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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

June 2004, Issue #62

Charles Reid’s Watercolor Secrets by Charles Reid (North Light Books) In Charles Reid’s Watercolor Secrets, professional artist Charles Reid offers readers an inside glimpse into his sketchbooks, sharing actual pages along with critiques and insights he has gleaned through years of practice. With each entry, readers learn how to improve their own watercolor technique. From the book they discover how to:

  • Simplify shadow shapes
  • Create form using silhouettes
  • Use edges to create a crisp or soft effect
  • Prepare supplies to paint outdoors
  • Balance use of detail by focusing on the essentials
  • Quickly capture the essence of the environment

Five detailed step-by-step demonstrations guide readers in creating watercolor masterpieces of their own. With Reid's concise and encouraging explanations, readers may feel as if they have found their own personal teacher.

Charles Reid is my painting teacher. Last year he showed me the small sketchbook he always trawls with, filled with little paintings. The looseness and spontaneity of those paintings were a revelation to me – not just because they were so beautiful but because within those small studies lay the secret to getting over the curse of having to make a "great painting" every time we put brush to paper. I recommend these "little paintings" to everyone. – Gene Wilder, actor

The breathtaking, little watercolor sketches are accompanied by concise commentary and advice from the artist that explains the process behind his work. Reid makes painting easy by keeping it simple. Charles Reid’s Watercolor Secrets is an education in basic art principles and an exciting glimpse into the mind of a master painter. Artists and art lovers alike will find inspiration in this book.

Arts & Photography

The Texas Post Office Murals: Art for the People by Philip Parisi (Joe and Betty Moore Texas Art Series: Texas A&M University Press)

In post offices and federal buildings scattered around the state of Texas visitors are often greeted by a surprising sight: magnificent mural art on the lobby walls.

In the midst of the Great Depression, a program was born that would not only give work to artists but also bring beauty and optimism to a people worn down by hardship and discouragement. This New Deal program commissioned competing artists to create post office murals – the people's art – to celebrate the lives, history, hopes, and dreams of ordinary Americans. In Texas alone, artists produced 106 artworks (several now lost) for sixty-nine post offices and federal buildings around the state. Created by some of the most promising artists of the day, these murals sparkled with scenes of Texas history, folklore, heroes, common people, wildlife, and landscapes.

Murals were created from San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas to Big Spring, Baytown, and Hamilton. The artists included Tom Lea, Jerry Bywaters, Peter Hurd, Otis Dozier, Alexandre Hogue, and Xavier Gonzalez. The images showed people at work and featured industries specific to the region, often coupled with symbols of progress such as machinery and modern transportation. Murals depicted cowboys and stampedes, folk heroes from Sam Bass to Davy Crockett and revered Indian chief Quanah Parker, and community symbols such as Eastland's lizard mascot, Ol’ Rip.

In The Texas Post Office Murals Philip Parisi offers a comprehensive view of these stunning and historic works of art – with 104 of the 127 images in full color. Parisi, freelance writer and instructor at Utah Sate University, tells the story of how they came to be, how the communities influenced and accepted them, and what efforts have been made to restore and preserve them.

Texas post office murals first captured my attention in 1989 while I was working as an editor for the Texas Historical Commission. I was researching another topic and accidentally discovered a collection of 35mm color slides stored in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet. Despite the small size and somewhat blurry resolution of the slide images copies of copies – the scenes' energy and vigor im­pressed me. The earthy style depicted Texas history and culture simply and directly. Several slides featured mon­tages that combined scenes of daily life, work, and local in­dustries such as oil, mining, fishing, and lumber ma nu­facturing. Who painted these pictures and why? Where were the original artworks located? – excerpt from the book

Anyone who has ever questioned the public pa­tronage of the visual arts should be given a copy of this wonderful book. – Bloomsbury Review

The themes, images, and artists of the Texas Post Office murals now have a masterful reference work thanks to Philip Paris].... [He] tells numerous fascinating stories about their cre­ation. – Clyde A. Milner II

This book, in effect, brings the murals down from the walls, making them available for the first time all in one place. The images created a kaleidoscope of Texas' past. Readers will enjoy this handsome The Texas Post Office Murals in their own living rooms or with them on the road as a comprehensive guide to the people’s art in the Lone Star State.

Arts & Photography

Franz Marc by Marc Rosenthal (Prestel USA) Franz Marc is part of a line of artists, stretching from van Gogh to Rothko, who treat style as philosophy and art as ecstasy. Their impact on subsequent artists is not so much formal as by example.
Now available in paperback, Franz Marc is an overview of a brief but brilliant career of one of the pioneers of abstractionism focusing on the symbolic poignancy of Marc’s paintings and his underlying vision of a world populated largely by animals. Marc painted intensely, madly, as if he had to get a lot of work done fast, as if he knew he only had a little time.

Before his tragic death at Verdun in 1916, Marc, a casualty of World War I, made an enormous contribution to German Expressionist painting. A co-founder with Wassily Kandinsky of the Blue Rider Group, Marc and his fellow artists sought to make sense of the destruction around them through symbolism and abstraction.

The curator of America’s first exhibition of Marc’s paintings, Marc Rosenthal, in his 44-page essay, offers penetrating insight into the artist and his transcendent paintings, in which feelings of despair and exaltation are brought to life through images of animals, landscapes, and pure abstraction. Seventy-one full-color plates demonstrate the brilliant tones and bold style that characterize Marc’s work. The accompanying text provides an important biographical perspective and critical appraisal of one of the most cogent voices amid the chaos of early twentieth century Europe.

Franz Marc is a trip through a Marc gallery in heaven with a great guide. This book presents an overview of Marc’s career, giving particular emphasis to the symbolic and iconographic content of his work, and revealing the substance underlying the artist’s vision of the world populated almost entirely by animals, symbolizing the spiritual essence in nature now lost to mankind. This is an excellent reference for students of modern art.

Arts / Home & Garden

The Outdoor Room by Jamie Durie, with photography by Simon Kenny (Allen & Unwin)

With an emphasis on the practical as well as the beautiful, including easy tips on how to recreate his ideas, international landscape and gardening guru Jamie Durie, host of the television series Backyard Blitz, shows how to blend the boundaries between indoor and outdoor to make the most of one's living space – in The Outdoor Room. Dune presents inspiration in the form of 200 color photographs of outdoor rooms he has designed, in addition to 30 floor plans. Durie says, "the abundance of gorgeous outdoor rooms is intended to spark the imagination." Durie includes a range of practical ideas and solutions covering all aspects of designing outdoor spaces such as walls, floors, lighting and water features throughout. With each outdoor room, Durie explains why he choose to combine the various basic life elements of plants, light, water and air in order to bring a touch of nature into the urban environment. Also sprinkled throughout The Outdoor Room are special "eco-tips;" to make the space more environmentally friendly.

The Outdoor Room includes outdoor spaces designed for retreat and refuge as well as others designed to entertain with lots of seating options (think built-in benches to save space as well as custom-made tables that can be stored flush against the wall), open areas for entertaining (think sunken dining areas next to raised flowerbeds) with outdoor kitchens and fireplaces. Tips are also included for creating complete and partial ceilings to allow outdoor living despite rain, hail or humidity. Durie also provides ideas for incorporating a home office into an outdoor space and ways to design outdoor spaces with kids and pets in mind, especially when adding pools or outdoor showers.

Durie insists, “No matter how large or small your exterior space, there's something in here for you.”

Durie’s creative approach employs such materials as cor-ten (bendable sheets of metal), driftwood, timber and foliage to shape a space; he suggests making a path out of stepping stones to make people take "extra care" with their steps and "consequently a little more time to soak up the surroundings."

In The Outdoor Room, Australia's home improvement heartthrob provides simple and effective tips to spark horticultural creativity. Elegant and practical, the book will help readers make the most of small gardening spaces and make larger spaces worlds unto themselves.

Arts & Photography

Professional Digital Imaging for Wedding and Portrait Photographers by Patrick Rice (Amherst Media), written by a professional photographer who has received numerous industry awards, is designed to help others of his ilk build their business and enhance their creativity with the latest techniques for digital photographers.

  • How can photographers ensure correct and consistent color?
  • What printer type will best suit a photographer's production schedule?
  • What papers and inks will ensure acceptable longevity of the print?

These and other questions are answered in Professional Digital Imaging for Wedding and Portrait Photographers. Adobe Photoshop and its usefulness to professional photographers is discussed, but other popular software programs such as Corel Painter, Nik Color, Efex Pro, and Bryce are covered as well.

Features included are:

  • Getting started in digital photography – what professionals need to know to make a smooth transition
  • What to look for in a digital camera, from general camera functions to specific features.
  • Professional techniques for digital portrait and wedding pho­tography, including lighting and metering
  • Developing an efficient and productive digital workflow
  • Editing and outputting digital images
  • Proofing ideas for effectively presenting digital images to clients
  • Marketing techniques for increasing visibility in the market­place and winning new clients

Nearly 20 photographers and their digital photographs and techniques are featured in Professional Digital Imaging for Wedding and Portrait Photographers, providing inside information on everything from equipment selection and tips for creating top-notch studio and location portraiture to output and marketing techniques – Penny Adams, Bernard Gratz, Michelle Perkins, Michael Ayers, Jeff Hawkins, Barbara Rice, Mike Bell, Kathleen Hawkins, Jeff Smith, Mark Bohland, Travis Hill, Chad Tsoufiou, Ron Burgess, Ken Holida, Robert Williams, Micheal Dwyer, Jacob Jakuszeit, Tony Zimcosky, Rick Ferro, Robert Kunesh, Scott Gloger, and Deborah Lynn Ferro.

Featuring techniques from over twenty top wedding and portrait photographers, Professional Digital Imaging for Wedding and Portrait Photographers provides the information professionals need to select digital equipment, deal with a new type of workflow, fine-tune images in Photoshop, and market images in a readable format.

Arts & Photography

Photography Handbook by Terence Wright (Media Practice Series: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group) is an introduction to the principles of photographic practice and theory and offers guidelines for the study of photographic media. Beginning with a history of photography, Terence Wright, reader in Critical, Historical and Theoretical Studies in Visual Art at the University of Ulster, examines the medium's characteristics, scope and limitations.

This revised and updated edition explores the history of lens-based image-making. This second edition includes a new chapter on the ethics of photojournalism, an expanded chapter on digital photography, and a new section on research in photography. There are new case studies including, for example, a study of the war photographer James Nachtwey; photographic representations of Marilyn Monroe and Adolf Hitler; and the "Bert is Evil" website. Each chapter now ends with a helpful summary of its key points.
The Photography Handbook introduces practical photography as a series of processes from pre-production through to post-production and editing. And it discusses the photographic industry and details many of the jobs available within the profession. Updated for the new edition, the Photography Handbook includes:

  • An introduction to the conceptual skills necessary for photography
    How to set up as freelance photographer
    How to research and carry out a photography project
    Case studies from newspapers, magazines and picture agencies
    Interviews with editors, photographers, artists and picture editors

The Photography Handbook equips readers with the language necessary to understand photography and helps them to develop visual awareness and visual literacy.

Arts & Photography

Captive Beauty: Zoo Portraits by Frank Noelker, with a foreword by Jane Goodall and an introduction by Nigel Rothfels (University of Illinois Press)

Frank Noelker's work makes a pow­erful statement. It is both beautiful and profoundly disturbing. For here he has captured, in this series of portraits, the very essence of the problem of zoos.... [Captive Beauty] is not intend­ed as an indictment against all zoos, but rather as a plea for greater under­standing of the animal beings with­in them....

Mostly we cannot put zoo animals back in the wild, although some captive breeding programs do just that. But most zoo inmates will live out their lives in captivity. It is up to us to provide them with the best possible habitats – appropriate social groups and an enriched environment. They must serve as ambassadors for their often beleaguered relatives in the wild so that we shall be moved to help the species and the forests, savannas, wetlands, and other habitats where they live.

Let us hope that the day will come when the steel-barred cage, the concrete island, and bare, sterile enclosures of all sorts will be no more. Frank’s work, with its implicit plea for our sympathy and understanding, will play a part in making this happen. – Jane Goodall, National Geo­graphic Society Explorer-in-Residence and founder of the Jane Goodall Insti­tute for Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation, from the foreword

The animals in Frank Noelker’s photographs ask us to see them in their lived environments. They challenge us to think about why we go to zoos and why we think such places should exist or not. The answers to those questions are individual and complex – but asking them is the most critical part of being the humans at the zoo. – from the introduction by Nigel Rothfels, director of the Edison Initiative at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

The fifty color photographs in Captive Beauty are not simple, uncomplicated shots of animals in zoo settings; there is an ambivalence in them that only gradually envelops the viewer. Their sad, stark beauty confronts viewers, challenging them to consider the nature, purpose, and effects of zoos.

Biographies & Memoirs

A Passion for Freedom: My Encounters With Extraordinary People by Leonard R. Sussman (Prometheus Books)

A fascinating life makes for fascinating reading – the adventures of press-freedom advocate and globe-trotter Leonard R. Sussman testify to this claim. Having traveled to fifty-nine countries over several decades, Sussman has made his life the epitome of cosmopolitanism and world citizenship, understanding the role and the responsibility of the press in the formulation of a free, democratic world order.

Effortlessly moving from domestic and European think-tank forums on democracy to work in the field monitoring first-time elections in developing countries, he recounts in A Passion for Freedom his travels and contributions to the fight to build a global society tolerant of diverse viewpoints, revealing to us some of the thinkers and agents who have inspired him along his "walk in the midway."

In the first part we learn of Sussman's family and life at home, from which stem some of his earliest influences – his father, who "felt elitist but reveled in being a regular guy" with family connections to the infamous Tammany Hall, and his eventual sister-in-law, politically oriented poet Muriel Rukeyser, who frequently clashed with her conservative family. Chapters are devoted to small-town publishers Edith and Armstrong Hunter and their family, as well as a discourse on the strife in the Middle East from the perspective of Reform Judaism. The second, larger part details the author's contact with other freedom fighters across the globe: Luis Munoz Marin, social revolutionary in Puerto Rico; Andrei Amalrik, Soviet dissident who died tragically young; South African parliamentarian Helen Suzman, a longtime opponent of apartheid; Aristedes Katoppo, an Indonesian newspaper editor exiled and later editorially "beheaded" for publicizing issues the government disapproved of; the Rubins, a husband-and-wife radio team fighting censorship in dictatorial Paraguay; Milovan Djilas, a leading Yugoslav anticommunist who suffered years of imprisonment; philosopher-activist Sidney Hoo; Ludmilla Thorne, a courageous journalist who risked her life in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion; and many others politicians, activists, and intellectuals.

Also included is a never-before-published 1987 interview with civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, in which Rustin compares the NAACP's Roy Wilkins with Martin Luther King.

And there are chapters on political philosophers such as Alexander Bickel, Charles Frankel, and Edward Shils.

As the executive director of Freedom House for twenty-one years and now its Senior Scholar of International Communications, Leonard R. Sussman has had the extraordinary opportunity of both leading and serving an organization that has been at the center of the struggle for freedom for more than sixty years. Founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, and other visionary Americans, both Democratic and Republican, Freedom House has championed worthy causes from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, to the new democracies that have emerged around the world since the 1990s.

In this engrossing memoir of his adventures with courageous men and women in fifty-nine countries, Sussman pays tribute to those mostly unsung heroes who contributed to freedom and humanistic ideals and in some cases paid the heavy price of imprisonment, torture, or death. Full of intriguing insights and vignettes, A Passion for Freedom is a fascinating record of people, ideas, and history in the making.

Biographies & Memoirs

Faith of Our Sons: A Father’s Wartime Diary by Frank Schaeffer (Carroll & Graf Publishers)

In 1998, novelist Frank Schaeffer's eighteen-year-old son, John, joined the Marines straight out of prep school. Their ensuing journey, recounted in Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps, struck a chord among the many Americans with a family member in the military, inspired personal communications from three American presidents, and propelled the book onto Oprah, 20/20 and the New York Times extended bestseller's list. In Faith of Our Sons, Frank Schaeffer picks up his family's ongoing story as Corporal John Schaeffer is deployed to the Middle East on the day Gulf War II begins. Schaeffer's moving account of the universal experience of losing a child – either temporarily or permanently – to war and his attendant emotions from pride to panic to rage and back again is punctuated throughout by the voices of the many others in Frank's situation, thousands of other parents and children, who continue to pour their hearts out to the Schaeffers from those waiting anxiously for loved ones to come home to those who know they never will.

John called. He said he will be deployed! I’m elated for my boy because he sounds so happy. I’m elated in the same way one is elated by looking over a cliff. Adrenaline and terror also surge. We are about to go to war in Iraq and are aalready at war in Afganistan. John could have sat out the action at a desk. I asked him if he volunteered for this mission. “Yes I did, but don’t tell anyone.” “You mean Mom?” “Yes. She’ll be really upset if she knows I volunteered.” So begins the chapter.

What the Schaeffers have done here is extraordinary! Yes, this is an absolutely riveting chronicle of one man's transformation into a United States Marine, but it is also a nakedly honest, funny and profoundly moving exploration of... the very nature of love itself and the ties that hind us all. This is timely, compelling and important book! – Andre Dubois III, author of House of Sand and Fog

Dramatic and laugh-out loud funny, beautifully written and deftly constructed, deeply affecting in its honest portrayal of the authors' passions: a stunning achievement. – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Unforgettably moving, beautifully written and truly provocative, Faith of Our Sons tells us the story of a war through the lives of those among us waiting at home, praying for the safety of their husbands and wives, their sons and daughters. Especially it is the account of the powerful emotions attendant on sending a child off to war.

Biographies & Memoirs

Matthew J. Perry: The Man, His Times, and His Legacy edited by William Lewis Burke & Belinda F. Gergel, with an introduction by Randall L. Kennedy (University of South Carolina Press) chronicles the life and accomplishments of the attorney who led the struggle for desegregation in South Carolina, served as a primary legal advocate in the national civil rights movement, and became South Carolina's first African American U.S. District Court judge.

In Matthew J. Perry, scholars of the civil rights era, fellow civil rights activists, jurists, attorneys, a governor, and an award-winning photojournalist join together to produce a multilayered biography of Matthew J. Perry. Collectively they bring to light the remarkable achievements of a man well known in his home state but sometimes obscured on the national stage by the shadows of Thurgood Marshall, J. Waties Waring, and Charles Hamilton Houston.

This volume, edited by W. Lewis Burke, professor of law at the University of South Carolina, and Belinda F. Gergel, former chair of the department of history and political science at Columbia College, tells the story of Perry's life. The book includes his humble beginnings in Columbia, his service to the nation during wartime, his remarkable career as a creator of positive social change, and, finally, his achievements as a respected member of the federal judiciary. The contributors describe Perry’s courage, skills as an orator, quick legal mind, and genteel nature. They set his story in the turbulent civil-rights-era South, revealing how broad social, historical, and legal issues affected Perry’s life and shaped the trajectory of his activist and professional life.

If the civil rights struggle were a war, Matthew Perry would receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. He wasn't a billable hours lawyer. He wasn't even a trial lawyer that got paid when he won. He was a trial lawyer who seldom got compensated, was ridiculed, insulted, abused, and jailed for what the legal profession takes for granted. But he persisted and won. Leading the struggle, working around the clock with warmth, dignity, and good humor, he now presides with experienced judgment. – The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings, U.S. Senate

[Matthew J. Perry is] an extraordinary testament to an extraordinary man. The editors have compiled a compelling and comprehensive look at the contributions of Matthew Perry. I was so inspired by his work that my first legislative act in Congress was to designate a federal courthouse in his honor. This book chronicles why Perry is so worthy of this recognition. I hope it serves to inspire the next generation, as this humble man has inspired me. – The Honorable James E. Clyburn, U.S. Congress

This impressive volume pays exuberant and well-deserved attention to the outstanding achievements of Matthew J. Perry. It makes an important contribution to the history of the legal profession in the South and deepens our understanding of the heroic struggles of the black bar to achieve freedom of opportunity for all. The singular life of this great jurist demonstrates how an individual can make the world a better place. – Darlene Clark Hine, Michigan State University

This fine book makes an important contribution to the public's understanding of American, southern, and South Carolina history—and American legal history—particularly from the 1940s to the present. Its value is enhanced by its timeliness and the reality that the era of the Civil Rights Movement is rapidly fading from public memory. – Michael Kent Curtis, Wake Forest Law School

The volume underscores how Perry enabled his home state to escape from Jim Crow's clutches with much less turmoil than many of its neighbors. Published in concert with the dedication of the Matthew J. Perry, Jr. United States Courthouse in Columbia, South Carolina, Matthew J. Perry portrays an esteemed juror whose grace and resiliency led South Carolina into the twentieth century.

Biographies & Memoirs

In the Pirate's Den: My Life As a Secret Agent for Castro by Jorge Masetti (Encounter Books)

In 1964, at age seven, Jorge Masetti was informed by a Cuban colonel that his father had died gloriously leading a guerrilla band in Argentina. By the age of 16, Masetti had left Havana to follow in his father's footsteps, fighting as an urban revolutionary in Buenos Aires. At the age of eighteen, Masetti had been selected by Fidel Castro's spymasters to study "conspiratorial methods" that would allow him to work in Havana's growing international under­ground. After graduation he joined the notorious Americas Department, entering "the pirate's den" where he worked as a secret agent for Castro for the next twenty years.

Taking readers inside the war room of the Cuban revolution, In the Pirate's Den tells a dramatic story of international intrigue: smuggling dia­monds and ivory from Africa to help support the Havana government, counterfeiting U.S. dollars, trafficking in narcotics. Masetti describes his work as an agent in Europe and throughout Latin America, and his activities in Angola, Nicaragua and other war zones. He was happily married to the daughter of Antonio de la Guardia, a major figure in the Cuban government, whose twin brother, Patricio, was a general in the Cuban army.

Things changed suddenly in 1989 when Masetti returned from a mission in Africa to find that Castro's secret police had arrested both Antonio and Patricio de la Guardia along with General Arnaldo Ochoa, Cuba's most famous and respected soldier – all of whom were thought to be fomenting a Cuban perestroika. Masetti describes the Kafkaesque workings of the tribunal that resulted in the execution of his father-­in-law and General Ochoa, and ultimately made him see the brutal reality of the revolutionary movement to which he had devoted half a lifetime.

Masetti's first-hand account at times seems to have come from a Le Carre novel, but In the Pirate's Den is true. In addition to shedding light on the machinations of the Castro government, it is also the story of a crisis in a revolutionary faith. Masetti life changed overnight when the executions occurred: "To die in Argentina or Nicaragua, or Columbia, or somewhere else, had been part of the game. But then death made its appearance in Cuba itself and everything I believed in began to crumble."

In 1990, still pretending to support the Castro regime, Masetti left Havana for a posting in Mexico City and then managed to escape to Spain where he began to reexamine his life and experiences. He now lives with his family in Paris.

This memoir offers tantalizing glimpses into the murky guerrilla demimonde of the 1970s and 80s, when revolutionary ideals not infrequently mingled with criminality. – Los Angeles Times

In the Pirate's Den is the result of painful introspection, a page-turning chronicle of a remarkable journey into and out of the Cuban revolution.

Biographies & Memoirs

Hadewijch: Writer, Beguine, Love Mystic by Paul Mommaers, with Elisabeth M. Dutton, with a foreword by Veerle Fraeters (Peeters)

Hadewijch, c.1210-1260, commands increasing attention internationally. As an author, she is extremely creative and artistic. As a beguine (member of an ascetic and philanthropic community of women not under vows founded chiefly in the Netherlands in the 13th century), she belongs to a revolutionary women's movement formed by "religious women" who, conscious of their gender, did not wish to enter into either marriage or a convent. Spiritually and materially independent, these first beguines come into conflict with social order, and endure the reaction of clerics, religious and secular authorities, and those in orders. As a mystic, Hadewijch illumi­nates both the glorious aspects of the love-relationship with God and its painful aspect: with the enjoyment of love goes an increasingly intense desire; in unity, the alterity of the Beloved becomes all the stronger. Consequently, union with God is not a spiritual elevation by which a person is released from his or her being human: the authentic mystical being-one consists rather of the interplay between "resting" in God and "working" in this world. "You must live as a human being!" is the kernel of Hadewijch's life and teaching.

In 1980 Hadewijch was introduced into the English speaking world when the author's complete works were translated in The Classics of Western Spirituality series. The preface to this translation was writ­ten by Paul Mommaers, professor at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and a member of the Ruusbroec Society. Mommaers was, and is, the expert par excellence on the vernacular mystical texts that were written in the duchy of Brabant in the thirteenth and four­teenth centuries. Hadewijch is a translation of his study on Hadewijch that was originally published in Dutch in 1989.

Since the English translation of Hadewijch's Opera omnia was pub­lished in 1980, English-language Hadewijch scholarship has gradually been developing, notably in the fields of gender studies and theology. Since the emergence, in the 1970s, of feminist historio­graphy, the thirteenth-century religious women have been an attrac­tive object of study for feminist and gender historians. The lives of these religious women, often written by male clerics, form an inexhaustible source for the study of relative values within the binary oppositions which characterize the late-medieval religious world: the official authority from the institu­tional church versus the authority on the basis of divine grace of women and lay people; the discursive word of the schooled versus the imaginative language of visionaries; the intellectual contemplation of God in the spirit versus the visitations of God in the ecstatic (female) body. Hadewijch's work is increasingly researched in the context of such gender studies.

Hadewijch is one of the earliest Low Country authors writing in the vernacular. Her use of her native language is remarkable. She minted for herself a vernacular variant of three genres which up to that moment had only a Latin tradition in Dutch-speaking regions – religious letter, vision, and religious poem. She did this with an unusual mastery of her native language and the genre, assimilating in her texts both biblical tradition and profane courtly literature: Mommaers points out particularly how she draws her concepts of desire from these two sources, patterning her unending desire for God against the endlessly unfulfilled desire of the troubadours.

While Dutch research had previously focused mainly on the lit­erary aspects of Hadewijch's texts, Mommaers radically contextualizes his study within the frame of Hadewijch's leadership of beguines. The literary qualities of Hadewijch's text are not ignored, but readers are brought to consider the texts in the light of their original function – namely, as mystical pedagogical material, conceived by a supremely talented literary magistra for a small circle of women for whose spiritual development she was responsible.

The approach of Hadewijch's texts from the angle of the author's leadership leads Mommaers to the question of the source and the legitimacy of this leadership. This question is pressing, because the unregulated way of life of the early beguines was mistrusted by the church, and because the medieval woman had no right to preach or teach publicly. Today, the topic of authority is at the heart of gender historiography, but Mommaers was the first in Hadewijch studies to explicitly thematize it. Because almost nothing is known about the historical Hadewijch, he approaches this subject indirectly, via the many vitae of her religious contemporaries of the same region.

The last part of Hadewijch sheds light on Hadewijch's mystical teaching. Just as in the first part of the book, Hadewijch the writer is firmly anchored in the historical movement of the beguines, in later sections Hadewijch the mystic is firmly embedded in the textual tradition. Mommaers shows how the early­ thirteenth-century love mysticism of Hadewijch is rooted in the texts of the twelfth-century Cistercians Bernard of Clairvaux and William of Saint-Thierry, who use the love-dialogue of the Song of Songs as the metaphorical framework for the interior religious expe­rience.

This growing Anglo-American interest in Hadewijch cannot be better supported than by the publication of Mommaers' monograph in English, as the book offers the reader a clear insight into the dif­ferent aspects of Hadewijch's multi-faceted personality: writer – beguine – mystic. Hadewijch is an indispensable study available to scholars worldwide in an English language edition.

Biographies & Memoirs / Sailing / Politics

Small Boat to Freedom: A Journey of Conscience to a New Life in America by John Vigor (The Lyons Press)

What do people do when the politics of the country they love become too much to bear?

