Books and Writers

The Blue StarThe Blue Star: A Novel

(2008, Little, Brown and
Company) by Tony Earley, Samuel Milton Fleming, Associate Professor of

It’s been eight years since readers met the character of 10-year-old Jim Glass, the anchor of Earley’s acclaimed debut novel, Jim the Boy. In The Blue Star, Jim, now 17, faces the life-altering decisions of young adulthood in 1941, as America inches closer to war. The New York Times’ Janet Maslin calls Earley’s prose “beguilingly crisp and unfettered” in this sequel that chronicles childhood’s end.

aytchCo. “Aytch”: First
Tennessee Regiment or a
Side Show of the Big Show

(2007, Providence House
Publishers) by Sam R. Watkins; edited by Ruth Hill Fulton McAllister, BA’68

When Ken Burns’ The Civil War debuted on PBS in 1990, its viewers were treated to the authentic voice of Sam R. Watkins, chronicler of the “Maury Greys,” whose memoir of his war experience was first published in 1882. This new edition incorporates images of Watkins’ recently found handwritten manuscript, with his own proposed edits and additions overseen by his great-granddaughter, alumna McAllister.

Playing the ChangesPlaying the Changes:
Milt Hinton’s Life
in Stories and

(2008, Vanderbilt University Press)
by Milt Hinton, David G. Berger and
Holly Maxson

Bassist Milt Hinton is legendary as a musician whose career spanned seven decades of jazz history, but he also knew how to wield a camera. His photos document life on the road with Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday’s last recording session, and jazz icons Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, among others. Many of his stories are included with his music on an enclosed CD.

Women as Weapons of WarWomen as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex and the Media

(2007, Columbia University Press) by Kelly Oliver, W. Alton Jones Professor
of Philosophy

In her latest book Oliver looks at the U.S. fascination with sex, violence, death, and its relationship to live news coverage and embedded reporting, particularly in regard to the U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. Such reporting, she argues, naturalizes horrific events and stymies critical reflection, fueling
a kind of paranoid patriotism that results in extreme forms of violence.

Epistles: PoemsEpistles: Poems

(2007, Sarabande Books)
by Mark Jarman, Centennial Professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program

In beautiful prose poetry, Jarman, inspired by St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, explores the central mysteries of existence through
collections of metaphors about belief. Says poet Grace Schulman of Jarman’s work, “[He] writes passionately of doubt and belief, making of the two poles one desire to know all he can in a world without certainty.”

Breach of peaceBreach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi
Freedom Riders

(2008, Atlas & Co.)
by Eric Etheridge, BA’79

With news of Tennessee State University’s finally granting degrees to its former students who participated in the Freedom Rides, a book
like this provides a vital link to the past. More than 80 contemporary portraits share space with original mug shots (including that of the Rev. James Lawson, Distinguished University Professor) in this book that chronicles those arrested during the spring and summer of 1961 in Jackson, Miss., on the charge of “breach of the peace” as they challenged
the state’s segregation laws.


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