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Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing
Bart Eeckhout
University of Missouri Press, 2002
Often considered America’s greatest twentieth-century poet, Wallace Stevens is without a doubt the Anglo-modernist poet whose work has been most scrutinized from a philosophical perspective. Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing both synthesizes and extends the critical understanding of Stevens’s poetry in this respect. Arguing that a concern with the establishment and transgression of limits goes to the heart of this poet’s work, Bart Eeckhout traces both the limits of Stevens’s poetry and the limits of writing as they are explored by that poetry.
            Stevens’s work has been interpreted so variously and contradictorily that critics must first address the question of limits to the poetry’s signifying potential before they can attempt to deepen our appreciation of it. In the first half of this book, the limits of appropriating and contextualizing Stevens’s “The Snow Man,” in particular, are investigated. Eeckhout does not undertake this reading with the negative purpose of disputing earlier interpretations but with the more positive intention of identifying the intrinsic qualities of the poetry that have been responsible for the remarkable amount of critical attention it has received.
            Having identified the major sources of Stevens’s polysemy and of the seeming free-for-all of his critical afterlife, Eeckhout then deals with ten of the poet’s shorter works, including “The Idea of Order at Key West,” and proceeds to analyze some of the important limits of writing explored by the poetry. These limits all revolve around the nexus of perception, thought, and language that constitutes the core dynamic out of which Stevens’s poetry is generated and to which it continually returns.
            Stevens’s work presents one of the most poignant opportunities for letting the reader feel the ever-problematic relationship between specificity and generality that is at the heart of all literary writing. By negotiating between the particularity of poetic detail and the universality of philosophical ideas, Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing seeks to contribute both to the study of Stevens and to the fields of literary theory and philosophy.

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We Are Three Sisters
Self and Family in the Writing of the Brontës
Drew Lamonica
University of Missouri Press, 2003
While biographers have widely acknowledged the importance of family relationships to Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë and to their writing processes, literary critics have yet to give extensive consideration to the family as a subject of the writing itself. In “We Are Three Sisters,” Drew Lamonica focuses on the role of families in the Brontës’ fictions of personal development, exploring the ways in which their writings recognize the family as a defining community for selfhood.
Drawing on extensive primary sources, including works by Sarah Ellis, Sarah Lewis, Ann Richelieu Lamb, Harriet Martineau, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell, Lamonica examines the dialogic relationship between the Brontës’ novels and a mid-Victorian domestic ideology that held the family to be the principal nurturer of subjectivity. Using a sociohistorical framework, “We Are Three Sisters” shows that the Brontës’ novels display a heightened awareness of contemporary female experience and the complex problems of securing a valued sense of selfhood not wholly dependent on family ties.
The opening chapters discuss the mid-Victorian “culture of the family,” in which the Brontës emerged as voices exploring the adequacy of the family as the site for personal, and particularly female, development. These chapters also introduce the Brontës’ early collaborative writings, showing that the sisters’ shared interest in the family’s formative role arose from their own experience as a family of authors. Lamonica also examines the seldom-recognized influences of Patrick and Branwell Brontë on the development of the sisters’ writing.
        Of the numerous studies on the Brontës, comparatively few consider all seven novels, and no previous study has undertaken to examine the Brontës’ writing in the context of mid-Victorian ideas regarding the family—its relationships, roles, and responsibilities. Lamonica explores in detail the various constructions of family in the sisters’ novels, concluding that the Brontës were attuned to complexities; they were not polemical writers with fixed feminist agendas.
The Brontës disputed the promotion of the family as the exclusive site for female development, morality, and fulfillment, without ever explicitly denying the possibility of domestic contentment. In doing so, the Brontës continue to challenge our readings and our understanding of them as mid-Victorian women. “We Are Three Sisters” is an important addition to the study of these fascinating women and their novels.

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"We Met in Paris"
Grace Frick and Her Life with Marguerite Yourcenar
Joan E. Howard
University of Missouri Press, 2020
Grace Frick introduced English-language readers all over the world to the distinguished French author Marguerite Yourcenar with her award-winning translation of Yourcenar’s novel Memoirs of Hadrian in 1954. European biographies of Yourcenar have often disparaged Frick and her relationship with Yourcenar, however. This work shows Frick as a person of substance in her own right, and paints a portrait of both women that is at once intimate and scrupulously documented. It contains a great deal of new information that will disrupt long-held beliefs about Yourcenar and may even shock some of her scholars and fans.

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Weapons for Victory
The Hiroshima Decision Fifty Years Later
Robert James Maddox
University of Missouri Press, 2004

The highly acclaimed Weapons for Victory originally appeared in 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Now, in this paperback edition, Robert James Maddox provides a new introduction about the ongoing controversy related to the decision to bomb Hiroshima.


