With the summer travel season in full swing, it seems appropriate to highlight our selections that celebrate the beauty, variety and complexity of America and that explore the unique history of our land. Whether you plan to take a journey or just read about someone’s else’s, take some time to consider some enticing titles from our inventory for pleasure reading or for use in courses.
Appalachian Lives, by Shelby Lee Adams, $45, (List price $50), University of Mississippi Press, (May 2003), ISBN 9781578065400, pp. 80.
For more than a quarter century, Shelby Lee Adams, an award-winning photographer from Hazard, Kentucky, has been photographing the people and places of his native state, returning to some subjects over time. The results captured in the 80 photographs included in this book and his insightful and empathetic text capture the majesty of the mountains and the dignity of the people who live there.
Bike Week at Daytona Beach: Bad Boys and Fancy Toys, by Roby Page, $27 (List price: $30), University of Mississippi Press, (July 2005), ISBN 9781578067657, pp. 144.
More than half a million bike enthusiasts converge on Daytona every March for Bike Week. Roby Page is a sociologist, photographer and writer who has been chronicling the event since 1985. In that time, a gathering that once attracted the roughneck crowd usually associated with biking has evolved into one that attracts a variety of people from the mainstream to the very well-heeled professionals. Page documents the evolution and allure of the event through his text and photographs in black and white.
Blues Traveling: The Holy Sites of Delta Blues, by Steve Cheseborough, $45, (List Price: $50) University of Mississippi Press, (March 2001), ISBN 9781578062317, pp. 247.
This is the first guidebook to the birthplace of the blues in the Mississippi Delta. It will even take you to the spot where legend has it that the guitar man Robert Johnson made his “deal with the devil” in exchange of his dominion as King of the Blues. The book takes the reader on a journey to the homes, churches, fields and juke joints that gave rise to this great genre of music and to legendary artists who nurtured it. The volume includes photographs, a discography, maps and directions, as well as narrative by a scholar and blues musician that details the history and lore of blues country.
Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun, by Tim Hollis, $27, (List Price: $30), University of Mississippi Press, (April 1999), ISBN 9781578061181, pp. 208.
Illustrated with vintage postcards, photographs and advertising memorabilia that Tim Hollis , the author, collected over three decades, this book recalls the roadsides, tourist attractions and accommodations that were characteristic of the South long before Disneyworld and other huge theme parks eclipsed them all. It captures the kitsch and the character of the region that drew visitors to destinations throughout Dixie.
Florida’s Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast, by Tim Hollis, $45 (List Price: $50) University of Mississippi Press, (January 2004), ISBN 9781578066261, pp. 238.
In this book, Tim Hollis takes us on an expedition into the history and development of Florida’s Gulf Coast resort areas over a half century. His collection of Florida memorabilia brings the region’s glory days to life as he tells the story with humor and a nostalgic flavor.
Haunted Places in the American South, by Alan Brown, $45, (List Price: $50), University of Mississippi Press, (October 2002), ISBN 9781578064762, pp. 296.
Ghosts, creepy sounds, slamming doors and spooky lights are the stuff of late-night storytelling marathons around the campfire. Alan Brown, a professor of English at the University of West Alabama, turns them into the subject of scholarly inquiry. He scoured through periodicals, museums and other sources to find and document stories from 55 places in a dozen Southern states. He documents the tales with directions, notes and bibliography to help others traces his steps.
Paddling the Pascagoula, by Ernest Herndon and Scott B. Williams, $18 (List Price: $20), University of Mississippi Press, (November 2005). ISBN 9781578067145, pp. 192.
Two adventurers, Ernest Herndon and Scott B. Williams, traveled by canoe and kayak to cover the 200-plus mile length of one of the last major, unspoiled river systems in North America. They each floated along separate tributaries and converged at the main river to continue on the journey to the Gulf Coast. Both are writers who had extensive experience in canoeing and kayaking in places as far flung as Alaska and Central America. As they take us along on this trip, we experience both the beauty and fragility of this region.
My Mississippi, by Willie Morris and David Rae Morris, $90 (List Price: $100), University of Mississippi Press, (November 2000) ISBN 9781578063093 pp. 256.
Willie Morris, the author, and his son, David Rae Morris, a photographer, set out of discover what Mississippi had become in the years since Willie Morris was a boy there and where it is headed in the 21st century. Morris returned to his native state after a career in New York as editor of Harper’s magazine and embarked on this venture before his death in 1999. David Morris grew up in New York City but has spent the last 20 years traveling and photographing Mississippi. Together they invite us to explore “the juxtapositions of Mississippi…and the tensions of its paradoxes that still drive us crazy.”
A Season of Night: New Orleans Life after Katrina, by Ian McNulty, $22.50 (List Price: $25), University of Mississippi Press, (July 2008), ISBN 9781934110911, pp. 176.
As the floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina and the failed levees subsided, some intrepid New Orleanians like Ian McNulty moved quickly to reclaim their turf. He moved back into to the second floor of his damaged home and began this intensely personal memoir of his experience living without electricity and other amenities in the ruins of a great city while helping to rebuild it.
Passage on the Underground Railroad, by Stephen Marc, $67.50 (List Price: $75), University of Mississippi Press, (October 2009), ISBN 9781604731293, pp. 176.
Stephen Marc, a professor of art at Arizona State University, spent seven years photographing sites that played a role in the Underground Railroad. His effort preserves the legacy of a system that brought enslaved blacks to freedom using a network of activist whites and free blacks who relied on secret signals, experienced “conductors” and “stations” or safe houses where volunteers welcomed and hid the fleeing. The book compiles photographs detailing sites, as well as Marc’s metaphorical montages on the horrors of slavery, 87 illustrations in all. The book also includes an interview with Marc by Carla Williams, a writer and photographer; an essay by Keith Griffler, an associate professor of African American studies at the University at Buffalo, SUNY; and an article from Diane Miller, director of the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom, on preserving the heritage of the Underground Railroad.