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Oregon State University Press

Website: http://osupress.oregonstate.edu/

For fifty years, Oregon State University Press has been publishing exceptional books about the Pacific Northwest -- its people and landscapes, its flora and fauna, its history and cultural heritage. The Press has played a vital role in the region's literary life, providing readers with a better understanding of what it means to be an Oregonian.

Founded in 1961 when the University adopted its current name of Oregon State University, the OSU Press at first published mainly scholarly works on the biological and natural sciences. But sprinkled throughout our list were titles about Oregon that appealed to the book-loving public.

Fifty year -- and nearly 400 book -- later, the heart of our mission is still the same. We are a scholarly publisher with distinguished books in several academic areas from environmental history and natural resource management to indigenous studies and we publish titles that celebrate, evaluate, invent, and illuminate the Oregon condition.


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Oregon State University Press

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Standing at the Water's Edge Cover

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Standing at the Water's Edge

Bob Straub's Battle for the Soul of Oregon

Charles K. Johnson

Standing at the Water’s Edge chronicles the life of a unique, and perhaps unlikely, political figure in Oregon’s history: former Governor Robert W. Straub.

A man of intelligence, drive, creativity, and fascinating contradictions, Straub overcame personal challenges and inevitable comparisons to his charismatic predecessor and friendly Republican rival, Tom McCall, to have a lasting impact on Oregon and the nation. Charles Johnson shares insights into Straub’s significant legacy, focusing on his leading role in the state’s financial and environmental issues and his influence on McCall. Johnson also reveals much of Straub’s warm personal story, along with his secret struggles, including his battle with depression while Governor.

Standing at the Water’s Edge offers rich descriptions of other intriguing political figures of the time as well, capturing the flavor of what has been called Oregon’s political “golden age” of the sixties and seventies—created in part by the symbiotic relationship between Straub and McCall—and describing how and why it ended.

Standing at the Water’s Edge is an essential addition to the literature about Oregon’s political leaders for historians, political scientists, and general readers interested in Oregon history.

Studies in Outdoor Recreation Cover

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Studies in Outdoor Recreation

Search and Research for Satisfaction

Robert E. Manning

For twenty-five years, Studies in Outdoor Recreation has served as an invaluable reference for park and recreation managers and a standard text in college courses. The only book to integrate social science literature on outdoor recreation, it reviews studies from this broad, interdisciplinary field and synthesizes them into a body of knowledge, providing a historical perspective on outdoor recreation research and developing its practical management implications.

This third edition is fully revised to reflect current research and new concerns in the field. A new chapter examines the emerging issue of sense of place and its relationship to outdoor recreation. The book concludes with twenty principles to guide outdoor recreation management and research. An extensive bibliography and section entitled “Notes on Sources: A Guide to the Social Science Literature in Outdoor Recreation” lead readers to valuable primary source material.

Tangled Bank Cover

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Tangled Bank

Essays from Orion

Robert Michael Pyle

Teaching Oregon Native Languages Cover

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Teaching Oregon Native Languages

Joan Gross

In a world where over half of the remaining six thousand languages will most likely disappear by the end of the century, attention has finally begun to focus on the struggles of indigenous people to save their languages.

Lack of knowledge concerning the vast linguistic diversity of Oregon's languages has been a major obstacle to language revitalization in this state. Native peoples were subjected to disease, displacement, and forced linguistic assimilation, leaving many languages with only a few speakers. Some languages died out, but others prevailed in the privacy of homes and longhouses.

This book tells the story of perseverance and survival against unbelievable odds, using the words of today's speakers and learners of Oregon's languages. Interviews with fifty-two native speakers provide valuable insights into how languages are lost and how a linguistic heritage can be brought to life.

Teaching Oregon Native Languages discusses the role of state and federal language policies, explores how archival collections can be used in language revitalization, and describes strategies for creating a successful teaching environment. A timely and necessary resource, it will educate all readers about the important efforts underway to revitalize Oregon's first languages.

Contributors: Joan Gross, Erin Haynes, Deanna Kingston, David Lewis, and Juan Trujillo

Therefore, Choose Life… Cover

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Therefore, Choose Life…

An Autobiography

Moisey Wolf, edited and translated and with an introduction by Judson Rosengrant

An annotated translation of the extraordinary autobiography of Dr. Moisey Wolf (1922-2007), “Therefore, Choose Life…” is an important addition to the literature of Jewish experience.

Wolf describes his Jewish childhood and youth in pre-war Poland, his escape from the Holocaust and subsequent military service in the Soviet Army during World War II and the following decade, his distinguished career in psychiatry in post-Stalinist Soviet Russia, and his final years in Portland, Oregon, after his departure from the Soviet Union in 1992.

Wolf’s narrative skill and evocative personal insights, combined with Judson Rosengrant’s judicious editing, annotation, and elegant translation, provide the reader with direct access to a world that has seemingly ceased to exist, yet continues to resonate and inform our own lives in powerful ways.

“Therefore, Choose Life…” will appeal to readers interested in the history of the East-European twentieth century, pre-Holocaust Jewish family life in Poland, and in the survival of a man of deep religious faith and cultivation in the face of the catastrophes and vicissitudes of his time and place.

