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Welcome to THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA PRESS, we hope you will take a moment to look over our exciting Fall 2020 list.  Here you will discover a wealth of titles on, African American History, Natural History, Garden History, Biographies and Short Fiction.

From the exquisite photo documentation of A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and 4,978 Schools That Changed America, to a biography of one of America’s most influential news editors, A Nervous Man Shouldn’t Be Here in the First Place: The Life of Bill Baggs you will discover some of America’s forgotten champions of Civil Rights.

Revel in the beauty of A Curious Garden of Herbs: Cultivated and Wild: Culinary, Medicinal, Cordial, and Amusing; of the Eighteenth-Century, Southern Frontier, the perfect gift for the gardener this holiday season, or A Beachcomber’s Guide to Fossils a remarkable guide for identifying beach fossils, from the prehistoric to the recent. This book is a must for beach goers. UGA Press offers gripping history with Selling Hate: Marketing the Ku Klux Klan a history of the business and the scamming of the Ku Klux Klan.  We have something for every reader, so come and explore UGA Press.

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Featured Titles from the University of Georgia Press

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I Have Been Assigned a Single Bird
Susan Cerulean

Susan Cerulean’s memoir trains a naturalist’s eye and a daughter’s heart on the lingering death of a beloved parent from dementia. At the same time, the book explores an activist’s lifelong search to be of service to the embattled natural world.

During the years she cared for her father, Cerulean also volunteered as a steward of wild shorebirds along the Florida coast. Her territory was a tiny island just south of the Apalachicola bridge where she located and protected nesting shorebirds, including least terns and American oystercatchers.

I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird weaves together intimate facets of adult caregiving and the consolation of nature, detailing Cerulean’s experiences of tending to both.

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My Last Eight Thousand Days
Lee Gutkind

As founding editor of Creative Nonfiction and architect of the genre, Lee Gutkind played a crucial role in establishing literary, narrative nonfiction in the marketplace and in the academy. A longstanding advocate of New Journalism, he has reported on a wide range of issues-robots and artificial intelligence, mental illness, organ transplants, veterinarians and animals, baseball, motorcycle enthusiasts-and explored them all with his unique voice and approach.

In My Last Eight Thousand Days, Gutkind turns his notepad and tape recorder inward, using his skills as an immersion journalist to perform a deep dive on himself. Here, he offers a memoir of his life as a journalist, editor, husband, father, and Pittsburgh native, not only recounting his many triumphs, but also exposing his missteps and challenges. The overarching concern that frames these brave, often confessional stories, is his obsession and fascination with aging: how aging provoked anxieties and unearthed long-rooted tensions, and how he came to accept, even enjoy, his mental and physical decline. Gutkind documents the realities of aging with the characteristically blunt, melancholic wit and authenticity that drive the quiet force of all his work.

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A Beachcomber’s Guide to Fossils
Bob Gale / Pam Gale / Ashby Gale

Compiled from decades of visiting beaches along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts collecting fossils and conducting extensive research, A Beachcomber’s Guide to Fossils is the definitive guide for amateur collectors and professionals interested in learning more about the deep history they tread on during their vacations. Authored by Bob, Pam, and Ashby Gale, this guide offers over twelve hundred high-quality color photographs and detailed descriptions of more than three hundred fossil specimens found on beaches from Texas, east to Florida, and north to New Jersey.

The book includes descriptions and identifying information for the fossil remains of mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish. Because the tides provide a new beach to explore every day, and beachcombers need immediate comparison for identification, the Beachcomber’s Guide is essential for quick and easy reference. And while the seemingly infinite varieties of shark teeth form much of what beachcombers find on their sandy strolls, this guide also illuminates the fossilized remains of species that walked in a different world. From glyptodonts (a giant, prehistoric armadillo) and giant sloths to the intricately patterned remains of the ancestors of manta rays and pufferfish, this book not only teaches its readers not only what treasures to look for but how to look for them.

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If We Were Electric
Patrick Earl Ryan

If We Were Electric‘s twelve stories celebrate New Orleans in all of its beautiful peculiarities: macabre and magical, muddy and exquisite, sensual and spiritual. The stunning debut collection finds its characters in moments of desire and despair, often stuck on the verge of a great metamorphosis, but burdened by some unreasonable love. These are stories about missed opportunities, about people on the outside who don’t fit in, about the consequences of not mustering enough courage to overcome the binds.

In “Feux Follet,” an old man’s grief attracts supernatural lights in the dark Louisiana swamps. An exploding transformer’s raw, unnerving energy in the title story matches the strange, ferocious temper of an unlucky hustler. “Blackout” sets the profound numbness of a young man physically abused by his mentally unstable partner beside the meaningful beauty of an unexpected moment of joy with someone else. The teenage narrator in “Before Las Blancas” is so overwhelmed by his sexuality that he abandons everything and everyone he’s known to live in a happy illusion…in Mexico. And “Where It Takes Us” is a poignant, understated snapshot of a gay man who accompanies his straight, HIV-positive brother to the race track to bond again.

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Selling Hate: Marketing the Ku Klux Klan
Dale W. Laackman

Selling Hate is a fascinating and powerful story about the power of a southern PR firm to further the Ku Klux Klan’s agenda. Dale W. Laackman’s uncovered never-before-published archival material, census records, and obscure books and letters to tell the story of an emerging communications industry-an industry filled with potential and fraught with peril.

