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C-N professor draws from love of politics, government to craft newly released book

Carson-Newman University’s Dr. Kara Stooksbury holds a copy of her recently released book, “Today’s Civil Rights and Liberties Issues: Democrats and Republicans.”

A newly released book by Dr. Kara Stooksbury draws from the author’s longtime interest in government and politics. “Today’s Civil Rights and Liberties Issues: Democrats and Republicans” published by Bloomsbury publishing, is a topic in which the Carson-Newman University professor of political science is very comfortable – something she credits to her time as a C-N student.

“I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t interested in politics,” said Stooksbury, who now serves as chair of C-N’s Department of History, Political Science, and Sociology. “One of my first memories is of the Watergate hearings in the early 1970s when I was in pre-school. In fact, I remember telling the kids in preschool that President Nixon was in a lot of trouble. I read a lot of books about important historical political leaders when I was a kid.”

Her interest in government never waned but was fed during her high school and college years. “My Carson-Newman political science professor, Joe Bill Sloan, was an amazing teacher and an encouraging mentor who has had a profound and lasting impact on my life,” she said. “He even read drafts of most of the chapters of this book and provided very useful feedback.” 

“Today’s Civil Rights and Liberties Issues: Democrats and Republicans” is part of the Across the Aisle series, and is designed to be a one-stop resource on a variety of topics.

“The book contains a discussion of twenty of the most pressing civil rights and civil liberties issues in the U.S., including topics such as abortion, capital punishment, information privacy, and voting rights,” Stooksbury explained. “For each issue, there is an overview section, which details the historical development of the issue and explains how the parties’ respective views have changed over time. Then, there is a separate section for each party that goes into more depth on the parties’ views and includes statements from party platforms and party leaders, including presidents and presidential candidates, and addresses relevant legislation that the party has either supported or opposed.”

Stooksbury says the book takes an objective approach, incorporates criticism of each party’s view, and is written for an audience looking to better understand where the two major political parties stand on contemporary civil rights and civil liberties issues.

The project also opened the door to a future publication.

“After I turned in the first full draft of this book, my editor asked me if I would be interested in writing another one,” Stooksbury said. Slated for publishing in 2025, the work will also be a reference book focusing on the historical development and current controversies surrounding gerrymandering.

Her recent works can all be traced back to a subject she has long appreciated.

“I love teaching about this material because it is so important for students to understand factual information about government and politics,” she said. “It’s also important for them to understand that we can disagree about these issues without demonizing each other.”

“Today’s Civil Rights and Liberties Issues: Democrats and Republicans” is available on Amazon and at: Bloomsbury.com

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