We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

July 2004, Issue #63


Working Through the Contradictions: From Cultural Theory to Critical Practice by E. San Juan, Jr. (Bucknell University Press) addresses major issues of cultural theory, comparative politics, and international relations, gathering together classic and new essays by the internationally renowned U.S.-based Filipino artist, culture critic and thinker E. San Juan, Jr.

Committed to the ideal of a popular, egalitarian democracy, San Juan, director of the Philippines Cultural Studies Center in Connecticut, exposes the limits of the current vogue of transnationalism, cosmopolitan humanitarianism, and varieties of dissentious multiculturalism. Opposing the triumphalist discourse of U.S.-centered globalization, San Juan reaffirms the value and power of a historical materialist critique of the "new world order." Connecting the theoretical debates in American Studies to the recent U.S. intervention in the Philippines against the Abu Sayyaf guerillas, Spinoza's philosophy to current racism against Asian Americans, European surrealism to Caribbean history, San Juan's dialectical method illuminates the contradictions of thought and practice that open up opportunities for social transformation and spiritual renewal.

Working Through the Contradictions is an uncompromising critique of late capitalist society and its ideology of transnationalism, hybridity, and border-crossing pluralism. Post-September 11 white supremacist racism becomes the actuality that proves how moralizing neoliberal and borderless paradigms can no longer elude the inescapable contradictions at the heart of a market-based society. What is needed is to work through these contradictions until a space emerges for a new social order of justice and equality.

San Juan's three-decades-long experience of internationalism and solidarity with Third World struggles finds its most memorable figuration in the rich constellation of thinkers and movements of thought energizing this collection. His erudition is tempered by a reasoned engagement with current political struggles. In the process of inventorying oppositional and alternative movements, San Juan opens up hegemonic theories of cultural studies to interrogation by the critical practices of organizations and group formations fighting racism, corporate exploitation, and domination by a resurgent pax Americana.

Overall, Working Through the Contradictions aims to subvert the status quo of consumerist peace established through the repressive operations of the free market and elite democracy. Its intervention into the controversial fields of American Studies, the political theory of nationalism, the logic of ethnic and cultural studies, and the discourse of literary criticism and aesthetics, calls for the rebirth of an organic partisan intelligence that would counter the delusive force of the transnational market and its neoliberal consensus. While there is no guarantee of defeating the post September 11 "manifest destiny" of permanent war, this project of critique and advocacy of a counter-hegemonic agenda offers a testimony of how the quest for truth and knowledge unfolds contradictions that implicate theory with practice, thought with complex processes of change. San Juan's analysis of numerous fronts of ideological conflict today is itself an exemplary per­formance of rare intelligence, resourcefulness, and courage.

Architecture / Professional & Technical

Learning from Palladio by Branko Mitrović (W.W. Norton & Co.) is an exploration of the design procedures and methodology of Andrea Palladio, arguably the most influential Renaissance architect.

Even when Modernism dimmed interest in classical architecture, Palladio's opus never ceased to attract attention. Learning from Palladio sets Palladio in his context; discusses the theory of the orders, proportions, space composition, and facade design; and presents this material for practicing architects and students, so that the ideas can be applied in their architectural work today.

Andrea Palladio's works – the Basilica, Palaizo Chiericati, and Villa Roronda in Vicenza, Villa Cornaro in Piombino Dese, the Redentore Church in Venice, and numerous other buildings – have never ceased to attract the attention of architects, historians, and the general public. Arguably the most influential Renaissance architect, Palladio and his works have been examined in countless publications. In this unique book, Branko Mitrović rethinks traditionally held views of Palladio’s design theory. He explores Palladio’s approach to spatial composition, facade design, detailing, proportions and the use of the classical orders; discusses Platonist influences in Palladio’s design; and uncovers pertinent aspects of Palladio’s design procedures and methodology. Mitrović, associ­ate professor, currently teaching archi­tectural design and theory at Unitec Institute of  Technology in Auckland, New Zealand, provides a synthesis of earlier Palladian scholarship and emphasizes the importance of the history of design theory to their understanding of the architectural works of the past. Finally, he offers an insightful view of the application of Palladio’s Renaissance design principles in twenty-first-century architecture, inspiring, through Palladianism the architecture of the future.

Nearly 200 photographs and illustrations showcase a broad selection of Palladian structures and styles, supplemented by digital renderings, views and site plans.

Excerpt from the Afterword:

“The mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible,” Oscar Wilde once wrote. “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.”

Like so many of the Victorian aesthete's pronouncements, this opinion is worthy of serious consideration. Wilde's observation elegantly states the two underlying theses of this book: that visual and formal properties of architectural works are legitimate objects of study in architectural history and that if certain formal and visual design principles give aesthetically successful results, then we should use them in modern works. The importance of the distinction between visual and verbal, formal and conceptual, shape and its abstract properties, cannot be overemphasized when it comes to architecture. The intention of Learning from Palladio is not to argue the greater value of either, but merely to establish, from the example of Palladio's architecture, that architectural works have both. Sometimes, the formal decisions of an architect like Palladio may be affected by verbal properties ascribed to certain ele­ments, but the architectural creative process is necessar­ily marked by formal and visual decisions that are ultimately not reducible to verbal, conceptual thinking.

Learning from Palladio means learning not only how to design, but also how to learn to design. It means learning to rely predominantly on formal considera­tions. Trying to summarize what is known about Palladio's design procedures also means trying to describe his design principles for those architects who want to follow them. It is not easy to dismiss this idea by appealing to judgments about the appropriateness of architecture to its time. "Appropriateness to one's time" is relative to individuals, and therefore a particularly unsuitable basis for any judgment requiring consensus. Certainly, architects can refuse to learn the formal treatment of design problems from the past, and they can try to design on the basis of their private associations with modern times, naively believing in the unquestionable rightness of these associations. But architecture derived from such an approach cannot simply expect people to agree that it has made the world more beautiful. Such a claim can be made only by an architecture that is genuinely formally motivated, and the important job of the architectural historian is to provide material for such an undertaking.

Throughout, Mitrović’s comprehensive Learning from Palladio reveals what architectural historians, practicing architects, and students can learn from Palladio today. Mitrović’s background in mathematical theories, especially proportional theory, and his study of philosophy, as well as his lack of background in art history, contribute to his in-depth analysis and understanding of classical principles. His discussion of research on Palladio’s design theory published since World War II, contemporary formalism and the use of Palladio’s design principles in contemporary architecture and his prediction that Palladio’s classical architecture is the architecture of the future is daring in an academic book, and fascinating.

Arts & Photography / Theater

It Happened on Broadway: An Oral History of the Great White Way by Myrna Katz Frommer & Harvey Frommer (The University of Wisconsin Press)
From the living memories of the people who created the magic of Broadway theater, It Happened on Broadway illustrates the history of Broadway, its triumphs and failures, its constant variety, and enduring glories.

What song did Leslie Uggams sing on Name That Tune that earned her a part in Mitch Miller's Hallelujah Baby? What great musical score did Moss Hart first hear in a kindergarten classroom? What positions did Neil Simon, Robert Redford, and Manny Azenberg play on Barefoot in the Park's softball team? The answers to such questions can be found within this narrative of a hundred voices that take the reader on an intimate backstage tour.

Here, in a book filled with the light of Broadway, are the living memories of the people who created it woven together by noted oral historians and professors at Dartmouth, Myrna and Harvey Frommer. It Happened on Broadway contains not only the stories of actors, directors, producers, composers, lyricists, and playwrights but also of critics, publicists, set designers, and stage managers. Together they recreate the musical and dramatic successes of the years before and after World War II, the triumph of the book musical, the emergence of the dance musical, and the era of spectacle musical. There are tales such as the one John Raitt recalls about the time he was handed a fifteen-foot piece of sheet music that turned out to be the soliloquy for Carousel and Carol Channing's account of her unplanned debut on a grammar school stage. There are evocations of the great comedians, singers, dancers, and dramatic actors who had that indefinable magic that made them stand out above the rest. There are stories from Gwen Verdon, Marge Champion, and Donna McKechnie remembering their late husbands, the choreographers Bob Fosse, Gower Champion, and Michael Bennett.

There's no people like show people to take you behind the scenes. The Frommers haven't written a history of Broadway. They've woven one from the recollections of an all-star cast of more than one hundred actors, directors, producers, designers, choreographers, publicists, authors, composers, and even critics. – The San Francisco Examiner

Sixty years of mesmerizing history, from all the hits to all the flops. – Liz  Smith  

An oral history of Broadway by the people who lived it, this volume encompasses the triumphs and glorious failures, fights and betrayals, dedication and drudgery. – Ingram

Marked by energy and passion, It Happened on Broadway tells the story of more than half a century of American theater at its best. With loving but unsparing portraits and great backstage details, the book is perfect for theater lovers.

Arts & Photography

How to Draw and Sell Digital Cartoons by Leo Hartas (Barron’s)

In recent years, the computer has become an all-important cartoonist's medium. Computers are revolutionizing every aspect of comic production, from organizing an artist’s first ideas, through drawing, coloring, and lettering, to final production and distribution. With the right technology and the best techniques, anyone can start creating great cartoons, and then get them out into the wider world.

How to Draw and Sell Digital Cartoons is a practical, hands-on guide showing readers how to create professional quality digital cartoons. Written by Leo Hartas, a highly regarded writer and illustrator of children’s books, as well as a cartoonist, the book opens with advice on setting up a digital studio and gives tips on how to work smart, work fast, and keep operating expenses low. Hartas follows with advice on transforming good graphic ideas into finished work, training the imagination, striving for originality, and developing the technique of self-criticism. Other details covered include planning and writing scripts, writing captions for single-frame cartoons, storyboarding, making preliminary sketches on the computer, and mastering line art, color, and 3D techniques. Finally, Hartas offers detailed advice on how to get one's digital art seen by potential buyers, how to get it published, how to set fees, and the importance of time management and meeting deadlines.

How to Draw and Sell Digital Cartoons will help readers discover how to:

  • pencil, ink, and color on computer.

  • create their own amazing characters, fantastic worlds, and gripping stories.

  • use 3D programs to boost their work and save time.

In How to Draw and Sell Digital Cartoons, cartoon art meets the digital revolution. With approximately 400 illustrations, How to Draw and Sell Digital Cartoons is a textbook and reference volume for today's cartoonist.

Biographies & Memoirs / Disabled

Scattered Shadows: A Memoir of Blindness and Vision by John Howard Griffin (Orbis Books)

This never before published memoir, by the author of Black Like Me, with an introduction by the compiler, Robert Bonazzi, is an extraordinary chronicle of the triumph of the human spirit.

John Howard Griffin is remembered chiefly as the author of the classic account of his passing as a black man in the Deep South in the fall of 1959. That classic, recently reissued in new hardcover and audio editions, has sold over ten million copies and been translated into fourteen languages. Scattered Shadows tells a similarly remarkable story – the account of Griffin's ten years in the country of the blind.

His memoir begins in the South Pacific with the war injury that stole his vision along with his entire familiar reality. It moves to France, where his last months of fading vision include time in the French monastery of Solesme, immersed in the glory of Gregorian chant. His recollections of this time are unforgettably poignant: "The sight of a pin, a hair, a leaf, a glass of water – these filled my being with trembling excitement."

Gradually Griffin discovers that what had seemed a total, calamitous loss becomes instead a portal to a different world. His frustrations and sufferings lead him on a journey to find his true identity, his vocation, and the meaning of life. In the years that follow he becomes a Catholic, takes up ranching, becomes a successful novelist, marries, and has children. All this takes place before that extraordinary day when his eyesight miraculously began to return...

