Home / General / Contracts



For what seems like half of my life and the entire time I have written at this site, I have been talking about my logging book. Well, as of today, Empire of Timber: Labor Unions and the Pacific Northwest Forests is under contract with Cambridge University Press. No official publication date yet, but it should be sometime next year and I will keep readers posted.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Vance Maverick


    What’s the relationship of this to your thesis? More an extension, or a new thing?

    • I condensed the whole dissertation to the first two chapters. The last four are all new material.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    congrats. my disappeared great-uncle (he went west after world war 2 and broke off contact with the family) worked as a logger. if he was anything like his brothers, he would have had many stories to hear. looking forward to the book

  • citizen

    How did you ever settle on Cambridge?

    • djw

      If the hierarchy of publishers for historians is anything like it is for political scientists, you don’t so much ‘settle on Cambridge’ as you hope like hell Cambridge settles on you.

      • Linnaeus

        Yeah, I’d say that’s true.

      • That’s pretty much how this happened. Cambridge wanted to meet with me at a conference. Who was going to publish this that would have been more prestigious? None. So I went with it.

        • John Protevi

          Yeah, super congrats. Cambridge is the bomb!

          Ooops, did I say that? Make sure the president of your university knows it’s a metaphor. It’s just another way of saying it’s a great press. Oh, no, I hope I didn’t get you in trouble.

          • Let me run this by my provost, see if it matches his definition of civility.

  • Malaclypse


    • dp


  • Aimai

    Congratulations Erik, you should be really, really, proud of your work. You are prolific!

  • Hogan

    Cambridge! Damn. Way to go.

  • Emma in Sydney

    Fantastic news, Erik. Savour the feeling.

  • wjts

    More congratulations. Why not celebrate with a glass of one of New England’s many delicious beers?

    • Murc

      Oh man, complete tangent, and I really meant to bring it up in the Bowl threads but was distracted by the end of the game…

      Anyone see Budweiser’s truly awful Super Bowl ad? Not the Clydesdale one, the one where they make fun of craft brewing and portray beer-knowledgable twenty and thirty somethings as effete idiots who don’t know what a real mangs drinkin’ beer is all about.

      I mean… that’s a way to go, I guess, but doesn’t Budweiser already have old people in their pocket? Shouldn’t they be trying to appeal to people under thirty, most of whom have never hoisted their product and have no plans to?

      • Hogan

        Budweiser: the Republican Party of beers.

      • djw

        I contemplated a post about that, but that can’t have been good for employee morale at the Elysian, given that they actually brew a pumpkin peach ale.

        Also, the irony of attacking the very idea of being fussy and detail-oriented about beer while bragging about the kind of wood you age your beer in is apparently lost on AB.

      • wjts

        That was a pretty boneheaded ad pitch, especially given that Bud is apparently very concerned with persuading younger folks to drink their beer. Certainly I thought the most appealing parts of the ad were the shots of snifters, tasting flight glasses, and rows of tap handles suggesting the wide variety of delicious beers available at various bars and restaurants, which it seems I’m supposed to be inspired to ignore in favor of America’s Worst Macrobrewery. Although I suppose I’d opt for Bud if my only other choice were a pumpkin peach ale, which does sound absolutely vile.

        • JustRuss

          I got very, very drunk on apricot ale once. I do not recommend it. In my defense, the other keg was empty.

          • Did you empty it? Because that would be an excellent defense.

      • cpinva

        “Shouldn’t they be trying to appeal to people under thirty, most of whom have never hoisted their product and have no plans to?”

        they have no plans to for the very same reason I, a much older consumer, also have no plans to: their “beer” sucks. its barely distinguishable from urine, and I mean that in the worst way possible.

      • tsam

        That’s not a new tactic. Miller was all up in that scam a few years ago. Like where the delivery guy would take the beer back from people who weren’t manly and awesome enough for the High Life, brah.

