KEARNEY – Peter Gough will sign his new book “Sounds of the New Deal: The Federal Music Project in the West” during a special author presentation from 5:30 to 8 p.m. April 30 at UNK’s Frank House.
An assistant professor of history at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Gough’s first book was published recently with University of Illinois Press in its “Music in American Life” series.
At its peak, the Federal Music Project (FMP) employed nearly 16,000 people who reached millions of Americans through performances, composing, teaching and folksong collection and transcription. In “Sounds of the New Deal,” Gough explores how the FMP’s activities in the West shaped a new national appreciation for the diversity of American musical expression.
Gough came to UNK in 2012. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in social studies education, then taught high school history and coached basketball for many years.
He earned a master’s degree in history from California State University, Long Beach, and then taught college classes aboard U.S. Navy ships all over the world for several years. He later earned his doctor of history from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Gough’s career also includes leading tours for 12 years in the summer months for TrekAmerica, which offers adventure camping tours in small groups across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
His next project is to conduct oral histories with his students of residents of the Great Plains who lived during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl periods.
The April 30 book signing will include wine, food, refreshments and music entertainment by Kearney’s Mike Adams.