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The Weekly War
Newsmagazines and Vietnam
James Landers
University of Missouri Press, 2004
In The Weekly War, James Landers provides the first in-depth investigation of how the three major newsmagazines—Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report—covered the Vietnam War and the impact their coverage had on the American public, presidents, and policymakers. From March 1965 through January 1973 these magazines reached nearly one-third of adult Americans—second only to news programs on network television. Despite the popular impression that this was primarily a “television war,” the newsmagazines played a prominent role in informing the public about warfare and war policy.
While television reporting provided a here-and-now version of events, these magazines published articles that combined on-the-scene coverage with analysis and commentary. Because these publications worked on a more leisurely weekly deadline as opposed to the daily deadlines of television or newspapers, they were able to provide distinct perspectives on the week’s events, along with factual material. The writing was typically more vivid and detailed than that of newspapers, and the occasional use of color photographs contributed to the impact of the stories.
Each magazine had its own niche and distinct editorial style: Newsweek provided a mainstream liberal perspective, while Time took a more conservative viewpoint and U.S. News & World Report had an ultraconservative outlook. The editors of each magazine aimed to reach like-minded readers, knowing full well that a reader who disliked one magazine could simply switch to another. Landers demonstrates how public-opinion shifts during the war forced the newsmagazines, especially Time, to change too.
This book reflects a thorough examination of roughly nine hundred articles on the Vietnam War published by the three major newsmagazines. Landers also gathered documents from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Richard M. Nixon Presidential Materials Project to reveal the attention paid to the newsmagazines by presidents and policymakers and their attempts to influence or manipulate coverage.
In addition to making a major contribution to the history of print journalism, The Weekly War complements scholarship on television news coverage of the Vietnam War. This volume will appeal to students and teachers of history and journalism, as well as the general reader interested in a unique view of the Vietnam War.

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What Good Is Journalism?
How Reporters and Editors Are Saving America's Way of Life
George Kennedy and Daryl Moen
University of Missouri Press, 2007

To go by today’s critics of the news media—who have created a virtual cottage industry—American journalism has reached a nadir. Yet with all its well-documented faults, journalism is vital to the health of our democracy, the glue of information that holds this complex nation together. This book shows the most important roles that journalism plays in the world’s oldest democracy. Two seasoned educators and practitioners of journalism have assembled a team of writers who look beyond the critics to show that there is much to be praised about the state of American journalism today.

            Journalism tells us most of what we know about the world beyond our own experience by going where its audience cannot or will not. It keeps watch on the government and other powerful institutions, exposes wrongdoing and injustice, and shares the endless fascinations of everyday life. Through stories of real people, this book forcefully argues that American journalism is better than its critics admit and a force for good in the lives of both individuals and the nation. Like the exemplary journalism it describes, it offers dozens of instances that show how good journalistic practices enrich the daily lives of citizens and enable them to play their own roles in the democracy.

            These essays offer a multifaceted view of the press, tracing the development of free expression through American history and showing how the principles of journalism that we take for granted are playing a revolutionary role in emerging democracies. They report the results of a unique national survey—undertaken for this book—revealing how Americans really view and use the press, and cite the successes of good reporting, from hometown newspapers to NPR. They show how investigative journalism and computer-assisted reporting unearth important truths and even create new knowledge and suggest how citizens can demand the good journalism they need.

            What good is journalism? This book spells out the answer through a conversation about journalism and democracy that offers both an antidote to the recent storm of ideologically based criticism of “liberal media” and a demonstration of the true worth of an institution essential to the protection of freedom. It provides today’s readers—and tomorrow’s journalists—a fresh perspective on the press to remind us where we would be without it.


front cover of What Is History? And Other Late Unpublished Writings (CW28)
What Is History? And Other Late Unpublished Writings (CW28)
Eric Voegelin & Edited & Intro by Thomas A. Hollweck and Paul Caringella
University of Missouri Press

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What the River Carries
Encounters with the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte
Lisa Knopp
University of Missouri Press, 2012
In this informed and lyrical collection of interwoven essays, Lisa Knopp explores the physical and cultural geography of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte, rivers she has come to understand and cherish. At the same time, she contemplates how people experience landscape, identifying three primary roles of environmental perception: the insider, the outsider, and the outsider seeking to become an insider. Viewing the waterways through these approaches, she searches for knowledge and meaning.

Because Knopp was born and raised just a few blocks away, she considers the Mississippi from the perspective of a native resident, a “dweller in the land.” She revisits places she has long known:  Nauvoo, Illinois, the site of two nineteenth-century utopias, one Mormon, one Icarian; Muscatine, Iowa, once the world’s largest manufacturer of pearl (mussel shell) buttons; and the mysterious prehistoric bird- and bear-shaped effigy mounds of northeastern Iowa. On a downriver trip between the Twin Cities and St. Louis, she meditates on what can be found in Mississippi river water—state lines, dissolved oxygen, smallmouth bass, corpses, family history, wrecked steamboats, mayfly nymphs, toxic perfluorinated chemicals, philosophies.

Knopp first encountered the Missouri as a tourist and became acquainted with it through literary and historical documents, as well as stories told by longtime residents. Her journey includes stops at Fort Bellefontaine, where Lewis and Clark first slept on their sojourn to the Pacific; Little Dixie, Missouri’s slaveholding, hemp-growing region, as revealed through the life of Jesse James’s mother; Fort Randall Dam and Lake Francis Case, the construction of which destroyed White Swan on the Yankton Sioux Reservation; and places that produced unique musical responses to the river, including Native American courting flutes, indie rock, Missouri River valley fiddling, Prohibition-era jazz jam sessions, and German folk music.

