Archive for September, 2009

Southern Political Report Endorses The South’s New Racial Politics for Course Adoption

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 by Lisa Harrison

Glen Browder’s new book The South’s New Racial Politics received thoughtful praise in a highly positive review from the Southern Political Report. John Tures, Associate Professor of Political Science at LaGrange College, says he will be recommending the book to fellow professors and political science majors in his American Government class, and even students in his interdisciplinary American Experience course, “showing how Browder’s book is written for a wide audience.”

From the review:

In addition to the insightful observations about the region, the text provides an important launching point for what should be a national dialogue on the subject of race. As Browder points out, the South has begun to confront its past and present. Too often, I have seen evidence of one of his conclusions: such problems of race are hardly confined to this region. Other examples of racism, “the race game” and even a quiet new racial system of accommodation occur across the country, but tend to be swept under the rug by those who see, or want to see, this as a problem exclusively bedeviling the South. Rather than remain the national whipping post on the subject of intolerance, perhaps the South and its recent examples could serve as the basis for that dialogue, and teach, rather than be taught.

Read the full review at the Southern Political Report website.

Professor Browder continues his successful book tour, speaking at libraries, bookstores, civic organizations, and universities in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and D.C. For more information about his appearances, contact Lisa Harrison at NewSouth Bookss, 334-834-3556.

The South’s New Racial Politics is available directly from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Author Foster Dickson Speaks at Ottawa International Writers Festival

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 by Lisa Harrison

Poet and biographer Foster Dickson, author of I Just Make People Up: Ramblings with Clark Walker (NewSouth Books 2008) and The Life and Poetry of John Beecher (1904-1980) (Edwin Mellen Press 2009) will give a lecture entitled “Southern Exposure” at the Ottawa International Writers Festival on October at 4:00 pm. Dickson will discuss his complete body of work as Southern studies of oft-neglected people.

I Just Make People Up, based on a series of conversations with author Dickson when he and artist Clark Walker were neighbors, uses Walker’s life and art as prisms to look at creativity, relationships, the ways of seeing, the nature of community, and more. It is the only book about the work of this popular Montgomery, AL artist.

The Life and Poetry of John Beecher explores the work of a man who rebelled against his background as son of a steel executive and, during the Great Depression, began to write powerful, radical, activist poetry. Blacklisted during McCarty era, Beecher later chronicled the outrages of racial segregation. NewSouth Books published a collection of Beecher’s long out of print poetry, One More River to Cross, in 2003.

For more about the Ottawa International Writers Festival, visit the organization website:

Tom Sawyer Ships In, Alabama Big Read Bus Heads Out

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 by Lisa Harrison

Alabama’s first-ever statewide Big Read project moves into high gear next week as Big Read regional coordinators and NewSouth Books arrange for delivery of close to 12,000 copies of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to librarians across the state.

Move over FedEx! In keeping with the Alabama theme, the Alabama Big Read Bus has been named the delivery vehicle of choice.

The Big Read Bus will travel the state on September 10 and 11 distributing copies of a unique edition of the Mark Twain classic created especially for Alabama readers by NewSouth Books. On its two-day mission, the bus will stop at the main branches of library systems in 14 cities; local librarians will then send copies to area branches. A big banner announces the vehicle’s purpose, and plans are being made from library to library to celebrate its arrival.

According to Big Read regional coordinator Patty Pilkerton, “This is the very first time a state has published a unique edition of its Big Read book for its own audiences, so once again, Alabama is leading the way in innovative and creative programming. We are combining delivery and programming, allowing the receiving libraries to enjoy media attention. Soon readers across the entire state of Alabama will be joining together in the excitement of discovering and rediscovering The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

Libraries scheduled to receive a visit by the Big Read Bus include: Marion-Perry County Library, Marion, AL; Anniston-Calhoun Library, Anniston, AL; Ashland City Public Library, Ashland, AL; B. B. Comer Memorial Library, Sylacauga, AL; Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham, AL; Columbiana Public Library, Columbia, AL; Harrison Regional Library, Columbiana, AL; Chambers County Library, Valley, AL; Autauga Prattville Public Library, Prattville, AL; Horseshoe Bend Regional Library, Dadeville, AL; Gulf Shores Public Library, Gulf Shores, AL; Choctaw County Public Library, Butler, AL; Washington County Public Library, Chatom, AL; Juliette Hampton Morgan Library, Montgomery, AL; and Daleville Public Library, Daleville, AL.

