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As everyone has already said, avoid publishers that ask authors for money to pay for publication. These are vanity publishers, and publishing with them will bring you no credit. (The occasional exception is the publishers' request for a subvention to cover the cost of reproducing illustrations, or to pay for permissions.) You should check out the First Book Institute, which advises academics on publishing their first book. The deadline has already passed for this year, but the group also seems to run panels at various conferences.
I wrote an essay (since revised somewhat) on the contrast between MLK Jr. and Reverend Wright. It also notes the annexation of King's integrationist strategy toward the end of the 1960s, with the ascendancy of such theorists as James Cone. I would appreciate feedback on this essay. Do you agree with my periodization?
With the rise of the 60s civil rights movements, estimations of Andrew Jackson's character and policies took center stage with the publications of Richard Slotkin and Michael Rogin. I took a look at their predecessors in US intellectual history, both David Brion Davis and Sydney Ahlstrom, here: http//www.clarespark.com/2014/1/8/The Frontiersman/Settler as all-Purpose Scapegoat.