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The Kent State University Press

The Kent State University Press

Website: http://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com/

The Kent State University Press publishes scholarly books in the fields of history, including military, U.S. diplomatic, Civil War, American cultural, women's, and art; Ohio regional studies; American and British literature and criticism; and biography.


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The Kent State University Press

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Donn Piatt Cover

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Donn Piatt

Gadfly of the Gilded Age

The life of a celebrated diplomat and editor whose opinions helped to shape views on the national agenda

Born in 1819 in Cincinnati, Donn Piatt died in 1891 at the Piatt Castles that still stand in western Ohio. He was a diplomat, historian, journalist, judge, lawyer, legislator, lobbyist, novelist, playwright, poet, and politician—and a well-known humorist, once called on to replace Mark Twain when Twain’s humor failed him. A staunch opponent of slavery, Piatt campaigned in 1860 for Abraham Lincoln, who briefly took a liking to him but found him too outspoken and later cursed him when, as a Union officer, Piatt recruited slaves in Maryland.

The Election of 1860 Reconsidered Cover

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The Election of 1860 Reconsidered

A reassessment of the most pivotal election in American history

The election of 1860 was a crossroad in American history. Faced with four major candidates, voters in the North and South went to the polls not knowing that the result of the election would culminate in the bloodiest conflict the United States had ever seen. Despite its obvious importance, surprisingly few studies have focused exclusively on this electoral contest itself. In The Election of 1860 Reconsidered, seven historians offer insightful essays that challenge the traditional view of the election, present fresh interpretations, and approach the contest from new angles.

In engaging essays on the main presidential candidates, the authors employ biography to explain the election. Michael S. Green deftly analyzes Abraham Lincoln and effectively overturns the view of the Republican as a passive candidate. James L. Huston provides an innovative reconsideration of Stephen A. Douglas in defeat with a profound look at the Little Giant’s campaign tours of the South. Using the lens of honor, A. James Fuller scrutinizes John C. Breckinridge in an enlightening study of the Southern Democratic candidate’s campaign. In another groundbreaking essay, Fuller reconsiders Constitutional Unionist John Bell as a Whig who stood for the republican principle of compromise. The biographical theme continues in John R. McKivigan’s splendid examination of Frederick Douglass as he carefully guides the reader through the changing attitudes and ambivalence of the abolitionist perspective.

As Douglas G. Gardner demonstrates in his fine exposition of the historiographical themes involved with the election, The Election of 1860 Reconsidered includes interdisciplinary concerns and new lines of inquiry. Addressing matters of interest to political scientists as well as historians, Thomas E. Rodgers takes up the issue of voter turnout in a sophisticated analysis that emphasizes ideology. Political culture and context allow A. James Fuller to make revealing interdisciplinary connections while using the state of Indiana as a case study to test and refute realignment theory. Turning to observations from across the Atlantic, Lawrence Sondhaus offers a new approach to the election in his penetrating study of how Europeans viewed and misunderstood the U.S. presidential race.

This remarkable book breathes new life into political history and will serve as a primer for a generation of scholars interested in understanding the most important election in American history.

Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory Cover

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Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory

Edited by Mark Cirino and Mark P. Ott

A new collection of essays about the creative process of a renowned American author

Ernest Hemingway’s work reverberates with a blend of memory, geography, and lessons of life revealed through the trauma of experience. Michigan, Italy, Spain, Paris, Africa, and the Gulf Stream are some of the most distinctive settings in Hemingway’s short fiction, novels, articles, and correspondence. In his fiction, Hemingway revisited these sites, reimagining and transforming them. Travel was the engine of his creative life, as the recurrent contrast between spaces provided him with evidence of his emerging identity as a writer.

The contributors to Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory employ an intriguing range of approaches to Hemingway’s work, using the concept of memory as an interpretive tool to enhance understanding of Hemingway’s creative process. The essays are divided into four sections— Memory and Composition, Memory and Allusion, Memory and Place, and Memory and Truth—and examine The Garden of Eden, In Our Time, The Old Man and the Sea, Green Hills of Africa, Under Kilimanjaro, The Sun Also Rises, A Moveable Feast, A Farewell to Arms, and Death in the Afternoon, as well as several of Hemingway’s short stories.

Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory is a fascinating volume that will appeal to the Hemingway scholar as well as the general reader.

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Far From Algiers

Winner of the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize

“How honored I am—how lucky—to have been able to choose this superb first book by Djelloul Marbrook that honors a lifetime of hidden achievement. . . . Sometimes the poems seem utterly symbolic, surreal; they are philosophical, historical, psychological, political, and spiritual. The genius is in the many ways these poems can be read. I kept being rewarded by new awarenesses of the poet’s intentions, by the breadth and scope of the manuscript. As I read, I felt more and more that it was impossible that this was a first book. It seemed the writer knew exactly what to say, and, more importantly, exactly what to leave out.” <br /> —Toi Derricotte, judge

“In a dizzying and divisive time, it’s beautiful to see how Djelloul Marbrook’s wise and flinty poems outfox the Furies of exile, prejudice, and longing. Succinct, aphoristic, rich with the poet’s resilient clarity in the face of a knockabout world, Far from Algiers is a remarkable and distinctive debut.”<br /> —Cyrus Cassells

“Djelloul Marbrook, ‘a highly skilled outsider,’ bursts into poetry with this splendid first book, which brings together the energy of a young poet with the wisdom of long experience.” <br />

Greek-American Relations from Monroe to Truman Cover

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Greek-American Relations from Monroe to Truman

Most studies of U.S. relations with Greece focus on the Cold War period, beginning with the enunciation of the Truman Doctrine in 1947. There is little substance in the extant literature about American policy toward or interaction with Greece prior to World War II. This overlooks the important intersections between the two countries and their peoples that predated the Second World War.