Knopp’s relationship with the Platte is marked by intentionality: she settled nearby and chose to develop deep and lasting connections over twenty years’ residence. On this adventure, she ponders the half-million sandhill cranes that pass through Nebraska each spring, the ancient varieties of Pawnee corn growing at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, a never-broken tract of tallgrass prairie, the sugar beet industry, and the changes in the river brought about by the demands of irrigation.
In the final essay, Knopp undertakes the science of river meanders, consecutive loops of water moving in opposite directions, which form around obstacles but also develop in the absence of them. What initiates the turning that results in a meander remains a mystery. Such is the subtle and interior process of knowing and loving a place. What the River Carries asks readers to consider their own relationships with landscape and how one can most meaningfully and responsibly dwell on the earth’s surface.

Winner of the 2013 Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction

Honorable Mention for the Association for Literature and the Environment's 2013 Environmental Creative Nonfiction Award

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What Wars Leave Behind
The Faceless and the Forgotten
J. Malcolm Garcia
University of Missouri Press, 2014
They bear labels instead of names—noncombatant, unintended victim, collateral damage. Theirs are the blurred faces and forms seen in news footage shot from a moving vehicle. And when soldiers, media, and profiteers move on to the next conflict, they stay behind to cope amid the wreckage. They have stories to tell to anyone who will pause long enough to hear them.
In What Wars Leave Behind, J. Malcolm Garcia reveals the people and pain behind the statistics. He writes about impoverished families scraping by in Cairo’s city of the dead, ordinary Syrians pretending all is well as shells explode around them, and others caught in conflicts that rage long after the cameramen have packed up and gone away.
Garcia describes his travels in some of the world’s hotspots in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In a series of personal travel essays that read like short stories, he exposes the endless messiness of war and the failings of good intentions, and he traces their impact on the lives of natives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Kosovo, Chad, and Syria. He discovers amazing resilience among people who must struggle just to survive each day.
Garcia gives readers the sort of gritty detail learned from immersing himself in other cultures. He eats the food, drinks the tea, and endures the oppressive heat. These are the stories of how a middle-class guy from the Midwest with a social work degree learned to experience and embrace the cultures of Third World countries in conflict—and lived to tell the tale.

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Where Did the Party Go?
William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey, and the Jeffersonian Legacy
Jeff Taylor
University of Missouri Press, 2006
It doesn’t take a pundit to recognize that the Democratic Party has changed. With frustrating losses in the national elections of 2000 and 2004 and the erosion of its traditional base, the party of Jefferson and Jackson has become something neither would recognize.
In this intriguing book, Jeff Taylor looks beyond the shortcomings of individual candidates to focus on the party’s real problem: its philosophical underpinnings have changed in ways that turn off many Americans. Rank-and-file party members may still hold to traditional views, but Taylor argues that those who finance, manage, and represent the party at the national level have become nothing less than Hamiltonian elitists—a stance that flies in the face of the party’s bedrock Jeffersonian principles.
Where Did the Party Go? is a prodigious work of scholarship that converts extensive research into an accessible book. Taylor offers up a unique twelve-point model of Jefferson’s thought—as relevant to our time as to his—and uses it to appraise competing views of liberalism in the party during two key eras. Bypassing the well-worn assessments of high-profile Democratic presidents, he shows instead how liberalism from 1885 to 1925 was distinctly Jeffersonian as exemplified by the populism of William Jennings Bryan, while from 1938 to 1978 it became largely elitist under national leaders such as Hubert Humphrey who embraced a centralized state and economy, as well as imperial intervention abroad.
In the first book to look closely at the ideologies of these two midwestern liberals, Taylor chronicles Bryan’s battles with the conservative wing of the party—putting today’s conflicts in sharp historical perspective—and then tells how Humphrey followed those who rejected Jeffersonian principles. By demonstrating how Jefferson’s legacy has gradually weakened, Taylor clearly shows why the party has lost its place in Middle America and how its transformation has led to widespread confusion. His provocative look at the post-Humphrey era considers why so many of today’s voters on both the Left and the Right agree on issues such as economic policy, foreign relations, and political reform—united against elitists of the Center while rarely recognizing their common kinship in Jeffersonian ideals.
If party leaders have wondered where their traditional supporters have gone, they might well consider that those very voters have asked what became of the party they once knew. Taylor’s book forces many to question where the party of Jefferson has gone . . . and whether it can ever come back.

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Where No Flag Flies
Donald Davidson and the Southern Resistance
Mark Royden Winchell
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Donald Davidson (1893-1968) may well be the most unjustifiably neglected figure in twentieth-century southern literature. One of the most important poets of the Fugitive movement, he also produced a substantial body of literary criticism, the libretto for an American folk opera, a widely used composition textbook, and the recently discovered novel The Big Ballad Jamboree. As a social and political activist, Davidson had significant impact on conservative thought in this century, imfluencing important scholars from Cleanth Brooks to M. E. Bradford.

Despite these accomplishments, Donald Davidson has received little critical attention from either the literary or the southern scholarly community. Where No Flag Flies is Mark Royden Winchell's redress of this critical disservice. A comprehensive intellectual biography of Davidson, this seminal work offers a complete narrative of Davidson's life with all of its triumphs and losses, frustrations and fulfillments.

Winchell provides the reader with more than a simple study of a man and his achievements; he paints a complete portrait of the times in which Davidson published, from the 1930s to the early 1960s. Davidson was more directly involved in political and social activities than most writers of his generation, and Winchell provides the context, both literary and historical, in which Davidson's opinions and works developed. At the same time, Winchell offers detailed evaluations of Davidson's poetry, fiction, historical writings, and essays.

