The Publisher’s Publisher

On the morning after the University of Virginia basketball team won the national championship, I was on the phone with Mark Saunders, the director of UVA Press about a book that would celebrate the incomprehensible journey the Cavaliers had just completed.

We had previously agreed to table all discussions until the game was over.

“Let’s talk tomorrow so we don’t jinx anything,”  Mark said.

After the victory, Mark celebrated by leading the school’s Auld Lang Syne inspired mantra, “The Good Ole Song.”  It’s preserved here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXjTmSXL6Ik

He and I shared texts over the last two seasons wherever we happened to be watching. He might be in John Paul Jones arena when I was at a hockey tournament in Buffalo.  Weeks of silence went by and then possession by possession critiques of the team would cascade down the screen.

Continue reading “The Publisher’s Publisher”

The Publisher’s Publisher

BUNDLE WEEK: Ange Romeo-Hall’s inspired bundle on human life

  1. Nobody’s Home: Candid Reflections of a Nursing Home Aide
  2. To Plead Our Own Cause: Personal Stories by Today’s Slaves
  3. Stanley’s Girl: Poems
  4. A Man with No Talents: Memoirs of a Tokyo Day Laborer
  5. Missing: Persons and Politics

I’ve worked on hundreds of exceptional Cornell books over the years, but these stand out mostly for the way they have so vividly shared worlds I wouldn’t otherwise have seen.

Continue reading “BUNDLE WEEK: Ange Romeo-Hall’s inspired bundle on human life”

BUNDLE WEEK: Ange Romeo-Hall’s inspired bundle on human life

BUNDLE WEEK: Kitty Liu’s 4 nature bundles!

ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT BUNDLE

Can the efforts of local environmental stewards impact resource management, environmental governance, and even social movements? What are the impacts of citizen science? How do we build resilient communities? This bundle includes resources for a broad transdisciplinary audience of researchers, educators, and practitioners who are interested in improving existing programs or developing new ones.

  1. Citizen Science: Public Participation in Environmental Research
  2. Grassroots to Global: Broader Impacts of Civic Ecology
  3. Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators
  4. Connecting the Drops: A Citizens’ Guide to Protecting Water Resources

Continue reading “BUNDLE WEEK: Kitty Liu’s 4 nature bundles!”

BUNDLE WEEK: Kitty Liu’s 4 nature bundles!

BUNDLE WEEK: Michael McGandy’s bundle on the history of United States engagement in the Pacific

For readers interested in the history of United States engagement in the Pacific, this is a good time to get caught up on the Cornell University Press backlist!

In recent months, I have signed a tide of wonderful—deeply researched, fluidly written, smartly argued—new books on U.S. foreign policy and military engagement in East Asia and Southeast Asia in the post-World War II era. New books are coming in fall 2019 and spring 2020 from Oliver Charbonneau, Sangjoon Lee, Katherine Moran, Thomas K. Robb and David James Gill, Nancy Shoemaker, and Colleen Woods. Their work will change how we look at the U.S. role as a Pacific power in the 19th and 20th centuries and so got me to thinking about trends in our historical analysis of events like World War II, Bandung Conference, and the Vietnam War. The bundle of backlist books I have selected is a wonderful mix of histories of U.S. strategy, foreign policy, civilian engagement, and military action in the Pacific.  These are the books which the new wave of works if carrying forward, and so are necessary reading for everyone who follows the influence of the U.S. in the broad Pacific region.

Continue reading “BUNDLE WEEK: Michael McGandy’s bundle on the history of United States engagement in the Pacific”

BUNDLE WEEK: Michael McGandy’s bundle on the history of United States engagement in the Pacific

BUNDLE WEEK: Fran Benson’s bundles of ILR books!

Fran Benson’s bundles of ILR books:

 

The World through the Lens of Class

  1. No Longer Newsworthy: How the Mainstream Media Abandoned the Working Class
  2. Class Lives: Stories from across Our Economic Divide
  3. Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups by Seeing Class Cultures
  4. Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America
  5. The Working Class Majority: America’s Best Kept Secret
  6. What’s Class Got to Do with It: American Society in the Twenty-first Century
  7. Class and Campus Life: Managing and Experiencing Inequality at an Elite College
  8. New Working Class Studies

Continue reading “BUNDLE WEEK: Fran Benson’s bundles of ILR books!”