The brilliant, amoral, and spectacularly bold Bessie Tyler and Edward Young Clarke-together, the Southern Publicity Association-met the fervent William Joseph Simmons (founder of the second KKK), saw an opportunity, and played on his many weaknesses. It was the volatile, precarious terrain of post-World War I America. Tyler and Clarke took Simmons’s dying and broke KKK, with its two thousand to three thousand associates in Georgia and Alabama, and in a few short years swelled its membership to nearly five million. Chapters were established in every state of the union, and the Klan began influencing American political and social life. Between one-third and one-half of the eligible men in the country belonged to the organization.

Even to modern sensibilities, the extent of Tyler and Clarke’s scheme is shocking: the limitlessness of their audacity; the full-scale and ongoing con of Simmons; the size of the personal fortunes they earned, amassed, and stole in the process; and just how easily and expertly they exploited the particular fears and prejudices of every corner of America. You will recognize in this pair a very American sense of showmanship and an accepted, even celebrated, brash entrepreneurial hustle. And as their story winds down, you will recognize the tainted and ultimately ineffectual congressional hearings into the Klan’s monumental growth.

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Genus Americanus: Hitting the Road in Search of America’s Identity
Loren Ghiglione with Alyssa Karas & Dan Tham

A seventy-year-old Northwestern journalism professor, Loren Ghiglione, and two twenty-something Northwestern journalism students, Alyssa Karas and Dan Tham, climbed into a minivan and embarked on a three-month, twenty-eight state, 14,063-mile road trip in search of America’s identity. After interviewing 150 Americans about contemporary identity issues, they wrote this book, which is part oral history, part shoe-leather reporting, part search for America’s future, part memoir, and part travel journal.

On their journey they retraced Mark Twain’s travels across America-from Hannibal, Missouri, to Chicago, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle. They hoped Twain’s insights into the late nineteenth-century soul of America would help them understand the America of today and the ways that our cultural fabric has shifted.

Their interviews focused on issues of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status. The timely trip occurred as the United States was poised to replace president Barack Obama, an icon of multiculturalism and inclusion, with Donald Trump, whose white-identity agenda promoted exclusion and division. What they learned along the way paints an engaging portrait of the country during this crucial moment of ideological and political upheaval.

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A Curious Garden of Herbs
Kay K. Moss & Suzanne S. Simmons

A Curious Garden of Herbs is a richly illustrated collection of herbal fact and lore that illuminates the “why” rather than the “how” of the historical kitchen garden. Rather than offering a how-to of gardening methods, Kay K. Moss and Suzanne S. Simmons trace herbs and their uses back to earlier times and places. A Curious Garden of Herbs is peppered with reflections and observations from manuscripts and published herbals that detail the historical uses and fascinating stories surrounding plants of documented interest in the early American South and mid-Atlantic.

Practicality and necessity were the guiding theses for gardening in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century rural and frontier settlements in the Southeast. There were plants for food, for seasoning, for medicine, for dye, for insect repellency, and for scent. While many of these plants were also decorative, utility dominated the rationale of backcountry gardeners. Unlike the experimental and exotic collections of Thomas Jefferson and other wealthy gentleman botanists, the gardens detailed in these pages are generally of the “middling sort”-of townspeople and farmers, of “housewives,” merchants, and artisans. A Curious Garden of Herbs brings these everyday herbs to life with sixty historical illustrations.

In addition to including the well-known varieties such as parsley, lavender, cucumber, and asparagus, this wonderfully illustrated catalog of more than a hundred plants also reveals new ways to enjoy violet, rose, and nasturtium. Moss and Simmons also encourage readers to invite lesser-known plants, such as wild purslane, mullein, and wood sorrel into their gardens and conversations.

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A Nervous Man Shouldn’t Be Here in the First Place: The Life of Bill Baggs
Amy Paige Condon

“This is not a simple life, my friend, and there are no simple answers.”

The late editor of the late Miami News, Bill Baggs, stamped these words on plain white postcards and sent them to readers who sent him hate mail-a frequent occurrence, as Baggs, a white editor of a prominent southern newspaper, championed unpopular ideas in his front-page columns, such as protecting the environment, desegregating public schools, and peace in Vietnam.

Under his leadership, the Miami News earned three Pulitzer Prizes. For his stances, Baggs earned a bullet hole through his office window, police officers stationed outside his home, and a used Mercedes outfitted with a remote starter so that if it had been rigged with a bomb, it would blow up before he opened the door. Despite his causes and accomplishments, when Baggs died of pneumonia in 1969 at the age of forty-five, his story nearly died with him, and that would have been a travesty because Baggs still has so much to teach us about how to find the answers to those not-so-simple questions, like how to live in peace with one another?

In this first biography of this influential editor, Amy Paige Condon retraces how an orphaned boy from rural Colquitt, Georgia, bore witness and impacted some of the twentieth century’s most earth-shifting events: World War II, the civil rights movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War. With keen intellect and sparkling wit, Baggs seemed to be in the right place at the right time. From bombardier to reporter then accidental diplomat, Baggs used his daily column as a bully pulpit for social justice and wielded his pen like a scalpel to reveal the truth.

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