For John Vigor, his wife, June, and their seventeen-year-old son, the decision was wrenching but clear: they would leave everything behind and sail for America.

Small Boat to Freedom is the story of that journey.

Vigor had it all, a loving family, a secure and well-deserved reputation as a syndicated South African newspaper columnist, and a lovely home in one of South Africa’s most beautiful cities, Durban. He was fifty, a native of England (until age 13) and a former South African sailing champion, had been a popular newspaper columnist for eighteen years, and a journalist for thirty years, working for anti-apartheid newspapers, raising a family of three sons with his wife, June, also a journalist.

But an apartheid-regime clampdown on freedom of expression forced Vigor to make the wrenching decision to abandon his idyllic life – and financial security. The Vigors prepare to go, losing most of their savings, using the scant remainder to purchase a boat for the dangerous voyage. They leave South Africa on a thirty-one-foot sloop for a precarious voyage to a new but uncertain life in America, past the treacherous Cape of Storms, around the Cape of Good Hope, and across the South Atlantic to Florida.
Small Boat to Freedom is an emotional and colorful account of two journeys – one of conscience, the other of courage – each inspired by the author’s strength and that of his family.

A beautifully written and intimate story. – Bernadette Bernon, former editor, Cruising World magazine

An absorbing chronicle of how the Vigor family tests its resolve and skills in an serious ocean cruise to escape from their homeland, all the while remaining painfully aware of the not insignificant fact that they have no jobs awaiting them when they reach their destination in America. – Ocean Navigator

Although it seems odd that a long-time writer would wait 15 years to write about such a momentus life change, Small Boat to Freedom is moving. 9/11 seems to have reawakened the feelings that motivated Vigor to leave his home, and the result is compelling and readable.

Business & Investing / Computers & Internet / Web Development

Make Your Small Business Website Work: Easy Answers to Content, Navigation, and Design by John Heartfield (Rockport Publishers, Inc.)

The guest is a jewel resting on the cushion of hospitality: – Nero Wolfe

Although it may seem like everyone has a website these days, it just seems like it. Small companies with and without websites struggle with two main design issues: What should be on my website and how do I organize and build a website that will be effective for my business?

Make Your Small Business Website Work provides answers to these questions and specifically addresses the fact that although a website is not for every company, it can be a cost-effective tool for small companies who do not have a big marketing budget or distribution network. This book, written by John Heartfield, helps small companies sculpt their content and build navigation systems that meet their specific needs and maximize the site’s potential. Heartfield, international consultant, formerly, professor at both the Stern School of Business, NYU, and the Interactive Telecommunication Program, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, provides professional advice on how to build a website and integrate it into the business.

Make Your Small Business Website Work features extensive information on presenting the core messages of the business. It covers topics such as designing an effective homepage, how to create navigation systems that won't frustrate visitors and how small business sites differ from other websites.

Featured firms include: Apt5a Design Group, Inc., DataArt, Foscarini Murano SRL, FreshDirect, interactivetools.com, inc., Kimili, Henry Kuo, New World Restaurant Group, Inc., Noble Desktop, LLC, Palo Alto Software, Inc., PixelPharmacy, Roxen Internet Software AB, Rullkotter AGD {Werbung + Design), Scholz & Volkmer gmbH and others.

In a very real sense, any business on the Web is a small business. No matter how famous the brand or how varied their selection, people won't tolerate bad service when they can quickly leave the site and find what they want at another that is more accommodating.

Creating great website navigation for small business should be an easy task, ­that is, the website has to be easy to use. However, when employees set out to accomplish this goal, they may find that the path to organizing and presenting the content is scattered with pitfalls.

Make Your Small Business Website Work is comprehensive, geared toward small-business owners, their employees, and designed for small companies in any industry. The book offers real websites and straightforward advice on how to construct the type of clear, simple, and consistent website that's good for business. Although the focus of the book is websites for small business, the tips offered here will help anyone who wants to build a website that is functional – not frustrating – for visitors.

Business & Investing

Effective Business Presentations by Judy Jones Tisdale (NetEffect Series: Pearson Prentice Hall) offers strategies and tools to plan, develop, and deliver dynamic business presentations. Equally important, it provides tactics to analyze performance for effectiveness. This practical book includes the following key topics: audience analysis, message development, delivery techniques, strategic PowerPoint use, anxiety management, question-and­answer sessions, and team presentations.

Individuals who haven't presented before or who present infrequently will find the organization of the book offers structure in planning and building presentations. It also provides details for honing delivery skills and creating visuals to be as effective as possible in promoting a message. Experienced presenters may desire to reassess or refine the way that they generate and deliver presentations; these readers can review the chapters in the order they're presented or go straight to the chapters relevant to the areas on which they want to work. They can selectively skim various chapters at any stage of their presentation development to find useful tips and tools to assist them in developing their presentation methods.

Effective Business Presentations devotes a chapter to each of the key elements of dynamic presentations:

  • Chapter 1, Developing Presentations and Presenters – Introduces the con­cepts to be covered.
  • Chapter 2, Getting Started – Addresses the following pre-presentation planning strategics: presentation purpose, audience analysis principles, and presenter considerations. The chapter covers the importance of clarity in each presentation's purpose and desired outcome to best achieve desired goals. And it explains how presenters can identify audience characteristics to customize a presentation. Additionally, presenters can inventory their current presentation skills to recognize their strengths and identify the areas that they wish to improve.
  • Chapter 3, Developing an Effective Message – Demonstrates how presenters might organize typical presentations to accomplish a particular purpose. The chapter examines rhetorical strategies to develop several presentation patterns and problem-solving messages.
  • Chapter 4, Delivering with Impact – Gives readers strategies to present themselves effectively to audiences. Describes and analyzes various delivery techniques to help presenters enhance credibility during a presentation. Encourages presenters to understand their own communication style, as they learn how and when to use other communication styles. This chapter focuses on the following delivery areas: speaking voice, nonverbal communication cues, and presentation notes.
  • Chapter 5, Using PowerPoint Wisely – The PowerPoint program can be an important presentation tool; however, this tool should support the presenter's message – not become the presentation itself. This chapter addresses effective slide design techniques, organized information structure, and slide enhancements.
  • Chapter 6, Using Other Visuals – Addresses how presenters can support their messages using visuals other than PowerPoint. Although it's almost expected for most presentations, PowerPoint isn't the only visuals tool available. The chapter addresses the following alternative visuals and examines the effectiveness of each in various presentation situations: overhead transparencies, flip charts and whiteboards, and handouts.
  • Chapter 7, Overcoming Presentation Anxieties – Offers ways for readers to minimize or control presentation jitters. The chapter defines types of presentation anxieties so that speakers can learn how to diagnose their nervousness and make plans to compensate for it. Additionally, the chapter addresses several methods for presenters to use in combating presentation anxiety.
  • Chapter 8, Handling Q&A – Gives readers a context to help them prepare for question-and-answer sessions. The chapter explains how to prepare for questions, how to anticipate specific types of questions, how to address questions during the Q&A, and how to present confidently during the session.
  • Chapter 9, Presenting as a Team – Addresses team presentation strate­gies, explaining techniques in developing stronger teams and then de­livering the presentation.

 [Effective Business Presentations] ... does a solid job encouraging [readers] to practice extensively – including videotaping ... this gets them used to working through rough material and makes them more comfortable working toward a polished presentation ... does an excellent job laying out planning and delivery information for team presentations. – Aaron Coldweber

Effective Business Presentations is a resource for presenters to learn how to identify strengths and challenges and then develop action plans at each presentation stage in order to hone the skills necessary to accomplish presentation goals. Whether readers have presented many times or are new to making presentations, this book will provide new and useful information.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Managers Not MBAs: A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development by Henry Mintzberg (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.)

The trouble with "management" education, says author Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University, is that it is business education, and leaves a distorted impression of management; most programs overplay the science in the form of analysis and technique, and downplay experience and insight. In Managers Not MBAs, Mintzberg offers a new definition of management as a blend of craft (experience), art (insight), and science (analysis). An education that overemphasizes science encourages a style of managing the author calls "calculating," or if the graduates believe themselves to be artists, the related style, "heroic." According to the book, neither heroes nor technocrats in positions of influence are useful – what's really needed are balanced, dedicated people who practice a style that can be called "engaging." Such people believe their purpose is to leave behind stronger organizations, not just higher share prices. Managers Not MBAs explains in detail how to cultivate such managers, and how they can transform the business world and, ultimately, society.

Managers Not MBAs presents the kind of bold thinking readers have come to expect from the man the Financial Times named one of the top 10 management thinkers in the world, and who Fast Company called "one of the most original minds in management" and "one of the world's most influential teachers of business strategy." Already controversial before its publication, Managers Not MBAs goes beyond mere critique to offer proven, detailed proposals for change. In the second half of his book, Mintzberg describes in detail the International Masters Program in Practicing Management (IMPM), initiated at McGill University in collaboration with colleagues from Canada, England, France, India, and Japan. In this sweeping critique of how managers are educated and how, as a consequence, management is practiced, Mintzberg offers thoughtful and controversial ideas for reforming both. This approach to management education, highly successful for the last eight years – is an alternative to the MBA program, that helps managers learn from their own experience.

Business & Investing / Economics

East Asian Experience in Environmental Governance: Response in a Rapidly Changing Region edited by Zafar Adeel (United Nations University Press)

The East Asian region has seen considerable growth in its economy, industrial base, and population in the last two decades. All three of these factors are often linked to over-exploitation and degradation of environmental resources. East Asian Experience in Environmental Governance provides an overview of governance policy with regards to environmental challenges in the region.

Three sectors were selected for deeper analysis: pesticide managers, water quality and resources management; and air pollution managment. These sectors are also closely linked to the economic and industrial growth of the region. Five countries are selected as representatives of this region: China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand. This selection includes representation of highly-industrialized, industralizing, and developing economies. This grouping also provides a mix of political and historical backgrounds that are diverse enough to provide a glimpse of the “typical” East Asian governance mechanisms.

East Asian Experience in Environmental Governance was edited by Zafar Adeel Assistant Director, Program Development, United Nations University International Network on Water, Environment, and Health, Ontario, Canada. The United Nations University (UNU) has always considered the East Asian region as a priority area for its activities. This emphasis is partly driven by the UNU's location in Japan, but it is also based on the consid­eration that most nations in this region are developing countries. With the UNU's mandate to build networks of researchers and scholars and to de­velop the capacity of individuals and institutions to undertake research, the focus is always on developing countries. Environmental governance in this region has also received due attention from the UNU: in fact, the UNU has since 1996 undertaken a programme both to monitor the environmental quality in the region and to outline prescriptions for environmental poli­cies. This programme has been possible largely due to diligent collabora­tion of a network of researchers, professionals, and scholars working in the region. East Asian Experience in Environmental Governance presents a compilation of papers on environmental gov­ernance contributed by the members of this network.

An equitable emphasis on the three selected sectors is intended by using case studies from the five selected countries. The authors of the case studies have linked the problems and issues to the governance structures in their respective countries. Often, the history of the development of these structures is also discussed, which provides insights into the shortcomings and limitations of the political processes involved. The role of various stakeholders, including government, the general public, NGOs, and industries, is described to complete the picture. The authors have also attempted to outline prescriptions for each sector in their respective country.

East Asian Experience in Environmental Governance comprises four sections, with one section dedicated to each of the three sectors. The first section examines the management of pesti­cides in the agricultural sector of Malaysia (Abdullah and Sinnakkannu), China (Hao and Yeru). and Thailand (Tabucanon). This sector is the most complex in terms of the number of players involved and the myriad of legislative enactments. It is interesting to observe the complex interrelationship between various laws and rules. while keeping in sight the limitations to their implementation on the ground. The second section focuses on water resource management in Malaysia and Thailand. Tabu­canon, in her second contribution to this book, indicates that Thailand's perspective is driven by urban utilization of water and pollution issues. In contrast, Ahmad and Ali contend that Malaysia's water utilization patterns are largely driven by agricultural usage. While there are some sim­ilarities in the legislative framework of these two countries, inherently different approaches are adopted towards solving water management problems. The third section compares the air pollution issues and gover­nance mechanisms in Korea (Lee and Adeel) and Japan (Yamauchi). The nature of the problems is somewhat similar, in part because of similar levels of industrial and economic development. The approaches to environmental governance are also somewhat similar in the two countries, with almost parallel development of environmental legislation.

The fourth section provides an overarching analysis of the governance structures in the region. An in-depth discussion of linkages of environ­mental protection and sustainable development to economic growth is undertaken. Paoletto and Termorshuizen outline a number of options for environmental governance through a comparison between approaches undertaken by the OECD countries, the USA, and the East Asian region. The final chapter (Adeel and Nakamoto) summarizes the findings of the earlier sections through a comparative evaluation. A synthesis of pre­scriptions for effective environmental governance is also provided.

The findings from East Asian Experience in Environmental Governance, and the case studies contained herein, can help in developing a fundamental understanding about environmental governance in terms of what works and what does not in this region. Clearly, only effective and meaningful environmental governance can ensure long-term sustainability of the remarkable industrial and economic growth observed in this region.

Even more importantly, it would ensure that our children and grandchildren can inherit a region that is prosperous yet rich in culture, environmental resources, and natural beauty.

Business & Investing

Remember Who You Are: Life Stories That Inspire the Heart and Mind by Daisy Wademan in collaboration with Professors from Harvard Business School (Harvard Business School Press)

Whether it’s about our personal life or business life, at each fork in the road we agonize over the choices we face and how the decisions we make will impact the future. Knowing who to ask for guidance and support is often the hardest choice of all.

In business, leadership requires many attributes besides intelligence and business savvy – courage, character, compassion, and respect are just a few. New managers learn concrete skills in the classroom or on the job, but where do they hone the equally important human values that will guide them through a career that is both successful and meaningful?

In Remember Who You Are, Daisy Wademan gathers lessons on balancing the personal and professional responsibilities of leadership, taking readers inside one of the business world's most prestigious training grounds, as fifteen faculty members of Harvard Business School impart invaluable, and often surprising, lessons on life and leadership in the form of personal stories. These professors, business experts who collectively have coached thousands of students and executives, offer frank thoughts and concrete advice on taking risks, staying grounded, making mistakes, and more.

From the revelations on luck and obligation brought by a terrifying mountain accident to a widowed mother's lesson of respect for people rather than job titles – these unforgettable stories and reflections, shared by renowned contributors from Rosabeth Moss Kanter to Harvard Business School’s Dean Kim Clark, remind us that great leadership is not only about the mind, but the heart. Contributors include: Jai Jaikumar, Jeffrey F. Rayport, Richard S. Tedlow, Thomas K McCraw, Stephen P. Kaufman, David E. Bell, Nancy F. Koehn, H. Kent Bowen, Frances X. Frei, Timothy Butler, Thomas J. DeLong, Henry B. Reiling, and Nitin Nohria.

When my mother said, "Remember who you are" she meant: I believe in you, and want you to live up to the promise that is yours, to the opportunities out there for you, and the hope that is in you to make a difference in the world. – Dean Kim Clark

Just as the corporate world is undergoing a period of intense self-examination, with professionals at all levels looking for inspiration in what has been an especially challenging workplace, Remember Who You Are offers readers the guidance they need to answers some of life's most important questions. Addressing the moral, ethical, and personal dilemmas professionals face as they climb the ladder to success at work and in their personal lives, the book will help aspiring leaders everywhere use their time and talents in ways that truly matter.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Roma: Authentic Recipes from In and Around the Eternal City by Julia della Croce, with photography by Paolo Destefanis (Chronicle Books)

Noted cookbook author and authority on Italian cooking, Julia della Croce reveals the diverse foodways of Rome and its five provinces.The region of Latium, and Rome, its capital city, are rich with culinary traditions. Today's dishes, passed down from generation to generation, reflect a gastronomical heritage that traces its beginnings to the ancient Greeks, with their knowledge of farming and affinity with the sea, and the Etruscans, experts in making wine and olive oil. Roma offers a fascinating introduction to the bold flavors of Roman cooking and the unique cuisines that surround it.

Della Croce ventures from coast to countryside and shares over 60 cherished recipes. From the fresh seafood in the coastal province of Latina; to the rustic aged meats and sturdy cooking of the most northerly province of Rieti; to the simple, seasonal dishes of Viterbo known for its aromatic olive oils; to the handmade pastas and rich, savory meat sauces of the landlocked Frosinone province; and finally to the lusty cooking of Rome itself, this collection captures the authentic tastes of this region's legendary food.

For example, readers learn how to share in Viterbo's love for olive oil by drizzling fresh vegetables in an aromatic dressing; use a flavorful pancetta to prepare Rieti's rustic specialty, Spaghetti with Tomato and Bacon; saute fresh sea bass or sole in a pungent caper sauce to make a coastal Latina favorite; or toss handmade pasta in a rich, savory meat sauce to recreate a Frosinone province culinary trademark. Some other dishes include Risotto with Pureed Asparagus and Smoked Provola and della Croce’s own Fish Fillets in Caper Sauce alla romana are both particularly pleasing. The author also includes rarely seen recipes, such as the homey Pasta and Chickpeas or an especially fun Pizza di Pasqua, or sweet Easter bread.

And della Croce also lists her favorite places to stay, fun and historical local festivals, and where to find authentic regional Italian cooking and wine classes for those planning a Roman adventure.

An extraordinary journey into Roman cuisine and culture that demonstrates through irresistibly mouthwatering recipes and seductive photography that the two things are inseparable and consequential. Grazie Julia and Paolo! – Antonio Monda, La Repubblica

All roads may lead to Rome, but Julia della Croce will lead you right to the kitchen to try these authentic recipes from the Eternal City and the region of Lazio. – Mary Ann Esposito, host of public television's Ciao Italia

Julia della Croce has written one of the best books on Roman cooking since Marcus Apicius in the 1st century A.D. His books are out of print, and hers isn't full of foolery about whole roasted peacocks and soused flamingo brains. – Bill Marsano, United Airlines' Hemispheres magazine

The dishes in Roma are so accessible that even novice cooks will prepare them with relative ease. And the photography of Paolo Destafanis shines. But with the wideranging list of della Croce's favorite places to stay, fun and historical festivals, and wine classes, which round out this cookbook, readers will be tempted to phone the travel agent.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Sacred Food: Cooking for Spiritual Nourishment by Elisabeth Luard (Chicago Review Press)

From Sunday night family dinners to elaborate ritual feasts, food plays a vital role in any celebration. In fact, food truly is what brings people together.

Sacred Food by award-winning food writer Elisabeth Luard explores how the world's sacred dishes comfort and heal. Luard also illuminates the importance of past and present spiritual food traditions to better understand how and why we celebrate with food.

Luard, who has earned a string of prizes for her unique, intelligent and engaging food writing, explains, "In order to best unravel why and what we cook when we need to nourish the soul, I have looked at the spirit rather than the substance. The instinct that propels a Muslim to mark the birth of a baby or mourn the death of a loved one is in no way different from the sentiment that draws joy or sorrow from the devout Christian or the worshiper of the animist gods of the ancients." Luard reveals why some cultures bob for apples at Halloween, bury eggs in bread loaves at Easter or eat sweet things while courting. Special attention is given to foods that have universal significance, such as seeds, eggs, fruit, honey and grain.

Sacred Food offers insights that go beyond recipes, exploring the dishes that are traditionally served at significant moments in human life – birth, puberty, courtship, betrothal and marriage, death, burial, and remembrance – and explaining how and why we celebrate with food. More than 40 award-winning recipes include:

  • Kerala Coconut Curry to share at an Indian-inspired wedding feast
  • Mushroom piroshki from Slovakia to welcome a newborn baby Cassava with chili and peanuts from Africa to mark a girl's coming-of-age
  • Panettone for Christmas, an Italian tradition
  • Chinese dumplings to ring in the New Year
  • Chicken soup with kreplach for the last day of the feast of Sukkot
  • English soul cakes, a buttery gingerbread for Halloween
  • Mexican mole for the Day of the Dead
  • Saffron Salep Ice Cream made with rosewater and powdered orchid root to celebrate No Rooz or New Year in the Middle East
  • Cristollen, a German Christmas cake for the holidays

Excerpt from Sacred Food, Introduction

Our ancestors saw the propitiation of the gods as a serious business: it was all that stood between the cave mouth and wild wood. In modern times, when so many of the festivals that marked the changing year have turned into municipal events, the primitive purpose of the celebration—the passing of winter storms, the return of the sun—may be airbrushed out, but the shadow remains, a ghost at the table. Although the gods of nature have mostly lost their place at the feast, the founding fathers of organized religions—whether Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jew, or the humanist belief systems of the East—had the good sense not to ignore them completely. Certainly, the priests of the new order preached against the old—but they made sure their festivals did not change out of all recognition, remaining rooted in what had gone before. It is to this adaptability that the festivals owe their strength in the face of those who look for a rational explanation, their survival against all odds.…

Certain foods have universal significance but without requiring explanation from professors of ethnology. Seeds, nuts, fruit, eggs, and grains, signify renewal; new life from old. Blood, shed or shared, is a metaphor for sacrifice. Sweetness, sugar and honey, makes the heart glad. Wine and strong drink, together with some hallucinogenic substances extracted or obtained by one means or another, are useful to the priesthood, since they allow men to believe they are gods. These foods—presented and prepared in a million different ways, or absent and marked by regret at their absence—are to be found at the heart of all our rituals.

Splendidly written, lavishly illustrated. – Gourmet

A reminder of the spiritual dimension in the everyday – specifically, the cross­ cultural communion through foods we all share. – The New York Times
It will astound and astonish you. – The Star-Ledger, Newark, New Jersey

The ceremonies and dishes are lavishly illustrated in Sacred Food with color photographs bringing to life a wealth of recipes and cultures including those of Mexico, Japan, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, North America, the Middle East, Germany, Scandinavia, and Britain. The book explores the role of food rituals around the globe and examines the culinary instincts that unite and divide cultures by combining history and ethnography with stories and lore from world cultures.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Biographies & Memoirs

Cooking for Kings: The Life of Antonin Careme, the First Celebrity Chef by Ian Kelly (Walker and Company) is a biography with recipes.

A unique feast of biography and Regency cookbook, Cooking for Kings takes readers on a culinary tour of the palaces of Britain and Europe in the ultimate age of gastronomic indulgence, when, for the first time, chefs became celebrities and the modern restaurant was born.

Drawing on the legendary cook's rich memoirs, Ian Kelly traces Antonin Careme's meteoric rise from a child abandoned on the streets of revolutionary Paris to international celebrity and provides a below-stairs perspective on one of the most momentous, and sensuous periods in European history – First  Empire Paris, Georgian England, and the Russia of War and Peace – when emperors, kings, and princes wielded Careme's gastronomy as a diplomatic tool.

In Cooking for Kings, author and actor Kelly traces Careme's extraordinary life, ending with his premature death from carbon-monoxide poisoning (a common side-effect of cooking over charcoal in poorly ventilated kitchens). Careme was much more than the inventor of the chef's hat, the vol-au-vent, and the souffle. He had an unfailing ability to cook for the right people in the right place at the right time. He knew the foibles and the favorite dishes of the Romanovs, the Rothschilds, and Rossini. He worked for the gourmet-king George IV in the Viennese court, and even made Napoleon's wedding cake. But Careme's reputation rested ultimately on a novel idea that changed cook­ing forever: by marrying food and glamour in his books – which transported readers to the tables of the famous households for whom he cooked – he was the first chef to become rich and famous by publishing cookbooks.

Careme's recipes still grace the tables of restaurants the world over. Now classics of French cuisine, created for, and named after, the kings and queens for whom he worked, they are featured throughout this biography.

Antonin Careme, the chef of chefs, was a legend in his own time and as artful a publicist as any of today's celebrity cooks. His story is a natural for an epic tale and Ian Kelly brings Careme's restless spirit back to life along with a tableau of la grande cuisine two hundred years ago. – Anne Willan, founder of Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne

Ian Kelly has done a wonderful job, not only of depicting Careme's culinary genius beautifully but of introducing us to his extraordinary personal life as well. I enjoyed reading this book immensely and recommend it to culinary historians and food buffs everywhere. – Daniel Boulud, chef-owner of Daniel, Bistro Moderne, and Cafe Boulud

Ian Kelly's valuable and pleasurable addition to the literature of food combines an eye for the richness of historic detail with a solid sense of culinary crafts. While stimulating our palates, it breathes life into a critical period in the building of modern Europe. – Mark Kurlansky, author of Cod, Salt, and Choice Cuts

Gosford Park meets Kitchen Confidential in Cooking for Kings, the first English-language biography of the original celebrity chef. Kelly brings to life the comedy and tragedy of the eighteenth-century professional kitchen which turns out to be not so very different from today.

Education

Children Don't Come with an Instruction Manual: A Teacher's Guide to Problems That Affect Learners by Wendy L. Moss (Teachers College Press)

Teachers are increasingly called upon to guide children toward emotional health, socially skill, and academic success. Wendy L. Moss, clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist, has designed Children Don't Come with an Instruction Manual to help educators recognize and deal with a variety of academic and nonacademic issues that can hamper a child's classroom performance.

The book addresses the diverse situations the teacher may encounter – from learning disabilities, to a child dealing with trauma, to working with gifted students. The book aids teachers in considering the individual needs and strengths of atypical children, to improve the input to educational specialists who may develop an educational program specific to the child, and to make the first observations and refer the child to trained professionals who are best able to help the child with psychological and medical needs.

Included are:

  • Definitions and descriptions of underlying problems and disorders.
  • Interpretations of childhood symptoms, such as fear, emotional outbursts, hyperactivity, withdrawal, and inappropriate behaviors.
  • Appropriate intervention points for children having difficulties, and guidance on how to recognize the need for professional assistance.
  • A chapter is devoted to understanding children's reactions to violence, whether witnessed or experienced directly.

Case summaries demonstrate the behaviors discussed and the most positive steps taken by teachers to improve lives. In the final chapter, Moss presents information gathered from students, former students, parents, and experienced teachers as to how they were best helped or were able to help children with learning difficulties, emotional problems, giftedness, and ADHD.

Outstanding! Dr. Moss's clear identification, explanation, and suggested solutions of the broad range of difficulties affecting students in the classroom make this reference guide a must have for all teachers. – Irene M. Lober, Professor Emerita, SUNY-New Paltz

Children's behavior can often be baffling to even experienced teachers. Dr. Moss's book provides a concise and comprehensive guide to understanding, assessing, and responding to the many possible causes of classroom behavior. An indispensable resource that teachers will turn to again and again. – Noemi Balinth, Clinical Psychologist, Past President of the New York State Psychological Association

This extremely useful tool has empowered me to observe and assist students directly in a more meaningful way. I now have the opportunity to pass along a higher level of information about students to the school-based support team. – Leslie Solomon, 1st Grade Teacher, New York City

Thoroughly researched, Children Don't Come with an Instruction Manual is a concise and clear manual that is easily understood by those who do not have a complete education in psychology, psychiatry, or neurology.

Education / Teaching

Curriculum: An Integrative Introduction (Third Edition) by Evelyn J. Sowell (Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall)

Curriculum is a topic about which educators as well as laypersons have knowledge – because we all attended school. For most of us, everything in and around schools seems somehow related to curriculum. In Curriculum, curriculum refers to what is taught in schools, a deliberately open definition that promotes consideration of curricula serving dif­ferent purposes and contexts.

Written for teachers and nonteaching school staff, Curriculum seeks to bridge curriculum theory and practice by presenting information in practical settings. It's one thing to read and comprehend how curriculum processes work at the level of book knowledge, and quite another to put these processes into practice. This text seeks to show how practice informs theory, and how use of theory helps individuals engage in curriculum tasks appropriately.

One major theme is that the curriculum processes (i.e., development, implementation/ enactment, and evaluation) involve decision making by people who are guided by their beliefs and values about what students should learn. Furthermore, because the processes are sociopolitical, the beliefs and values incorporated in any particular curriculum may or may not be held by those who use them in classrooms. Both developers and users must arrive at decisions after careful thought, because living with the consequences of decisions made by default or in haste is difficult.

