JHU Press Blog

The Doctor Is In: The truth about epidurals

by cmt | Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 8:30 AM

The Doctor Is In is an occasional series where JHU Press authors discuss the latest developments and news in health and medicine. Guest post by Richard Siegenfeld, M.D. Have you ever wondered why there is still so much angst over epidurals for childbirth, even with all the medical information at a person’s fingertips? One reason is just that--there’s so much information; information that is unfortunately entwined with so much misinformation and a few exaggerated partial truths, too! Anybody who watched the recent presidential debates, with the accompanying “truth meters” at the end, can attest to how much spin can be strategically placed on just about any topic. A quick web search under “epidural” yields first-page results that show what the average expectant mother must deal with when researching labor and delivery. One popular parenthood website states that “The mother must remain completely still for insertion, even through severe contractions.” This statement is not only misleading, but it evokes overwhelming apprehension in the person who is considering a labor epidural. In reality, placing an epidural is not an extremely delicate process. Women who make small to moderate movement during the procedure may slow us anesthesiologists down and, in extreme...Read More

Positive reinforcement

by bjs | Friday, November 30, 2012 - 9:57 AM

Staff members from all corners of the JHU Press attend conferences throughout the year. Those of us who travel—I am kind of a pinch-hitter in this regard for the Journals Division—try to spread the word of our books, journals, and electronic products while also selling copies of books and subscriptions to journals. We regularly receive very nice comments about our products, but you can never tell the impact of that positive interaction. Sure, someone may like a book jacket or find the subject matter of a book fascinating, but does that carry beyond a conversation at an exhibit booth? A few weeks after the recent Association for the Study of Higher Education conference in Las Vegas, we found out just how our work can make a lasting impression. Fiona McQuarrie , a faculty member in the School of Business at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, British Columbia, had visited our booth and checked out the 2013 Journals Catalog. The piece, which recently won Platinum honors in the Brochure/Catalog category in the 2013 MarCom Award s, caught her eye and inspired her to write about it...Read More

November news and new books

by cmt | Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 9:30 AM

News and Notes

E-books now available on JHUP website Did you know that hundreds of our books are available as e-books from vendors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble? Well, we’re pleased to announce that you can now buy e-books directly from our website . Simply add the e-book to your shopping cart and choose your format; ePub, Mobi, and PDF are all available. Check back often, as new e-books are hitting our website every day.

Praise and Reviews

The Charlotte Observer calls Ronald Coddington’s African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album a stunning album of 77 portrait photographs . . . handsomely reproduced ."

Hot off the Press

Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard: A Cultural History William Kerrigan takes a fresh look at American icon Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman and the story of the apple. The Epidural Book: A Woman’s Guide to Anesthesia for Childbirth Addresses concerns, confusion, and misinformation about epidurals and other childbirth anesthesia. ...Read More

The Story of "The 36 Hour Day"

by cmt | Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 9:00 AM

by Jack Holmes, Institutional Outreach and Publicity Officer In honor of University Press Week , the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) invited publishers to select one title from their full catalog of publications that they felt exemplifies the work they do. Here, JHU Press—with 134 years of history to choose from—shares how we made that decision. An abridged version of this post was originally published in Fine Print* (*and digital!) , AAUP's online gallery of titles—books, journals, online collections, and reference works— selected by AAUP members for this purpose. It is easy to imagine that all the presses participating in the AAUP Fine Print* project had difficulty selecting just one publication to represent a legacy that might include decades of publishing, numerous subject areas, various formats, and many distinguished achievements. That was certainly true for us at the JHU Press as we considered our Fine Print selection. We might reasonably have chosen the American Journal of Mathematics , which J. J. Sylvester founded in 1878 and which remains a centerpiece of our journals publishing program. We thought Project MUSE , the highly regarded online collection...Read More

The Doctor Is In: Don't Let the Winter Blues Get you Down

by cmt | Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 8:00 AM

The Doctor Is In is an occasional series where JHU Press authors discuss the latest developments and news in health and medicine. guest post by Mark D. Miller, M.D. With the holiday season kicking off at Halloween these days (at least you'd think so from retail store decorations), many people begin to feel a sense of dread instead of high holiday spirits. Several factors can be responsible for this phenomenon: some people are shut-ins; others miss loved ones who have died or live too far away to visit; and still others feel empty because of commercialism or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD—which is sometimes called winter blues or cabin fever—is characterized largely by an energy crisis in the sufferer, who feels listless, avoids socializing, and experiences a decline in libido. SAD sufferers trend toward couch potato status. They shun activity, instead lounging around or staying in bed for long periods, then rise in the morning feeling unrefreshed. They often experience weight gain as a result of munching carbohydrates. To try to feel better, some take to drinking more alcohol, which compounds the problem further. What causes SAD? It turns out that humans are affected by the sun, much...Read More

