BookTV airs “2008 Best of the Best from University Presses”

If you’re not on your way to the Lexington Barbecue Festival Saturday morning around 10 a.m., tune in to C-SPAN2 for BookTV’s presentation of the 2008 Best of the Best from University Presses. The program consists of a panel of 5 librarians discussing their favorite university press books of the year, one of which is Jeff Wiltse’s book Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America. Contested Waters has earned praise far and wide, including the William F. “Buck” Dawson Author’s Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Here’s just a sampling of what folks have had to say about the book:

“[An] intriguing history.” — People

“Incisive.” — The New Yorker

“Intelligent, compelling social history.” — Atlantic Monthly

“Wiltse persuasively shows that there are some very serious consequences to how Americans play together–and when and why they decide that they won’t.” — Washington Post Book World

Contested Waters isn’t a dreary historical catalog of shapes and styles of swimming pools vast and small. It’s the colorful story of America’s municipal swimming pools in the 19th and 20th centuries. Against that backdrop it becomes a story of America. It’s all here: a sense of this country’s benevolence, its community relations, civic wars, social strata, sexuality and sexism as well as our capacity for having a good time. Chronicled along with these are our ill-feeling prejudice, ignorance and racial strife. . . . [Contested Waters offers] a good course in America. All its traits, fine and lamentable are found here — the most vivid being, alas, our stinking racism.” — Dick Cavett, New York Times Book Review

Tune in Saturday to hear more about this book and the rest of the two-dozen standouts from university presses.

Have a great weekend!