U.S. interest in Greece and its people has been long-standing, albeit primarily on an informal or unofficial level. Author Angelo Repousis explores a variety of resonant themes in the field of U.S. foreign relations, including the role of nongovernment individuals and groups in influencing foreign policymaking, the way cultural influences transfer across societies (in this particular case the role of philhellenism), and how public opinion shapes policy—or not. 

Repousis chronicles American public attitudes and government policies toward modern Greece from its war for independence (1821–1829) to the Truman Doctrine (1947) when Washington intervened to keep Greece from coming under communist domination. Until then, although the U.S. government was not actively in support of Greek efforts, American philhellenes had supported the attempt to achieve and protect Greek independence. They saw modern Greece as the embodiment of the virtues of its classical counterpart (human dignity, freedom of thought, knowledge, love of beauty and the arts, republicanism, etc.) and worked diligently, albeit not always successfully, to push U.S. policymakers toward greater official interest in and concern for Greece.

Pre–Cold War American intervention in Greek affairs was motivated in part by a perceived association among American and Greek political cultures. Indebted to ancient Greece for their democratic institutions, philhellenes believed they had an obligation to impart the blessings of free and liberal institutions to Greece, a land where those ideals had first been conceived.

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Guerrilla Daughter

The experiences of an American family in the Philippines during World War II

Just nine days before her seventh birthday, Virginia Hansen Holmes heard about the attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor and wondered if this was going to change her life. She lived on the Philippine Island of Mindanao with her two teenage brothers, eleven-year-old sister, mother, and father, an official with the East Mindanao Mining Company.

Guerrilla Daughter is a memoir of this family’s extraordinary struggle to survive the Japanese occupation of Mindanao from the spring of 1942 until the end of the war in September 1945. The men in the family fought as guerrilla soldiers in the island’s resistance movement, while Holmes, her mother, and her older sister were left to their own resources to evade the Japanese, who had been given orders to execute Americans. The Hansen women, faced with immediate death if found and suffering from hunger, disease, and barely tolerable living conditions, hid out in the Philippine jungle and remote villages to remain just ahead of the growing Japanese presence and avoid capture.

Using original documents and papers belonging to her father, as well as her own vivid recollections and the reminiscences of her siblings, Virginia Hansen Holmes presents this gripping and compelling account of extraordinary survival.

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Hauptmann's Ladder

A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping

In 1936, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. Almost all of America believed Hauptmann guilty; only a few magazines and tabloids published articles questioning his conviction. In the ensuing decades, many books about the Lindbergh case have been published.  Some have declared Hauptmann the victim of a police conspiracy and frame-up, and one posited that Lindbergh actually killed his own son and fabricated the entire kidnapping to mask the deed. Because books about the crime have been used as a means to advance personal theories, the truth has often been sacrificed and readers misinformed.

Hauptmann’s Ladder is a testament to the truth that counters the revisionist histories all too common in the true crime genre. Author Richard T. Cahill Jr. puts the “true” back in “true crime,” providing credible information and undistorted evidence that enables readers to form their own opinions and reach their own conclusions.

Cahill presents conclusions based upon facts and documentary evidence uncovered in his twenty years of research. Using primary sources and painstakingly presenting a chronological reconstruction of the crime and its aftermath, he debunks false claims and explodes outrageous theories, while presenting evidence that has never before been revealed.

Hauptmann’s Ladder is a meticulously researched examination of the Lindbergh kidnapping that restores and preserves the truth of the crime of the century.

The Heart's Truth Cover

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The Heart's Truth

Essays on the Art of Nursing

A collection revealing the joys, fears, intimacies, and transcendent moments shared by a nurse and her patients

The Heart’s Truth should be required reading at every nursing school in the country. It offers a powerful and moving portrait of what it means to be a nurse. In writing that is of the highest quality, the reader is swept up in the drama of nursing and the compassion with which it is perfused.”—Richard Selzer, surgeon and author

“Davis has perfectly captured the broader arc of movement from awkward, insecure novice to competent, often morally exhausted, clinician, with a poet’s touch.”—Amy M. Haddad, PhD

“In her breathtaking collection of essays, Cortney Davis reveals ‘the details of flesh’ that comprise the core of a nurse’s experience. Writing with the power, precision and careful observation of a seasoned clinician and the sensitivity of a poet, Davis guides the reader along the challenging path of her career.”— Richard Berlin, poet and physician

