UW Press News, Reviews, and Events


Howard Zahniser, architect of the Wilderness Act.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act, several authors in our Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books series are partaking in the commemorations.

Mark Harvey, author of The Wilderness Writings of Howard Zahniser and Wilderness Forever: Howard Zahniser and the Path to the Wilderness Act, was interviewed by Colorado Public Radio about the Act’s rocky start. Listen to the full interview here. Harvey will also participate in the Visions of the Wild conference, to be held in early September in Vallejo, California.

Paul Sutter, Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books series editor and author of Driven Wild: How the Fight Against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement moderated the panel, “Wilderness Idea” at the USDA Forest Services’s Cradle of Wilderness event. A digital recording of the program will be available here.

Stay tuned for more events, interviews, and blog posts about the Wilderness Act in the coming weeks and months.


How to Read the American West by William Wyckoff, reviewed in High Country News:

“A field guide unlike any other, with a focus on patterns, variations and the distribution of landscape features….it draws attention to eco-tones, watersheds, settlement patterns and corridors of connection…ultimately, it considers our grip on the land and the land’s grip on us. –Michael Engelhard, High Country News


No-No Boy by John Okada, reviewed in Shelf Awareness:

“[This new edition] brings Okada’s groundbreaking work to a new generation…an internee and enlisted man himself, [Okada] wrote in a raw, brutal stream of consciousness that echoes the pain and intergenerational conflict faced by those struggling to reconcile their heritage to the concept of an American dream. –Nancy Powell, Shelf Awareness



Confronting Memories of World War II: European and Asian Legacies, edited by Daniel Chirot, Gi-Wook Shin, and Daniel Sneider, reviewed in Foreign Affairs:

“Wars evoke powerful emotions: grief and pride, humiliation and honor, outrage and exultation. As this excellent volume reveals, such feelings can come to form essential parts of national mythologies, and this has been especially so in the case of World War II.” –Lawrence D. Freedman, Foreign Affairs


Upcoming Events

Lan Duong and Mariam B. Lam, Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora, Pomona Public Library, September 6 at 1 p.m.

William Wyckoff, How to Read the American West: A Field Guide, Western National Parks Association, September 24 at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m.

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner with Feliks Banel, Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects, Second Edition, Town Hall Seattle, September 29 at 7:30 p.m.

New Books

Mary Randlett Portraits
By Frances McCue
Photographs by Mary Randlett
Known for both her landscapes and portraits, Mary Randlett began documenting Northwest figures in 1963 when Theodore Roethke asked her to photograph him in his Seattle home. Hers were the last pictures taken of the poet before his death, and the portraits garnered international attention.

Randlett’s photographs represent an artistic and literary history of the Pacific Northwest. No other book brings together these important historical figures from the rich past and present of this region. A curated collection of ninety photographs from the more than six hundred portraits she took of Northwest artists, writers, and cultural luminaries, Mary Randlett Portraits documents the region’s artistic legacy through one woman’s camera lens.

Wilderburbs: Communities on Nature’s Edge
By Lincoln Bramwell, foreword by William Cronon

Since the 1950s, the housing developments in the West that historian Lincoln Bramwell calls “wilderburbs” have offered residents both the pleasures of living in nature and the creature comforts of the suburbs. Remote from cities but still within commuting distance, nestled next to lakes and rivers or in forests and deserts, and often featuring spectacular views of public lands, wilderburbs celebrate the natural beauty of the American West and pose a vital threat to it. By looking at wilderburbs in the West, especially those in Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, Bramwell uncovers the profound environmental consequences of Americans’ desire to live in the wilderness.

 A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi v. United States
By Gordon Hirabayashi with James A. Hirabayashi and Lane Ryo Hirabayashi
New Paperback Edition

In 1943, University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi defied the curfew and mass removal of Japanese Americans on the West Coast, and was subsequently convicted and imprisoned as a result. In A Principled Stand, Gordon’s brother James and nephew Lane have brought together his prison diaries and voluminous wartime correspondence to tell the story of Hirabayashi v. United States, the Supreme Court case that in 1943 upheld and on appeal in 1987 vacated his conviction. For the first time, the events of the case are told in Gordon’s own words. The result is a compelling and intimate story that reveals what motivated him, how he endured, and how his ideals changed and deepened as he fought discrimination and defended his beliefs.

Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World
By Todd McLeish
New Paperback Edition

Among all the large whales on Earth, the most unusual and least studied is the narwhal, the northernmost whale on the planet and the one most threatened by global warming. Narwhals thrive in the fjords and inlets of northern Canada and Greenland. These elusive whales, whose long tusks were the stuff of medieval European myths and Inuit legends, are uniquely adapted to the Arctic ecosystem and are able to dive below thick sheets of ice to depths of up to 1,500 meters in search of their prey-halibut, cod, and squid. From a history of the trade in narwhal tusks to descriptions of narwhals’ vocalizations as heard through hydrophones, Narwhals reveals the beauty and thrill of the narwhal and its habitat, and the threat it faces from a rapidly changing world.