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August 2015

Pretty in power

Wednesday marked the ninety-fifth anniversary of the 19th Amendment, a monumental change to the United States Constitution granting women the right to vote.  For almost a century, American women have had a voice in the political arena. To celebrate, we created a list of OSU Press titles showcasing the strength and indomitability of Pacific Northwest women. These literary ladies have spunk—and they’re ready to share it!



Yours for Liberty

Selections from Abigail Scott Duniway’s Suffrage Newspaper YoursforLiberty

Jean M. Ward and Elaine A. Maveety


She was egged. Hung in effigy. Despised for her beliefs. And yet, Abigail Scott Duniway—women’s suffrage activist and Portland newspaper editor—continually combated social injustices with tenacity and wit.


“When women’s true history shall have been written, her part in the upbuilding of this nation will astound the world.”



Remembering the Power of Words

The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader RememberingthePowerofWords

Avel Louise Gordly with Patricia A. Schechter


The first African-American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate, Gordly was no stranger to prejudice or adversity. From her childhood in a predominately white Portland to her political career, Gordly shares her story with refreshing frankness.


“Growing up, finding my own voice was tied up with denying my voice or having it forcefully rejected ... To this day—and I am today a very experienced public speaker—preparation to speak takes a great deal of energy.”



With Grit and By Grace

Breaking Trails in Politics and Law, A Memoir WithGritandByGrace

Betty Roberts with Gail Wells


Returning to college as a 32-year-old wife and mother, Roberts made challenging convention a lifelong habit. From teacher to lawyer, state legislator, and eventually Oregon’s first female Supreme Court Justice, Roberts simply didn’t take no for an answer.


“In today’s world, every woman should be able to explore her own life, discover her own uniqueness, break her own trails, and pioneer her own destiny.”



Up the Capitol Steps

A Woman’s March to the Governorship UptheCapitolSteps

Barbara Roberts


One of only two women ever elected to the Oregon governorship, Roberts shares the complex life of a woman in power. Driven into public service by a deep passion for the rights of children with disabilities, Roberts poignantly demonstrates how professional and personal lives rarely fall into the tidy compartments we so often wish they would.


“I know from experience that women leaders are held to a different standard, a higher standard… Gender too often defines leadership. This remains an unfinished equity agenda.”



Marie Equi

Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions MarieEqui

Michael Helquist


Helquist’s highly-anticipated book introduces readers to the fiercely independent Marie Equi: activist, doctor, and one of the first well-known lesbians in Oregon. Equi lived boldly, standing by her convictions even as they cost her great personal sacrifice.


“[Marie Equi was] the most interesting woman that ever lived in this state, certainly the most fascinating, colorful, and flamboyant.”



A Hunger for High Country

One Woman’s Journey to the Wild in Yellowstone Country HungerforHighCountry

Susan Marsh


Marsh’s work chronicles her career working for the United States Forest Service. Pitted against opposing ideals in a male-dominated field, Marsh struggled to reignite passion for her work and find a place she called home.


"Like the topography she traverses, Marsh delivers a trail of personal highs and lows. Cheryl Strayed doesn’t have anything on Marsh as far as real, authentic, informed passion for the wild." --Todd Wilkinson, Jackson Hole News & Guide



Shaping the Public Good

Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest ShapingPublicGood

Sue Armitage


Much as Abigail Scott Duniway predicted, the Pacific Northwest was indeed built upon the sacrifices and choices of women. In her new book, Armitage shows the lasting impact of women upon society and culture; even before we could celebrate “National Women’s Equality Day,” women have worked quietly to assure the stability and security of their families and communities.

The doctor is in


The arrival of a new book always spurs excitement around the office, but the appearance of Michael Helquist’s fascinating work was especially thrilling. Following the life of one of the West’s first well-known lesbians, Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions fills a startling gap in the lexicon of Oregon history. Helquist joins us today to discuss the extraordinary Dr. Equi and what drove him to share her story.




