Friday, 12 November 2010


TOP of this weeks NME 'What we're reading and watching' list (pg41)

The first critical study devoted to iconic band The Smiths

Why pamper life’s complexities? Essays on The Smiths
Edited by Sean Campbell and Colin Coulter

In recent years, public and critical appreciation of The Smiths has been at its height, yet the most important British band after The Beatles have rarely been subject to sustained academic scrutiny. Why pamper life’s complexities? remedies this by bringing together diverse research disciplines to place the band in a series of enlightening social, cultural and political contexts.
The book discusses a range of very timely issues, from Thatcherism, Catholicism, class and sexuality to suicide, fandom, the city of Manchester, cultural iconography and the cult of Morrissey. The essays breach the boundaries of music history, rock biography and pop culture studies to give a groundbreaking critical analysis of the band.

Why pamper life’s complexities? will be launched on 26th November at Waterstones Deansgate. The event will provide fans with a unique opportunity to take part in a panel discussion chaired by Dave Haslam, legendary Manchester DJ (Haçienda) and author of Manchester, England (Sunday Times’ Pop Music Book of the Year). The panel discussion will be followed by a drinks reception and book signing.

Tickets for the launch cost £3, and can be purchased online at, or on the door. More details can be found on the Manchester University Press homepage (, or by contacting Bethan Hirst on 0161 275 2310.


Thanks to all our friends and colleagues who made Frankfurt bookfair 2010 a very successful one for Manchester University Press.

See you next year Frankfurt!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Author event

The editors of Black families in Britain as the site of struggle are organising a presentation event in support of the Northern Black Workers Network. It will be held at the University of Leeds Union on THURSDAY 28th OCTOBER between 4-7pm. The cultural event with include Seyi playing African drums and a discussion of the book front cover. Seyi will also display and talk about other pieces of his artworks. Local playwright and actor Joe Williams will do a piece about African/Caribbean families and book chapter author Dr Franklin Smith from Oxford and both editors will detail aspects of the book.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Frankfurt 2010

Are you attending Frankfurt bookfair this year?

If so, come by our stand and say hello! We will be there throughout the whole of the fair, from 6th to the 10th October.

You'll find us at stand C921 Hall 8.

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Alan Walker Book Award

The forthcoming Liszt's Chopin has been entered into the Alan Walker Book Award in the US. The award will be presented by Dr. Walker at the 2011 American Liszt Society Bicentennial at the University of Georgia early next year.

Liszt's Chopin, by Meirion Hughes, will be available in the UK next month. Pre-order your copy now, and get a special 10% bloggers discount by quoting OTH197 (available until 31/12/2010)

As usual, more information about Liszt's Chopin can be found on our website

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Why pamper life's complexities? - Offical cover design released

The cover of Why pamper life's complexities?, our new title on the Smiths, has been released today, and you are among the first to sneak a peek....

We're keen to hear your thoughts on the design. Why not leave us your comments at the bottom of this post?

The book will be launched towards the end of November at a super special launch event - details coming soon!

Follow this link for more details on the book, including a full contents list.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Do you know about our open access journal?

Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World: A Review Journal is hosted on our website and can be read free of charge by anyone. The journal includes topical articles such as British Pakistani Muslim Women's Political Empowerment and Boundary Crossings and The Impact of Government Initiatives in Promoting Racial Equality in Higher Education.

It's easy to browse articles from the journal, follow this link and click on the title of the article you would like to read.

NEW Issue Three is now available

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Richard Lester donates first draft of Beatles films

Richard Lester has donated more than 60 boxes of letters, scripts, notes and photographs documenting his 40 year career, to the BFI National Archive. The donation includes the first drafts of the Beatles films A Hard Day's Night and Help!. Lester’s collection also includes letters from Audrey Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Raquel Welch and Spike Milligan.

Read more about this story.

MUP published a full analysis of Richard Lester’s career earlier this year. Indelibly associated with the Beatles, the ‘swinging sixties’ and his joyous sex comedy The Knack, Lester has tended to be categorised as a modish director whose heyday passed when that decade’s optimism slid into disillusionment and violence. This book presents an alternative view of his work.

Find out more about Richard Lester

Peggy Seeger announces UK tour dates

Peggy Seeger will be touring the UK later this year, playing in various venues across the country. Last year Peggy helped us launch the revised edition of Journeyman, Ewan MacColl's vivid and entertaining autobiography, at a large memorial concert at Peel Hall in Salford. She also kindly contributed a new introduction for the title.

More details about Ewan MacColl's popular autobiography are available on our website.

Visit Peggy's website to find out more details about her UK tour.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Dictionary of British politics


The brand new Dictionary of British politics, by Bill Jones has been reviewed on the Liverpool Hope University website.

Read what they have to say

Order an inspection copy

Read more about the title

Friday, 30 July 2010

Summer 2010, Artisans of the body in early modern Italy is NEW IN PAPERBACK!

'A phenomenally detailed picture of the lives of barbers and
surgeons, based not on the prescriptive regulations of guilds or colleges, but on the careers, work and family relationships of the individuals involved . . . . Cavallo's work provides a splendid model for further research.'

Katharine Park, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University

To read the full review please follow

More reviews for this title can be found here....

Histoire sociale/Social history review (Volume 42, Number 84, November, on p. 490) by E. Cohen

For Jacobson Schutte's review in
Renaissance Quarterly (63:1, Spring 2010, pp. 239-40)

Fellow MUP author, Evelyn Welch, reviews
Artisans of the body in History Workshop journal

Rebecca Messbarger writes for The American Historical Review

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Lifting the lid on British shipbuilding

Newly released The tide of democracy is a detailed account of British shipbuilding between 1870 and 1950. The title includes highly original detailed studies of the impact of new machinery on skills, the significance of rank-and-file movements within trade unions, and the role of craft unions in the early Labour Party.