To the Promised Land Cover

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To the Promised Land

A History of Oregon Government and Politics

A comprehensive political history of Oregon, To the Promised Land examines the social and economic changes the state has pioneered over almost two hundred years. Highlighting major political figures, campaigns, and ballot measures, Tom Marsh traces the evolution of Oregon from incorporated territory to a state at the forefront of national environmental and social movements.

To the Promised Land provides the first general history of Oregon’s state government and political leaders. Marsh combines the clear expository style of a professional educator with the expertise of a political insider—a U.S. history teacher, he also served two terms in the Oregon House of Representatives.

Featuring interesting trivia, historical photographs, and biographical sketches of key politicians, this book will be a popular volume for general readers and public libraries as well as for textbook use in secondary and higher education classrooms. 

To Win the Indian Heart Cover

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To Win the Indian Heart

Music at Chemawa Indian School

Melissa D. Parkhurst

Since 1879, Indian children from all regions of the United States have entered federal boarding schools—institutions designed to assimilate them into mainstream society. Chemawa Indian School in western Oregon, one of the nation’s oldest and the longest still in continuous operation, is an emblem of a system that has intimately impacted countless lives and communities.

In To Win the Indian Heart: Music at Chemawa Indian School, Melissa Parkhurst records the history of the school’s musical life. She explores the crucial role music was meant to play in the total transformation of Indian children, and the cultural recovery and resiliency it often inspired instead. Parkhurst chronicles the complex ways in which students, families, faculty, and administrators employed music, both as a tool for assimilation and, conversely, as a vehicle for student resistance—a subject long overlooked in literature on Indian education and the assimilation campaign. 

Combining oral histories of Chemawa alumni with archival records of campus life, the book examines the prominent forms of music making at Chemawa—school band, choirs, private lessons, pageants, dance, garage bands, and powwows. Parkhurst traces the trajectory of federal Indian policy, highlighting students’ creative responses and the ways in which music reveals the inherent contradictions in the U.S. government’s assimilation practices. 

Toward One Oregon Cover

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Toward One Oregon

Rural-Urban Interdependence and the Evolution of a State

Edited by Michael Hibbard, Ethan Seltzer, Bruce Weber, and Beth Emshoff

Every state in the nation has geographic divisions that loom large as barriers to common cause. In Oregon, the so-called “rural-urban divide” has shaped its history. Toward One Oregon examines the prospects for uniting our geographically diverse state in the years ahead.

When Oregon became a state in 1859, its role in the nation and the global economy was quite different than it is today. Current times demand a new, strategic understanding of the state and its role in the nation and the world if its people—all of its people—are to thrive.

Toward One Oregon examines Oregon’s urban and rural history through political, economic, and demographic lenses. The contributors—historians, urban planners, economists, geographers, and political scientists—explore the two Oregons. Using the best of urban and rural policies in strategic and complementary ways, they offer a collaborative path forward—for Oregon and for any state faced with seemingly insurmountable geographic divisions.

Trying Home Cover

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Trying Home

The Rise and Fall of an Anarchist Utopia on Puget Sound

Justin Wadland

The true story of an anarchist colony on a remote Puget Sound peninsula, Trying Home traces the history of Home, Washington, from its founding in 1896 to its dissolution amid bitter infighting in 1921.

As a practical experiment in anarchism, Home offered its participants a rare degree of freedom and tolerance in the Gilded Age, but the community also became notorious to the outside world for its open rejection of contemporary values. Using a series of linked narratives, Trying Home reveals the stories of the iconoclastic individuals who lived in Home, among them Lois Waisbrooker, an advocate of women’s rights and free love, who was arrested for her writings after the assassination of President McKinley; Jay Fox, editor of The Agitator, who defended his right to free speech all the way to the Supreme Court; and Donald Vose, a young man who grew up in Home and turned spy for a detective agency.

Justin Wadland weaves his own discovery of Home—and his own reflections on the concept of home—into the story, setting the book apart from a conventional history. After discovering the newspapers published in the colony, Wadland ventures beyond the documents to explore the landscape, traveling by boat along the steamer route most visitors once took to the settlement. He visits Home to talk with people who live there now.

Meticulously researched and engagingly written, Trying Home will fascinate scholars and general readers alike, especially those interested in the history of the Pacific Northwest, utopian communities, and anarchism.

Up the Capitol Steps Cover

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Up the Capitol Steps

A Woman's March to the Governorship

Up the Capitol Steps is a personal and political memoir by Oregon’s first (and only) woman governor, one of only 34 women who have served as state chief executives in the history of the United States. Barbara Roberts offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a woman’s life in politics and aims to “demystify” leadership by telling the story of her own unlikely rise to power.

The mother of an autistic child before the advent of special education, Roberts began her life in public service as an advocate for the rights of children with disabilities. She documents her expanding political career from school board member to legislator to Secretary of State and finally, Governor. In this gripping and poignant memoir, hotly contested elections and tough policy decisions are interspersed with intimate details of personal ups and downs. Throughout, Roberts reveals the warmth and humor that show the “real” person behind the politician.

Only the third published memoir by a woman head-of-state, Up the Capitol Steps is “a very significant contribution to Oregon history, the history of women in politics, and especially the history of women governors,” according to series editor Melody Rose. Roberts’ autobiography captures a period of our nation’s political history and a view of women’s expanding role in government that will bring new understanding to the term, “social revolution.”

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