NewSouth’s edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is unabridged and annotated, carries a foreword by local Twain scholar Alan Gribben, and includes the NEA Reader’s Guide. The book is available for purchase in trade cloth and paperback.

For more information about the Alabama Big Read Bus and its delivery schedule, please contact Lisa Harrison at NewSouth Books at 334-834-3556 or via email at info @

NewSouth Authors Sheldon Hackney and Leslie Dunbar Remember Ted Kennedy

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 by Andrew

As America honors Senator Ted Kennedy, two NewSouth authors remember fondly their time spent with the late senator. Politics of Presidential Appointment author Sheldon Hackney, and Leslie Dunbar, contributor to American Crisis, Southern Solutions (with Hackney) and Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent, recall their affectionate memories of the “Lion of the Senate.”

“He was my champion when I was going through a difficult confirmation process in 1993 to become the chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities,” Hackney said. “I’m reminded of how energetic and wise he was, and how much I owed him for leading me through the process. I must that say that I admire him even more for the way he has conducted himself during his final year on earth. He has been a model for us all.”

Dunbar recalled, “One day in 1970–or possibly early 1971–I had a phone call from his office: the senator would be in New York on an imminent day and would like to talk about a report soon to be issued on Indian education. On the appointed day and hour he arrived, walking alone down Park Avenue–I would not have at all been surprised had he sent a staffer instead. He had taken over from his brother Robert a special committee or task force on the topic of Indian education. Its report was now done, and he wanted to send it on its public way. For over an hour we discussed how best to do that–the sort of questions that staff persons always deal with. The difference being he was not a staffer, but a United States Senator. I was strongly impressed by his attention to and grasp of rudimentary details and his immersion in them. We have lost another good one.”

Sheldon Hackey is the former president of the University of Pennsylvania and is currently the Boies Professor of U.S. History at the University of Pennsylvania. Leslie Dunbar is the former director of the Southern Regional Foundation and the Field Council.

2010 Tom Sawer Big Read Speaker Recommendations from NewSouth

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 by Lisa Harrison

“I wanted to be just like Tom Sawyer as kid, but years later I realized it was Mr. Twain whom I truly wished to emulate.” So says award-winning author Ted Dunagan, whose debut novel A Yellow Watermelon, NewSouth Books published last year.

Not surprisingly, Dunagan’s lyrical, semi-autobiographical account of the friendship between a young white and a young black boy amid the racial segregation of the 1940s has been favorably compared to the works of Twain by librarians and educators alike. Mr. Dunagan is one of two speakers NewSouth Books, publisher of the Alabama Big Read edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, will be sending to talk to Big Read program participants about Twain and his literary legacy and influence.

For programs aimed at young adults, Mr. Dunagan is an especially appropriate presenter.

Respected Twain scholar Dr. Alan Gribben, chair of the English department at Auburn University Montgomery, will also available to present to Big Read audiences. Dr. Gribben is the author of several books on the subject of America’s beloved Mark Twain, including Mark Twain on the Move: A Travel Reader, and contributed the foreword to NewSouth’s edition.

Given Dr. Gribben’s years of experience as a college-level professor and an ever lively enthusiasm for the inimitable Mark Twain, those with Big Read programs across the South could do no better than to recruit Dr. Gribben to participate.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is available from NewSouth Books. For more information about presentations by Ted Dunagan and Dr. Alan Gribben, call NewSouth Books at 334-834-3556 or email Lisa Harrison at info @