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October 1st, 2015

Inspired by his own experience with a racially biased trial that changed his life, Max G. Geier undertook an academic study of a 1943 murder trial involving racial, gender, and class issues. The Color of Night: Race, Railroaders, and Murder in the Wartime West presents Geier’s research of the murder of Martha James and the subsequent execution of Robert E. Lee Folkes who had been found guilty for her murder. Today Geier tells us the story of his 2005 jury summons and how the trial influenced him to write this book of murder mystery and railroad history in Oregon.




Writing About The Color of Night

Max G. Geier

11 August 2015


The idea for this book began in summer 2005, when I was called to serve as a juror for a seemingly insignificant trial in Benton County, Oregon. It is no exaggeration to say that experience, not my first as a juror, changed my life. My role as a juror took me into legal territory beyond my experience, and I learned some unpleasant truths about my neighbors who served with me. Each juror revealed something of themselves and how their perceptions of a racialized “other” colored their notions of what was just and fair. I came away with the idea that a careful study of a jury trial involving jurors who were of different races and backgrounds than the defendant might help me understand, as a historian, how people from rural and urban backgrounds compared in their responses to racialized arguments and identities in the mid-20th century.

Jury duty was a responsibility I initially put off, asking for extensions earlier in the academic year, preferring to serve during the summer to avoid inconveniencing students, most of whom were the first in their families to attend college. Many were already in their mid-to-late 20s, often working several jobs to pay their way, with rich life experiences already behind them, but virtually none had ever served on a jury. Whenever we discussed famous American court cases, I encouraged them to accept their civic responsibility when the call came, if only to better understand how our court system functions. I had no illusions about the process, having previously served as a juror (including once as jury foreman) on two other cases that went to trial, including one in Los Angeles involving rape and attempted murder. In summer 2005, however, the court called me to serve on a relatively innocuous case, or so it seemed at the time. It was, on the surface, a simple case of drunk driving. As the case progressed, however, we learned there was more at stake: the prosecutor layered on several additional charges that would have dramatically increased the penalties, including jail time, that the young Black man on trial would have faced for an unwise decision that, thankfully, had harmed no one. My fellow jurors were all White men and White women who were mostly at least two decades older than the defendant.

At trial, a White judge presided while the White prosecutor called witnesses—most memorably a White police officer who admitted he stopped the car only because “I recognized his face”. The other singularly notable witness was a young White woman—the defendant’s girlfriend—who was also in the car during the traffic stop. The White defense lawyer essentially conceded the basic facts of the matter before the trial even began. The events in question all happened within a one-block radius in a portion of the city where the streets follow broad curves typical of suburban tracts built in the late 60s and early 70s. The defendant and his girlfriend were at a party at her house on one side of that block, across the back fence from his mom’s house on the other side of the block. They left the party together and headed, in his girlfriend’s car, to his mom’s house. It was a short drive on the quiet, well-lit, broad residential streets of their childhood homes. Their route required two left turns heading counter-clockwise around the block to reach his mother’s driveway. The defendant asked his girlfriend if he could drive, and she agreed. Driving cautiously, the defendant rounded the first corner and accelerated to about 20 mph (according to police testimony). As he approached the second corner, he passed a stopped police car. Recognizing the defendant’s face, the officer testified, he switched on his flashing lights and followed. The defendant completed his second left turn and headed toward his mother’s driveway before he noticed the police car with lights flashing behind him (according to his own testimony and his girlfriend’s testimony). The police officer testified the defendant quickly accelerated to 25 mph, whereas the girlfriend and the defendant both denied he accelerated and testified he actually was slowing down as they approached his mom’s driveway near the center of the block.

As jurors, at this point in the trial, we were still in the dark about why any of this detail was important, but it soon became clear: the police officer was telling a story that supported multiple charges of evading arrest, whereas the defendant and his girlfriend were telling a story that indicated the young man was afraid of this White police officer who “recognized his face”. Both the girlfriend and the defendant indicated they just wanted to pull into his mother’s driveway to avoid an altercation in the street with an angry White police officer. What happened next, however, colored the testimony in ways that hurt the defense and empowered the prosecutor’s efforts to layer on two additional charges.

As the defendant pulled to a halt in the driveway, he slid across the front seat as his girlfriend climbed over into the driver’s seat. Then, he opened the passenger-side door and walked around the front of the car. The officer claimed the defendant headed toward his mom’s back yard. The defendant said he walked around the front of the car to wait for the officer who had pulled in behind them. The defense attorney, in questioning both the defendant and his girlfriend, encouraged them to admit they switched seats because the young man had been drinking and was hoping to avoid a DUI charge. The prosecutor called the young woman as a state’s witness, and from her demeanor it was clear she did not want to testify. Jurors were left to draw their own conclusions as to why she agreed to testify for the prosecution, but in later deliberations, most of us assumed she did so to avoid facing charges.