Drawing upon a wealth of previously unpublished archival material, including Davidson's letters and diary, Where No Flag Flies provides unique access to one of the most original minds of the twentieth-century South. Donald Davidson may not have achieved the recognition he deserved, but this remarkable biography finally makes it possible for a considerable literary audience to discover his true achievement.


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Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog
On Writers and Writing
Louis D. Rubin, Jr.
University of Missouri Press, 2005
In Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog, award-winning author Louis D. Rubin, Jr., discusses writing and writers based on his own experience as a writer, editor, teacher, and publisher. Only ten years old when he wrote his first article for publication and eighty-one when he completed the preface to this book, Rubin skillfully incorporates more than seventy years of knowledge and experience into this comprehensive and highly readable work.
The title essay, which involves a railroad crossing in Mississippi, a painting, a novel by Eudora Welty, and a comment on language and image by Walker Percy, is an effort by Rubin to come to grips with a problem that has plagued him for years: what is “Southern” about Southern literature, and how does that Southernness figure in the literary imagination of its practitioners? Most of his essays deal with various problems and possibilities characterizing the American literary scene today: the literary uses of memory, writer’s block, the nature of place in fiction, the teaching of writers and the presence of writers on campuses, the condition of poetry today, sports writing, authorial intent in fiction, how nonfiction bolsters fiction, the parlous state of literary publishing, and other matters of cultural importance.
Among the authors whose works figure in the book are Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Thomas Wolfe, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Flannery O’Connor, Stendhal, Mark Twain, Henry James, A. J. Liebling, Shelby Foote, William Wordsworth, Herman Melville, and Ernest Hemingway. The book concludes with a look at today’s literary situation, a diagnosis of how it got where it is, and some recommendations for rescuing it, inspired in part by the author’s failed attempt to buck the trend by founding Algonquin Books. Scholars and students of American literature, especially Southern literature, are sure to find much of value in these informative and inspirational essays from a dedicated and distinguished student of Southern letters.

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Wilderness Journey
The Life of William Clark
William E. Foley
University of Missouri Press, 2005
Strange as it may seem today, William Clark—best known as the American explorer who joined Meriwether Lewis in leading an overland expedition to the Pacific—has many more claims to fame than his legendary Voyage of Discovery, dramatic and daring though that venture may have been. Although studies have been published on virtually every aspect of the Lewis and Clark journey, Wilderness Journey is the first comprehensive account of Clark’s lengthy and multifaceted life.
Following Lewis and Clark’s great odyssey, Clark’s service as a soldier, Indian diplomat, and government official placed him at center stage in the national quest to possess and occupy North America’s vast western hinterland and prefigured U.S. policies in the region. In his personal life, Clark had to overcome challenges no less daunting than those he faced in the public arena. Foley pays careful attention to the family and business dimensions of Clark’s private world, adding richness to this well-rounded and revealing portrait of the man and his courageous life.

Coinciding with the bicentennial in 2004 of the departure of Lewis and Clark’s famed Corps of Discovery, Wilderness Journey fills a major gap in scholarship. Intended for the general reader, as well as for specialists in the field, this fascinating book provides a well-balanced and thorough account of one of America’s most significant frontiersmen.


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William J. Spillman and the Birth of Agricultural Economics
Laurie Winn Carlson
University of Missouri Press, 2005
William J. Spillman (1863–1931), considered the founder of agricultural economics, was a scientist and popular agricultural educator for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As the author of more than three hundred articles and four books, Spillman left a lasting mark on American agriculture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with his pioneering solutions for the problems of overproduction and low prices.
Spillman grew up in Lawrence County, Missouri, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri in Columbia. In this biography, Laurie Winn Carlson looks at Spillman’s career as he moved from Missouri to Washington, D.C., where his concepts shaped what became the agricultural New Deal and, eventually, the current farm allotment programs. By placing Spillman’s story within the larger context of American agricultural history, Carlson takes readers inside the USDA during the years our nation’s agricultural policy took shape. She studies the development of the field of genetics, the conflicts regarding agricultural education and the creation of the Cooperative Extension Service, the overproduction crisis after World War I and Spillman’s ideas for allotment, and the commercial fertilizer industry and the Law of Diminishing Returns. She also looks at efforts to restrict research, the censorship of publications directed toward farmers, and personal rivalries within the USDA.
This examination of agriculture through Spillman’s eyes reveals that industrialized agriculture was not inevitable but a carefully crafted ideology that farmers were pushed to embrace. Although highly contested by farmers as well as employees within the USDA, industry, government, politics, and technology, industrialized agriculture moved people off the land, replacing them with large-scale mechanized production.
An iconoclast within the USDA bureaucracy, Spillman was a “farm evangelist,” taking his message of diversified farming across the country. He believed that farmers should integrate livestock and rotate crops, rather than continue the monoculture production that was evolving due to the increasing industrialization of farming. Those issues, as well as the Law of Diminishing Returns, sustainability, and popular education, all matters to which Spillman devoted his career, are more important today than ever.

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Winston Churchill
Resolution, Defiance, Magnanimity, Good Will
Edited by R. Crosby Kemper III
University of Missouri Press, 1995

In 1946 Winston Churchill shook the world with his famous "Iron Curtain" speech on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, now the site of the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library. Inscribed on the pediment of his statue at the memorial is the epigraph from Churchill's History of the Second World War:

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: DefianceIn Victory: MagnanimityIn Peace: Good Will

No other words provide so poignant a summary of the principles that sustained Churchill's life's work.

