Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Should lawmakers be allowed to draw their districts?

Seymour P. Lachman answers "no" in his recent New York Times op-ed piece. The former five-term New York state senator and coauthor of the forthcoming book, The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Fiscal Crisis of 1975, says that his years spent working in state government convinced him that allowing lawmakers to redraw districts can create a sort of lifetime tenure for elected officials and a near "imperial level of control for the majority leadership."

Read the full op-ed here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Digital Revolution

Today we'd like to share a message from our Executive Director, Gary H. Dunham.


It’s high time to speak again about the digital revolution. Dizzying advances in digital communication technologies make it an extraordinarily promising time to be a publisher. At the start of the second decade of the twenty-first century, our authors are sharing their creativity and scholarly research with readers through a wide array of means and media, only one of which is the printed book. As I have often said, those publishers who cling only to the printed book often are not standing in the same room where authors and readers are holding conversations. It’s time to move to where the information flow is taking place.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adore an elegantly designed, printed book—a real, bound narrative that’s portable, acquires a wonderfully vintage smell over time, carries the marks and moments of its owner, and looks so right on a shelf. Printed books will not and should not go away, but they are part of a richer, more dynamic world of information sharing nowadays. It is our responsibility as a publisher to track closely and understand the evolving, myriad ways that authors and readers connect, and to offer a range of choices to both facilitate that communication and enhance the worldwide visibility and accessibility of SUNY Press publications. You deserve that attention and vision from a university press, and so do the lives, peoples, topics, issues, and histories that we share through publications.

Embracing the latest in digital communication technologies is thus a key cornerstone of SUNY Press’s long-term strategic plan. Many of the strategic initiatives and partnerships necessary to carry out this transformation are in full swing, and let me mention some of them here. Our seasonal catalog is now primarily issued as an online, interactive edition. All new titles and a growing number of our backlist are offered in XML, the most versatile and powerful digital platform available. We’re making huge strides towards realizing our dream of a largely virtual warehouse. Each new scholarly monograph published by SUNY Press is available simultaneously in an eco-friendly and affordable DirectText electronic edition. The press’s new journals and conference proceedings dissemination programs are also digitally based, allowing purchasers the freedom and flexibility to buy a digital or print-to-order copy of the whole volume, an individual chapter, or bundles of chapters. We have also aggressively pursued partnerships with a host of online partners in order to maximize the presence of our publications on the Web: NetLibrary and ebrary offer thousands of SUNY Press titles to libraries; Amazon's Kindle now features SUNY Press best sellers, with thousands more soon to be available; Barnes & Noble currently offers over 1,000 SUNY Press e-books, with thousands more on the way. And Google currently makes available thousands of SUNY Press books on Book Search, all of which will soon be sold also through the revolutionary Google Editions program. Wherever you look for a book on the Web, nowadays you are very likely to run into a SUNY Press publication.

Whew! There’s much going on here, digital-wise, and so much more in the works. Stay tuned!

Until next time,

Gary H. Dunham
Executive Director

Monday, March 29, 2010

Integral Theory

We're happy to announce that orders are now being taken online for the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice (JITP), "the official outlet for material related to Integral Theory and its application." This quarterly, peer-reviewed journal provides research on humanity’s most pressing problems. JITP articles are written by experts from several disciplines, including ecology, religion, sustainability, leadership, psychology, psychiatry, coaching, business, politics, and education.

Be on the lookout in the coming months for new books in our companion series on Integral Theory. The first book in this new series, A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy, is available in April.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Get your ebooks here, there, and everywhere

Have you visited the SUNY Press eBookStore lately? If not, then you may not realize we have 230 (and counting) downloadable books available, including Black Elk Speaks.

We also have a growing list of ebooks available for both the Kindle and the nook. So far there are over 500 1000 titles for the nook and around 50 for the Kindle, with many more to come for both, of course. So the next time you're looking at our books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, check for the ebook version for your preferred device.

Monday, March 22, 2010

ForeWord Book of the Year Finalists

Congratulations to authors Richard Selzer, Joe Amato, and Eve Pell. Their books were recently name ForeWord Book of the Year Finalists!

2009 Finalists in Fiction - Literary Category

Knife Song Korea, by Richard Selzer

2009 Finalists in Autobiography/Memoir Category

Once an Engineer, by Joe Amato

The 2009 Book of the Year Award winners will be announced on May 25 at a ceremony at BookExpo America. The winners are being selected by a panel of librarians and booksellers.
ForeWord's Book of the Year Awards program was designed to discover distinctive books from independent publishers across a number of genres. The Awards program often serves to provide these worthy projects with a second wind of publicity.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Problem with Pacifism and How to Fix It

Dustin Ells Howes, author of Toward a Credible Pacifism: Violence and the Possibilities of Politics, wrote to share some information on a couple of upcoming speaking engagements in Syracuse and Oswego, New York. Both events are open to the public. Dustin will also have a few books on hand for purchase and signing.

