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West Virginia University Press is the only university press, and the largest publisher of any kind, in the state of West Virginia. A part of West Virginia University, they publish books and scholarly journals by authors around the world, with a particular emphasis on Appalachian studies, history, higher education, the social sciences, and interdisciplinary books about energy, environment, and resources. They also publish works of fiction and creative nonfiction, and collaborate on innovative digital publications, notably West Virginia History: An Open Access Reader.

Showing 151-180 of 252 items.

The Psalms of Israel Jones

A Novel

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press

Secrets and snakes, rock and gospel, guilt and grace.

The Psalms of Israel Jones 
is the story of a father and son’s journey towards spiritual redemption. This novel tells the tale of a famous father trapped inside the suffocating world of rock and roll, and his son who is stranded within the bounds of conventional religion. 

When Reverend Thomas Johnson receives an anonymous phone call, he learns his Dylanesque rock star father is acting deranged on stage, where he’s being worshipped by a cult of young people who slash their faces during performances. In his declining years, Israel Jones has begun to incite his fans to violence. They no longer want to watch the show—they want to be the show.

Eager to escape troubles with his congregation as well as gain an apology from his dad for abandoning his family, Reverend Johnson leaves town and joins Israel Jones’s Eternal Tour. This decision propels him to the center of a rock and roll hell, giving him one last chance to reconnect with his father, wife, congregation—and maybe even God.

The Psalms of Israel Jones is the 2010 Hackney Literary Award winner for an unpublished manuscript.

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Rural America in a Globalizing World

Problems and Prospects for the 2010's

West Virginia University Press

This fourth Rural Sociological Society decennial volume provides advanced policy scholarship on rural North America during the 2010’s, closely reflecting upon the increasingly global nature of social, cultural, and economic forces and the impact of neoliberal ideology upon policy, politics, and power in rural areas.

The chapters in this volume represent the expertise of an influential group of scholars in rural sociology and related social sciences. Its five sections address the changing structure of North American agriculture, natural resources and the environment, demographics, diversity, and quality of life in rural communities. 

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Tolkein Studies

Volume XI

West Virginia University Press
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The Old English Poem Seasons for Fasting

A Critical Edition

West Virginia University Press
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Monongah

The Tragic Story of the 1907 Monongah Mine Disaster

West Virginia University Press

New paperback edition with an introduction by Robert B. Reich

Monongah: The Tragic Story of the 1907 Monongah Mine Disaster documents the events and conditions that led to the worst industrial accident in the history of the United States. This mining accident claimed hundreds of lives on the morning of December 6, 1907 and McAteer, an expert on mine and workplace health and safety, delves deeply into the economic forces and social-political landscape of the mining communities of north central West Virginia to expose the truth behind this tragedy. After nearly thirty years of exhaustive research, McAteer determines that close to 500 men and boys—many of them immigrants—lost their lives that day, leaving hundreds of women widowed and more than one thousand children orphaned. 

The tragedy at Monongah led to a greater awareness of industrial working conditions, and ultimately to the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, which McAteer helped to enact. This new paperback edition includes an introduction by Robert B. Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration.

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Out of Peel Tree

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press
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Hippie Homesteaders

Arts, Crafts, Music and Living on the Land in West Virginia

West Virginia University Press
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Just Three Minutes, Please

Thinking Out Loud on Public Radio

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press
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Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge

West Virginia University Press

 Elleanor Eldridge, born of African and US indigenous descent in 1794, operated a lucrative domestic services business in nineteenth century Providence, Rhode Island. In defiance of her gender and racial background, she purchased land and built rental property from the wealth she gained as a business owner. In the 1830s, Eldridge was defrauded of her property by a white lender. In a series of common court cases as alternately defendant and plaintiff, she managed to recover it through the Rhode Island judicial system. In order to raise funds to carry out this litigation, her memoir, which includes statements from employers endorsing her respectable character, was published in 1838. Frances Harriet Whipple, an aspiring white writer in Rhode Island, narrated and co-authored Eldridge’s story, expressing a proto-feminist outrage at the male “extortioners” who caused Eldridge’s loss and distress.

 
With the rarity of Eldridge’s material achievements aside, Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge forms an exceptional antebellum biography, chronicling Eldridge’s life from her birth through the first publication of almost yearly editions of the text between 1838 and 1847. Because of Eldridge’s exceptional life as a freeborn woman of color entrepreneur, it constitutes a counter-narrative to slave narratives of early 19th-century New England, changing the literary landscape of conventional American Renaissance studies and interpretations of American Transcendentalism.
With an introduction by Joycelyn K. Moody, this new edition contextualizes the extraordinary life of Elleanor Eldridge—from her acquisition of wealth and property to the publication of her biography and her legal struggles to regain stolen property. Because of her mixed-race identity, relative wealth, local and regional renown, and her efficacy in establishing a collective of white women patrons, this biography challenges typical African and indigenous women’s literary production of the early national period and resituates Elleanor Eldridge as an important cultural and historical figure of the nineteenth century. 