What first drew you to Marie Equi?


Once I read about Marie Equi as a slight 21-year-old who horsewhipped a Baptist minister in Marie Equithe center of The Dalles, Oregon, I wanted to know more. The minister was also a school superintendent who had refused to pay Equi’s girlfriend her full teacher’s salary. Equi was tired of urging him to cooperate, and she grabbed a horsewhip in frustration. The incident received notice throughout the West that summer of 1893. The notorious episode was the first public recognition of Oregon women in a lesbian relationship, and newspapers throughout the state and in California covered the story. One newspaper account stated that Equi’s feeling for her girlfriend “amounts to adoration.”  Another described the two women’s intent to remain “indissoluble friends whom nothing can separate."*


This exposure of same-sex love, along with another in 1906 in Portland, was sensational then and intriguing now. But these occasions also offer a glimpse into what people knew about sexuality and how they discussed intimacy and sex. This was a time when the new fields of psychology and sexology argued new understanding of sexual expression and sexual identity. We have very little information about how West Coast people reacted to these reports.



Considering the time and effort required of such an undertaking, why did you find it important to write the biography?


I became intrigued with the question of whose story gets told. For a very long time, marginalized people – women, racial minorities, the working class and poor people, political radicals, and LGBTQ people – seldom had their stories told. With their absence, we’ve lost an essential part of our history. As an historian, I wanted to help counter that trend.


Marie Equi was a ready and willing protagonist. She made an impact on many political and social issues. Imagine someone today who fights on the front lines for voting rights, reproductive rights, a livable wage, affordable housing, and an overhaul of the criminal justice system. Equi did all that nearly 100 years ago.


Equi’s experiences expand our understanding of how some women adopted a more radical strategy for fighting injustice. Her insights reveal what it meant to be an activist then and how to deal with the repercussions of standing firm with your beliefs today.



Did you run across any surprises during research?


Sometimes I wanted to shout out loud in a library or reading room when I came across new MarieEquiBookdiscoveries. One time I was scanning old newspapers on microfilm in the New Bedford Free Public Library, and I found a feature on Marie Equi’s 1914 visit there, her hometown. In an interview, she warned of an uprising if jobless men and women were not given jobs and food. The article gave me a sense of how Equi was received once she had adopted more radical politics.


I also learned from other new sources how vulnerable Equi felt behind much of the bombast of her actions. She undertook risky, dangerous protests, even when she knew she would probably be physically attacked as a result. She suffered trauma from the beating and third degree the police delivered after her arrest for joining a strike in 1913. Then she felt betrayed by her government for sending her to prison for sedition when she had spoken against World War I.   



What did you find most difficult when writing the biography?


Finding my writer’s voice for this project vexed me for a long time. I wanted to write intriguing history for a general audience, but also to produce a work with scholarly significance. That balance is difficult to maintain.



Do you have a favorite quote of Marie Equi’s?


I have two. In 1913 Equi picketed with women cannery workers who protested their very low wages and deplorable working conditions. The Oregonian newspaper described her as “dangerously insane” for fighting off the police. Equi retorted:


“It was beyond the imagination of these people who repeatedly attacked me, that a professional woman of established practice and reputation, of some money and high standing in the community could set these aside and get out and work for her unfortunate sisters and brothers – therefore I must be insane.” 


And another. In the midst of the West Coast maritime strike of 1934, Equi left her sickbed to visit the local union office. She wanted to “do something for the boys,” she said, and she donated $250 for men wounded during the strike. A reporter was surprised by her generosity, but Equi replied, “Young man, money is a thing despised. I claim no honor or glory in giving this sum. If I had my name in the paper every time I gave away money, I’d look like a daily feature.”




Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions is now available for purchase. Place an order today by calling 1 (800) 621-2736 or paying here online. You may also find a copy at your local bookstore.


*Photo to the right found on MichaelHelquist.com, attributed to Oregon Historical Society #23496.

Hello, Heather!

