News

Lehigh University Press Announces Three New Board Members

Lehigh University Press is proud to welcome three new board members to its family: Jessecae Marsh, Paul Brockman, and George DuPaul.

An associate professor of psychology, Dr. Marsh serves as the Director of the Health, Medicine, and Society Program. She is a trained cognitive psychology, with interests in health reasoning and decision making and higher order cognition. Her research investigates how people’s beliefs about causal relationships influence their thinking, especially in regard to how they think about categories in the world. She recently co-edited a special section for the journal Clinical Psychological Science on how multidisciplinary research approaches can be used to study clinical decision-making.

A professor of finance, Dr. Brockman serves also as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research and holds the Joseph R. Perella and Amy M. Perella Chair. His research interests include corporate finance, capital markets, market microstructure, derivative securities, and international finance, with a focus on corporate decision making.

A professor of School Psychology in the Department of Education and Human Services, Dr. DuPaul's primary research interests are school-based assessment and intervention for children, adolescents, and young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related disorders. He also has strong interests in the emerging field of pediatric school psychology. Currently, he is working with colleagues and students on a randomized controlled trial of school support strategies for high school students with ADHD as well as the development of a mobile app to assist parents of young children at-risk with ADHD to implement effective behavioral techniques.

We are very happy to have Dr. Marsh, Dr. Brockman, and Dr. DuPaul on board. Their expertise will no doubt be indispensable.

Review of Law and Medicine in Revolutionary America: Dissecting the "Rush v. Cobbett" Trial, 1799

Marcia D. Nichols of the University of Minnesota Rochester has written a fantastic review of Linda Myrsiades' book Law and Medicine in Revolutionary America. This review was published in vol. 139, no. 2 of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, and can also be found below:

In 1797, Benjamin Rush sued William Cobbett for libel. Rush’s decision to address in the courtroom the biting criticism “Porcupine” had leveled at “Sangrado” during the 1797 yellow fever epidemic was a highly risky strategy that ultimately proved a pyrrhic victory for the doctor. In 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts made it possible for Rush’s Republican legal team to turn the tables on the Federalists by using their law to punish one of their own journalists. Linda Myrsiades “anatomizes” the Rush-Cobbett trial of 1799 as a case study that captures the interrelationship among early party politics, the medical marketplace, debates over freedom of the press, and an emerging uniquely American jurisprudence (3). By contextualizing a rare, published trial transcript, Myrsiades offers a highly compelling reading of Rush v. Cobbett as a “crucible for testing critical issues of the times” that explores the mutually constituting narratives of medicine and politics, fever and religion, individual and nation (2).

Before the mid-nineteenth century, it was nearly impossible to bring suit against a medical practitioner for malpractice because malpractice law required plaintiffs to prove not only that the physician had been neglectful but also that the patient had not acted irresponsibly. Therefore, most claims of malpractice were tried in the press, where unhappy patients or critical colleagues would air their grievances; often, medical practitioners would answer in kind. Myrsiades contextualizes Cobbett’s attacks on Rush within this tradition as well as within the rancorous doctors’ wars of the yellow fever epidemics, in which Rush was a lead participant. By establishing that Rush was no stranger to animadversion in print, Myrsiades highlights how extraordinary it was for Rush to sue Cobbett for slander.

Myrsiades examines Cobbett and the state of the scurrilous press in light of Federalist attempts to limit press freedom. “Porcupine” comes alive as Myrsiades recounts his acid pen, his frequent brushes with the law, and his gloating defi ance of Chief Justice John Mitchel McKean, who, unfortunately for Cobbett, became governor of Pennsylvania before Rush’s libel suit came to trial. The new chief justice, Edward Shippen, would prove equally hostile to Cobbett, managing the trial and instructing the jury in highly prejudicial ways.

Myrsiades traces the brilliant, if disjointed, legal strategy of Rush’s team, who linked the trial’s outcome to the fate of the nation. Employing the secular jeremiad to great effect, they apparently convinced a jury that fi nding Cobbett guilty was necessary to preserve America’s freedom. Cobbett’s team, in contrast, was lukewarm in its defense, failing to utilize the truth defense, as the absent Cobbett wanted. With the deck stacked against the defendant, “the jury took only two hours to convict . . . and assign an unprecedented fi ne of $5,000,” causing Cobbett to flee the country (190).