The magic of the fat envelope

by bjs | Monday, November 12, 2012 - 9:31 AM

by Brian Shea, Journals PR and Advertising Coordinator In college admissions, the presence of a fat envelope portends good news. A rejection letter doesn’t need to come with the myriad forms and information an admitted student requires. I don’t know if this premise still holds true in the digital age, but I do know what it represents for the 2012 MarCom Awards . The fat envelope I received from this international competition contained the news that our Journals Marketing Department had won five awards. Administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), the MarCom Awards recognize outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals. There were over 6,000 entries from throughout the United States, Canada, and several other countries in the 2012 competition The 2012 and 2013 Journals Catalog each received Platinum honors, the highest award given, in the Brochure/Catalog category. The new "In Other Words" video series won Gold honors in the Web Video/Educational Series. A 2012 brochure for the Association for the Study of Higher Education won an honorable mention in the Design (Print)/Brochure category while the re-designed ...Read More

The Civil War through a Jewish lens

by bjs | Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Guest Post by Adam Mendelsohn In the century after the Civil War ended, those who were interested in the experience of Jews in the Union and Confederacy focused on their military service, in many cases hoping to extol Jewish bravery as an antidote to prejudice and present their service as a mark of ethnic pride. Fifty years ago, historians of American Jewry marked the centenary of the conflict with a museum exhibition, conference, and outpouring of scholarship that reexamined a subject that had been the preserve of amateur historians. Several myths were debunked and new themes explored. The field of American Jewish history and the historiography of the Civil War itself look very different from how they did in 1961. As happened fifty years ago, it has taken an anniversary to rekindle sustained interest in Jewish participation in America’s bloodiest war. The recent special issue of American Jewish History (Volume 97, Number 1) is the direct product of a conference organized by the College of Charleston in May 2011 to mark the sesquicentennial of the conflict. Historians of American Jewry have been encouraged by a broadening of Civil War scholarship beyond the battlefield to...Read More

Wild Thing: How do quills work?

by cmt | Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Wild Thing is an occasional series where JHU Press authors write about the flora and fauna of the natural world—from the rarest flower to the most magnificent beast.

Guest post by Uldis Roze

Having grown up in large cities where porcupines are absent, I was in my 30s before I saw my first porcupine in the wild. We met at night, in the light cone of my flashlight, as the porcupine was chewing our freshly-built cabin at a woods edge in the Catskills. The animal looked surreal and wild, but I had no doubt about its identification. It had quills, therefore it was a porcupine.

But the quills that give porcupines their easy identification and shape their natural histories are themselves the source of endless mystery and mystification.

Do porcupines throw their quills? All scientific accounts assure readers to the contrary, but it wasn’t always so. Writing in the April 16, 1956 issue of Sports Illustrated , Dr. William J. Lang describes a porcupine he had surprised in a woodshed: “With an upward flick of his tail, one quill grazed my cheek, another stuck in my hat brim . . ....Read More

Presidential Debates: What about Urban Issues?

by cmt | Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 9:00 AM

guest post by Peter Beilenson, MD, MPH

As the former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, I spent thirteen years working with Mayors Kurt Schmoke and Martin O’Malley trying to address the myriad issues affecting a large city. Thus, I am particularly distressed that virtually none of the 360 minutes allotted to the four debates between the Democratic and Republican tickets have concerned urban problems (the President’s mention of violence in Chicago being the only brief exception).

America’s major cities are home to well over half of the country’s population and serve as the economic engines of the regions in which they are located. If a city is prospering and vibrant, the entire region is likely to be in good shape as well. If a city is dysfunctional and beset by crime and poverty, the whole region is affected negatively. It is imperative that the nation’s voters—whether they live in city or suburb—have some knowledge of how President Obama and Governor Romney wish to address a wide variety of urban issues.

Through my experience in Baltimore and my observations of other major cities, it seems clear to me that for a city (or a community...Read More

Chapter & Verse: How I write verse

by cmt | Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Chapter & Verse is a series where JHU Press authors and editors discuss the literary landscape of poetry and prose, whether their own creative work or the literature of others. Guest post by X. J. Kennedy Most of my poems begin in bed. I’ll wake up in the morning with a line or a couple of lines rattling around in my mind—a fragment composed during sleep—like a beached stick of driftwood. If it rhymes or has rhythm or makes some odd observation, it looks promising and worth pursuing—like “How suddenly she roused my ardor, / That woman with wide-open car door.” That beginning, despite its outrageously far-out rhyme, led to a short poem, “Close Call.” Writing in rhyme and meter holds at least one advantage. It enforces memory. In bed, I can tool a poem around on the screen of my brain-pan, revising and fussing with the lines as if I were sitting at a computer. As a rule, I can remember maybe eighteen, twenty lines before my head starts to slop over. Then I have to go set down those lines on paper before they disappear. Sometimes I start writing a poem without the faintest notion of...Read More