There’s a new face in the office! Freshman Heather Bennett has joined our team as the newest student worker. We’re proud to welcome another member to the OSU Press family and are excited to have her on board. Studying business management and marketing, she’s lively, well spoken, and … loves Corvallis salsa? Read the interview below to see how Heather found her place in the OSU Press office.


TH Tori Hittner, marketing intern

HB – Heather Bennett, student worker and office assistant




TH: I know you recently graduated from Canby High School, Heather, but I remember you mentioning you also received your associates degree in a dual enrollment program?


HB: Yes, I got my associates from Clackamas Community College. It’s an ASOT transfer degree.



TH: So then what led you here to this position, and to OSU in general?


HB: I was torn between OSU and the University of Idaho, and Idaho was a little far away for my first year away from home. My sister goes here, so it was kind of a comfort thing. I just kind of grew up around business; my mom owned her own business, so it was natural. Before I moved here, I had an assistant-type position and was against working in fast food or retail. I wanted to stay in an office environment since that’s what I would like to do in the future. I thought it would be better to stay on that track and get this experience.



TH: I know you’ve only been here in the summer, but do you have a favorite part of campus or Corvallis as of yet?


HB: I haven’t been around [campus] too much yet. But I do love the new business building. And I also love the marble steps in the MU and all the big trees. That’s part of the reason I chose this school; I love all the old trees here. And as far as Corvallis, I haven’t spent much time exploring it yet. Most of my [spare] time has been spent in my apartment. Oh, and searching for salsa at the farmers’ market.



TH: Searching for salsa?


HB: There is the best salsa in the world there! The first time I looked for it was a struggle; my sister just told me it was near the water. So I walked through the whole place looking for a single salsa stand. But no, it’s in a vegetable stand: Gathering Together Farms.



TH: Well, now I feel like I need to go hunt this famous salsa down.


HB: Yes, you do!



TH: So you’ve been braving the warehouse here lately …


HB: Oh yes—the spider-infested warehouse!



TH: Ick! Do you want to talk a little about the kind of work you’ve been doing around the office?


HB: Most recently, I’ve been organizing all the books here and alphabetizing all the boxes. I haven’t spent that much time in the warehouse yet, but inventory is a main focus here. Working upstairs for Don [Frier] has involved a lot of miscellaneous items.



TH: Okay, I have to ask. Do you have a favorite, or most memorable, book?


HB: The most memorable book, for me, would be Where the Red Fern Grows. Every time I read that book, I cry. I have a passion for animals, so it’s sad. But I like it because it’s a romantic kind of sad.



TH: E-book or hard copy?


HB: Hard copy! I like holding out my hands and being able to flip a page. I don’t like staring at a computer screen; I do it all day with my phone and everything else. For a book, I’d rather just look at a piece of paper.



TH: I completely agree. Okay, last part of the interrogation, I promise. How do you see your work here affecting later career goals?


HB: I enjoy having my own office space and having to stay organized. The office environment is what I want. Well, eventually I’d like to have the fancy, closed door, but … I’m working my way up to that! I won’t necessarily be working with books, but I’m getting the practice of building relationships.



TH: So do you have a dream job?


HB: My dream job is somewhat uncertain. I fell in love with the marketing position I used to have in my hometown. That interested me mainly because it’s business, but it’s also artsy and I like that side of it. It’s a relaxing thing for me. I like the feel of a small business, but I’ve also always pictured myself working for a larger company. I’m kind of torn between those. I like the family aspect of a small business, though. It’s like one large, dysfunctional family.




Sounds like Heather will fit right in with our own business family.

Meet the authors


Behind every incredible book is a hardworking author. The kind of author who is willing to trek into fields every morning, or take their dinner amidst a stack of books. These writers pour passion into their work, attempting to convey via pen or keyboard a revelation that they simply need to share with others. And while we as readers certainly enjoy the end product of their labors, rarely do we discover the people behind the pages.

