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Three University of Alabama Press Books Selected
for Choice Magazine’s Outstanding Academic Titles List

Tuscaloosa, AL (January 27, 2017)—The University of Alabama Press is pleased to announce that three of its recent books have been selected for inclusion in Choice‘s annual Outstanding Academic Titles list. The Outstanding Academic Titles list, which appears in the January 2017 issue of Choice magazine, includes 494 books and electronic resources chosen by the Choice editorial staff from among the over 5,400 titles reviewed by Choice during the past year. These outstanding works have been selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important–often the first–treatment of their subject.

The UAP titles that were selected this year are Bringing Montessori to America: S.S. McClure, Maria Montessori, and the Campaign to Publicize Montessori Education by Gerald L. Gutek and Patricia A. Gutek; Suburban Dreams: Imagining and Building the Good Life by Greg Dickinson; and The Great Melding: War, the Dixiecrat Rebellion, and the Southern Model for America’s New Conservatism by Glenn Feldman.

Bringing Montessori to America traces the fascinating partnerships between Maria Montessori and S. S. McClure and their five-year collaboration to introduce Montessori’s innovative teaching style in the United States. Montessori first entered the world stage in 1906 as the innovator of a revolutionary teaching method that creates an environment where children learn at their own pace and initiate skills like reading and writing in a spontaneous way. McClure was an Irish-born media baron of America’s Gilded Age, best known as the founder and publisher of McClure’s Magazine. Gutek and Gutek describe the fascinating story of this first wave of Montessori education in the United States, which did not sustain itself during Montessori’s lifetime but was revived in the 1950s with the successful establishment of Montessori academies throughout the United States.

Starting with the premise that suburban films, residential neighborhoods, chain restaurants, malls, and megachurches are compelling forms (topos) that shape and materialize the everyday lives of residents and visitors, Greg Dickinson’s Suburban Dreams offers a rhetorically attuned critical analysis of contemporary American suburbs and the “good life” their residents pursue. Beyond an analysis of the suburban imaginary, Dickinson demonstrates how a critical engagement with everyday places can enrich daily life. His work eschews casually dismissive attitudes toward the suburbs and the pursuit of the good life. Rather, he succeeds in showing how by identifying the positive rhetorical resources the suburbs supply, it is in fact possible to engage with the suburbs intentionally, thoughtfully, and rigorously.

In his pioneering study, The Great Melding, Glen Feldman shows how the transitional years after World War II, the Dixiecrat episode, and the early 1950s formed a pivotal sequence of events that altered America’s political landscape in profound, fundamental, and unexpected ways. Feldman convincingly argues that the Dixiecrats—often dismissed as a transitory footnote in American politics—served as a template for the modern conservative movement. Now a predictable Republican stronghold, Alabama at the time was viewed by national political strategists as a battleground and bellwether. Masterfully synthesizing a vast range of sources, Feldman shows that Alabama was then one of the few states where voters made unpredictable choices between the competing ideologies of the Democrats, Republicans, and Dixiecrats.

About the University of Alabama Press: The University of Alabama Press was founded in the fall of 1945 with J. B. McMillan as founding director. As the scholarly publishing arm of the university, the University of Alabama Press serves as an agent in the advancement of learning the dissemination of scholarship. The Press also publishes books that foster an understanding of the history and culture of the State of Alabama and the region.