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UK Experts Featured in C-SPAN's 'Lexington Weekend'

By Whitney Hale

(July 13, 2015) — This weekend Lexington will be in the spotlight as C-SPAN airs coverage of the city as part of its "2015 C-SPAN Cities Tour." Viewers of "Lexington Weekend" will learn about the city's rich history, as well as the community's non-fiction literary culture on programming airing July 18-19 as part of "BookTV" on C-SPAN2 and "American History TV" (AHTV) on C-SPAN3. Many University of Kentucky experts from the College of Arts and Sciences and Libraries lend a hand in sharing Lexington's story.

C-SPAN’s "2015 Cities Tour" is traveling to cities that are rich with history and have interesting local literary communities, but are not often featured on the national scene. Working with partners like Time Warner Cable (in Lexington), C-SPAN aims to share a little of each communities' heritage with a nationwide audience. During their time filming in Lexington June 22-25, they visited several literary and historic sites, and interviewed local historians, authors and civic leaders.

Several UK faculty and staff will be featured as part of the "Lexington Weekend" programming. "AHTV" will include a segment on Keeneland's history with former Lexington Herald-Leader turf writer, alumna and part-time instructor in the UK Department of History Maryjean Wall. Wall will help examine the storied history of one of the nation's most famous thoroughbred race tracks.

As part of "BookTV," work by Wall and several other UK authors, Tracy Campbell, Karl Raitz, Mark Summers and Justin Wedeking, will be highlighted.

Tracy Campbell, professor of history, talks to "BookTV" about his book "Short of the Glory: The Fall and Redemption of Edward F. Prichard Jr." Campbell's work looks at the rise and fall, and eventual redemption, of one of the nation's promising political prodigies. Published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK), "Short of Glory" chronicles how the boy wonder of the New Deal ended up in prison for stuffing the ballot box, as well as his hard fought journey back to becoming a trusted advisor of government leaders and Kentucky's most persuasive and eloquent voice for education reform.

Cultural geographer and former Provost's Distinguished Service Professor in the UK Department of Geography Karl Raitz speaks with "BookTV" about his book, "Kentucky’s Frontier Highway: Historical Landscapes along the Maysville Road." In this book, Raitz and co-author Nancy O’Malley, assistant director of the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology at UK, chart the complex history of the Maysville Road—a route that served as a corridor of local settlement, an engine of economic development, a symbol of national progress, and an essential part of the Underground Railroad. "Kentucky's Frontier Highway" was also published by UPK.

As part of the examination of Reconstruction in Lexington, "BookTV" speaks with Mark Summers, the Thomas D. Clark Professor of History. Summers is the author of "A Dangerous Stir: Fear, Paranoia, and the Making of Reconstruction," published by University of North Carolina Press, and "Railroads, Reconstruction, and the Gospel of Prosperity: Aid Under the Radical Republicans, 1865-1877," published by Princeton University Press. In "A Dangerous Stir," Summers looks at the fears that shaped Reconstruction policy after the Civil War, in addition to the politics, principles and prejudices of the time. In "Railroads, Reconstruction, and the Gospel of Prosperity," Summers describes the southern Republicans' post-Civil War railroad aid program.

Wall will also be featured on "BookTV" discussing her book, "How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders." Published by UPK, the book explores the post–Civil War world of thoroughbred racing before the Bluegrass region reigned as the unofficial "Horse Capital of the World." Wall uses her insider knowledge of horse racing as a foundation for this examination of the efforts to establish a thoroughbred industry in late 19th century Kentucky.

Justin Wedeking, associate professor of political science, will also appear on "BookTV." Wedeking discusses his book "Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings in the U.S. Senate: Reconsidering the Charade," published by University of Michigan Press. In this book, Wedeking and co-author Dion Farganis conduct a line-by-line analysis of the confirmation hearing of every Supreme Court nominee since 1955—an original dataset of nearly 11,000 questions and answers from testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee—and discover that nominees are far more forthcoming than generally assumed, especially the contemporary ones.

In addition to the segments with UK and UPK authors, C-SPAN also filmed a segment on King Library Press. Founded by Carolyn Reading Hammer and the UK Libraries in 1956, the press is devoted to the tradition of handpress fine printing established in the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg and continuing without interruption to the present day. Paul Holbrook, director of King Library Press, and Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of UK Special Collections Research Center, share the history and work of the press with viewers in this interview.

The Lexington history segments will air on "AHTV" on C-SPAN3 and the literary events/non-fiction author segments will air on "BookTV" on C-SPAN2. The "BookTV" block will start noon Saturday, July 18, on C-SPAN2. The "AHTV" programming will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 19, on C-SPAN3. In addition, viewers will be able to watch "Lexington Weekend" broadcasting at their leisure on C-SPAN's website at