Under the Surface on YouTube and CSPAN

Tom Wilber, author of Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale appeared on C-SPAN, which broadcast his panel discussion on fracking at the Annapolis Book Festival. Watch the coverage here.

Also, video excerpts of Under the Surface, Tom Wilber’s book chronicling the multifaceted aspects of shale gas development in New York and Pennsylvania, are available for viewing on the Cornell University Press YouTube channel.

Under the Surface, released by Cornell University Press in 2012, was the first book-length journalistic record of the rush to develop the Marcellus Shale using the unconventional and controversial technique of high volume hydraulic fracking. Wilber’s effort was selected as a finalist for New York Public Library’s 2013 Helen Bernstein Book Award for excellence in journalism.

Wilber wrote the book using a narrative style woven with exposition to tell a story from many perspectives that is both technically complex and personally compelling. Transferring that approach to You Tube – a medium suited best for short video clips – required teasing apart different themes braided throughout the story, and condensing each into a three to five minute clip. Each clip, read by Wilber, suggests a unique aspect of the broader narrative, including the social forces that led to a drilling moratorium in New York in 2008, the technical aspects of fracking, various social and economic consequences, and glimpses of personal story lines of affected stakeholders which, ultimately, is everybody.

The project was directed by Allan Miller through his agency, The Music Project for Television. Miller has produced and directed more than 35 films and television programs around the world. He won an Academy Award for best Feature Length Documentary for his 1979 film From Mao to Mozart – Isaac Stern in China, and in 1975 for The Bolero, best short feature, with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Miller, a resident of Manhattan, became interested in fracking when he learned of the potential regional and global impacts of Marcellus Shale development and the broader on-shore drilling boom.

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Recent Award Winners

The Chicken Trail: Following Workers, Migrants, and Corporations across the Americas by Kathleen C. Schwartzman is winner of the 2013 William M. LeoGrande Prize for best book on U.S.-Latin American relations, given by the School of Public Affairs and the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University

Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It by Morten Jerven and The Fate of Freedom Elsewhere: Human Rights and U.S. Cold War Policy toward Argentina by William Michael Schmidli were both named 2013 Foreign Affairs Magazine Best Books of the Year

Peacebuilding in Practice: Local Experience in Two Bosnian Towns by Adam Moore is winner of the 2014 Julian Minghi Outstanding Research Award, given by the Political Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers

Zion’s Dilemmas: How Israel Makes National Security Policy by Charles D. Freilich is winner of the Tshetshik Prize in Security Studies given by the Institute for National Security Studies

Cleaning Up: How Hospital Outsourcing Is Hurting Workers and Endangering Patients by Dan Zuberi is one of six finalists for the ForeWord Book of the Year in the Social Sciences (Adult Nonfiction) category

In the Museum of Man: Race, Anthropology, and Empire in France, 1850–1950 by Alice Conklin is winner of the 2014 Ohio Academy of History Publication Award

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Julia Azari in the Washington Post

Julia M. Azari, author of Delivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate, contributed to the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog on March 12, 2014: How Obama’s ‘Between Two Ferns’ appearance compares to FDR’s fireside chats

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Starred review of Vikings in Library Journal (plus Vikings exhibition in New York Times)

The April 1, 2014 edition of Library Journal praises Vikings: Life and Legend in a starred review:

“Vikings is the accompanying catalog for the major new exhibit of the same title, edited by experts from each of the three contributing museums. Editors Williams (curator, early medieval coins, British Museum), Peter Pentz (curator, Danish prehistory, National Museum of Denmark), and Matthias Wemhoff (director, Museum for Prehistory and Early History, Berlin) present the central period of the Viking Age, i.e., the ninth and tenth centuries, including treasures of the era, the latest archaeological discoveries, and discussions of the scientific tools with which they are studied. Portrayed here thematically (e.g., in material on warfare, spiritual beliefs, aristocracy, ships), with gorgeous color photos, is a heterogeneous late Iron Age society that interacted both peacefully and violently, settled and conquered, traded and pillaged, and intermarried and raped its way out of Scandinavia and across four continents. Central to the exhibit and this book is the largest ever recovered warship, Roskilde 6, which serves as the perfect icon for a period of terror and exploration, technical achievement, and cultural development by a peoples so integrally involved in seafaring, spiritually and physically. Ships for the Vikings were the primary mode of commerce and war and even served for burial; the essays on them here are especially informative. VERDICT A beautiful, accessible book, with strong interpretive narration that will be enjoyed by Viking enthusiasts, medievalists, artists interested in material culture, and newcomers to the subject.”

On March 28, the New York Times reviewed the exhibition the book accompanies: Vikings in London: Just Like Family

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Carol E. Harrison in the New York Times

Carol E. Harrison, author of Romantic Catholics: France’s Postrevolutionary Generation in Search of a Modern Faith, contributed to the Opinionator’s “Disunion” blog on the New York Times website: Dr. Lefebvre’s American Dream

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Eva Tanguay in New York Magazine

As part of their March 24, 2014 “Encyclopedia of New York Pop Music,” New York Magazine features Eva Tanguay, the subject of the Cornell University Press book Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay by Andrew L. Erdman:

“Five decades before the phrase was coined, a Ziegfeld Follies girl with a mediocre voice embodied the spirit of rock and roll. One of her many lovers, the mystic Aleister Crowley, memorably captured her appeal: ‘She is like the hashish dream of a hermit who is possessed of the devil. She cannot sing, as others sing; or dance, as others dance. She simply keeps on vibrating, both limbs and vocal cords without rhythm, tone, melody, or purpose … I feel as if I were poisoned by strychnine … I jerk, I writhe, I twist, I find no ease … She is perpetual irritation without possibility of satisfaction, an Avatar of sex-insomnia. Solitude of the Soul, the Worm that dieth not; ah, me!’”

See Tanguay’s photo, and the rest of the slideshow, here.

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Hal Brands in World Politics Review and HNN

Hal Brands, author of What Good Is Grand Strategy?: Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, has recently been featured on World Politics Review and the History News Network. Read his pieces here:

Seeking Fiscal Safety, U.S. Defense Cuts Raise Geopolitical Risk (World Politics Review)
Getting Grand Strategy Right (HNN)

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