A second major theme is that curricular change occurs only after individuals have made internal transitions. That is, people must "end the old" before they can "begin the new." Transitions take time, understanding, and support on the part of all of the people involved. The text discusses the change processes involved when initiating curriculum revisions or when using "new" curricula in classrooms.

This third edition provides new content and new features:

  • Instructional level curricula developed by schools or departments are the focus of the development processes.
  • The revised Bloom's taxonomy is used in discussions of cognitive learning outcomes.
  • Information about technology in curriculum (e.g., WebQuests) has been updat­ed.
  • Information about state and national standards as curriculum content sources has been updated and related to the revised Bloom's taxonomy.
  • The discussion of curriculum evaluation has been updated and focused on the application of Sanders-Davidson's School Evaluation Model.
  • One specific goal given at the beginning of each chapter helps to focus atten­tion on major points.
  • For Additional Information is a new section at the end of each chapter. These sec­tions list suggested readings and Web resources about selected chapter topics.

The text provides the following features:

  • Action Points in every chapter invite readers to participate in the construction of their own curriculum knowledge. Readers who are involved in curriculum processes as they study this text are assisted with their own projects through work on the final Action Point in each chapter.
  • Exhibits of instructional curriculum assist developers in planning their own curriculum.

Organization of the book:

Part I introduces outcomes and experiences approaches to curriculum processes. Outcomes approaches, which prevail at most public district or school decision-making levels, result in subject-based curricula. Experiences approaches can be found in schools, classrooms, and other educational institutions (e.g., scouts, art museums) where learner- or society-based curricula are the norm.

Part II discusses the bases for curriculum, including the following content sources: knowledge and subject matter, society and culture, and learners. The intent of these chapters is to help readers consider and clarify their values about the relative contributions of these sources to school curricula.

Part III discusses and illustrates instructional curriculum development, use, and evaluation. This part details the cyclic nature of curriculum processes. Typically, a curriculum targeted for revision is incompatible with state guidelines, district or school needs, or the desires of the community. After it is revised, the curriculum is used in classrooms where its effects on students and the school community are eval­uated, beginning the cycle anew.

Connections between the bases for curriculum and the development-use­evaluation processes are elaborated within this text. Connections such as these provide a rationale for the book's title.

In summary, curriculum theory and practice are combined in this clearly written, comprehensive, integrative introduction. Written with a broadbased approach to curriculum, Curriculum includes processes of curriculum development, use, and evaluation. The book, aimed at educators and school administrators, including principals, governing board members, and curriculum specialists, provides a hands-on approach to needs assessment usable in any district, shows how to implement a curriculum in school classrooms, and provides readable, down-to-earth information about curriculum evaluation. – Anna Washington, MAT, MEd

Education / Teaching / Reading

Reading with Meaning: Strategies for College Reading (6th Edition) by Dorothy Grant Hennings (Pearson Prentice Hall) offers users an opportunity to improve their reading skills, as well as strategies important for success in any arena. It provides culturally significant, engaging selections from literature, popular books, and magazines that readers typically encounter daily.

Reading with Meaning, written by Dorothy Grant Hennings, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Kean University, builds word power by teaching vocabulary skills, and provides information about such basic strategies as grasping the main idea of paragraphs and the thesis of an article, using clue words to anticipate meaning, thinking critically, studying for tests, and interpreting charts and graphs. Readings cover a range of topics, including history, psychology, economics, sociology, career planning, biology, geology, business, and literature, including poetry.

The book prepares students to read the kinds of materials they will use in college courses – college texts, supporting books, journals and news articles. It takes an interactive-constructive view of reading and emphasizes an active response through collaboration and writing. Students learn specific strategies for making meaning with text, including previewing and brainstorming, purpose-setting, distinguishing main from supporting ideas, using clue words to track ideas, visualizing via webbing, charting and diagramming, using one's inner voice and thinking critically. In Reading with Meaning, vocabulary is developed as an integral component of the reading process and the main idea gets extended coverage across three chapters.

Reading with Meaning offers an interactive, language-arts approach to college reading that helps students develop specific comprehension strategies important for success in college. The book provides culturally significant, interesting selections from textbooks, popular books, and magazines typical of what students need to read throughout their college years. This new two-color edition features an expanded coverage of main idea as well as a focus on building students' word power through new and enhanced pedagogy.

Appropriate for courses in Developmental Reading, College Reading, or College Reading and Study Skills, Reading with Meaning is an excellent resource for those involved in Continuing Education or ESL classes, and a useful tool for anyone interested in improving their reading and comprehension skills.

Engineering / Science / Robotics / Society

Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids by Sidney Perkowitz (Joseph Henry Press) At what point in the bionic transformation process do people become more machine than human?
Do they lose basic human rights if they're more than a certain percentage machine?
Can they vote, marry, have children?
If it takes a $1 million dollar chip to become healthier or smarter, are the rich going to be getting the coolest augmentations while everyone else is just left to go it au natural?
These are just a few of the issues that author and scientist Sidney Perkowitz explores in his new book, Digital People.

In most discussions about robots and where technology is taking us, people don't talk about the future of bionic humans, says Perkowitz, a professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm not saying that tomorrow you're going to see the Six-Million Dollar Man or Jake 2.0 at the cubicle next to you, but we do need to think about the implications of this sort of technology because this is where we're headed.

Even now you'd be surprised how many people could be defined as partly artificial or ‘bionic,’ he adds. Eight to 10 percent of the U.S. population – approximately 25 million people – have some sort of artificial part. And as our population ages that percentage is going to grow. Bionic additions fall under two categories: 1) Functional prosthetic devices and implants, such as artificial limbs, replacement knees and hips, and vascular stents, which aid the flow of blood in blocked arteries; and 2) Cosmetic or vanity bionic implants, like hair plugs, false teeth, artificial eyes and breast implants.

Perkowitz provides the real history of artificial beings, exploring and explaining research being conducted around the world, from Cog and Kismet at MIT to the singing, dancing, and soccer-playing robots at the ROBODEX 2003 exposition in Yokohama, Japan. After presenting the history, he raises the ethical questions surrounding where technology is taking us.

Digital People is a comprehensive yet compact survey of robotics and bionics. Rather than intoning the usual litany of robots, Perkowitz sensibly organizes his book function by function... He offers an entertaining potted history of bionics beginning with the Hindu queen Vishpla (circle 2000 B.C.), who replaced a leg lost in battle with an iron one. – New York Times Book Review, May 16, 2004

We are in the early stages of merging with our technology, while at the same time, our machines are becoming more like us. Perkowitz tells this compelling story from its roots in Aristotle to our future in superintelligent robots. He makes the case for this inevitable result: we are all becoming cyborgs. – Ray Kurzweil, inventor and author of The Age of Spiritual Machines

From pacemakers and prosthetic limbs to breast implants and artificial eyes, the history of artificial life is fascinating and informative. In the end, Digital People is a spellbinding, if somewhat technical, look at what Perkowitz calls the "next level of humanity" and what it all means for our vision of ourselves as human beings.

Health, Mind & Body

The Complete Doctors Healthy Back Bible: A Practical Manual for Understanding, Preventing and Treating Back Pain by Stephen C. Reed & Penny Kendall-Reed with Michael Ford & Charles Gregory (Robert Rose)

Back pain is a common and perplexing problem. Acute back pain is a leading cause of disability, while chronic back pain can be incapacitating. Nearly 80% of adults experience low back pain during their lifetime. This condition until recently has been poorly understood and inadequately managed. Current research, however, has identified pathways and causes for low back pain. Imaging and other testing have improved treatment and there have been tremendous advances in minimally invasive interventions and surgery. Fortunately, most back problems are resolved quickly, but for the new sufferer, for the person facing recurring bouts, and for the person with chronic pain, this fact offers little comfort. Readers in pain need to understand the cause of their pain, when symptoms indicate a serious problem, and how to proceed.

The Complete Doctors Healthy Back Bible summarizes current information on low back pain, both acute and chronic. It also explains the diagnostic tests now available and most importantly, when they are actually useful. Authors Stephen C. Reed, an orthopedic surgeon, and Penny Kendall-Reed, a naturopathic doctor begin by presenting a Quick Reference Guide, charting the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of usual back conditions, followed by sections devoted to expansive answers to the most common questions:

  • Should I see a doctor?
  • Who treats backs?
  • How is back pain diagnosed?
  • What causes back pain?

Full coverage of traditional and complementary therapies, with supporting research, is included. Special sections on chronic pain and surgical intervention are also covered.

Reed and Kendall-Reed also offer insight into the condition and suggests diagnosis and appropriate intervention among the many treatment options available.

The book includes:

  • Illustrated back posture, stretching, strengthening & cardiovascular exercises
  • Guide to pain relieving medications, herbs & natural supplements
  • Comprehensive account of treatment options from physical therapy to spinal surgery

For the millions of Americans consulting their doctors for back pain each year, The Complete Doctors Healthy Back Bible offers help in a practical treatment manual. Its accessible format and simplified medical illustrations, accompanied by easy-to-understand explanations of anatomy, make it very usable. A glossary helps readers orient themselves to the terms used and "back fact" sidebars offer additional insights. The book is a useful reference for anyone wishing to alleviate discomfort and maintain a healthy back.

History

There's Something Happening Here: The New Left, the Klan, and FBI Counterintelligence by David Cunningham (University of California Press)

Using over twelve thousand previously classi­fied documents made available through the Freedom of Information Act, David Cunningham uncovers the riveting inside story

of the FBI's attempts to neutralize political targets on both the Right and the Left during the 1960s. Examining the FBI's infamous counter­intelligence programs (COINTELPROs) against supected Communists, Civil Rights and Black Power advocates, Klan adherents, and antiwar activists, Cunningham, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University, questions whether such actions were aberrations or instead are evidence of the Bureau's ongoing mission to restrict citizens' rights to engage in legal forms of political dissent. The question becomes an urgent one at this time of heightened concern about domestic security, with the FBI's license to spy on U.S. citizens expanded to a historic degree, and Cunningham offers insights vital to a meaning­ful assessment of the current situation.

There's Something Happening Here looks inside the FBI's COINTELPROs against White Hate groups and the New Left to explore how agents dealt with the hundreds of individuals and organizations labeled as subversive threats. Rather than simply attributing these activities to the idiosyncratic concerns of longtime director J. Edgar Hoover, Cunningham focuses on the complex organizational dynamics that generated literally thousands of COINTELPRO actions. His account shows how – and why – the inner workings of the program led to outcomes that often seemed to lack any overriding logic; it also measures the impact the Bureau's massive campaign of repression had on its targets.

To some observers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's actions dur­ing the 1960s – most prominently its counterintelligence programs (CO­INTELPROs) against suspected Communists, civil rights and black power advocates, Klan adherents, and antiwar activists – were an aberration, justified by the exceptional political and cultural volatility of the era. For them, the nation was fortunate to have escaped such a period relatively unscathed, and now the FBI should once again be entrusted to use its powers to protect and preserve our national security. To other analysts, COINTELPRO was but one instance in the FBI's century-long history of trampling on citizens' civil liberties ostensibly to ensure a nation free of subversive elements. For this second group, rather than a response to a unique crisis or even a product of the idiosyncratic Hoover, a leader who for decades had masterfully evaded accountability for the Bureau's actions, COINTELPRO reflected the actions of an organization whose appetite for intrusion in citizens' lives was – in the words of one recent American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report – " insatiable."

The primary goal of There's Something Happening Here is not to advance either of these positions, though Cunningham holds that the reality is closer to the second. More important in his view is understanding the origins, functions, and inner workings of the COINTEL programs themselves. What has become exceedingly clear in the months following September 11, 2001, is that we cannot afford to treat FBI intelligence and counterintelligence activ­ities – and COINTELPRO in particular – as purely historical artifacts.

Indeed, COINTELPRO provides an exceptionally clear window into the internal processes and motivations of the FBI. To appreciate the gravity of the almost total lifting of restrictions on FBI intelligence activities with the passage of the USA PATRIOT and Homeland Security Acts requires an understanding of why these restrictions were first put in place a quarter century ago. While Attorney General John Ashcroft and others in the Bush administration largely succeeded in their attempts to expand the powers of the intelligence establishment, there has been no shortage of commentators – in the Nation, The New York and Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, and other publications – who have pointed to the FBI's "bad old days" as a cautionary tale. Rarely commented upon, however, is the fact that almost no one outside the Bureau has any sense of how COINTELPRO was organized and how, with mixed success, it was able to carry out its strongly politicized mission. Understanding the processes through which these programs were developed and carried out, as well as the inner workings of the Bureau itself, is key to comprehending the FBI's fragile orientation to civil liberties generally.

Cunningham examines COINTELPRO in detail to show how particular aspects of the FBI's organizational structure enabled and constrained its intelligence and counterintelligence missions. By situating this particular program within the long history of the FBI and focusing on the flow of information between the Bureau's elite (housed at national headquarters in Washington, DC) and the thousands of agents placed throughout the country (constituting "the field"), we can more clearly understand how targets were selected, tactics devel­oped, and repressive activities carried out. This perspective allows us to clearly assess the impact and enduring significance of COINTELPRO and also provides a base from which we can understand and evaluate the implications of ongoing counter-terrorism activities initiated by the FBI and other members of the intelligence community.

There's Something Happening Here is rooted in the tumultuous political activities of the 1960s, but unlike most accounts of that era, Cunningham’s is not a result of any direct connection to the period; to the contrary, he was born in 1970. Cunningham’s goal in writing the book was to develop a framework within which to understand such processes generally, as well as to better comprehend the particular dynamic between the FBI and the New Left and Ku Klux Klan. Speaking with many of COINTELPRO's targets, he found that one seeming constant was a general awareness of covert disruptive activity by the police and FBI at the time, combined with an inability to penetrate the secretive world of the intelligence community in order to fully understand the shape of such repressive efforts. As Stephen Stills sang in the opening lyrics of the 1967 Buffalo Springfield song "For What It's Worth": There's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear. Even today, twenty-five years after congressional hearings into FBI counterintelligence activities and the subsequent release of previously secret FBI documents to the public, the logic and impact of COINTELPRO remain indistinct.

David Cunningham's calm, dispassionate, and authoritative study of the FBI's notorious COINTELPRO activities of the 1960s gives us much to think about. Putting these programs into historical context and an original theoretical framework, he reminds us that the violation of American constitutional principles cannot be a use­ful tool in any alleged effort to preserve the American way of life. This is equally true in today's turbulent times as during previous crises. – Sanford J. Ungar, president of Goucher College and author of FBI: An Uncensored Look behind the Walls

For years political scientists and social movement scholars have theorized and sought, in various ways, to measure ‘political repression.’  Despite these efforts, the actual social and organizational dynamics that shape repression have largely remained a black box. By fashioning a rich, systematic account of the origins and operation of the FBI's notorious COINTELPRO... , Cunningham has gone a long way toward redressing this problem. – Doug McAdam, coauthor of Dynamics of Contention

Cunningham's timely, thoughtful, and thoroughly researched history of the FBI's pur­poseful repression of dissident movements under the COINTELPRO's New Left and White Hate programs raises disturbing questions about the FBI's conduct of  'terrorist' investigations dating from the 1970s and intensified in the aftermath of Sep­tember 11 – Athan Theoharis, author of Chasing Spies: How the FBI Failed in Counterintelligence but Promoted the Politics of McCarthyism in the Cold War Years

The lessons of this era have considerable relevance today, and in There's Something Happening Here Cunningham extends his analysis to the FBI's often controversial recent actions to map the influence of the COINTELPRO legacy on contemporary debates over national security and civil liberties. This one is a must-read for those who were there as well as those who are too young to remember.

History / Criminology / Politics

These Strange Criminals: An Anthology of Prison Memoirs by Conscientious Objectors from the Great War to the Cold War edited by Peter Brock, with a foreword by Robert Gaucher (University of Toronto Press)

In many modern wars, there have been those who have chosen not to fight. Be it for religious or moral reasons, some men and women have found no justification for breaking their conscientious objection to violence. In many cases, this objection has lead to severe punishment at the hands of their own governments, usually lengthy prison terms. Peter Brock brings the voices of imprisoned conscientious objectors to the fore in These Strange Criminals.

Brock, professor emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Toronto, brings together in this anthology thirty prison memoirs by conscientious objectors to military service, drawn from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and centering on their jail experiences during the First and Second World Wars and the Cold War. Voices from history – like those of Stephen Hobhouse, Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, Ian Hamilton, Alfred Hassler, and Donald Wetzel – come alive, detailing the impact of prison life and offering unique perspectives on wartime government policies of conscription and imprisonment. Sometimes intensely moving, and often inspiring, these memoirs show that in some cases, individual conscientious objectors – many well-educated and politically aware – sought to reform the penal system from within either by publicizing its dysfunction or through further resistance to authority.

Brock, tells us that his intent is to contribute to the ethnographic study of the prison and prison(er) culture, and to add the distinctive perspective of this category of pris­oners to the literary genre of prison writing. These Strange Criminals mirrors the range of styles and formats that characterize this genre through the centuries. In memoirs, letters home, political tracts and pamphlets, readers encounter a plethora of traditional voices. These include the astonishment and horror of the innocent and naive's first encounter with penal justice (Wigham); the moral denunciation of the reformer (Hobhouse); and the 'How to Resist' strategies of the prisoner activist (Miller). While these narratives are generally defiant, the 'bitter humour' of Hamilton epito­mizes the defiant contempt of the carnivalesque style of prison writing. These resisters write from the heart and accost the prison, 'the insolence of its sadistic staff' (Hamilton), and the 'endless round of petty routine, overlaying the ever present fear and hostility' (Hassler) that constitute its regimes.

These accounts provide an opportunity to study the ethnography of the prison from a unique set of lenses, that of prisoners of conscience, who successfully overturned the debilitating stigma of criminalization, and were able to resist the consequent transformation of their social identity into that of the socially discredited criminal and convict. Unlike common 'criminals,' they are able to take the moral and intellectual high ground, from which they cast moral condemnation upon their captors and the prison institution. The absence of guilt or remorse is obvious: 'Four years of my life for refusing to kill?' (Osborne), 'I was rather proud of my status' (Brock). Outside community and political support served to further legitimate their stance and strengthen their resolve to resist.

With These Strange Criminals, Peter Brock has put together a fascinating anthology of prison memoirs authored by conscientious objectors to war. Brock is a pre-eminent historian of pacifism as an ideology and as a movement in the modern Western world. The memoirs he has selected here demonstrate his rich and nuanced understanding of the topic. – Frances Early, Department of History, Mount Saint Vincent University

These memoirs are noteworthy as expressions of the human spirit in times of stress and struggle. Peter Brock is one of the premier scholars in the world of peace history and he has made a significant contribution to the field with this collection. The memoirs reveal the dehumanizing prison conditions in different countries and illuminate the responses of imprisoned conscientious objectors. – James C. Juhnke, Department of History, Bethel College

The thought-provoking pieces in These Strange Criminals make an essential contribution to our understanding of criminology and the history of pacifism, and represent a valuable addition to prison literature.

The prison emerges, its characteristic features highlighted by their numbing repetition, and the spirit and resistance of the authors shines through as testimony to their significance as moral and political commentators of their eras. The historical organization and contextualization of the narratives, and the representative scope of this selection allow Brock to capture the heartbeat of the universal prison experience: the essential loss of freedom and self-determination to the dominating and immutable power of the prison. The broad range of writers selected and their order of presentation combine to produce an integrated exploration of political dissent and its penal suppression in the twentieth century.

History / War / WWII

World War II Day by Day by Dorling Kindersley Publishing, with consultants Michael Armitage, Lord Lewin, John Stanier, Terry Charman, Peter Kornicki, John Pimlott & G. T. Tiedeman (DK Publishing, Inc.)

Born to, freedom, and believing in freedom, Americans are willing lo fight to maintain freedom... we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt's sentiments symbolize the attitude of those who lived through World War II and the enormous sacrifices they made. World War II Day by Day tells the story, not simply of the heroes and their bravery, but also of the villains and their victims as well as the ordinary, stoic women and men who worked to aid the war effort.

The full, declassified story of the great conflict presented in this book reveals what actually happened, rather than what was reported at the time and allows readers to:

  • Learn about the motivations of traitors and collaborators, the secret war waged by spymasters and code breakers, and the courageous stories of partisans and resistance fighters.
  • Follow the conflict as it unfolds in timelines to discover the key figures of the Allied and Axis powers in a comprehensive, illustrated Who's Who.
  • Examine the developments in literature, painting, popular music, and films such as Casablanca and Mrs. Miniver that were vital in boosting morale and providing much-needed forms of escape.
  • Relive the atmosphere of wartime propaganda and rationing with posters, cartoons, and advertisements of the time.

In World War II Day by Day readers have access to information previously top secret and can enter both the Oval Office and the General's Headquarters. From the miseries of rationing and wage freezes to the romance of Hollywood movies and the jubilation of VJ-Day, readers are close to what happened:

1939 – "Blitzkrieg " as German troops invade Poland • War engulfs Europe for a second time in 25 years

1940 – "Little ships" rescue allied troops at Dunkirk • Mussolini takes Italy into war • France falls • RAF claims victory in the "Battle of Britain"

1941 – Nazis order “final solution" for Jews • Germans invade Russia • Japanese planes destroy U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor

1942 – U.S. Navy takes offensive after defeat of fleet in the Battle of Midway • Allies step up air campaign in Europe

1943 – Stalingrad: first Germans surrender • Warsaw ghetto destroyed after uprising against Nazis • RAF firestorm bombs raze Hamburg to the ground

1944 – Massive infantry landings signal start of D-Day • Paris is liberated • U.S. crushes Japan in "greatest ever sea battle"

1945 – Russians free Auschwitz death camp • Stars and Stripes raised on Iwo Jima • Noose tightens around Berlin • Hitler commits suicide • Mussolini is captured and killed • Dancing in the streets on VE-day • Atomic bombs devastate Hiroshima and Nagasaki • Japan surrenders • Allied peoples all over the world celebrate VJ-day
World War II Day by Day is an indispensable guide to the Second World War because it allows readers to feel what it was really like to live through those turbulent times.

History / Military

Bayonets in the Wilderness: Anthony Wayne's Legion in the Old Northwest by Alan D. Gaff (Campaigns and Commanders Series, Volume 4: University of Oklahoma Press)

Ration shortages, disloyalty, defeat, and international meddling – such were the obstacles facing General Anthony Wayne as he sought to secure the Old Northwest Territory for white settlement in the 1790s. When President George Washington appointed Wayne to command the Legion of the United States, he granted him unlimited powers to conduct a military campaign against the Indian confederacy of the Ohio River Valley.

In Bayonets in the Wilderness, Alan D. Gaff, independent scholar and author, explores this long-neglected period in American history to tell the complete story of how the U.S. Army conquered the first American frontier. Wayne's successful campaign led to the creation of a standing army for the country and set the standard for future conflicts and treaties with American Indians. Countering the popular impression of Wayne as "mad," Gaff depicts him as a thoughtful, resolute, and diplomatic officer whose masterfully organized campaign brought an end to forty years of border fighting.

In this detailed, definitive military history, Gaff documents the British and French influence, the famed battle at Fallen Timbers, and the Treaty of Greeneville, which ended hostilities in the region. His account brings to light alliances between Indian forces and the British military, demonstrating that British troops still conducted operations on American soil long after the supposed end of the American Revolution.

The vital role performed by Anthony Wayne's intrepid Legion in opening up the Old Northwest, blunting British ambitions, and defeating the impressive Indian confederacy has too long been neglected. Alan Gaff's graceful and compelling narrative provides the definitive account of Wayne's Fallen Timbers campaign-a turning point in America's early history. – Paul Andrew Hutton, author of Phil Sheridan and His Army

Gaff has written the most complete history of Wayne's war, one that will last as the standard work. Full of exhaustive analysis and impressive research, it is satisfying both as scholarship and as a rousing good story. – Paul David Nelson, author of Anthony Wayne: Soldier of the Early Republic

A long overdue account of a neglected portion of the army's early history. - Lawrence E. Babits, author of A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens

Bayonets in the Wilderness explores the long-neglected period of American history between the American Revolution and War of 1812. Complete, exhaustively researched, the book will become a standard; and it’s also a good read.

History / Military

Crossing the Deadly Ground: United States Army Tactics, 1865-1899 by Perry D. Jamieson (University of Alabama Press)

Military historians have written countless volumes about the Civil War, World War II, and other major American wars but relatively few books about the United States Army during the late nineteenth century. The great campaigns and bloody battles of our history have attracted far more attention than have the last decades of the 1800s, a period of peace and limited conflicts. Perry D. Jamieson, a historian for the United States Air Force, changes that with Crossing the Deadly Ground.

Although the United States Army did not fight any large con­ventional wars between 1865 and 1917, it waged a series of skirmishes and small battles against the western Indians, opponents who rarely used tactics resembling those of European armies. The Spanish-American War, the only entirely conventional conflict during this period, ended rapidly and without much bloodshed. Its sequel, the Philippine War, began with traditional operations, but soon deteriorated into guerrilla warfare.

The late nineteenth century brought the United States Army no major conventional conflicts, but it nonetheless proved a crucial period in American military history. Service associations appeared and professional publications such as the Army and Navy Journal, the Army and Navy Registery, and the Journal of the Artillary Service Institution of the United States, flourished. The army emphasized military education: the Artillery School was revived in 1868, the Infantry and Cavalry School was established in 1881, and the Engineer School emerged about the same time. Lively discussions took place in the service's classrooms and journals, for the late nineteenth century was also an era when new weapons created controversies about organization, training, strategy, and tactics.

The tactical problem that dominated the period began to emerge during the Civil War, when defenders protected by field works delivered rifled infantry fire and artillery blasts against attackers approaching in close-ordered lines. After the ghastly battles of the 1860s, improvements in weapons technology and field engineering made assaults more dangerous than they had been for General George E. Pickett's men at Gettysburg or John Bell Hood's at Franklin. How could attackers advance across the open terrain in front of defenders who were so well armed and protected? In 1882, while many American officers pondered this dilemma, a British theorist described it this way: A certain space of from 1,500 to 2,500 yards swept by fire, the intensity of which increases as troops approach the position from which that fire is delivered, has to be passed over. How shall it be crossed? Thoughtful American soldiers struggled with this frustrating challenge and others. They prepared new tactical manuals, sharpened their marksmanship, conducted field exercises, and suffered in combat.

No other study approaches this subject so expertly. – Journal of Southern History

Jamieson fills a gap in the tactical history of the U.S. Army from the end of the Civil War through the Spanish-American War. He unfolds how an army spread out on frontier posts, [and] largely preoccupied with warfare against the native peoples, Reconstruction, and daily routine, nevertheless made progress toward a system of tactics to take it into the twentieth century. – Civil War History

The ideas American soldiers debated during peacetime and the tactics they used in battle, presented in Crossing the Deadly Ground, help us understand a larger story, the journey of the United States Army into the twentieth century.

Home & Garden

Grass Scapes: Gardening with Ornamental Grasses by Martin Quinn & Catherine Macleod (Ball Publishing)

Unlike other plants, grasses offer texture, shape, color, movement and even sound to create a dramatic and calming effect. They thrive in a variety of conditions, require little maintenance and are suitable for all garden types. In Grass Scapes expert grass breeder Martin Quinn and writer Catherine Macleod reveal the amazing diversity of ornamental grasses.

Grass forms and uses are detailed, terminology is explained, and proper grass maintenance and care are outlined. Gardeners also learn about how to get the most out of grasses in the summer, fall, and winter seasons.

