2014 Women’s History Month Reading List


UNC Press has a long history on publishing outstanding work in the field of Women’s Studies. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to highlight some of the great work we’ve been proud to publish in the past year.

Click on an image below to start the slideshow. During our American history sale you can save 40% on all of these books, and others, too. Use discount code 01DAH40 at checkout on the UNC Press website. Here’s a direct link to our women’s history list.

Interview: Johnny Molloy on Hiking North Carolina’s National Forests

Johnny Molloy, author of Hiking North Carolina’s National Forests: 50 Can’t-Miss Trail Adventures in the Pisgah, Nantahala, Uwharrie, and Croatan National Forests, discusses his hiking experiences and gives some advice for hikers

Q: You’ve been known to say that “The wilderness is my office,” and have over 50 books focusing on hiking and outdoor adventures to your credit. What started you on this path?

Johnny Molloy

Johnny Molloy

A: I was lucky enough to go to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, which is next door to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I met an avid hiker in college; he took me one time, and I was hooked on the outdoors.

Q: How has your approach to guidebook writing and your style evolved over the years?

A: If it is possible, I take my job more seriously than ever, yet try to make sure to have fun doing it. In everything I do I keep the reader in mind and want to have them make the most of their precious time after they had spent some of their precious money purchasing my guidebooks. After writing over 50 books I have improved both the product and my efficiency. Working with acquisitions personnel and editors as well as input from readers has allowed me to pinpoint exactly what guidebook readers are after.

Q: Many hikers set forth on trails without knowing what lies ahead. What do you think of this approach?

A: There is a certain romance to not knowing what’s around the corner, and certainly some adventure there as well. However, most people these days are very busy and when they have the opportunity to get out on a hike they want to make the most of their precious time. That is where this book comes into play. I will steer you on a suitable hike, get you to the trailhead, and let you know what lies ahead. That way, there will be no bad surprises and you can relax and enjoy the natural beauty around you without worrying about finding the trailhead, getting lost on the trail, or other issues.

Q: This book focuses on hiking in the four North Carolina national forests: Croatan, Nantahala, Pisgah, and Uwharrie. Could you tell us a little more about each national forest, and how they are similar and different?

A: North Carolina’s national forests cover three distinct parts of the state—the mountains, the Piedmont, and the coastal plain. The Nantahala and Pisgah cover the Western mountain area and are more alike than not. They simply are located in different areas of the mountains. The Pisgah is in the northwest part of North Carolina and contains some of the highest terrain in the state, while the Nantahala covers primarily southwestern mountains. These mountains are divided by a vein-like network of streams. Elevations range from just over 1000 feet to over 6600 feet, resulting in a wide variety of plant and animal life.

The Uwharrie National Forest is located in the Piedmont. It does offer hilly terrain but elevation changes are much less than in the Appalachian range. Covering a mix of creeks, lakes, and woodlands, the Uwharrie protects an increasingly developed part of the state. Interestingly, fewer areas in the Piedmont are protected lands.The same goes for the Croatan National Forest. Much of this coastal plain area is either farmland or being developed, and having the wildlands of the Croatan ensures future generations that the ecosystem’s of the coastal plain will be preserved. This area includes tidal streams, coastal maritime woodlands, and interior pinelands.

Q: What makes the trails in national forests special, and what, specifically, makes hiking in North Carolina different?

A: North Carolina’s national forests present a wide range of hiking opportunities from well marked and maintained nature trails to primitive wilderness tracks that can barely be discerned. And that is the beauty of hiking and North Carolina—you can trek along remote mountaintops, along quiet secluded streams, or deep in evergreen forests, where not only do you have a variety of landscapes through which to walk but you also have a wide variety of trail conditions that suit the needs of hikers from the novice to an experienced professional.

Q: You offer a variety of hike levels, such as moderate, difficult, and easy, so all hikers can find appropriate options. How did you categorize each trail?

A: After spending 30 years hiking and writing over two dozen hiking guidebooks, I have developed an innate sense of judging hike difficulties. It is simply a matter of hiking thousands of trails and comparing them all to one another to come up with a difficulty rating. In the book I sought to include hikes of all difficulties in order to appeal to the widest range of trail enthusiasts.

Q: You document fifty trails in Hiking North Carolina. Did you personally hike all of them?

