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University of Arkansas Press New Releases for the Holidays


We’ve come to the end of the fall season for books, and it is perfect timing for your holiday shopping! Make sure to check out all of the University of Arkansas Press books that came out this year, they will make great stocking stuffers. And, stay tuned for the spring releases, they will be  coming before you know it.

Champion Trees of Arkansas: An Artist’s Journey By Linda Williams Palmer

Champion trees are so designated by the Arkansas Forestry Commission because they are the largest trees of their type in the state. More than 100 trees have been given the champion label, and Hot Springs artist Linda Williams Palmer spent seven years visiting some of them, drawing them and learning their stories.

Champion Trees of Arkansas shows off the majesty of these trees through the lens of the season, illuminating the tree’s history as well as the history of the people who have cared for and lived under the trees for generations.

Exploring the Big Woods: A Guide to the Last Great Forest of the Arkansas Delta By Matthew D. Moran


The Big Woods of the Arkansas Delta is a rare remnant of the Mississippi bottomland forest ecosystem that once stretched from southern Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. It is one of the few places where the natural flooding cycle persists, which allows the White River and its tributaries to deposit nutrients in the rich soil.

The bottomland is home to a great variety of animals and plants that are highlighted in this book, including millions of migrating waterfowl and giant cypress trees. The book explores the natural beauty of the great forest as well as delving into the relationship between humans and this place, sharing hiking and canoeing trails that allow visitors to witness this rare ecosystem.

Passing the Torch: Planning for the Next Generation of Leaders in Public Service

By Karl Besel and Charlotte Lewellen Williams


As leaders in the public-service sector age, succession planning needs to become an important focus of public and nonprofit service organizations. This collection of essays looks at the issues surrounding succession planning in the service sector, what the process should look like and the challenges of finding qualified candidates for executive-level positions.

With the number of Americans over the age of 65 expected to pass four million in 2020, the issue of finding new, motivated, qualified leaders for public-service jobs will only grow, and this book seeks to help guide organizations to face and manage coming changes in leadership.

First Amendment Studies in Arkansas: The Richard S. Arnold Prize Essays

Edited by Stephen A. Smith


First Amendment issues are not just theoretical, scholarly pursuits, they involve people whose lives are affected by the decisions of courts. These 14 essays look at the stories behind the court battles, drawing on the public documents as well as interviews with participants to explore the legal issues of the cases.

The essays explore the dynamics of dissent across a range of society, from college campuses to forests and farms, public schools and churches to legislative chambers and courtrooms. Essays in this collection were winners of the Richard S. Arnold Prize in First Amendment Studies, established in 1999 to encourage graduate students in communication and liberal arts to explore questions surrounding freedom of speech.

Southern Fried: Going Whole Hog in a State of Wonder

By Rex Nelson


Rex Nelson has been a longtime traveler of the highways and backroads of Arkansas, first with his father, who sold athletic supplies to high schools, then through his work as a sportswriter, political writer, staff member of the governor, appointee to the Delta Regional Authority and as a corporate communications director for Simmons Bank.

This book, published by Butler Center Books, collects essays originally published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette covering people, places, festivals, tourist attractions and food found throughout the state. It shows that the only way to really get to know Arkansas is to get off the main roads, dive deep and stay a while.

Anti-Catholicism in Arkansas: How Politicians, the Press, the Klan, and Religious Leaders Imagined an Enemy, 1910–1960

By Kenneth C. Barnes


Anti-Catholic sentiment was high in a lot of the United States in the early 20th century, and it was certainly prevalent in Arkansas, a largely Protestant state, which had a law in 1915 that required convents to be inspected so it could be assured priests were not keeping nuns as sex slaves.

During the world wars, suspicion rose against the state’s Germans, most of whom were Catholics, and there was widespread belief that the Catholic Church was attempting to take over schools and indeed the government itself.

This book traces that history in Arkansas and explores why the sentiment against Catholics was so strong in Arkansas.

Separate Games: African American Sport behind the Walls of Segregation

Edited by David K. Wiggins and Ryan A. Swanson


The first half of the 20th century brought segregation to sports as it to do so many other parts of life, forcing African Americans to form their own teams, organizations and events for sport. This book includes 12 essays that explore the meaning behind the separate sports culture of black America through the stories of the Cuban Giants baseball team, car racing’s Gold and Glory Sweepstakes, the Turkey Bowl Classic of black college football and more.

The stories show that the organization of black sports was about more than competition, but encouraged black enterprise and self-help in a country full of racial division and discrimination.

Swimming on Highway N

By Mary Troy


This novel follows Madeline Dames, who relocates to small-town Missouri following the death of her third husband. Her younger sister, who has changed her name to Misery, turns up, and then their abusive mother drops in.

Then Madeline’s new man brings a couple home saying they need a place to stay. The man, it turns out, is a deserter from the Iraq war, and ultimately the whole crew decides to head to the Northwest to help him escape into Canada.

This twisty, unpredictable story of abuse, recovery, bravery and more shows readers that people always have choices, no matter their age, and are never too old to surprise themselves.

The book is published by Moon City Press as part of its Missouri Author Series.

Give a gift of an Arkansas author this year, you can download the current seasonal catalog here.

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Arkansas Women Blogger member Sarah E. White is a knitter, crafter, mom and writer based in Fayetteville. She writes at Our Daily Craft about crafting with and for kids and creating the life you’ve always wanted, as well as writing the knitting websites for About.com and Craft Gossip. She has three published books on knitting.

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