Under the auspices of the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library, the Crosby Kemper Lectureship was established in 1979 by the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri. Lectures have been delivered annually, or biennially, at the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library on the campus of Westminster College by authorities on British history and on Sir Winston Churchill. The essays included in this volume constitute the first dozen Crosby Kemper lectures, most by individuals who were personally acquainted with Churchill and all by individuals who had studied his life and his work.

Lord Robert Blake discusses Churchill's ambivalence toward the Conservative party during his political career. Philip S. Ziegler, Earl Mountbatten's biographer, examines whether Britain should have granted independence to India in 1947, taking as his departure Churchill's unequivocal belief that Britain's imperial rule there was a sacred trust not to be betrayed. Martin Gilbert, Churchill's biographer, carefully examines the origins of the Cold War and the famous Iron Curtain speech. Sir Michael Howard, Lovett Professor and Naval Historian at Yale University, further examines Churchill's role during the Cold War and the formulation of his "two-track" strategy that pushed for military strength while persistently striving for peace with the Soviets. Sir John Colville, Churchill's private secretary, ponders the extent to which great men are made by circumstances, citing Churchill's peccadilloes and strengths. Churchill's daughter Mary Soames and granddaughter, the sculptor Edwina Sandys, also give moving portraits of a much-loved family man.

All bring this illustrious leader to life in the process of interpreting his political actions, reviewing his historical contributions, and sharing anecdotes about his personal life.


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The Wit of Seventeenth-Century Poetry
Edited by Claude J. Summers & Ted-Larry Pebworth
University of Missouri Press, 1994

As the twelve original essays collected in this volume demonstrate, to study the wit of seventeenth-century poetry is necessarily to address concerns at the very heart of the period's shifting literary culture. It is a topic that raises persistent questions of thematics and authorial intent, even as it interrogates a wide spectrum of cultural practices. These essays by some of the most renowned scholars in seventeenth-century studies illuminate important authors and engage issues of politics and religion, of secular and sacred love, of literary theory and poetic technique, of gender relations and historical consciousness, of literary history and social change, as well as larger concerns of literary production and smaller ones of local effects. Collectively, they illustrate the vitality of the topic, both in its own right and as a means of understanding the complexity and range of seventeenth-century English poetry.


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Women, America, and Movement
Narratives of Relocation
Edited & Intro by Susan L. Roberson
University of Missouri Press, 1998

Since the colonial days, American women have traveled, migrated, and relocated, always faced with the challenge of reconstructing their homes for themselves and their families. Women, America, and Movement offers a journey through largely unexplored territory—the experiences of migrating American women. These narratives, both real and imagined, represent a range of personal and critical perspectives; some of the women describe their travels as expansive and freeing, while others relate the dreadful costs and sacrifices of relocating.

Despite the range of essays featured in this study, the writings all coalesce around the issues of politics, poetry, and self- identity described by Adrienne Rich as the elements of the "politics of location," treated here as the politics of relocation. The narratives featured in this book explore the impact of race, class, and sexual economics on migratory women, their self-identity, and their roles in family and social life. These issues demonstrate that in addition to geographic place, ideology is itself a space to be traversed.

By examining the writings of such women as Louise Erdrich, Zora Neale Hurston, and Gertrude Stein, the essayists included in this volume offer a variety of experiences. The book confronts such issues as racist politicking against Native Americans, African Americans, and Asian immigrants; sexist attitudes that limit women to the roles of wife, mother, and sexual object; and exploitation of migrants from Appalachia and of women newly arrived in America.

These essays also delve into the writings themselves by looking at what happens to narrative structure as authors or their characters cross geographic boundaries. The reader sees how women writers negotiate relocation in their texts and how the written word becomes a place where one finds oneself.


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Women Escaping Violence
Empowerment through Narrative
Elaine J. Lawless
University of Missouri Press, 2001

The statistics are alarming. Some say that once every nine minutes a woman in the United States is beaten by her spouse or partner. Others claim that once every four minutes a woman in the world is beaten by her spouse or partner. More women go to emergency rooms in the United States for injuries sustained at the hands of their spouses and partners than for all other injuries combined.

Shelters for battered women are filled beyond capacity every single day of the year. Despite the overwhelming evidence that violence in our homes is a daily reality, most of us are not willing to acknowledge this private violence or talk about it openly. Women Escaping Violence brings women's stories to the attention of the academy as well as the reading public. While we may be unwilling or unable to talk about the issue of battered women, many of us are ready to read what women have to say about their endangered lives.

Considerable scholarship is emerging in the area of domestic violence, including many self-help books about how to identify and escape abuse. Women Escaping Violence offers the unique view of battered women's stories told in their own words, as well as a feminist analysis of how these women use the power of narrative to transform their sense of self and regain a place within the larger society.

Lawless shares with the reader the heart-wrenching experiences of battered women who have escaped violence by fleeing to shelters with little more than a few items hastily shoved into a plastic bag, and often with small children in tow. The book includes women's stories as they are told and retold within the shelter, in the presence of other battered women and of caregivers. It analyzes the uses made of these narratives by those seeking to counsel battered women as well as by the women themselves.