Scattered Shadows reminds you of what a book can be – if the writer is as powerful as the material. John Howard Griffin was not only a natural storyteller and profound thinker, but he possessed the rare gift of knowing how to make an ally of misfortune. It is a gift he passes on to the reader... You will reach for this book the way you reach for a flashlight in the dark. – Phyllis Theroux

John Howard Griffin's Scattered Shadows has come to light, and is well worth the long wait. It is a fascinating account of temporary blindness that deserves a wide readership. – Brother Patrick Hart

This collection pays moving homage to a remarkable individual, one who influenced a generation of young people in the days of protesting racial discrimination. Griffin's spiritual journey is an extraordinary account of suffering, loss and triumph. Scattered Shadows bears special meaning for those who have experienced loss and suffering. But it will speak to anyone who has ever pondered the value of love and faith, and wondered about what it means to be a human being.

Biographies & Memoirs / African-American / Musicians

Moanin' at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf by Mark Hoffman, James Segrest (Pantheon Books)

In the first definitive biography of the legendary blues and rock 'n' roll icon, music scholars James Segrest and Mark Hoffman chronicle the story of the professional triumph and personal tragedy of one of the most revered blues performers of all time. They strip away all the myths to uncover startling information about his mysterious early years, surprising new details about his decades on top, and dozens of never-before-seen photos. Moanin' at Midnight is the product of more than ten years of research and more than 250 interviews with some of the world's most famous blues musicians, including B. B. King, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Ike Turner, Hubert Sumlin, Jody Williams, Sam Lay, Eddie Shaw, and Honeyboy Edwards.

Born Chester Arthur Burnett in Mississippi in 1910, Howlin’ Wolf began his music career after laboring as a sharecropper on plantations under the tutelage of the Delta blues giants Charlie Patton and Sonny Boy Williamson, singing and playing in perilous juke joints and dives throughout the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s and 1940s. According to authors Hoffman and Segrest, both well-known writers on the blues scene, Wolf's unusual voice was a gift of nature.... He sang at work and play, often singing all day long while plowing, then singing on weekends wherever people would listen. After a few years in the U.S. Army during World War II, he moved to Chicago, and together with Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Willie Dixon, he helped to define electric blues and vied with rival Muddy Waters for the title of king of Chicago blues. He was present at the birth of rock 'n' roll in Memphis, where Sam Phillips – who also discovered Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis – called Wolf his "greatest discovery." The 1960s and 1970s saw him recording and performing with Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and other rock musicians. Howlin' Wolf's amazing energy and passion for the blues kept him performing despite a series of physical ailments up until his death in January 1976. He ended his career performing and recording with the world's most famous rock stars.

There's never been a comprehensive biography of the Wolf until now. Segrest and Hoffman show how, in contrast to Muddy Waters who was controlled and sexy, Wolf was ferocious, angry and unpredictable, a large man with a powerful, raspy voice and a keen intelligence.

Segrest and Hoffman do a superb job of capturing the many facets of Wolf's long career ... This fluid, fascinating, and thoroughly researched biography is a long overdue tribute. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Talk about best-kept secrets! There are no rumors in this book – not a one. It says everything there is to say about the Wolf. I've been looking for this one for a long, long time. – Taj Mahal

Things folks have done in the dark are going to come out in the light. Nobody else has ever dug up what these guys have found­ and it's right. – Hubert Sumlin

Moanin' at Midnight brings the Wolf to life as an American treasure – standing alongside Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker among the giants in the blues pantheon – the 6-foot-3 man with the lyrical growl who always seemed to be just a little larger than life itself. This is engrossing study, a must-have for blues lovers and a worthy acquisition for any pop music collection.

Biological Sciences / Fish

Fishes of Alabama by Herbert T. Boschung & Richard L. Mayden, illustrated by Joseph Tomelleri (Smithsonian Institution Press) is an enormous, superbly illustrated book revealing the astounding diversity of Alabama's fishes through detailed information from the authors and brilliant color plates by Joseph Tomelleri.
Herbert T. Boschung and Richard L. Mayden are two leading scientists of biodiversity. Boschung, co-editor of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fishes, Whales, and Dolphins and Mayden, author of over 100 papers on fishes, and editor of the landmark publication Systematics, Historical Ecology, and North American Freshwater Fishes, have dedicated years to documenting the evolutionary histories, diversity, diets, growth rates, reproduction, sizes, distribution, and status of Alabama's fishes, and they present this information in a user-friendly format. The identification keys to the species are beautifully illustrated with drawings that provide fast, accurate identification, useful to experts and the general public alike. An angler looking to determine the species of fish he just caught, a biology student interested in stream biodiversity, or a young naturalist exploring North America's hotspot for fish biodiversity, all with an interest in the world of fishes will find Fishes of Alabama ideal.

The aquatic ecosystems of the southeastern US, and especially those in Alabama have been identified by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, and other published sources as having the most diverse flora and fauna in North America. In fact, Alabama has 297 native species of freshwater fishes alone, two of which are extinct.

Because it is near impossible to comprehend in words the many subtle differences that distinguish a species, Boschung's and Mayden's descriptions are teamed with natural history artist Joseph Tomelleri's brilliant color plates that reveal each species' true life colors and details of feature. In addition to the 385 color figures on 112 plates, the book is illustrated with more than 350 distribution and range maps and 62 habitat photographs. Easy-to-use keys are provided for the identification of each species of freshwater fish known to occur in Alabama, many of which occur elsewhere in the United States.

Technical terms are unavoidable. To aid nonprofessionals and beginning students of ichthyology, Boschung and Mayden have included Chapter 4, Introduction to the Study of Fishes, and a Glossary of technical terms. Boschung and Mayden have also attempted to relate as much biology as available or practical, not only because it is interesting but because with they believe that the more readers understand how fishes make their living the more likely they will be to protect them.

There is little doubt that the authors and illustrator have produced a masterpiece of scientific description – the type of book to be expected from the Smithsonian. The care and integration of text and illustration as well as the layout, design and production value makes this volume a candidate for awards in book production as well as in ithichthyological content. Fishes of Alabama is an ideal reference for libraries and everyone interested in the diversity of our world. It is also a major event in publishing.
Biological Sciences / Fish / Social Sciences / Sociology

Cannabis: A History by Martin Booth (Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press) is an in-depth study of the most widely-used and controversial drug in the world today by Martin Booth, an internationally known, Booker-prize shortlisted novelist and writer and an expert on everything from Chinese organized crime to the African rhino.
To some it’s anathema, to others it provides relief from crippling pain; to others still, it is a “gateway drug,” a legal anomaly, a crime.

In this definitive history of Cannabis, Booth chronicles the evolution of one of the oldest and most versatile cash-crops in the world. As hemp it can be used to make rope, textiles, paper and even diesel fuel. Hashish is the potent, hallucinogenic manifestation that has been a popular drug throughout the Arabic world for centuries. And then, of course, there is the most prolific, least potent, western variety of cannabis – marijuana.

Booth crafts a tale of medical advance and religious enlightenment; of political subterfuge and law enforcement; of customs officers, cunning smugglers, street pushers, gang warfare, writers, artists, musicians, happy-go-lucky hippies and potheads. He also discusses some of marijuana's more prominent proponents, including The Beatles and the poet Allen Ginsberg, who saw cannabis as an intellectual stimulant rather than a recreational drug.

Booth also chronicles the fascinating and often mystifying process through which cannabis, a relatively harmless substance, became outlawed throughout the Western world, and the devastating effect such legislation has on the global economy. He explores the arguments both for and against the decriminalization of cannabis, showing how the case for decriminalization remains one of the twenty-first century's`hottest topics. And he demonstrates the effects of cannabis legislation on the global economy.

Readable and comprehensive, loaded as fudge: the only hash book you'll ever need. – Kirkus Reviews

Amazingly informative and riveting ... quite intoxicating. – Financial Times Magazine (UK)

Fascinating... Booth does present what amounts to a clear-headed and sustained case for legalization. – The Sunday Times (U.K.)

Even-handed, adult, and good-humored... original and thought-provoking. - Sunday Telegraph (U.K.)

Cannabis is an objective, factual and complete study of the most widely used illicit drug in the world. Booth has used his links to drug law-enforcement agencies throughout the world in this impeccably researched social and cultural history of the most popular and controversial drug in the world. He writes this history with all the flare of his literary style; it is rich in detail, yet compelling and full of life. Cannabis is a must read for anyone who wants the full story about this contentious plant.

Business & Investing / Economics / Policy

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets – Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay (HarperBusiness)

Guided by the belief that a combination of lightly regulated capitalism and liberal democracy – the American business model – is not just appropriate for America at the dawn of the twenty-first century, but a universal path to freedom and prosperity, the United States is a colossus seeking to remake the world in its own image.

In this new and illuminating analysis of the nature and evolution of the market economy, John Kay attacks the oversimplification contained in the American business model and favored by politicians and business people. He even questions whether it offers an accurate description of the success of the American economy itself.

In an absorbing argument that rewards close reading, Culture and Prosperity examines every assumption we have about economic life from a refreshingly new angle. Taking the reader from the shores of Lake Zurich to the streets of Mumbai, from the flower market of San Remo to the sales rooms at Christie's, John Kay reveals the connection between a nation's social, political, and cultural context and its economic performance.

Kay, one of Britain’s leading economists, argues that America's success has more to do with its institutions than with its system of free markets and aggressive materialism. And he warns against the dangers of redesigning other countries' economies according to the American way. Whether high or low taxes, minimal or extensive safety nets, there are many models for successful economies that achieve different goals based on different values. In fact, Kay explains, the diversity of choices that countries make is what causes globalization to succeed at raising living standards around the world. Markets work because, and only because, they are embedded in social, political and cultural institutions. With this understanding, Kay tackles the big questions of economics, including:

  • How today's rich states became rich and why history matters in keeping them so.
  • Why productivity is twenty times higher in Sweden than in India. And why productivity is higher in France than in America despite far longer vacations and far shorter work days.
  • Why unrestrained greed and opportunism lead to poor countries, not rich ones.
  • Why higher productivity doesn't necessarily lead to higher living standards.
  • Why American consumption is 40% higher than the next highest country.
  • Why the industrial revolution happened in Britain, but not in China.
  • And why capitalism works wonderfully in America but not yet in Russia.

Culture and Prosperity dispels ideological misunderstandings of markets and replaces them with what we should know – a true account of the complex, elegant, subtle institutions of the successful market economy of the United States.

John Kay's book explains some of the major economic topics of our time – indeed of all time – including the all-important question of the appropriate role of the state. Readers of this illuminating book will better understand what has gone wrong with the market economy and what should be done  about it. – Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics

[Kay] gives answers to those puzzling questions that nag the nonspecialist. Why are some countries rich and others poor? Why do people doing the same job in Mexico and the U.S., a few miles apart, get completely different wages? – The Independent

Kay will surprise and challenge American readers by helping them see their own economic lives in context with the rest of the world. A witty and accessible tour de force that is immersed in the latest economic thinking, Culture and Prosperity is an indispensable guide destined to become a classic text for understanding the politics of globalization.

Children’s / Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery & Horror

Sweet Miss Honeywell's Revenge: A Ghost Story by Kathryn Reiss (Harcourt, Inc.) is a time-travel ghost story for young people grades 4-7.

Zibby Thorne knows there's something wrong with the shabby dollhouse she bought for her twelfth birthday. She hears strange rustling and ringing noises when there's no one else in the room, and one of the dolls never seems to be in the same place she left it. Most frightening of all, whatever make-believe Zibby plays with the dolls comes true – but in a warped, twisted kind of way.
So when her family and friends start having bizarre accidents, Zibby is certain the dollhouse is somehow responsible. Terrified, she tracks down the original owner, and she learns something even more shocking: The dollhouse is haunted – and one of the ghosts who lives in it is a cruel former governess named Miss Honeywell who died eighty years ago.

Now, in Sweet Miss Honeywell's Revenge, it's up to Zibby and her four friends to find a way to stop the troubled ghosts, especially the cruel Miss Honeywell. Because if they don't, one of them may have to pay for the mistakes of the past and the present ... with her life.

