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UK Historians Publish Five Books in One Month

By Gail Hairston, Dara Vance

(Sept. 14, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of History needs to build an extra book shelf. 

Five department faculty members — Ronald Formisano, Erik Myrup, Gerald Smith, Jeremy Popkin and Akiko Takenaka — published their own books between July and August of 2015.  The publication of five books in a year is a significant achievement for many academic units, but the publication of five books in one month is unprecedented at UK. 

The simultaneous publication of five books by faculty at varying stages of their careers indicates the diversity and depth of talent in the UK history department, said the department’s interim chair, Tracy Campbell.

“Five books in one month is a really big deal, and we want to celebrate with Lexington,” Campbell said.

In order to directly connect Lexington with the authors, the history department and Morris Book Shop have collaborated to host an authors’ reception at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. 

Writing a book, Campbell said, is a tremendous commitment involving years of research, travel and endless editing. Each of these books is unique, covering a wide range of interests: Plutocracy in America, power and corruption, historiography, Kentucky’s African America heritage, and postwar Japan.

Authors will address their research and inspiration, and event attendees can meet the authors, ask questions and obtain signatures.   

“This is a chance to celebrate with the Lexington community,” Campbell said.  “We want to share with people, inside and outside of UK, the remarkable productivity and creativity of the UK history department.” 

The history professors’ new books are:

  • Ronald Formisano – “Plutocracy in America: How Increasing Inequality Destroys the Middle Class and Exploits the Poor,” John Hopkins University Press
  • Erik Myrup – “Power and Corruption in the Early Modern World,” LSU Press
  • Jeremy Popkin – “From Herodotus to H-Net; The Story of Historiography,” Oxford University Press
  • Gerald Smith – “The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia,” The University Press of Kentucky
  • Akiko Takenaka – “Yasukuni Shrine: History, Memory, and Japan’s Unending Postwar,” The University of Hawaii Press

For more information, contact The Morris Book Shop, 882 E. High St. in Lexington, 859-276-0494,