BUNDLE WEEK: Fran Benson’s bundles of ILR books!

BUNDLE WEEK: Roger Haydon’s bundle on nationalism and ethnic studies

Acquisitions editors generally bring in books one by one, looking for the smartest, best, most interesting books we can find.  We see the links among them, eventually, but sometimes an outside body provides that recognition.

Each year the Association for the Study of Nationalities gives an award for the year’s outstanding book on Russia, eastern Europe, or Eurasia “in which substantial attention is paid to questions of ethnicity and/or nationalism.”  Since 2011 Cornell books have won five times and received four honorable mentions.  These nine titles explore nationalism and ethnicity in different ways, different locations.

Continue reading “BUNDLE WEEK: Roger Haydon’s bundle on nationalism and ethnic studies”

BUNDLE WEEK: Roger Haydon’s bundle on nationalism and ethnic studies

A Tank in Prague

Monuments have recently become focal points for debates about history, politics, and social justice. In the United States, protestors have called for the removal of statutes of Confederate leaders. In South Africa, students advocating for the “decolonization of education” have succeeded in having a statute of Cecil Rhodes removed from the University of Cape Town. In Ukraine, a law about communist monuments has led to what Ukrainians dub “Leninopad”—the “Lenin fall”— most of the statutes of the Soviet leader have now been dismantled.

empire of friendsMy new book, Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia, begins and ends with a monument in Prague. The monument was a Soviet tank: it was erected in July 1945 by Soviet and Czechoslovak leaders to honor the Soviet army’s liberation of Prague from German occupation in World War II.

A tank on the streets of a Central European city is the paradigmatic symbol of the Soviet Union’s oppression of its Eastern bloc satellites during the Cold War. A Soviet tank in Prague on a summer’s day remains an especially indelible image of the USSR’s violent efforts to maintain control over its socialist empire in Europe. It calls to mind the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, which crushed the country’s experiment in reform communism, known as the Prague Spring. In this familiar narrative of the superpower’s use of force against its satellite states, the 1945 monument to the Soviet Tank Crews in Prague is the foundation of Soviet hegemony in Czechoslovakia and the rest of Eastern Europe.

Yet long before the tank monument became a quintessential symbol of Soviet hard power in Czechoslovakia and the rest of the Eastern bloc, it was part of an audacious but less well-known experiment in power of a different kind: the attempt by Soviet and Eastern European officials to use transnational “friendship” to create a cohesive “socialist world.” This experiment, which involved cultural diplomacy, interpersonal contacts, and the trade of consumer goods across national borders behind the Iron Curtain, linked citizens of the superpower and its satellites in an “empire of friends” that lasted until the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Empire of Friends tells the story of the rise and fall of this friendship project between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. The book’s central argument is that Soviet power in Czechoslovakia and the other Eastern bloc countries constituted a new type of empire—an empire of friends. I use this term to highlight the paradoxes of the relationship: between high politics and the realm of everyday life, amity and violence, cultural exchange and authoritarianism, and hard and soft power. The Monument to the Soviet Tank Crews in Prague illustrates this paradox. The monument employed a tank—a symbol of military force—to connote Soviet liberation and friendship. Over the course of the following four and a half decades, the tank monument became the most iconic symbol of friendship between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

Following the Soviet invasion in 1968, many Czechoslovaks came to see this symbol of soft power as a painful reminder of Soviet hard power. In the spring of 1991, in the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution, which brought an end to communism in Czechoslovakia, and not long before the collapse of the Soviet Union, a young Czech artist named David Černý undertook an act of political protest art. He painted the tank pink and stuck a giant model of a paper mache middle finger at its center. Protests that followed led the Czechoslovak government to move the offending monument to a military museum, where it remains today.


 

Rachel Applebaum is a historian of the Soviet Union, communist Eastern Europe, and the global Cold War. Her first book, Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia, is available for purchase, here

A Tank in Prague