Reiss' eerie time travel mystery will snag readers on the first page and hold them until the last. – Booklist

This tightly plotted novel moves swiftly through three distinctive time periods as it deftly presents a large cast of memorable characters. – The Horn Book Guide

A palette with daubs of time travel, artists, magic, evil, and possession paints an intriguing mystery. – Kirkus Reviews

Sweet Miss Honeywell's Revenge, written by Kathryn Reiss, best know for her time travel mysteries, is a novel that will please mystery fans as well as readers who like ghost stories. It scores high on the key elements of mystery, keeping tension high and offering several ingenious twists.

Arts & Photography / Art History

Painting for the Market: Commercialization of Art in Antwerp's Golden Age by F. Vermeylen (Brepols Publishers) examines the process of commercialization of art which took place in Antwerp during the long sixteenth century, an era of rapid expansion of both the city's economy and its art market.

Antwerp-carved altarpieces, paintings, tapestries, books and other luxury items were exported to an area stretching from the Baltic region to the Mediterranean Basin during this time period. The key development that explains the success of Antwerp as an export center for the arts, author Filip Vermeylen argues, lies not only in the strength of the Antwerp economy and the artistic tradition of the Southern Netherlands, but specifically in the shift from ordering artwork on commission to production for the open market. In other words, Antwerp artists were much more inclined to produce art on spec and, consequently, art was commercialized and became the subject of intense trading.

Focusing on painting and, to some degree, on other art forms such as sculpture and tapestry, Painting for the Market surveys the various factors that contributed to this phenomenon: proto-industrial workshops engaged in standardized production of popular images, and the sophisticated commercial infrastructure that the city could boast allowed art to be sold wholesale to an international clientele at the panden (specialized sales halls). However, the flourishing of the art market was ultimately a direct result of the increased demand for luxury goods, both foreign and domestic, and Antwerp was essentially the locale where supply and demand for art converged.

According to Vermelen, Postdoctoral Fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders, at the University of Antwerp, the booming art market led to increased commodization of works of art; art dealers entered on the scene and further professionalized the art trade during the second half of the sixteenth century. In painting, commercialization led to a diversification of the genres, a form of product innovation that generated new demand. Clearly, Antwerp's pivotal position in the European trade network and its pioneering role in introducing capitalist commercial techniques had transformed the way art was marketed and produced. The outbreak of the Dutch Revolt during the last third of the sixteenth century severely disrupted the economy of the Southern Netherlands, and as a result, the Antwerp art market collapsed in the mid-1580s. However, in the difficult closing years of the sixteenth century, a transformation process began to take shape for yet a new era of cultural eminence for the city of Antwerp.

Painting for the Market is based on Vermeylen’s dissertation, defended at Columbia University, and contains an extensive bibliography. In the first part of the book, Vermeylen surveys the emergence of Antwerp as one of the most important art markets in Europe during the long sixteenth century. The vicissitudes of the art market can be broken down into three distinct phases. In an initial period of expansion, from 1490 to 1540, Antwerp established itself as a major center for the production and distribution of paintings (Chapter 1). The number of artists present in the city increased dramatically, largely due to substantial im­migration. The second phase started with the establishment of a new and modern art gallery in the new bourse in 1540, which marked the consolidation of Antwerp as a permanent international market for painting where interested buyers and sellers could meet year-round. The beginning of the end of this era of growth came with the outburst of iconoclasm in 1566, an event which ignited the Dutch Revolt. The following twenty years marked a period of stagnation and decline which ultimately led to the collapse of the art market in 1585 (Chapter 2). There is very little evidence of activity pertaining to the art trade during the first decade following 1585, and it appears that conditions did not improve substantially until the years leading up to the signing of the Twelve-Year Truce in 1609 (Chapter 3).

Painting for the Market follows the subsequent stages of growth and decline of the Antwerp economy during the sixteenth century as they have been outlined by the economic historian Herman Van der Wee. This approach allows for an exami­nation of the relationship between the vicissitudes of the overall economic conditions and the state of the art market. In doing so, the book addresses the question of how closely the art market followed the cycle of the economy as a whole.

The second, interpretative part of the book is devoted to an analysis of the supply and demand factors on the Antwerp art market. In Chapter 4, the various inputs that make up the supply-side are evaluated, devoting considerable attention to the artists workshop and the regulatory environment as it was determined by the Guild of Saint Luke. Next, Vermeylen discusses the importance of the demand factor for the expansion of the Antwerp art market – both domestically and internationally – and examine the role of religious and civic institutions as well as private patronage (Chapter 5). How artistic production and marketing of art in Antwerp was shaped and impacted by the forces of supply and demand, forms the subject of Chapter 6.

Besides investigating the correlation with the general economic trend, Painting for the Market focuses on the mechanisms of distribution of works of art. In other words, who was selling art in Antwerp, when and where? The traditional practice to obtain a work of art was undoubtedly through the various kinds of patronage, which is  discussed in Chapter 5. However, given the prominence of free-market sales in the city, the book concentrates on those channels which catered to the selling of on spec-produced paintings, carved altarpieces, retables, tapestries, musical instruments and other luxury goods. First of all, an artist could market the fruits of his labor directly from his studio or shop. Secondly, an artist could offer up his wares at auctions or lotteries. Thirdly, during the second half of the sixteenth century, painters would increasingly rely on the services of an art dealer. Art dealers have been seen primarily as a phenomenon of the seventeenth century, but research in the archives has revealed a wealth of data pertaining to the crucial role these individuals already played in the professionalization of the art trade in Antwerp during the previous century. The emergence and activities of these important intermediaries between artist and buyer is studied in Chapter 7.

Last but certainly not least, Antwerp painters, sculptors and the like could exhibit their artwork at one of the many panden or sales rooms in the city designed to market a specific category of luxury goods. And these appear to be the last channel that was most cost-effective and time-saving, if success is any judge. In sum, the artistic community of Antwerp could rely on multiple channels to market their valuable wares, which denotes a highly-sophisticated art market.

Painting for the Market, thoroughly research, will be of interest to art historians. It remains to be seen whether artists will find it supportive of their depression around having to paint to suit the market or just more depressing.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Noteworthy: A Collection of Recipes from the Ravinia Festival by Ravinia Festival Women's Board (Chicago Review Press)

In celebration of the Ravinia Festival's centen­nial season, this bestselling & award-winning collection of over 600 recipes, culled from nearly 2,000 submissions by enthusiastic Ravinia picnickers and music lovers are the result of three years of collecting, testing, tasting, collating, and indexing. These elegant yet easy-to-prepare appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, breads, and desserts were twice-tested by Ravinia-area families, who ensured the criteria of excellence was met. The book is now available again for today's busy cooks. Noteworthy was orchestrated by the Ravinia Festival Women's Board as a way to raise money for music scholarships and the venerated music festival.

The wide-ranging recipes stand the test of time and include picnic fare, family dinners, and special occasion dishes. Simpler dishes include homey pumpkin bread and simple pickled beets. More adventurous cooks may want to try

  • Chevre and Leek Tarts
  • Summer Symphony Soup
  • Osso Bucco Milanese
  • Chicken Wellington with Champagne Sauce
  • Vegetarian Lasagna
  • Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
  • Zesty Lemon Tea Bread
  • Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Glaze

Music lovers might want to try guest conductor Claudio Abbado's Crab Caponata and Ravinia music director James Levine's Classic Chicken Salad, or Variations on a Brownie and Summer Symphony Soup.

A superb collection of recipes ... Chicago's Ravinia Festival has inspired a work of culinary art. – McCall's

The wide range of recipes represented will please everyone. – Good Housekeeping

Noteworthy recipes score; a good mix of trendy dishes, basics, and updated classics for all levels of cooks. – Chicago Tribune

The wide variety of savory dishes, the clear and concise presentation of recipes, and the quick gourmet selections for those who are short on time have made Noteworthy a favorite for 15 years. Featuring full-color photos of 46 enticing dishes, Noteworthy is a treasure for food and music lovers alike.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Cooking In The Lowcountry From The Old Post Office Restaurant by Jane Stern & Michael Stern, with recipes by Philip Bardin (Roadfood Cookbook Series: Rutledge Hill Press)

No one drives too fast and nothing is rushed on Edisto Island. It's a "beachy, semitropical version of Mayberry," says Melinda Hester of the Chamber of Commerce. There are no traffic lights, no motels, and no fast-food franchises. What Edisto Island does have are beaches, tranquility, and loggerhead turtles that nest there from May through autumn. "We're off the beaten path and we like it that way," says Char­lie White, proprietor of the Edisto Beach Cafe.

Edisto Island also has The Old Post Office Restaurant, which serves brilliant meals cooked in the Lowcountry style in a building that really was Edisto's old post office and later a general store and gas station. The exquisite menu at The Old Post Office Restaurant has garnered this one-of-a-kind establishment legions of fans from around the country. Chef Philip Bardin and David Gressette opened the restau­rant in 1988, and it has been receiving acclaim ever since from publications such as the New York Times, Travel and Leisure, USA Today, Wine Spectator, and Gourmet magazine. Chef Bardin says, "Breads and desserts are prepared daily and all of the produce and seafood are local and the freshest available in the area. Our stone-ground grits – milled to our specifications – have been a specialty since 1988."

Like a visit to this historic Southern island (less than an hour from Charleston), Cooking In The Lowcountry From The Old Post Office Restaurant contains more than 150 favorite recipes for Southern dishes with a classical twist, such as Fussed Over Pork Chop, P.B.'s Ultimate Filet Mignon, Coca Cola Cake, and Key Lime Mousse. It includes an 8-page color insert.

I cannot imagine being on Edisto Island and not eating at the Old Post Office at least once. When I am not on Edisto, I dream of Chef Philip Bardin's shrimp and grits. It's simply the best I've ever tasted. – Legendary Broadway actress Patti LuPone

Philip Bardin has turned making grits into an art. – The New York Times

Chef Philip Bardin continues to be one of South Carolina's most beloved chefs. His generous plates of honest and wholesome food are rooted in the southern classics. – John Martin Taylor, culinary historian and author of Hoppin'john's Lowcountry Cooking

Cooking In The Lowcountry From The Old Post Office Restaurant captures the essence of Lowcountry cooking from historic and sultry Edisto Island, South Carolina. And whipping up a recipe from the book will enable readers to pay a leisurely, relaxing visit to a unique restaurant in a carefree part of the world and enjoy some of the best cooking in the Lowcountry.

This exciting new cookbook is part of the Roadfood Cookbook Series by Jane and Michael Stern, two of the most popular and successful food writers in America. Previous Roadfood cookbooks include: Blue Willow Inn Cookbook, El Charo Cookbook, Durgin-Park Cookbook, Harry Carey’s Cookbook, Louie's Backyard Cookbook, Cookbook, and The Famous Dutch Kitchen Restaurant Cookbook.


Learning and Instruction: Theory into Practice, 5th edition, by Margaret E. Gredler (Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall)
Against the tapestry of changing educational and social events, theories of learning continue to address the complexities of human learning and cognitive development. Rapid popularity of a theory, typically followed by misinterpretations, is sometimes followed by corrected perceptions and, as the theory matures, a legacy of one or more major concepts that enter the mainstream of educational thought. New in this edition of Learning and Instruction are discussions of the current research on the human brain and the cognitive models and theories of academic motivation, an expanded review of the philosophy known as constructivism and further clarification of the key concepts in Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory. Author Margaret E. Gredler, University of South Carolina, has clarified these concepts, particularly the role of the teacher and subject-matter learning in cognitive development. Also included are current applications of classical conditioning and Gestalt psychology, new developments in contemporary theories, and similarities and differences between each theory and other perspectives.

Following a consistent chapter format, Learning and Instruction provides a logical scaffold for comparing and contrasting theories, and includes a set of instructional planning steps and a model lesson for each theory. It offers clearly designed tables and figures to reinforce material with visual representations of the book's more complex and abstract concepts. Two new chapters appear in this edition: one introduces information processing theory; another explores meta-cognition and problem-solving. Readers will also find updated material and references throughout, particularly in the discussions of constructivism Paiget, self-efficacy, and Weiner's theory.

