An Update on My Writing Projects
Every summer since I initiated my first blog in July 2011, I have provided an update on my writing projects. Thus, here is my latest “report card” on my five writing projects as of this date.
1. Libertines: Sex Scandals in American History
In June 2022, Rowman & Littlefield published my latest book, Libertines: Sex Scandals in American History, which discusses these scandals:
Chapter 1: Alexander Hamilton and Maria Reynolds
Chapter 2: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Chapter 3: The Andrew Jackson Scandals (Rachel Jackson and Peggy Eaton)
Chapter 4: Daniel Sickles and Philip Barton Key II
Chapter 5: Reverend Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Tilton
Chapter 6: Grover Cleveland’s Illegitimate Son
Chapter 7: Warren G. Harding, Carrie Phillips, and Nan Britton
Chapter 8: Wilbur Mills and Fanne Foxe
Chapter 9: Gary Hart and Donna Rice
Chapter 10: Bob Packwood
Chapter 11: Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky
Chapter 12: Gary Condit and Chandra Levy
Chapter 13: Anthony Weiner
Chapter 14: Donald Trump’s sex scandals
The book can be ordered from these outlets:
2. Scoundrels: Political Scandals in American History
Rowman & Littlefield has another volume of mine on scandals in the works. Tentatively titled Scoundrels: Political Scandals in American History, the book covers these episodes:
Chapter 1: The Yazoo Land Fraud
Chapter 2: The Aaron Burr Conspiracy
Chapter 3: The Caning of Charles Sumner
Chapter 4: Scandals of the 1870s (Salary Grab/Whiskey Ring/Credit Mobilier)
Chapter 5: Teapot Dome
Chapter 6: William “Wild Bill” Langer
Chapter 7: Spiro Agnew
Chapter 8: Watergate
Chapter 9: Abscam
Chapter 10: The Savings & Loan Crisis
Chapter 11: Iran-Contra
Chapter 12: Jack Abramoff
Chapter 13: 2016 Russian Election Interference
The publication timeline is unclear, but I estimate that it will appear sometime in the first half of 2023. The manuscript has been written, but proofreading, typesetting, and indexing needs to be completed.
3. “A Finer Spirit of Hope and Achievement”: 28 Exemplary American Public Servants
In August 2021, I signed a book contract with Routledge Press to produce a book titled “A Finer Spirit of Hope and Achievement”: 28 Exemplary American Public Servants. The book covers effective public servants (defined as unelected officials who conduct public business working inside a government agency at any level) who understand the rules and regulations in their organizations, but they also are not afraid to find creative means of achieving their goals. Sometimes they work through organizational norms and customs, while at other times they bend the rules and seek a broader domain for the agency. Some effective servants have been charismatic individuals who relied on an outsized personality while others have been self-effacing introverts who labored quietly behind the scenes to achieve their goals. Their one commonality is a strong belief in government service and a willingness to employ effective methods for accomplishing their objectives.
The manuscript is due at the publisher in March 2023. Publication will occur late in 2023 or early in 2024.
