Behind the Book: Illiberal Practices

by krm | Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 7:00 AM

Illiberal Practices: Territorial Variance within Large Federal Democracies builds on a growing literature in comparative politics that focuses on subnational political processes. The volume offers comparative studies of subnational democracy in six of the world’s largest federations and illuminates the causes and consequences of uneven democratic development within countries.

Within subunits of a democratic federation, lasting political practices that restrict choice, limit debate, and exclude or distort democratic participation have been analyzed in recent scholarship as subnational authoritarianism. Illiberal Practices makes the case that subnational units in democratic countries are more likely to operate by means of illiberal structures and practices than as fully authoritarian regimes.

The contributors to this volume look at six very large federal democracies which between them encompass half the total world population of those living under nationally “democratic” systems of government. These are also six democratic federations with notably varied political responsiveness to citizen demands. They include older democracies such as the United States and India, as well as countries that democratized at the end of the Cold War, such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Russia. The cases show that territorial...Read More

All Roads Lead to NPS

by krm | Monday, August 29, 2016 - 7:00 AM

The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its centennial anniversary in the month of August! NPS has served as a valuable resource for many of our authors, both professionally and recreationally. To commemorate the occasion, our authors have taken to the blog to pay homage to “America’s best idea”! Check back with us throughout the month of August for more #JHUPressOnNPS! ( Series photo credit: Wikimedia )

It is difficult to write a book about American architecture before the Civil War without making contact with the National Park Service. Especially is this true when the subject is colonial architecture in Philadelphia, long one of the headquarters of the Park Service and the site of one of the most visited parks in the nation, Independence National Historic Park (INHP) . Our book, The Philadelphia Country House: Architecture and Landscape in Colonial America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), tangentially involved several buildings in INHP (such as Independence Hall and Carpenters’ Hall) as comparative examples. It also included in a more significant role the Park Service’s Deshler-Morris House...Read More

August Media Roundup

by krm | Friday, August 26, 2016 - 7:00 AM

The sweltering August heat pales in comparison to our authors! Check out our hottest publicity this month:

Justin Schmidt’s The Sting of the Wild (HC: 9781421419282; $24.95) was featured in a 4-page spread in New York Times Magazine , CNN’s The Big Story and Business Insider this month. Other recent coverage for the book includes The Guardian , Science Friday , BBC Earth , and Atlas Obscura .

The Poems of T.S. Eliot , volumes 1&2 (Volume 1 HC: 9781421420172, $44.95 / Volume 2 HC: 9781421420172; $39.95) edited by Christopher Ricks and James McCue were reviewed in London Review of Books . They received a brief mention in The New York Times Book Review’s “By the Book” column recently.

A slideshow of photos from Dante Fenolio’s Life in the Dark (HC: 9781421418636; $39.95) appeared on The Weather Channel online. The book recently received coverage in BBC Science Focus Magazine , Nature’s...Read More

Recovering our Maritime Heritage at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site

by krm | Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 7:00 AM

The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its centennial anniversary in the month of August! NPS has served as a valuable resource for many of our authors, both professionally and recreationally. To commemorate the occasion, our authors have taken to the blog to pay homage to “America’s best idea”! Check back with us throughout the month of August for more #JHUPressOnNPS! ( Series photo credit: Wikimedia )

One can walk the cobbled alleys and brick byways of Salem, Massachusetts and experience virtually the entirety of this country’s history. A stop at Pioneer Village, 1630, overlooking Salem Harbor, reveals the landscape as it likely looked before first contact, when Native Americans summered at Naumkeag, the “fishing place.” A meander along the town’s official heritage trail will take us past a statue dedicated to Roger Conant, a religious reformer who led a group of forty English families to Naumkeag in 1626 and who merged his group with a Puritan party two years later to christen the site Salem. Most visitors presume that the cloaked state of Conant that stands...Read More

Danger and Romance in America: A US National Park Profile

by krm | Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 7:00 AM

If you could explore another world, would you?

Last year, a staggering 307 million people hiked, paddled, skied and meandered through our 58 US National Parks - the highest number of annual visits in history. The National Parks Service is in charge of protecting all these marvels, and no group does more to ensure that the natural world remains accessible to all Americans, so cheers to the NPS on its 100th anniversary!

In addition to their pivotal role protecting vital natural resources, the awe-inspiring vistas and diverse ecosystems of our national parks allow us to experience a different, wilder world that exists alongside our mundane human hustle of flatscreens and fluorescent cubicles.

I fear that too many people have a trite view of US National Parks- conjuring images of cartoon bears pilfering picnic baskets from camping Cleavers. To counter this misconception, I’d like to pay homage to our national parks by sharing an extraordinary adventure I had in one. Hopefully, it will get you wondering about what amazing journeys might await if you choose to step through these portals into other lands.

...Read More