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UNT Resource magazine >> Faculty Books

  by Nanci Kolsti

 University of North Texas Press

The University of North Texas Press, started in 1987, has established a sound reputation since it published its first books in 1989. Founding director Frances B. Vick says that the press "strives to advance understanding and appreciation of the historical, intellectual, scientific and cultural milieu" through its publications. But Vick's adeptness in finding good, saleable books has kept the UNT Press in the black.
      According to Bob Summer, southern correspondent with Publishers Weekly, "In a relatively short period of time, Fran has brought the press to a level of attainment that is winning national notice, a real feat now due to the book industry's increasing conglomeration and resulting pressures on smaller publishers."
      The UNT Press publishes a wide variety of academic and non-academic authors and is publisher of the Texas Folklore Society publications. Included in the books on its fall 2000 list are The Meyerson Symphony Center: Building a Dream, by music writer and annotator Laurie Shulman; The Best from Helen Corbitt's Kitchens, edited by Patty MacDonald; Voyage to North America, 1844-45: Prince Carl of Solms's Texas Diary of People, Places, and Events edited and translated by Wolfram M. Von-Maszewski; and a book by a UNT author, The Jack Ruby Trial Revisited: The Diary of Jury Foreman Max Causey, edited by John Mark Dempsey, assistant professor of journalism.
      Vick retired as director of the press this year. Ronald Chrisman, former acquisitions editor for the University of Oklahoma Press, was named the new director.
      You can see the full book list and read more about the UNT Press at its web site at www.unt.edu/untpress.


For the Health of the Land: Previously Unpublished Essays and Other Writings
Edited by J. Baird Callicott and Eric T. Freyfogle
Published by Island Press

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) is regarded as one of the most influential conservation writers of all time. In his classic work, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold presented the idea of a "land ethic" a belief that people have a responsibility to treat the soils, waters, plants and animals of the Earth in ways that ensure the well-being of all.
      For the Health of the Land, published on the 50th anniversary of A Sand County Almanac, is a collection of rare and previously unpublished essays by Leopold that builds on his vision of ethical land use. The book develops the important concept of "land health" the capacity for self-renewal in nature and the practical measures landowners can take to sustain it.
      Groups of essays trace Leopold's shift from a forestry career to a career in game management, provide practical advice on wildlife husbandry, and focus on conservation and environmental philosophy.
      J. Baird Callicott is a professor of philosophy and religion studies at the University of North Texas. Eric T. Freyfogle teaches property, environmental and natural resources law at the University of Illinois College of Law, where he is the Max L. Rowe Professor.


Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit
By John Hartigan Jr.
Published by Princeton University Press

Only 22 percent of the population of Detroit is white the smallest percentage of whites in the 150 most populous cities in the United States. Because they are a minority, white Detroiters can rarely assume that they are racially unmarked a privilege usually associated with whiteness. In studying them, however, Hartigan discovered that the whites did not usually grapple with the issue of race by making distinctions between themselves and the black residents. Instead, they talked about class distinctions between themselves and their white neighbors when discussing race.
      Racial Situations focuses on white Detroiters in three different neighborhoods and details such topics as residents' perceptions of the Detroit riots of 1943 and 1967, their reactions to the majority-black Board of Education's decision to close a once predominantly white school, and the conflict that resulted when a school was named for Malcolm X.
      John Hartigan Jr. is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of North Texas.

The Intellectual Traditions of Pre-Colonial Africa
Edited by Constance Hilliard
Published by McGraw-Hill

Dubbed the "Dark Continent" of uncivilized people by European explorers, Africa was instead a land with a rich historical tradition and intellect centuries before it was colonized, says Hilliard. This book contains 92 texts, written by indigenous Africans, that are central to particular cultures. The oldest texts, from Egypt, date to 2500 B.C., and the most recent, from Somalia and Ethiopia, were written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before these nations were completely colonized.
      Hilliard says that European scholars believed all writings found in Africa's cities were the work of immigrants, and she notes that African texts were considered unimportant for years because Europeans sought to civilize African natives by imposing their own culture.
      Every region of Africa is represented in the book through the texts, which include essays on various topics, Egyptian love poetry, wisdom writings and historical accounts of famous events, all taken from societies with oral as well as written traditions.
      Constance Hilliard is an associate professor of history at the University of North Texas.

School Choice and Social Controversy: Politics, Policy, and Law

Edited by Stephen D. Sugarman and Frank R. Kemerer
Published by Brookings Institution Press

This book provides analysis designed to help those on all sides of the school choice debate as well as those charged with designing and implementing school choice programs. Chapters are written by distinguished legal and public policy scholars.
      Part 1 of the book, "Emerging Patterns," focuses on how much choice now exists in both private and public sectors of education and where charter schools and school voucher plans the most controversial forms of school choice fit in the overall pattern.
      Part 2, "Public Policy Flashpoints," discusses the implications of school choice for school finance, how to hold choice schools accountable to parents and the state, and how to increase the supply of choice schools.
      Part 3, "Legal Constraints," includes federal constitutional issues, implications of school choice for racial justice, the role of teacher unions and collective bargaining, and how children with disabilities are likely to fare in school choice programs.
      Frank R. Kemerer is a Regents Professor of teacher education and administration at the University of North Texas and director of UNT's Center for the Study of Education Reform. Stephen D. Sugarman is Agnes Roddy Robb Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

Strike Hard! Anti-Crime Campaigns and Chinese Criminal Justice, 1979-1985
By Harold M. Tanner
Published by Cornell University East Asia Program

During the late 1970s, the Communist government of the People's Republic of China, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, called upon the Chinese people to unite in their struggle to modernize their country. One of the tasks was to reform China's criminal justice system to make it more efficient, more accountable to central authority and better suited to the task of maintaining public order in a changing economic and social environment.
      Taking a historical approach, Strike Hard! draws on a wide variety of openly and internally published laws, legal interpretations, talks, speeches, Communist Party documents and other sources from the 1950s to the 1990s. The book traces the development of the Chinese criminal justice system over the six years from 1979 to 1985 and places the changes in the context of the reform agenda of Deng's China.
      Harold M. Tanner is an associate professor of history at the University of North Texas.


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