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Women in Missouri History
In Search of Power and Influence
Edited by LeeAnn Whites, Mary C. Neth, & Gary R. Kremer
University of Missouri Press, 2004

Women in Missouri History is an exceptional collection of essays surveying the history of women in the state of Missouri from the period of colonial settlement through the mid-twentieth century. The women featured in these essays come from various ethnic, economic, and racial groups, from both urban and rural areas, and from all over the state. The authors effectively tell these women’s stories through biographies and through techniques of social history, allowing the reader to learn not only about the women’s lives individually, but also about how groups of “ordinary” women shaped the history of the state.

The essays in this collection address questions that are at the center of current developments in the field of women’s history but are written in a manner that makes them accessible to general readers. Providing an excellent general overview of the history of women in Missouri, this collection makes a valuable contribution to a better understanding of the state’s past.


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Women Shaping the South
Creating and Confronting Change
Edited by Angela Boswell & Judith N. McArthur
University of Missouri Press, 2006
Events in southern history have often been recounted from the top down, relying on political and economic models to explain historical changes. Thus, the key players have usually been men who dominated politics, shaped economic development, and led armies. However, history is also made from the bottom up by those who confront change and shape it through their actions. In this collection of essays, the contributors reexamine major transformative events of southern history from the late eighteenth century through the civil rights era.

Shifting the focus to the local level, the authors demonstrate how women participated in creating change, even as they confronted conditions over which they had little power. In addition to exploring southern women’s lives, this collection shows how women shaped southern history. Using new and extensive primary research, each of these authors presents a new perspective on the important roles that women of different races and classes have played in transforming the South at some of its most crucial turning points, including post-Revolution, Civil War, Jim Crow era, World War I, and the civil rights movement.

Expanded from papers presented at the Sixth Southern Conference on Women’s History in Athens, Georgia, these essays reflect the depth and breadth of current vibrant research in southern women’s history and contribute exciting and important new scholarship to the field. Just as significant, the volume highlights the trends in southern women’s historical scholarship and points toward new directions for future scholars.

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Words Matter
Writing to Make a Difference
Edited by Amanda Dahling and Mary Kay Blakely
University of Missouri Press, 2016

Newspapers and magazines have been steadily shrinking, and more and more former subscribers have gone to digital and internet sources for the news. Yet it has become increasingly clear that “short takes” don’t satisfy many readers, who still long for nuanced, long form journalism. By providing examples of classic magazine articles by professional writers, all of whom are graduates of the Missouri School of Journalism, this book fulfills the need for more sophisticated, thought-provoking essays that will resonate with both the general reader and students.

The book is divided into three broad categories: profiles, first person journalism, and personal memoirs, and includes the original articles as well as a “postscript” by the writers in which they discuss what they’ve learned about writing, journalism, and the business of getting published. Useful for students and instructors in writing programs, the book also appeals to writers interested in both the art and the craft of successful writing.


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Wordsworth in His Major Lyrics
The Art and Psychology of Self-Representation
Leon Waldoff
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Wordsworth in His Major Lyrics explores the identity, role, and subjectivity of the speaker in Wordsworth's finest and best-known longer lyrics—"Tintern Abbey," "Resolution and Independence," "Ode: Intimations of Immortality," and "Elegiac Stanzas." Because Wordsworth is the most autobiographical poet of the Romantic period, and perhaps in the English language, readers naturally take the speaker to be the poet himself or, as Wordsworth says in his prefaces and essays, "the poet in his own person."

Some readers allow for a fictional dimension in the characterization of the speaker and refer to him as a persona; others treat him as a biographical self, defined in literary, political, historical, or cultural terms. Leon Waldoff examines the critical issues posed by these different understandings of the speaker's identity and argues for a conception of Wordsworth's lyrical "I" that deals with the dramatic and psychological complexities of the speaker's act of self-representation.

Taking concepts from Freud and Winnicott, this book presents a psychoanalytic model for defining the speaker and conceptualizing his subjectivity. Waldoff suggests that the lyrical "I" in each poem is a transitional self of the poet. The poem offers, in the suspended moment and cultural space of lyrical form, a self-dramatization in which the speaker attempts to act out, in the sense of both performing and attempting to achieve, a reconstitution and transformation of the self.

In a series of close readings that provide formalistic and psychological analysis, the book shows that the major lyrics contain compelling evidence that Wordsworth devoted much of his poetic art to each speaker's act of self-dramatization. The various strategies that each speaker employs and the self- dramatizing character of his utterance are theorized and assimilated into an understanding of the subjectivity he represents.

Waldoff concludes that Wordsworth's lyrical "I" requires a conception of subjectivity that gives greater recognition to its individual, psychological dimensions and to the art of self-representation in each poem than recent Wordsworth criticism has provided. This important new work will be appreciated by anyone interested in Wordsworth or in Romantic poetry.


front cover of Work, Family, and Faith
Work, Family, and Faith
Rural Southern Women in the Twentieth Century
Edited & Intro by Melissa Walker & Rebecca Sharpless
University of Missouri Press, 2006
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the majority of rural southerners were dependent on agriculture and eked out a living as tenants on land owned by someone else. Women took on multiple duties, from child rearing to labor in the fields, to help meet their own goals of independence, well-being, and family persistence on the land. Over the course of the century, however, women found their lives and their work transformed. Government intervention, the Great Depression, and industrial job opportunities created by the two world wars and the development of Sun Belt industries lured or pushed tens of thousands of black and white rural southerners off the land.