“Cortney Davis has an uncanny ability to give voice to the profound act of everyday nursing and its power in transforming the lives of people. Somehow, she sees the shadows and ghosts that fill our bodies and souls and makes sense of them, showing us that the divide between patient and provider is an artificial one that can get in the way of true understanding. The Heart’s Truth reminds us of the power of reflection and narrative and challenges us to reclaim these ways of knowing in the interest of healing our patients—and ourselves.”—Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Nursing

What is it like to be a student nurse washing the feet of a dying patient? To be a newly graduated nurse, in charge of the Intensive Care Unit for the first time, who wonders if her mistake might have cost a life? Or to be an experienced nurse who, by her presence and care, holds a patient to this world? Poet and nurse practitioner Cortney Davis answers these questions by examining her own experiences and through them reveals a glimpse into the minds and hearts of those who care for us when we are at our most vulnerable. The Heart’s Truth offers the joys, frustrations, fears, and miraculous moments that nurses, new and experienced, face every day.

In these finely wrought essays, Davis traces her twin paths, nursing and writing, inviting readers to share what she discovers along the way—lessons not only about the human body but also about the human soul. Rich, intimate, and never shrinking from the realities of illness, the grace of healing, or the wonder of words, The Heart’s Truth will inspire student caregivers, intrigue readers, and affirm those who have long worked in nursing, a profession that Davis calls “odd, mysterious, humbling, addicting, and often transcendent.”

Hell’s Wasteland Cover

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Hell’s Wasteland

The Pennsylvania Torso Murders

From 1934 to 1938, Cleveland, Ohio, was racked by a classic battle between good and evil. On one side was the city’s safety director, Eliot Ness. On the other was a nameless phantom dubbed the “Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run,” who littered the inner city with the remains of decapitated and dismembered corpses. Never caught or even officially identified, the Butcher simply faded into history, leaving behind a frightening legend that both haunts and fascinates Cleveland to this day. In 2001 the Kent State University Press published James Jessen Badal’s In the Wake of the Butcher: Cleveland’s Torso Murders, the first serious, book-length treatment of this dark chapter in true crime history. Though Murder Has No Tongue: The Lost Victim of Cleveland’s Mad Butcher—a detailed study of the arrest and mysterious death of Frank Dolezal, the only man ever charged in the killings—followed in 2010.

Now Badal concludes his examination of the horrific cycle of murder-dismemberments with Hell’s Wasteland: The Pennsylvania Torso Murders. During the mid-1920s, a vast, swampy area just across the Ohio border near New Castle, Pennsylvania, revealed a series of decapitated and otherwise mutilated bodies. In 1940 railroad workers found the rotting remains of three naked and decapitated bodies in a string of derelict boxcars awaiting destruction in Pennsylvania’s Stowe Township. Were all of these terrible murders the work of Cleveland’s Mad Butcher? Many in Ohio and Pennsylvania law enforcement thought they were, and that assumption led to a massive, well-coordinated two-state investigation. In Hell’s Wasteland, Badal explores that nagging question in depth for the first time.

Relying on police reports, unpublished memoirs, and the surviving autopsy protocols—as well as contemporary newspaper coverage— Badal provides a detailed examination of the murder-dismemberments and weighs the evidence that potentially links them to the Cleveland carnage. Hell’s Wasteland is the last piece in the gigantic torso murder puzzle that spanned three decades, covered two states, and involved law enforcement from as many as five different cities.

Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works Cover

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Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works

Ernest Hemingway resided in Cuba longer than he lived anywhere else in the world, yet no book has been devoted to how his life in Cuba influenced his writing. Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works corrects this omission by presenting contributions by scholars and journalists from the United States, Russia, Japan, and Cuba, who explore how Hemingway absorbed and wrote from the culture and place around him.

The volume opens with an examination of Hemingway’s place in Cuban history and culture, evaluations of the man and his work, and studies of Hemingway’s life as an American in Cuba. These essays look directly at Hemingway’s Cuban experience, and they range from the academic to the journalistic, allowing different voices to speak and different tones to be heard. The first section includes reflections from Gladys Rodriguez Ferrero, former director of the Museo Finco Vigía, who describes the deep affection Cubans hold for Hemingway; and recollections from the now-adult members of “Gigi’s All Stars,” the boys’ baseball team that Hemingway organized in the 1940s.

In the second part of the collection, Hemingway scholars— among them, Kim Moreland, James Nagel, Ann Putnam, and H. R. Stoneback—employ a variety of critical perspectives to analyze specific works set in Cuba or on its Gulf Stream and written during the years that Hemingway actually lived in Cuba. Also included are a long letter by Richard Armstrong describing the Machado revolution in Cuba and Hemingway’s photographs of fishermen at Cojimar, which provide vivid visual commentary on The Old Man and the Sea.

Appended to the collection are Kelli Larson’s bibliography of scholarly writing on Hemingway’s Cuban works and Ned Quevedo Arnaiz’s sample of Cuban writing on those works. A chronology placing Hemingway’s life in Cuba beside historical events is also provided.

This important volume illuminates Hemingway’s life and work during the Cuban years, and it will appeal to Hemingway fans and scholars alike.

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