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Over the Alleghenies

Early Canals and Railroads of Pennsylvania

West Virginia University Press

Between 1826 and 1858 the state of Pennsylvania built and operated the largest and most technologically advanced system of canals and railroads in North America–almost one thousand miles of transport that stretched from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and beyond.
 
The construction of this ambitious transportation system was accompanied by great euphoria. It was widely believed that the revenue created from these canals and railroads would eliminate the need for all taxes on state citizens. Yet with the Panic of 1837, a financial crisis much like boom and bust cycle that ended in 2008, a deep recession fell across the country.
By 1858, Pennsylvania had sold all canals and railroads to private companies, often for pennies-on-the-dollar.
 
Over the Alleghenies: Early Canals and Railroads of Pennsylvania is the definitive history of the state of Pennsylvania’s incredible canal and railroad system. Although often condemned as a colossal failure, this construction effort remains an innovative, magnificent feat that ushered in modern transportation to Pennsylvania and the entire country. With extensive primary research, over one hundred illustrations, newspapers clippings, and charts and graphs, Over the Alleghenies examines and dissects the infrastructure project that bankrupted the wealthiest state in the Union. 

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Listening to the Land

Stories from the Cacapon and Lost River Valley

Text by Jamie S. Ross; By (photographer) Tom Cogill; Foreword by Mike Clark
West Virginia University Press

The Cacapon and Lost Rivers are located in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Well loved by paddlers and anglers, these American Heritage Rivers are surrounded by a lush valley of wildlife and flora that is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Although still rural and mostly forested, development and land fragmentation in the Cacapon and Lost River Valley have increased over the last decades. Listening to the Land: Stories from the Cacapon and Lost River Valley is a conversation between the people of this Valley and their land, chronicling this community’s dedication to preserving its farms, forests, and rural heritage.
United around a shared passion for stewardship, the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust and local landowners have permanently protected over 11,000 acres by incorporating local values into permanent conservation action. Despite the economic pressures that have devastated nearby valleys over the past twenty years, natives and newcomers alike have worked to protect this valley by sustaining family homesteads and buying surrounding parcels.
This partnership between the Land Trust and the people of this Valley, unprecedented in West Virginia and nationally recognized for its success, greatly enriches historic preservation and conservation movements, bringing to light the need to investigate, pursue, and listen to the enduring connection between people and place. 

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Aspiring to Greatness

West Virginia University Since World War II

West Virginia University Press, West Virginia University

Aspiring to Greatness: West Virginia University since World War II chronicles the emergence of WVU as a major land-grant institution. As a continuation of the work of Doherty and Summers in West Virginia University: Symbol of Unity in a Sectionalized State, this book focuses on the modern historical developments that elevated WVU from a small regional institution to one of national prominence.

 
West Virginia University’s growth mirrors the developmental eras that have shaped American higher education since World War II. The University’s history as an innovative, pioneering force within higher education is explored through its major postwar stages of expansion, diversification, and commercialization.
 
Institutions of higher education nationwide experienced a dramatic increase in enrollments between 1945 and 1975 as millions of returning World War II and Korean War veterans took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights. Their children, the “baby boom” generation, continued to supply the growth in college enrollment and the corresponding increase in institutional complexity until the mid-1970s. During this period WVU followed the national trend by growing from a few thousand students to nearly fifteen thousand.
 
From 1975 to the early 1990s, expansion gave way to diversification. The traditional student population stopped growing by 1975, and  “boomers” were replaced by students from nontraditional backgrounds. An unprecedented gender, racial, and ethnic diversification took place on college campuses, a trend encouraged by federal civil rights legislation. To a lesser degree WVU was no exception, although its location in a rural state with a small minority population forced the University to work harder to attract minorities than institutions in proximity to urban areas.
 
The commercialization of higher education became a full-fledged movement by the 1990s. Major changes, such as globalization, demographic shifts, a weak economy, and the triumph of the “market society,” all accelerated the penetration of business values and practices into university life.  Like other public universities, WVU was called upon to generate more of its own revenues. The University’s strategic responses to these pressures reconstructed the state’s leading land grant into the large complex institution of today.
 
As the only modern history of West Virginia University, this text reaches into the archives of the President’s Office and makes exhaustive use of press accounts and interviews with key individuals to produce a detailed resource for alumni, friends, and supporters of WVU, as well as administrators and specialists in higher education. 