A: Yes, I hiked all fifty plus many more in the course of working on the book. The reason I write is so I can do what I love. I love to hike and over the course of three decades I have walked many a mile throughout the Tar Heel State. So I consider it a privilege to have spent as much time hiking in North Carolina’s national forest as I have. I tried to put that experience to good use in choosing the hikes, hiking the hikes, making maps, taking photographs, and writing about the hikes.
Continue reading ‘Interview: Johnny Molloy on Hiking North Carolina’s National Forests’ »

Michael H. Hunt: The Ukraine Crisis and the Rules Great Powers Play By

Home and Abroad: U.S. Foreign Relations in Historical Perspective  [This article was originally published on the author's blog, On Washington and the World]

Amidst all the commentary occasioned by Russia fishing in troubled Ukrainian waters, one fundamental point tends to get lost from sight. Like many other recent points of international tension, this one raises the question of what are the rules great powers play by.

The United States has championed a values-based approach with a strong missionary impulse behind it. Woodrow Wilson provided its first full-blown articulation, and post–World War II policy saw to its full-blown application. Holding a dominant global position, Washington sought with varying degrees of urgency and determination to advance a basket of ideological goods. U.S. leaders have articulated these goods in a variety of ways such as “democracy,” “free-market capitalism,” and “human rights.” But underlying all these formulations is a strong and distinctly American belief in the autonomy of the individual and a commitment to political liberty and limited state power. In the rhetoric of American statecraft these notions are a leitmotif. They have generally set the direction of U.S. policy responses to problems of the sort that Ukraine poses.

This American approach contrasts with a core dictum of classic realism: great powers have fundamental security interests most often manifested territorially. The venerable term to describe this situation is “spheres of influence.” What happens near borders matters considerably more than what happens half a world away. Globalization has perhaps qualified the dictum but hardly repealed it.
Continue reading ‘Michael H. Hunt: The Ukraine Crisis and the Rules Great Powers Play By’ »

UNC Press American History Sale 2014

UNC Press American HIstory Sale

UNC Press’s 40% sale on books in American History is back! Spring may have started today, but the winter weather blasts have not dropped off the weather forecast for us yet. What better way to ride out the last of the cold days than curling up with a great book from UNC Press? Enter the code 01DAH40 at checkout to receive the 40% discount.

Hopefully the end of your winter is grand, and here’s to spring. For some suggestions during our sale look below.

Nuclear ApartheidSeeing Race in Modern AmericaJim Crow Wisdom: Memory & Identity in Black America Since 1940Modern Food Moral Food





Shane J. Maddock: The Case for Nuclear Zero

Nuclear ApartheidToday we welcome a guest post from Shane J. Maddock, author of Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Atomic Supremacy from World War II to the PresentAfter World War II, an atomic hierarchy emerged in the noncommunist world. Washington was at the top, followed over time by its NATO allies and then Israel, with the postcolonial world completely shut out. An Indian diplomat called the system “nuclear apartheid.” Maddock provides an illuminating look at how an American nuclear policy based on misguided ideological beliefs has unintentionally paved the way for an international “wild west” of nuclear development, dramatically undercutting the goal of nuclear containment and diminishing U.S. influence in the world.

In today’s post, Maddock makes the case for why current U.S. policy on nuclear weapons causes an increase in global nuclear proliferation of instead of decreasing nuclear development across the globe.


For most of the nuclear age, nuclear abolitionists have worn the label of starry-eyed utopians, but a nuclear-free world has emerged as a pragmatic goal that would enhance U.S. security and reduce international tensions.

In the twenty-first century, nuclear weapons have ceased to be an asset for great powers. They are fundamentally unusable against the threats facing the major states, and the superpowers’ large nuclear arsenals only grant legitimacy to the efforts of smaller powers to acquire nuclear weapons in order to guard against great power attacks.

The gap between U.S. military power and the rest of the world is so great that nuclear weapons are superfluous. In 2012, the United States military budget constituted 39 percent of all global defense expenditures. Moreover, the United States and its allies occupied eleven out of the top fifteen spots on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s list of military expenditures for that same year. Together, the eleven nations account for over 60 percent of the world’s defense spending, while the only two nations that could be construed as even remotely hostile to the United States—Russia and China—combined to account for only 15 percent of global military spending. When a nation and its allies are out spending their closest rivals by a ratio of 4 to 1, it is reasonable to ask why nuclear weapons are necessary. In fact, this gap would be slightly larger if one included all U.S. allies in the calculation
Continue reading ‘Shane J. Maddock: The Case for Nuclear Zero’ »

Video: Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: “Making a Way out of No Way: Black Women in the Old South”

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, author of Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston, recently gave a talk for the James A. Hutchins Lecture at the Center for the Study of the American South entitled “Making a Way out of No Way: Black Women in the Old South.” In this lecture, she expands upon ideas discussed in her book about how black women fought for freedom in their oppressive environment.

In the video below, you can see Myers’s analysis of the ways in which black women in Charleston acquired, defined, and defended their own vision of freedom.

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers is associate professor of history at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her award -winning book Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston is available now.

