Books to Watch out for in 2023

As we come to a close on this year, we’re excited to share a preview of some of our forthcoming 2023 books.

Continental Reckoning by Elliott West

Continental Reckoning (Nebraska, February) presents a sweeping narrative of the American West and its vital role in the transformation of the nation.

“A comprehensive, lucid, and often surprising history of western settlement in America.”—Kirkus Review, starred

“Encyclopedic in its coverage, wonderfully written, full of revealing details, shrewd and funny in its analysis, Continental Reckoning will become the standard work on the creation of the American West. Elliott West remains astute and fair in covering a place and period often reduced to ideology and polemic. No one knows the nineteenth-century American West better than he does.”—Richard White, author of The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1896

Keorapetse Kgositsile by Keorapetse Kgositsile

Keorapetse Kgositsile, South Africa’s second poet laureate, was a political activist, teacher, and poet. This comprehensive collection of Kgositsile’s new and collected works spans almost fifty years and will be published in January.

“If I could sing, after a sudden rain, I would certainly praise in my song Keorapetse Kgositsile’s poetry because it was shaped by his body and his soul, both of them existing all along a marvelous and historical lifetime—Willie’s property—forever beginning, forever laughing, like he did himself, inspired, nourished by Afrika, the deep and wise homeland of our own. His transparent voice was given to the service of freedom, all over the planet. Kgositsile is like his fellow poet David Diop, a strong ‘spirit, ever since unchained.’ And I will always say to him: Thanks, brother, ‘You are what Man should be.’”—Nancy Morejón, author of Before A Mirror, The City and Homing Instincts/Querencias

“[Kgositsile’s] poems transcend the superficial definitions which some might attempt to make on the basis of quick-draw ideologies, tactics and postures from yesterday’s conferences, and keep their fingers on the pulsations of the Black soul history. That emotional history, with its consequent cry for steadiness and action, for undeviating clear-sightedness, for rejection of death, in its range of reference and feeling, jumps forth in these pages as truly deep Pan-Africanism—the truly joining thing.”—George Kent, introduction to The Present is a Dangerous Place to Live

JEWels edited by Steve Zeitlin

JEWels (JPS, February) is the first of its kind: the living tradition of Jewish stories and jokes transformed into poems, recording and reflecting Jewish experience from ancient times through the present day. In this novel hybrid—jokes and stories boiled down to their essence in short poems—Jewish witticism is preserved side by side with evocative storytelling and deepened with running commentary and questions for discussion.

“Steve Zeitlin is a national treasure who celebrates the voices of everyday life. Wise, funny, and poignant, his book JEWels brings Judaism to life in short bursts of words that explode off the page and infuse our hearts with light and truth.”—Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps

“I could not put this book down. JEWels is brilliant, intelligent, well researched, and has heart. It’s an immersive experience in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, but the parts are what matter, each jewel standing on its own.”—Amy Shuman, professor in the Department of English at Ohio State University and author of Other People’s Stories

Small but Important Riots by Robert F. O’Neill

Small but Important Riots (Potomac Books, January) is a tactical study of fighting from June 17 to 22, 1863, at Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, placed within the strategic context of the Gettysburg campaign. It is based on Robert O’Neill’s thirty years of research and access to previously unpublished documents, which reveal startling new information.

“The product of nearly thirty years of effort and accumulated knowledge, Robert O’Neill’s book challenges what we have known about an essential part of the Gettysburg campaign. This is military history with humanity—events seen through the eyes of the people who in June 1863 turned the country roads connecting Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, Virginia, into a sprawling landscape of battle. . . . Deep research, new insights, clear writing, and unexcelled knowledge of the ground and personalities make this book essential reading for anyone interested in the momentous months of June and July 1863.”—John Hennessy, chief historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

“No one knows more about these three fierce cavalry engagements of the Gettysburg campaign or the documentary details of Union cavalry service in the East than Robert O’Neill. This revision of his 1993 study is based on even more details teased out of archival sources and a walking familiarity with the battlegrounds. It’s an essential text if you want to understand cavalry service in the Civil War.”—Andrew W. German, historian and author of a forthcoming book on the First Pennsylvania Cavalry

Field Guide to a Hybrid Landscape photographs by Dana Fritz

In Field Guide to a Hybrid Landscape (Bison Books, January) Dana Fritz traces the evolution of the Bessey Ranger District and Nursery of the Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands. Fritz’s contemporary photographs of this unique ecosystem, with provocative environmental essays, maps, and historical photographs from the U.S. Forest Service archives, illuminate the complex environmental and natural history of the site, especially as it relates to built environments, land use, and climate change.

Check out this featured article on UNL’s website about Fritz’s new book!

“As we consider ways to mitigate climate change and to remember our connection and responsibility to nature, this book is important. Afforestation’s history in the Nebraska Sandhills is an informative, fascinating, and useful story. What I like best about this book is the combination of art, science, history, and geography, which belong together anyway, but seldom are as smoothly integrated as in Dana Fritz’s work here.”—Terry Evans, photographer and author of Prairie Stories and Heartland: The Photographs of Terry Evans

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