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West Virginia University

Symbol of Unity in a Sectionalized State

West Virginia University Press, West Virginia University

First published in 1982, West Virginia University: Symbol of Unity in a Sectionalize State details the history of WVU from before its inception as the Agricultural College of West Virginia in 1867 to its expansion and development in the 1980s. This comprehensive history includes an index of people, places and events; photographs and illustrations; and in-depth descriptions of campuses, buildings, colleges, and academic and sports programs. A joint effort between William T Doherty, Jr., a Professor Emeritus History at WVU and Festus P. Summers, the first University Librarian who passed away before this project was complete, this new edition once again grants access to the diverse and complex elements which shaped the institution. 

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Hillside Fields

A History of Sports in West Virginia

West Virginia University Press

West Virginia’s championship teams at WVU and Marshall and athletic superstars like Jerry West and Mary Lou Retton are familiar to all, but few know the untold story of sports in the Mountain State. Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia chronicles the famous athletic triumphs and heart-breaking losses of local heroes and legendary teams, recording the titanic struggles of a small state competing alongside larger rivals. Hillside Fields provides a broad view of the development of sports in West Virginia, from one of the first golf clubs in America at Oakhurst Links to the Greenbrier Classic; from the first girls basketball championship in 1919 to post Title IX; from racially segregated sports to integrated teams; and from the days when West Virginia Wesleyan and Davis & Elkins beat the big boys in football to the championship teams at WVU, Marshall, West Virginia State and West Liberty. Hillside Fields explains how major national trends and events, as well as West Virginia’s economic, political, and demographic conditions, influenced the development of sports in the state. The story of the growth of sports in West Virginia is also a story of the tribulations, hopes, values and triumphs of a proud people.

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The Book of Emperors

A Translation of the Middle High German Kaiserchronik

Edited by Henry A. Myers
West Virginia University Press

The Kaiserchronik (c.1152–1165) is the first verse chronicle to have been written in a language other than Latin. This story recounts the exploits of the Roman, Byzantine, Carolingian, and Holy Roman kings and rulers, from the establishment of Rome to the start of the Second Crusade. As an early example of popular history, it was written for a non-monastic audience who would have preferred to read, or may only have been able to read, in German. As a rhymed chronicle, its combined use of the styles of language found within a vernacular epic and a factual treaty was a German innovation.  The Book of Emperors is the first complete translation of the Kaiserchronik from Middle High German to English. It is a rich resource not only for medieval German scholars and students, but also for those working in early cultural studies. It brings together an understanding of the conception of kingship in the German Middle Ages, from the relationship between emperor and king, to the moral, theological, and legal foundations of claims and legitimacy and the medieval epistemological approaches to historiography. This translation includes a substantial introduction that discusses the historical and philological context of the work, as well as the themes of power and kingship. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction that distinguishes historical truths from the epic fiction found within the original text.

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The Proper Words for Sin

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press
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Freedom's Witness

The Civil War Correspondence of Henry McNeal Turner

Edited by Jean Lee Cole; Foreword by Aaron Sheehan-Dean
West Virginia University Press

In a series of columns published in the African American newspaper The Christian Recorder, the young, charismatic preacher Henry McNeal Turner described his experience of the Civil War, first from the perspective of a civilian observer in Washington, D.C., and later, as one of the Union army’s first black chaplains. In the halls of Congress, Turner witnessed the debates surrounding emancipation and black enlistment. As army chaplain, Turner dodged “grape” and cannon, comforted the sick and wounded, and settled disputes between white southerners and their former slaves. He was dismayed by the destruction left by Sherman’s army in the Carolinas, but buoyed by the bravery displayed by black soldiers in battle. After the war ended, he helped establish churches and schools for the freedmen, who previously had been prohibited from attending either. Throughout his columns, Turner evinces his firm belief in the absolute equality of blacks with whites and insists on civil rights for all black citizens. In vivid, detailed prose, laced with a combination of trenchant commentary and self-deprecating humor, Turner established himself as more than an observer: he became a distinctive and authoritative voice for the black community, and a leader in the African Methodist Episcopal church. 

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The Appalachians

America's First and Last Frontier

West Virginia University Press

A beautifully produced companion volume to the public television documentary The Appalachians fills the void in information about the region, offering a rich portrait of its history and its legacy in music, literature, and film. The text includes essays by some of Appalachia’s most respected scholars and journalists; excerpts from never-before-published diaries and journals; firsthand recollections from native Appalachians including Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, and Ralph Stanley; indigenous song lyrics and poetry; and oral histories from common folk whose roots run strong and deep. The book also includes more than one hundred illustrations, both archival and newly created. Here is a wondrous book celebrating a unique and valuable heritage.

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No.9

The 1968 Farmington Mine Disaster

West Virginia University Press

Ninety-nine men entered the cold, dark tunnels of the Consolidation Coal Company’s No.9 Mine in Farmington, West Virginia, on November 20, 1968. Some were worried about the condition of the mine. It had too much coal dust, too much methane gas. They knew that either one could cause an explosion. What they did not know was that someone had intentionally disabled a safety alarm on one of the mine’s ventilation fans. That was a death sentence for most of the crew. The fan failed that morning, but the alarm did not sound. The lack of fresh air allowed methane gas to build up in the tunnels. A few moments before 5:30 a.m., the No.9 blew up. Some men died where they stood. Others lived but suffocated in the toxic fumes that filled the mine. Only 21 men escaped from the mountain.
 