Here is the basic appearance info:

March 25th, 2pm
Lemoyne College
Grewen Auditorium
Sponsored by the Center for Peace and Global Studies. Co-Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Lectures Committee.

March 25th, 7pm
SUNY-Oswego, Hart Hall Basement
Sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Studies, Global and International Studies, Civic Engagement Coalition, Interdisciplinary Programs and Activities Center

Talk Title: The Problem with Pacifism and How to Fix It (same talk at both locations).

Here is a brief description of what Dustin will be discussing:

Most pacifists argue that violence is immoral and making politics more ethical requires a more or less wholesale rejection of it. Yet nearly every political ideology besides pacifism – liberalism, conservatism, fascism, communism, and anarchism – remains unconvinced. Professor Howes argues that this is because pacifists too often try to tackle the problem of violence from an ethical as opposed to a political standpoint. Pacifists should cede that, at least on their own terms, the major ideologies have made an effective case for the legitimacy of violence. The political significance of Gandhi’s techniques is that he showed that violence is never necessary. A practical pacifism can concede that violence sometimes works and sometimes produces just results, but hold fast to the insight that there is almost always an alternative to violence that is more responsible. Gandhi demonstrated this by inventing a political technique that, even in the context of extreme instances of violence and oppression, has just as much of a chance of succeeding as violence.

Dustin Ells Howes is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University and the author of Toward a Credible Pacifism: Violence and the Possibilities of Politics. He studies political theory with a particular emphasis on the problem of violence and politics and has published articles in International Studies Quarterly, Human Rights Review, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He received the Tanner Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a contributor to the blog Waging Nonviolence.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Author Spotlight: Annette Dunlap

We're happy to share with you that author Annette Dunlap set up her own author's page over at Amazon. Here's a bio she put together for the page:
When people ask me why I wrote a biography, I tell them it was on my "bucket list." Ever since I was a schoolgirl, I have enjoyed reading about other people's lives, and I determined that one day a book of mine would be in the biography section of the library. The decision to write about Frances Cleveland was made during my years as a marketing professor at a small, liberal arts college in North Carolina. The advertising textbook discussed the advent of mass marketing, and mentioned that a very attractive first lady's image was used, without her permission, to market a wide variety of products. That first lady was Frances Folsom Cleveland. I did a little background reading, and learned that she was our nation's youngest first lady, that her wedding took place in the White House, and that there was a 27 year age difference between her and her husband, Grover Cleveland. Such is the stuff of novels, but as is often the case, the facts may be more believable than if an author had used the same characters in a work of fiction. 
Frank is my first book, but it will not be my last. I am at work on a second book, again to be published by SUNY Press/Excelsior Editions.
You can track Annette's recent events related to her biography of Frances Folsom Cleveland, Frank. Annette's also listing her upcoming events, including one tonight in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let's Be Frank: First Ladies & Second Marriages

Annette Dunlap's recent book, Frank: The Story of Frances Folsom Cleveland, America's Youngest First Lady, is the first full-length biography of America’s youngest, and possibly most underrated, First Lady. This past weekend, Annette participated in a Q&A for Parade Magazine. The question concerned First Ladies who've remarried (hint: her expertise on Frances Folsom came in handy). Check it out!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On the Origins of Comics

Brian Boyd's fascinating essay in the inaugural issue of The Evolutionary Review is now available online for you to read—for free! Here's the opening two paragraphs, to set the scene a bit:
Comics can have almost no mass and yet be the most mass of mass arts: Garfield has had up to 263 million readers a day. Comics constitute a new art, just over a century old, and usually an unusually accessible one. So what can evolution add to our understanding of comics?

Evolution lets us see comics, like almost anything human or even alive, in a panoramic context but also in extreme close-up, as close as a comics artist trying to grab readers’ attention in this frame or with that angle. And it can zoom smoothly between these two poles. Evolution offers a unified and naturalistic causal system from the general to the very particular. Far from reducing all to biology and then to chemistry and physics, it easily and eagerly plugs in more local factors—in a case like comics, historical, technological, social, artistic and individual factors, for instance—the closer we get to particulars. Evolution accepts multilevel explanations, from cells to societies, and allows full room for nature and culture, society and individuals.
Read the article and then subscribe to The Evolutionary Review (download the entire issue, order a hard copy, or order individual articles).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New York's Indie and Small Press Book Fair

Check out this LA Times article about last weekend's New York Indie and Small Press Book Fair. Author Binnie Klein (Blows to the Head) is featured prominently in the piece. Here's another picture of Binnie, relaxing at the Excelsior Editions table with our very own James Peltz.