So, before you’re able to delve into our forthcoming fall list, we thought a brief introduction was in order. Readers, meet our Fall 2015 writers:



Author: Michael Helquist Helquist

Book: Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions

Release Month: September

Website: http://www.michaelhelquist.com/

Occupation: Historian, journalist, editor, and activist

Quick Fact: Helquist’s interest in the project stemmed in part from the modern relevance of Equi’s struggles. “How Equi fought for justice makes her life story compelling to general readers and scholars interested in the issues of her day and to anyone committed to similar challenges today,” he explains on his blog.



Author: Max G. Geier Geier

Book: The Color of Night: Race, Railroaders, and Murder in the Wartime West

Release Month: October

Website: http://www.wou.edu/~geierm/

Occupation: Professor of History, Emeritus

Quick Fact: Geier’s areas of scholarly specialization include public history, environmental history, and North American history. He is the author of two books on the history of forest science research in the Pacific Northwest.



Author: Sue Armitage Armitage

Book: Shaping the Public Good: Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest

Release Month: October

Website: http://libarts.wsu.edu/history/faculty-staff/emeritus.asp

Occupation: Emerita Professor of History and Women’s Studies

Quick Fact: Armitage has coedited three collections of work by and about western women. Her forthcoming book focuses on women—famous and little-known alike—who helped shape Pacific Northwest society.



Author: Ellen Eisenberg Eisenberg

Book: Embracing a Western Identity: Jewish Oregonians, 1849-1950

Release Month: October

Website: http://willamette.edu/cla/history/faculty/eisenberg/

Occupation: Professor of American History

Quick Fact: Eisenberg’s publication coincides with the Oregon Jewish Museum’s online exhibit and documentary centered around the Oregon Jewish experience. This title will be followed by a second book documenting the decades following 1950.



Author: Dale Soden Soden

Book: Outsiders in a Promised Land: Religious Activists in Pacific Northwest History

Release Month: October

Website: http://www.whitworth.edu/academic/Faculty/index.aspx?username=dsoden

Occupation: Professor of History

Quick Fact: Soden maintains a collection of historic photos of Washington state, most of which contain themes of power and transportation. You can view some of them here.



Author: Lawrence A. Landis Landis

Book: A School for the People: A Photographic History of Oregon State University

Release Month: October

Website: http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/staff/landisl

Occupation: Director of OSU Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives Research Center

Quick Fact: When visiting OSU’s archives, turn to Landis for help with OSU history, historic photographs, preservation of archival materials, digital collections, and historic preservation issues.



Editor: Lorraine Anderson, assisted by Abby Phillips Metzger WildintheWillamette

Book: Wild in the Willamette: Exploring the Mid-Valley’s Parks, Trails, and Natural Areas

Release Month: November

Website: https://www.facebook.com/WildInTheWillamette

Occupation(s): This guidebook was created via contributions from forty-plus outdoor enthusiasts and noted writers.

Quick Fact: All proceeds from Wild in the Willamette will be donated to Greenbelt Land Trust. The book was inspired by the passion and work of Gail Achterman, former director of the Institute for Natural Resources at OSU.



Author: George Moskovita (Introduction by Carmel Finley and Mary Hunsicker) Moskovita

Book: Living Off the Pacific Ocean Floor: Stories of a Commercial Fisherman

Release Month: November

Occupation: Commercial fisherman

Quick Fact: Moskovita made his living off the sea for more than sixty years. This new edition of his fascinating memoir includes an introduction and notes from Finley, an historian of science, and Hunsicker, an aquatic and fisheries scientist.



Editors: Scott Slovic and Paul Slovic Slovic

Book: Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data

Release Month: November

Websites: http://www.uidaho.edu/class/english/scott-slovic | http://psychology.uoregon.edu/profile/pslovic/

Occupations: Professor of Literature & Environment | Professor of Psychology

Quick Fact: The Slovics are a father-son duo whose work studies systemic problems within cultural patterns and societies that prevent individuals from fully processing numerical information.



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