Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Celebrating University Press Week

To celebrate the Association of American University Presses (AAUP)'s University Press Week, we're sharing some quotes collected from prominent folks in government, publishing, academia, the arts, and the book business!

"University presses provide American citizens and their leaders a wealth of authoritative knowledge and fresh insights on the nations, economies, cultures, and beliefs of virtually every corner of the world. They also advance in-depth understanding of our own country—the political, social, and cultural heritage of virtually every region, population group, and issue in America, past and present. University presses cover it all, and all of us benefit from their work." —Dr. Robert A. Gates, former Secretary of Defense, former CIA director, and former president of Texas A&M University
"I'm proud to join AAUP in celebrating University Press Week because scholars and students, professors and public servants, citizens and communities rely on university presses to connect with one another. By sharing new ideas and challenging old assumptions, university presses – including Ohio's own university presses – connect citizens with one another and give us the tools needed to strengthen our democracy."
—Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio

"University presses not only provide the only outlet for those who produce serious scholarship in history, the humanities and the social sciences, they provide an opportunity for innovative manuscripts written by people outside of universities to see the light of day. I have not only published two historical works and a memoir with a university press, I have helped two authors, one a public school teacher, the other a professional basketball player turned banker, publish extremely well received memoirs that commercial publishers would have never invested in. University presses keep serious intellectual discourse alive in a  nation where the profit motive holds greater and greater sway." —Prof. Mark D. Naison, Professor of African American Studies and History, Fordham University, and Principal Investigator, Bronx African American History Project

"University Presses have a unique and sustaining value in shaping, representing, and communicating the best of academic research to a broad public. All academics have a stake in their success." —James J. O'Donnell, Provost, Georgetown University
"What words to describe the university press? Patient, ambitious, demanding, sustaining, generous, utterly essential. Serious thinking is unimaginable without it." —William Germano, Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Cooper Union

"The immensely diverse group of American university presses constantly bring the qualities of discovery and excitement to the world of reading, and form the nerve center in the biology of a bookstore like ours. Books on the history and culture of our region, beautiful art books, novels that commercial houses find too risky to publish (but sometimes win a Pulitzer Prize), important new poetry, literature in translation, affordable paperbacks of forgotten backlist, the cutting edge of scholarship and new critical perspectives— skillfully and beautifully designed, judiciously selected and carefully edited, competently presented to our bookstore and to the reading public—all are essential to the character of our store, and a major reason why American publishing continues to be recognized throughout the world for excellence." —Richard Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS

"The role of the university press in the life of book publishing—indeed the life of the mind—has never been more crucial. University presses provide the reading public with access to ideas and talents that would otherwise remain unheard and unread. These brave presses defy marketplace trends to champion good books by good authors, and increasingly publish them as lovingly and skillfully as any commercial house.  As an author who publishes with commercial and university presses alike, I am proud to be affiliated with organizations and editors that take such exquisite care in promoting quality and innovation in my field of American history. UNC, Harvard, LSU, Kansas, Southern Illinois, and Fordham have all been second homes to me—and I hope, as well, for discriminating readers determined to seek out wisdom from the past that can inform the present and inspire the future." —Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President, External Affairs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
"Is it time for the monks to start packing their books and retiring into monasteries? Everywhere we look, once-proud commercial publishers are compromising their standards and abandoning their editorial function, once the glory of American publishing. This leaves the university presses as the major redoubt for serious bookmen, and bookwomen. Happily, a part of the public understand this, and is increasingly prepared to check what the academic publishers are issuing. Here, at least, is real hope for the future of the book and of reading in America. If the university presses succeed in their mission, it may not be necessary for the monks to start packing after all." —Fred Starr, Senior Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University SAIS

"Like other authors of historical works, it was a university press, in my case, Louisiana State University Press, that I found uniquely able to provide the informed research and editing required for my Asia reportage. By fostering university presses, AAUP provides indispensable means for publication of the broad range of books which our society requires." —Seymour Topping, author, former administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, and former managing editor of the New York Times

"University presses serve an invaluable function in bringing titles to the public that have a small but intense readership, works of scholarly or artistic interest. In addition, university presses keep their books in print for a long time, unlike commercial houses. The University of Wisconsin's lesbian and gay list, mainly of biographies and autobiographies, has helped me immensely in my work." —Edmund White, novelist

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