Law and Medicine in Revolutionary America offers a brilliant reading of a crucial, if largely overlooked, event in early American law and medicine. Myrsiades’s deft handling of sources and her trenchant analysis of the 1799 Rush-Cobbett trial offer new insight into freedom of the press, the medical marketplace, the legal system, and the politics of the early republic.

May 2015 Issue of Choice

We are happy to announce that John Craig's book, The Ku Klux Klan in western Pennsylvania, 1921-1928, has a recieved a great review in the latest issue if Choice. You can read it below:

Craig (Slippery Rock Univ.) provides an in-depth analysis of the rise and fall of the 1920s Ku Klux Klan in western Pennsylvania.  Supported by an exhaustive list of sources, the author persuasively shows that the Klan was extremely active in the area.  Relying heavily on newspaper accounts and trial records, he explains that the Klan’s early emphasis on almost theatrical gestures (going masked to churches or civic meetings to present checks, burning crosses on hills, holding large parades) allowed it to rapidly attract members, especially a surprisingly high percentage of young men.  Similarly, Craig shows how violent confrontations with Klan opponents (sometimes resulting in the deaths of innocent bystanders) and the resulting criminal trials of Klan members (combined with the scandals plaguing the organization’s national leaders) explain the Klan’s rapid decline in the region.  He also provides a glimpse of the women of the Ku Klux Klan and their agreements and conflicts with their male counterparts.  Although it is easy to get lost in the barrage of details (a map would greatly help), anyone studying the 1920s Klan or Pennsylvania history will find the work indispensable. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.

--K. L. Gorman, Minnesota State University--Mankato

Lehigh University Press Announces New Director, Kate Crassons
 
We are proud to welcome Kate Crassons aboard as the new Press director. A member of Lehigh University’s English faculty, her research focuses on late medieval English literature and culture with a particular interest in religion. Her book, The Claims of Poverty: Literature, Culture, and Ideology in Late Medieval England was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2010. She is currently working on a new book project concerning faith, epistemology, and miracles in late medieval and early modern England. Her expertise and experience will ensure the continued quality of our publications.
 
Lehigh University Press Announces a New Series
 
We are also proud to announce our new series in Africana Studies under the general editorship of James Braxton Peterson, Director of Africana Studies at Lehigh University. A specialist in Hip Hop culture, Professor Peterson publishes broadly in African American Literature, Africana Studies, and Media and Politics. We expect the series to draw innovative projects that are formative and reflective of Black Diasporic scholarly inquiry.
 
Lehigh University Press Announces New Series Editor
 
We are pleased to announce that Xi Lian, Professor of History at Duke Divinity School, will be the new series editor for our recently renamed series, "Studies of Christianity in China." A specialist in religious and intellectual encounters between China and the West, Professor Lian is the author of The Conversion of Missionaries: Liberalism in American Protestant Missions in China, 1907-1932 (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997) and Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China (Yale University Press, 2010). He takes over from series-founder Kathleen L. Lodwick, who recently retired, but continues her busy research agenda.
 
Lehigh University Press Publication Featured on PCN's "Pennsylvania Books"
 
Franklin L. Kury appears on the Pennsylvania Cable Network's program "PA Books" (premiering January 29, 2012). Kury's book, "Clean Politics, Clean Streams: A Legislative Autobiography and Reflections" was published by the Lehigh University Press in 2011 and recounts his efforts to enact an environmental amendment to the Pennsylvania state constitution, a comprehensive clean streams law, the gubernatorial disability law, and other significant pieces of legislation. For more information about this appearance, please visit www.pcntv.com.
 
Lehigh University Press joins Rowman & Littlefield Publishing
 
Lehigh University Press was delighted to join the academic consortium at Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. Rowman & Littlefield is one of the largest independent publishers and distributors in North America. With its commitment to encouraging superior scholarship and its very high design standards, we look forward to continuing to publishing excellent scholarship while reaching more markets. RLPG is also at the forefront of electronic publishing, and our books will be simultaneously available through 48 e-publishing vendors. As always, Lehigh University Press maintains editorial control over our publications and over the manuscript review and revision process.
 
To read more about its mission and marketing, and to see why we are delighted to join its consortium, please visit their webpage at http://www.rowmanlittlefield.com/About/
 
Award-Winning Publication
 
The Lehigh University Press is proud to announce that Dr. Sarah Fatherly's Gentlewomen and Learned Ladies: Women and Elite Formation in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia (Lehigh University Press, 2008), is the winner of the 2010 Philip S. Klein Book Prize for the best book on Pennsylvania history. This prestigious award is given every two years by the Pennsylvania Historical Association.
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