A Glimpse at our Trade and General Interest Books

You may already know that Notre Dame Press publishes the translated works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the winners of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, the Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry, and the Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction, but did you know that we publish other trade books outside these series? Learn more about some of our upcoming and recent trade books in this post!

A look at an understudied leader of the Underground Railroad

William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia is the first major biography of the free black abolitionist William Still, who coordinated the Eastern Line of the Underground Railroad and was a pillar of the Railroad as a whole. This monumental work details Still’s life story beginning with his parents’ escape from bondage in the early nineteenth century and continuing through his youth and adulthood as one of the nation’s most important Underground Railroad agents and, later, as an early civil rights pioneer. Unique to this book is an accessible and detailed database of the 995 fugitives Still helped escape from the South to the North and Canada between 1853 and 1861.

A memoir of a secretly ordained priest in Communist Czechoslovakia

In From the Underground Church to Freedom, international best-selling author and theologian Tomáš Halík shares for the first time the dramatic story of his life. Born in Prague in 1948, Halík spent his childhood under Stalinism. He describes his conversion to Christianity during the time of communist persecution of the church, his secret study of theology, and secret priesthood ordination in East Germany. Since the fall of the regime, Halík has served as general secretary to the Czech Conference of Bishops and was an advisor to John Paul II and Václav Havel.

A memoir about growing up gay and overcoming discrimination in the battle for same-sex marriage in the US

In Gay, Catholic, and American: My Legal Battle for Marriage Equality and Inclusion, Greg Bourke recounts growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, and living as a gay Catholic. The book describes Bourke’s early struggles for acceptance as an out gay man living in the South during the 1980s and ’90s, his unplanned transformation into an outspoken gay rights activist after being dismissed as a troop leader from the Boy Scouts of America in 2012, and his historic role as one of the named defendants in the landmark United States Supreme Court decision Obergefell vs. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. Bourke is unapologetically Catholic, and his faith provides the framework for this inspiring story of how the Bourke De Leon family struggled to overcome antigay discrimination by both the BSA and the Catholic Church and fought to legalize same-sex marriage across the country.

A glimpse into Syrian refugee women’s stories of defiance and triumph

Defiance in Exile: Syrian Refugee Women in Jordan presents for the first time in a book-length format the opportunity to hear the refugee women’s own words about torment, struggle, and persecution—and of an enduring spirit that defies a difficult reality. The book contains nearly two dozen interviews, which give voice to single mothers, widows, women with disabilities, and those who are victims of physical and psychological abuse. Having lost husbands, children, relatives, and friends to the conflict, they struggle with what it means to be a Syrian refugee—and what it means to be a Syrian woman.

A look at Palestinian society outside of sensationalism and superficiality

In Stories from Palestine: Narratives of Resilience, Marda Dunsky presents a vivid overview of contemporary Palestinian society in the venues envisioned for a future Palestinian state. Dunsky has interviewed women and men from cities, towns, villages, and refugee camps who are farmers, scientists, writers, cultural innovators, educators, and entrepreneurs. Using their own words, she illuminates their resourcefulness in navigating agriculture, education, and cultural pursuits in the West Bank; persisting in Jerusalem as a sizable minority in the city; and confronting the challenges and uncertainties of life in the Gaza Strip.

A collection of the stories of Catholic chaplains and nuns who served during the Civil War

David Power Conyngham’s Soldiers of the Cross: The Heroism of Catholic Chaplains and Sisters in the American Civil War, is the fullest record written during the nineteenth century of the Catholic Church’s involvement in the war. The introduction contains over a dozen letters written between 1868 and 1870 from high-ranking Confederate and Union officials, such as Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Union Surgeon General William Hammond, and Union General George B. McClellan, who praise the church’s services during the war.

A guide to the reach of and limits facing intelligence practitioners throughout Israel and the Middle East

Shabtai Shavit, director of the Mossad from 1989 to 1996, is one of the most influential leaders to shape the recent history of the State of Israel. In Head of the Mossad: In Pursuit of a Safe and Secure Israel, Shavit combines memoir with sober reflection to reveal what happened during the seven years he led what is widely recognized today as one of the most powerful and proficient intelligence agencies in the world. Shavit provides an inside account of his intelligence and geostrategic philosophy, the operations he directed, and anecdotes about his family, colleagues, and time spent in, among other places, the United States as a graduate student and at the CIA.

A rediscovered classic of military history

No Bridges Blown: With the OSS Jedburghs in Nazi-Occupied France is a story of mistakes, failures, and survival, a story of volunteers and countrymen working together in the French countryside. The only book written by one of the Jedburghs about his wartime experiences, William B. Dreux brings the history of World War II to life with stories of real people amidst a small section of the fighting in France. These people had reckless courage, little training, and faced impossible odds.

A timely and telling reminder of the vigilance democracy requires if racial justice is to be fully realized

In Taking the Fight South: Chronicle of a Jew’s Battle for Civil Rights in Mississippi, historian Howard Ball focuses on six years, from 1976 to 1982, when, against the advice of friends and colleagues in New York, he and his Jewish family moved from the Bronx to Starkville, Mississippi. For Ball, his wife, Carol, and their three young daughters, the move represented a leap of faith, ultimately illustrating their deep commitment toward racial justice. Ball, with breathtaking historical authority, narrates the experience of his family as Jewish outsiders in Mississippi, an unfamiliar and dangerous landscape contending with the aftermath of the civil rights struggle.

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