One of the most exciting aspects of publishing history books is discovering unexpected connections. Not long ago, we had one right in our office. Our staff members were assigning covers and discussing our new season’s titles when one of our designers offered a surprising revelation. Our list included a book about the Minidoka War Relocation Center called, An Eye for Injustice. Some time ago, members of his family had purchased a lot from a Spokane estate sale, and inside one box he came across a set of old letters that detailed facets of a poignant story—one very similar to experiences the book portrayed.
It is likely no surprise that we have piles and shelves of WSU Press books all over our offices. So why this stack of clearly older titles we didn’t publish?
It all started with a manuscript submission from Wenatchee Valley College English professor Peter Donahue, just published as Salmon Eaters to Sagebrushers: Washington’s Lost Literary Legacy. A hybrid of literary criticism, history, and biography, the volume examines Washington State novels, memoirs, and poetry from the late 1800s to the mid-1960s, pairing reappraisals of more than forty works with short excerpts and author profiles.
Residents of Seattle and Central Puget Sound are familiar with Sound Transit as the agency behind their multi-billion dollar light rail train network. Without commuter trains, the growing region of more than three million would suffocate under congestion. Yet in its beginning phase, the public transportation organization confronted one controversy after another and teetered on the verge of collapse. Back on Track: Sound Transit’s Fight to Save Light Rail, recently published by Washington State University (WSU) Press, is an inside look at those early days and how WSU graduate and new CEO Joni Earl, despite having no transit experience, pulled them from the brink of closure.
Washington State University (WSU) Press has named Linda Bathgate as editor-in-chief starting September 3, 2019. Replacing Robert A. Clark, who retired in January, 2019, Bathgate comes to WSU Press after working for the University Press of Florida (UPF) in Gainesville, Florida, where she was Deputy Director and Editor-in-Chief. She has extensive editorial experience, including book and journal acquisitions, development, writing, technical editing, and project coordination. At UPF, she acquired and developed trade and academic resources, including scholarly monographs in space history, gardening, and natural history. She also managed an acquisitions team with annual revenues of over $2 million and facilitated the expansion of their journals program from two to ten. Prior to her time at UPF, she served on the editorial staff at several publishing companies, including Routledge/Taylor & Francis, LLC, and John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Bathgate holds an MS in Publishing from New York’s Pace University, where she was also an Adjunct Professor, and a BA in Literature from the University of California at San Diego. WSU Press Director Edward Sala is pleased with the search results. “Linda’s outstanding accomplishments and experience in growing scholarly and trade publishing programs will be a tremendous asset to WSU Press as we continue to build on our established list of award-winning books and journals,” he said. A nonprofit academic publisher associated with Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, WSU Press concentrates on telling unique, focused stories of the Northwest.
Some families are full of storytellers, and Robert Wright was fortunate to grow up in such a clan. As a young boy, he eagerly absorbed his physician grandfather’s thrilling tales about medical practice on the frontier West—of performing operations by lantern light and braving avalanches while traveling to remote patients by dogsled. He asked question after question about sights, sounds, smells, emotions, and thoughts. Yet as he grew older, Wright became aware of an unspoken past. There were certain topics they never discussed. Who was the girl in the photograph on the dresser? Why hadn’t he ever met his spirited Aunt Jean, a lively part of so many of his grandfather’s anecdotes?
On the Northwest Coast in antiquity, people made an estimated 85 percent of objects entirely from wood and other plant materials that normally do not survive the ravages of time. Fortunately, wetlands, silt-laden rivers, high groundwater levels, and abundant rainfall have provided ideal conditions for long-term preservation of waterlogged wood. Although few intentionally search for wet sites, every Northwest Coast archaeologist may encounter waterlogged cultural remains on beaches and eroding riverbanks, at the bottom of an excavation trench, or even inland, away from the coast. Those who investigate such places can uncover artifacts, structures, and environmental remains that are missing from the usual reconstructions of past lifeways.
A thoughtful reader recently alerted WSU Press to missing pages in her copy of Sagebrush Homesteads. We narrowed the cause to a scanning failure that created a deficient printing file. Unfortunately, although older copies are intact, this means that all the copies from our most recent print run—about 500—have the issue. Please accept our deepest apologies for the error.
If you have purchased a flawed copy, please contact us for a free replacement. We will provide a new print copy, and/or a complete PDF. For your convenience, the six missing pages are available to read and view below, and as a free download (select the missing pages option under FORMAT) on the Sagebrush Homesteads product page.
In the past, many historians chose to ignore the historical significance of indigenous wives during the birth of Bellingham Bay communities, typically mentioning only the first white women. Yet these mid-1800s alliances played a crucial role, with the women serving as cultural interpreters and mediators, aiding settlement, and reducing regional conflict between native peoples and newcomers. The newest book from Washington State University Press, Candace Wellman’s Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities, depicts the lives of four of these intermarried Native women.
In December 2015, columnist and newly-retired politician Jean Godden suffered a heart attack. Reflecting during her recovery, she realized she had never told the hidden account of Governor Dixy Lee Ray and the deadly 1980 volcanic eruption. She had not written about Mayor Charley Royer’s initial response when a Greek freighter rammed the West Seattle Bridge, gubernatorial candidate Norm Rice’s battle with a false rumor, or the party staff held the night the Seattle Post-Intelligencer moved to the waterfront. And, she had never fully confided why she decided to leave what she calls, “the best job in the world,” and run for office. It is these stories and others that now—released from the aroma of hospital disinfectants and the tether of IV tubes—she was eager to tell, and she lets them loose in the newest title from Washington State University Press, Citizen Jean: Riots, Rogues, Rumors, and other Inside Seattle Stories.
Dinner (including a cocktail) at the top of the brand new Space Needle averaged $7.50
The text reveals that the Space Needle soars to a height of 606 feet. Three curved steel legs, 500 feet high, support a circular, glass-enclosed observation deck and revolving restaurant served by two high speed elevators walled in clear plastic on the outside of a triangular core. In the center, two 832-step stairways zigzagged to the top.
Beginning with the 1899 installation of a Tlingit totem pole in Pioneer Square and stretching to Safeco Field’s 2017 Ken Griffey Jr. sculpture, Seattle offers an impressive abundance of public monuments, statues, busts, and plaques. Private donors and civic groups commissioned works by prominent national sculptors, as well as local artists James A. Wehn, Alonzo Victor Lewis, and others, to represent diverse perspectives and celebrate a wide array of cultural heroes, dozens of firsts, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, aviation, and military and maritime service. Whether cast in bronze or carved in granite, their longevity is not guaranteed. The newest book from Washington State University Press, Monumental Seattle: The Stories Behind the City’s Statues, Memorials, and Markers, offers Seattle residents and visitors a historical narrative of these public remembrances—accounts that often take unexpected twists and turns.