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The Most Famous Man You Have Never Heard Of

Bruce Berkowitz's Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World is the first biography of a remarkable person. The Wall Street Journal calls the book "a work of ingenious detection and reconstruction." Referring to Playfair's ability to be in all places at all times, the WSJ review continues, "Mr. Berkowitz compares Playfair to Forrest Gump, but this frenetic optimist, both crafty and unlucky, who although constantly ambushed and battered by events, irrepressibly sprang back from his bad breaks, is more likely a cartoon character. He was the Wile E. Coyote of his age."

A Time Like No Other

Crucible: The President's First Year is the result of an ambitious project by the Miller Center of Public Affairs to examine the first years of past presidents to draw practical lessons from which future administrations might learn. Trump's First Year, which will be published simultaneously with Crucible to mark the first anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, is the only book of its kind—a thorough, concise, and nonpartisan examination of Trump's first year in office.

The Age of the Suck-Up

Without a doubt, the ascent of Trump brings with it a whole new era of bowing and scraping. But this calculated insincerity has always been a part of our society, as Mark and Deborah Parker make abundantly clear in their new book, Sucking Up: A Brief Consideration of Sycophancy.

The DNA of the Drink

As Micah LeMon explains in his new book, The Imbible: A Cocktail Guide for Beginning and Home Bartenders, good mixology demands a formula of spirit + sweet + sour/bitter. We have created a series of short videos showing LeMon in action.


Object Lessons

The long history of UVA receives its most colorful treatment yet in Brendan Wolfe's Mr. Jefferson's Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in 100 Objects. This fascinating and generously illustrated new book accompanies a new exhibition at UVA's Special Collections Library that brings the actual artifacts together in one remarkable display of history.

The Words Behind the War

Ken Burns' ten-part documentary, The Vietnam War, premiering on PBS September 17, will expose to 21st-century viewers many voices from that distant time. Among those voices will be the two presidents who held office during that turbulent era, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. Oval Office conversations, caught on tape, take the listener behind the scenes of this most controversial war. We are now making these conversations open to the public through our The Presidential Recordings Digital Edition web site, published by UVA Press's electronic imprint, ROTUNDA.

The 21st Century University

Scott Beardsley, Dean of UVA's world-renowned Darden Business School and a former executive with McKinsey and Company, discusses his new book, Higher Calling: The Rise of Nontraditonal Leaders in Academia, in a vitally relevant video interview.

An Incomplete History

In the wake of the recent tragic events here in Charlottesville, we have asked some of our authors to share their thoughts on the numerous issues suddenly thrust to the fore. We begin with Paul D. Escott, who explains that a complete understanding of history, not an idealized or incomplete conception of our past, is necessary for us to understand the events happening now before us.


The University of Virginia Press calls Charlottesville home, and like all of our city's residents we have been swept up in the events of the past week—some tragic, others inspiring, all of it historically significant. The UVA Press has a long tradition of publishing vital scholarship in the fields of Southern history and African-American studies. Following are some titles that we hope will illuminate the discussion coming out of the events here in Charlottesville.

LISTEN: 'Key to the Door' Editor Interviewed on NPR

Despite the University of Virginia's many distinguished African American faculty and alumni, the first black students' acceptance into the university was hard won and, not surprisingly, makes for a compelling and inspiring story. A Key to the Door presents this remarkable history through essays both by historians and by actual participants. Coeditor Maurice Apprey joined NPR's Kojo Nnamdi to discuss the book and shared stories of these pioneers.