Philip Otterness, author of Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York, recently appeared on an episode of the NBC television showWho Do You Think You Are?, with country music star Tim McGraw. McGraw’s ancestors were part of the 1709-1710 Palatine migration from Europe to New York State. Otterness discussed the history of the Palatines with McGraw and told him that the ancestors of another music legend were also part of the Palatine migration: Elvis Presley’s. Watch the entire episode here:
In an interview in the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette published on 25 May, author John B. Hench discussed how his interest in collecting books and other materials on American culture and psychology that were printed during World War II led to researching the history of the wartime Overseas Editions and Transatlantic Editions and the writing of Books As Weapons, recently published by Cornell University Press.
“Over time,” reporter Pamela H. Sacks writes, “Hench himself amassed a collection of ephemera. The assemblage included ‘ration cards, pamphlets, that sort of thing — really home-front propaganda — and some books on subjects such as how to behave in wartime: how to give a party, what to write to your husband, to be wary of the charms of an attractive man who was 4-F but otherwise fit,’ [Hench] said with a laugh. As he sought interesting material, he ran across a copy of an Overseas Edition. It was completely new to him, and his interest was piqued. After some initial research, Hench realized he had a potential book in the making.”
Read the entire article here.
As Mary Kay Henry begins her tenure as the President of the Service Employees International Union, we’d like to suggest the following ILR Press titles for information, guidance, and inspiration—
A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement by Amy B. Dean and David B. Reynolds
Power in Coalition: Strategies for Strong Unions and Social Change by Amanda Tattersall
Working for Justice: The L.A. Model of Organizing and Advocacy by Ruth Milkman, Joshua Bloom, and Victor Narro (editors)
A Shameful Business: The Case for Human Rights in the American Workplace by James A. Gross
Building More Effective Unions, Second Edition by Paul F. Clark
Safety in Numbers: Nurse-to-Patient Ratios and the Future of Health Care by Suzanne Gordon, John Buchanan, and Tanya Bretherton
Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress by Candacy A. Taylor
Global Unions: Challenging Transnational Capital through Cross-Border Campaigns by Kate Bronfenbrenner (editor)
The Sex of Class: Women Transforming American Labor by Dorothy Sue Cobble (editor)
Kate Bronfenbrenner, the Director of Labor Education Research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the coauthor, editor, and coeditor of several books with Cornell University Press including, most recently, Global Unions, was interviewed this morning on NPR’s “Morning Edition” in a story about the Mary Kay Henry, the new president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union.
On NJ.com, columnist Raymond A. Scroth thanks Cornell author James T. Fisher for bringing Father John M. “Pete” Corridan—the real-life model for Karl Malden’s Fr. Pete Barry in “On the Waterfront”—to life. “He was tall, tough, balding, with a take-charge presence,” Scroth writers, “someone this idealistic 18-year-old Fordham freshman in 1951 might want to identify with.” And he praises Fisher’s book, On the Irish Waterfront, for offering “a critical, though loving, portrait of the New York-New Jersey docks and the pious, though also corrupt Irish Catholics who made their living there; an in-depth account of the making of the movie, its script development, casting, on-site shooting on the Hoboken side of the Hudson; a case-study of one of the church’s and the Jesuits’ better attempts to re-connect with the working class; and finally the story of a very dedicated, yet flawed, priest some would say failed in his mission, but triumphed nevertheless.”
Read the entire column here.
In a review posted on January 31, 2007, to the website of The Georgian Times (originally published in the Caucasus Research Resource Centers blog), Aaron Erlich notes, “Many social researchers working on the Caucasus bemoan the lack of good scholarly works on the region. However, one recent book, which is both excellent and readable, seems to have fallen under people’s radars: Mathijs Pelkmans’ Defending the Border: Identity, Religion, and Modernity in the Republic of Georgia, which came out in 2006 with Cornell University Press.” The book, part of Cornell’s Culture and Society after Socialism series, was recently announced as co-winner of the 2007 William A. Douglass book prize given by the Society for the Anthropology of Europe.
In it, Pelkmans illuminates the ways in which residents of the Caucasus have rethought who they are since the collapse of the Soviet Union through an exploration of three towns in the southwest corner of the Republic of Georgia. “Pelkmans’ book,” Erlich writes, “is deeply embedded within the literature on the studies of borderlands. Using the case of Sarpi (and Ajara more generally), Pelkmans argues convincingly that the Georgian (Soviet) border was not like other borders treated in the academic literature, which were porous and where strong cross-border networks have and continue to play an important role. Conversely, the Georgian border still plays a strong role, despite the ease with which it is now crossed.”
In a September 13, 2007, interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, which was rebroadcast in December ahead of the film’s DVD release and three Golden Globe nominations, director David Cronenberg cited Vladimir Volkov’s 2002 Cornell UP book, Violent Entrepreneurs: The Use of Force in the Making of Russian Capitalism, as one of the inspirations for his critically acclaimed 2007 thriller, Eastern Promises, which stars Viggo Mortensen as a London-based Russian mobster. In his interview with host Terry Gross, Cronenberg identified the book as important in shaping his view of the Russian underworld depicted in the film as the “rawest, most virulent form of capitalism” and his characters as “ardent capitalists.”
Like the film, the book Violent Entrepreneurs has been critically acclaimed and has become a bestseller on Cornell’s political science list, widely used in courses on post-Soviet Russia and criminology. According to the New York Review of Books, “Volkov supplies the missing link between almost everything else you may read about business in post-Communist Russia and almost everything else you can read about organized crime there. He treats the two activities, business and crime, with equal respect as fields of sociological inquiry, and so arrives at the first satisfying account of how they affect each other.” Fans of the film wanting to know more about the fascinating world of Russian organized crime should put Violent Entrepreneurs at the top of their reading list.