Given the girlfriend’s testimony, and the resulting admissions of the defendant and his lawyer, it was clear the young man—just visiting home during his first year at college—was guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. The jury was asked to decide on that and two other charges: (1) had the defendant attempted to evade arrest by switching seats with his girlfriend and then leaving the automobile from the passenger side door, and (2) had the defendant attempted to evade arrest by accelerating after rounding the second corner. Jurors assumed these latter two charges would push him into a more severe range of sentencing guidelines. The judge specifically instructed us not to consider the combined effects of the charges but to consider each one individually, on the pretense they were unrelated and independent matters. With those instructions, we retired to the jury room for deliberations.

Any jury is a collection of commonly reluctant participants who are variously impatient with the imposition on their time. Generally speaking, every juror hopes the others will agree with them, resulting in a relatively swift decision, after which they can all go back to their normal routines. I, and at least two other jurors, entered the jury room very uncomfortable with the police officer’s story. We, and a few other people in the room, were also uncomfortable with the prosecutor’s decision to pile on so many charges for what, in the end, was an unwise mistake that ended without anyone getting hurt. Several of us also were uncomfortable with the judge’s instructions to ignore the consequences for the defendant as we considered each charge independently of the others. We were unprepared, however, for the racialized response of other jurors in the room.

Deliberations stretched across several hours as jurors argued with each other about what they remembered the police officer saying. The officer testified the defendant tried to make a getaway by accelerating down the street, but many of us considered that unlikely, given the undisputed fact that the car pulled into a driveway barely two houses after rounding that second corner. Several of us expressed skepticism about the officer’s testimony, given that apparent discrepancy, which led to a discussion of why he stopped the car in the first place. One juror, at that point, loudly remarked in an exasperated voice that it was obvious this officer knew this “boy” was “up to no good” because “he recognized his Black face” and obviously had had run-ins with him before. This juror, a red-faced White woman in her early 60s, ranted for some time about how she knew about other problems with “people like that” in this city, and that we should have more respect for police officers who had to deal with “those people”. About half the jurors in the room nodded in agreement. At that point, a quick poll of the jury showed that all but three of us were willing to convict on all three counts. Those who favored conviction needed one more vote.

Two of us marshalled our arguments to counteract the sudden shift against the defendant after that juror’s racist tirade. The officer’s own testimony included a denial he observed anything illegal about the defendant’s driving, and as an explanation for why he pulled the young man over, he offered only the observation that he “recognized his face”. We had one silent partner—a young woman who voted with us against conviction, but she was too intimidated by other jurors to vocalize her reasoning. After an exhausting round of argument, the jury foreman suggested we all take a break to cool off. He and four other jurors, including the outspoken woman, stepped outside the room and congregated in the hallway, where the quiet woman who had stood with us later joined them. The jury foreman was a supervisor at a nearby computer manufacturing company where at least three other jurors also worked. At the outset of deliberations, one of his co-workers quickly nominated him as foreman and lobbied hard to close nominations “so that we can finish this and go home”. The rest of us entered the room not knowing each other, and it was not immediately apparent why this man had so many people supporting him for this responsibility.

After the break, the six jurors, including the foreman, filed back into the jury room and informed us they had brokered a deal in the hallway. Our silent partner had agreed to vote “guilty” on the first and second counts, if they would all vote for acquittal on the third count. On the question of whether the defendant had been attempting to escape by accelerating away from the police officer, the vote was 12-0 for acquittal. On the question of whether he had been attempting to escape by switching seats, the vote was 10-2 for conviction. No one questioned the charge of driving under the influence, although two of us questioned whether the police officer had reasonable cause to make the stop in the first place, since the officer himself admitted he had not noticed anything except “his face”. The judge polled each of us on whether we agreed with the verdicts, and then he dismissed the jury.

Heading home, I encountered one of the majority jurors standing at an intersection waiting for the walk signal. He nodded at me, and cheerfully volunteered, “Well, THAT took longer than I thought it would.” Somewhat antagonized, I cast him what I hoped was a withering look and said, “Not nearly long enough.”

Convinced that a racist and inaccurate argument had swayed the jury, I was not at all satisfied justice had been done, even though we narrowly averted conviction on the third count. The next day, I telephoned the judge and explained my concerns, hoping there was some action he might take to correct the situation. After waiting several days with no response, I telephoned the defense attorney to explain my concerns. After taking my statement, he filed a motion to set aside the verdict. At the subsequent hearing, which I attended, the district attorney, in a prepared statement, vociferously objected that were the judge to act on my statement, or even admit it into evidence, either orally or in writing, it would undermine the very fabric of our judicial system. In the end, the gavel came down, and the verdict stood, such as it was. The defendant, a well-mannered and self-possessed young man, made a point of thanking me for my efforts, but I came away feeling I had not done enough. That feeling never went away. Perhaps, as the red-faced woman argued in that jury room, he had a whole string of previous brushes with the law. Perhaps his record was not as clean as his courtroom suit, but she did not know that, except for her conviction he was one of “those people”. We had no evidence to that effect, except the police officer’s insinuation he “recognized his face” because of some previous interactions. In the end, no one wanted to question the police officer’s testimony—they brokered a “deal”, not because our arguments convinced them to doubt the officer’s word, but because, in the foreman’s closing words, “the game starts in half an hour.” That young man deserved better. Folkes deserved better. We all deserve better.

