Publicist Picks: The Crux of (Almost) Sacrifice, Women in the Trenches, and Other July Books

Jackson Adams and Anna Weir are publicists at UNP. Today they share their thoughts about a couple upcoming titles they’re particularly excited about as readers. The books in this discussion will be published in July.

Anna Weir: Aaron Koller tackles one of the most complicated, dramatic, and well-known moments of the Hebrew Bible in Unbinding Isaac: The Significance of the Akedah in Modern Jewish Thought (JPS). Drawing from ancient and contemporary Jewish teachings, as well as insight from philosophers and Christian and Muslim thinkers, Koller suggests the crux of the story is not that a father was willing to sacrifice his son for his faith, but that ultimately, the father was instructed not to harm his son. The (un)binding of Isaac reminds readers that a truly heartfelt, religious act cannot be done by harming another human being or by stripping someone else of their autonomy. This is a thoughtful, thought-filled read.

What else are you excited for, Jackson?

Jackson Adams: The conversation around who tells what stories has been happening in newsrooms for decades. Chris Dubbs’ spotlights this spectacularly in An Unladylike Profession: American Women War Correspondents in World War I (Potomac Books), which spotlihts women who reported from the trenches of first World War. The book is framed around the individual reporters and the stories that they chased across Europe, painting a fascinating portrait of bold writers and the things that changed and haven’t in media and conflict.

What else are you into, Anna?

AW: With the postponing of professional sports this year, it’s been interesting to see how sports journalists have adapted to this particularly strange sports season. As Patrick Washburn and Chris Lamb write in Sports Journalism: A History of Glory, Fame, and Technology (Nebraska), this is by no means the first time that the way sports are reported has changed the sports world, and vice versa. The book chronicles how and why technology, religion, social movements, immigration, racism, sexism, social media, athletes, and sportswriters and broadcasters changed sports as well as how sports are covered and how news about sports are presented and disseminated. 

What’s next for you, Jackson?

JA: One of the things I like best about the Potomac Books imprint is to examine moments of history through personal, rarely told stories. Sue Stein’s new book, On Distant Service: The Life of the First U.S. Foreign Service Officer to Be Assassinated (Potomac Books) follows the life of Robert Whitney Imbrie, showcasing an extraordinary life witnessing the end of an imperial era and the changes that followed. Imbrie’s career in Russia during the October Revolution and the decisions that led to his death in Tehran showcase a changing world, with the role of Americans abroad rapidly changing alongside of it.

Tune in next month for more reading recommendations from your friendly neighborhood publicists!

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