New and Forthcoming Releases
A Country Doctor in Idaho's Sun ValleyRobert S. Wright
In the dead of night in 1894, a trembling, wide-eyed 13-year-old boy assisted with his first surgery—an experience that changed his life. Robert H. Wright attended medical school, then returned home to Hailey, Idaho, to marry Cynthia Beamer, his childhood sweetheart, and to practice in the frontier west—a choice that required both rugged courage and devoted compassion. Called to risk his own life on multiple occasions, he remained composed during a crisis, and his gentle confidence calmed traumatized victims. At times, he performed operations by lantern light and traveled by buggy, dog sled, or Studebaker to reach remote patients. In 1917, he led the rescue effort at the North Star mine avalanche disaster.
Eventually, the doctor welcomed a grandson, also named Robert Wright, who eagerly absorbed thrilling tales of a pioneer past. Yet despite their close relationship, the younger Wright sensed mysterious secrets and unspoken heartbreak, and he began to probe for the untold stories. In Rugged Mercy, he unravels and celebrates the lives of his beloved grandparents. Alternating between accounts of the doctor’s decades of medicine and his own memories of growing up in Hailey, the author provides an intimate glimpse of challenges faced by rural physicians in the first half of the 1900s, of significant events in the history and evolution of the Wood River Valley and Sun Valley resort, and of family life in a small Idaho community.ISBN 978-0-87422-314-9
Be Brave, Tah-hy!
The Journey of Chief Joseph's Daughter
Jack R. Williams
Illustrated by Jo Proferes
“Tah-hy!” I jerked my head up as I heard my name. “Tah-hy! They are coming!”
On June 17, 1877, gunshots marked the start of war—one that swept twelve-year-old Tah-hy and her people into a harrowing journey across the American West. Relentlessly pursued, they endured multiple battles, cold, hunger, and death. Eventually, after months of exile and heartbreak, they began their path to a new way of life.
Based on actual events and narrated by Tah-hy’s youthful voice, this biographical novel is intended for young adults, but will also interest older readers. The story presents many aspects of the Nez Perce Dreamer culture and reminds us of what was lost when they were overpowered and displaced. 144 pages.ISBN 978-0-87422-313-2
Civility and Democracy in America
A Reasonable UnderstandingEdited by Cornell W. Clayton and Richard Elgar
A true democracy sanctions the challenge of deeply held values and accepted societal standards, but in the United States today, some members of the political arena have abandoned respectful communication. Instead, contentious political discourse stalls Congress and, at times, erupts into violence. Negative personal attacks and outrageous character assassinations replace civil dialogue focused on reasoned arguments and intelligent debate. Yet incivility has existed in various forms throughout American history, often preceding positive change.
In March 2011, Washington State University hosted one of four major conferences held across the country. The purpose was to initiate discussion about the state of civility in American democracy. Leading scholars from a variety of disciplines participated, concentrating on five distinctive perspectives: history, religion, architecture, philosophy and ethics, and communication and media. Comprised of 22 papers presented at the conference, Civility and Democracy in America: A Reasonable Understanding offers the insight of these seasoned experts. 192 pages.
Planet Rock DocNuggets from Explorations of the Natural World
Dr. Elsa Kirsten Peters
Passion is meant to be shared, and Dr. Elsa Kirsten Peters, better known as the Rock Doc, regularly conveys her enthusiasm for all things science in her nationally syndicated column. Now the curious geologist has compiled her favorites, along with a few new contributions, into Planet Rock Doc.
With her wry sense of humor, personal anecdotes, and knack for explaining the complex in simple terms, Peters stretches far beyond geology to explore a wide range of topics related to natural and applied sciences. In the process, she reflects on the remarkable observations and inventions cultivated by great minds of the past. She comments on current debates, and she lends promise to the future, illuminating cutting-edge research.
For easy access, articles are arranged by subject matter—geology and paleontology, energy and engines, food and agriculture, climate change, human health, biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and education and history.
Dr. Peters, a native of rural Washington State, earned her doctorate from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at Harvard University. She taught undergraduate-level courses for a decade and is the author or co-author of numerous journal articles, as well as several textbooks. 198 pages.
Made in Hanford
The Bomb that Changed the World
On the eve of World War II, news of an astonishing breakthrough filtered out of Germany. Scientists there had split uranium atoms. Physicists in the United States scrambled to verify results and further investigate this new science. Ominously, they soon recognized its potential to fuel the ultimate weapon—one able to release the energy of an uncontrolled chain reaction. With growing fears that the Nazis were on the verge of harnessing nuclear power, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gambled on a project to research and produce uranium for military use. By 1941, experiments led to the identification of plutonium, but laboratory work generated the new element in amounts far too small to be useful. Large-scale manufacture would be required.
In 1942, a small plane carrying Lt. Col. Franklin T. Matthias and two DuPont engineers flew over three farming communities in eastern Washington. The passengers agreed. Isolated and near the powerful Columbia River, the region was the ideal site for the world’s first plutonium factory. Two years later, built with a speed and secrecy unheard of today, the facility was operational. The plutonium it produced fueled the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, and others tested on the Bikini and Enewetak Atolls, profoundly altering many lives.
Through clear scientific explanations and personal reminiscences, the author traces the amazing but also tragic story of the plutonium bomb—from the dawn of nuclear science through World War II and Cold War testing in the Marshall Islands. 208 pages.
Hill Williams was reared in Pasco, Washington. He is a former Seattle Times science writer and the award-winning author of the WSU Press bestseller, The Restless Northwest.