UNC Press Signs Anne C. Bailey, Randall Balmer, and Anthea D. Butler to Ferris & Ferris Books Imprint

UNC Press announced today the signing of three important additions to its new Marcie Cohen Ferris and William R. Ferris Imprint for high-profile, general interest books about the American South.

Executive editor Debbie Gershenowitz bought world rights from Faith Childs at Faith Childs Literary Agency to historian and contributor to the New York Times’ 1619 Project Anne C. Bailey’s follow up to her 2017 book, The Weeping Time. In the new work, to be published in fall 2023, Bailey is continuing and expanding her research into how descendants of the enslaved people sold at the largest slave auction in U.S. history have experienced processes of trauma, memory, and redemption, while applying a wider lens to the topic.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work again with Anne Bailey, a gifted historian and eloquent storyteller. Anne’s tireless detective work in tracing the descendants of the African slave trade and allowing them to honor their ancestors via their own traumas, memories, commemorations, and activism offers lessons to all of us on finding resilience and empowerment in the face of oppression and tragedy,” Gershenowitz said.

Executive editor Elaine Maisner bought world rights from Carol Mann at the Carol Mann Agency to Randall Balmer’s To Everything a Season: How Team Sports Became America’s New Religion, to be published in 2022.  A leading historian of American religion, Balmer became addicted to sports radio—and was inspired to look deeply into North American history to figure out why team sports invoke such peculiarly devotional passions among sports fans.

“This book will bring together both of Randall Balmer’s passions, and with publication arriving around the time that spectator sports will likely roar back after the COVID-19 crisis, Balmer will be proven to be astonishingly astute,” Maisner said.

Maisner also bought world rights to historian and popular opinion writer Anthea D. Butler’s hard-hitting, clear-eyed, and unsettling chronicle of the racism that has consistently operated through the course of American history at the core of conservative white evangelical politics. It continues to fester today in an evangelical blind spot. The book, titled White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America, is scheduled to be published in Spring 2021.

“Anthea Butler brings her vibrant and ultimately compassionate voice to the tough story chronicled in White Evangelical Racism: how America’s racial history underlies the connection between religion and electoral politics today. This is a reality that bears on every American, no matter one’s religion or ethos, so we’d better open our eyes to it,” Maisner said.

The Marcie Cohen Ferris and William R. Ferris Imprint is supported by a multimillion-dollar endowment created in honor of the Ferrises at the Press. Its inaugural volume, Grace Elizabeth Hale’s Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture, was published in March 2020, and other authors under contract include Karen Cox, Adrian Miller, and a major new multi-authored history of the South edited by W. Fitzhugh Brundage.

The Press intends to publish two to three books annually under the Ferris & Ferris Books imprint.

Founded in 1922, UNC Press is the oldest university press in the South and one of the oldest in the United States. It is an affiliate of the University of North Carolina System.