With an increased emphasis on cognition and constuctivism, Learning and Instruction is a well-organized text offering superior coverage of contemporary learning theories and their application to educational practice. Popular among students, it translates basic assumptions and principles of seven contemporary learning theories into easily understandable guidelines for classroom instruction, and discusses issues related to each theory, including readiness, motivation, problem-solving, and the social context for learning.


The Ambiguity of Teaching to the Test: Standards, Assessment, and Educational Reform edited by William A. Firestone, Roberta Y. Schorr, & Lora Frances Monfils (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers)

Testing is one of the most controversial of all state and federal educational policies, and the effects of testing are ambiguous. The same test may lead to different consequences in different circumstances, and teachers may use very different strategies to prepare students for tests. Although most experts agree that mandatory testing leads to teaching to the test, they disagree about whether it leads to meaningless drill, wasted time, deprofessionalizing teachers, and demotivating students, or to more challenging and thoughtful curricula, more engaging teaching, increased student motivation, and increased accountability.

To help sort through this ambiguity and provide a firmer basis for decisions, The Ambiguity of Teaching to the Test offers a hard look at the effects of state testing. It  thoroughly examines the ambiguity of test preparation and how test preparation practices are influenced by what teachers know and the leadership coming from the school and district. Drawing on data from a three-year study of New Jersey's testing policy in elementary mathematics and science, it helps to explain the variety of ways that teachers modify their teaching in response to state tests, raises important questions, and offers guidance on how state policymakers and local and district school administrators can implement policies that will improve educational equity and performance for all students. It also offers an in-depth analysis of classroom practices that should inform teachers and teacher educators whose goal is to meaningfully implement conceptually based teaching practices.

This comprehensive look at the statewide variation in testing practice features:

  • a data-based, non-ideological treatment of how testing affects teachers, in a field characterized by ideologically driven beliefs and by anecdotes.
  • an extensive and well-integrated combination of qualitative and quantitative data sources that provide a statewide overview as well as an in-depth analysis of teachers and classrooms.
  • a careful analysis of the variety of forms of teaching to the test.
  • a multilevel exploration of how a variety of personal and leadership factors can influence teaching to the test.

The first chapter sets the stage by describing the debates surrounding state testing policies: how they should be designed, what they should strive to accomplish, and what local factors affect how teachers respond to state tests. It also describes the policy context in New Jersey.

Chapter 2 provides an overview of the conceptually based perspective that supports recent "inquiry-oriented" approaches that challenge conventional practice and require students to become more active learners. The chapter then explores the current state of mathematics and science instruction by New Jersey's fourth-grade teachers. It relies primarily on interview data and observational data. The interview data show that teachers really believe that they are changing the instructional strategies they use to be more consistent with current inquiry-oriented approaches to teaching and learning. Direct observation suggests that although many teachers "talk the talk" of reform, their actual practices remain more traditional. Moreover, the teacher surveys show only very modest changes in the amount of time given to various mathematics and science content areas. There is some reduction in the very large amounts of time spent on drill of mathematics facts, but no commensu­rate increase in some of the newer areas of mathematics.

Chapter 3 uses survey, interview, and observation data to illustrate the fundamental ambiguity of test preparation. New Jersey teachers actually engage in two forms of test preparation. Decontextualized test preparation is what most people criticize when they talk about teaching to the test. It con­sists of special "cramming" shortly before the test is given and intensification of conventional, didactic practice. However, some teachers also engage in "embedded" test preparation – that is, changes in teaching throughout the year to reflect the state standards and the content of the test. Teaching to the test is distributed inequitably with districts serving poor students spending more time on specific test preparation activities as compared with those districts serving wealthier students. Ironically, teachers accommodate to the state test more from what they have learned about test items than test results.

Chapter 4 explores teachers' perceptions of the pressure and support that they experience. Pressure comes most directly through signals from administrators that raising test scores is very important. Chapter 5 explores the special role of the principal in supporting instructional change. Principals' contribution to instructional improvement is different from that of the district office. Whereas the latter provide most of the formal learning opportunities for teachers, the former can support teachers' efforts in important, but less formal, ways. In fact, principal support for standards and assessments contributes to both short- and long-term teaching to the test and more inquiry-oriented instruction.

Chapter 6 describes seven districts' contribution to improved instruction using interviews with district personnel and teachers along with district records. This chapter suggests that districts that are quite similar in terms of tax base and student characteristics take very different approaches to state tests. Whatever the nature of the student body and financial resources, the district's approach to instruction is shaped substantially by local understandings of the purpose of the state standards and tests.

Chapter 7 explores equity issues by examining changes in New Jersey's fourth-grade test scores over time. These analyses show that student demographic factors – for example, the number of children on free lunch – are much more powerful than any school characteristics measured. Moreover, although test scores have increased slightly over time, scores for African American stu­dents have not, suggesting that the complete set of interventions in New Jersey – standards, assessments, whole-school reform programs, changed financing, and so forth – have had little impact on the underlying complex of factors that maintain inequities in the American educational system.

The conclusion suggests that New Jersey's approach to state testing leads to only modest change. Still, the key to improved teaching is the offering of greater opportunities for teacher learning rather than increased pressure on teachers (or administrators). Educators must deepen their understanding of the content they are expected to teach, how children learn that content, and the associated effective pedagogical practices that lead to increased understanding of the content taught and how to teach it before students can actually learn more mathematics and science.

[This] is a strong volume ...addressing the education system's response to testing and accountability. Based on solid, important studies ... the analyses are remarkably balanced and grounded in evidence. – Robert E. Floden, Michigan State University

The Ambiguity of Teaching to the Test is an important and comprehensive book for researchers, professionals and students in educational testing, educational policy, educational administration. mathematics and science education, educational reform, and the politics and sociology of education. It will also prove useful for state policy makers, school and district leaders, and teacher educators and curriculum specialists who are making decisions about how to design and respond to stress testing systems.

Entertainment / Film / Literature

Sexual Visuality from Literature to Film, 1850-1950 by Dennis Denisoff (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture Series: Palgrave Macmillan)

With the body, what you see is not exactly what you get.

For centuries, vision has been held as the purest, most direct encounter between the individual and the outside world. By manipulating common notions of the visual, Gothic and other texts challenged sex­ and gender-based assumptions that marginalized certain types of people. Recent visuality theory, however, has demonstrated that the process of seeing is always influenced by other senses, cultural elements, memory and history. Meanwhile, scholarship on gender and sexuality has developed a conception of the body itself as a 'text' written by more than one person and read in more than one way.

Sexual Visuality from Literature to Film, 1850-1950, by Dennis Denisoff, a member of the Graduate School in Communications and Culture of  Ryerson University and York University, Toronto, is a study of the role of Gothic and sensationalist texts in the construction of sexual visuality. It begins by considering some of the issues that would have been on the minds of the producers themselves. The first two chapters therefore consider the relation of visuality to economics and the gender of the artist – first as a distinction between women and men, and then as one within the masculine gender. Addressing Geraldine Jewsbury's The Half Sisters (1848), Dinah Mulock Craik's Olive (1850), and Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret (1862), the first chapter introduces the familiar view that men were better suited than women to artistic professions. It analyses the way in which this position led society to envision a woman who attempted to infiltrate the hegemony as a sexually deviant, masculine threat. As the chapter demonstrates, however, Jewsbury, Craik, and Braddon all tried to harmonize this image of women with that of artists through extended considerations of a woman-centered economy of art and attraction. In the following chapter, Dennisoff considers Wilkie Collins's por­trayal of ideal artists in Hide and Seek (1854), The Woman in White (1869), and The Law and the Lady (1873). Putting the conservative image of the hard-working, bourgeois, male painter on a pedestal seemed not to be enough for the author, who also worked to lower the image of other manly identities.

Having addressed novelists' sexualized visualizations of the artist, Dennisoff turns in the central two chapters to an exploration of explicit depictions of deviance and portraits. While such images seem an obvious starting point for the project, he has found that their focus on the genre itself also offered the best opportunities for articulating some of the more nuanced elements of my argument. In Chapter 3, he addresses The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890, 1891), the most famous example of portraiture in literary visualizations of sexuality. Turning to Queensberry's poem The Spirit of the Matterhorn and the 1891 edition of Oscar Wilde's novel, the codes of portrait painting presented in the men's photographs are used to shed light on the importance of visuality to the formation of decadent identities based on the interaction of sexuality, culture, and commerce.

The fourth chapter returns to the issue of a woman-centered economy with which Sexual Visuality from Literature to Film, 1850-1950 opens, but the emphasis shifts toward the economy of desire. Dennishoff’s claim is that Vernon Lee's ghost story Oke of Okehurst (1892) and Virginia Woolf's equally supernatural novel Orlando: A Biography (1928) both imbue visual art with a feminist aesthetics that allowed them to take perceptual conventions that hindered self-expression and reconfigure them into tools of contestation for women who wished to articulate their unsanctioned emotional needs and desires. The one question that loomed larger and larger over this project as it progressed was what would happen to Victorian sexual visuality once film overtook the novel as the dominant genre of popular culture. As the final two chapters suggest, the sexual visuality articulated through the novel changed but nevertheless maintained its potency into the twentieth century, with the mass visuality stimulated by the main­streaming of cinema remaining heavily invested in the rhetoric and strategies found in Gothic and sensation fiction. Dennishoff’s penultimate chapter analyzes a notion of masculinity related to but in large degree independent of sex and sexuality as it operates in Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca and Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of the novel. His principal argument is that the visual culture that developed during the nineteenth century supports both a model of manliness defined by self-restraint and conservatism and another defined by boyish adven­turousness. By disengaging the personae from a specific sex, Dennishoff reveals that the haunting found in so much portrait literature has been conceived as fantastic only because the spectral personae have been forced to cohere onto sex-based identities. As his consideration of gender ambiguity in du Maurier's Rebecca demonstrates, nineteenth­century visuality haunts twentieth-century literature and film as an inescapable inheritance.

The final chapter turns to film in order to consider more directly the way in which the ekphrastic (the literary representation of visual art) strategies Dennishoff have found in fiction play out in celluloid. Through three portrait-films within the genre of film noir – Otto Preminger's Laura and Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street and Blue Gardenia – the chapter notes the parallels between portraiture and Hollywood's roles as definers of both ideals and the possibilities of transgression. The films reveal that society recognized that portraiture offered an emotional space that sanctioned not just the visualization, but the vivification of the unsightly. It motivated readers – like the willing subjects of a portrait painter – to acquiesce to the destabilization of sexuality, economic privilege, and subjective identity. As the films make clear, nineteenth-century struggles over cultural authority resulted in the formation of a portraiture-based visuality that has circumscribed Western society's conception of sexuality and gender well into the twentieth century.

Sexual Visuality from Literature to Film, 1850-1950 explores the ways in which Gothic, sensation and noir literature and cinema manipulated common notions of the visual in order to foreground our unsightly desires. Addressing authors and directors such as Mary Braddon, Wilkie Collins, Oscar Wilde, Vernon Lee, Virginia Woolf, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger and Fritz Lang, this study shows that what a society gets is often what it tries hardest not to see. Sexual Visuality from Literature to Film, 1850-1950 is a must-read for scholars and students of visuality, gender and sexuality.

The book is part of a series; Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture is a new monograph series that aims to represent the most innovative research on literary works that were produced in the English-speaking world from the time of the Napoleonic Wars to the fin de siecle.

Entertainment / Popular Culture

From Walt to Woodstock: How Disney Created the Counterculture by Douglas Brode (University of Texas Press)

With his thumbprint on the most ubiquitous films of childhood, Walt Disney is widely considered the most conventional of all major American moviemakers. The adjective "Disneyfied" has become shorthand for a creative work that has abandoned any controversial or substantial content to find commercial success.

