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Kentucky Government, Politics, and Public Policy. Edited by James C. Clinger and Michael W. Hail, with forewords by Senator Mitch McConnell and Trey Grayson. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2013. Pp. 562. $40.00 cloth)

Kentucky politics have been the butt of many jokes in classrooms, public speeches, and newspapers throughout the state’s history. James C. Clinger and Michael W. Hail insist that such verbal harassment needs to end. Instead, they argue “systematic political science scholarship can and should inform citizens about the nature of their government, the consequences of their policy choices, and the implications of their political processes” (p. 1). Their anthology provides detailed analysis of Kentucky’s government, politics, and public policy, and brings together scholars of history, political science, and public policy. It should be the first point of departure for the public, undergraduate and graduate students, and scholars of Kentucky politics, because it tackles historic and contemporary issues in Kentucky and the region.

Collecting Kentucky, 1790–1860. By Genevieve Baird Lacer and Libby Turner Howard, with photographs by Bill Roughen. (Louisville: Cherry Valley Publications, 2013. Pp. 360. $75.00 cloth)

Collecting Kentucky is a beautifully bound book featuring images from ten “of the most significant and lasting collections of antebellum Kentucky in the state” (p. xiv). With high-quality photographs of each collection, the book provides descriptions of the items in each collection, the collectors’ approaches and reasoning, and important historical details about the items. Celebrating the individual collectors as much as their collections, this coffee-table book brings together [End Page 722] collections of furniture, art, and silver to help tell the story of antebellum Kentucky through objects. The editors offer brief descriptions of the collectors (without their names) and descriptions of the item’s provenance. This book will make a beautiful addition to book collections throughout the commonwealth.

Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren, Volume Six: Toward Sunset, At a Great Height, 1980–1989. Edited by Randy Hendricks and James A. Perkins, with an introduction by William Bedford Clark. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013. Pp. 480. $90.00 cloth)

In the final volume of the selected letters of Robert Penn Warren, Randy Hendricks and James A. Perkins present the last years of Warren’s life through correspondence with family, friends, writers, and editors. The letters highlight Warren’s determination to remain active as his health declined, his illnesses, and his last works of poetry, historical narrative, and autobiographical notes. This volume, along with the other five, provides a glimpse into the life of one of the most prolific writers from Kentucky and the first official poet laureate of the United States. The Selected Letters collection will serve as a complement to biographies of Warren and is suitable for classroom instruction and lay readers.

Place of Hope, Place of Progress: An Illustrated History of Lees College, 1883–1996. Edited by Stephen D. Bowling, Cathy Branson, and Richard E. Holl. (Hazard, Ky.: Hazard Community and Technical College, 2014. Pp. 149. $24.99 cloth)

With engaging text and beautiful photographs, Place of Hope, Place of Progress recounts the founding, development, and future of Lees College in Jackson, Kentucky. Now part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Lees College helped educate [End Page 723] the people of Jackson and eastern Kentucky throughout the twentieth century. The book offers historical perspective of the college as it transformed from a grammar school in the 1890s to an important, and bucolic, part of Hazard Community and Technical College. Lees College alumni and those interested in Kentucky’s higher education programs should include this on their book shelves and coffee tables.

Paducah, Kentucky: A History. By John E. L. Robertson with Ann E. Robertson. (Charleston, S.C.: The History Press, 2014. Pp. 192. $19.99 paper)

Paducah, Kentucky chronicles the establishment, development, and continued importance of the UNESCO-designated City of Crafts and Folk Arts. Founded in 1830, Paducah has thrived as one of western Kentucky’s most important river and rail towns. Home to notable Kentuckians such as Alben Barkley and Irvin S. Cobb, Robertson’s Paducah explores how the city came to be and how it remains an innovative...


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