No.9: The 1968 Farmington Mine Disaster explains how such a thing could happen—how the coal company and federal and state officials failed to protect the 78 men who died in the mountain. Based on public records and interviews with those who worked in the mine, No.9 describes the conditions underground before and after the disaster and the legal struggles of the miners’ widows to gain justice and transform coal mine safety legislation.

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Centerville

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press

It is 1967 at the end of a long, hot summer. On a Saturday afternoon in Centerville, a sleepy Midwestern town, a disaffected husband enters a busy drugstore where his estranged wife works and sets a bag with a homemade bomb on the floor. Outside the drugstore, a fourteen-year-old girl places her hand on the door, then inexplicably turns away and keeps walking. Moments later, standing safely inside a bowling alley with her best friend, she hears a sound like thunder. With one devastating explosion, the town is changed forever. In the next few days, four lives become entwined, as the townspeople face sudden loss and new, unpredictable realities. Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and the escalating Vietnam War, Centerville forms an engrossing meditation on the complex questions that arise in the wake of senseless violence.

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History of the American Negro

West Virginia Edition

By A. B. Caldwell; Introduction by Joe Trotter
West Virginia University Press, West Virginia Classics

History of the American Negro: West Virginia Edition is a collection of biographies of African American men and women at the beginning of the twentieth century. Edited and published by A. B. Caldwell, the History of the American Negro collection includes seven volumes that richly describe the lives of citizens in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, DC, and West Virginia.  In a statement printed in the first volume of this series, Caldwell wrote that his intent in publishing this collection was neither “comprehensive nor exhaustive,” yet he was determined to shed light on the  “successful element unrecorded” of black Americans in the United States. As the 7th volume in Caldwell’s collection, History of the American Negro: West Virginia Edition chronicles the struggles and triumphs of everyday African Americans in West Virginia during the post−World War I era.  A resource for genealogists, historians, and citizens alike, this history provides a detailed account of the often overlooked lives of ordinary men and women.

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New Deal Photographs of West Virginia, 1934-1943

Edited by Betty Rivard; Foreword by Carl Fleischhauer; Introduction by Jerry B. Thomas
West Virginia University Press

Upon entering the White House in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced an ailing economy in the throes of the Great Depression and rushed to transform the country through recovery programs and legislative reform. By 1934, he began to send professional photographers to the state of West Virginia to document living conditions and the effects of his New Deal programs. The photographs from the Farm Security Administration Project not only introduced “America to Americans,” exposing a continued need for government intervention, but also captured powerful images of life in rural and small town America.
New Deal Photographs of West Virginia, 1934-1943 presents images of the state’s northern and southern coalfields, the subsistence homestead projects of Arthurdale, Eleanor, and Tygart Valley, and various communities from Charleston to Clarksburg and Parkersburg to Elkins. With over one hundred and fifty images by ten FSA photographers, including Walker Evans, Marion Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, and Ben Shahn, this collection is a remarkable proclamation of hardship, hope, endurance, and, above all, community. These photographs provide a glimpse into the everyday lives of West Virginians during the Great Depression and beyond.

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The Backyard Brawl

Stories from One of the Weirdest, Wildest, Longest Running, and Most Instense Rivalries in College Football History

West Virginia University Press

The West Virginia University Mountaineers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, separated by less than eighty miles of highway, have battled it out on the football field for more than one hundred years. Now, with Pitt announcing its departure from the Big East Conference to join the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia becoming a member of the Big 12 Conference, this intense rivalry has come to an abrupt end. Thousands of players and dozens of coaches - some among the very best to ever play the game - have been a part of this famous series known as the “Backyard Brawl.”  With fantastic tales about this feud’s star-studded rosters, including  White, Slaton, Harris, Luck, Huff, Nehlen, and Rodriguez for West Virginia and Fitzgerald, Marino, Dorsett, Green, Majors, and Sherrill for Pitt, The Backyard Brawl celebrates the tradition, heritage, and pride of two outstanding universities. With unparalleled access, John Antonik, a 20-year West Virginia University athletic administrator and WVU alumnus, unearths the fascinating and humorous stories that make up this revered, colorful, and cherished football game-and more importantly, the great passion and pride these schools exhibit every time they take the field.

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

A Close Verse Translation

Edited by Larry D. Benson; Foreword by Daniel Donoghue
West Virginia University Press
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Crum

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press
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The Scummers

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press
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SCREAMING WITH THE CANNIBALS

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press
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