September 28th, 2015

September 27th-October 3rd celebrates our freedom to have access to and read books. The 1st Amendment of the Constitutional guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The goal of Banned Books Week is to raise awareness about censorship in the United States and how it affects our society.


Institutions such as schools and libraries have sometimes chosen to remove or restrict books from their collections because they deem the content inappropriate, but through the advocacy of committed organizations and passionate readers, most of these banned books remain available to those who want to read them. The American Association of University Presses (AAUP), the American Library Association (ALA), and American Booksellers for Freedom of Expression (AABFE), along with many other organizations and countless individuals, believe that books should not be withheld from readers.


Books have been challenged in the past for being “anti-family” and “sexually explicit”; for including “violence”, “offensive language”, and “drugs/alcohol/smoking.” Others have been banned for discussing “homosexuality”, or because of their “political viewpoint” or “religious viewpoint”. Many of the books deemed inappropriate are very popular and some have even been made into movies.


According to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, these are the top 10 “most frequently challenged books of 2014”:


1.    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

2.    Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

3.    And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

4.    The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

5.    It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

6.    Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

7.    The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

8.    The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

9.    A Stolen Life, by Jaycee Dugard

10. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier


Many classic books are perennially banned or challenged as well, including The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, and To Kill A Mockingbird.


Those of us who oppose censorship believe that everyone can benefit from being introduced to different worldviews, and that books are a powerful medium for opening a person’s eyes to issues they may not have been aware of otherwise. Banning books takes away the freedom we all have to read, discuss, and understand topics that remain relevant even – or especially – when they are controversial.


If defending your right to read books is something you’re passionate about, here are a few ways that you can get involved with Banned Books Week:


·       By contacting the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, or submitting a form on ALA.org, you can report a book that has been challenged banned in your school or local library.


·       Text ALABBW to 41518 if you want to donate $10.00 to help ALA support Banned Books Week.


·       There are several Banned Books Week items and gear available to purchase at the ALA store such as bookmarks, buttons, and tee-shirts. The proceeds from these items help ALA and their programs such as Banned Books Week.


·       On Tuesday, September 29 - 9 a.m. PT; 10 a.m. MT; 11 a.m. CT; 12 p.m. ET, there is a free online three-part webinar. The speakers are Kate Lechtenberg, a teacher librarian from Iowa; Kristin Pekoll, the assistant director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom; and Scott DiMarco, the director of the North Hall Library at Mansfield University.


·       Friday, October 2nd at 12-4pm and Saturday, October 3rd at 1-3pm there will be a Banned Books Read-Out at the Springfield City Hall lobby in Eugene, Oregon.


·       Keep reading banned books!

September 18th, 2015

Here at OSU Press, we know our authors work hard to contribute to their respective fields. But it’s always rewarding when others recognize their talents and dedication, as well! Last month saw two OSU Press authors honored with distinguished accolades.


Sharman Apt Russell received the 2015 Willa Literacy Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her CitizenSciencebook, Diary of a Citizen Scientist, was not only well received by readers, but also prized by colleagues who value the burgeoning field of citizen science. Using her own experience tracking tiger beetles as a guideline, Russell crafts a humorous, wondrous picture of our natural world. She applauds the opportunities of citizen science and encourages others to explore their own self-driven scientific inquiries.


The WILLA Awards are presented by Women Writing the West, an association of writers whose work focuses on the experiences of women and girls living in the American West. The group created the award to honor former Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather and recognizes outstanding literature that echoes the organization’s mission. Russell will receive her award October 9 at WWW’s annual conference in Redmond, Oregon.


Russell wasn’t the only Press author to receive acclaim, however.  Justin Wadland’s book TryingHomeTrying Home has been announced a finalist in the history / general nonfiction category of the Washington State Book Awards.  A unique combination of personal reflection and historical research, Trying Home follows the climb and plummet of Home, Washington: an anarchist colony of the early twentieth century. It was a utopian community quite unlike any other and the outside world soon took notice. Wadland’s engaging prose has the power to captivate scholars and general readers alike.


The Washington State Book Awards, administered by the Seattle Public Library, recognize outstanding books published in the past year by authors hailing from the northern state. Wadland and his fellow nominees will be honored October 10 at the Washington State Book Awards Celebration at the Central Library. A single winner from each category will be announced at that time.


For more information on the aforementioned authors and their work, please visit their personal pages:


Sharman Apt Russell



Justin Wadland

August 27th, 2015

Wednesday marked the ninety-fifth anniversary of the 19th Amendment, a monumental change to the United States Constitution granting women the right to vote.  For almost a century, American women have had a voice in the political arena. To celebrate, we created a list of OSU Press titles showcasing the strength and indomitability of Pacific Northwest women. These literary ladies have spunk—and they’re ready to share it!