But does Disney deserve that reputation? In From Walt to Woodstock, Douglas Brode overturns the idea of Disney as a middlebrow filmmaker by detailing how Disney movies played a key role in transforming children of the Eisenhower era into the radical youth of the Age of Aquarius. Using close readings of Disney projects, Brode, playwright, screenwriter, and journalist who teaches cinema studies at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, shows that Disney's films were frequently ahead of their time thematically. Long before the cultural tumult of the sixties, Disney films preached pacifism, introduced a generation to the notion of feminism, offered the screen's first drug-trip imagery, encouraged young people to become runaways, insisted on the need for integration, advanced the notion of a sexual revolution, created the concept of multiculturalism, called for a return to nature, nourished the cult of the righteous outlaw, justified violent radicalism in defense of individual rights, argued in favor of communal living, and encouraged antiauthoritarian attitudes. Brode argues that Disney, more than any other influence in popular culture, should be considered the primary creator of the sixties counterculture – a reality that couldn't be further from his "conventional" reputation.

Excerpt: The screens’s first confrontation between a youthful 1960s rebel and an admonishing conservative adult takes place in Pollyanna (1960)... In the film, elderly Mr. Pendergast (Adolphe Menjou) comments on the long, straggly locks on Jimmy Bean (Kevin Corcoran):

Penndergast: Your hair’s too long! Why don’t you get it cut?

Jimmy Bean: ‘Cause I like it long!

Brode's thesis is both revolutionary and totally without precedent. He steals from no one. Significance? No other moviemaker or mogul – Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg, Orson Welles, etc. – has had such a deep and lasting impact on American popular culture as has Disney. – James MacKillop, author of Contemporary Irish Cinema: From The Quiet Man to Dancing at Lughnasa

This one came out of left field. From Walt to Woodstock is a well-documented, utterly believable, absorbing read for all children of the 60s – it certainly rings true to what this reviewer can remember from her childhood and extended adolescence.

Entertainment / Biographies & Memoirs

Cecil B. Demille's Hollywood by Robert S. Birchard (The University Press of Kentucky)
Cecil B. DeMille was one of the giants of twentieth-century Hollywood. His box-office record was unsurpassed, and his swaggering style established the public image for movie directors. His career was studded with big-budget epics that expressed a Victorian sensibility committed to uplift as much as entertainment.

Best remembered today for screen spectacles such as The Ten Commandments, Samson and Delilah, and The Greatest Show on Earth, DeMille was often criticized for his success and accused of pandering to the lowest common denominator. As early as the 1920s, the story circulated that when audiences proved indifferent to his artistic efforts, DeMille decided to give up on art and offer the public what it wanted: SEX, SIN, and SATAN with a half reel of redemption thrown in for good measure.

DeMille set the standard for Hollywood filmmakers and demanded absolute devotion to his creative vision from his writers, artists, actors, and technicians. Equally significant was his influence on the art of motion pictures: he had a profound impact on the way movies tell stories and brought greater attention to the elements of decor, lighting, and cinematography. In a forty-five-year career he directed seventy films and was involved as producer, co-director, screenwriter—even actor—in dozens of others. In addition to the biblical epics that distinguished his career, DeMille shot Westerns, realistic chamber dramas, and a series of daring and influential social comedies. Highly loyal to a core group of actors and production staff, he was largely responsible for making screen stars of Gloria Swanson, Charles Laughton, and Charlton Heston.

Birchard, a noted film editor and historian, in Cecil B. Demille's Hollywood, traces the director's career and uses DeMille films as the organizing point for his chronological study. Both the unique structure and the extensive archival research upon which the book is based help produce a far different image of the director than what has emerged from scant earlier scholarship. Although a number of books about DeMille have appeared in the past, including an autobiography, none of the previous volumes took such a comprehensive historical and critical approach to DeMille's work as a filmmaker. Birchard goes beyond the director's standard image as an imposing, autocratic, and tyrannical force on his movie sets. For example, the fiercely loyal DeMille repeatedly found roles for Silent Era and Golden Age players whose moments of renown had long since passed. Also, for decades after the release of The King of Kings, DeMille maintained a strict policy of providing the film at drastically reduced prices to any organization that chose to display it.

What a valuable contribution to film scholarship! – Leonard Maltin
A fascinating history of Cecil B. DeMille’s singular career in Hollywood. – James Curtis, author of W.C. Fields: A Biography and Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges
Cecil B. Demille's Hollywood is undoubtedly the definitive work on the films of this most American director and showman. – Anthony Slide, author of Silent Players and The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry

Drawing extensively of DeMille’s personal archives, Birchard offers a revealing portrait of the filmmaker that goes behind the studio gates and beyond the persona. Cecil B. Demille's Hollywood is a detailed and definitive chronicle of cinematic work that changed the course of film history and a fascinating look at how movies were made during Hollywood’s golden age. The impressive, newly unearthed data about each of his films alone – including reel length, production costs, and box office grosses – would make the book a valuable reference tool for film researchers and casual fans alike.

Entertainment / Humor / Biographies & Memoirs

Cartoon Success Secrets: A Tribute To 30 Years Of Cartoonist Profiles by Jud Hurd (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Author Jud Hurd tells friends that he's been "in the cartooning business since year one," but it only seems like it.
Hurd caught the cartooning bug in 1925, and at age 90 he’s still not cured. Now, in Cartoon Success Secrets, the 35-year founder and veteran editor of the cartooning industry’s leading insider magazine, CARTOONIST PROfiles, shares the colorful stories and sage advice of his cartoonist colleagues. Through his personal encounters with virtually every cartoonist legend of the last four decades, Hurd amassed countless insights from the world’s best cartoonists on how they rose to the top of their field. Now, for the first time, he shares his early conversations with such famous cartoonists as Walt Disney, Rube Goldberg, H. T. Webster, George McManus, Frederick Opper, and countless others who succeeded in selling their creations to major syndicates and attaining their cartooning aspirations. Their words will inspire all who dream of becoming famous cartoonists. Many books have profiled cartooning legends, but never before has a book compiled detailed advice from these creators on how they achieved their success.

Cartoon Success Secrets, the book in which more than twenty of today's most widely read comic strip creators reveal the professional secrets that have made them world famous, offers a veritable comics college education on how to succeed as a cartoonist, along with colorful stories to boot. It is sure to fascinate cartoon enthusiasts, from fledgling cartoonists looking to break into the industry to fans of the funny pages wanting to know how their favorite artists made it big.


E-Learning Games: Interactive Strategies for Digital Delivery by Kathleen M. Iverson (Pearson Prentice Hall)

E-learning naysayers have expressed valid concerns about the cost, engagement, and quality of e-learning, frequently stating, for example,

It is too expensive. I can't spend $50,000 designing a ten-minute training program!

It's boring. My learn­ers will fall asleep at their computer screens.

My students won't learn as much as they will in the classroom.

Designers and educators must overcome this negativity with quality, low cost, and highly effective courseware. The goal of E-Learning Games is to guide the rapid design and delivery of interesting, engaging, highly interactive e-learning environments that facilitate knowledge construction.

Until recently, most interaction in web-based training environments was technologically driven. Intelligent tutors, video, audio, and animated graphics were the accepted vehicles for adding interest and excitement to otherwise bland and boring script-based training. Although these advances are valuable, they come with a price in both development time and dollars. E-Learning Games contains ideas and practices that will add excitement to courseware without considerable expenditure of resources. Relying primarily on low-tech vehicles such as synchronous and asynchronous chat, e-mail, and instant messaging, the activities described in this text can be implemented in web-based training and educational courses alike. Written by Kathleen M. Iverson, Associate Professor of Training and Development, Roosevelt University, Chicago, the book is based on principles of constructivism and grounded in instructional design theory. It contains openers, closers, practice exercises, peer learning activities, and idea generators that will engage e-learners from their first click.

Chapters 1 through 3 provide perspective on the premises that guide interactivity and motivation in e-learning, reviewing principles of constructivism, instruction design, and web­based interaction. In these chapters there are also useful tables and checklists to help teachers quickly plan quality e-learning products. Chapters 4 through 10 contain games, exercises, activities, and simulations that may be readily added to their course content to generate opportunities for collaboration, practice, and knowledge creation.

The author offers a lot of interesting valuable exercises to select from in the design of an e-learning course…Introduction to peer learning is a fine exposition of the value of collaboration with peers in a learning experience. – Richard Osgood, Management Consultant

E-Learning Games is a resource for trainers and teaching professionals that guides the design of engaging and interactive e-learning courses. A wide range of effective techniques is offered for a variety of circumstances from interviewing to goal setting through problem solving and team building.

Fashion / Self-help

Dress to Express: Seven Secrets to Overcoming Closet Trauma and Revealing Your Inner Beauty by Tracy McWilliams (New World Library)

What woman hasn't stood in front of a packed closet and thought, "I haven't a thing to wear." What she's really thinking, says Tracy McWilliams, is "I don't have anything to wear that looks good and makes me feel good." According to McWilliams, most women shop and dress from emotion. This book teaches them that they can dress logically with a bit of self-awareness and planning. Dress to Express defines the seven principles of good dressing – among them, Accessories Make an Outfit, Quality Never Goes Out of Style, Dress from the Top Down, and Visualize Yourself Beautiful – and explodes clothing myths. In the process readers learn how to devise their individual, best dressing process, dressing plan, and dressing picture.

By understanding why women dress the way they do and the clothing emotions that drive clothing craziness, readers can learn how to dress to reveal their inner beauty. "The image we have of ourselves in clothes comes from who we believe ourselves to be. By taking an active role to create the desired clothing image instead of allowing other factors, childhood clothing experiences, and the influences of other people do that for us we can learn to dress from our own sense of self and heal closet trauma in the process," McWilliams says.

McWilliams, lifestyle consultant, a former investment banker, first began exploring her approach to clothing when she was new to the business world. "I was interested in finding outfits that were business-like yet still allowed me to show my feminine side," she says.

Dress to Express gives women the tools to understand their clothing emotions to make getting dressed easy. "Most clothing and dressing anxiety starts with a lack of a clear sense of self relative to image and not having a basic idea and plan about clothing," she continues. "No one teaches us what looks good, what works with your body, or how to assess the best clothing choices based on your shape. Dress to Express bridges the gap between the mental and the physical processes of getting dressed and looking your best."

Both savvy and compassionate, Dress to Express tells all you need to know to make peace with the fitting room and fall in love with clothes again. – Victoria Moran, author of Younger by the Day

In Dress to Express, women learn how to make smart clothing choices – without becoming slaves to trends that don't fit their bodies or personalities. The book shows women how to connect their inner beauty and to reflect that image in the clothing they purchase and wear. We can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling

Group Psychotherapy and Recovery from Addiction: Carrying the Message by Jeffrey D. Roth (Haworth Press)

Learn what it’s like to be a member of an addiction recovery group!

Group Psychotherapy and Recovery from Addiction is NOT a self-help book. Instead, it’s a rare opportunity to sit in on a virtual therapy group and take part in a virtual Twelve Step meeting. The book’s unique perspective lets readers compare and contrast the experience of participating in a psychotherapy group and a Twelve Step group. The book demystifies the process of recovery, demonstrating all the important elements of the group process, including free association, resistance, transference, re-enactment, boundary management, interpretation, and confrontation.

Rather than relate shared stories of addicts in recovery or present abstract formulations on the group experience, Group Psychotherapy and Recovery from Addiction takes readers inside the experiential process of recovery that can’t be achieved in isolation. The experience as a group "member" will help readers solve the mystery of the group process and provide insight into the scientific elements of recovery as the book builds a bridge between the Twelve Step programs and a psychoanalytic model of group functioning.