As the American South changed around them, becoming more urban and industrialized, some women struggled to help their families survive in the increasingly large-scale and commercial agricultural economy, while other women eagerly seized opportunities to engage in rural reform, get better educations, and work at off-farm jobs. Whether they moved to the cities or stayed on the farms, most of these women continued to struggle against poverty and relied on tradition and inner strength to get by.

This well-researched, sharply focused, and keenly insightful collection of essays takes readers across the twentieth-century South, from rural roadside stands to tobacco fields to Sloss-Sheffield Steel’s “Sloss Quarters” in Birmingham. Covering the full scope of southern rural women’s varied lives, this book will be of particular value to anyone interested in sociology, women’s studies, or southern history.

front cover of Working the Mississippi
Working the Mississippi
Two Centuries of Life on the River
Bonnie Stepenoff
University of Missouri Press, 2015

The Mississippi River occupies a sacred place in American culture and mythology. Often called The Father of Rivers, it winds through American life in equal measure as a symbol and as a topographic feature. To the people who know it best, the river is life and a livelihood. River boatmen working the wide Mississippi are never far from land. Even in the dark, they can smell plants and animals and hear people on the banks and wharves.

Bonnie Stepenoff takes readers on a cruise through history, showing how workers from St. Louis to Memphis changed the river and were in turn changed by it. Each chapter of this fast-moving narrative focuses on representative workers: captains and pilots, gamblers and musicians, cooks and craftsmen. Readers will find workers who are themselves part of the country’s mythology from Mark Twain and anti-slavery crusader William Wells Brown to musicians Fate Marable and Louis Armstrong.


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Working with Truman
A Personal Memoir of the White House Years
Ken Hechler
University of Missouri Press, 1996

Available for the first time in paperback is the critically acclaimed Working with Truman, a warm and lighthearted memoir of what it was like to work behind the scenes in the White House during Truman's term as president. Focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of those who worked closely with Truman and on the Truman not seen by the public, Hechler provides insight into one of our greatest presidents.


front cover of The World, the Flesh, and the Devil
The World, the Flesh, and the Devil
A History of Colonial St. Louis
Patricia Cleary
University of Missouri Press, 2018
As Anglo-American colonists along the Atlantic seaboard began to protest British rule in the 1760s, a new settlement was emerging many miles west. St. Louis, founded simply as a French trading post, was expanding into a diverse global village. Few communities in eighteenth-century North America had such a varied population: indigenous Americans, French traders and farmers, African and Indian slaves, British officials, and immigrant explorers interacted there under the weak guidance of the Spanish governors. As the city’s significance as a hub of commerce grew, its populace became increasingly unpredictable, feuding over matters large and small and succumbing too often to the temptations of “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” But British leaders and American Revolutionaries still sought to acquire the area, linking St. Louis to the era’s international political and economic developments and placing this young community at the crossroads of empire.
With its colonial period too often glossed over in histories of both early America and the city itself, St. Louis merits a new treatment. The first modern book devoted exclusively to the history of colonial St. Louis, The World, the Flesh, and the Devil illuminates how its people loved, fought, worshipped, and traded. Covering the years from the settlement’s 1764 founding to its 1804 absorption into the young United States, this study reflects on the experiences of the village’s many inhabitants.
The World, the Flesh, and the Devil recounts important, neglected episodes in the early history of St. Louis in a narrative drawn from original documentary records. Chapters detail the official censure of the illicit union at the heart of St. Louis’s founding family, the 1780 battle that nearly destroyed the village, Spanish efforts to manage commercial relations between Indian peoples and French traders, and the ways colonial St. Louisans tested authority and thwarted traditional norms. Patricia Cleary argues that St. Louis residents possessed a remarkable willingness to adapt and innovate, which enabled them to survive the many challenges they faced.
The interior regions of the U.S. have been largely relegated to the margins of colonial American history, even though their early times were just as dynamic and significant as those that occurred back east. The World, the Flesh, and the Devil is an inclusive, wide-ranging, and overdue account of the Gateway city’s earliest years, and this engaging book contributes to a comprehensive national history by revealing the untold stories of Upper Louisiana’s capital.

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Worldview and Mind
Religious Thought and Psychological Development
Eugene Webb
University of Missouri Press, 2009
When worldviews clash, the world reverberates. Now a distinguished scholar who has written widely on thinkers ranging from Samuel Beckett to Eric Voegelin inquires into the sources of religious conflict—and into ways of being religious that might diminish that conflict.
Worldview and Mind covers a wide range of thinkers and movements to explore the relation between religion and modernity in all its complexity. Eugene Webb invokes a number of topical issues, including religious terrorism, as he unfolds the phenomenon of religion in all its complications, from the difference between faith and belief to the diversities among—and within—religions.
Building on Karl Jaspers’s psychology of worldviews and Jean Piaget’s developmental psychology, Webb looks at a broad spectrum of religions—especially the history of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in their various forms—to explore the subjective factors that sometimes render religions conflictual and aggressive and to consider conditions that might foster more helpful and reconciling forms of religiousness. He explores what psychological analysis reveals about the relationship between stages of psychological development and ways of being religious—ways that range from closed-minded literalism to open-minded tolerance. He also identifies unconscious and developmental obstacles to religious maturity and depicts the mature person as one who participates in the mystery of self-transcending love.
Webb argues that authentic religion need not succumb to dogmatism, or support fanaticism, or be consigned to the stages of immature culture. Responding to critics of religion, from Sigmund Freud to Daniel Dennett, he demonstrates that religious traditions have more spiritual depth than these critics have granted and a greater potential for development than they believe, along lines they might even favor. His insightful book proposes that, if religious people can step back from their traditions and consider them as partial ways of relating to transcendent ultimacy, the world’s religions might manage to develop a way of living together with mutual appreciation and respect.

