- Book Notes
The Iroquois Hunt: A Bluegrass Foxhunting Tradition. By Christopher Oakford and Glenye Oakford. (Charleston, S.C.: History Press, 2014. Pp. 176. $19.99 paper)
The Iroquois Hunt Club was founded near Lexington, Kentucky, in 1880. This is a chronicle of the foxhunting club’s history, with fascinating stories of prominent Bluegrass families and entertaining events. The vivid photographs add character to this piece, showing that foxhunting was more than a sport; it was also an important [End Page 787] social and cultural tradition in the Lexington area. The glossary of foxhunting terms in the back of the book makes this a perfect read for those unfamiliar with the foxhunting culture while not sacrificing the depth experienced foxhunters will appreciate.
Adult Literacy and American Identity: The Moonlight Schools & Americanization Programs. By Samantha NeCamp. (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 2014. Pp. 200. $40.00 paper)
Adult illiteracy was a growing problem in the early twentieth century. Although many academics, journalists, and reformers pinned the blame on newly arrived immigrants, the 1910 census demonstrated that many of the nation’s illiterate were native-born. Samantha NeCamp examines the connections between literacy efforts, such as eastern Kentucky’s Moonlight Schools, and the Americanization movement directed at immigrants. While both targeted adult illiteracy, the two programs reflected different approaches that competed for public attention and government funding. In the process, NeCamp claims, they generated an ongoing debate regarding literacy that shaped literacy programs in the United States.
The Letters of Thomas Merton and Victor and Carolyn Hammer: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Edited by F. Douglas Scutchfield and Paul Evans Holbrook Jr. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2014. Pp. 296. $40.00 cloth)
Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk who spent much of his adult life at the Abbey of Gethsemani in central Kentucky. Although he seldom left the Abbey, he was an influential theologian, author, and social justice activist until his death in 1968. In the course of [End Page 788] his life, he frequently corresponded with Carolyn and Victor Hammer about art, literature, and spiritual thought. This is a compilation of that correspondence, frequently overlooked by Merton scholars. The letters, arranged in chronological order, provide insight not only into Merton’s relationship with the Hammers but also into Merton’s philosophical development.
Voice of the Wildcats: Claude Sullivan and the Rise of Modern Sportscasting. By Alan Sullivan, with Joe Cox (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2014. Pp. 328. $29.95 cloth)
Voice of the Wildcats follows the life and times of University of Kentucky men’s basketball radio announcer Claude Sullivan. A native of Winchester, Kentucky, Sullivan began his broadcasting career just as sports radio became popular. In this biography, Sullivan’s son shows how he helped shape the sportscasting profession. As the announcer for Kentucky’s first four NCAA Championship titles, Sullivan became one of the most recognizable voices in the nation and eventually announced for the 1960 Summer Olympic Games. The narrative pulls from dozens of interviews and correspondence with legendary athletes and renowned coaches, including Adolph Rupp. Providing a behind-the-scenes look into one of UK basketball’s most triumphant periods, Wildcats fans and those interested in the history of radio will find plenty to enjoy.
Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia. By Fiona Ritchie and...