The President’s Speeches: Beyond ‘Going Public’ by Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, assistant professor of political science (Lynne Rienner Publishers).
Analyzing 50 years of presidential rhetoric, Eshbaugh-Soha demonstrates that when presidents speak, their intent is to provide legislators and bureaucrats with cues pointing to particular policy decisions. He shows the impact of such “presidential signaling” and finds that although citizen support may increase the likelihood that a legislator will respond to the signals, a president’s success with persuading legislators isn’t driven by citizen support.
Towel Snapping the Press: Bush’s Journey from Locker-Room Antics to Message Control by James E. Mueller, associate professor of journalism (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.).
The book features anecdotes from 29 journalists who cover or have covered George W. Bush — including those who reported on his unsuccessful run for Congress in 1978, those who covered him when he was the governor of Texas and members of the White House press corps. Using these anecdotes, Mueller follows the president’s lifelong association with the media, showing how he has developed and, over the years, modified his tactics with reporters. The book compares Bush’s press relations with those of other presidents and concludes that he is among the best modern presidents at understanding and handling journalists.
The Performing Set: The Broadway Designs of William and Jean Eckart by Andrew B. Harris, visiting professor of theatre (UNT Press). With more than 500 full-color illustrations, the book celebrates the careers of Bill and Jean Eckart, stage designers and producers whose designs revolutionized Broadway productions by becoming part of the performance rather than simply serving as backdrops. They were best known for their designs for Damn Yankees (1955), Once Upon a Mattress (1959) and Mame (1966). The book’s foreword is written by Carol Burnett, whom the Eckarts gave her “big break” when they hired her for Once Upon a Mattress.
Pride of Place: A Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing, edited by David Taylor (’86, ’88 M.A.), lecturer in English (UNT Press). The book offers updates to Adventures With a Texas Naturalist, folklorist Roy Bedichek’s observations of the natural world published in 1947, and acknowledges the increased urbanization in Texas today. Essays addressing the major regions of the state include one on North Texas by Taylor and one on the Piney Woods by ‘Pete’ A.Y. Gunter, professor of philosophy and religion studies. Taylor was interviewed nationally about Pride of Place on Earth Day (April 22) by Debbie Elliott with NPR’s All Things Considered.
The Life and Legend of Gerbert of Aurillac: The Organbuilder Who Became Pope Sylvester II by Anna Marie Flusche (’78 M.M.) of Houston (Edwin Mellen Press). Gerbert of Aurillac has long been regarded as an organbuilder, but his reputation has rested on the testimony of William of Malmesbury. Flusche dismisses the account of William and, using records from Gerbert and his time, reconstructs the argument that he was an organbuilder.
All Your Tomorrows by Jennifer Miers Heine (’02 Ph.D.) of Cibolo (Inspiration Publishing). The children’s book follows a boy as he grows up and eventually has a daughter of his own. Heine says she expected her first publication to be “a bit more academic,” but having two children in two years inspired her to write for children instead. She has started a publishing company and invites manuscript submissions at www.allyourtomorrows.
com. One of her goals is to donate $1 from the sale of each book to children’s charities in Texas.
The Brothers of Liberty by Jennifer Mellus Holben (’91) of Richardson (Tate Publishing). In this children’s American history adventure released July 4, two brothers looking for adventure in their back yard find themselves participating in the Boston Tea Party and learning what it takes to be true patriots. This is Holben’s first book.
The Maya Tropical Forest: People, Parks and Ancient Cities by James D. Nations (’69, ’72 M.S.) of Alexandria, Va. (University of Texas Press). The forest that occupies the lowlands of southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize is the closest rainforest to the United States and a popular tourist destination. Writing for visitors and conservationists, Nations profiles the forest’s animals and plants and describes the Maya people, biological preserves and major archaeological sites. Drawing on more than 25 years of conservation work, he tells of the creation of national parks and other protected areas to safeguard the region’s resources and archaeological heritage.
Black Hat by William Winckler (’78) of Littleton, Colo. (iUniverse). In this young adult novel set during the American Civil War, a young man joins the Army only to learn about the difficulties of soldiering and the importance of friendships, honor and duty. Winckler used many Civil War-era manuals, soldier’s diaries and journals, books and manuscripts as sources for the story and drew on his experience as a historical interpreter for the National Park Service.
Camelot’s Destiny by Cynthia Roepke (’80 M.Ed.) of Corpus Christi (Kensington Publishing). Writing under the pen name Cynthia Breeding, Roepke sets her debut historical romance novel in fifth-century Britain as she explores the lives of Arthur, Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar. She has a two-book contract with Kensington Publishing and says she hopes to launch a new career as an author.
Sun Came Up by Luke Holder (’97) of Amarillo (Pirate Services). Singer/songwriter/guitarist Holder says he took 2.5 years to write 100 songs for the album, six months to pick his favorite 10 and one month to record them. This is his fourth CD.
Booples! by Bear Cahill (’93) of Corinth. This children’s animation DVD featuring characters called “Booples” contains three episodes and three song videos designed to teach children Bible verses. Co-writing the songs with Cahill were Pete Buchwald (’94) of Seattle, Wash., and Sean Phillips (’04) of Carrollton.