Yours for Liberty

Selections from Abigail Scott Duniway’s Suffrage Newspaper YoursforLiberty

Jean M. Ward and Elaine A. Maveety


She was egged. Hung in effigy. Despised for her beliefs. And yet, Abigail Scott Duniway—women’s suffrage activist and Portland newspaper editor—continually combated social injustices with tenacity and wit.


“When women’s true history shall have been written, her part in the upbuilding of this nation will astound the world.”



Remembering the Power of Words

The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader RememberingthePowerofWords

Avel Louise Gordly with Patricia A. Schechter


The first African-American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate, Gordly was no stranger to prejudice or adversity. From her childhood in a predominately white Portland to her political career, Gordly shares her story with refreshing frankness.


“Growing up, finding my own voice was tied up with denying my voice or having it forcefully rejected ... To this day—and I am today a very experienced public speaker—preparation to speak takes a great deal of energy.”



With Grit and By Grace

Breaking Trails in Politics and Law, A Memoir WithGritandByGrace

Betty Roberts with Gail Wells


Returning to college as a 32-year-old wife and mother, Roberts made challenging convention a lifelong habit. From teacher to lawyer, state legislator, and eventually Oregon’s first female Supreme Court Justice, Roberts simply didn’t take no for an answer.


“In today’s world, every woman should be able to explore her own life, discover her own uniqueness, break her own trails, and pioneer her own destiny.”



Up the Capitol Steps

A Woman’s March to the Governorship UptheCapitolSteps

Barbara Roberts


One of only two women ever elected to the Oregon governorship, Roberts shares the complex life of a woman in power. Driven into public service by a deep passion for the rights of children with disabilities, Roberts poignantly demonstrates how professional and personal lives rarely fall into the tidy compartments we so often wish they would.


“I know from experience that women leaders are held to a different standard, a higher standard… Gender too often defines leadership. This remains an unfinished equity agenda.”



Marie Equi

Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions MarieEqui

Michael Helquist


Helquist’s highly-anticipated book introduces readers to the fiercely independent Marie Equi: activist, doctor, and one of the first well-known lesbians in Oregon. Equi lived boldly, standing by her convictions even as they cost her great personal sacrifice.


“[Marie Equi was] the most interesting woman that ever lived in this state, certainly the most fascinating, colorful, and flamboyant.”



A Hunger for High Country

One Woman’s Journey to the Wild in Yellowstone Country HungerforHighCountry

Susan Marsh


Marsh’s work chronicles her career working for the United States Forest Service. Pitted against opposing ideals in a male-dominated field, Marsh struggled to reignite passion for her work and find a place she called home.


"Like the topography she traverses, Marsh delivers a trail of personal highs and lows. Cheryl Strayed doesn’t have anything on Marsh as far as real, authentic, informed passion for the wild." --Todd Wilkinson, Jackson Hole News & Guide



Shaping the Public Good

Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest ShapingPublicGood

Sue Armitage


Much as Abigail Scott Duniway predicted, the Pacific Northwest was indeed built upon the sacrifices and choices of women. In her new book, Armitage shows the lasting impact of women upon society and culture; even before we could celebrate “National Women’s Equality Day,” women have worked quietly to assure the stability and security of their families and communities.

August 20th, 2015


The arrival of a new book always spurs excitement around the office, but the appearance of Michael Helquist’s fascinating work was especially thrilling. Following the life of one of the West’s first well-known lesbians, Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions fills a startling gap in the lexicon of Oregon history. Helquist joins us today to discuss the extraordinary Dr. Equi and what drove him to share her story.




What first drew you to Marie Equi?


Once I read about Marie Equi as a slight 21-year-old who horsewhipped a Baptist minister in Marie Equithe center of The Dalles, Oregon, I wanted to know more. The minister was also a school superintendent who had refused to pay Equi’s girlfriend her full teacher’s salary. Equi was tired of urging him to cooperate, and she grabbed a horsewhip in frustration. The incident received notice throughout the West that summer of 1893. The notorious episode was the first public recognition of Oregon women in a lesbian relationship, and newspapers throughout the state and in California covered the story. One newspaper account stated that Equi’s feeling for her girlfriend “amounts to adoration.”  Another described the two women’s intent to remain “indissoluble friends whom nothing can separate."*


This exposure of same-sex love, along with another in 1906 in Portland, was sensational then and intriguing now. But these occasions also offer a glimpse into what people knew about sexuality and how they discussed intimacy and sex. This was a time when the new fields of psychology and sexology argued new understanding of sexual expression and sexual identity. We have very little information about how West Coast people reacted to these reports.



Considering the time and effort required of such an undertaking, why did you find it important to write the biography?


I became intrigued with the question of whose story gets told. For a very long time, marginalized people – women, racial minorities, the working class and poor people, political radicals, and LGBTQ people – seldom had their stories told. With their absence, we’ve lost an essential part of our history. As an historian, I wanted to help counter that trend.