Group Psychotherapy and Recovery from Addiction examines:

  • how the group carries the message of recovery
  • the higher power of the group as a symbol of authority
  • the development of prayer and meditation as group analytic functions
  • addiction as a family disease
  • making amends as an export process
  • powerlessness and free association
  • unmanageability and resistance
  • surrender and transference
  • inventory and re-enactments
  • humility and working through

This book is full of important lessons for every therapist. Jeffrey D. Roth, MD, has written an unusual text on group psychotherapy and addiction recovery that is challenging and provocative. The reader will join his group, coming right into the room to learn, by experience, just how much of addiction, recovery, and psychotherapy come down to paradox and letting go, for the client and the therapist. – Stephanie Brown, PhD, Director, The Addictions Institute, Menlo Park, California

I recommend this book to anyone who works with addicts or their family members in group therapy; to anyone who needs to know how Twelve-Step concepts can be helpful to people in therapy; and to addicts and their family members who are moving out from the first stage of their recovery to dismantle old beliefs, memories, and attitudes. – David Burgdorf, MA, MDiv, Director, Outpatient & Family Services, Betty Ford Center

Group Psychotherapy and Recovery from Addiction is a unique resource for group therapists, addiction treatment professionals, and anyone else interested in group therapy—especially those who have personal experience with Twelve Step programs.

Health, Mind & Body, Psychology & Counseling

Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices by Thomas Szasz (Transaction Publishers)

The libertarian philosophy of freedom is characterized by two fundamental beliefs: self-ownership is a basic right, and initiating violence is a fundamental wrong. Psychiatric practice violates both of these beliefs. It is based on the assumptions that self-ownership – epitomized by suicide – is a medical wrong, and that initiating violence against persons called "mental patients" is a medical right. Thomas Szasz raises fundamental questions about these assumptions. Are self-medication and self-determined death exercises of rightful self-ownership, or manifestations of serious mental diseases? Does deprivation of human liberty under psychiatric auspices constitute odious preventive detention, or is it therapeutically justified hospitalization? Should forced psychiatric drugging be interpreted as assault and battery on the person, or is it medical treatment?

The ethical standards of psychiatric practice mandate that psychiatrists coerce certain innocent persons. Abstaining from such "intervention" is considered malpractice – dereliction of the psychiatrists' "duty to protect." This duty reflects the fact that psychiatry is an arm of the coercive apparatus of the state, converting it to an institution Szasz, professor of psychiatry emeritus at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, Washington, D.C., calls "psychiatric slavery." How should friends of freedom – especially libertarians – deal with the conflict between elementary libertarian principles and prevailing psychiatric practices? In Faith in Freedom, Szasz addresses this question. After examining the theoretical underpinnings of the problem, with precision, he presents several analytical studies.

Szasz's book is superb. He makes a devastating logical and factual case against what he calls the new slavery. As someone who has in a small way experienced the slavery, I can appreciate his advocacy of voluntary psychiatry. He has written a literate, sophisticated brief for what Adam Smith called 'the simple and obvious system of natural liberty' applied to the one area of modem life in which our liberties are still eroding: psychiatry.  – Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago

Szasz provides biting profiles of leading libertarian figures and what they've said about psychiatry. Ignorance, laziness, omission, and inconsistency are exposed – Hayek's work on theoretical psychology is 'a monumental mistake.' Szasz's consternation is justified and cause for concern that even libertarians think of some as less equal than others. – Daniel Klein, associate professor of economics, Santa Clara University

Szasz has again written an immensely valuable monograph. Expanding on ideas first developed in the groundbreaking and controversial works The Myth of Mental Illness, Ceremonial Chemistry, and Liberation by Oppression, Faith in Freedom is a strikingly original book, written by one of the foremost champions of psychiatric freedom. It will be of lasting interest to psychiatrists, sociologists, mental health practitioners, and students of political science.

Health, Mind & Body / Self-Help

If You Make the Rules, How Come You're Not Boss? Minding Your Body's Business by Elaine Smitha (Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.)

With the high cost of medical care outstripping the ability of the average person, it will take drastic measures to turn the country’s health care system around. Elaine Smitha shares why, where and how to enjoy a brighter future with a healthier body, save a lot of money, and have a whole lot more fun, even if the health care system is broken.

Readers discover how to bypass the medical conveyor belt and take control of their lives, save 70% on prescription drugs, reprogram their genes, reverse aging and disease, and create a lifetime of unlimited health with more certainty than ever before.

Well-being enthusiast Smitha has researched multiple avenues of self-powered techniques geared to the progressive track of personal growth. In If You Make the Rules, How Come You're Not Boss? she reports her findings:

  • Why everyone is a radio-controlled robot.
  • How the body eavesdrops on conversations.
  • How sickness is an investment in a belief.
  • Five stress-inducing agents.
  • How the body can heal in a moment.
  • How beliefs affect the ability to deal with life.
  • How others have succeeded in reclaiming their lives.
  • The secrets of one’s hidden power.

In 1992, Smitha, jewelry designer, professional speaker, consultant, workshop leader, businesswoman, and college instructor, created the Evolving Ideas television show as a venue for cutting edge ideas, and serves as the show's host and producer. Now she has moved on to writing her ideas and personal research.

This work excites, thrills, defies, clarifies, reminds, touches, and challenges readers to become self-motivated, self-aware, and self-empowered with the goal of living long, healthy, rich lives. I've been exploring the author's premises for my own well-being and have found them helpful and energizing. They are fun too. – Jean Houston, Ph.D., author of Jump Time and A Passion for the Possible

This work reflects the passion, commitment, and brilliance of Elaine Smitha .. . a leader in the revolution that is reshaping the way we view human health and disease. – Stephen M. Fulton, M.D., Chair, Biology Department and Director of Pre-Health Services, Saint Martin's College

This beautiful book is worth more than gold. Elaine's words string together like precious jewels. She is a more successful medical communicator than myself in my medical life. – Thieu Nghiem, M.D., former Washington State Chief of Public Health

A bubbly combination of self-help and motivational hype, If You Make the Rules, How Come You're Not Boss? is for those who need a positive psychological goose without the academic clutter.

Health, Mind & Body / Grief & Loss

Grief Steps: 10 Steps to Rebuild Recover and Renew After Any Life Loss by Brook Noel (Champion Press, Ltd.)

9/11, Columbine, the abuse scandal, TWA flight 800, Nicholas Beck, Egypt Air 990, Oklahoma City – recent years have brought unparallel grief to individuals and the nation. Throughout the country, people tune in to nightly news broadcasts, only to discover another threat, hideous attack or act to be broadcast into their living room. Front pages report late-breaking news that leaves many individuals feeling angry, bereaved or helpless.

Decades ago, most grievers suffered alone, behind closed doors. Now, grief has reached epidemic proportions. Much like those who grieved alone decades ago, people are reporting difficulty finding peace, forgiveness, letting go, moving on and finding renewed hope. As a nation, does our grief need to fuel our anger or our own detachment – or can we rebuild and renew and find something more for our lives and our country?

Brook Noel, co-author of the bestselling book I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye, founder of GriefSteps.Com, a 24/7 free support community for the bereaved, advises that we can renew and reinvent. Grief Steps summarizes the results of a three-year study in which Noel discovered 10 key steps used by those who were able to heal and create a springboard from their grief while observing how others became wrapped so tightly in their pain that their health declined and ultimately, their hope declined.

Grief Steps reveals the steps that everyone who has suffered a loss must take to face grief and heal. Whether readers have suffered a loss recently or years ago, Grief Steps shows them how to resolve and reconcile their world to find contentment and purpose in life.

Health, Mind & Body / Diet

The Martini Diet: The Self-Indulgent Way to a Thinner, More Fabulous You! by Jennifer Basye Sander, with a foreword by Martin G. Neft (Fair Winds Press)

There is yet another new Harvard study out that shows that regular moderate drinking can lower one’s risk of heart attack. That study, which followed 40,000 men for twelve years, found out that those who drank one or two alcoholic drinks 5 to 7 days a week lowered their risk of heart attack 30 percent. Women also benefit, but they must weigh those benefits against the risk of breast cancer. Still, far more women die of heart disease than breast cancer. Similar studies show that caffeine is good for a body, as is red meat and salmon and red wine and anything dipped in olive oil.

Readers of The Martini Diet will learn to abandon awful restrictive diets and punishing workouts and relax their way thin, with Sander's self-indulgent secrets:

  • Why French women can eat so much rich food and drink so much wine and still be thin and suffer less heart disease than American women do.
  • Why caffeine, alcohol, olive oil, chocolate, and salmon are good for you.
  • How to kiss the gym goodbye and take up more elegant athletic pursuits.
  • Why hot sex is heart healthy.
  • How to eat fat and be skinny.
  • Why massage might be better for cellulite than running.
  • When to say no to a salad and yes to another glass of wine.
  • The three secrets to staying thin FOREVER!

Jennifer Sanders, best-selling author of more than a dozen books, does not keep the conclusion of her secret: A glass of red wine, a bite of dark chocolate, a pat of butter, a petite filet mignon – now that's a diet for the self-indulgent! And why not indulge? Good food and good drink are healthful; the beautiful bodies of French women and a host of medical studies will say the same. So eat up, drink up, and indulge yourself thin!

The Martini Diet is "Gin" Sander's follow up to Wear More Cashmere and is dripping with every bit as much style, sophistication, and savvy as a flute of crystal.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counselling

Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Human Strengths by Alan Carr (Brunner-Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group)

Remediating deficits and managing disabilities has been a central preoccupation for clinical psychologists for much of the past 50 years. Positive psychology, in contrast, is concerned with the enhancement of happiness and well-being, involving the scientific study of the role of personal strengths and positive social systems in promoting optimal well-being. The central themes of positive psychology, including happiness, hope, creativity, and wisdom, are all investigated in Positive Psychology in the context of their possible applications in clinical practice.

Clinical psychology has traditionally focused on psychological deficits and disability. It has rarely privileged clients' resilience, resourcefulness and capacity for renewal. But a  new branch of psychology is primarily concerned with the scientific study of human strengths and happiness. Like Leopold Bloom whose words open this foreword, it is concerned with identifying factors that promote well-being. However, unlike Bloom the mission of positive psychology is to base conclusions about what would make a better world on science rather than opinion or rhetoric. Unfortunately accessible textbooks on positive psychology for undergraduates are in short supply. Alan Carr, Director of the Doctoral Training Programme in Clinical Psychology at University College, Dublin, decided to write this text.

In the opening chapter findings from psychological research on happiness are outlined. The next four chapters deal with topics of central concern to positive psychology: flow, optimism, emotional intelligence, giftedness, creativity and wisdom. Chapter 6 is concerned with research on human strengths associated with particular traits and motives. Chapter 7 focuses on four aspects of the self-system that contribute to resilience. These are self-esteem, self-efficacy, functional coping strategies and adaptive defenses. Positive relationships over the course of the lifecycle are addressed in Chapter 8. Included here is a review of research on aspects of friendship, marriage anal parenting. Chapter 9 is concerned with how we can bring our strengths to bear on opportunities for growth and challenges that require us to make changes in our lifestyle. The stages-of-change model, which has underpinned so much important research on prevention, is a central organizing framework for this final chapter.

A number of features have been used to help students understand ideas presented in Positive Psychology. Each chapter opens with a detailed chapter outline and a set of learning objectives. Throughout all the chapters, Carr makes liberal use of headings and subheadings to help students make their way through the material. Towards the end of most chapters, a table is included which summarizes the implications of ideas discussed in the body of the chapter for self-help and clinical practice. This is followed by a section highlighting some of the controversial issues, debates and disagreements within the field. Each chapter ends with a concise summary.

Questions at the end of each chapter are divided into those which focus on self-development and research questions. The self-development questions invite students to reflect on aspects of their own lives and to consider taking steps to enhance the quality of their lives using ideas discussed in the chapter.

The research questions invite students to design and conduct research studies. Of course in most instances students will probably only have the time and resources to design studies. But there may be occasional opportunities for actually completing the suggested projects. In most chapters there is a research question which is pitched at an introductory level and could be suitably addressed in a second-year undergraduate psychology laboratory course. Carr has also included more challenging questions that require students to conduct literature searches and to find articles describing studies which they are invited to replicate. These questions are for students taking an honors degree in psychology, or majoring in psychology, who wish to do their undergraduate thesis on a topic in positive psychology. Lists of measures or psychometric instruments for use in research are also given at the end of each chapter. This is done to stimulate undergraduates into considering conducting their undergraduate thesis in positive psycho­logy and also to signal that there are ample resources available to make postgraduate work in this field viable.