Grass Scapes features:

  • information on the special features, shape and size of each grass
  • simple garden plans
  • over 100 color photographs
  • a selection of favorite native grasses

Grass Scapes reveals the plethora of' colors in the ornamental grass palate. Readers learn that ornamental grasses are superb companions to bulbs, conifers, shrubs and trees. By knowing how to design with and care for ornamental grasses readers also discover innovative ideas for incorporating them in the landscape. Whether they are used in bold dramatic sweeps, as groundcovers and screens, or as focal points and container plants, grasses are tremendously versatile in any garden design. Their extended season of interest – from the moment they emerge in the spring to when they punctuate the blanket of snow in winter – adds to their importance as a design element.

Grasses have a linear quality that helps structure the garden. This can take various forms, from graceful fountain­like cascades and tufted mounds to towering open vase shapes and stiff upright spikes. Some grasses evolve through several different textures and forms, resulting in an ever-changing dimension in the garden throughout the growing season.

Grasses are relatively low maintenance; once established they are quite drought tolerant, with some selections performing very well in moist conditions. Far from being a monochromatic green, grass foliage comes in various hues, tints, and intensities of color that change with the seasons. The inflorescences also have their own color, ranging from purple to taupe, gold and eventually wheat.

This book demystifies grass terminology, expresses a plethora of colours in the ornamental grass palate and provides practical and innovative ideas for incorporating these wonderful plants in the landscape. It is an informative and practical account of the many virtues of ornamental grasses. – Liz  Klose, School of Horticulture, Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

Grass Scapes is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated introduction to gardening with hardy ornamental grasses. It is written for gardeners at all levels of practice and shows how a simple understanding of basic grass shapes, sizes, colors and functions can open the door to gardening confidently with hardy ornamental grasses. The "Grasses at a Glance" section is an especially useful summary.

Home & Garden / Animals & Pets / Horses

If I Had a Horse: How Different Life Would Be by Melissa Sovey-Nelson, photography by Mark J. Barrett (Willow Creek Press)

Teachers and lessons come when we least expect them and often in ways we may not imagine. With reflections on how the horse experience migrates into the way we think of ourselves and of others, and translates into everyday life, If I Had a Horse, written by Melissa Sovey-Nelson, freelance writer and horse lover, captures the essence of putting into practice the profound realizations that come from being with a horse.

As a powerful connection to the natural world, the horse enables us to grasp the fundamentals of life, which we may not otherwise have had the opportunity to understand. On subjects such as trust, rhythm, empowerment, awareness, forgiveness, and patience, the author explores how horses have enriched her life and changed her perspectives. Combined with the text are professional photographer Mark J. Barrett's photographs of horses, which express the romance, power, and beauty of these noble animals. His sensitivity and love for the subject are evident in each image.

Packaged with the book is a DVD by Barrett that features horses in numerous locations and situations, making this book a complete package for showcasing horses in all their glory.

If I Had a Horse would have been stuffed under my pillow and pulled out every night before I drifted off to sleep as I was growing up. As you flip through thee pages, the beautiful and moving horse images take you away to fields and pastures to share a moment with a special spirit. Mark Barrett has done a phenomenal job of clearly capturing the mood and feel­ings of his horse subjects. Along with Sovey-Nelson's deep feeling passages and delightful anecdotes, the pair have produced a volume of dreams and memories to return' to over and over. – Mary D. Midkiff, Author of Fitness, Performance, The Female Equestrian and She Flies Without Wings: How Horses Touch a Woman's Soul

Whether readers are experienced riders or horse owners, or have only imagined a horse in their lives, If I Had a Horse will convince them that the horse as messenger is calling and that the invitation is life changing.

Home & Garden

Farmers of Forty Centuries: Organic Farming in China, Korea, and Japan by F. H. King (Dover Publications, Inc.)

How did Asian farmers work the same fields for 40,000 years without destroying the land's fertility and without applying artificial fertilizer? In the early twentieth century, a former official of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Franklin Hiram King, travelled to Asia to learn the answer to that question. Farmers of Forty Centuries chronicles his travels and observations on the methods of soil conservation – one of the Far East's most valuable natural resources.

A fascinating study of waste-free methods of cultivation, Farmers of Forty Centuries reveals the secrets of ancient farming methods and, at the same time, chronicles the travels and observations of a remarkable man. A well-trained observer who studied the actual conditions of life among agricultural peoples, King provides intrigu­ing glimpses of Japan, China, Manchuria, and Korea; customs of the common people; the utilization of waste; methods of irrigation, reforestation, and land reclamation; the cultivation of rice, silk, and tea; and related topics.

Enhanced with more than 240 illustrations (most of them photo­graphs), this book represents an invaluable resource for organic gardeners, farmers, and conservationists. It remains one of the richest sources of information about peasant agriculture [and] one of the pioneer books on organic farming. – The Last Whole Earth Catalog

Farmers of Forty Centuries is a comprehensive, landmark resource revealing secrets of ancient farming methods of farmers of forty centuries.

Home & Garden / Architecture

Classic Cottages: Simple, Romantic Homes by Brian D. Coleman, with photography by Douglas Keister (Gibbs Smith, Publisher)

From rolling bungalows to quaint thatched stone huts to nineteenth-century gingerbread gems, cottages in all forms are being rediscovered as people yearn for inspiring and appealing housing. Classic Cottages celebrates the delightful cottage home with the insightful text of Brian Coleman, a practicing psychiatrist and an old-house enthusiast, with the renowned photography of Doug Keister, and with an abundance of historical and cultural information about the charming cottage.

Romantic and picturesque, the word "cottage" brings to mind the idyllic charms of the countryside. Who can resist the appeal of a sweet little house, surrounded by wild roses, at the end of a winding cobblestone lane? From Anne Hathaway's cottage, which became synonymous with the innocent charm of the English countryside, to the sturdy Cape Cod, the first cottage indigenous to the United States, Classic Cottages looks at the architecture, history, design, and decorating possibilities of the cottages throughout North America.

The romantic elements that define the traditional cottage – the picket fence, colorful front-yard gardens, and an entreating front entry that grabs the eye and imagination – have made cottages a stylish option for those seeking comfy living at affordable prices.

What makes a home a cottage is its compactness and informality. Loosely defined as any small romantic dwelling, the cottages in Classic Cottages consist of handsomely planned and crafted new homes as well as restored and refreshed older homes – both gentrified for rich contemporary living. Chapters include "Gingerbread Gems" (cottages of the Victorian era), "Bungalettes" (conceived for the average American citizen), "Gnome Sweet Home" (romantic storybook-style cottages), "Rolling Bungalows" (icons of mobile America – the travel trailer), "Enclaves" (clusters of cottages), and "Contemporary Cottages" (newer versions of the classic design).

Classic Cottages celebrates the cottage in all its forms with an abundance of historical and cultural information. This book illustrates that, no matter how complex life seems today, the simple, classic cottage will always be waiting to welcome one home. Whether readers are looking for a gingerbread gem, a quaint storybook châteaux, or a rolling bungalow, Classic Cottages adds to the evidence that living stylishly cozy is going head to head with living large.

Literature & Fiction

Dickens and the Social Order: With a New Preface by the Author by Myron Magnet (ISI Books)

Taking four books – Nicholas Nickelby, Barnaby Rudge, American Notes, and Martin

Chuzzlewit – as constituting a distinct and critical stage in the development of Dickens's social philosophy, Myron Magnet, editor of City Journal, the Manhattan Institute’s quarterly magazine of urban affairs, shows that a surprisingly traditional worldview lies at the heart of Dickens's artistic achievement. In this study Magnet argues that the liberal reformism for which Dickens is so well known rested on a surprisingly traditional view of society.

This edition includes a substantial new preface by the author. In it Magnet says, “...tragedy – or more broadly literature – is more philosophic even than philosophy. It is, after all, a form of knowledge that draws on all our ways of knowing, rather than on ratiocination alone.”

Magnet has two principal aims. One is to persuade us that Dickens was far more a novelist of ideas than his reputation suggests; the other is to demonstrate that his liberal (or radical) attitudes were embedded in an essentially conservative view of the world. On both counts, he seems successful; his book is well argued, attractively written, and all in all one of the most stimulating studies of Dickens to have appeared in recent years. Perhaps he will consider writing a sequel; even if it turned out to be only half as good as Dickens and the Social Order, it would still be very well worth reading. – New York Times

Perhaps you know Dickens the sentimentalist? Meet Dickens the realist! You've heard of Dickens the utopian reformer? Allow me to introduce the 'hard-headed pragmatist.' In Dickens and the Social Order, Myron Magnet has rescued Dickens for his rosier-cheeked admirers and given us another, more robust Dickins – Dickens the advocate of law and order, the partisan of legitimate authority, the defender of customs and mannerly behavior. Three cheers to Myron Magnet for this literary and moral tour de force. – Roger Kimball, managing editor, The New Criterion

A book that should significantly alter our general understanding of Dickens.... We are in debt to Myron Magnet.... – Commentary

An important corrective to some fairly shallow notions that have been popular in the past. – David Parker, Curator, The Dickens House

Thorough, shrewd, and always lively, Magnet's classic, groundbreaking study is a signal contribution to Dickens scholarship and to our understanding of nineteenth-century social thought.

Literature & Fiction / Historical Novels

Poe & Fanny by John May (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill) is a historical novel about one of the most famous and tragic figures in American literature, Edgar Allan Poe.

The details of Edgar Allan Poe's life read like material from a gothic novel: orphaned at age three, disinherited, wed to a thirteen-year-old bride, revered as a writer, reviled as an alcoholic, hounded by debt, and dead at age forty.

The story opens in the teeming publishing and maritime district of Lower Broadway, where Poe has resigned as assistant to Nathaniel Parker Willis at the prestigious New York Mirror to start his own Broadway Journal. Bringing to life the magazine offices and literary salons of New York City, Poe & Fanny recounts the public and private lives of some of the best-known personalities of the day, including Horace Greeley, James Russell Lowell, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. John May spotlights the year 1845, the most successful and most disastrous year of Poe's life. The year he published the wildly successful The Raven, founded his own magazine, and was embraced by the New York literati – the year that ruined him forever.

May's debut novel brings New York's giddy pre-Civil War social scene into focus as it unfolds the story of a doomed man and the great love that sealed his fate. By the end of what should have been his crowning year, Edgar Poe was reviled by the same capricious circles that had gathered adoringly at his feet to hear him recite The Raven again and again. Swept up in that fervor, Frances Sargent Osgood, then separated from her husband, arranged an intro­duction to Poe to offer her fealty and her friend­ship. Vivacious Fanny, a famous intellectual beauty of the day, a poetess now forgotten, fell for the hard-drinking Poe. She beckoned, he did not resist. Although historical records of Poe and Fanny's relationship have since been destroyed, more than twenty poems included in the novel reveal the remarkable depths of their love.

While Poe dallied, his dying wife, Sissy, and her mother, Muddy, were humiliated. And while he despaired, drinking himself into oblivion, Poe's dream of editing his own magazine in New York died on the vine. At the turn of the year, the Poes left New York in disgrace. Deeply in debt and spurned by former fawning admirers, including Horace Greeley, N. P Willis, William Cullen Bryant, Richard Henry Dana, and Maria Child, America's most renowned writer was a broken man. He had wrecked two women's lives. Even so, both Fanny and Sissy loved him unremittingly to the bitter end. Poe died at the age of forty, alone and having never fathered a child. Or had he?

Told with special empathy for Fanny's warm, impulsive generosity as it shimmered alongside Poe's dark genius, Poe & Fanny follows the lovers' story to its logical conclusion: Fanny Osgood's third child was Poe's.

John May nails the gritty, lush details of Poe's rise and fall in New York City's high society. An astounding debut in historical fiction, Poe & Fanny is part literary history, part heartbreaking love story. – Julianna Baggott, author of The Madam

Owing to gaps in the documentary record of Edgar A. Poe's existence, many episodes in his hectic life have remained obscure. John May fills some of the gaps by inventing compelling fictional accounts of what might have happened especially between Poe and his ardent admirer, the spritelike poet Fanny Osgood. At the same time, May entertainingly recreates the literary life of mid-nineteenth-century New York, with its soirees, warring magazines, and concerts by Ole Bull – and its enthralled reaction to a stunning new poem entitled ‘The Raven.’ – Kenneth Silverman, author of Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance

The best word for Poe & Fanny is – mesmerizing. John May's brilliant novel offers not only a sharply perceptive portrayal of America's most striking literal figure but also a warm and generous and highly dramatic appreciation of the wonderful Frances Osgood. The knowing overview of antebellum New York society is a rich bonus. I hung on every word of this brightly intuitive book. – Fred Chappell, author of Farewell, I’m Bound to Leave You

May brings to life the drama of these lives acted out against the backdrop of nineteenth­century New York's literary world. Poe & Fanny illuminates the rigid mores of a time in which women removing their bonnets in the theater was news and sets personal heartbreaks against the greater conflicts of class inequities, slavery, and institutionalized misogyny. Compulsively readable, May's sensitive historical novel is both literary and romantic.

Literature & Fiction / Historical

Silbermann by Jacques De Lacretelle, with a foreword by Victor Brombert, translated by Helen Marx (Helen Marx Books, Turtle Point Press)

"My situation has become impossible. I leave tomorrow for America. ... Yes," he said, stifling his anger with effort, "I am leaving. ... The Frenchmen for France have won. Think of it. One less Jew among them!"
This short powerhouse of a novel, written in 1922 by Jacques De Lacretelle, a novelist and journalist, set in early 20th century Paris, follows the friendship between two 15-year-old schoolboys: one, a gentile (the narrator), and the other, a Jew. Silbermann is the odd newcomer at school, an unattractive, curiously animated character. His classmate, the narrator, sees beyond the fleshy lips and yellowish complexion an uncommon brilliance and passion, and soon the two are inseparable. Silbermann's endless discussions of Racine, La Fontaine, Chateaubriand, and Hugo are mesmerizing. But loyalties are tested as Silbermann becomes the target of the growing anti-Semitism that is spreading throughout French society. Ironically, the narrator's father is asked to preside over a case indicting Silbermann's father. In the end, a beloved friendship and familial bonds are undermined as idealism gives way to the painful realization of the moral compromises of adulthood.

The kind of novel you read in a single sitting and never forget…  Lacretelle’s indictment of prejudice and privilege is as morally chilling today as it must have been in the 1920s. – Alice Kaplan

In this tautly brilliant novel, Jacques De Lacretelle recounts the story of a Parisian schoolboy belonging to a Protestant bourgeois family who, though fascinated by the intelligence and ardor of a Jewish fellow schoolmate, bows to the prejudices of this milieu and finally betrays his chosen friend. – Bernard Minoret

This beautiful but painful book is about the difficult ties of adolescent friendship in the midst of the cruelty of a group, the tensions between children and their parents, and the themes of sincerity, bad faith, and self-deceit. Silbermann also raises broader issues related to chauvinism, racism, and persecution.

Literature & Fiction / Poetry

Americus, Book I by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (New Directions Books)

From the files of the FBI: [Ferlinghetti is a] rabble-rouser. – J. Edgar Hoover

In less than a year, Lawrence Ferlinghetti won a lifetime achievement award from the Author's Guild, received the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and celebrated the 50th anniversary of his renowned City Lights Bookstore. Now, instead of resting on these laurels, the elder statesman of American poetry "lights out for the territories" with Americus, Book I, the first volume of his own born-in-the-USA narrative. Describing his work as "part documentary, part public pillow-talk, part personal epic....a descant, a canto unsung, a banal history, a true fiction, lyric and political...," Ferlinghetti merges "certain universal texts, snatches of song, words or phrases, murmuring of love or hate, from Lotte Lenya to the latest soul singer, sayings and shibboleths from Yogi Berra to the National Anthem and the Gettysburg Address or the Ginsberg Address, that haunt our nocturnal imagination...."
Born to Italian parents in Yonkers, New York in 1919, Ferlinghetti served in the Navy during World War II and received degrees from the University of North Carolina, Columbia and the Sorbonne in Paris. Since 1953 he has been the owner and publisher of City Lights Books in San Francisco.

Excerpt from Americus, Book I: Poetry is not all heroin horses and Rimbaud; it is also the powerless prayers of ;airline passengers fastening their seatbelts for the final descent. It is the real subject of great prose. It speaks the unspeakable, utters the inutterable sigh of the heart. Each poem a momentary madness, and the unreal is realist. Poetry a strange form of insanity, tempered by erotic bliss.

Thank you, Lawrence. Viva Ferlinghetti! – Garrison Keillor, The S.F. Chronicle

Ferlinghetti is a poet of distinction. – George Plimpton

Sweetness and lightness - and humor, he has it. – Robert Haas

Following in the tradition of Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson and Ezra Pound, Americus, Book I stalks our literary and political landscapes, past and present, articulates the unique voice of America, and creates an autobiography of our collective American consciousness in these twelve untitled sections of exuberant, loquacious catalogues and collages.

Literature & Fiction / Novels

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason (The Dial Press)

An Ivy League murder, a mysterious coded manuscript, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide in The Rule of Four – a debut of literary suspense by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason that weaves together intrigue, scholarship, art, and treachery. Caldwell and Thomason have been best friends and have been writing together since they were eight and are both recent Ivy League graduates, Caldwell from Princeton, and Thomason from Harvard.

The Rule of Four revolves around The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a real book, one of the most obscure, impenetrable books in the world. Published anonymously in 1499 in Venice, the book has since been attributed to Francesco Colonna.

The premise is this: Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris – seniors on the verge of graduating from Princeton – decipher the Hypnerotomachia's riddles, uncover its secrets, and rapidly discover that the mystery behind the book is, for some, actually worth killing for.

So The Rule of Four begins at Easter at Princeton. Seniors are scrambling to finish their theses. And Tom and Paul are a hair's breadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia. For Tom, their research has been a link to his family's past – and an obstacle to the woman he loves. For Paul, it has become an obsession, the very reason for living. But as their deadline looms, research has stalled – until a long-lost diary surfaces with a vital clue. And when a fellow researcher is murdered just hours later, Tom and Paul realize that they are not the first to glimpse the Hypnerotomachia’s secrets.
Suddenly the stakes are raised, and as the two friends sift through the codes and riddles at the heart of the text, they are beginning to see the manuscript in a new light – not simply as a story of faith, eroticism and pedantry, but as a bizarre, coded mathematical maze. And as they come closer and closer to deciphering the final puzzle of a book that has shattered careers, friendships and families, they know that their own lives are in mortal danger. Because at least one person has been killed for knowing too much. And they know even more.

Comparisons to The Da Vinci Code are inevitable, but Caldwell and Thomason's book is the more cerebral – and better written – of the two: think Dan Brown by way of Donna Tartt and Umberto Eco. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An astonishingly good debut ... Scholarship as romance: intricate, erudite, and intensely pleasurable. – Kirkus (starred review)

From the streets of fifteenth-century Rome to the rarified realm of the Ivy League, from a shocking 500 year-old murder scene to the drama of a young man's coming of age, The Rule of Four takes us on an entertaining, illuminating tour of history – as it builds to a pinnacle of suspense. Together Caldwell and Thomason in this impressive debut have crafted a seamless work of fiction centered around a real Renaissance text.

Literature & Fiction / Novels

The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper (Delacorte Press) stars an unforgettable hero, Joe Goffman.

Right after high school, Joe left sleepy Bush Falls, Connecticut and never looked back. Then he wrote a novel savaging everything in town, a novel that became a national bestseller and a huge hit movie. Fifteen years later, Joe is struggling to avoid the sophomore slump with his next novel when he gets a call. But when the phone rings at 2 a.m., and he hears his father has had a stroke, Joe knows his high-style Manhattan life has just been turned upside down – it's time for Bush Falls' prodigal son to finally face the music back home. Joe jumps into his new Mercedes and heads back to his Connecticut home town for the first time in seventeen years as the town's most famous pariah. His brother avoids him, his former classmates beat him up, and the members of the book club just hurl their copies of Bush Falls into the front yard.

But, while Bush Falls clearly has no use for Joe, it's becoming evident that Joe needed to come home. As he reconnects with old friends, Joe revisits the painful past he thought he'd purged in his novel and soon discovers that even he can go home again.

The Book of Joe is an elegiac, wickedly observant look at a small town and its secrets. In Jonathan Tropper's highly readable novel, the problem isn't that you can't go home again, it's that eventually you have to, whether you like it or not. – Tom Perrotta, author of Election and Joe College
Witty, tender and beautifully written. You really fall in love with Joe. By the end I wanted to have his babies! – Sue Margolis, author of Apocalipstick

Fans of Nick Hornby and Jennifer Weiner will love this book, by turns funny, intelligent, and poignant. As evidenced by The Book of Joe’s success in both the foreign and movie markets, Tropper has created a compelling, resonant, thirty-something’s belated coming-of-age story.

Literature & Fiction / Novels

My Life with Corpses by Wylene Dunbar (Harcourt, Inc.)

Wylene Dunbar, philosopher, teacher and lawyer, blends a sharply defined reality with a surreal leap of imagination in this story of an enigmatic narrator we know only as Oz, who was raised on a Kansas farm by a family of corpses.

Oz's mother died in childbirth – 10 years before Oz was conceived. Her sister died as a young child. Only her father remained, hovering between life and death until she was 10 years old.

Since she was rescued by an iconoclastic neighbor named Winfield Evan Stark, now long dead, Oz has stayed far away from her childhood home. However, Mr. Stark's grave has recently turned up empty – occupied only by a pristine copy of Oz's narrative of her early life, entitled My Life with Corpses. Oz, a professor of philosophy, returns to help find his body, hoping to receive the message she knows he is trying to send her. As she waits for two amiable workmen to dig up a neighboring gravesite to see if Mr. Stark might have switched resting spots, Oz reveals the peculiar details of her life and shares her hard-won experience in detecting and avoiding the living corpsedom that has befallen her family and so many others around her. Oz, student and professor in Oxford, Mississippi, the long-time home of the author as well, recognizes and escapes a life of being dead by the narrowest of margins. Her story is both a triumph and a cautionary tale, revealing how life can seep treacherously away but also showing us how it can be restored again. Disturbing and compelling, poignant and funny, My Life with Corpses is narrated with an irresistible combination of intellect, irony, and outright sorcery.

Overwhelming in its beauty, emotional force, and uniqueness. I have the strange feeling I'm still reading it – it's that resonant. – Jonathan Afron Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated
Despite the fantasy of her premise, Dunbar presents her story with straight-faced candor, informed by a philosopher's grasp of logic. – Publishers Weekly
My Life with Corpses is an ode on the west wind to what the dead make of us and we of them. It hurts, but it doesn't hurt that it's deadly funny. – Barry Gifford, author of Wyoming

Using a philosopher’s logic, Dunbar, despite the fantasy of her premise, writes with an odd candor. Although the premise of the novel is impossible to believe, the narrative refuses to acknowledge it. Add to that the accumulation of realistic detail and My Life with Corpses becomes an uncannily convincing evocation of death and its counterpart, life.

Mysteries & Thrillers

Take Me, Take Me with You: A Novel of Suspense by Lauren Kelly (ECCO, HarperCollins Publishers)

Alternating between 1970 and the early 1990s, Lauren Kelly (pseudonym for a best-selling and award-winning writer, we are told on the dust jacket) tells the absorbing story of Lara Quade, a disaffected intellectual who now works as an assistant at the Institute for Semiotics, Aesthetics and Cultural Research at Princeton. Quade is a young woman whose physical beauty has been scarred in a childhood accident. Twenty-two years after her mother Heady drove Lara (then Lorraine), her brother, and herself into an oncoming freight train, Lara is still emotionally and physically scarred by childhood trauma. She now leads a mostly solitary life.

She is therefore taken by surprise when she anonymously receives a ticket to a concert and meets, seemingly chance, the unlikeliest of classical music fans, a young man named Zedrick Dewe, who claims to have also received his ticket anonymously and whom she seems to know somehow as he in turn seems to know her. What is the connection between them? Who has brought them together? Despite her extreme discomfort, Lara is immediately attracted to and excited by this mysterious and hauntingly familiar man. Her decision, though, to invite Zedrick back to her apartment following the concert results in horror and changes her life forever.

Their encounter leads to a highly charged erotic experience that takes an abrupt turn from tender to violent, predictable to terrifying. From this initial episode springs a sequence of inexplicable events and revelations.

Because he has violated her secret emotional life, Lara seeks out Zed, tracking him to Strykersville in upstate New York. There, long in denial about her life, Lara uncovers the truth about the buried hurt and rage in the tortured past of her family. The ending of Take Me, Take Me with You is both shocking and inevitable.

From its breathtaking opening to its shattering climax, Take Me, Take Me with You is unrelenting in its scrutiny of longings and emotions battered by the aftermath of murder. This is suspense writing at its very best – gripping, headlong prose that is at once thrilling and utterly honest. – Ed McBain

Lauren Kelly's Take Me, Take Me with You is a beautifully written and finely observed psychological thriller. It is about loves both lost and found, as well as the bold resourcefulness of a wounded heart. This is a page-turner with meat on its bones. Its pace is heat lightning, but its thunder resounds. – Thomas H. Cook

Kelly, with power and authority, explores the secret kinship of "soul mates," in a mysterious and demonic love story. Take Me, Take Me with You is a tightly woven page-turner filled with passion, murder and revenge.

Mysteries & Thrillers

The White Road by John Connolly (Pocket Star Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc.)

Hailed as "one of the best" (Toronto Sun) writers of contemporary suspense fiction, international bestselling author John Connolly returns with an electrifying novel featuring his acclaimed private detective, Charlie Parker.

In the swamps of South Carolina, a southern millionaire's daughter, Marianne Larousse, is brutally raped and murdered. Her black boyfriend is arrested and set to be tried for the murder ... if he survives the threatening wait for the trial. Terrifying, long-hidden secrets of the past and disturbing racial conflict of the present provide the backdrop for the  complex novel, The White Road.

In The White Road, troubled private eye Parker races to save an innocent young man and uncover the truth about a long-forgotten crime. Deeply rooted in old evil, this is a case that nobody in his right mind wants to touch. But old evil is Parker's specialty, and the private detective finds himself venturing headlong into a living nightmare, a bloody dreamscape haunted by the specter of a hooded woman and a black cat waiting for a passenger who never arrives. This is hardly a straightforward investigation into a young woman's death. It is a descent into the abyss, where forces conspire to destroy all that Parker holds dear: his lover, his unborn child, even his very soul. All the while, in a prison cell far to the north, an old adversary is preparing to take his final revenge on Parker. Soon, all will face a final reckoning in an unearthly realm where the paths of the living and the dead converge – a place known only as the The White Road.

The private-eye genre is overflowing with first-person narrators, but Connolly, a Shamus Award winner, manages to find new things to do within this very familiar format. Fans of the Parker novels will he well pleased. Newcomers, too, may find themselves seeking out previous series entries just so they can have the pleasure of catching up on of Charlie's adventures. – Booklist

The book synthesizes literate, poetic writing with scarifying grue: a marriage that produces far more persuasive results than the by-numbers blood-letting of so much crime writing. – The London Independent

John Connolly is Ireland's finest export since U2 and Guinness. – The Yorkshire Evening Press

In The White Road the malevolence is almost palpable. Readers gain further insights into the soul of the tormented Parker, a hero of uncommon depth and compulsions.

Connolly has frequently been compared to Raymond Chandler, Thomas Harris, Stephen King and James Lee Burke. An Irishman writing in the American crime novels tradition, he offers an outsider's view of America's dark side. With The White Road, his lyrical prose, his carefully researched rendering of the Southern landscape, both physical and historical, and his multi-layered characters once again demonstrate why the Charlie Parker series is an addictive, international bestseller.