Marie Equi was a ready and willing protagonist. She made an impact on many political and social issues. Imagine someone today who fights on the front lines for voting rights, reproductive rights, a livable wage, affordable housing, and an overhaul of the criminal justice system. Equi did all that nearly 100 years ago.


Equi’s experiences expand our understanding of how some women adopted a more radical strategy for fighting injustice. Her insights reveal what it meant to be an activist then and how to deal with the repercussions of standing firm with your beliefs today.



Did you run across any surprises during research?


Sometimes I wanted to shout out loud in a library or reading room when I came across new MarieEquiBookdiscoveries. One time I was scanning old newspapers on microfilm in the New Bedford Free Public Library, and I found a feature on Marie Equi’s 1914 visit there, her hometown. In an interview, she warned of an uprising if jobless men and women were not given jobs and food. The article gave me a sense of how Equi was received once she had adopted more radical politics.


I also learned from other new sources how vulnerable Equi felt behind much of the bombast of her actions. She undertook risky, dangerous protests, even when she knew she would probably be physically attacked as a result. She suffered trauma from the beating and third degree the police delivered after her arrest for joining a strike in 1913. Then she felt betrayed by her government for sending her to prison for sedition when she had spoken against World War I.   



What did you find most difficult when writing the biography?


Finding my writer’s voice for this project vexed me for a long time. I wanted to write intriguing history for a general audience, but also to produce a work with scholarly significance. That balance is difficult to maintain.



Do you have a favorite quote of Marie Equi’s?


I have two. In 1913 Equi picketed with women cannery workers who protested their very low wages and deplorable working conditions. The Oregonian newspaper described her as “dangerously insane” for fighting off the police. Equi retorted:


“It was beyond the imagination of these people who repeatedly attacked me, that a professional woman of established practice and reputation, of some money and high standing in the community could set these aside and get out and work for her unfortunate sisters and brothers – therefore I must be insane.” 


And another. In the midst of the West Coast maritime strike of 1934, Equi left her sickbed to visit the local union office. She wanted to “do something for the boys,” she said, and she donated $250 for men wounded during the strike. A reporter was surprised by her generosity, but Equi replied, “Young man, money is a thing despised. I claim no honor or glory in giving this sum. If I had my name in the paper every time I gave away money, I’d look like a daily feature.”




Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions is now available for purchase. Place an order today by calling 1 (800) 621-2736 or paying here online. You may also find a copy at your local bookstore.


*Photo to the right found on MichaelHelquist.com, attributed to Oregon Historical Society #23496.

August 13th, 2015

There’s a new face in the office! Freshman Heather Bennett has joined our team as the newest student worker. We’re proud to welcome another member to the OSU Press family and are excited to have her on board. Studying business management and marketing, she’s lively, well spoken, and … loves Corvallis salsa? Read the interview below to see how Heather found her place in the OSU Press office.


TH Tori Hittner, marketing intern

HB – Heather Bennett, student worker and office assistant




TH: I know you recently graduated from Canby High School, Heather, but I remember you mentioning you also received your associates degree in a dual enrollment program?


HB: Yes, I got my associates from Clackamas Community College. It’s an ASOT transfer degree.



TH: So then what led you here to this position, and to OSU in general?


HB: I was torn between OSU and the University of Idaho, and Idaho was a little far away for my first year away from home. My sister goes here, so it was kind of a comfort thing. I just kind of grew up around business; my mom owned her own business, so it was natural. Before I moved here, I had an assistant-type position and was against working in fast food or retail. I wanted to stay in an office environment since that’s what I would like to do in the future. I thought it would be better to stay on that track and get this experience.



TH: I know you’ve only been here in the summer, but do you have a favorite part of campus or Corvallis as of yet?


HB: I haven’t been around [campus] too much yet. But I do love the new business building. And I also love the marble steps in the MU and all the big trees. That’s part of the reason I chose this school; I love all the old trees here. And as far as Corvallis, I haven’t spent much time exploring it yet. Most of my [spare] time has been spent in my apartment. Oh, and searching for salsa at the farmers’ market.



TH: Searching for salsa?


HB: There is the best salsa in the world there! The first time I looked for it was a struggle; my sister just told me it was near the water. So I walked through the whole place looking for a single salsa stand. But no, it’s in a vegetable stand: Gathering Together Farms.



TH: Well, now I feel like I need to go hunt this famous salsa down.


HB: Yes, you do!



TH: So you’ve been braving the warehouse here lately …


HB: Oh yes—the spider-infested warehouse!



TH: Ick! Do you want to talk a little about the kind of work you’ve been doing around the office?


HB: Most recently, I’ve been organizing all the books here and alphabetizing all the boxes. I haven’t spent that much time in the warehouse yet, but inventory is a main focus here. Working upstairs for Don [Frier] has involved a lot of miscellaneous items.



TH: Okay, I have to ask. Do you have a favorite, or most memorable, book?


