Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Divided Loyalities

As I said last time, this should be an interesting summer.  My Chickasha book is being released on June 11, but shortly after will be my book about the Secession Crisis in Kentucky during the Civil War.  I am excited about this release; I have been working on this project for several years now.  I am including the back cover content to spark your curiosity.  The title of the book is Divided Loyalties: Kentu cky's Struggle for Armed Neutrality in the  Civil War.  

On May 16, 1861, the Kentucky state legislature passed an ordinance declaring its neutrality, which the state’s governor, Beriah Magoffin, confirmed four days later. Kentucky’s declaration and ultimate support for the Union stand at odds with the state’s social and cultural heritage. After all, Kentucky was a slave state and enjoyed deep and meaningful connections to the new Confederacy. Much of what has been written to explain this curious choice concludes Kentucky harbored strong Unionist feelings. James Finck’s freshly written and deeply researched Divided Loyalties: Kentucky’s Struggle for Armed Neutrality in the Civil War shatters this conclusion.

An in-depth study of the twelve months that decided Kentucky’s fate (November 1860 to November 1861), Divided Loyalties argues persuasively that the Commonwealth did not support neutrality out of its deep Unionist’s sentiment. In fact, it was Kentucky’s equally divided loyalties that brought about its decision to remain neutral. Both Unionists and Secessionists would come to support neutrality at different times when they felt their side would lose.
Along the way, Dr. Finck examines the roles of the state legislature, the governor, other leading Kentuckians, and average citizens to understand how Kentuckians felt about the prospects of war and secession, and how bloodshed could be avoided. The finely styled prose is built upon a foundation of primary sources including letters, journals, newspapers, government documents, and published reports. By focusing exclusively on one state, one issue, and one year, Divided Loyalties provides a level of detail that will deeply interest both Kentuckians and Civil War enthusiasts alike.
Kentucky’s final decision was the result of intrigue and betrayal within the Commonwealth while armies gathered around its borders waiting for any opportunity to invade. And it was within this heated environment that Kentuckians made the most important decision in their history.

About the Author: James Finck was raised in Virginia where he developed a love of the Civil War. He received his undergraduate degree in history at the College of William and Mary, a master’s degree at Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Finck taught history at the University of Texas—Pan American. He currently teaches American history at the University of Arts and Sciences of Oklahoma. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife and three young children.

I will keep everyone update when the book actually is released.  The book is being published by Savas Beatie publishers, you can link to thier website here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Exciting Book News

This should be an exciting summer on the publishing front; I have my first two books being published. The first one out is called Chickasha, and as the title suggests it is about Chickasha, OK. My second book is called Divided Loyalties: Kentucky’s Struggle for Armed Neutrality in the Civil War.

As I said, Chickasha will be released first; I believe its release date is still scheduled for June 11th. The book is being published by Arcadia Press and is part of their Images of America series http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/. It is photographic history of Chickasha from its beginnings in 1892 through about the Great Depression. It is broken down into six chapters: Chapter 1: Transportation and Auxiliaries; Chapter 2: Business; Chapter 3: Culture; Chapter 4: Religious Life; Chapter 5: Education; and finally Chapter 6: the University of Arts and Sciences of Oklahoma.

The Grady County Historical Society is planning on having a kickoff party and book signing some day in June. I will keep everyone posted as to the date.