Outdoors & Nature / Conservation

Cumberland Island National Seashore: A History of Conservation Conflict by Lary M. Dilsaver (University of Virginia Press)

Off the coast of Georgia, Cumberland Island was once the retreat of some of America's wealthiest families, most notably the family of Thomas Carnegie, brother of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, and his wife Lucy. When the last Carnegie child died in 1962, the restrictions of a complex family trust arrangement came to an end and their land was divided among Carnegie descendants. These parties and the other landowners, clashed over their conflicting interests in retaining land for personal use, selling to developers, or entrusting parcels to the National Park Service for public use. Today, more than three decades after its legal designation as the Cumberland Island National Seashore, the island is home to a magnificent array of natural resources, including a seventeen-mile beach and the largest surviving stand of maritime oak forest in the United States; more than half is currently designated a wilderness area and is a serene and beautiful public space. The story of how the park arrived at its current status, however, is as rugged and wild as the land itself.

In Cumberland Island National Seashore, Lary M. Dilsaver, Professor of Geography at the University of South Alabama, uses the island as an example of the difficulty of converting privately owned lands into public space. The fate of the island has galvanized national environmental groups, the descendants of powerful families, historic preservation organizations, and African American heritage societies. The local populace wanted to enjoy the beaches and fishing but also to attract visitors from the nearby I-95.

First a history of the establishment, management, and conservation issues of the site,

the core of Dilsaver's story is interest-group lobbying and conflict, involving wealthy and powerful opponents, and the Park Service's sometimes fruitless attempts to run a middle course following agency tradition and a web of legal constraints.

As one of the country’s leading scholars on the national parks [Dilsaver] is intimately familiar with the key issues which Comberland Island’s story illustrates so well….The central thrust of the book is the author’s penetrating analysis of public lands issues and environmental history themes….It is this larger context that will be of interest to readers far beyond the coastal Southwest. – Willima Wyckoff, Professor of Geography, Montana State University

By focusing on the history of one national park, Dilsaver shows vividly the difficulties of preserving land and wildlife while providing recreational opportunities for the public. Engagingly written and supplemented with historical illustrations and maps, Cumberland Island National Seashore offers a fascinating glimpse behind the process of establishing a national park area. It will interest scholars and students of historical geography, environmental history, and conservation and preservation, professionals in park and recreation management, and, perhaps above all, those who have come away from an enjoyable visit to the seashore and wondered about its complete, albeit rocky, history.

Outdoors & Nature / Inspiration

Icons of Loss and Grace: Moments from the Natural World by Susan Hanson, illustrated by Melanie Fain (Texas Tech University Press) is a book of small things noticed.

It is through brief moments in our lives that the spiritual most often com­municates itself. Fleeting as they are, these small encounters with the "familiar wild" – tit mice at a window feeder, a butterfly caught in a spider's web, gaillardia in full bloom – instruct us in dealing with change and loss. They are the icons that point not so much to answers, but to a way of living.

Icons of Loss and Grace shows us this way of seeing the world – as an undivided whole of the physical and the spiritual – nutritive, healthful. The vision is partial, but all vision is partial, and it is in the pieces, the glimpses, the tastes, that we acquire a sense of the whole. These commonplace moments are most often all we have.

The power of this book lies as much in its moral vision as in the grace and elegance of the writing. A sure eye for telling details and memorable characters, human or wild, combined with deep spiritual vision create moment after moment of intense, clarifying wonder. Few writers have drawn so much strength and wisdom from the natural world, or shared it with such elegance and grace. – John A. Tallmadge, author of Meeting the Tree of Life: A Teachers’ Path

Whatever gives rise to the world, gives rise to us, each in his or her own skin. . . . In words laid down as carefully and handsomely as stones in a wall, Susan Hanson records half a lifetime of watching this elusive power at work . . , in the wilderness nearby, in a bird on the windowsill, a breath of wind, a heartbeat, a seed. – Scott Russell Sanders, author of Hunting for Hope and The Force of Spirit

I find myself dazzled by the humble, soft-spoken wisdom of this author . . . These gem­like essays are rooted in local and regional experience, and yet they . . . explore the same deep and insurmountable questions that challenge nature writers everywhere in the world. . . . Susan Hanson's words are invariably prescient and beautiful. – Scott Slovic, editor of Getting Over the Color Green: Contemporary Environmental Literature of the Southwest

Written as reflections, rather than full-blown arguments, Icons of Loss and Grace offers no final resolution to the questions it presents. Yet in these essays, written by Susan Hanson, lecturer in English at Texas State University and lay Episcopal chap­lain, we may recognize that delight and sorrow are soul mates, that loss and redemption are a part of the same sacred ground, and that pain can evolve into grace.

Outdoors & Nature / Birds

Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas edited by Wayne R. Petersen & W. Roger Meservey, illustrated by John Sill (Natural History of New England Series: Mass Audubon, University of Massachusetts Press)

In 1974 the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife launched a statewide five-year survey to map the distribution of the breeding birds of the Commonwealth – the first such comprehensive effort in North America. During this period hundreds of volunteers spent countless hours in the field, ultimately confirm­ing 198 breeding species.

Complied by Wayne R. Petersen, Field Ornithologist with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and W. Roger Meservey, biology teacher at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas is the published record of that survey. It contains distribution maps showing "possible," "probable," or "confirmed" breeding records for Massachusetts' nesting species on a grid of 989 blocks. The Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas also contains:

  • Full-page accounts for all species "confirmed" during the Atlas period including historical perspective, relative abundance, habitat, seasonal schedule, song, nest and egg descriptions, clutch size, egg dates, number of broods, and other pertinent details
  • A set of eight transparent overlay maps allowing users to correlate key environmental factors with the distribution of nesting species
  • Full-color portraits of all 198 "confirmed" species by award-winning nature artists John Sill and Barry W. Van Dusen
  • Introductory sections describing the Atlas survey methodology and discussing key aspects of breeding bird distribution in Massachusetts
  • An appendix describing bird species known to breed in Massachusetts before and/or after, but not during, the Atlas period

This volume is an indispensable baseline record essential for creating a viable conservation strategy for Massachusetts' breeding birds. It's also without a doubt the most brilliantly illustrated breeding bird atlas ever produced. – Gerard A. Bertrand, Chair of BirdLife International and President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Audubon Society

Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas provides in an accessible format a baseline record against which changes in the status of Massachusetts breeding birds can be measured. In addition, it is a handsomely illustrated and informative work that anyone with an interest in birds would want to own.

Parenting / Performing Arts

Your Musical Child: Getting Kids Inspired and Playing for Keeps by Jessica Baron Turner (String Letter Publishing, Hal Leonard)

What makes children fall in love with music? How does musical ability develop? How can parents select an appropriate instrument for their children? Why do children find practicing so challenging and what can parents do to help? What makes children want to stop playing their instruments? How can parents keep children feeling excited about learning to make music?

The answers to these questions and more can be found in Your Musical Child, a guidebook written by Jessica Baron Turner, music educator and child development specialist.

Your Musical Child supports parents' creative potential by guiding them along the path of musical parenting with an adventurous and artistic spirit. In an easy-to­read format, the book provides information and suggestions readers can use to recognize developmental milestones and opportunities such as hearing and other perceptual abilities, musical awareness, pitch, rhythmic and instrumental skill development, all starting from a very early age. The section on learning styles will help parents understand their children's strengths and challenges as music students, offering suggestions and recommendations for choosing teachers, music programs, and methodologies that will be a "good fit" for students with particular learning styles. In the question and answer section of the book, readers will enjoy many rich slices of reality served up in testimonies from other parents who share their stories and dilemmas, examine ideas, and seek new strategies for helping their kids learn to love making music.

In addition, Your Musical Child examines topics such as pregnancy and music, cultivating talent and aiming for success, planning children's musical educations, understanding learning disabilities and sensory integration disorders, selecting the proper instruments for specific children, developing the ability to sing in tune, and preparing kids to perform confidently. The book also helps parents take a pragmatic look at their children's dreams of fame and fortune.

This book will help you find a new relationship with your child, and perhaps, yourself. It's never too late. – Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

In a time when children are bottom-line over-tested, over-assessed and over-scheduled, Jessica Baron Turner provides an inspiring and practical musical antidote in Your Musical Child... It makes me wish I were six and just beginning the violin, with my mom holding Turner's book in her hands. – Eric Booth, Education Faculty of Juilliard, Tanglewood and The Kennedy Center National Arts in Education Leader

Your Musical Child is intended to help all children blossom into young musicians who feel comfortable singing and playing music at gatherings, performing in school musicals and talent shows, joining the school choir, orchestra or band or forming their own musical groups outside of school. The positive messages, achievable recommendations, and reliable resources give parents what they need to help their children get the most out of making music.

Parenting & Families / Social Sciences

Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School by Michael Bamberger (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Pennsbury High is a middle-class American high school, ordinary in every way except one: for over thirty years, its prom has been the biggest ticket in town. Pennsbury High’s spring dance is considered one of "America's best legacies." On prom night, thousands of locals take a leave from suburbia and line the school sidewalks to watch the prom-goers parade by in cement mixers, on dogsleds, on floats. With DJs and hypnotists and elaborate themes, each prom is bigger than the last. In the process, Wonderland uses the story of a prom to paint a portrait of life in contemporary America. Michael Bamberger, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, introduces us to an extraordinary group of everyday kids.

Bamberger says, "The book is about ritual, how these kids crave it, and how they yearn for a way of life most people assume to be dead. Just a few years after Monica and Bill and the invention of the phrase "hooking up," the kids in Wonderland – the kids at Pennsbury – are here to say they want courtship. They want Norman Rockwell. They want what their grandparents had."

From the planning stages in September to the big night in May, Wonderland follows the students, parents, teachers and neighbors of Pennsbury High through a school year charged with all the drama of adolescence. We meet teachers and parents trying to show their kids the way, many of them still looking for a path of their own. We meet Matt, who goes from class clown to senior class president. We meet Harry, a senior with cerebral palsy who dreams of the popularity that will come if he can only arrive at the prom in the time machine from Back to the Future. And we meet Stephanie and Rob, who also plan to go to the prom if they can only find a babysitter for their new baby.

Wonderland is the true story of a dance floor and the kids who fill it: a tale of hope, sex, love, and loss. For one year, the students, parents, and teachers of Pennsbury invited writer Michael Bamberger into their classrooms, their homes, their parties, and their dreams.

Bamberger is convinced that Pennsbury is not an isolated case. "The school's way to ordinary is to be doing something radical," he says. "Not only are these kids onto something, I think they're the voice of the nation."

Wonderland is just a wonderful book. There's no better articulation for it. The book has beautiful heart. It is nostalgic in the best way of reminding us that not everything in America has become some bad version of a reality show. It is poignant and at times aching. You root for the kids that populate it, because thanks to Michael Bamberger you know them and care about them and identify with them and yes, even love them. This is a book that is as good as it ever gets. – Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights and A Prayer for the City

A fast, lyrical, astute, uniquely American story, Wonderland is a precious snapshot of America's youth reaching for ritual and meaning in these rapidly changing times.

Wonderland shows that truth really is stranger than fiction, and every bit as moving. The stories of these everyday kids are beautiful, touching, odd and funny – finding their way, struggling with identities, fighting with their parents, falling in love. Heartfelt and inspiring, Wonderland is a fresh report from the front lines of American adolescence, where children long for the ritual of a seemingly vanished world and search after what they've always wanted: hope, meaning, and something to call their own.

Parenting / Religion & Spirituality

Zen Parenting: The Art of Learning What You Already Know by Judith Costello & Jurgen Haver (Robins Lane Press, Gryphon House, Inc.)

There are an overwhelming number of studies, statistics, advice, and opinions on raising children. With each specialist advocating a different strategy; it can be difficult for parents to choose which method to follow. The authors of Zen Parenting believe that in today's complex world there are no one­size-fits-all answers to parents' questions. Because each child, each parent, and each situation is unique, parents must decide on their own what works best for their family. To make these decisions, the authors Judith Costello and Jurgen Haver encourage parents to turn inward, listen to their instincts, and discover the expert hidden within.

Zen Parenting offers guidelines on using the Zen practice of non-judgmental awareness to tap into that inner expert, and cope with the day-to-day chaos of parenting. "Whether the situation is a child with a ‘boo-boo,’ a grocery store tantrum, or a child's poor school work," says Costello, "If we, as parents, learn to pay close attention and release our judgments and expectations, we are practicing an ancient, incredibly useful precept Zen mindfulness. And what does this careful attention do? It helps us tune in to the best, situation-specific response. Zen Parenting is based on complete attention to the beauty, the mystery, and the newness of each present moment," she continues. "...it is a spiritual approach, a good-humored approach, and a forgiving approach."

The book uses a short story format of humorous or touching anecdotes that allow readers to easily grasp and apply the concepts of Zen to their own lives. Each story is followed by sections entitled "The Lesson" and "Living the Lesson." "The Lesson" brings Zen principles to light. "Living the Lesson" provides readers with activities to do on their own or with their children that inspire a Zen way of thinking.

Zen Parenting offers practical insights into using the Zen practice of nonjudgmental awareness to deal with the day-to-day chaos and joy of parenting.

Zen Parenting helps readers become conscious parents, participating fully in every moment. In a world of distractions, the focused attention of Zen can keep parents from missing out on their children's lives, and learn to appreciate every moment of parenthood, both the good and the bad.

Philosophy / Ethics & Morality

Death & Dying: A Reader edited by Thomas A. Shannon (Readings in Bioethics Series: A Sheed & Ward Book, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.) covers the issues biological, medical, interpersonal, historical, legal, ethical, and religious – pertinent to thoughtful reflection related to death and dying.

Edited by Thomas A. Shannon, professor of religion and social ethics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the essays in Death & Dying are written by an interdisciplinary group including medical ethicists, clinicians, and health care administrators. Essays and authors include:

  1. Biology, Consciousness, and the Definition of Death by David DeGrazia
  2. Catholic Teaching on Prolonging Life: Setting the Record Straight by Michael Panicola
  3. Tube Feeding and Advance Progressive Dementia by Stephen G. Post
  4. Secondary and Tertiary Palliative Care in U.S. Hospitals by Charles F. von Gunten
  5. The Oregon Report: Don't Ask, Don't Tell by Kathleen Foley and Herbert Hendin
  6. Responding to Requests for Physician-Assisted Suicide: "These Are Uncharted Waters for Both of Us...." by Paul B. Bascom and Susan W. Tolle
  7. Physician-Assisted Suicide: Ten Questions by Thomas A. Shannon
  8. "I Could Not Give Her Health but I Could Give Her Rest" "It's Over, Debbie" – Anonymous
  9. The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain by Ezekiel J. Emanuel
  10. Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act – Upper House of the States General, The Netherlands, 2000-2001

Shannon's book provides us with an excellent comprehensive view of the issues of death and dying from the biological perspectives of death to palliative care and physician-assisted suicide. The various articles give bioethicists and students of biocthics both a solid foundation for further critical study in this important ethical area and practical guidance on how to approach these issues in a sensitive and judicious manner. – Peter A. Clark, John McShair Chair in Ethics, Saint Joseph’s University

... Shannon has packed a comprehensive course on bioethics into a concise and accessible reader. The essays in this anthology on the contemporary state of death and dying cover the religious, legal, moral, and historical bases with the speed and surefootedness of a seasoned pro, and they bring the tough questions about terminal care and assisted suicide into sharp focus. – Patric McCormick, Professor of Religious Studies, Gonzaga University

Death & Dying explores the issues surrounding death and dying in a comprehensive yet compact, well-written format. Of particular interest is the chapter on the history of euthanasia and discussion of important questions about what is driving our current interest in the topic.

Philosophy

Mind and Causality edited by Alberto Peruzzi (Advances in Consciousness Research Series, V. 55: John Benjamins Publishing Company)

  • Which causal patterns are involved in mental processes?
  • On what mechanisms does the self-organization of cognitive structure rest?
  • Can a naturalistic view account for the basic resources of intentionality, while avoiding the objections to reductive materialism?

Mind and Causality, edited by Alberto Peruzzi, University of Florence, in a collection of essays, explores the developmental, phenomenological and biological aspects linking mind and causality and provides a proposal regarding fine-tuning cognition with bodily dynamics.

The notion of causality has received the attention of scientists and philosophers for many years. Recent advances in the neurosciences and in the physics of "complex systems" as well as in the philosophical perspective of "naturalization" of knowledge, have produced subtle but relevant changes at the juncture of causality and the mind. The advances in these fields may radically affect the traditional landscapes of determinism versus indeterminism, monism versus dualism, top-down versus bottom-up architecture, local versus wholistic approaches and linear versus non-linear system dynamics.

As the discussion of causality in the theories of mind is currently undergoing rapid changes, it is an appropriate to discuss the meaning of changes in recent theories in physics, biology and cognitive science. How do they affect our views of cause-effect relationships, in particular with regard to the structure, the genesis and the nature of "minds"?

Mind and Causality originates from a conference entitled "Mind and Causality", or­ganized by the Department of Psychology, University of Florence, in October 2001 in Florence, Italy. Together with the theoretical, experimental and philosophical interest of the talks, the warm and collaborative atmosphere among the participants lasted well beyond the span of the Conference and led to an enlargement of the discussion to a wider range of researchers on the same subject.

Rather than providing a historical reconstruction of the pathways that con­verge into the present, multi-faceted, debate on causality, Mind and Causality faces some of the main issues in the recent literature concerning causality and mind. The set of papers covers a good part of the spectrum of present methodological perspectives and thus provides a collectively critical survey of the state of the art. Each paper suggests arguments that point at the need of taking simultaneously into account various approaches, in order to identify and evaluate their points of convergence and divergence.

The paper by Brian Hopkins ("Causality and development: Past, present and future") faces issues about the ontogenesis of mind and the mechanisms that create the changes observed. The task of explaining such changes is problematic, largely because of the narrow views that have been adopted about what constitutes causality in a developmental context. After a short overview of the historical background of what constitutes causality in development, Hopkins suggests that dynamical systems thinking can offer general guidelines for overcoming this problem. The chances offered by a dynamical systems approach are also explored in Riccardo Luccio and Donata Milloni's contribution ("Perception of causality: A dynamical analysis"). Luccio and Milloni emphasize that experimental phenomenology, mainly in the vein of Gestalt psychology, has exhibited several instances of direct perception of causality. They argue that many of them, from the so-called launch effect to the tunnel effect and Spizzo's effect, manifest a characteristic run, with transitions from one perceptual pattern to another, that could be explained at best in terms of non-linear dynamics. In Luccio and Milloni's view, synergetics appears a particularly apt tool to build up a consistent interpretation of such dynamics.

The paper by Andy Clark ("Embodiment and the philosophy of mind") provides a broad philosophical perspective centered on the notion of "embodiment", in contrast to both Cartesian dualism and contemporary reductionism. Against the persisting idea that the task of mind is that of constructing an inner model of the world, composed of representations that can then be manipulated in algorithmic way, Clark argues for a different picture of the mind as an interwoven system, incorporating elements of brain, body and world.

The phenomenological approach developed by Maurice Merleau-Ponty and its connection with the methods of present-day psychology are the subject of Antonella Lucarelli's paper ("Causes and motivations: Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology confronts with psychological studies"). It focuses on Merleau-Ponty's objections to the assumption of an autonomous subject, independent from either biology or culture, as well as to the primacy of rational consciousness in the structure of mind. Psychical causality cannot be investigated apart from bodily activity, which moulds the whole phenomenal field.

Rather than from an updated phenomenology of embodied meanings, the paper by Sandro Nannini addresses the question of naturalization in the light of contemporary philosophy of mind ("Mental causation and intentionality in a mind naturalising theory"). Nannini discusses various kinds of criticism directed towards the naturalization of mind.

From a different perspective, Luca Malatesti ("Knowing what it is like and knowing how") deals with strictly related issues of philosophy of mind, focusing on the so-called knowledge argument, by means of which Frank Jackson intended to reject physicalism. This argument exploits the intuition that by having color experiences, we know what it is like to have these mental states, and in fact Jackson takes this knowledge to be about features of color experiences that a complete scientific knowledge cannot accommodate.

The contribution by Ian Tattersall ("Human cognition: An evolutionary perspective") allows readers to integrate the approaches to nat­uralization of mind so far discussed (and the difficulties they face in dealing with causality) with a phylogenetic analysis of the cognitive resources achieved by Homo sapiens. It is our symbolic cognition above all else that, as far as we know, distinguishes our species from every other organism that has ever lived. Thus, Tattersall deals with questions such as: When did our precursors acquire this unprecedented attribute? How did they move from a non-symbolic to a symbolic state of consciousness? Examination of our fossil and archaeological records suggests that this transition was not a matter of gradual honing by evolution over millions of years.

Finally, editor Peruzzi’s contribution ("Causality in the texture of mind") deals with general philosophical issues about causality in connection with models of the mind. Rather than providing a survey of the literature, it identifies a few key points in the debate opposing the computational model of mind, based on high-level information processing, to models of reduction and emergence.

While not synchronized with the results of experimental research, theories of mind are largely dependent on the role that causality is assigned in explaining mental properties. Since there is more than one idea of causality, Peruzzi examines some differences among theories of mind arising from the appeal to one idea rather than to another. Such an examination leads to a comparison of different methods of explanation in the cognitive sciences. In particular, the relation­ships between semantic competence and sensory-motor systems are exploited as a source of relevant information. Peruzzi suggests a properly naturalistic stance as being able to avoid the independence of the formal from the material as well as the need of appealing to global wholism. As the non-linear character of strongly coupled dynamical systems does not support "physicalistic" reductionism, so the emergence of macro-patterns of perception and action does not imply dispensing with physics.

By considering the developmental, phenomenological and biological aspects linking mind and causality, Mind and Causality offers a state-of-the art theoretical proposal emphasising the fine-tuning of cognition with the complexity of bodily dynamics. In this regard, special emphasis is, once again, centered on dynamical systems. The book will be of interest to scientists, especially neuroscientists and physicists, as well as to philosophers.

Politics

The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money by Dan Briody (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) During the 2000 vice presidential debate, when Dick Cheney was asked about his financial success as Halliburton’s CEO, he responded that the government had played no role in it. But even Cheney himself couldn’t really believe that.

Since President George W. Bush bombed Baghdad one year ago, practically everyone in America has come to know the names of a Texas-oil field company Halliburton and its contracting subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR). Headed by Cheney from 1995 to 2000, when he left to run for Vice President, Halliburton has recently sparked controversy for its business practices in Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia, Somalia, Iran, Libya, and Nigeria. KBR holds not only a mammoth contract to provide logistical support for the Army anywhere it needs help until 2010, but also a separate, non-competitive contract to continue rebuilding the Balkans and an additional contract to restore Iraq's oil infrastructure – a lucrative deal that has already cost the U.S. government nearly $2 billion.

How did Halliburton get into this position to profit from the war? What is Cheney's connection to a company accused of overcharging the U.S. government for gas in Iraq – by $61 million, in total? Award-winning business reporter, Dan Briody exposed the covert political ties and inner-workings of the Carlyle Group in his breakthrough bestseller, The Iron Triangle. Now Briody reveals the history and behind-the-scenes political maneuvering of the world's largest oil-field services firm in The Halliburton Agenda. In this book, Halliburton and KBR form the foundation of an intriguing story of cronyism and conflict of interest.
Having been a lifelong public servant with no business experience, Cheney was hired by Halliburton in 1995 because of his understanding of the nation’s political tendencies and his extensive contacts both on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon. And he delivered on that expectation. . . . [Halliburton] is the embodiment of the Iron Triangle, the nexus of the government, military, and big business that President Eisenhower warned America about in his farewell speech. . . . Halliburton has transcended its existence as an unromantic provider of oil-well cementing and Army logistics support to become a political chess piece in a match that won’t be decided until November 2004. – From the Prologue

Briody investigates:

  • A pattern of cost overages by the company dating as far back as World War II and extending forward through Vietnam, Somalia, and Bosnia.
  • How Halliburton has been doing business with terrorist states such as Libya and Iran for decades – and why the company continues to do so.
  • The questionable legality of the U.S. government’s contracts with Halliburton subsidiary KBR, including LOGCAP – the government’s contract to provide logistical support to the Army – and the contract for the work in rebuilding Iraq’s oil infrastructure.
  • Why the company paid a $2.4 million bribe to a Nigerian tax official, acquired $4.4 billion of asbestos liability, and changed its accounting procedures without notifying its shareholders – an action that has led to an SEC investigation.
  • The current allegations against Halliburton for overcharging the U.S. government for gas in Iraq.
  • Halliburton's practice of overstaffing projects by as much as 85 percent in the Balkans, with a look at huge camps in Bosnia and Somalia, where some of the cash payments to local day workers ended up in the hands of a top aide to Mohammed Farah Aideed – the man American soldiers were there to remove.

As Briody tells it, Halliburton owes its current fortune to the politicking and war profiteering legacy of Herman and George Brown. The Halliburton Agenda tells the story of the brothers Brown, who transformed a humble road-building business in rural Texas into a formidable military contractor, now indispensable to the U.S. Army. The machinations begin with Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was working inside Washington for Brown & Root two decades before he won a seat in the Oval Office. From 1937, when Congressman Johnson gave Brown & Root the edge on a $27 million federal contract for constructing a dam, through the Vietnam War, when President Johnson ensured Brown & Root a hefty cut of $2 billion worth of military construction work, the Browns laid the foundation for Halliburton's future of close, relationships with powerful politicians, culminating with the company's current connection to Dick Cheney.

The Halliburton Agenda untangles a complex web of political power plays and deceptive deals – revealing how a company with the right connections can finesse its way to success. More than a tale of corporate corruption with political twists, Briody shows how government contracting has evolved since World War II, and why the military has come to embrace the privatization trend. "KBR is essentially the newest branch of the United States military," Briody attests. Certain to provoke debates, The Halliburton Agenda will also raise concerns about the commingling of government, the military, and big business – particularly in the midst of a war on terrorism and an election year.

Politics

Fanatics and Fools: The Game Plan for Winning Back America [UNABRIDGED]
by Arianna Huffington
(HighBridge, Penguin Audiobooks) 10 ½ hours on 6 cassettes

Fanatics and Fools: The Game Plan for Winning Back America [UNABRIDGED]
by Arianna Huffington (HighBridge, Penguin Audiobooks) 10 ½ hours on 8 compact disks

Fanatics and Fools: The Game Plan for Winning Back America by Arianna Huffington (Miramax)

As America’s leaders fight pre-emptive wars abroad and ordinary Americans fight to keep their heads above water at home, Arianna Huffington, national syndicated columnist, offers a no-holds-barred account of where the United States stands and a vision of where we should be headed.

Taking aim at the “fanatics” in the Bush White House and the “fools” in the Democratic opposition, in Fanatics and Fools the best-selling author of Pigs at the Trough paints a scathing picture of our contemporary political landscape—peopled with scoundrels and cowards, and awash in the constant tow of dirty money.

The book doesn’t stop there. Over the course of her run for governor of California, Huffington learned that criticism and outrage are not enough. She lays out her game plan for winning back America from our not-so-compassionately-conservative president, now in the grip of right-wing radicals like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and John Ashcroft. With the 2004 election approaching, Huffington sees fire in the ashes of the Democratic Party and reason for hope that this can be the year that the people take back control of their government and their country.

Capping a decade-long transformation from classic conservative to social progressive, Huffington effectively mounts an assault on both ruling parties and firmly rebukes any who would still challenge the seriousness of her political ambitions. – Publishers Weekly
Read this if you care about the future of our country. – Bill Moyers
Huffington marks out a path between fanatics and fools that should guide and energize rational citizens of the great republic. – Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
This book belongs on every bookshelf in America—right next to mine. – Al Franken

Fearless, funny, sometimes to excess, in command of the facts, and passionate, Huffington offers not just a chapter-and-verse diagnosis of the fanaticism that drives the Bush White House but a vision of New Responsibility for rebuilding our broken democracy. If readers want to know what they can do to restore America to the promise and greatness envisioned by our great leaders, from Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt to FDR and Bobby Kennedy, Fanatics and Fools is strongly suggested reading (or listening on the commute).