HB: The most memorable book, for me, would be Where the Red Fern Grows. Every time I read that book, I cry. I have a passion for animals, so it’s sad. But I like it because it’s a romantic kind of sad.



TH: E-book or hard copy?


HB: Hard copy! I like holding out my hands and being able to flip a page. I don’t like staring at a computer screen; I do it all day with my phone and everything else. For a book, I’d rather just look at a piece of paper.



TH: I completely agree. Okay, last part of the interrogation, I promise. How do you see your work here affecting later career goals?


HB: I enjoy having my own office space and having to stay organized. The office environment is what I want. Well, eventually I’d like to have the fancy, closed door, but … I’m working my way up to that! I won’t necessarily be working with books, but I’m getting the practice of building relationships.



TH: So do you have a dream job?


HB: My dream job is somewhat uncertain. I fell in love with the marketing position I used to have in my hometown. That interested me mainly because it’s business, but it’s also artsy and I like that side of it. It’s a relaxing thing for me. I like the feel of a small business, but I’ve also always pictured myself working for a larger company. I’m kind of torn between those. I like the family aspect of a small business, though. It’s like one large, dysfunctional family.




Sounds like Heather will fit right in with our own business family.

August 6th, 2015


Behind every incredible book is a hardworking author. The kind of author who is willing to trek into fields every morning, or take their dinner amidst a stack of books. These writers pour passion into their work, attempting to convey via pen or keyboard a revelation that they simply need to share with others. And while we as readers certainly enjoy the end product of their labors, rarely do we discover the people behind the pages.

So, before you’re able to delve into our forthcoming fall list, we thought a brief introduction was in order. Readers, meet our Fall 2015 writers:



Author: Michael Helquist Helquist

Book: Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions

Release Month: September

Website: http://www.michaelhelquist.com/

Occupation: Historian, journalist, editor, and activist

Quick Fact: Helquist’s interest in the project stemmed in part from the modern relevance of Equi’s struggles. “How Equi fought for justice makes her life story compelling to general readers and scholars interested in the issues of her day and to anyone committed to similar challenges today,” he explains on his blog.



Author: Max G. Geier Geier

Book: The Color of Night: Race, Railroaders, and Murder in the Wartime West

Release Month: October

Website: http://www.wou.edu/~geierm/

Occupation: Professor of History, Emeritus

Quick Fact: Geier’s areas of scholarly specialization include public history, environmental history, and North American history. He is the author of two books on the history of forest science research in the Pacific Northwest.



Author: Sue Armitage Armitage

Book: Shaping the Public Good: Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest

Release Month: October

Website: http://libarts.wsu.edu/history/faculty-staff/emeritus.asp

Occupation: Emerita Professor of History and Women’s Studies

Quick Fact: Armitage has coedited three collections of work by and about western women. Her forthcoming book focuses on women—famous and little-known alike—who helped shape Pacific Northwest society.



Author: Ellen Eisenberg Eisenberg

Book: Embracing a Western Identity: Jewish Oregonians, 1849-1950

Release Month: October

Website: http://willamette.edu/cla/history/faculty/eisenberg/

Occupation: Professor of American History

Quick Fact: Eisenberg’s publication coincides with the Oregon Jewish Museum’s online exhibit and documentary centered around the Oregon Jewish experience. This title will be followed by a second book documenting the decades following 1950.



Author: Dale Soden Soden

Book: Outsiders in a Promised Land: Religious Activists in Pacific Northwest History

Release Month: October

Website: http://www.whitworth.edu/academic/Faculty/index.aspx?username=dsoden

Occupation: Professor of History

Quick Fact: Soden maintains a collection of historic photos of Washington state, most of which contain themes of power and transportation. You can view some of them here.



Author: Lawrence A. Landis Landis

Book: A School for the People: A Photographic History of Oregon State University

Release Month: October

Website: http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/staff/landisl

Occupation: Director of OSU Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives Research Center

Quick Fact: When visiting OSU’s archives, turn to Landis for help with OSU history, historic photographs, preservation of archival materials, digital collections, and historic preservation issues.



Editor: Lorraine Anderson, assisted by Abby Phillips Metzger WildintheWillamette

Book: Wild in the Willamette: Exploring the Mid-Valley’s Parks, Trails, and Natural Areas

Release Month: November

Website: https://www.facebook.com/WildInTheWillamette

Occupation(s): This guidebook was created via contributions from forty-plus outdoor enthusiasts and noted writers.

Quick Fact: All proceeds from Wild in the Willamette will be donated to Greenbelt Land Trust. The book was inspired by the passion and work of Gail Achterman, former director of the Institute for Natural Resources at OSU.



Author: George Moskovita (Introduction by Carmel Finley and Mary Hunsicker) Moskovita

Book: Living Off the Pacific Ocean Floor: Stories of a Commercial Fisherman

Release Month: November

Occupation: Commercial fisherman

Quick Fact: Moskovita made his living off the sea for more than sixty years. This new edition of his fascinating memoir includes an introduction and notes from Finley, an historian of science, and Hunsicker, an aquatic and fisheries scientist.