Interview: Jodi Helmer on Farming and Agritourism in Georgia

In the following interview, Jodi Helmer, author of Farm Fresh Georgia: The Go-To Guide to Great Farmers’ Markets, Farm Stands, Farms, U-Picks, Kids’ Activities, Lodging, Dining, Dairies, Festivals, Choose-and-Cut Christmas Trees, Vineyards and Wineries, and More discusses agritourism in Georgia.

Q: What made you decide to write Farm Fresh Georgia as a part of UNC Press’s Farm Fresh series? And why did you choose to write about Georgia over any other state?

Jodi Helmer (photo by Lindsay Wynne Hess)

Jodi Helmer (photo by Lindsay Wynne Hess)

A: Diane Daniel, the author of Farm Fresh North Carolina, introduced me to UNC Press and the Farm Fresh series. As a journalist, I write a lot about sustainable living, agriculture, and travel, and I have a personal passion for growing food, raising animals, and supporting local farmers. Being part of the Farm Fresh series gave me the opportunity to combine my experience and interests to create a book that I hope will inspire others and shine a light on Georgia’s farmers.

Georgia is an amazing state with an amazing diversity of landscapes and experiences from the coast to the mountains which I was eager to explore—and Savannah is one of my favorite places in the world.

Q: You are not a native Georgian yourself; do you think having an “outsider’s perspective” on the state shaped your writing?

A: Yes, I do think that not being a local shaped the book. I saw the farms, wineries, roadside stands, and restaurants from a fresh perspective; there was no sense of “been there, done that” when I was exploring. I imagine that I had the same excitement as visitors who are using Farm Fresh Georgia to seek out new agritourism destinations; I hope the thrill of going to a new place for the first time comes through in the pages.

Q: Did you write this book mainly for agritourists from other states, or do you think Georgians could get some ideas from Farm Fresh Georgia too?

A: I believe the book is a valuable resource for visitors and locals alike. Visitors can seek out attractions based on their travel plans and learn a little more about them before setting off on a rural road. For locals, my hope is that Farm Fresh Georgia will help them learn something new about their favorite agritourism destinations and learn about hidden gems they haven’t explored.

Q: What is something that many people would be surprised to learn about Georgia?

A: Georgia is called the Peach State but it’s actually third in the nation for peach production (behind South Carolina and California). Even though the state doesn’t grow the most peaches, it does grow the tastiest!

Continue reading ‘Interview: Jodi Helmer on Farming and Agritourism in Georgia’ »

Announcing a new book series: Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges

UNC Press Mainheader
For years, environmental history has been crucial to UNC Press’s broader list. From Jack Kirby’s Bancroft Prize-winning study of Southern ecological landscapes, Mockingbird Song, to more recent books like David Kinkela’s DDT and the American Century, Thomas D. Rogers’s The Deepest Wounds, and Christopher C. Sellers’s Crabgrass Crucible, UNC Press has published books of lasting importance that draw from and contribute to this lively field. We’ve always been interested in books that appreciate the outsized influence that the landscape and ideas about the natural world have had in shaping the contours of histories of the Americas and the Caribbean. Now, as the field of environmental history continues to evolve and grow in more global directions, we eagerly seek work on this leading edge of scholarship.

To that end, UNC Press is very pleased to announce a new book series, Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges, which will publish works of environmental history with a transnational focus. Under the editorship of Mart A. Stewart and Harriet Ritvo, Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges seeks book projects that explore the cross-border movements of organisms and materials that have shaped the modern world, as well as the varied human attempts to understand, regulate, and manage these movements. Although the series will emphasize scholarship whose analysis is transnational in scope, it will also include scholarship that explores movement across intranational boundaries. The core discipline of the series will be environmental history, but authors might also engage with scholarship in such allied fields as agricultural and rural development history, urban history, political ecology, the history of science and technology, historical geography, and natural resource policy.

The series editors will be attending this year’s American Society for Environmental History meeting, and will be available to answer questions about the series there. Questions and submissions may also be directed to UNC Press editor Brandon Proia (brandon_proia@unc.edu).

Mart A. Stewart teaches courses in environmental and cultural history at Western Washington University, and is also an affiliate professor in Huxley College of the Environment. He is author of “What Nature Suffers to Groe”: Life, Labor, and Landscape on the Georgia Coast, 1680-1920 (Georgia, 1996; 2003) and many essays and articles, and co-editor of Environmental Change and Agricultural Sustainability in the Mekong Delta (Springer Scientific, 2011).