Carr’s Positive Psychology is a magisterial text, an enormously informative and inclusive synthesis of this new branch of science. It is a model of a contemporary textbook, with references to websites, useful copies of text forms, and provocative questions at the end of chapters. The positive psychology movement is fortunate to rate such an excellent textbook so soon after its inception. – Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, Claremont Graduate University

This book does more than provide a thorough review of the extant research in positive psychology – it outlines available resources, methods of measurement, offers a critique of available research and makes recommendations for further reading and research. Alan Carr’s background in systematic psychotherapy and critical psychology enables him to add theoretical richness to the field of positive psychology by integrating contextual and relational perspectives with this inherently individualistic approach. – Ariene Vetere, University of East London

Positive Psychology is unique in offering an accessible introduction to this emerging field of clinical psychology. It will prove a valuable resource for psychology students and lecturers who will benefit from the learning objectives and research Stimuli included in each chapter. It will also be of interest to those involved in training in related areas such as social work, counseling and psychotherapy.


The D-Day Companion edited by Jane Penrose (Osprey Publishing) is a study of D-Day, written by more than a dozen historians from either side of the Atlantic, for the sixtieth-anniversary commemoration in June, 2004.

Operation Overlord saw some of the Allies' greatest military strategists, Eisenhower and Montgomery, pit their wits against Hitler in a bold bid to liberate continental Europe. Edited by Jane Penrose, The D-Day Companion consists of essays discussing the strategic and tactical aspects of the operation, and also the logistics, to explore history’s greatest amphibious assault. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the D-Day landings, from the build-up to the attack to the experiences of the troops on the ground.

Contributors to the volume include:

  • Duncan Anderson, Head of the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
  • Ronald J Drez, Author of Voices of D-Day: The Story of the Invasion Told by Those Who Were There
  • Carlo D’Este, Author of Decision in Normandy; Bitter Victory: The Battle for Sicily, 1943; Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome
  • Andrew Gordon, Reader, Kings College London
  • Christina Goulter, Senior Lecturer, Kings College London
  • David I. Hall, Lecturer, Kings College London
  • Russell Hart, Assistant Professor of History at Hawai’i Pacific University
  • Stephen A. Hart, Lecturer, Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
  • Allan R. Millett, Mason Professor of Military History, Mershon Center / Department of History, The Ohio State University
  • Williamson Murray, Professor Emeritus of History at The Ohio State University
  • Sam J. Newland, Department of Distance Education, US Army War College
  • Dennis Showalter, Professor of History at Colorado College and Past President of the Society for Military History

[The D-Day Companion is]...composed by an elite group of historians who have worked to become a literary ‘band of brothers’... – Major Richard Winters, Commander of Easy Company as featured in Stephen E. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers
This impressive volume is an excellent historical account. – Thomas Childers, Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
Anyone who wants to understand D-Day...should start their reading here. – Gary Sheffield, Senior Lecturer in Defence Studies, King’s College London

The D-Day Companion brings together the perspectives of some of the most respected military historians working today who have collaborated to produce a unique and incisive examination of the momentous events that surrounded June 6, 1944.

History / Social Sciences / South Africa

Mandela's World: The International Dimensions of South Africa's Political Revolution, 1990-99 by James Barber (Ohio University Press)

It is unusual for a state to achieve a political revolution by negotiation. It is equally unusual for it to transform its status. Yet South Africa achieved both in the 1990s after the end of the Cold War. “The miracle," writes James Barber, "was in the means as well as the end."

Mandela's World discusses how the demise of apartheid, the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years in Victor Verster prison, and a new constitution that fostered a democratic government all helped to transform South Africa's international status.

Barber, member of the Centre of International Studies at Cambridge University, writes, "When the new government came to power, South Africa's international status changed dramatically – rejection gave way to acceptance; criticism to praise; the old pariah was embraced as the prodigal that had returned, the sinner that had repented."

In South Africa, the decade was divided into two parts. The period from 1990 to 1994 was dominated by negotiations about the country's future between the African National Congress, led by Nelson Mandela, and the white government, led by the state President F.W. de Kierk. The new political dispensation favored the ANC, and in 1994, the first democratic elections led to a predominantly ANC government, with Mandela as President. During the second period from 1994 to 1999, the international community applauded South Africa's efforts to set about its tasks at home and abroad. The new government responded to the expectation that it would be an example for other troubled areas to follow and lead Africa's economic and political revival by identifying itself with the Third World, and committing itself to idealized principles drawn from "liberal" values and the ANC's experience as a liberation movement.

However, Mandela's World shows it was not all straightforward. Mistakes and miscalculations were made and principles compromised when interests were in conflict. The government also had mixed fortunes in Africa. South Africa's relative strength and wealth gave it giant status in a poor unstable continent. "While in global terms, South Africa is a small/medium power, in Africa it is a giant – having the continent's largest and most vibrant economy, its most advanced infrastructure, an advanced (if uneven) educational system and substantial military forces," Barber writes. South Africa did help some neighbors, but its actions also bred resentment and accusations of bullying. The new South Africa succeeded in making a positive contribution both in Africa and in the wider international community. In Nelson Mandela it had a leader who, by his tolerance, charm, and wisdom, captured the world. Mandela's World is not about him as an individual, but, that having been said, it is impossible to ignore the impact he had, both at home and abroad," Barber writes. "From a South African's perspective it truly was 'Mandela's World."'

Barber relates the engrossing saga of Mandala’s transformation of South Africa in this readable academic presentation, providing readers an eye-opening and mind-expanding  international perspective. Mandela's World is the third in a sequence of books, which analyze South Africa's foreign policy from 1945 to 1999.

History / Military / Medieval

Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels: The Ways of Medieval Warfare by Antonio Santosuosso (Westview Press) examines the motives and terrors of war during the Middle Ages, the rise and fall of ethnic and religious groups, and the actions of good and evil military leaders during this violent and colorful period.

Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels is a sweeping chronicle in which historical figures and major campaigns such as Charlemagne, the Magyars, and the Crusades are presented not as icons but as a living part of their times, with all their achievements and human failures. Antonio Santosuosso asserts that war for most of the Middle Ages, was carried out for God, personal gain, and honor. Both Christians and Muslims often explained their acts of violence in war as the will of God. Besides the religious motivation, soldiers, if upper class, believed that acts of bravery were a necessary aspect of gaining honor in society. Finally, war constituted a way to make material gains in a period of chronic underemployment and low prosperity. Particular emphasis is given to massive transitions from one period to the next in the medieval era. Santosuosso, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Western Ontario and author of Storming the Heavens and Soldiers, Citizens, and the Symbols of War, explains how these changes reflected an environment where charismatic leaders, the Church, and the aristocracy played leading roles as "managers" of the art and practice of war and normally as main actors on the battlefield.

An exciting and thoroughly readable introduction to the complex history of warfare in the medieval period. – Michael Prestwich, University of Durham, and author of Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages

Professor Santosuosso's book is a superb addition to the literature on medieval warfare. Immensely informative and exciting, it is a brilliant combination of meticulous scholarship and readability.  – Alan Baker, author of The Gladiator and The Knight

In his latest book, Antonio Santosuosso demonstrates, with unflinching candor, how organized violence affected both strong and weak during the bloody millennium between western Rome's military collapse and western Christendom's adoption of gunpowder. Even general readers who may confuse an hauberk with an hautbois will be gripped by Santosuosso's vivid prose. – Lawrence Okamura, Department of History, University of Missouri-Columbia

This vibrant and action-driven narrative examines the motivations for warfare in the Middle Ages, asserting that waging war was a condition defining the ruling groups of all societies. The impressive research of Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels has produced another must-have volume for military historians.

History / Cooking, Food & Wine

Rum: The Epic Story of the Drink That Conquered the World by Charles A. Coulombe (Citadel Press)

The very mention of the word rum summons romantic visions of high spirits, adventure, and skullduggery. Pirates roamed the seven seas. Americans jitterbugged to "Rum and Coca-Cola" in the forties. And today Manhattanites down the latest Bacardi cocktail in the city's trendiest bars.

In Rum, Charles A. Coulombe, editor of The Muse in the Bottle and author of Vicars of Christ, explores the fascinating origins and far-­reaching legacies of rum, history's most influential drink. Distilled from sugar and molasses, rum first surfaced in 17th century Barbados, where it was aptly called rumbullion, after a rural British slang term for an uproar.

Coulombe reveals in detail how rum became the unwitting "lubricant of slavery" – oil for the wheels of the Triangle Trade between New England, Africa, and the West Indies that energized the colonial economy. Europeans paid for African slaves with rum from the Caribbean. Slave-driven West Indian plantations grew the cane, extracted molasses from it, and exported it to Yankees who turned it into endless barrels of rum to be shipped across the seas. Fortunes were made, industries were born, and human souls were crushed in a lucrative alliance of commerce, greed, and rum.

Coulombe goes on to divulge the little-known but lively role rum played in the American Revolution. Paul Revere downed a flagon or two before his famous ride. So did Ethan Allen. Even the men behind the Boston Tea Party imbibed before heading for the harbor. Portability and staying power made rum the liquor of choice aboard ship and gave it a colorful place in seagoing lore as a mainstay of buccaneers as well as the drink that "kept  the British Navy afloat for 300 years.”

A toast to Charles Coulombe and his literate, wise, and informative account of the world's liveliest drink. – H. Paul Jeffers, author of High Spirits and The Good Cigar

From the pirate Blackbeard to Captain Bligh, from the temperance movement of the late 1800s to the rum runners who defied 1920s Prohibition, from colonialism to post-colonialism, from slavery to liberation, to rum's current resurgence in popularity, Rum offers an enlightening, entertaining, and provocative portrait of a drink that conquered the world. Spiked with scrumptious historical recipes for food and drink, this sweeping history is informative and intoxicating.

Home & Garden / Antiques & Collectibles

DK Collector's Guides: Art Nouveau by Judith Miller, with Jill Bace, David Rago, and Suzanne Perrault (DK Collector's Guides: DK Publishing)
Since its origins in late 19th-century France, Art Nouveau has inspired artists and designers worldwide. Co-written by antiques expert Judith Miller and specialist contributors Jill Bace, Suzanne Perrault, and David Rago, DK Collector's Guides: Art Nouveau explores the origins of this major design movement, from the rise of Art Nouveau in France, with its parallel movements in Britain, Germany, Italy, and the USA, to its influence worldwide today.

Aimed at buyers and collectors, the book include a full-color visual reference to Art Nouveau that includes historical information, collectors' tips, and price guides, and over 1,000 stunning items with precise descriptions, and analysis of iconic pieces enabling buyers to instantly recognize Art Nouveau style. The book features in-depth profiles of all the major designers and makers, including Emile Galle, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Gustav Stickley, and Alphonse Mucha, and showcases key pieces of furniture, glass, ceramics, jewelry, metalware, sculpture, and posters. Capturing the sinuous curves and striking rectilinear forms that embody Art Nouveau, over 1,000 of these items are presented in full-color photographs, with prices and sizes displayed below each piece. Captions explain the features that make each item desirable, with detailed analysis of pieces that are considered icons of Art Nouveau style.

Also included are tips on what to look for when collecting, a glossary of Art Nouveau terms, and an international directory of specialized dealers and auction houses.

DK Collector's Guides: Art Nouveau was written by world-renowned antiques expert Judith Miller with contributions by Jill Bace, David Rago and Suzanne Perrault. Miller started collecting antiques in the late 1960s while studying at Edinburgh University. By 1979 she was co-founder of the international bestseller Miller's Antiques Price Guide, of which she was publisher until 1990 and author of 80 books on antiques. Jill Bace is a freelance writer and lecturer specializing in European decorative arts. She lectures at the Wallace Collection and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. She has written extensively on ceramics, furniture, glass, antiques, and interiors. Suzanne Perrault is co-owner of David Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey, where she manages the tile sales and co-manages the arts and crafts sales. Her partner, David Rago, oversees three auction companies and two quarterly magazines, each specializing in a particular area of 20th-century decorative arts and furnishings.