These are the 28 figures that will be highlighted in the book:
1. Montgomery Meigs (1816-1892)
2. Charles Dawes (1865-1951)
3. Frances Perkins (1880-1965)
4. Harold Ickes (1874-1952)
5. Leslie Groves (1896-1970)
6. David Lilienthal (1899-1981)
7. Robert Moses (1888-1981)
8. Alice Hamilton (1869-1970)
9. Ralph Bunche (1904-1971)
10. Allen Dulles (1893-1969)
11. Frances Oldham Kelsey (1914-2015)
12. Hyman G. Rickover (1900-1986)
13. Wilbur J. Cohen (1913-1987)
14. Stewart Udall (1920-2010)
15. Robert C. Weaver (1907-1997)
16. David O. “Doc” Cooke (1920-2002)
17. Dwight Ink (1922- )
18. Elliot Richardson (1920-1999)
19. Alan K. “Scotty” Campbell (1924-1998)
20. James A. Baker III (1930- )
21. Alice Rivlin (1931-2019)
22. Elmer Staats (1914-2011)
23. James Webb (1906-1992)
24. George Schultz (1920-2021)
25. Prudence Bushnell (1946- )
26. Constance Berry Newman (1935- )
27. Colin Powell (1937-2021)
28. Anthony Fauci (1940- )
4. Law for State and Local Public Managers: Understanding the Legal Environment of Public Service
I am working with two of my colleagues at Kennesaw State University, Jerry Herbel and Misty Grayer, on a proposal to write a textbook tentatively titled Law for State and Local Public Managers: Understanding the Legal Environment of Public Service. The book is intended to help public managers know what the law requires of them and how to meet their responsibilities. While appropriate for administrators at all levels of government, the book will emphasize the legal environment of state and local government. While the content overlaps with administrative law textbooks, the approach diverges in important ways, including more emphasis on individual legal mandates and liabilities, safeguarding agency rulemaking and adjudication, record keeping and transparency, and financial oversight.
We have pitched the book proposal to an academic publisher, Palgrave Macmillan. The proposal had been through peer review, and we are waiting for approval from the publisher’s editorial review board. Stay tuned.
5. “Fulfill Thy Ministry”: Three Episcopal Ministers, Race, and the Civil War Era
As I mentioned in my 2020 and 2021 updates, I am co-authoring a work with my uncle, the late Reverend Loren B. Mead. This statement is slightly inaccurate, though. A retired Episcopal minister, Loren was working on the manuscript when he died on May 5, 2018. He had gathered most of the research, prepared an outline, and written a few pages of general observations and impressions. I am finishing the manuscript based on his direction. Consequently, the plan, organization, research, and direction of the book are Loren’s work, while the prose and execution are mine.
On February 23, 2016, he sent me a letter containing notes and an outline for the book. As he explained in his letter, “I’m going to try to do a new book on three men I call my own Three Musketeers, white men who really stood in the crossing between whites and blacks in the Episcopal Church right after the war.”
Loren viewed these three men as emblematic Episcopal ministers who confronted race during the Civil War and Reconstruction: “These three men…[are] Peter Stevens (celebrated in Charleston as the man who fired on Fort Sumter), Toomer Porter (who helped reestablish education for blacks and whites after the war and whose name is kept in the name of the Porter-Gaud Academy in Charleston today), and William Porcher DuBose (later dean-founder of the seminary at Sewanee, and maybe the only American Episcopal theologian who is sometimes read outside the USA).”
Loren’s research question was relatively simple, even if the answers were not: How did these three Episcopal ministers from South Carolina—each man an ardent supporter of the Confederate States of America—respond to the collapse of the slaveholding republic and the dawn of the Reconstruction era? So many ex-Confederates were unreconstructed rebels who bowed to superior northern military might but refused to accept former slaves—the so-called “freedmen”—as fully human, functioning members of society during the postbellum years.
The three men reacted in different ways. Peter F. Stevens became a tireless champion of the freedmen, spending 35 years of his life ministering to former slaves in the Diocese of South Carolina. Toomer Porter shared Stevens’ insight that former slaves must be welcomed into the church, although he focused on educating young people (creating separate schools for blacks and whites). DuBose forged a different path, embracing the traditional southern perspective that blacks were inferior and must be kept at arm’s length through de jure segregation.
I have written about 50% of the manuscript, but I have not yet found a publisher. I pitched a book proposal to Dr. Ehren Foley, acquisitions editor at the University of South Carolina Press, in June 2021. Dr. Foley initially was enthusiastic. We exchanged numerous emails about the project. Since October 2021, however, he has refused to respond to my queries. I am a quick study. I deduce from his continued silence that he has lost interest in the project. Sigh.
I have developed two articles based on the project. I have pitched one article to the Anglican & Episcopal History journal and another to the South Carolina Historical Magazine. I am waiting their reviews even as I search for a new book publisher. Stay tuned.