William Cronon, the Frederick Jackson Turner Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has announced his retirement as editor of the University of Washington Press’s Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books series. The new editor is Paul Sutter, associate professor of environmental studies at University of Colorado, Boulder, who will take over the series in late March.
Cronon’s retirement will coincide with the publication of the forty-third book in the series, How to Read the American West: A Field Guide, by William Wyckoff, which will be launched at the American Society for Environmental History annual meeting in San Francisco this week. He was deeply involved in creating the Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books series twenty years ago and has played a major role in earning the University of Washington Press its reputation as a leader in environmental history. He will continue to support the series as founding editor.
“We are extremely grateful to Bill Cronon for his vision and tireless work in shaping what is now, twenty years later, the preeminent series in the field of environmental history,” says Nicole Mitchell, director of the University of Washington Press. “While all of us at the Press will greatly miss working with Bill, we’re excited to welcome Paul Sutter as our new general editor, and we are delighted that Bill has agreed to remain connected to the series as founding editor.”
“I am as proud of Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books as I am of anything I’ve ever done in my professional life,” says Cronon. “The opportunity to work with so many wonderful authors and such a talented team of designers and editors at the Press—especially Julidta Tarver and Marianne Keddington-Lang—has been both a privilege and a delight. The series could not be in better hands as I pass the reins to Paul Sutter, and I very much look forward to the books it will publish in the future.”
The Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books series is well-known for groundbreaking books that explore human relationships with natural environments, in all their variety and complexity. Among its greatest strengths has been a large number of books on the history of wilderness in the United States. Cronon also has been editor of the Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classics series, ten reprint editions of key works that continue to offer profound insights about the human place in nature, and the Cycle of Fire, five books on fire throughout the world by Stephen Pyne. All of the books contain forewords by Cronon.
Working closely for nearly ten years with UW Press acquisitions editor Marianne Keddington-Lang—who will also retire from the Press in March 2014—and Julidta Tarver before her, Cronon helped bring environmental history to the academic forefront by publishing award-winning books from both senior and emerging scholars. Titles in this series regularly win major awards and are widely reviewed in top media and disciplinary journals.
While the series is a cornerstone of the University of Washington Press’s lists and has enabled environmental history to become one of the academic areas the Press is known for, its greatest contribution has been to the field itself. Cronon has spent decades mentoring young scholars, helping them bridge the space from manuscripts to award-winning and well-reviewed examples of the highest scholarship.
“Three authors in the Weyerhaeuser Environmental Series have received ASEH’s George Perkins Marsh Prize for best book,” says Lisa Mighetto, executive director of the ASEH. “The series has been a major contributor to environmental history scholarship.
Sutter, the author of Driven Wild: How the Fight Against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement was published in the Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books series in 2002, was the editor of the Environmental History and the American South book series at the University of Georgia Press. He is also the author of The Art of Managing Longleaf: A Personal History of the Stoddard Neel Approach and co-editor of Environmental History and the American South: A Reader. He has received fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Huntington Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“Bill and Marianne have built the premier book series in environmental history by publishing consistently superb and beautiful books, but also by nurturing a series culture and community of authors that is exceptionally rare, if not unique, in academic publishing,” says Sutter. “During this period of transition, we are working to maintain the series’ greatest strengths: the high quality of the books and authors that appear in the series, the hands-on approach embodied by the editorial partnership of Bill and Marianne, the series’ crossover mission and the attention to production and marketing that such a mission requires, and a continued investment in the series culture.”
UW Press senior acquisitions editor Regan Huff, who previously acquired titles at the University of Georgia Press, will work with Sutter on Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books titles. The two worked together on the Environmental History and the American South series there and will be reuniting at the UW Press.
The Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books series was established by donors, including the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, members of the Weyerhaeuser family, and Janet M. and John W. Creighton (former president of the Weyerhaeuser Company) in 1991.
As the series moves into a new period of leadership, the Press is excited to continue building and publishing within the dynamic field of environmental history.