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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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Confronting the Odds Cover

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Confronting the Odds

African American Entrepeneurship in Cleveland, Ohio

An updated and revised edition of the award-winning study

The history of African American entrepreneurship has produced a number of studies of economic development on the national level, but very few have examined this growth at the local level. Confronting the Odds was written to bridge that gap, and Bessie House-Soremekun provides this historical analysis of African American entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio, from the early 1800s to the present. Additionally, in examining these historical and current trends, House-Soremekun presents brief biographies of several successful entrepreneurs, among them George C. Fraser, best-selling author; Robert P. Madison, internationally acclaimed architect; Leroy Ozanne, founder of Ozanne Construction Company; and Rachel Y. Daniel, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Synergy International Limited, Inc. and Decision Point Marketing and Research, Inc.

House-Soremekun’s statistical analysis of the factors that contributed to the success of African American businesses in Cleveland is supported by extensive research, and her policy recommendations about how entrepreneurship could be stimulated through public and private programs are thought provoking. Confronting the Odds documents life histories of business owners, compares African American male and female business owners, and offers insights into why some businesses succeed and others fail.

The Dead Eat Everything Cover

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The Dead Eat Everything

“This book is a document of a particular world, real, wrenched from the poet’s life, as if written with a gun to his head or a spike through his heart. Reading it is like opening a damp newspaper wrapped around a big fish just caught, fins glistening, scales shining, one rhymed eye open and looking right at you, daring you to eat the whole thing.” —Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men

“The Dead Eat Everything, Michael Mlekoday’s furious first collection, is a cypher of old-school curses, elegy, and wordplay that snaps like gunplay. The book begins with a self-portrait when ‘summer was one wet weapon after another’ and doesn’t stop. Not for a power outage, Catholic mass, or sewer steam. Not for a ‘four-finger ring that says DOPE.’ Not for the city that repeats itself like breakbeats in the head. The poems in this book are as relentless as a Minneapolis winter. And when the speaker says, ‘Scientists have proven that the mouth is the last part of the body to die,’ we understand that the mouth hangs on just to speak poems like these.”—Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke

“It’s easy to forget—because of the brute beauty of the language; because of lines like ‘I have made gods / of my skinned hands’; because of the whiplash brilliance roped through these poems—that deeply, ultimately, this is a book of mourning, of sorrow, of loss: for a dad, a Baba, a city, a home. But, to boot, Michael Mlekoday’s The Dead Eat Everything is a book of magic: watch sorrows be converted to music. And music, don’t forget, makes you dance. Makes you move. Moves you.” —Ross Gay, author of Bringing the Shovel Down

“The Dead Eat Everything is a haunting—an unsharpened visitation of memories. Each poem unfolds itself as if we are just now remembering stories told to us long ago, simultaneously new and exciting while comforting in their familiarity. Mlekoday’s debut collection glows. Let it. Let it light the way home.”—Sierra DeMulder, author of New Shoes on a Dead Horse

Democratic Narrative, History, and Memory Cover

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Democratic Narrative, History, and Memory

The most recent book from the Symposia on Democracy SeriesThe essays in this volume explore the complex relationships among events, memory, and portrayal of those events and the deepest questions of human experience, all viewed through a range of disciplinary lenses but grouped into three sections, each with its own focus and meaning.

The first group of essays focuses on the events of May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard shot Kent State University students, killing four of them and causing shock waves that continue to resonate among those concerned with peace and violence, silence, and giving voice. Essays in the second group address the part played by corporate and noncorporate media in shaping public memory and raising public consciousness. The final section examines acts of remembrance and reconciliation within local communities and the long history of discrimination within the national community, directly and indirectly proposing ways in which society can move toward social justice.

For four decades, the Kent State University community has worked to preserve the stories of those who were lost on May 4th, both to honor them and to reveal the universal meanings behind the events. The community is negotiating, in a literal sense, the space between memory and history and between social remembering and historical analysis. For many at Kent State and in other communities that have experienced violence, the historical event is a lived event. Acts of scholarship are sometimes acts of remembrance and commemoration at the same time.