Politics

Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America by Robert B. Reich (Alfred A. Knopf)

The radical conservative assault on America is well underway. Radcons must be met head-on by a bold and intelligent liberalism founded upon a love of America and grounded in public morality and common sense. We can – and will – win the battle for America because we better represent true American ideals. What's more, we have reason on our side, which is more than the Radcons can honestly claim. But idealism and reason bring us only halfway there. Winning back America will depend also on our organization, our passion and our courage. – excerpt from book

From Robert B. Reich – believer in American democracy, and public servant in both Democratic mid Republican administrations – an urgent call to liberals to reclaim their political clout. Reason is a guide to derailing what he sees as the mounting threat to American liberty, prosperity, and security posed by the radical conservatives – Radcons, as he calls them – whose agenda has dominated public discourse and radically affected government action since the election, by a minority vote, of George W. Bush.

According to Reich, University Professor at Brandeis University and Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis’s Heller Graduate School, it is an agenda that turns American tradition upside down – embracing "preemptive" war, disrupting essential alliances, reacting to terrorism by weakening our civil liberties, distorting our economy by endowing the rich with tax breaks while cutting social services, attempting to hunt down immorality in bedrooms rather than in boardrooms, where corporate malfeasance is still not legally prevented from chomping away at ordinary American earnings.

  • Reich offers a plan for defeating this politics of fear and favor – whose defining gesture is to equate dissent with treason – and for reinstating the traditional Ameri­can politics of reason. He provides answers to the barrage of accusa­tions (of communism, of elitism, of anti-Americanism) with which Radcons have been pummeling liberals for at least two decades. He analyzes the propaganda savvy, the commitment, and the organization of the Radcons, and what liberals can learn from each.

We've got Reason, they've got Treason. We've got Reich, they've got Coulter. We win. A brilliant and passionately argued book. Read it. – Al Franken

No deceptive fog of political hypocrisy can withstand Robert B. Reich's withering eye. He calls to a people's conscience and commitment. Everyone who cares about America's future should read this book. – David K. Shipler

Robert B. Reich has a gift for demonstrating the com­pelling rationality of his progressive politics with lucidity and panache. Reason should be required reading for all our political decision makers. – Mario M. Cuomo

Reason is Robert Reich's passionate, comprehensive argument against the distortions that the far right is bringing to American political discourse. Reich documents his assertion that the liberals will win the battle for America with the results of recent opinion polls – providing a powerful counterpunch to the right's perceptions.

Politics

The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Will Elect the Next American President by Jorge Ramos (Rayo, HarperCollinsPublishers)

Nearly 40 million strong and growing, Latinos are playing an active, prominent role in shaping the political landscape of the United States. Will the voters who won Florida and the White House for George W. Bush in 2000 repeat history for the Republicans in 2004? Or, will the Latino vote sway the outcome in favor of Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry?

The anchor of Noticiero Univision for over l6 years, Jorge Ramos recently sat down with Kerry to ask the Senator some hard questions about issues important to Hispanic immigrants and citizens. "The debates over the war on terrorism and the state of the economy could certainly influence Hispanic voters next year," Ramos reflects. "But those looking forward – far forward – know that the true change taking place in this country has nothing to do with terrorism, or the economy, or the elections of 2004, 2008, or 2016. It has to do with the unprecedented growth and influence of the Latino community.

Drawing on in-depth interviews with Latino political luminaries, as well as penetrating conversations with a striking diversity of Hispanic men and women living across the United States, The Latino Wave discusses who Latinos are and why they are different from any immigrant group in America's history.

Why are Latinos different? Latinos have maintained close ties with their countries of origin through constant migration, the close geographic proximity of Latin America, and technological advances such as cell phones, e-mail, and supersonic jets, which form a permanent bridge, Ramos observes. Their rapid growth through high birth rates and immigration allows cultural patterns to be constantly reinforced, instead of gradually disappearing, as happened with the European immigrants who preceded them. ... It is this connection with our Ibero­American past and present that sustains and nourishes the Latino community in the United States. So it is not enough for a politician to stammer out a few words in Spanish, dress like a mariachi, and offer us tacos and mojitos in order to get our vote. Rather, it is knowing where we come from, what makes us different, what our problems and needs are, and how we are changing the face of the country.

Among many timely issues, The Latino Wave explores:

  • The myriad challenges of predicting and securing the Latino vote.
  • The Latino definition of American patriotism, the appeal of enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces for Latino youths.
  • Complicated matters of differences among Latinos – Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and others.
  • How George W. Bush got a winning edge on the 2000 Presidential Election in Florida with the help of Spanish-language television and a secret weapon: his nephew, George P. Bush, a young man with excellent odds of becoming the first Latino President of the United States.
  • The two issues of utmost importance to the Latino community – education and the economy – along with serious immigration reform.

Making a compelling case for the decisive impact of Latinos on not only the next Presidential election, but every aspect of U.S. politics and government for the rest of this century, The Latino Wave is a must-read-and-heed book for all Americans.

Politics / Global

Japan and the Politics of Techno-Globalism by Gregory P. Corning (M. E. Sharpe) examines the politics of opening publicly subsidized Research and Development (R&D) programs to foreign participation. It provides a useful overview of the rules on foreign access to publicly subsidized RECD programs in Japan, Europe, and the United States and an empirical analysis of the politics underlying the opening of Japanese programs to foreign participation.

Gregory P. Corning, Professor, Political Science Department, Santa Clara University, in Japan and the Politics of Techno-Globalism challenges major theories of Japan's political economy by arguing that complementary technological capabilities have often been more important in explaining Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)'s opening of research programs to foreign participation than foreign pressure, bureaucratic politics, or any ideological drive to access Western technology. He also presents a new perspective on the ministry's efforts to build a niche in more open and flexible industrial policies following the meager results of several high-profile R&D projects in the 1980s. This is the first major study to address the impact on Japanese technology policy of both the country's long-term economic downturn and the administrative reorganization of the government in 2001.

The arguments in Japan and the Politics of Techno-Globalism may be summarized as follows. The initial negotiations concerning the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Initiative (IMS), and Real World Computing (RWC) suggest that bureaucratic politics and techno-national ideology were not very important in driving the opening of these programs. The attempt to nurture university-industry collaboration that began in the 1980s helped to mitigate conflicts with the MESC over MITI's recruitment of university researchers for its large­scale projects. Factors such as the freedom of foreign partners to choose their research themes, the distribution of research at members' own labs, and changes in intellectual property rules all reduced concerns about Japanese techno-nationalism.

With rising criticism of Japan's "free-ride" in basic research during the bubble economy of the late 1980s, foreign pressure played a key role in pushing MITI to open its research programs. There is, however, no simple relationship between the application of foreign pressure and the way MITI opened projects. In the HFSP, the ministry ignored foreign preferences and pushed ahead with its own priorities. In RWC, it opened a project of little interest to the West. And in IMS, it responded directly to foreign efforts to harness complementary technological skills. Although less apparent at the outset of the RWC program, attempts to leverage the complementary capabilities of partners from different countries have often encouraged internationalization.

Beyond the HFSP and IMS programs, complementary capabilities have played an important part in attracting foreign partners to projects in areas such as aerospace, new materials, micromachines, and energy technologies. In these instances, MITI's techno-globalism can be understood as a response to the same forces driving the internationalization of corporate R&D and publicly subsidized research programs throughout the triad. Nonetheless, MITI's renewed promotion of the semiconductor industry since the mid-1990s has been interpreted by many as evidence of the ministry's continued techno-nationalism. It is true that the Association of Super-Advanced Electronics Technologies (ASET) and Millennium Research for Advanced Information Technology (MIRAI) semiconductor projects illustrate the limits of techno-globalism in certain technologies, but these and many other semiconductor consortia throughout the triad have been drawn into significant international collaboration.

Western analysts have tended to dismiss the opportunities offered by MITI's techno-globalism because of rigid assumptions about the nature of Japanese industrial policy. After the disappointing results of several frontier research initiatives during the 1980s, MITI moved away from a top-down model of industrial policy and experimented with more flexible programs that provided a better complement to the needs and interests of firms. Although the funding for these programs was very small in comparison to the R&D budgets of member firms, the subsidies were still important in supporting basic research that was being cut from corporate budgets during the slow economy of the 1990s. Moreover, many of these programs offered foreign participants nondiscriminatory terms for collaboration, funding, and sharing of results.

With the dominance of American firms in the information and telecommunications sectors, however, there is now much less urgency in the United States about accessing Japanese technology. And while METI continues to open national research programs in the absence of foreign pressure, it has not proposed any more innovative collaborations such as the HFSP and IMS. Today, discussions about collaboration in industrial technology continue but with a much lower profile. In 2000, for example, the Joint U.S.-Japan Dialogue Group – a bilateral committee of distinguished scientists from industry and academia – recognized that the possibility for leveraging complemen­tary capabilities still exists in several areas including energy, environmental technology, and nanotechnology. To make these opportunities more attractive to the West, however, Japan needs to make greater progress in strengthening its R&D infrastructure.

The struggle to revitalize the Japanese science and technology system began in the mid-1990s with a range of initiatives including breaking down barriers to collaboration among government, academia, and industry and requiring more rigorous external evaluations of government projects. Revitalization initiatives became even more focused with the launch of the Second Science and Technology Basic Plan and the administrative reform of government that reorganized the science and technology bureaucracy in 2001. The Second Basic Plan takes a more strategic view of research than the First Plan by establishing four priority themes for funding: life sciences, information and communications technology, environmental technology, and nanotechnology. Parts of this agenda dovetail nicely with themes identified by the Joint Dialogue Group as most promising for international collaboration. Furthermore, one of the major goals of the administrative reform of MITI has been to make the research system under METI more responsive to the needs of industry by transforming the Agency for Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) into a quasi-private institution with greater operational and financial independence. The new AIST has already begun to recruit foreign researchers to lead research projects, and to hold symposia overseas to promote joint research with foreign firms. Such attempts to obtain greater benefits from publicly sponsored research present the West with its best opportunity to engage Japan where opening provides a practical and politically expedient response to forces globalizing research and development throughout the triad.

Perhaps the most important obstacle to increased opening and industrial collaboration with Western partners is an apparent weakening of the Japanese government's commitment to invest in basic research with applications beyond a five-year time horizon. Frustrated by more than a decade of anemic growth, the government seems to be looking for a quick technological fix for the nation's economic woes. In 2003, Japan launched the government-wide R&D Project for Economic Revitalization which includes $489 million in subsidies for projects that are likely to create new markets within three years. METI initiated forty-two projects with a total FY 2003 budget of $359 million in the four fields established by the Second Basic Plan. With their focused goals and short time horizons, many of these projects fund work conducted by small groups of firms or even individual firms. Although the move to shorter and more applied projects could make identifying appropriate foreign partners easier, it seems more likely to reduce the number of opportunities for international collaboration.

With the trend toward more open forms of government technology promotion throughout the triad, METI's techno-globalism is by no means exceptional. Although METI programs offer subsidized participation to nondomiciled foreign firms, the ministry has not adopted formal guidelines on foreign access to research programs and its research budget, while grow­ing, is smaller than that for comparable funding agencies in the United States and the European Union. In short, the opening of METI research programs is only a very small step in the opening of Japan's national system of innovation. Yet, attributing this opening to techno-national ideology marginalizes the importance of programs that often present foreign firms and universities with meaningful, nondiscriminatory research opportunities.

Japan and the Politics of Techno-Globalism is an extended and richly enhanced dissertation, throughly analyzing the progress and difficulties in Japan’s approach to publicly supported research and development in the recent past with opening to outside participation.

Politics / Terrorism

Getting Away With Murder: The Real Story Behind American Taliban John Walker Lindh And What the U.S. Goverment Had to Hide by Richard D. Mahoney (Arcade Publishing)

In his new book, Getting Away With Murder, Richard Mahoney raises the timely and explosive question: Did the Bush admin­istration's obsession with Middle East oil blind it to the growing terrorist threat to the United States posed by Al Qaeda, despite pointed warnings by counter­terrorism expert Richard Clarke and his colleague, FBI counter-terrorism chief John Patrick O'Neill?

In February and March 2001, two full years before the U.S. invaded Iraq, the Bush administration's Energy Task Force met in secret to develop the case for a multi-front resource war, the concept of which Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz had set forth nine years earlier. Anthony Cordesman, a senior analyst informally advising Cheney's task force, would later write: we will go to war because Saddam sits at the center of a region with more than 60% of the world's oil reserves.

While investigating the trial of twenty-year-old American Taliban John Walker Lindh, Mahoney, an expert on international economics and foreign policy, discovered that Lindh's defense attorneys had uncovered evidence of the Bush administration's dealings with the Taliban, in flagrant violation of the 1999 Executive Order that prohibited transactions of any kind with them.

In fact, in March 2001 the administration made overtures to the Taliban to facilitate the building of a major oil-gas pipeline through Afghanistan. That same month, the Taliban sent a delegation to Washington D.C. Three months later, the administration made a $43 million "drug eradication" payment to Mullah Omar in Kabul. The $43 million was, to put it plainly, a bribe. In July, Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca told her Taliban counterpart: “Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we will bury you under a carpet of bombs!”

In other words, at the same time that Lindh slipped into Afghanistan to join the Taliban, the Bush administration was itself dealing with the enemy. If Lindh was guilty, his lawyers reasoned, then so was the Bush administration. Suddenly, only hours before the Lindh trial was to begin, President Bush ordered the government to cut Lindh a plea deal. The prosecution dropped nine of the ten counts, and Lindh agreed to serve a seventeen-year sentence in exchange for maintaining absolute silence – a gag order that extended to everyone involved in the case.

In researching Getting Away With Murder, Mahoney traveled untold miles to Afghanistan, Pakistan, San Francisco, Alabama, and Washington, D.C. to trace the lives of three Americans whose destinies came together: Lindh, CIA paramilitary agent Johnny Micheal Spann, and counter-terrorism expert John Patrick O'Neill. The book also examines how America itself enabled the rise of terrorism by, a generation before, in the Afghan war, conspiring to arm a rabble of Islamic funda­mentalists in order to eviscerate the Soviet Red Army in Afghanistan.

This tale of death, torture, subterfuge, heroism, secret payoffs, and international politics gone awry is meticulously documented. Getting Away With Murder is as shocking as it is revealing.

Psychology / Health, Mind & Body / Mental Health

Clinical Manual of Anxiety Disorders edited by Dan J. Stein (American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.)

Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent, persistent, disabling, and costly of psychiatric disorders.

Clinical Manual of Anxiety Disorders covers all of the major anxiety disorders, with integrated contributions from psychopharmacologists and psychotherapists – all in one compact work written for busy clinicians. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent of psychiatric disorders and account for a significant proportion of their costs. Fortunately, there have been major advances in understanding and treating these condi­tions.

In Clinical Manual of Anxiety Disorders 16 experts summarize and synthesize recent work on the diagnosis, assessment (including relevant rating scales), pharmacotherapy, and psychotherapy of anxiety disorders.

Chapters cover:

  • Panic disorder and agoraphobia
  • Specific phobia
  • Social phobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Dr. Stein and colleagues are to be congratulated for putting together such a helpful and user-friendly treatment manual. The chapters are well organized and present state-of-the-art information for busy clinicians, including tips for assessment, discussion of risk factors and etiology, and treatment algorithms. I recommend this manual highly. – Donald W. Black, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City

Clinicians will find Clinical Manual of Anxiety Disorders useful in obtaining successful outcomes using these current tools for assessment and intervention. Busy residents and psychiatrists in active clinical practice, psycholo­gists, primary care practitioners, and other mental health professionals will find this clinical manual – with its integrated approach to pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy – a valuable tool in their everyday practices.

Psychology / Gerontology

Gay and Lesbian Aging: Research and Future Directions edited by Gilbert Herdt & Brian De Vries (Springer Publishing Company) The year 2003 marked the 30th anniversary of the landmark ‘declassification’ of homosexuality as a crime by the American Psychiatric Association – a watershed in the lives of gays and lesbians in the United States. For the first time in history, a generation of self-identified lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals are approaching retirement. Gay and Lesbian Aging brings to the forefront important issues concerning the health, mental health, and special social service needs of this population and emphasizes the need for more research on aging sexual minorities.

Gay and Lesbian Aging marks an interesting coming of age of an area of research; at the same time, it necessarily suffers from some of the same limitations of the general literature on gay and lesbian aging, namely, the modest presentation of issues and research on aging lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals. The absence of research in these areas, both in the literature in general and in this book in particular, makes an important statement of voices still unheard.

Gay and Lesbian Aging is organized into three areas. The first sets the stage by addressing issues of aging for lesbians and gay men, and there are three chapters.

The first chapter is written by Brian de Vries and John A. Blando, a gerontologist and coeditor of this volume and aclinical psychologist, respectively. They review what is known about the social context of gay and lesbian aging and the way in which it is studied. This chapter is an assemblage of empirical research of older lesbians and gay men, and its goal is the elucidation of the particular questions posed in the study of gay and lesbian elders that may have relevance for the study of heterosexual elders as well.

The second chapter is by Judith Barker, an anthropologist, who focuses her writing on the situation of women, aged 65 and above. Barker points out that, given that 75% of all older persons in society are women, older LGBT persons are likely to be lesbians rather than gay men. Notwithstanding these dramatic differences in number, there exist very few published reports about the experiences of older lesbians. Barker summarizes this literature and offers implications for future work on several dimensions: social support, family relations, health, economics and occupation, housing, and access to services.

The final chapter in this section, by E. Michael Gorman and Keith Nelson, both social workers and public health scientists, addresses the particular issue of HIV/AIDS for older gay and bisexual men. The lesbian and especially the gay communities have suffered greatly under the impact of AIDS and have shouldered the burden of care and the work of advocacy. Gorman and Nelson reflect on some of the current HIV/AIDS challenges facing gay and bisexual men in the middle and later years and offer insight into the strengths and resilience by which this cohort of men may be character­ized.

Section 2, the largest of the three sections of Gay and Lesbian Aging, presents accounts of empirical research into the myriad issues of aging for lesbians and gay men. There are six chapters in this section, represent­ing ethnographic qualitative research as well as  quantitative research.

The first chapter, authored by Robert Kertzner, Ilan Meyer, and Curtis Dolezal, psychiatrists, uses quantitative research in its analysis of the psychological well-being in middle and later life of gay, heterosexual, and bisexual men over the age of 40. The authors draw their data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States and test a multidimensional model of psychological well-being.

The second chapter of this section is written by Todd Rawls, a sociologist, who similarly adopts a quantitative approach. Rawls uses data from the Urban Men's Health Study, a probabilistic sample of men who have sex with men in the metropolitan communities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. Those over the age of 50 are the focus of these analyses, which concentrate on degrees of sexual identity disclosure and the relationship of disclosure to indicators of mental health and well-being.

Andrew Hostetler, a developmental psychologist, authors the sec­tion's third chapter, on the well-being of middle-aged and older single gay men. Hostetler offers an ecologically grounded analysis of well­being using both quantitative and qualitative methods. In his analysis, Hostetler considers the barriers single men encounter and the resources at their disposal in their efforts to "age successfully." He further examines the meaning and experience of community, particularly the manifestation of chosen families in the lives of gay men who may be single by circumstance or by choice.

The fourth chapter of this section is by Jacqueline S. Weinstock, a developmental psychologist. In her qualitative study, Weinstock draws upon the historical and developmental experiences of lesbians and identifies three patterns of friends as family, each reflecting a unique valuation of friendship and each of which holds implications for the organization and prioritization of lesbians' other relationships and life choices.

The fifth chapter of this section is written by Bertram Cohler, a life-course psychologist and practicing psychoanalyst, on the topic of sexual desire of middle-aged and older men who seek sex with other men. This ethnographic report, based on several years of participant observation, contrasts both setting and patterns of social interaction of two cohorts of men (older men and younger adults) patronizing bathhouses. Cohler's analyses reveal the culture of the gay bath and the social and sexual spaces of older and younger gay men and their self-definitions and relationship to the "gay community."

Hans Kristiansen, a social anthropologist, contributes the final chapter in this section, exploring the links between relationship history and moral concerns in the lives of older gay men in Norway. Kristiansen situates his research within the broader cultural and historical framework of Norway in the postwar period.

Section 3 of Gay and Lesbian Aging comprises a single chapter, the intent of which is to reconsider some of the issues of aging among gay men and lesbians and to suggest future directions in the study of midlife and older sexual minorities. Douglas Kimmel, a leading psychologist of aging, elaborates on the many reasons it is important to study the processes of aging for midlife and older sexual minorities. Kimmel further reviews central theories and models appropriate for such research, as well as some of the important issues to consider in its conduct – an important series of points on which to conclude Gay and Lesbian Aging.

The book brings to light important issues for the aging gay and lesbian population – including their health and social service needs, and demonstrates the lack of studies, pointing to a need for more research into the gerontology of this population.

Religion / Christianity

The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society: How Christianity Can Save Modernity from Itself by Murray Jardine (The Christian Practice of Everyday Life Series: Brazos Press) is intended for a general audience; it does not assume any specialized theological, philosophical, or social scientific knowledge, although it certainly could be read by specialists in these fields. The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society only assumes that the reader is interested in questions of social organization, and in particular in the theological and philosophical ideas upon which human societies are based.

Written by Murray Jardin, associate professor of political science at Auburn University, the essential argument is very straightforward, and it has three parts. First, present­ day Western societies are in the grip of a profound moral crisis, and this crisis lies in the inability of modern people to make moral sense of the human crea­tive powers – that is, the human capacities to change the world – manifested in technology. Second, Christianity is the source both of modern technology and of our inability to make moral sense of our technological ca­pabilities. This is because the Christian message implies that humans have the ability to create, but historically, Christian theology never fully grasped the implications of this ability, thus eventually leaving humans with tremendous creative powers but no clear understanding of how those powers should be used. Third, a transformed Christianity – one that fully comes to grips with the creative capacities it has unleashed – is the only understanding of the world and the place of humans in the world that can allow us to make moral, and ultimately spiritual, sense of our technological capacities.

The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society is divided into three parts, which correspond to the three parts of the argument. The first part examines in detail the evolution and moral crisis of modern technological societies. The second expands the historical scope of the discussion, examining the emergence of Christianity in the ancient pagan world and the development of modern societies from Christian culture. Finally, the third part discusses what a transformed Christianity would be like, and the concrete social practices such a transformed Christianity would undertake to build a moral order that can make sense of modern technology.

This is a serious book, circumspect and focused in its argument, diligent in its research, and, most important, relentless in making us face up to the issue we have been ignoring to our peril: the failure of Christianity to engage the culture of technology and to draw on its best resources in its attempts to do so. – Albert Borgmann, University of Montana

A truly original and powerful book. A strong brief for the role of faith – albeit a reconstituted one – for the 21st century. – Amitai Etzioni, author of The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society

Although not explicitly designed as a textbook, The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society does give a broad overview of both the structure and functioning of modern technological societies and the historical evolution of the ideas upon which those societies are based. It articulates a spiritual and moral orientation that can address the crisis modern societies are facing.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Global

Public Theology for the 21st Century edited by William F. Storrar, & Andrew R. Morton (T&T Clark, Continuum) is a unique stocktaking of the issues facing public theology at the beginning of the 21st century, combining retrospect and prospect.

What is a public theology? Public theology has to do with the public relevance of a theology which has at the core of its Christian identity a concern for the coming of God's Kingdom in the public world of human history:

It seemed good to the editors of Public Theology for the 21st Century, William F. Storrar, Professor of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology, and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh; and Andrew R. Morton, Honorary Fellow in the School of Divinity, and a former Associate Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh, to honor Duncan B. Forrester, a  significant contributor to public theology in the twentieth century by organizing an academic colloquium of his peers to consider ‘public theology for the twenty-first century’ and to publish its thinking.

The colloquium took place from August 31 to September 3, 2001 in Carberry Tower Residential Conference Centre, Musselburgh, Edinburgh. Twenty-four scholars participated; four others submitted papers, and around 80 people attended the opening session. The organizers gratefully acknowledge a grant from the British Academy in support of this remarkable international scholarly gathering in the field of public theology.

The colloquium addressed the central question What legacy from public theology in the twentieth century should be carried over into the new millennium?, together with the question What issues and approaches will be important in the twenty-first century? and took account of major contemporary developments such as pluralism, globalization, post modernity and the vast expansion of technological capability, and it addressed a number of the cultural, social, economic and political implications of these historic changes.

The participation in the conference resulted in authoritative essays on political and public theology from leading Christian theologians and social theorists from Europe (Germany and Britain, among others) North and South America (including Argentina), Asia, and South Africa. The participation of these distinguished academic scholars helped to prevent the work from becoming Eurocentric, and the cross-continental element in the dialogue was a major enhancement of it.

The first chapter of Part I focuses attention on the person in whose honor Public Theology for the 21st Century is published, Duncan Forrester. It is an interpreta­tion of his contribution by one of the editors, Andrew Morton, who examines a number of senses in which Forrester's theology is 'public'.

The remaining three chapters in Part I and the six chapters in Part II look more broadly at the recent legacy as sources of theological wisdom. The three in Part I reflect twentieth-century experience from three continental perspectives, European, African and South American – a mapping of the topic of public theology in terms of social context. The six chapters in Part II look back at modernity as a whole, and map the topic in terms not of social geography but of the history of ideas, in particular some of the notions of modernity such as freedom, moral neutrality, tolerance, rights, pluralism and progress. It could be said that the traumatic experiences of the twentieth century reflected in Part I show the darker side of modernity, whereas the history of ideas reflected in Part II presents a more attractive face.

The shorter Part III, consisting of Chapters 11-14 focuses on a major change which takes on prime significance at this juncture of history, namely globalization. In Part IV, which consists of Chapters 15-24, five topics are treated, each in a complementary pair of chapters. The fact that in each of these five cases two contributors independently chose the same topic is some indication their importance, and is helpful in providing different perspectives and in fostering dialogue. While Storrar and Morton are not claiming to be exhaustive or suggesting that these are the only emerging issues, they hazard the view that they are a bit more than merely illustrative of those that arc emerging in this century from origins in the previous one. The five can be summarized as: medical ethics, justice, equality, exclusion and politics. The final topic, politics, is of particular importance and Storrar provides the concluding chapter, which also has an element of reprise. Though this fourth part of Public Theology for the 21st Century, with its main title of ‘Emerging Concerns,’ is arranged in terms of issues for public theology, it is every bit as much about approaches to public theology.

In an Afterword, entitled ‘Working in the Quarry,’ Forrester responds to the papers presented at the colloquium in his honor, from which Public Theology for the 21st Century has emerged. Reflecting on his own understanding of public theology, and the contributions and discussion at the colloquium, he offers two arresting metaphors for public theology's calling in the twenty-first century. First, he sees it as a barque that must always steer between the Scylla of an orthodoxy detached from the insights of contempo­rary thought or the language of contemporary people, and the Charybdis of an extreme liberal accommodation to secular thought, speaking the language of godless morality without any distinctive content. Forrester wishes public theology to steer a course that relies on the tradition as compass to travel into unknown waters. That compass for public has as its north the Church, as an inclusive community of faith, and Scripture, read through the eyes of the excluded. The task of those who would serve public theology today is to keep alive the dream of ending global human misery and to speak in public debate in ways that are prophetic, passionate and yet accessible. Having avoided the rocks of Scylla and Charybdis, Forrester returns to his favored metaphor and method for doing public theology: the quarrying of theological fragments.

[Public Theology for the 21st Century is]... a very significant moment in the history of public theology over the past fifty years or so, taking stock of and renewing a sense of social vision in theology. – Raymond Plant, King’s College, London and the House of Lords

Public Theology for the 21st Century is a landmark publication for all those concerned about theology's contribution to public debate in the churches, the academy and society.

The book brings together scholars from around the world, offering theological fragments from a global quarry for changing times.

Religion & Spirituality / Buddhism

The Practice of Dzogchen by Longchen Rabjam, translated by Tulku Thondup (Snow Lion), focuses on a Buddhist practice translated into English from the original Tibetan .