Harriet Ritvo is Arthur J. Conner Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She teaches courses in British history, environmental history, the history of human-animal relations, and the history of natural history. She is author of many books, including The Dawn of Green: Manchester, Thirlmere, and Modern Environmentalism (Chicago UP, 2009) and Noble Cows and Hybrid Zebras: Essays on Animals and History (Virginia, 2010). Her articles and reviews on British cultural history, environmental history, and the history of human-animal relations have appeared in a wide range of periodicals, including The London Review of Books, Science, Daedalus, The American Scholar, Technology Review, and The New York Review of Books, as well as scholarly journals in several fields.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/FlowsMigrationsAndExchanges.

Anne Balay: The Consequences of Marriage Inequality

Steel ClosetsToday we welcome a gust blog post from Anne Balay, author of Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Steelworkers. Even as substantial legal and social victories are being celebrated within the gay rights movement, much of working-class America still exists outside the current narratives of gay liberation. Balay draws on oral history interviews with forty gay, lesbian, and transgender steelworkers, mostly  living in northwestern Indiana, to give voice to this previously silent and invisible population. She presents powerful stories of the intersections of work, class, gender, and sexual identity in the dangerous industrial setting of the steel mill.

Previously, Balay blogged about the uneven expansion of of LGBT rights. In today’s post, she discusses the practical difficulties marriage inequality creates for LGBT steelworkers and their partners.


I recently received a “save the date” postcard announcing the marriage this coming summer of one of my narrators.  In Iowa.  By the time the wedding rolls around, marriage equality will exist in Illinois as well, though Indiana is going the other direction, with a campaign to amend the state constitution to explicitly forbid same sex marriage.

For my narrators—the forty transgender, lesbian, and gay steelworkers I interviewed—marriage is complicated. Insurance and survival benefits are not just theoretical issues for them. For example, Harriet’s partner has started attending college and wants to cut her work hours down to part time. Though they can manage the reduction of income, loss of benefits is too much risk, since both are women over 40, which puts them in many high-risk health categories. And Harriet’s job is dangerous and unpredictable. But if, God forbid, she suffers death or injury, her partner would not receive compensation.

At the time of this writing, the week has been dangerously cold in Gary,

Continue reading ‘Anne Balay: The Consequences of Marriage Inequality’ »

Andrea Weigl: One Recipe Leads to Another

Pickles and Preserves: A Savor the South Cookbook

Available Now

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Andrea Weigl, author of Pickles and Preserves: a Savor the South® Cookbook. Weigl defines the year by her canning sessions. In the winter, she makes bright yellow Jerusalem Artichoke Relish from her backyard crop. In the spring, she conjures up sweet red Strawberry Preserves. In the summer, it’s savory Yellow Squash Pickles and peaches, pickled, brandied, or as a thick butter. And in the fall, she folds her Fig Preserves into a cake famous on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. This book highlights the regional flair that southern cooks bestow on this traditional art of survival in preserving the South’s bountiful harvest. The fifty classic and inventive recipes—from Dilly Beans and Pickled Okra to Muscadine Jam and Habañero Gold Pepper Jelly—will have beginners and veterans alike rolling up their sleeves.

In today’s post, Weigl shares a recipe for a family favorite. This recipe is a special bonus (not available in the book) that grew out of an attempt to recreate an old recipe from the Great Depression.


One of the things I enjoy most about canning is discovering new recipes. This one for Pear Syrup only happened because I called my mom on the morning before a marathon canning session.

I mentioned in passing that I was making Pear Honey. My mother brightened, inquiring about the recipe. She was deflated to hear that Pear Honey was a preserve, like apple butter. She had hoped it was a recipe for a pear syrup that my Grandmother Anna Weigl used to make from the skins of pears. I listened to my mother’s story and decided at that moment to try to recreate my grandmother’s syrup.

My grandmother is a mythic figure in my family for her cooking abilities. I did not know her. She had a stroke when I was very young and later died. But I have heard many stories and researched her life. It didn’t surprise me in the least to hear that she made a syrup from what most of us would throw away.

Grandma Weigl was a creature of having endured a horrible recession in Germany after World War I, only to emigrate to the United States just in time for the Great Depression. The most telling detail I ever heard about her frugality was this: once her grandchildren were done with their fried eggs, she would scrap the leftover runny yolks back into the frying pan and make her grandchildren eat those scrambled eggs.

I know my grandmother had a pear tree in her backyard. If she made anything out of those pears or store-bought ones, she likely made this syrup using the leftover pear skins that she couldn’t bear to go to waste. Having heard that story right before I would be blessed with a pile of pear skins, I couldn’t just pitch them in the trash can. My recipe below yielded only two jars; one for my family and one for my mother. Having dropped one in the mail to my mom, I hope to hear soon about how my pear syrup compares to her taste memory.

Pear Syrup

Andrea Weigl’s Pear Syrup

Pear Syrup

Continue reading ‘Andrea Weigl: One Recipe Leads to Another’ »

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