      • Doesn’t Budweiser already have a line of faux-craft labels? Seems like they’d be making fun of themselves.

        • Rob in CT

          I wonder if the corporate cultural relationship is like GM and Saturn?

    • elm

      With a Cambridge, Erik might have the ability to get a job in a place with a better beer scene.

      (oh, and congrats, Erik!)

  • Warren Terra

    Great news.

  • Pseudonym

    Congrats! I can’t wait for the thousands of new well-paying unionized logging jobs that will doubtlessly be created felling forests to supply the paper for your book. It doesn’t hurt to be optimistic, right?

  • Lee Rudolph

    Are you going to allow an e-book version, or will you settle for nothing but DEAD TREES ALL THE WAY DOWN?

    • Got to support the timber industry!

      • hylen

        Indeed. And congratulations. Impressive.

  • Barry Freed


  • sibusisodan

    Congratulations! I look forward to spending a pleasant evening reading it with a ketchup and vodka Martini or two ..

  • Happy Jack

    It would be the height of rudeness not to give a shout out to my grandfather in the acknowledgements. Without people like him you would have nothing to write about.

    He was a lumberjack, and he was ok. (I have pictures to prove it).

    • Maybe the day the book comes out, I’ll finally watch the lumberjack bit.

  • pigmund

    I will be sure to get the library I work for to purchase it. So that’s at least one guaranteed purchase.

    • That’s what I’m talking about. Thanks!

  • MAJeff


  • Steve LaBonne

    Congratulations, well done!

  • cpinva

    so, we can expect, with that first ginormous royalty check, that you’ll be inviting all of us our for a fine, craft beer on you, right? of course, we’ll certainly offer a toast in your honor.

    • If academic publishing pays off for me like it does everyone else, I look forward to that round of water I will be buying you. Tap water, none of that $50 tasting session water.

      • Jackov

        Get to work on that textbook regarding the history of Americans’ insatiable appetites and poor tastes.

  • tsam

    My great grandfather was a cook in a logging camp near Orofino in the 1920s or so. I inherited his name and probably a shortness of sanity.

  • keta

    Erik, does your book’s focus extend into BC at all?

    And congrats, mister. I admire your stick-to-it-ness to see it through to publication.

    • No, I made the choice to keep it within U.S. borders. Some reviewers will no doubt ding me for that.

      • Pseudonym

        Gotta leave yourself room for a sequel.

      • Warren Terra

        So if the book sells, we can hope for Empire Of Timber 2: British Columbian Boogaloo?

        • I can’t write “labour” without wishing the Canadians had joined the American Revolution, so unlikely.

        • keta

          I like it. We already have the Bugaboos.

      • keta

        Well, you gotta’ draw the line somewhere, and the 49th parallel makes sense.

        Are there many of similarities between the logging labour movement in the Pacific Northwest and BC? I know I should go and do my own research here, but since there’s an expert in the house…

        • frylock

          As a Vancouver employment/labour lawyer I should really know more about this. But my admittedly sketchy sense is that while BC had a lot of union activity, it never had the same radical approach as in the US side of the PNW.

          Of course, I could be totally off on that so I guess I’ll also request a BC based follow up!

  • DrDick


  • “Another damn’d thick, square book! Always, scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr. Loomis?”


  • Speaking of logging and forests, I happened to catch a very interesting program on The American Experience on PBS this evening called “The Big Burn”, about an enormous forest fire in the Bitterroot Mountains in Idaho and Montana in the early 1900s. It really is worth watching.

  • c u n d gulag


    I don’t suppose it’ll read quite like “Sometimes a Great Notion,” will it? ;-)

    • If there’s one thing I’m doing in this book, it’s pushing the boundaries of modern writing.

      • c u n d gulag

        Glad to hear it, you rebel you!

  • Matt_L

    Congratulations! Cambridge! Thats fantastic!

  • Pingback: The Oil Refinery Strike and Green Alliances - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money()

It is main inner container footer text