The Practice of Dzogchen is an anthology of writings on Dzogpa Chenpo (Dzogchen) technique by Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363), the most celebrated writer and adept of the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. Dzogpa Chenpo is the innermost esoteric philosophy and meditation training, which until recent decades was only whispered into the ears of heart-disciples by the learned masters. Dzogpa Chenpo employs a meditative technique which uncovers the emotional and intellectual layers of the mind and awakens its essential nature, Buddha Mind or Buddhahood itself.

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche was born in 1939 in Eastern Tibet. At the age of four he was identified as the rebirth of a great Lama named Konme Khenpo. At six he began his training at Dodrupchen Monastery, and after years of study attained the degree of Dorje Lopon (Vajracarya). He taught in Indian universities from 1966-1980, and from 1980-1983 was a visiting scholar at Harvard University.

Thondup has published several translations and original works of inter­pretation of Tibetan Buddhism, including Hidden Teachings of Tibet, Enlightened Journey, and Masters of Meditation and Miracles. His recent publications include The Healing Power of Mind and Boundless Healing.

This is one of the most significant works on Tibetan Buddhism to be published in recent years, treating with grace, beauty and depth a most important subject, namely the character of the Dzogchen tradition and its placement within the overall structure of the Nyingma doctrine and training. An understanding of Dzogchen will benefit any philosophical or religious study of Tibetan Buddhism. This is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive works on the Nyingma to appear in English. – Glenn H. Mullin, Tibetan Review

The road map offered in this book is an invaluable guide for those who serious­ly wish to take this road towards the experience of the true nature of the mind. – Parabola Magazine

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche has performed a service of inestimable value for all serious students of Buddhist thought. One of Tibet's greatest philosopher-sages, Longchen Rabjampa, is here made accessible to the specialist and interested non­specialist in a manner that is authoritative, comprehensive and clear.... This book fills a major gap. – Matthew Kapstein, The University of Chicago

The Practice of Dzogchen is one of the most significant and comprehensive works on the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism to appear in English.

Sciences / Reference

Patents: Ingenious Inventions – How They Work and How They Came to Be by Ben Ikenson (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)

Hell, there are no rules here – we're trying to accomplish something. – Thomas A. Edison

From the first wheel way back there somewhere, our inventions have been what move us forward. Our evolution still depends largely on the tools we create, great ideas we manifest, improve upon, and occasionally perfect. Everywhere, we live in a world of ideas materializing. As civilizations emerged, so did systems of economy that rewarded innovation, ultimately attempting to protect that abstraction so crucial to any alleged meritocracy, "intellectual property."

Many countries have established sophisticated systems of laws which they help to uphold. A patent protects ideas so that inventors may rightly profit from them, thereby encouraging innovation as a means to prosperity. Today, patents are granted by patent and trade offices. Since Thomas Jefferson handed out the first patent in 1790, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted more than six and a half mil­lion patents in the effort to foster scientific advancement and economic pros­perity. The pages of Patents represent a tiny yet significant fraction of them.

For anyone who has ever had a bright idea, Patents, researched and compiled by Ben Ikenson, is the story of the devices that have changed our lives in large and small ways. Readers find out about our most ingenious inventions, where they came from, and how they work; included, among others are roller coaster, bar code, cellophane, calculator, optical fiber, transistor, velcro, bra, smoke detector, slinky, etchasketch, lawn mower, battery, turtle excluder device, and parachute.

As a broad survey, Patents celebrates all branches of the patent family tree. Be it bubble wrap (of which the cover of the book is made), barbed wire, or the artificial heart, a patent reveals our values, our idiosyncrasies, and the spirit of invention that is such a fun­damental part of human nature. This illustrated collection of patents offers insight into some of the defining principles of each invention represented, the inventor's original intention, sometimes wildly different from its ultimate use, and the peculiar visionary genius these singular patents were issued to protect.

This book pays tribute to invention, a constant work in progress. In Patents, many ideas, large and small, are explored and celebrated. But Patents does more than reflect upon the particular genius of some well-known objects and ideas; it is likely to stir in readers the innate desire to invent.

Science / Environmental / Professional & Technical

Shaping the Upper Canadian Frontier: Environment, Society, and Culture in the Trent Valley by Neil S. Forkey (University of Calgary Press) is the story of the Trent Valley during the nineteenth century, one of a settler society and a microcosm for wider human and environmental changes throughout North America.

The bee throws off her annual swarms.... It is possible that the young insects do not like to quit the hive or hollow the tree where they have been fed and nurtured. Yet parental oversight compels them to migrate to other trees and hives, not only for want of room, but because they must seek for honey in other fields. These unknown fields to the bee, with her confined vision, are the Canadas, Australias, and New Zealands of our world. – Major Samuel Strickland, Twenty-Seven Years in Canada West; Or, the Experience of an Early Settler (1853)­

The work of environmental history expert Neil Forkey, Visiting Professor in the Canadian Studies Program, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York, Shaping the Upper Canadian Frontier contributes to studies in Canadian environmental history. The book delves into the literature written by settler societies in Upper Canada and North America, the recorded history of Canada's Native peoples, records of environmental changes in the valleys themselves, and other primary sources. Themes of ethnicity and environment in the Trent Valley are brought unto wider perspective with comparisons to other areas of settlement throughout the British Empire and North America.

Forkey begins by placing his study within the literature of settler societies of Upper Canada and North America. The Trent Valley's geography, prehistory, and Native peoples – the Huron and the Mississauga – are discussed alongside the Anglo-Celtic migrations and resettlement of the area. Attention is devoted to the life and nature writings of Catherine Parr Trail, whose descriptions of life and environmental changes of the valley point the way to an understanding of Canadian attitudes about the natural world during the nineteenth century.

In 1961 Hugh MacLennan heralded the seven “rivers that made a nation.” The Mackenzie, the St. Lawrence, the Ottawa, the Red, the Saskatchewan, the Fraser, and the St. John are easily identifiable as great Canadian watercourses that, according to MacLennan, “link us with our past.” From a vantage point of more than forty years and from the purview of environmental history, one is struck by MacLennan’s bold assertion. Indeed, renewed interest in the environment and humankind's place within it has excited Canadian historians to delve deeper into the past.

Taking a cue from MacLennan, Forkey is concerned in Shaping the Upper Canadian Frontier with a Canadian river network found in southern Ontario, that of the Kawartha-Trent (once referred to as the Valley of the Trent, or here, the Trent Valley).  The river nexus served as a conduit for peoples and ideas, which in turn catalyzed environmental change. In fact, it is Forkey’s contention that the reciprocal relationship between people and environment that frames this study can serve as a model for understanding Canada's bioregional past.

The case of the Trent Valley bioregion during the nineteenth century suggests a microcosm for much wider human and environmental changes that were occurring throughout North America as the transplantation of European peoples sparked new relationships between humans and the new environments that they encountered.

We can appreciate the chasm between what William Cronon, in describing the birth and maturation of Chicago as a great American city, identifies as “first nature” and “second nature”: the former refers to our understanding of natural systems, and the latter to the historic human impulse to redesign these systems, impose our will upon them, and thus recreate nature. Cronon's methodology is useful, but it must be adapted to the Trent Valley study. For Cronon it is an urban centre that commands attention; however, Forkey seeks to uncover environmental change in a rural setting. In fact, this is a logical approach when considering a bioregion set in Upper Canada, which during the first half of the nineteenth century contained only three principal urban areas – York (Toronto), Kingston, and Bytown (Ottawa). Forkey modifies the model to account for the variables in frontier settler life: clearing of forest, planting crops, and designing transportation routes that made the region habitable for agriculturalists. As the wilderness turned to rural landscape, and as a "home place" began to emerge, reconstitutions of first and second nature became evident, and it is this bioregional narrative that occupies Forkey’s attention.

During the nineteenth century new frontiers were being explored throughout North America, while older ones, such as those of Aboriginal peoples, were becoming blurred. Forkey also analyzes "settler societies" in global terms, taking into account first nature and second nature contexts.

Thomas R. Dunlap in Nature and the English Diaspora persuasively argues that such "New" worlds as the Trent Valley were refashioned to resemble the familiar worlds of the British Isles. Many physical challenges – dense forests, long winters, isolation – confronted the Old World travellers. By drawing upon their experience in the British Isles, they managed to overcome most of these impediments, replicating to some extent the world that they had left: for example, Irish farming strategies, models of village life, the desire for a home place, and imperial and Arcadian worldviews were transmitted. Seeing the interplay of humankind and the natural environment serves to connect the Trent Valley to Ontario's past, highlighting the fact that the first half of the nineteenth century was a period of tremendous ecological alteration, inspired in large part by the introduction of permanent agriculture.

The upshot of bioregional analysis is that the land itself becomes a key actor in the narrative. Moreover, in better understanding the limitations of the earth, we might, as Berg and Dasman assert, reinhabit the earth and learn “to live-in-place in an area that has been disrupted and injured through past exploitation.” Viewing the natural world in such a way lends hope that as the new century dawns, we might begin to see ourselves and our relationships to the environment in healthier terms. Bioregionalism holds the promise of linking ecological locale and human cultures intimately within the same narrative.

This book will have a lasting impact on Canadian historiography and the broader field of global environmental history. – Richard Judd, University of Maine

An extensively researched and documented work, Shaping the Upper Canadian Frontier is a well recommended contribution to Canadian Environmental Studies, Geology, and General History reference collections and reading lists. – Midwest Book Review

Above all, the Trent Valley example offers a Canadian contribution to the study of bioregional history. The study described in Shaping the Upper Canadian Frontier  shows that the task of adaptation to new lands is an ongoing process yielding mixed results. Forkey makes a significant contribution to the growing body of work on Canadian environmental history.

Social Sciences / Anthropology / African American

One Man's Castle: Clarence Darrow in Defense of the American Dream by Phyllis Vine (Amistad) steps back to a time when Detroit's boosters described their city as one of the most cosmopolitan in the world. It was a city in which tensions between blacks and whites seemed manageable.

Yet all that changed in 1925, when a black family named Sweet bought and moved into a house in a white neighborhood. What began with mothers bringing their children to gawk and stare soon became an angry mob of men with stones. The violence that ensued landed Ossian Sweet, a doctor from the "talented tenth," and others from his family in jail and compelled the NAACP – which had taken up the Sweets' case – to hire famed attorney Clarence Darrow, who had just finished defending the plaintiff in Tennessee v. John Scopes. Darrow's defense led to one of the most incendiary courtroom dramas in the history of the United States. The outcome was a triumph of cooperation that transcended race in the name of justice.

One Man's Castle tells the dramatic story of Ossian Sweet. In June 1925, Dr. Ossian Sweet, age 30, one of the black community's most progressive specialists in gynecology-obstetrics, and his wife Gladys, just 23 and a new mother, signed a milestone contract to buy their own home. Eager to settle in Detroit – they placed a non-refundable deposit of $3,500 on a two­storey, brick-faced, three-bedroom house on an ordinary street in an immigrant neighborhood. For months, the Sweets carefully planned the details of moving. Beyond packing and shopping for furniture, they were mindful of the string of attacks on black homeowners nationwide. On September 9, 1925, Dr. Sweet was arrested for defending his home – the home he had lived in for a single day – against an angry mob, armed with rocks, led by Ku Klux Klan sympathizers.

Meticulously researched and rendered by Phyllis Vine, an American historian, it evokes a time of racial atrocities across America, from lynchings to state-sponsored legislation to eliminate property rights of black citizens. "Of the countless stories that lay bare the nation's shameful tolerance of racial violence, Ossian Sweet's is among the tragic," Vine notes. "Sweet's story reveals an exceptional man, an astonishing individual whose pursuit of the American dream ended in catastrophe."

Yet, Dr. Sweet's story also marks a triumph for justice over prejudice – thanks to the NAACP and Clarence Darrow. In the court of public opinion, detailed by accounts in the local press the state built a formidable case against Dr. Sweet, charging him with the murder of a man named Leon Briener, who died from a gunshot wound. Although no one knew who fired the lethal bullet, Sweet was arrested, jailed, and charged – along with ten co-defendants, including two of his younger brothers and his young wife – with conspiracy to commit murder. The NAACP needed a lawyer who could prove Sweet's innocence to a white jury, as well as weave them into an indictment of state­sponsored residential segregation. Five days before the slated start of the trial, NAACP executive James Weldon Johnson made an impassioned personal appeal to America's most celebrated defense attorney.

That year, Darrow, then 69, was fresh from his famous defense of evolution, in the Scopes Monkey trial, and exhausted. In spite of the renowned lawyer's humanitarianism and genuine dislike of racial intolerance, the NAACP had to work hard to secure his services. Although he had gone up against some of the thorniest legal issues challenging society, Darrow had never tackled racism and the law. After talking for eleven hours straight with NAACP delegate Walter White, Darrow agreed to defend Dr.  Sweet.

Like a legal thriller, One Man's Castle recreates the trial of Dr. Sweet, going inside the courtroom and behind the scenes. It conveys the dynamism of the black bourgeoisie set against racial, social, and political tensions in Detroit during the convergence of the Southern Exodus, automation in the auto industry, the growth of the KKK in the north, and the emergence of the NAACP as the preeminent organization fighting for civil liberties. It brings to life a cast of characters, including not only the Sweets and their defenders, but also the chief prosecutor, the presiding judge, police officers, and instigators for the Klan.

This extensively researched and beautifully presented tragedy of Dr. Ossian Sweet's effort to reside in a home he purchased in an all-white Detroit neighborhood in 1925 rings with racial ramifications for our time. The white mobs that threatened his life and that of his family were more vicious but hardly less resistant than the opposition confronted by people of color today as they seek, in still too many areas, housing that their hearts desire and their pocketbooks can afford. – Derrick Bell, author of Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

Although the Scopes trial in Tennessee and the Loeb-Leopold job in Chicago are Clarence Darrow's more celebrated triumphs, it is the Dr. Sweet case in Detroit that may be his most important. This is a remarkable book about our obsession with race. It reads like a thriller but for the fact that it's true. – Studs Terkel

Gripping, inspiring, and outrage-provoking, tautly told with penetrating insight, One Man's Castle restores the case of Dr. Ossian Sweet to its rightful place in the ongoing history of the struggle for racial equality and of race relations in America.

Social Sciences /Anthropology

Researching Food Habits: Methods and Problems edited by Helen M. Macbeth & Jeremy Macclancy (The Anthropology of Food and Nutrition Series, V. 5: Berghahn Books)

The term ‘Anthropology of Food’ has become an accepted abbreviation for the study of anthropological perspectives on food, diet and nutrition, an increasingly important subdivision of anthropology that encompasses a rich variety of perspectives, academic approaches, theories, and methods. Its multi-disciplinary nature adds to its complexity. Researching Food Habits, edited by Helen M. Macbeth and Jeremy Macclancy, is the first publication to offer guidance for researchers working in this diverse and expanding field of anthropology.

Editors Macbeth, Chair of ICAF (Europe) and Honorary Research Fellow of the Anthropology Department, Oxford Brookes University and MacClancy, Professor of Social Anthropology at the Anthropology Department, Oxford Brookes University and Chair of ICAF (UK), wanted to include as broad a range of approaches as possible in order to give students and new researchers an idea of just how diverse the anthropology of food is and how many different sets of methods anthropologists of food might employ. However, of necessity some perspectives are neglected. Although there is some grouping of the chapters, the editors did not perceive clear enough subdivisions to create named sections.

The first chapter is by one of the most senior and productive of anthropologists of food; De Garine, who has worked in and led multidisciplinary teams investigating problems in the anthropology of food, makes the point that for biological scientists and social scientists to work alongside each other can be a very tricky business as they tend to have different expectations, different criteria of validity and significance, and different timetables.

Szabo's chapter on ethnobotanical methods emphasizes the central importance of taking local people seriously, of listening to what they have to say and writing it down. The categories within which they think help form their thought, their thoughts inform their actions and their actions affect the environment. This chapter provides a practical guide on the collection and preservation of plant material in the field and its analysis in the laboratory, as well as advice on how to gain as much information as possible from local informants on their naming and use of the plants.

In the third chapter, Hubert boldly tries to steer a middle course between qualitative and quantitative approaches by suggesting a method whereby the two research styles are combined and their complementary strengths exploited. This didactic chapter gives explicit advice on each step new researchers should take in carrying out such research. An appendix to the chapter provides a guide to topics that can usefully be raised in interviews about food and drink patterns in a household. Hubert’s approach shows the value of visiting households and the rooms where food is prepared and served in order to observe food producers at their sites of production.

Social anthropology is the only discipline whose main research method is also its goal: to learn about social relationships ethnographers have first to create social relationships with the people they are studying. Medina's chapter focuses on this interaction between researchers and researched. He teases out part of the nature and some of the consequences of this complex, dynamic form of relationship. The possible pitfalls of this kind of fieldwork may be great, but the rewards, when they are achieved, can be even greater.

In much social anthropology today, the topic of  'identity' looms large. What is not always mentioned by those happy to use the concept is that it brings with it a whole train of difficulties. MacClancy, in his contribution, strives to forewarn fledgling researchers of these danger points and how best to avoid them. He then plots the various avenues that fresh fieldworkers might wish to pursue, dwelling on frequently ignored, but useful, sources of information such as newspaper articles, novels and past and current cookbooks.

Some teachers seem keener to sing the praises of fieldwork than to depict its dirty realism: gaps in the data gathered, worries about the status of some of their data, concerns about the questions left unasked and doubts about information partly remem­bered but not written down at the time, etc. Gerald and Valerie Mars's contribution is so valuable, because this – the dirty realism – is precisely the problem they dwell on. What they show, through examples, is that we cannot always live up to the standards that we have been trained to set ourselves. There will always be some occasions when we have to gather what information we can – given that we can do no more; our results may still be of great value. This the Mars call ‘the good enough principle.’

In the next chapter, Simmen, Pasquet and Hladik show how to assess (1) gustatory perception (taste on the tongue) by determining taste thresholds, and (2) hedonic reactions to tastes by using supra-threshold responses. They outline methods for use in the laboratory and those that can be taken into the field. This might at first seem a sudden switch from the social towards the strictly biological, but they suggest that those who wish to understand the basic qualities of the human tasting phenomenon can gain a useful, evolutionary perspective from the study of the reactions of nonhuman primates. In this chapter, they also argue that the taste system is a primary interface between an organism and its alimentary environment, and it is, therefore, an integral part of the physiological background from which feeding behavior and food habits have developed.

Macbeth and Mowatt's chapter follows straight on from this, as they look into the problems which arise when trying to research hedonic responses across different cultures. The problem which Macbeth and Mowatt tackle is how to design a method appropriate for comparing food preferences across five sample populations, each from a different European nation. Although they chose to use questionnaires, these were of a special format, which owed much to careful prior fieldwork, interviewing and trials in each of the countries. Their method and their conclusions about that method are given in detail, and they warn that not all the complexities are resolved by use of this method; researchers should also spend time with the subjects being studied, talking with them and observing their attitudes.

Ulijaszek makes a similar set of caveats in the next chapter, where he plots the diverse pitfalls in studies of dietary intake. Indeed his depressing but illuminating contribution reads more like a sceptic's essay, or as an extended series of cautionary tales for those with more enthusiasm than patience.

More information on food intake studies follows in the chapter by Henry and Macbeth. After an overview of nutritionists' methods for studying food intake, they focus on the gathering of food intake frequency data. They then introduce in detail one low-budget, macrosurvey method for studying 7-day food intake frequency. As they point out, their inexpensive method does not aim to provide nutritional precision but an initial quantitative overview of foods eaten in the course of one week. They suggest that this sort of quick survey can be a useful supplement to ethnographic work. The method is useful when precision about nutrients, weights and quantities is less important than an overall, quantified description of food intake either in a larger population sample or for the com­parison of more than one population.

Since Henry and Macbeth's chapter included mention of energy intake, calculated from food intake, Pasquet's chapter is the perfect complement, because he discusses methods for measuring energy expenditure. Pasquet provides detailed information on the measuring of energy expenditure, a methodology which has developed greatly within biological anthropology.

The authors of the next two chapters emphasize the need for diverse research methods and cooperation between specialists from different disciplines. Gonzalez, a social anthropologist, and Mataix, a nutritionist, describe their sensitive and imaginative way of obtaining quantitative data about a particular local diet in the first half of the twentieth century. They approach the question from three different angles, linking oral interview data from elderly women with information from equally elderly trades people, who were at the time concerned with purveying the basic foodstuffs, and finally converting these data, measured in spoonfuls, cupfuls, handfuls, etc., to modern measurements for comparison with nutrient tables. They detail the indispensable safeguards to be taken when interviewing aged people about circumstances in their youth or even in their adolescence. The next contributor, Pollock, tackles a related set of problems in reconstructing a local diet by exploiting every source possible: written accounts of the society's past, plant and food inventories, historical settings, earlier ethnography, personal knowledge of community members and suggestive cross-cultural comparisons. Exemplifying the interdisciplinary aim of Researching Food Habits, she shows how her work on one particular project dovetailed with that of the health physicists involved, so that together they produced a broader understanding than either specializing alone could have provided.

This volume ends, appropriately, by ceding the final chapter to a distinguished North American colleague, Ellen Messer, whose research and writings on the anthropology of food have been a beacon to us all. Messer opens her contribution with a brief critique of certain ethnographic styles in contemporary studies of the anthropology of food. Then her main example, from fieldwork in Mexico, demonstrates ‘ways to collect dietary information so that it can provide both cultural and biological insights, even without additional anthropometrical or laboratory studies.’ Her constructively critical discussion shows the sorts of information and analysis needed for this kind of work.

Researching Food Habits represents a chest of intellectual tools for would-be researchers to pick up and use and develop as interest in the topic continues to rise. This multidisciplinary text, featuring a diverse group of experts in anthropology, brings together a broad range of methodologies to aid new researchers.

Social Sciences / Relationships

Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships (5th Edition) by Mark L. Knapp & Anita L. Vangelisti (Pearson Allyn & Bacon)

Once a human being has arrived on this earth, communication is the largest single factor determining what kinds of relationships she or he makes with others and what happens to each in the world. How we manage survival, how we develop intimacy, how productive we are, how we make sense, how we connect with our own divinity – all depend largely on our communica­tion skills. – Virginia Satir, The New Peoplemaking

Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships is a book about interpersonal communication – with all the standard topics like perception, conflict, verbal and nonverbal behavior, etc., covered. But according to authors Mark L. Knapp and Anita L. Vangelisti, there is one big difference in this book and virtually any other book on interpersonal communication: all the processes and principles of interpersonal communication are discussed in the context of developing relationships. So it is also a book about the way people communicate in relationships as they come together and come apart. Knapp, the Jesse H. Jones Centennial Professor in Communication at the University of Texas, and Vangelisti, professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Texas adopted this approach for two reasons: (1) There seems to be a widespread concern in this country and abroad for understanding the forces that bring people together and keep them together and those that divide and separate them; and (2) students of human communication find concepts and principles easier to learn when they can analyze and test them in the context of common experiences. It is within the context of our relationships with others that abstract concepts like feedback, perception, and conflict resolution become increasingly relevant and important for students of communication.

Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships is divided into six parts. The first part has two objectives: (1) to identify several important patterns of communication and (2) to show how these patterns of communication manifest themselves at different stages of a relationship. Part II shows how the characteristics of each individual (e.g., gender, age, needs) and the characteristics of the environment where the relationship develops can affect the way we communicate. The three chapters constituting Part III discuss various communication patterns in the context of relationships that are moving toward increased intimacy or closeness. Part IV examines a number of communication patterns that partners perceive as crucial to the adequate maintenance of relationships. And Part V takes a look at communication patterns in the context of relationships that are moving toward less intimacy. Although the concept of effective communication behavior is implicit in the preceding chapters, the last part of the book explicitly examines the subject. The authors believe that any discussion of how to be an effective communicator makes more sense if preceded by chapters detailing the variety of communicative goals and activities that characterize our relationships.

The concepts presented in Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships were not originally designed for generalization beyond our contemporary United States culture, but future explorations may uncover some extensions to other cultural contexts. It is clear that each culture imposes slightly different rules on the development and deterioration of relationships, parental selection of potential marriage partners, prohibiting intimate same-sex relationships, severely sanctioning the termination of marriages, and so on. It is equally clear that specific behaviors utilized to accomplish interpersonal goals may differ greatly from culture to culture.

Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships contains a preponderance of examples from male-female relationships and relationships in which people "voluntarily" seek contact with, or disengagement from, one another. While such examples came to Knapp and Vangelisti easier and seemed most understandable for readers, the interaction stages outlined in the book are not limited to these applications. For example, lovers and tennis buddies have gone through the same stages; lovers have simply gone further. Business partners and sorority sisters find different topics, but both engage in a lot of small talk.

The "Dear Dr. Knapp" and "Dear Dr. Vangelisti" letters that precede each chapter are from actual letters written by students. The problems posed in these letters have been analyzed and discussed in a university class without revealing the writer's identity. For this book the letters are used to forecast some of the issues treated in each chapter. The boxed inserts scattered through the text are designed to provide amus­ing and/or thought-provoking asides associated with the adjacent material. The Instructor's Manual for this edition is based on extensive classroom experience with the text. The behavioral objectives, participative exercises, and test questions should be most helpful in tailoring this text to classroom learning experiences.

Knapp & Vangelisti do a great job of discussing relationships and interpersonal communication, a trend that is very popular with today's students. – Rona Leber, Bossier Parish Community College

Strengths include coverage of a wide variety of basic interpersonal concepts used in our field and good overview of contemporary (as well as older) research. – Melanie Booth-Butterfield, West Virginia University

In my opinion, the primary strength of this text is its firm foundation derived from the years of experience of the authors. In addition, the inclusion of a great deal of empirical research results makes the text even stronger. – Thomas D. Bovino, Suffolk County Community College

Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships is a well written, accessible text based on examples, well grounded in research, drawn from years of experience.

Social Sciences / Sociology

Comparing Cultures: Dimensions of Culture in a Comparative Perspective edited by Henk Vinken, Joseph Soeters, Peter Ester (International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology Series, V. 93: Brill)

Culture explains much of the behavioral and institutional differences around the globe. In social science there are many ways of framing cultural diversities. Comparing Cultures brings together authors with a classic status in the field of comparative cultural studies on one overarching theme: what are the relevant differences and similarities of contemporary cultural dimensions with which countries, organizations, and people can be compared? Comparing Cultures is the first publication available in which existing cultural divisions of the world are compared and confronted. The book was edited by Henk Vinken, sociologist, Director of IRIC, Institute for Research on Intercultural Cooperation, and Senior Fellow at Globus, Institute for Globalization and Sustainable Development, at Tilburg University, the Netherlands; Joseph Soeters is Professor of Social Sciences and Management at the Royal Netherlands' Military Academy and Professor of Organizational Sociology at Tilburg University; and Peter Ester, Professor of Sociology at Tilburg University, Director of OSA, Institute for Labor Studies, and Program Director at Globus. In the first part of the book, classic authors reflect on each others’ key work and assess the main overlap and distinction.

Comparing Cultures is based on papers given on April 27, 2001 at a conference at Tilburg University on the subject of recent developments in research on cross-cultural comparison of organizations and human behavior. Tilburg University is a preeminently suitable location for such a conference, being the domicile of IRIC, Institute for Research on Intercultural Cooperation, as well as accommodating the "nerve center" of the European Value Study EVS, a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on basic human values in Europe. The motivation for the conference was the publication of the second, revised edition of Geert Hofstede's book Culture's Consequences. The first edition appeared in 1980 with the subtitle "international differences in work-related values". That study was based on a survey among employees of a multinational corporation in 1968 and 1972, producing over 115,000 questionnaires. Hofstede processed and analyzed these data in a both scholarly and imaginative fashion, and published his findings – his book became a classic and is one of the most cited sources in the entire Social Science Citation Index. The second edition carries the subtitle "comparing values, behav­iors, institutions, and organizations across nations", stressing the cross-disciplinary aspirations as well as the multi-level nature of his analyses. In the new edition the number of represented countries was raised from 40 to 50, a fifth dimension (long-term versus short- term orientation) was added to the original four: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism, and masculinity-femininity, and more recent literature since the first edition, including the many references and criticisms, were incorporated.

