Jackson Adams and Anna Weir are publicists at UNP. Today they share their thoughts about a few upcoming titles they’re particularly excited about as readers. The books in this discussion will be published in February.
Jackson Adams: I’ve been fascinated by colonial America since reading A People’s History of the American Revolution as a particularly impressionable age and I was swayed by the way it tears into the manipulative myth-making of the formation of the country. Of One Mind and One Government: The Rise and Fall of the Creek Nation in the Early Republic offers a fascinating exploration of the bloodthirsty nationalism baked into the fledgling America’s earliest days. Kevin Kokomoor makes a compelling case for the damage done to the Creek nation as the government seized their land and splintered their governing body at a pivotal time in the nation’s history.
Anna Weir: I love a good local legend, so I’m excited to be working on Citizen Akoy: Basketball and the Making of a South Sudanese American. Both the author Steve Marantz and his subject Akoy Agau are graduates of Omaha Central High School, so I’m glad this book found a home with UNP. Of course it’s about basketball—Akoy Agau led Omaha Central High School to four straight high school basketball state championships (2010–13) and was a three‑time All‑State player—but it’s also a refugee’s story of finding a place in America, and a boy’s coming-of-age story with all that entails. Basketball is the canvas on which Marantz paints a vivid blend of cultures.
What else are you looking forward to, Jackson?
JA: We have another book that hits pretty close to home. Echo of Its Time: The History of the Federal District Court of Nebraska, 1867-1933 delves into the history of the court and how its decisions dramatically impacted the state’s development. For a relatively new resident of the state—moving here in 2014—it’s a nice peek into the days when the idea of “Nebraska Nice” was still a long ways away, with regular battles over moonshine, sedition and organized crime were on the docket.
What else are you excited about, Anna?
AW: Ever wanted to be an astronaut when you were a kid? Some folks were actually able to go to space without being professional astronauts, and their stories are in Come Fly With Us: NASA’s Payload Specialist Program. Authors Melvin Croft and John Youskauskas shed light on a fascinating portion of spaceflight history where professional citizens—teachers, politicians, and scientists—were able to fly with NASA’s astronauts on a few select missions. Relatively unknown to the public and often flying only single missions, these payload specialists give the reader an unusual perspective on the experience of human spaceflight. Intrigued? Read more about these citizen spacefarers in the authors’ recent blog post.
Tune in next month for more reading suggestions from your friendly neighborhood publicists!