It’s been way too long since we have run a piece by Mr. and Mrs. Dog author Donald McCaig. Many of you have read his series of posts about a little sheepdog named Fly (including this one…and this one). In this latest piece, human understanding runs up against dog understanding. Guess who’s smarter.
At the first Sturgis National Finals SDT trial hosts had decorated the field in a patriotic motif. The fetch, drive, and crossdrive panels were vivid red, white, and blue. Which created a problem for the sheep. Put yourself in their wool: here they’d been living quiet sheepy lives on some butte somewhere, been snatched up, loaded into large aluminum trailers (from which no sheep had ever returned), and plopped down in unfamiliar pens (“Where are we, Martha!!!”), until they and three others were taken by a mounted cowboy and a couple dogs and spotted for an unknown dog to suddenly appear and take AWAY!
Before you say no thanks, just know that this exotic approach to Thanksgiving is being proposed by Jeffrey Greene, who has already introduced us to the elusive pied de cheval oyster and foraging in the Carpathians. The man knows his food. Like those earlier pieces, this one grew out of research for his next book, on wild edibles.
While Henry James observed famously in a letter that “it’s a complex fate, being an American,” and James Baldwin struggled to define what being American even means, I rarely ponder quandaries of national identity, even living here in France. However, it’s a complex fate for anyone to explain the codified American phenomenon called Thanksgiving. My mother, in her eighties, assiduously observes American Thanksgiving, though she lives in a remote canal village in Burgundy and is obliged to make a special order for a whole turkey, usually available in France only at Christmas.
As part of this year’s University Press Week, we are proud to join 36 other university presses in a blog tour that will touch on some of the most pressing issues in our industry. Blogging along with us today are Harvard University Press, Stanford University Press, the University of Texas Press, Duke University Press, Temple University Press, and the University of Minnesota Press. A schedule for the entire week is here. Today’s theme is the future of scholarly publishing, so we turned to Holly Shulman, who served as editor of The Dolley Madison Digital Edition, the first publication under our electronic imprint, and coeditor of Rotunda’s latest title, People of the Founding Era.
This week Iran sat down with representatives from the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany—as part of the P5+1 meeting—to discuss plans to scale back its nuclear program. It is hoped that the talks result not only in a plan acceptable to all parties but a new openness in communication between Iran and the world. So far the signs have been positive. R. K. Ramazani, renowned Iran scholar and author of Independence without Freedom: Iran’s Foreign Policy, already contributed some thoughts on new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, and now he looks more closely at Iran’s relations with the United States.
The University of Virginia is one of the nation’s top institutions of higher learning. Establishing credibility was a process, however, not a given—even with Thomas Jefferson as its founder. UVa went through very real growing pains, as Rex Bowman and Carlos Santos make clear in their new book Rot, Riot, and Rebellion: Mr. Jefferson’s Struggle to Save the University that Changed America. In the following piece, coathor Carlos Santos takes on an issue at the center of higher learning—tuition—and illustrates how Edgar Allan Poe’s folks didn’t have it any better than your folks…
Much has changed at the University of Virginia in the past 185 years, but not tuition shock—that feeling of parental despair and pain over the cost of a college education. UVa President Teresa A. Sullivan recently released some sticker-shock news. She announced changes to the nationally recognized AccessUVa financial-aid program, reverting back to loans versus outright grants. The adjustments will be phased in over a four-year period by class, beginning with the 2014-15 academic year. Sullivan says that “once fully implemented, this new approach will help the University moderate escalating program costs by about $6 million per year.” But it won’t moderate parental costs at all, of course.
This fall we will be bringing out Independence without Freedom: Iran’s Foreign Policy, in which one of the great commentators on modern Iran, R. K. Ramazani, summarizes six decades of political history in this volatile and important nation. With the election this summer of a new president, Ramazani has several important questions about the future of Iran and the promises made by its new leader. Ramazani writes, “Hassan Rouhani’s surprise landslide victory in Iran’s elections astounded Iranians, Americans, and much of the world. In his victory speech, he claimed he would travel the road to ‘moderation.’ What does this mean? Is he a ‘mianeh ro’ or ‘e’tedal,’ meaning middle of the road or just man, or alternatively, is he simply against extremism? If so, is he a ‘centrist’ and ‘pragmatist,’ responding flexibly to different situations, or is he, as he has been called, ‘the diplomatic sheikh’?”