Category Archives: backlist classics

It is the time of the year when we enjoy the soil’s miraculous bounty. Plant a little seed in the ground, add water and sun, and marvel as this humble recipe yields sprawling watermelon vines, mountains of green beans, and … Continue reading

Eighty-five years ago today, out where the warm trade winds blow, Don Ho began life in Hawai’i, one of the nicer outposts of our current reality. In time, his mellow singing entertained so many people that Don became synonymous with the … Continue reading

Today our 1915: Whatta Year! series turns to pop culture colossus Frank Sinatra, born on December 12 of that storied year in Hoboken, New Jersey. “Ol Blue Eyes” made his name with his voice, but he was a fixture on the silver screen beginning … Continue reading

Journalist Marlene Sanders passed away earlier this week at age 84. In 1964, Sanders was the first woman to anchor an evening network news program when she substituted for Ron Cochran on ABC. This was just one of the many … Continue reading

As Google has reminded many of you, today marks the birthday of civil rights pioneer, suffragette, anti-lynching activist, and sociologist Ida B. Wells. This remarkable woman participated in many crusades in the Progressive Era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. … Continue reading

In the publishing game, “backlist” refers to books that have been published and had their time at the forefront of marketing and publicity efforts. Books in that glittery phase of life are called “frontlist.” A backlist book does more than sit in a … Continue reading

Not long ago we received word that William R. Catton, Jr. passed away in January. Catton, known for his influential ecological book Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, was eighty-eight years old. The Rev. Michael Dowd at the Huffington Post … Continue reading

Yesterday, a wondrous headline lit up the Internet: Diaper-Wearing Service Kangaroo Kicked Out of Wisconsin McDonald’s You know who else liked kangaroos? P.T. Barnum. You know who publishes his every-word-guaranteed-to-be-true* autobiography? The University of Illinois Press. Without a doubt the Greatest … Continue reading

On January 6, 1955 contralto Marian Anderson became the first African American soloist to sing at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. She appeared in the role of Ulrica (a Creole fortuneteller medium) in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. Born in 1897, Anderson’s parents moved to … Continue reading

The casual viewer might not ponder a university press and the manly art of football at the same time. Assuming a scholarly publisher covered sports at all, wouldn’t it devote its energy to obscure ball games played by ancient Mayans, or maybe … Continue reading