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Writers of Conviction
The Personal Politics of Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst
Julia C. Ehrhardt
University of Missouri Press, 2004
In Writers of Conviction, Julia C. Ehrhardt examines the literary careers of four American writers who have not received the critical attention they deserve: Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst. For too long, popular twentieth-century female authors have been ignored by scholars—mainly because their stories were considered to lack serious political content or social commentary—despite their popularity with the general public.
Writers of Conviction reintroduces these authors to reveal a fascinating and unexplored aspect of white, middle-class, female authorship: the provocative links between each writer’s personal politics and her literary aspirations. Ehrhardt uses this innovative critical perspective to show that each woman became a writer in order to express her political beliefs to the largest possible audience. Combining feminist literary theory, women’s history, and biographical criticism, each chapter presents a compelling study of a woman’s individual journey to political consciousness and the writings that resulted from it.
Rather than discussing familiar issues—such as woman suffrage and equal rights—that usually dominate our understanding of women’s political activity in the early twentieth century as it surfaced in writings by canonical woman authors, Ehrhardt introduces readers to four lesser-known women and the political agendas they endorsed in both published and unpublished writings. In-depth analyses are presented on Gale’s support of the municipal-housekeeping movement, Fisher’s anxieties about the rise of New England tourism, Lane’s criticisms of the New Deal, and Herbst’s denunciation of the risks involved in illegal abortion. Ehrhardt offers a refreshing new perspective on Herbst’s fiction by putting sexuality rather than class at the center of the analysis.
Writers of Conviction breaks new ground byalso assessing the current critical conception of legitimate political agendas. By highlighting not only the content of their writings but also the immense popularity these women enjoyed, Ehrhardt demonstrates that an investigation of personal politics forces critics to reconsider assumptions about literary movements and provides a provocative model for twenty-first-century feminist literary criticism.

front cover of Writing BLUE HIGHWAYS
The Story of How a Book Happened
William Least Heat-Moon
University of Missouri Press, 2014

Winner, Distinguished Literary Achievement, Missouri Humanities Council, 2015

The story behind the writing of the best-selling Blue Highways is as fascinating as the epic trip itself. More than thirty years after his 14,000-mile, 38-state journey, William Least Heat-Moon reflects on the four years he spent capturing the lessons of the road trip on paper—the stops and starts in his composition process, the numerous drafts and painstaking revisions, the depressing string of rejections by publishers, the strains on his personal relationships, and many other aspects of the toil that went into writing his first book. Along the way, he traces the hard lessons learned and offers guidance to aspiring and experienced writers alike. Far from being a technical manual, Writing Blue Highways: The Story of How a Book Happenedis an adventure story of its own, a journey of “exploration into the myriad routes of heart and mind that led to the making of a book from the first sorry and now vanished paragraph to the last words that came not from a graphite pencil but from a letterpress in Tennessee.”

Readers will not find a collection of abstract formulations and rules for writing; rather, this book gracefully incorporates examples from Heat-Moon’s own experience. As he explains, “This story might be termed an inadvertent autobiography written not by the traveler who took Ghost Dancing in 1978 over the byroads of America but by a man only listening to him. That blue-roadman hasn’t been seen in more than a third of a century, and over the last many weeks as I sketched in these pages, I’ve regretted his inevitable departure.” Filtered as the struggles of the “blue-roadman” are through the awareness of someone more than thirty years older with a half dozen subsequent books to his credit, the story of how his first book “happened” is all the more resonant for readers who may not themselves be writers but who are interested in the tricky balance of intuitive creation and self-discipline required for any artistic endeavor.


front cover of Writing the Pioneer Woman
Writing the Pioneer Woman
Janet Floyd
University of Missouri Press, 2002

Focusing on a series of autobiographical texts, published and private, well known and obscure, Writing the Pioneer Woman examines the writing of domestic life on the nineteenth-century North American frontier. In an attempt to determine the meanings found in the pioneer woman's everyday writings—from records of recipes to descriptions of washing floors—Janet Floyd explores domestic details in the autobiographical writing of British and Anglo-American female emigrants.

Floyd argues that the figure of the pioneer housewife has been a significant one within general cultural debates about the home and the domestic life of women, on both sides of the Atlantic. She looks at the varied ideological work performed by this figure over the last 150 years and at what the pioneer woman signifies and has signified in national cultural debates concerning womanhood and home.

The autobiographies under discussion are not only of homemaking but also of emigration. Equally, these texts are about the enterprise of emigration, with several of them written to advise prospective emigrants. Using the insights of diaspora and migration theory, Floyd shows that these writings portray a far subtler role for the pioneer woman than is suggested by previous scholars, who often see her either as participating directly in the overall domestication of colonial space or as being strictly marginal to that process.

Written in response to the highly critical discussion of the attitudes and activities of female "civilizers" within "New" Western history and postcolonial studies, Writing the Pioneer Woman will be a valuable addition to the burgeoning discussion of the literature of domesticity.


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