Anyone interested in shipyard workers, or simply enthusiasts in Modern British Social and Economic History should visit a new exhibtion at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent. A series of paintings by artist Stanley Spencer, commissioned to record the World War II effort, have gone on display for the first time since a full-scale restoration.

Check out details of the exhibition.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Collaboration and interdisciplinarity in the Republic of Letters
Essays in honour of Richard G. Maber
Edited by Paul Scott

This collection of fifteen essays by distinguished scholars covers aspects of interdisciplinarity and collaboration within the Republic of Letters. The essays include historical, theological, and literary topics and all focus on different means of communication of individuals between other intellectuals, with the past, and through the arts.

The book will be launched on 19th July at the Thirteenth International Conference for 17c Studies, to be held at Durham castle between 19th and 22nd July.

Those interested in attending the launch should contact or

Trace the history of the politics of alcohol

James Nicholls, author of The Politics of Alcohol will be appearing on a new BBC series to be broadcast on Radio Four next week.

Britain on the Bottle: Alcohol and the State sees Mark Whitaker investigating the history of the politics of alcohol.

More information about the series can be found at

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

War on terror, The Oxford Amnesty Lectures

By Chris Miller

Disasters represent opportunities for governments. The way in which they react can reinforce their appeal with the electorate or alienate voters forever because deep emotions are stirred. A major terrorist outrage such as 9/11 constituted precisely such an opportunity and my immediate sense in its aftermath was that the feelings of outrage it inspired were liable to be exploited. This premonition was more than borne out, as we know. Those in the US administration who were already pressing for an assault on Saddam Hussein took their opportunity immediately. The need to close Afghanistan to terrorist training camps presented a more difficult challenge, which has not been solved. Under the pressure of public feeling measures were taken in the name of security that appealed to the general tendency of governments to enhance their own powers. Undoing the powers that Western and other governments then bestowed on themselves will be a long and patient task for human-rights campaigners—undertaken for the most part without the same sense of public urgency. The danger constituted by terrorism is, nevertheless, one of the least significant faced by the citizen of a Western democracy. In terms of reducing mortality, greater enforcement of speed-limits would probably have been more effective than the `War on Terror’. It is argued, of course, that we cannot know this; that attempted outrages were prevented of which we know nothing. But the effects of the ‘War on Terror’ can surely be described as a disaster in themselves. When the US criticizes human rights abuses in other countries, it is now seen to be entirely hypocritical, since the content of its own past critiques was used to establish the preferred destinations of those illegally rendered to torture during the Bush years (with the alleged complicity of other Western nations). Though the US in South and Central America and the UK in its colonial wars and in Ireland had clearly been active or instrumental in torture before then, it seemed that torture was at least off the official menu before 9/11. No longer. Powers that were awarded to the police in the UK in order to deal with terrorist groups are now used against non-violent protesters. The view already preached by Osama Bin Laden that the US and UK and other Western countries intended an assault on Islam has been reinforced and with it the view that violence is a legitimate recourse for Muslims opposed to the killing of fellow-Muslims in the ‘War on Terror’.

The considerations that motivate the declaration of such a ‘war’ are of course multifarious. And in the West there is a genuine perplexity concerning Islamist violence. I sense that the great public-relations victory scored by Israel over its Arab neighbours is coming to an end in Europe but how many, even now, are familiar with the history of Israel’s accumulation of territory? In America, Israel retains its dominance of public opinion on the Middle East.

For me, the organisation of a lecture series on the ‘War on Terror’ and the editing and writing involved in turning those lectures into a book constituted a quest for clarification of many of these issues economic, legal, historical, and ethical. We put our questions to specialists and received a wide variety of opinions, with some of which I was in fundamental disagreement. (Needless to say these pieces appear in full and they undoubtedly represent important strands of opinion.) By the end of that process, I was beginning to feel moderately well informed. The judgements made above are those at which I have arrived. If I say that many of my suspicions were confirmed in the course of the process, I am no doubt open to the accusation of having sought the evidence required to confirm my prejudices. I have little to say about this other than to suggest reading the Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2006: “War on Terror”. Every bit of it seems to me as pertinent as at the time of writing.

Find out more about the newly published War on Terror, editied by Chris Miller

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Lois S. Bibbings and 'Telling tales about men' on Ireland's 4FM McGurk show

On 7th January Lois S. Bibbings appeared on Ireland's 4FM McGurk Show and discussed Telling Tales about men with Derek Davis.

Bibbings's book provides an intriguing account of how conscientious objectors to compulsory military service — who opposed the war because of religious, moral and political belief — were viewed and treated in England during WWI .

You can listen to the 4FM McGurk Show interview here (12:09, MP3, 4.2MB).

Black Bartholomew's day wins award

David J. Appleby's Black Bartholomew's day has been awarded the Richard L. Greaves Award by the International John Bunyan Society. The Richard L. Greaves Award is an award that is presented triennially to an outstanding book on the history, literature, thought, practices, and legacy of English Protestantism to 1700. The award is not limited to studies of Bunyan, and can be conferred on authors who are not members of the IJBS.

This is only the second time the award has been given, the first recipient being Isabel Hofmeyr of Princeton University.

Although the book has but one mention of Bunyan, the committee agreed that the book's contribution to dissenting studies was 'exceptional'.

To find out more about the International John Bunyan Society follow this link: