned the RFC’s focus from domestic economics to global defense.

Read more about Unprecedented Power and order your own copy here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Rudder exhibit at Texas A&M University

James Earl Rudder. If you don’t already know the significance of his name, travel to Aggieland and you will find the decorated war hero-turned-transformational A&M president’s name is all over town. The building that houses the current university president, the main local freeway and the University visitor’s center are all named after the esteemed former TAMU president and war hero.

Appropriately, the newest exhibit at Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library & Archives spotlights the life of James Earl Rudder. The exhibit, "From Pointe du Hoc to College Station," opened with a lecture by Thomas M. Hatfield, author of Rudder: From Leader to Legend (TAMU 2011), a book about the life of Rudder. Rudder: From Leader to Legend pays full tribute to Rudder, a man who exemplified leadership, vision, and courage.

TAMU Times recently gave a detailed look into the exhibit’s features:

“The exhibit highlights correspondence, documents and memorabilia from the James Earl Rudder Collection donated by his wife Margaret E. Rudder in 2002. Items on display include a wooden map case with maps used for the D-Day invasion, a dress uniform, French Legion of Honour and Croix de Guerre medals and his historic speech delivered April 27, 1963, supporting the admittance of women to Texas A&M.”

Copyright: D.McDermand, The Eagle
The exhibit features a June 11, 1954, cover story in Collier's Magazine on how he brought his son, Earl "Bud" Rudder, back to Point du Hoc, France.

The exhibit will remain on display until Jan. 27, 2012.

Find more information on the exhibit, Rudder and Thomas Hatfield’s Rudder: From Leader to Legend here!

Steplings is a big hit!

Check out this book trailer for C.W. Smith’s new novel Steplings (TCU 2011). One of our favorite book blogs, Shelf-Awareness deemed it “Book Trailer for the Day!” Watch here!

What critics are saying:

“Texas novelist C.W. Smith has received just about every literary award the state and region bestow, and his latest work, the sprightly and wise Steplings, will no doubt add to his reputation as a Lone Star star.” —Dallas Morning News
“It's elegantly written, sometimes funny, often heartbreaking, and it never hits a false note.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“…rich in psychological insight and lit by occasional flashes of humor.” —Kirkus Reviews

“It's a wonderful story for parents and should be required reading for teens to meet this ordinary family and share those three extraordinary days

with them. They will break your heart but you'll also want to hug them and welcome them home.” —San Antonio Express-News

“Set in 2002, Steplings has the feel of a traditional coming of age novel mixed with a road story, yet the characters are realistically grounded in the problems and anxieties of our early 21st century.”—Houston Culture Map

“If one were to highlight only one of Smith's talents as a writer, perhaps what stands as the best representation of his work and the clearest example of his artistic capacity is his ability to draw a reader so fully into his creative world that they are, at the concluding lines, loathe to leave it at all. Readers will find themselves worrying after Smith's p

rotagonists long after the last page is turned, restlessly concerned for the dear souls of the very real young people…who unknowingly and unintentionally inspired this all‐too realistic contemporary tale.” —Dallas Observer

“Smith's story rings true and never feels stale. A dash of international politics spices up the personal politics of Steplings in a way that isn't forced or incongrue
nt.”—Austin Chronicle.

“ The characters take on vivid personality and the relationships deepen in a delightfully believable way. We follow Jason as he desperately tries to contact Lisa and Emily discovers that her father is not the saint she had believed. The two make page-turning strides toward responsibility and maturity as they learn what an awesome task it is to take responsibility for each other.” —Texas Book Lover

Read more about Steplings and order your own copy now!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembering Pearl Harbor

On this day, 70 years ago, the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed more than 2,400 Americans, wounded 1,000 and almost wiped out an entire fleet. While the attack was designed to hurt the United States Navy, it instead drew Americans together, creating a spirit that Japanese leadership never expected.

TAMU Press remembers and reflects on the bravery and sacrifice that occurred at Pearl Harbor. In the spirit of remembrance, we encourage readers to check out William Bartsch’s December 8, 1941: MacArthur's Pearl Harbor.

Bartch’s detailed account of the Pearl Harbor attack received the Arthur Goodzeit Award, presented by the Board of New York Military Affairs Symposium in 2004. December 8, 1941: MacArthur's Pearl Harbor will be reprinted in paperback this spring.

In December 8, 1941: MacArthur's Pearl Harbor, Bartsch draws upon 25 years of research into American and Japanese records and interviews with many of the participants themselves, particularly survivors of the actual attack on Clark and Iba air bases. The dramatic and detailed coverage of the attack is preceded by an account of the harried American build-up of air power in the Philippines after July, 1941, and of Japanese planning and preparations for this opening assault of its Southern Operations. Bartsch juxtaposes the experiences of staff of the U.S. War Department in Washington and its Far East Air Force bomber, fighter, and radar personnel in the Philippines, who were affected by its decisions, with those of Japan’s Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo and the 11th Air Fleet staff and pilots on Formosa, who were assigned the responsibility for carrying out the attack on the Philippines 500 miles to the south. In order to put the December 8th attack in broader context, Bartsch details micro-level personal experiences and presents the political and strategic aspects of American and Japanese planning for a war in the Pacific.

Despite the significance of this subject matter, it has never before been given full book-length treatment. This book represents the culmination of decades-long efforts of the author to fill this historical gap. Read more about December 8, 1941: MacArthur's Pearl Harbor and order your own copy here.

Interested in World War II? The TAMU Press Consortium has published 80+ books covering the details of the war events. Whether you are a World War II scholar or reader searching for a great read, you are guaranteed to find a book that fits your interests. See our wide selection of World War II books here.