History, Translation Featured In Fall 2003 University Of Arkansas Press Catalog

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The University of Arkansas Press fall catalog highlights the life of a former governor and the fictional story of an Iraqi peasant family during the Iran-Iraq war among its 12 new titles.

In "Promises Kept: A Memoir," by Sidney S. McMath, the former Arkansas governor discusses his early life in rural Arkansas, his military service, his political life and his career as a lawyer. He also helped change the rules that prevented black citizens from voting in primaries, and he worked with President Truman to keep the segregationist Dixiecrats from taking over the Democratic Party—and the presidency.

"We’re very excited to be publishing this book. He’s such an important political figure, and it’s such a readable book," said Laura Helper, marketing director for the University of Arkansas Press. "He’s a democratic hero."

In his memoir, McMath describes how he and other recent World War II veterans successfully challenged one of Arkansas’s most powerful and corrupt political machines in 1945. When he later became governor, he brought the first roads and electricity to rural areas, fought the poll tax and created the state’s first medical center. McMath also tackles the accusations of political opponents who alleged bribery in his highway program. Although no indictments were handed down, McMath’s political career ended. Arguing his case for the first time in this book, he sets the record straight.

The Press turns from Arkansas history to all too timely Iraqi fiction with "Scattered Crumbs," a novel by Muhsin al-Ramli, translated from the Arabic by Yasmeen S. Hanoosh. Set in an Iraqi village during the Iran-Iraq war, the book tells the story of a peasant family in turmoil. The father, a fierce supporter of Saddam Hussein—here called "The Leader"—clashes with his artist son, who loves his homeland but finds himself unable to paint the Leader’s portrait for his father’s wall. Hanoosh says the novel "evokes the processes of deterioration undergone both by the country and by the individual characters caught up in the maelstrom."

"Scattered Crumbs" was first published in Arabic in Cairo in 2000. It is the winner of the Arabic Translation Award sponsored by the University of Arkansas Press and the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Arkansas. The prize, designed to support and publish fine translations of important Arabic writing, awards $5000 to the translator and $5000 to the original author plus publication of the translation.

In addition to these two works, the press will publish 10 other works this fall, ranging in topic from interracial sex and love in the segregated South to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in 1936.

History titles include "Dangerous Liasons: Sex and Love in the Segregated South," by University of Arkansas history professor Charles F. Robinson II, which examines legal cases across the South and attitudes about anti-miscegenation laws and intermarriage. "Black Physicians in the Jim Crow South" by Thomas J. Ward, Jr., examines the development of the African American medical profession in the South from the late 19th century to 1960. History of education is addressed in two works: "Educating the Masses: The Unfolding History of Black School Administrators in Arkansas, 1900-2000," edited by C. Calvin Smith and contributing editor Linda Walls Joshua and "Head, Heart and Hand: John Brown University and Modern Evangelical Higher Education" by Rick Ostrander.

The Civil War in the West series continues with two first-person accounts of the war between the states. The first, "Loyalty on the Frontier," showcases the writing of Albert Webb Bishop, who joined the Union army in 1862 and became a lieutenant colonel in a regiment of Ozark mountaineers and was edited by Kim Allen Scott. The second, "A History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas," features the writings of William Monks, a Union guerilla in the border region of the central Ozarks, where political and civil violence lasted well into the 1880s. The book is edited and introduced by John F. Bradbury and Lou Wehmer. The series editor is University of Arkansas history professor Daniel Sutherland.

The third edition of "An Arkansas History for Young People" by T. Harri Baker and Jane Browning has been adopted by the state of Arkansas for its 2003 curriculum for junior high school students. The new edition includes information on the 2000 U.S. Census for Arkansas, the Clinton presidency and Mike Huckabee as governor.

Release for the first time as a paperback, "Memories of Revolt" by University of Arkansas anthropologist Ted Swedenburg," addresses the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, focusing on the 1936-39 rebellion and its influence on modern-day issues in the region.

The press will also publish "The Cassique of Kiawah," by William Gilmore Simms, a pre-Civil War novelist, edited by Kevin Collins with an introduction by U of A Distinguished Professor of English John Caldwell Guilds. Guilds is the editor of the Simms series, and his Arkansas editions of Simms’ work are considered to be the authoritative versions of the author’s works.

Finally, the latest book in the University of Arkansas Press poetry series, "Trembling Air" by Michelle Boisseau, will be released in September.


Laura Helper, marketing director, University of Arkansas Press, (479) 575-6657, lhelper@uark.edu

Melissa Blouin, science and research communications manager, (479) 575-5555, blouin@uark.edu



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