This volume emanates from a commemorative act—the University’s tenth Symposium on Democracy, founded in 2000 as a living memorial to the four students who lost their lives and as an enduring dedication to scholarship that seeks to prevent violence and promote democratic values and civil discourse. The work in this collection pursues historical meaning that holds relevance both for a particular community and speaks indelibly to the entire human community.

Denmark Vesey's Revolt Cover

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Denmark Vesey's Revolt

The Slave Plot That Lit a Fuse to Fort Sumter

In 1822, Denmark Vesey was found guilty of plotting an insurrection—what would have been the biggest slave uprising in U.S. history. A free man of color, he was hanged along with 34 other African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, in what historians agree was probably the largest civil execution in U.S. history. At the time of Vesey’s conviction, Charleston was America’s chief slave port and one of its most racially tense cities. Whites were outnumbered by slaves three to one, and they were haunted by memories of the 1791 slave rebellion in Haiti.

In Denmark Vesey’s Revolt, John Lofton draws upon primary sources to examine the trial and provide, as Peter Hoffer says in his new introduction, “one of the most sensible and measured” accounts of the subject. This classic book was originally published in 1964 as Insurrection in South Carolina: The Turbulent World of Denmark Vesey,and then reissued by the Kent State University Press in 1983 as Denmark Vesey’s Revolt: The Slave Plot That Lit a Fuse to Fort Sumter.

Determinant Cover

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Determinant

“These nineteen supple poems have both a strong sense of unity and a wide spectrum of forms, themes, and moods. Virtuosic writing combines with jagged feeling, and the end result is engaging, dramatic, and unpredictable.”—Henri Cole

“These poems have a strong voice and a bold reach: they turn outwards, finding big subjects and solid narratives. They seek to make a world: and then they persuade the reader to live in it.”—Eavan Boland

“Determinant is a strong, assured collection that begins with our planet Earth and ends with an egg. This poetic echoing of subjects and objects is indicative of Alex Fabrizio’s range: these poems guide us to a vantage point from which wonder contracts and expands without a diminishing of its essence. Her speakers are calmly certain of uncertainty. Let this collection trouble what one might assume about the explanatory connotation of the title—the poems have little concern for the didacticism of cause and embrace the effects of the world on the ambiguous lyric self. They encourage a reintegration of the ‘I’ with that world, a ‘turning returning’ to it. They give the reader that gift.”—Lo Kwa Mei-en

Dissolving Tensions Cover

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Dissolving Tensions

Rapprochement and Resolution in British- American-Canadian Relations in the Treaty of Washington Era, 1865–1914

Dissolving Tensions dismisses the long­held argument that a British­ American rapprochement did not occur until the mid­1890s. In­ stead, author Phillip E. Myers shows that the rapprochement was distinct prior to the Civil War, became more distinctive during the conflict, and continued to take shape afterward.

Myers illustrates clearly that the Treaty of Washington of 1871 was a defining ingredient in resolving British­American­Canadian tensions and sent the rapprochement into a new period of stability and dispute resolution during the three decades before World War I. Drawing upon a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, Myers makes his argument from the perspectives of geopolitics, finance, investments, and commerce, demonstrating that British­ American­Canadian relations followed a pragmatic, consistent path in keeping the spirit of the comprehensive Treaty of Washington alive. After 1871, peaceful diplomacy shaped the triangular relation­ ship for nearly five decades.

Myers delineates the contributions of British, American, and Canadian statesmen—among them, William Henry Seward, Lord John Russell, Hamilton Fish, William Ewart Gladstone, and Ulysses S. Grant—to defining and stabilizing the rapprochement against the background of American Reconstruction, global events such as the Franco­Prussian War, and issues such as the Alabama claims dispute, fisheries, boundaries, and Fenian insurgents.

Dissolving Tensions lays the groundwork for understanding how the period from 1865 to 1914 was a watershed era in Anglo­American relations that established the contours of twentieth­century diplomacy.

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.

Far From Algiers Cover

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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 />

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