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Tour de France, War of 1812, barbecue, nursing topics of books by WKU faculty members

The Tour de France, the War of 1812, Kentucky barbecue and stories from Kentucky nurses are topics of books authored by WKU faculty members and retired faculty members.

  • Selling the Yellow Jersey: The Tour de France in the Global Era by Dr. Eric Reed, associate professor of history, has been published by the University of Chicago Press.
  • Frontiersmen in the War of 1812 by Glen Conner, emeritus professor of geography and state climatologist emeritus, has been published by Acclaim Press.
  • The Kentucky Barbecue Book by Dr. Wes Berry, associate professor of English, is available in paperback from the University Press of Kentucky.
  • Tales from Kentucky Nurses by Dr. Lynwood Montell, emeritus professor of folk studies, has been published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Selling the Yellow Jersey: The Tour de France in the Global Era

reed-bookcoverby Dr. Eric Reed, associate professor of history, published by the University of Chicago Press

About Dr. Reed’s book: Yellow Livestrong wristbands were taken off across America in early 2013 when Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he had doped during the seven Tour de France races he won. But the foreign cycling world, which always viewed Armstrong with suspicion, had already moved on. The bellwether events of the year were Chris Froome’s victory in the Tour and the ousting of Pat McQuaid as director of the Union Cycliste Internationale. Even without Armstrong, the Tour will roll on — its gigantic entourage includes more than 200 racers, 450 journalists, 260 cameramen, 2,400 support vehicles carrying 4,500 people, and a seven-mile-long publicity caravan. It remains one of the most-watched annual sporting events on television and a global commercial juggernaut.

In Selling the Yellow Jersey, Eric Reed examines the Tour’s development in France as well as the event’s global athletic, cultural and commercial influences. The race is the crown jewel of French cycling, and at first the newspapers that owned the Tour were loath to open up their monopoly on coverage to state-owned television. However, the opportunity for huge payoffs prevailed, and France tapped into global networks of spectatorship, media, business, athletes, and exchanges of expertise and personnel. In the process, the Tour helped endow world cycling with a particularly French character, culture and structure, while providing proof that globalization was not merely a form of Americanization, imposed on a victimized world. Selling the Yellow Jersey explores the behind-the-scenes growth of the Tour, while simultaneously chronicling France’s role as a dynamic force in the global arena.

Contact: Ashley Pierce, (773) 702-0279

Frontiersmen in the War of 1812

connerbookby Glen Conner, emeritus professor of geography and state climatologist emeritus, published by Acclaim Press

About Conner’s book: Some call the War of 1812 a forgotten war, a conflict that doesn’t resonate in the same way as the American Revolution or the Civil War, yet this war was a key event in the development of a young America. Forgotten, too, are the many frontiersmen who fought to preserve American soil against the British and their Indian allies…men who lived, hunted and farmed along the largely unsettled lands between the Appalachian mountains and the Mississippi River, and who cherished freedom above all else. In a search to see if a long lost ancestor had served in the War of 1812, author Glen Conner discovered the names and stories of many veteran frontiersmen who lived in the central border areas of Kentucky and Tennessee. Frontiersmen in the War of 1812 follows the war from its origins to its conclusion, then provides an in-depth look at land grants and pensions issued to frontiersmen following the war, over 150 biographical portraits of the men who served, and geographical features and place names.

The Allen County Historical Society in Scottsville hosted a book signing event on Feb. 9. Frontiersmen in the War of 1812 is focused on the veteran frontiersmen from Allen County and nearby areas who would fight in battles as far north as the Thames River in Canada and south to New Orleans.

The book includes numerous maps to help illustrate the challenges these men faced as they traveled to places far away from their Kentucky and Tennessee homes. Kevin Cary, WKU’s GIS Center Director, and Austin Boys, Meteorology/GIS 2014 graduate, created 30 maps for this book. “This was a great opportunity for producing quality maps as figures visualizing the geography of the War of 1812,” Cary said. “These maps were designed to give a sense of place and environment while illustrating the challenges of terrain these men confronted during their journeys.”

“This new book exemplifies the breadth and depth of research needed to understand more clearly the historical and geographic elements that shaped this fascinating period in U.S. and local history,” noted Geography and Geology Department Head Dr. David Keeling. “Glen’s passion for the stories embedded in the experiences of our local communities shines through in this fascinating story and presents innovative ways of thinking about the forces of change that shaped our region during this critical period in the early history of our fledgling nation.”

Contact: Kevin Cary, (270) 745-2981

The Kentucky Barbecue Book

Kentucky Barbecue Bookby Dr. Wes Berry, associate professor of English, now available in paperback from the University Press of Kentucky

About Dr. Berry’s book: Texas, Memphis, North Carolina, and Kansas City are known as the “Big Four” of national barbecue fame. Amid the smoke and char, Kentucky barbecue has been largely—and unfairly—overlooked. While bourbon and fried chicken claim most of Kentucky’s culinary fame, the state’s barbecue is distinctive to the region as well. Although unusual and unfamiliar to many barbecue aficionados because of its use of mutton, the Bluegrass State has a rich barbecue tradition that should not be ignored.

In The Kentucky Barbecue Book, now available in paperback, barbecue devotee and enthusiast Wes Berry travels across Kentucky to sample restaurant fare and prove that Kentucky barbecue is worthy of attention. Beginning in western Kentucky and moving eastward, Berry takes readers on a barbecue pilgrimage, profiling each stop with care, humor, and devotion. Berry visits cities like Louisville, Lexington, and Owensboro, but also smaller towns like Paducah, Uniontown and Henderson. He dines at long-established restaurants, new barbecue joints, church picnics, and county festivals to give readers an extensive taste of the variety of Kentucky barbecue, providing vivid and mouth-watering details of the smoke, flavor, and uniqueness of each location’s menu. The first comprehensive book on the state’s barbecue, The Kentucky Barbecue Book is a passionate exploration of the recipes, traditions, and people who have helped shape Kentucky’s uniquely regional slow-food dish.

Contact: Mack McCormick, (859) 257-5200

Tales from Kentucky Nurses

MontellCompFinal.inddby Dr. Lynwood Montell, emeritus professor of folk studies, published by the University Press of Kentucky

About Dr. Montell’s book: Folklorist and oral historian William Lynwood Montell has collected nearly 200 other firsthand accounts to compile his newest book, Tales from Kentucky Nurses. Covering medicine from the early 20th century through contemporary practice, the personal remembrances these dedicated nurses relate reveal the significance of their profession to the Bluegrass state’s local life and culture.

It can be hard to imagine how health care was provided and emergencies were handled over a century ago, especially in the rural communities, small towns, and remote backcountry that make up much of Kentucky. Due to the lack of doctors, nurses, and hospitals in those areas, health care services were often provided by locals using folk remedies. Disastrous injuries, difficult births, and other emergencies often resulted in physical disability or death. But, as local health care became more readily available, with better access to doctors, nurses, and midwives, quality of life dramatically increased. Montell explores this transition, scrupulously documenting the stories and work of the nurses while preserving their individual voices. Montell is the author of several books, including Ghosts across Kentucky, Tales from Kentucky Doctors and Tales from Kentucky Sheriffs.

Contact: Mack McCormick, (859) 257-5200

More: The Exiled Generations: Legacies of the Southern Baptist Convention Holy Wars, edited by Dr. Carl Kell, professor of communication at WKU, was recently published by the University of Tennessee Press.

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