Editors: Scott Slovic and Paul Slovic Slovic

Book: Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data

Release Month: November

Websites: http://www.uidaho.edu/class/english/scott-slovic | http://psychology.uoregon.edu/profile/pslovic/

Occupations: Professor of Literature & Environment | Professor of Psychology

Quick Fact: The Slovics are a father-son duo whose work studies systemic problems within cultural patterns and societies that prevent individuals from fully processing numerical information.



July 31st, 2015


We all know the ABC’s are easy as 123. But when it comes to understanding the complex world of publishing? The answers are often far from simple. That’s why we’ve created a short guide that’s as accessible as the alphabet (and hopefully scintillating enough to get the Jackson 5 song out of your head).




Acquisitions: The press department that decides which books to publish.



Backlist: Older books still available from a publisher. At OSU Press, our backlist generally contains titles published more than one year ago.



Copyright: A tricky subject! Designates ownership of the book’s printed material. copyright



Distributor: A middle-man organization that sells to retailers as opposed to consumers. We at OSU Press use the Chicago Distribution Center to store and process most of our books and sales.



E-book: The digital version of a published work. We proof our e-books on both Kindle and iBooks formats.



Frontlist: Newer titles published a press. Given the definition of “backlist” described above, this generally includes titles published in the last year. For further clarification, browse our catalog to see how books have been divided.



Grayscale: OSU Press books that only contain black and white images are printed right here GrayscaleBooksin the United States. The printing process is faster (and more economical!) than that of books with color images.



Hardcover: Although some of our titles feature hardcover bindings, most OSU Press books are published in paperback.



ISBN (International Standard Book Number): Essentially the literary version of a Social Security Number. A 13- or 10-digit number that uniquely identifies a title.



Journals: Although many academic presses publish journals, OSU Press currently does not.



Knowledge: It’s power! And here at OSU Press, we try to bring empowerment of the lightbulbregional variety, focusing mostly on works that incorporate the history, culture, and environment of the Pacific Northwest.



Line Edits: Comments and corrections made by editors who focus on more than just grammatical errors. Overall tone and style are also considered, leading to more detailed and nuanced suggestions.



Mighty M’s: Mary, Marty, and Micki—the lovely ladies who keep OSU Press running and relevant!



Networking: Presses must interact and make connections not only among colleagues, but with manufacturers, retailers, publicists, and distributors, as well. OSU Press employees attend several conferences and trade shows each year to network.



Out of Print: A book is only labeled “out of print” once inventory is depleted and no republication plans exist.



Page Proofs: One of the final stages before publication! Page proofs show everything Proofsexactly how it will appear in the printed book, including layout, color, and page numbers. These are often used for creating finalized indexes.



Questions: As a press, we receive all sorts of questions from writers and readers alike. Authors have several resources available through the Author Marketing Guide, but where should readers go when they have pressing questions? Email us at osu.press@oregonstate.edu and we’ll get back to you in a jiffy.



Reviews: Before publication, we send review copies of the manuscript to respected peers within the author’s field of work. Just like a scientific study, it’s important that academic books be tested and studied by other professionals before being published.



Slush: Nope, nothing like the blue raspberry-flavored goodness you find at 7-11. This refers stacksofpaperto the batch of unsolicited pitches and manuscripts sent to our acquisitions department.



Trade: Generally referring to the non-academic side of publishing, which includes large publishing houses and literary agents (and staff lists many times the size of that at OSU Press!).



University Presses: Publishing houses directly affiliated with an academic institution that typically focus on scholarly works. 



Value: Myriad factors determine the end price of a book, including printing and transportation costs, as well as the amount of time spent on writing, editing, and design.



Website: Found a book you liked on our website? Simply click the “add to cart” bar and pay online for the quickest way to receive your purchase. And if you prefer browsing the aisles of a brick-and-mortar bookstore? OSU Press titles are sold in dozens of shops across the nation, including the world-famous Powell’s.



X-out: Need to cross something out of a draft? Simply draw a line with a loop to signal the EditMarksdeletion of a word or phrase. We use a bevy of special marks when proofreading and editing drafts.



You: As a reader, you’re the key to academic presses’ longevity and success! We exist to perpetuate and expand scholarly conversations; without interest from participants like you, our publishing houses would quickly become obsolete.



Zoo: Yup, sometimes the publishing world can best be described as a zoo (you should see us all together at the annual Association of American University Presses conference!). But despite the chaos of deadlines and challenge of evolving technology, we academic presses are here to stay. Someone has to build the Ark, right?




This blog post made with inspiration from AuthorHouse.

July 23rd, 2015

The New Yorker dubbed it the “really big one.” Geologists have heralded its imminent approach for years. Broadcasters and bloggers have facilitated dozens of heated discussions regarding its potency and approach. But just how big is this earthquake truly supposed to be and how can we best prepare for its arrival?


