We're officially announcing three new books to be published this month, and without further adieu, here they are.
Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of the Universe, by Harry Lee Poe (March 15)
"Poe's elegant and lucid book discredits many popular myths about life and work of his famous cousin. Edgar A. Poe, like his fictional "double" David Copperfield, was no tragic hero but a man with his ups and downs who highly valued love and friendship and had an acute sense of justice. Written at the crossroads of literary history and theology, Evermore is dazzling and absorbing."
—Alexandra Urakova, author of The Poetics of Body in the Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
The popular Poe—The Raven, Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat—has inspired a generation of readers long disenchanted with the normative tradition of American literature. But is the popular Poe—incessantly drinking, drug-addicted, and entranced by the terror of death—the real Poe? Harry Lee Poe contends that, for more than two centuries, the great myth of Edgar Allan Poe has damaged both the popular reader's understanding of Poe's corpus and the historian's depiction of Poe's life. Through reviewing his poems and short stories, literary criticism and science fiction, Evermore reveals a Poe who is deeply confounded by the existence of evil, the truth of justice, and even the problems of love, beauty, and God. Here Poe aficionados and casual appreciators of literature alike are invited into a greater understanding of Poe’s most persistent questions and offered a novel approach to reading the American literary icon.
The Politics of Sacred Rhetoric: Absolutist Appeals and Political Persuasion, by Morgan Marietta (March 1)
"An extraordinary book. Marietta streams together careful empirical analysis with the paradoxes of democratic theory. To those worried about polarization and the future of civil political discourse, this book is essential reading."
—Bert A. Rockman, Professor of Political Science and Department Head, Department of Political Science, Purdue University
"Marietta investigates a strangely under-explored facet of public opinion—the power of sacred values to trump reasoning in shaping the course of political debates and elections. This book is deeply innovative."
—Philip Tetlock, Leonore Annenberg University Professor, Psychology Department, University of Pennsylvania
Revealing what lies behind much contemporary political rhetoric, Morgan Marietta shows that the language of America's most prominent leaders often relies on deep, even sacred, ideals. Comprehensively and in great detail surveying the rhetorical inventions employed in influential social movements and into the highest levels of government, The Politics of Sacred Rhetoric systematically analyzes the use of absolutist claims—and appeals to what a speaker deems to be universal truths—as essential elements of persuasion in the American political landscape. In exploring the sometimes subtle ways in which politicians employ this "sacred rhetoric," Marietta engagingly demonstrates its impact on citizens' reasoning, public discourse, and the very nature of American democracy.
The Constitution of Religious Freedom: God, Politics, and the First Amendment, by Dennis Goldford (March 1)
"A tightly reasoned but accessible volume. The Constitution of Religious Freedom should be required reading for the policymakers and policy activists who shape the role of religion in American political life."
—Richard A. Brisbin, Jr., Professor of Political Science, West Virginia University
"This is an important book. In a time where political figures from Barack Obama to Mitt Romney to Nikki Haley have been openly attacked for their supposedly non-Christian religious beliefs, Goldford's timing is excellent."
—Evan Gerstmann, Professor of Political Science and Law, Loyola Marymount University
"Goldford fearlessly and thoughtfully examines one of the most controversial—often blithely assumed and curiously dismissed—propositions in American politics today—that the United States is a Christian nation. Indeed, Goldford's refutation of this idea is devastating, yet always respectful and erudite."
—Jessie Hill, Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
"The Constitution of Religious Freedom takes a unique approach to interpreting the appropriate place and role of religious freedom in the United States. Goldford argues, in a clear and accessible manner, that the First Amendment's religion clauses protect religious freedom rather than religion writ large. Scholars and students alike will learn from the argument presented in this important new book."
—Laura R. Olson, Professor of Political Science, Clemson University
In a time when the question of American religious identity underlies much political conversation that fills the public square, Dennis Goldford directs his readers to consider the First Amendment. The founding fathers' words, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," are the constitutional means of ensuring, however imperfectly, the American freedom to stand for something sacred. In his analysis, Goldford ably demonstrates that the very nature of these religion clauses establishes protection not for religion but for religious freedom. The Constitution of Religious Freedom argues that religious identity inheres not in the nation, but in the individual citizen.