The first part of Comparing Cultures is made up of the contributions of the four major speakers at the Tilburg conference, the speakers selected to represent a number of other major cross-national or cross-cultural studies.

First is Harry Triandis, whom many psychologists would consider as one of the true godfathers of cross-cultural psychology. In his numerous cross-cultural comparative studies, for instance on "collectivism versus individualism" which he considers as one of the essential cultural dimensions, Triandis shows an enlightening insight in both the compatibilities between cultures and the singularities of indigenous cultures.

Second is the originator and leader of another major international study on individual values, Shalom Schwartz. He shares with Hofstede the view that the prevailing emphases in a society may be the most central feature of culture, since they shape individual beliefs, actions, and goals, and express shared conceptions of what is good and desirable in culture. He collected data in many countries in the world, comprising over 75% of the world population, and used these data to develop a comprehensive typology of cultural dimensions. In his chapter he describes this typology and discusses possible causes and consequences.

Third, Ronald Inglehart, a member of the original EVS team, contributed to the study data and background information on the ‘new’ (European) world, the US and Canada. Later he extended the study to other non-European countries, resulting in a separate research endeavor, called the World Value Survey (WVS). Cooperation with the EVS has resulted in a global research program that studies national similarities and differences in values over time (so far data has been gathered from 1981 through 2002) and worldwide (covering 80 societies containing some 85% of the world's population). In his article he emphasizes that economic development produces pervasive social and cultural consequences.

Fourth is Wolfgang Jagodzinski, a German sociologist, director of the Central Archive ZA-EUROLAB in Köln, which specializes in building data bases for comparative research and for training in advanced social science research methods and data management and archiving. Jagodzinski is a member of the EVS team, and responsible for the preservation and accessibility of the EVS data. In his presentation he shed light on the too often unrecognized difficulties and pitfalls in cross-national comparative studies.

Comparing Cultures encompasses more than just the five contributions of the intellectual leaders of major cross-cultural research programs or ‘schools.’ It contains a selection of empirical studies or theoretical elaborations of the themes discussed in the foregoing contributions. The subjects vary from nationalism to immigration, and from maternity care to empowerment and negotiating strategies in organizations, a sampling of the rapidly growing supply of cross-cultural studies.

Comparing Cultures provides a view into frontline academic work from a wide range of countries and social science disciplines dealing with the classic status cultural dimensions aimed at addressing contemporary scientific and social issues. Future cross-cultural researchers or students must this book – Hofstede will continue to be the most frequently cited Dutch social scientist for quite some time. Let us hope that the cross-cultural perspective in the behavioral and social sciences will continue to receive the increased attention it has of late, and that many more studies like those described here will contribute to the further augmentation of solid learning on the still-enigmatic interface between culture and human behavior.

Social Science / Sociology

Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution by Bernie Mayer (Jossey-Bass, Wiley)

  • Why aren't more individuals and organizations using conflict resolution when they have a problem?
  • Why doesn't the public know more about it?
  • What are the limits of conflict resolution?
  • When does conflict resolution work and when does it not?

Bernard S. Mayer – an internationally acclaimed leader in the field of mediation – dares practitioners to ask the hard questions about alternative dispute resolution. Offering a committed practitioner's critique of the profession of mediation and arbitration, Beyond Neutrality focuses on the current crisis in the field and offers a pragmatic response.

Mayer urges practitioners to evolve from resolution to engagement and actual advocacy, going beyond neutrality in order to redefine conflict resolution at a level of participation more appropriate to the current era. Mayer argues that to be more effective, professionals must become conflict engagement specialists and thereby become a more powerful force for changing the way conflict is conducted. By building on the old roles of mediators and facilitators, they can dramatically expand what they offer to people in conflict.

Beyond Neutrality has two parts: the first on the crisis in the field, the second on the concept of conflict engagement. Chapter One is a summary of the nature of the crisis and the possible re­sponse practitioners can make to it. Chapter Two summarizes the critiques of conflict resolution and the results of research on conflict resolution practice. Chapter Three looks specifically at mediation, which Mayer views as the current signature service of conflict resolvers. Chapter Four examines and challenges some of our most cherished beliefs and assumptions. Chapter Five looks at the role that conflict reso­lution plays in society. Chapter Six starts the second part of the book by arguing for a refocus from conflict resolution to conflict engagement. Chapter Seven puts forward a concept of the practitioner’s role as a conflict specialist (or conflict engagement specialist). Chapter Eight looks specifically at the advocate's role as an important part of what they can offer as conflict specialists. The final chapter considers the future of the field.

In this passionate and provocative book, Bernie Mayer challenges the field of conflict resolution to reinvent itself so as to include advocacy and engagement at its core. Mayer practices what he preaches by engaging us in a vital discussion sure to stir productive controversy. – William Ury, author of Getting to Yes and The Third Side

As professional fields develop, people look back and identify a few books that stand out because they marked turning points wherein the stroke of a pen incisively pushed both theory and practice to a higher plane of understanding and purpose. Beyond Neutrality will mark such a place for the conflict resolution field in the first decade of this century. – John Paul Lederach, professor, the Kroc Institute and Eastern Mennonite University

Beyond Neutrality is a follow up to The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution: A Practitioner's Guide. The book is relevant and thought provoking to anyone interested in conflict; in it Mayer challenges professionals to take conflict resolution to the next level of effectiveness, utility, and engagement.

Social Sciences / Global

Globalization, Hegemony and Power: Antisystemic Movements and the Global System edited by Thomas Reifer (Political Economy of the World-System Annuals Series, Volume XXVI-a: Paradigm Publishers)

The study of hegemony, the study of preponderant influence of one nation over others, has been one of the more fruitful avenues of historical social science inquiry in the twentieth century. The essays in Globalization, Hegemony and Power provide a starting point for rethinking hegemony in the U.S. and in the world.

Not surprisingly, periods of hegemonic decline and transition have been unusually productive of scholarly contributions on the subject. With the relative decline of the United States, the related U.S. balance of payments crisis and what Arrighi, Hopkins, and Wallerstein called the "world revolution of 1968," the intel­lectual structures of knowledge, which heretofore had largely provided the seal of approval for U.S. hegemony, came under challenge.

The post-World War II modernization paradigm, with its ahistorical, unilinear notion of progress, had separated the development of the "Third World" from the rise of Western European empires and global hegemony, seeking to provide ideological justification for attempts by the core to bring "modernity" to the "backward underdeveloped periphery." Notions of a culture of poverty were the domestic/national equivalents of this modernization ideology, separating the history of particular ethnic/racial minorities from the white majority in the U.S.

The modernization paradigm continues to serve important political and ideological functions. Ideologies of charity and assistance, from the First to the Third World, or from wealthy to poorer citizens, ostensibly to improve the "other" in given "national societies" or in the South as a whole, have been integral parts of the developmentalist project.

The modernization paradigm is undergoing yet another rebirth, this time in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, albeit now arguably in more explicitly eurocentric, civilizational clothing. This latest version of the modernization paradigm is a sort of stages of civilizational growth. Just as those countries that failed to adopt the official doctrines of neoliberal globalization were castigated as holding onto the vestiges of failed histories, so too is Islam now increasingly portrayed as the latest obstacle to the triumph of the liberal utopia. Even after the collapse of dreams of a permanent boom and the corporate scandals that have always accompanied speculative bubbles and autumns of hegemonic cycles, there is still a promi­nent intellectual discourse about the superiority of the Western model of develop­ment today.

In this changing context, studies of hegemony, globalization, and antisystemic movements have taken a variety of forms. There are studies of the hegemony of social groups, states, classes, as well as in reference to civilizations, race, gender, and notions of sexuality, normality, and so forth.

Increasingly, new generations of scholars – from the world-systems school and other perspectives – appear to be wrestling with powerful questions: Is the United States, for example, more or less powerful in the early twenty-first century than it was in the late twentieth century? And how does one measure this, given that the importance of different sources of social power and their recurrent combinations are arguably not constant but change, to some extent, over time? Is the United States in rapid decline, due to geopolitical overextension and related rising economic competition, as Wallerstein and others forcefully argue, or in fact, is another cycle of U.S. hegemony, albeit on radically different social foundations, underway? Or, as the theorists of globalization or what is sometimes called the global capitalism school argue, are we witnessing a new hegemonic configuration, based less on the hegemonic nation-states of the past and more on new foundations of a transnational bourgeois class astride a fully global economy? These are just some of the issues sharply dividing scholars in the field today.

These questions have important implications for the whole notion of counter-hegemonic or antisystemic social movements. New processes of global upper-class formation may be taking place, as indicated by the rise of the World Economic Forum and related U.S.-dominated supranational institutions, yet the simultaneous rise of the World Social Forum and now regional social forums indicate that relational processes of global class formation are increasingly consciously intertwined on a worldwide scale.

Yet here, equally pressing questions arise. How are we to understand the collapse of many of the old secular antisystemic movements of the Marxist Left and in their place, the rise of those inspired by civilizational, ethno-national or religious ideals, such as in the resurgence of contemporary Islam? And what are the implications of such developments for our understanding of modernity and the future trajectory of the global system? The essays in Globalization, Hegemony and Power provide a starting point for the intellectual rethinking, debates, and the hard work of politi­cal organizing and social action that is in order.

Part I of Globalization, Hegemony and Power examines a host of issues dealing with the dynamics of hegemony and contemporary globalization. In chapter 1, Immanuel Wallerstein's contribution represents a sharp attack on conventional wisdom of both the Right and the Left about a supposed era of unparalleled U.S. superiority ostensibly now upon us. Undergirding Wallerstein's discussion is an exposition of the indispensability of the interstate system and state form in processes of capital accumulation on a world scale, along with a deft analysis of the problems states simultaneously pose for the endless accumulation of capital.

At the same time, Wallerstein's argument about U.S. hegemonic decline is bound to be controversial. One essential element in the armory of decline theorists, deployed by Wallerstein and a host of others, is the notion of burdensome military spending allowing for technological leap-frogging by rivals. The question of the relationship of military spending, capital accumulation, and hegemonic cycles needs much more serious theoretical and empirical attention, especially given the central role of state-corporate overseas expansion in propping up profits and power while deflecting movements for progressive social reform.

Indicative of the considerable intellectual debate about these matters, in chapter 2, Joachim Rennstich deploys a novel argument, based on an original synthesis of the best of the existing literature, that renewal and hence multiple hegemonic cycles are possible within the structures of the hegemon. Rennstich incorporates the notion of path dependency, noting that obstacles to hegernonic renewal lie in rigidities associated with previous hegemonic success.

In chapter 3, William Robinson strikes out on different terrain, questioning the notion of state-based hegemonies in the current era. Robinson argues against what he calls a statist conception of hegemony, arguing that Weberian conceptions (which he sees as having influenced world-systems analysis all too much) reify the state "as a thing," replete with an independent existence. Robinson sees the emergence of what he calls a global economy in our own time as being radically distinct from earlier phases of the world economy, in which production systems and respective ruling classes were supposedly national. Much greater empirical work and debate on these questions are thus in order.

Chapter 4 is Jeffrey Kentor's ambitious attempt at factoring both economic and politico-military coercive power into quantifying the hegemonic equation. In this case, hegemony is meant as a pronounced dominance in both coercion and capital. In this estimation, Kentor argues that the United States was not hege­monic in the postwar period, for despite its capital-intensive dominance in the early 1970s, it was competing with the Soviets in the realm of coercion. More recently, with what analysts call the "Revolution in Military Affairs," U.S. mili­tary superiority – as displayed forcefully in a host of recent wars – has leapt ahead even as the U.S. has declined economically relative to its Eurasian rivals. Amy Holmes (chapter 5) analyzes the domestic foundations of the global division of labor in the household with a focus on the United States. In a chapter in which one can hear echoes of the writings of Wilma Dunaway, to rescue women from the periphery of world-systems analysis, Holmes traces the changing foundations of this division of labor, from indentured servitude, to the divorce of work and home. Also explored are the feminization of domestic service, the industrialization of the household, and the subsequent increased recruitment of women of color as domestics on an increasingly global basis.

Kathleen Schwartzman highlights the resurgence of portfolio investment flows in contemporary globalization in chapter 6. Portfolio investment, long considered the hallmark of British hegemony, contrasts radically with the centrality of foreign direct investment in the U.S. cycle. With the work of Ulrich Pfister and Christian Suter, Giovanni Arrighi, and others, we can now grasp the cyclical return of portfolio investment and related financial flows as aspects of the autumn or maturing of hegemonic cycles.

The contribution of Edna Bonacich in chapter 7 highlights the growing importance of logistics for class hegemony and labor struggles in an increasingly globalized age. Whereas previous authors, including Bonacich, thoroughly explored the dynamic of sweatshops in the global garment trade, less attention has been given to the centrality of logistics in the accumulation of global capital. Yet here, too, labor is subjected to sweatshop dynamics and a vigorous attack. Bonacich's piece highlights the logistics sector as an important but neglected strategic area for capital and labor in the global economy. At the same time, Bonacich reveals a new landscape of corporate power, one in which giant retailers such as Wal-Mart, with their huge overseas imports, intervene in capital-labor conflict to maintain low costs in both production and distribution essential to global commodity chains.

Part II of this volume shifts focus to examine entwined processes of hegemonic decline and counterhegemonic social movements. In an illuminating piece, Terry Boswell (chapter 8) reminds us that the chaos and increased interstate and intracapitalist competition that accompanies hegemonic transitions can also prove particularly fertile for counterhegemonic social movements.

Chapter 9, by Paul Lubeck and Thomas E. Reifer, takes up a seeming anti­nomy of the globalization process today – the apparent worldwide resurgence of Islam. In this chapter it is argued that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, should not blind us to the varieties of Islamist moblization, the vast majority of which are nonviolent forms of protest, mobilization, and social service aid. At the heart of the growing Islamist social movements are the disruptions caused in no small part by U.S. foreign military and global economic policy, including U.S.­led supranational institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.

In the final chapter, chapter 10, Lauren Langman takes a long historical and perhaps controversial view to analyze the intersection of the hegemonic trajectories of Islam and the West. Though much has been written about hegemonic cycles, there has been much less analysis of civilizational cycles and related questions of hegemony. Yet in the piece by Langman, the rise and fall of Islamic hegemony is interrogated, replete with an attempt to draw on sociological traditions as diverse as Marx, Weber, and the Annales school. The chapter takes a serious look at the question of warfare in large-scale, long-term social change, a critical topic not integrated often enough in world-systems analysis, which many times neglects these issues in favor of the "economic." While any such effort is bound to be controversial, this provocative chapter will hopefully stimulate the sorely needed debate about the clash of civilizational trajectories of rise and decline within hegemonic cycles.

There is a great responsibility for those working within the world-systems tradition to broaden our perspectives and sharpen our analyses, to catch up with the tremendous advances in knowledge and get on with the urgent work that remains to be done. Hopefully, Globalization, Hegemony and Power can be of use to those scholars and activists in the collective effort that lies ahead to both change the world for the better and to better understand the world as well.

Social Sciences

The Power of Iranian Narratives: A Thousand Years of Healing by Laleh Shahideh (University Press of America, Inc.) examines a select group of Iranian pro­fessionals, who emigrated to the United States after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and created new identities and goals through the medi­ation of past history and current cultural and professional experience.

The Power of Iranian Narratives touches upon the conflict between Iranians' national, cultural, and religious identities and explains how individuals' understanding of power and capacity to act is interrelated with the sequence, continuity, and preservation of historical events. The book, written by Laleh Shahideh, Director of Student Academic Services of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco, describes how, through interpretation and reinterpretation of narratives, individuals and communities can reflect upon their ability to make changes for future empowerment.

Stories of their survival became mediums for Iranians to speak of their culture and identity, often misunderstood by others. Their stories describe how, in creating their new way of being within an alien context, these people faced questions regarding both their own identity and Iranian cohesiveness. The research is grounded in critical hermeneutic theory, with a primary focus on Iranian professionals between 40 and 60 years of age.

To tell a story is to both remember and create who one is. The Power of Iranian Narratives is an account of how story mediates our understanding of identity. To understand one's identity has always been a question of central importance, particularly for people who find themselves in the midst of political and personal upheaval. In this book, narrative analysis shapes a grand text from the stories of selected Iranians who left their homeland after 1979 to come to America. These stories are set in a context that gives the reader a deep understanding of who the Iranian is from a historical perspective and who they become when they leave their homeland.

Through this unique lens, Shahideh has woven a living tapestry that overshadows the more common autobiographic or academic medium used in the study of narrative.

In the appropriation of critical hermeneutics to study the self and the other, we see fulfilled both the intent and the reality of the interpretive tradition, that is, a world that comes into being when the reader fully participates in the meaning-making act of reading. Who we are when living in the land of our birth may in one sense be different than who we are when we move to and live in another land. Yet, in another sense, we are the same wherever we live. Both being the same and being different is part of a dilemma and an opportunity for immigrants who leave their birthplace – particularly when leaving their birthplace under force and fear. Until a person who leaves a birthplace comes to an understanding of who they are in the new home, he or she often lives in a liminal state, as is the case in The Power of Iranian Narratives, thinking at once that they are Iranian and American, yet fully neither.

From the stories told, we see that one's history, religion, nationality and experiences play up against one's power to survive, to be and to imagine the future. The matrix of time, narrative and self shape the overall story of the people from Iran found in this book. Within this matrix, a linear sense of time falls prey to a time that engenders plot; The Power of Iranian Narratives brings to the fore the past and the future, for one cannot describe the past without embarking on the future; and the self that stays the same throughout our life is the imperative to the self that changes, thereby, allowing us to survive and prosper in difficult circumstances.

Iran is a country that is often misunderstood by the others. Shahideh hopes to provide those who have not seen Iran with a picture drawn by those of us who were fortunate enough to be born in such a beautiful, loving, and noble country. She calls to readers saying that together, we all can help increase awareness about our interconnected­ness and similarities with one another, and decrease prejudgments that are consequential in determining the well-being of our future generations.

In The Power of Iranian Narratives the stories and experiences of the individuals speak to their view of themselves and their relationships with one another. Shahideh's compelling account gives readers the freedom to move beyond one's own story, someone else's story, or simply a philosophical rendition of the power of narrative and imagination unto a narrative that opens a world in front of the text. The understanding evidenced in the appropriation of this world clears the way for not only understanding others, but for understand­ing oneself in relationship to the other.

Social Sciences / Gay & Lesbian Studies

Dead Boys Can't Dance: Sexual Orientation, Masculinity and Suicide by Michael Dorais, with Simon Louis Lajeunesse, translated by Pierre Tremblay (McGill-Queen’s University Press) is a provocative study of the tragic consequences of homophobia.

Dead Boys Can't Dance explores the double taboos of homosexuality and suicide and their effects on males from fourteen to twenty-five by reviewing quantitative studies and conducting new qualitative research. North American society has been reluctant to recognize that there is a link between the social stigmatization of homosexuality and the high level of suicide attempts by adolescent boys who are homosexual or are identified as homosexual by their peers. By examining first-person accounts from teenage boys and young men, Michel Dorais and Simon Lajeunesse shed light on why some of them attempt to take their own lives.

Dorais, professor of social work, and Lajeunesse, a doctoral candidate in social work, both at Université Laval, analyze the adverse ways being stigmatized as homosexual affects personality and behavior, discerning four types of reaction: the ‘perfect boy,’ whose perfectionism and asexuality are an attempt to minimize the difference between how he is perceived and what he is supposed to be; the ‘chameleon,’ who attempts to keep everyone from suspecting his secret but constantly feels like an impostor; the ‘token fag,’ who serves as a scapegoat to his peers and suffers rejection and lack of self-esteem; and the ‘rebel,’ who actively rejects any stigma based on his sexual orientation and non-conformity. The authors show that those who are heterosexual but suspected of being homosexual are most at risk of suicide and make recommendations for suicide prevention.

Not all youths who recognize their homosexual orientation contemplate or commit suicide, but the problem is often underestimated. In spite of accumulating evidence, there is ongoing reluctance to recognize the link between the traditional social stigmatization of homosexuality and the elevated incidence of suicide attempts and suicides by adolescent and young adult males identified as gay. Further, the double taboo surrounding the problem means that homosexuality is not generally talked about in the presence of young people, except negatively, and that the issue of youth suicide is not discussed.

As victims of heterosexism and homophobia, young homo­sexual individuals often feel overwhelmingly guilty for being who they are. If they are also thinking of ending their lives, they know they will be failing doubly in meeting the expectations of those closest to them. Parents in turn may feel doubly shamed: for having a homosexual son, and for having a suicidal son. These young men are twice "not like everyone else," meaning "not normal" in the eyes of others. As a result, their families are usually silent for fear of also being stigmatized.

Most young homosexual men who commit suicide take their secret to their graves. And the relatives of these young men do not report their suffering. Laws attempt to make all citizens equal, whatever their sexual orientation. Still, many gay or bisexual adolescents and young adults continue to be deprived of relevant information and support or help, even when they are systematically degraded, ostracized, and sometimes physically harmed. They may also be totally ignored because their non­existence is assumed. The underlying message is that homosexual people do not – should not – exist. North American campaigns against sexism and racism during the past decades have produced positive results for women and minority ethnic groups. For young homosexual people, however, little has changed. True, some groups have formed to help them, especially in larger cities and sometimes in surrounding regions, but young people must first know that these groups exist. Unfortunately, many schools do not supply such information, fearing accusations of proselytizing. Homosexuality remains a taboo subject, and related resources continue to be withheld. The media present few of the positive images needed to counter the caricatures so often encountered. The media norm includes "fag" jokes and a generalized view of ho­mosexuality as either tragic or comic.

The volunteer study sample described in Dead Boys Can't Dance consisted of young men (eighteen to thirty-five) who attempted suicide one or more times between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five years. When interviewed, the majority of these young men, twenty-four of the thirty-two subjects, had been self-identified and/or identified by others as homosexual when they made the attempt. The remaining eight young heterosexual subjects form a small comparison group.

As adolescents, many of the so-called homosexual males did not identify themselves as homosexual but they were nonetheless believed to be homosexual or feared being identified as such in their living environments.

To date, Quebec researchers have not investigated the possible link between suicidal behaviors and individuals having a homosexual or bisexual orientation. In English Canada and the United States, however, the statistics produced have been widely reported and noticed. Dorais and Lajeunesse reviewed quantitative studies based on representative volunteer samples. A survey of twelve such studies of gay and bisexual male youth from the United States and Canada produced an average lifetime incidence of 31.3 per cent for attempting suicide. The main studies they reviewed were those produced from large, mostly random samples of homosexual and bisexual males that have comparative samples of heterosexual males matched on the basis of selected demographic variables. As a rule these studies report that homosexually oriented adolescent and young adult males are six to sixteen times more at risk for attempting suicide, either during their lifetimes or over a specified period of time, than their heterosexual counterparts.

Little known to the public is that the data in an early study (carried out by Bell and Weinberg during the late 1960s and early 70s on a large group of predominantly white and black homosexual males living in the San Francisco Bay area) revealed that up to the age of seventeen years the relative risk factor for homosexual males at this age were about sixteen times more at risk for attempting suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.

One current and ongoing study known as The Omega Cohort is a study of Quebec men who are having sexual relationships with other men. A preliminary analysis of about six hundred respondents of this cohort has revealed that 36 per cent of them attempted suicide at some point in their lives, and that almost twice this percentage contemplated suicide at least once. The researchers associated with the Omega Cohort also ex­pressed the belief that a link exists between the revelation of their homosexual or bisexual orientation – coming out – and the period of high risk for at­tempting suicide. These results may suggest that having a homosexual orientation is causal in suicidality, but the evidence from studies indicates otherwise. Instead, it appears that having a homosexual or bisexual orientation in highly homophobic environments adds to the reported risks associated with suicide behaviors. Therefore, exploring this aspect was a major objective of the Dorais and Lejeunesse study, as opposed to seeking to establish a link between homosexual orientation and suicidal behaviors. This link, in the authors’ opinion, has been well established by other researchers.

To summarize, although the high risk for suicidal ideation and behaviors in young gay men has been increasingly recognized, little is known about the factors actually implicated in this vulnerability. Dead Boys Can't Dance explores this vulnerability, the focus being on the improved understanding of situations associated with the suicide attempts of young gay and bisexual men.

This book should be part of every high school's curriculum! The book proves, if more proof were needed, that homophobia is a serious social problem and that we must act if we are to save young lives. – Voir [translation]

This book shows that the social evil of suicide cannot be reduced to individual psychology. Drawing on interviews, Durkheim's approach to suicide, which takes into account the individual's degree of social integration, and Erving Goffman's concept of stigmatization, Dorais and Lajeunesse propose an insightful typology of young homosexuals. Their call for preventive measures sounds an urgent alarm that deserves to be heard. – Louis Cornellier, Le Devoir [translation]

The ground-breaking research described in Dead Boys Can't Dance has special  importance because these young men are largely ignored, not understood, or mis­understood by most people – including many mainstream suicidologists.

True Crime

Gangster City: A History of the New York Underworld, 1900-1940 by Patrick Downey (Barricade Books), volume one of a two-volume series is arguably the most comprehensive book ever written on organized crime in New York City during the early decades of the 20th century. Its pages chronicle virtually every known Mafioso, bootlegger, racketeer and thug who terrorized the city during those years.

Between 1900 and 1935, close to 700 gangsters were murdered in New York City, casualties of gang warfare. Some were found in cars, others stuffed in barrels and burlap sacks. Some were gunned down on the street, while others were strangled, beaten to death with brass knuckles and clubs, or stabbed to death with knives and ice picks. Many were unknown until the time of their deaths, while others, like Charlie "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Jack "Legs" Diamond, became internationally famous. Gangster City is their story.

Beginning with the reign of Monk Eastman, the famous Jewish gangster depicted in Martin Scorsese's 2002 film The Gangs of New York, this Who's Who of the New York underworld explores the origins of Mafia initiation rites and uncovers the most significant gang wars, many of which have received little or no attention in previous books on the subject. In addition, Gangster City debunks long­standing myths about gangland and offering solutions to unsolved mysteries. The book contains the first full account of the gang war fought between Waxey Gordon and the Bug & Meyer mob. Also an in-depth examination of Irish gangster Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll's career reveals his probable killer, while myths about the Irish White Hand gang – whose demise is frequently, yet inaccurately, attributed to a carefully orchestrated hit by notorious gangster, Al Capon are finally dispelled and the true cause revealed.

The book, written by Patrick Downey, the great-grandson of a bootlegger, who grew up in and around Detroit before moving to New York City in 1990 to pursue a career in stand-up comedy, examines:

  • The early days of the Mafia and the rise and fall of the Morello/Terranova family, which entrenched itself in Harlem and terrorized New York City for 35 years
  • The first two Mafia snitches, who blew the whistle on the mob in 1918 and 1921
  • How the discovery of Camillo Caizzo's body in the Shark River near Asbury Park, NJ in 1921 led to the second Mafia squealer and the divulgence of a secret Mafia initiation rite
  • The Castellamarese War and its Brooklyn victims
  • The Tong wars, which resulted in numerous gangster deaths
  • The possible identification of the infamous "Buster from Chicago" made famous in the book The Valachi Papers
  • The various techniques gangsters in this time period used to kill one another

Complete with a full listing of the over 250 New York/New Jersey addresses of where over 1,000 Italian, Irish, and Jewish criminals lived and died, as well as dozens of never-before-published photographs, Gangster City paints a colorful portrait of gang activity in New York City, both animating and expanding all previous knowledge of this infamous era in American history.

 

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