Located along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the Pacific Northwest is due for a devastating earthquake of epic proportions. After the social media explosion caused by Kathryn Schulz’s article in The New Yorker, the region’s residents have faced a deluge of information and speculation. Below is a list of resources from OSU Press and our friends at University of Washington Press to help explain the situation and filter fact from fiction.




The Next Tsunami TheNextTsunami

Living on a Restless Coast

Bonnie Henderson

ISNB-13: 978-0-87071-732-1

Oregon State University Press, 2014


The discovery of the Cascadia Subduction Zone didn’t happen overnight—and neither will a change in our infrastructure or political climate. Using the sleepy town of Seaside as a focal point, Henderson elucidates the charged intersection of science, human nature, and public policy.



Living with Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest LivingwithEarthquakesinPacificNW

A Survivor’s Guide, Open Access Second Edition

Robert S. Yeats

ISBN-13: 978-0-87071-024-7

Oregon State University, 2004


An essential guide for anyone interested in understanding and preparing for the next big earthquake. Learn updated information about the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the forthcoming third digital edition.



The Orphan Tsunami of 1700 OrphanTsunami

Japanese Clues to a Parent Earthquake in North America

Brian F. Atwater

ISBN-13: 978-0-29598-535-0

University of Washington Press, 2005


How can tectonic action along the North American coastline trigger an immense tsunami in Japan? Tug on your detective cap and delve into the primary resources and geological clues uncovered by Atwater.



Living with Thunder LivingwithThunder

Exploring the Geologic Past, Present, and Future of the Pacific Northwest

Ellen Morris Bishop

ISBN-13: 978-0-87071-748-2

Oregon State University Press, 2014


Stunning color photographs, maps, and charts introduce new readers to the field of geology. Written in an engaging and accessible manner, this beautiful book recounts the region’s past climate record and discusses implications for the future.



Oregon Geology OregonGeology

Sixth Edition

Elizabeth L. and William N. Orr

ISBN-13: 978-0-87071-681-2

Oregon State University Press, 2012


“Caught between converging crustal plates, the Pacific Northwest faces a future of massive earthquakes and tsunamis.” The future may be riddled with uncertainty, but the geologic features visible today may unlock the story of the past—and prepare us for what’s to come.



Living with Earthquakes in California LivingwithEarthquakesinCali

A Survivor’s Guide

Robert S. Yeats

ISBN-13: 978-0-87071-493-1

Oregon State University Press, 2001


California has climbed the ranks to become one of the world’s most advanced localities in terms of earthquake safety and preparedness. Yeats describes the state’s innovate approach, simultaneously offering a how-to-manual for life in earthquake country.



Browse the Association of American University Press's Books for Understanding website for more resources on current events and breaking news.

July 9th, 2015

“ … the power of citizen science is not going to be kept in a tidy box. The potential of citizen science will still surprise us.”

-Sharman Apt Russell


Power and surprise: two intriguing elements of any person’s life.  There are reasons why people revel in the unexpected and yearn for power; such heady feelings offer welcome interruptions to the repetition of daily life. And according to OSU Press author Sharman Apt Russell, the field of citizen science offers both.


The aforementioned quote appears in Russell’s provoking Diary of a Citizen Scientist, DiaryofaCitizenScientistpublished in 2014. A teacher and amateur scientist herself, Russell uses her own experiences to demonstrate the growing field’s immense personal and public benefit. Diary of a Citizen Scientist encourages readers to pursue their passions, all the while contributing to something bigger than themselves. Luckily for her readers, there is no dearth of diverse opportunities. In fact, a growing project facilitated in part by Oregon State University researchers centers around the very idea of “bigger.”


Introducing “the blob”: an abnormally warm section of the Pacific Ocean, located just off the western coast of the United States. Researchers at OSU and the University of Oxford believe the warmer water may correlate with current drought conditions and unusual weather patterns. Based upon the knowledge that ocean temperatures affect continental weather conditions, the scientists theorize that the blob and Oregon’s current heat wave are far from mutually exclusive. In order to prove—or disprove—their hypotheses, however, a computer model comparing historic data with present conditions must be run thousands of times. That’s where you come in!



The research team is looking for capable volunteers willing to download and run the climate model on their personal computers. The program, according to a report by the Oregonian, runs while the computer is not in use, but pauses automatically whenever the owner begins utilizing his or her device. Thanks to an accompanying set of detailed graphics, volunteers can watch the project and data coalesce instantaneously.


“People can watch the results unfold in real time,” Phil Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, told the Oregonian. “Volunteers can find out at the same time we do.”


To participate in the project, simply put on your citizen scientist cap and follow the instructions on www.climateprediction.net. Within minutes, you’ll be contributing to a study that may solve the mystery of western North America’s persistent drought.



GIF from www.climateprediction.net


Russell explains the prevalence and importance of such projects at the very beginning of Diary of a Citizen Scientist by noting that “citizen science projects are proliferating like the neural net in a prenatal brain,” completely reshaping the way research is conducted. Who knows: maybe it’s time for you to spark some synapses yourself and be a part of the research revolution.

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