DK Collector's Guides: Art Nouveau is the only full-color visual reference guide to Art Nouveau that includes historical information, buyers' tips, and a price guide to over 1,100 items. Setting new standards in visual reference, this definitive book is the only one readers will need to buy, sell, or collect Art Nouveau.

Home & Garden / Wedding

The Wedding Countdown Clock by Tracy Guth Spangler (Running Press Book Publishers)

With this new idea (a countdown clock?!), any bride can set herself on a stress-free path towards marital bliss. A great bridal shower gift, The Wedding Countdown Clock is a creative way for the bride to maximize the excitement and anticipation of her wedding day while minimizing the stress of planning the event.

From the day the couple becomes engaged until the last guest leaves the reception, there are a million details to be attended to. With a dose of humor, this illustrated 64-page book outlines all that needs to be done – registering for gifts, hiring the photographer, drawing up the guest list and seating plan – while providing practical advice, wisdom, and support. It features a detachable, reusable digital clock that counts years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds backward to 0:00, plus batteries and instructions on using the clock.

To begin counting down to the bride’s walk down the aisle, the bride sets the countdown clock to the wedding day using the instructions on the box. Once the date is programmed, The Wedding Countdown Clock gives the bride the low-down on sending invitations, selecting the wedding party, getting the goods (a.k.a. wedding registry 101), and finding THE dress. The book also features in-depth advice on caterers, photographers, and all other wedding professionals.

Here's a witty book-plus gift for anyone planning a wedding. From announcing the engagement until the moment she says "I do!" The Wedding Countdown Clock by Tracy Guth Spangler, former managing editor at and associate feature editor at Bride’s Magazine, illustrated by Maranda Maberry will get the bride organized and make her wedding planning a piece of cake.

Home & Garden / Gardening

The Grand Masters of Maine Gardening: And Some of Their Disciples by Jane Lamb (Down East Books)

Which are the "grand masters" out of the more than two dozen gardeners profiled in The Grand Masters of Maine Gardening?

There's the late Currier McEwen, once the world's biggest hybridizer of Siberian irises, and Bernard McLaughlin, whose legacy lives on in the McLaughlin Garden and Horticultural Center in South Paris. And there’s Roger Luce, who spent decades propa­gating magnolias and other plants once thought to be too delicate for Maine.

And a few more – Carolyn Jenson created lavish gardens on land covered with tree stumps; Phid and Sharon Lawless garden on solid rock. Joan and Russell Moors raise more than five hundred types of iris, and Rick and Gail Sawyer don't even try to count their many varieties of hostas. Betsy Moore restored an historic garden in Bar Harbor, and dedicated volunteers maintain a replica of poet Celia Thaxter's Victorian garden on the Isles of Shoals. Patrick Chasse, native Mainer and internationally recognized landscape architect, tackled the challenge of designing an "ideal Maine garden." Greta Watermen grows heathers in her seaside garden, while Russell Pinfold brightens his old saltwater farm with thousands of daffodils. Michal and Raymond Graber grow more roses than anyone would expect to see in Maine, while Tom York presides over an equally astonishing array of rhododendrons.

These are just a few of the outstanding Maine people readers meet in The Grand Masters of Maine Gardening.

"Journalism has always been both a goal and a livelihood," says author Jane Lamb. "As a young girl I wrote stories, dreamed of being a foreign correspondent, and studied languages to that end." Lamb has been a regular contributor to Down East Magazine since the 1980s. Half of her family lives in Maine, the other half in northern California, where she moved in 2002. "Gardening has been one of the reasons for my move," she explains. "I find myself challenged by an entirely different climate. I'm hoping to apply some of what I learned, gardening for fifty years at my Maine homestead ... in this cool, coastal, foggy environment.... I have had the joy of visiting more beautiful displays of flowers and trees than I had dreamed possible in Maine's challenging climate. Best of all, I have had the honor of meeting some of the horticultural pioneers who dared to test the limits of 'what will grow in Maine' and to go beyond them, with amazing success.”

Dazzling color photographs show highlights of the gardens in The Grand Masters of Maine Gardening, but the profiles of the gardeners would make illuminating reading even without the images – nothing adds to the pleasure of exploring a beautiful oasis as much as learning from the person who created it.

Home & Garden

Kathy Peterson's Great Outdoor Decorating Makeovers by Kathy Peterson (Watson-Guptill Publications)

This decorating resource shows how to transform neglected outdoor spaces on a limited budget – $250 or less per project­ – using paint, castaways and thrift store finds, easy crafts and sewing projects, and lots of creativity and elbow grease. In Kathy Peterson's Great Outdoor Decorating Makeovers Kathy Peterson confronts and solves an abundance of outdoor decorating problems with an anything-goes attitude, extending the perceived dimensions of readers’ indoor living space without having to add on. Readers are taken through the entire transformation: preparing the space for the decorating overhaul, finding inspiration, achieving decorating goals within a tight budget, planning and organizing the project, and quick custom makeovers and crafts projects that can refresh and beautify outdoor spaces. Eighteen makeovers are profiled, showcasing a variety of spaces, including patios, porches, poolsides, balconies, sunrooms, decks, and courtyards. Each of the projects describes the homeowner's decorating dilemma, his/her goals for the space, Peterson's proposed solutions, a shopping list, and how the makeover was achieved – all supported by full-color before­and-after photos.

Peterson's work has been published in numerous craft and women's magazines and has been featured on several nationally broadcast television shows, including The Christopher Lowell Show, Home Matters, The Carol Duvall Show, and Decorating with Style. Peterson is also the host and producer of her own television show, Town & Country Crafts with Kathy Peterson, which appears on GoodLife TV and FamilyNet TV. The author of Creative Wire Jewelry and Sew Simple Squares, she lives in Tequesta, FL.

There’s just one word to describe Kathy Peterson’s outdoor decorating transformations: Wow! From the quick fix to the complete overhaul, Kathy’s design solutions to common outdoor decorating challenges bring indoor comfort and style to porches, patios, poolsides, and other neglected outdoor spaces. The most amazing thing is that every makeover can be done within a budget that anyone can afford. – Cindy Piccoli, TV Host of Decorating with Style, HGTV

Kathy Peterson's Great Outdoor Decorating Makeovers is an ideal resource for redecorating – and maximizing – outdoor spaces on a limited budget.

Home & Garden

The Complete Guide to Kitchens: Design, Plan & Install Your Dream Kitchen by Creative Publishing (Creative Publishing International)

At the heart of any home is the kitchen – it has never been as true as it is today. In response to uncertain economic times and global unrest, consumers are investing in their homes like never before, and kitchen remodeling is at the center of this unprecedented activity.

While a new kitchen clearly adds equity value to a home, the benefits to quality of life are almost beyond measure. A well-planned, well-installed kitchen becomes the focal point of family life and social activity, the home's center of physical and emotional well-being. The Complete Guide to Kitchens, by the editors of Creative Publishing, is the one book readers need to plan and remodel a kitchen, whether this entails a light cosmetic facelift or major structural renovation.

This book includes a comprehensive idea section to provide inspiration, and an extended planning and design section to show do-it-yourselfers the latest theories of kitchen layout. Next, there is a chapter featuring quick fixes – solutions that can radically improve a kitchen without the major expense of a full-scale remodeling job.

The heart of The Complete Guide to Kitchens, as in the entire series of best-selling Complete Guides, is how-to information on virtually any project readers might attempt. In addition, the book includes detailed information on making a kitchen accessible to users with limited physical abilities.

The book includes

  • Directions for building custom laminate countertops – including stainless steel laminate.
  • Complete plans for building booth seating for the kitchen.
  • Step-by-step instructions for installing custom glide-out shelves.

Readers can create the kitchen of their dreams using The Complete Guide to Kitchens, in which photo directions show readers how to complete dozens of kitchen upgrades. From replacing a faucet to plumbing a kitchen island, from painting the walls to building a whole new wall, this book has the information readers need to get the job done. No other book presents this subject in such full detail. The Complete Guide to Kitchens also gives readers valuable information to help them work with designers and contractors.

Home & Garden

Nesting: It's a Chick Thing by Anne Mahler Beanland & Emily Miles Terry (Workman Publishing)

Goodbye Martha. Hello chicks!

Just in time for a post-perfection revolution, Anne Mahler Beanland and Emily Miles Terry put a twist on homemaking for all those smart, stylish women who have better things to do than polish the silver. The best-selling authors of It's a Chick Thing are back, and their new book Nesting is a guide to feathering the nest with attitude. Just Imagine Betty Crocker meets Sex In the City.

Nesting proved what readers need to survive funky crafts, home improvement projects, tasty recipes, goof-proof gardening tips, and one-of-a­ kind entertaining hints. And all are mixed with a huge dose of empowering, "you-can-do-it" motivation and inspiration. Full of attitude and ingenuity, Nesting bub­bles with advice, how-tos, quips, recipes, crafts, and the hilarious experiences of other chicks, including:

  • 16 Things Every Chick Should Have for Feathering Her Nest.
  • Painting Like a Pro.
  • All-Girl Getaways.
  • 5 Houseplants Even You Can't Kill.
  • Dare to Decoupage.
  • Romancing the Stove.
  • Vase, Schmase: Creative Flower Holders.
  • Desserts in Black and White.
  • How to Be a Hostess Cupcake.
  • From Dirt Poor to Dirt Rich.

I absolutely love it! It is SO my kind of book. Nesting addresses all sorts of issues that go to the very heart of the make-up of womankind. – Sue Ellen Cooper, New York Times best-selling author, The Red Hat Society

Whether you're fine, fancy, flamboyant or funky, Nesting by my two favorite chicks – Anne and Emily – makes nesting fun, inspired and chick-centric! – Jill Conner Browne, author of The Sweet Potato Queen

I have so many ideas from this book that I'm going to have to quit my job. – Adair Lara, author of Normal is Just a Setting On the Dryer

At last a departure from perfection and the arrival of playful when it comes to decorating and celebrating. Full of permission to embrace our own unique style whether that includes paper plates or china! From great advice to vicarious adventures Nesting will delight and inspire. – Lisa  Hammond, author of Dream Big, and Founder of Femail Creations

Nesting will have readers laughing out loud with priceless stories and anecdotes from chicks who've been there. Even Ellen DeGeneres gets in on the Nesting action with a witty essay about the perfect way not to behave at a party. The calling card of the new nesting generation, this book is practically bursting at the seams with advice, how-to hints, and chick tales from other domestic (and not-so-domestic) goddesses.

Home & Garden

Herbal Harvest: Commercial Organic Production of Quality Dried Herbs by Greg Whitten (Bloomings Books, U.S. Distributor: Chelsea Green Publishing Company)

During the 20th century, the use of traditional herbal medicine has been eclipsed by Western scientific medicine. The term 'medicine' itself has come to mean medicine which conforms with the Western scientific model. However, in the past couple of decades, disillusionment with that branch of medicine has meant that more and more people have begun to look for alternatives. In Australia in the mid-1990s, for example, it is estimated that half of the population used some form of alternative medicine: for many that was herbal treatment.

According to Herbal Harvest, growing, harvesting, drying and processing conditions have an enormous impact on the effectiveness of herbs as medicines. Each of the plants has its own particular likes and dislikes in terms of optimum conditions, as well as differences in time of harvest and the part of the plant (root, leaves, flowers) to be used medicinally. Herbs to be used as medicines should be grown without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers – one does not want the medicines adding to health problems.

Until relatively recently, most medicinal herbs used in the Western world were grown in Europe, especially Eastern Europe. The environmental problems faced there, particularly since the Chernobyl disaster, make that area unsuitable as a source of plant medicines.

According to author Greg Whitten – a "hands-on" Tasmanian herb farmer with over 20 years of experience developing techniques for producing premium quality medicinal herbs in Australia – Australia, by contrast, enjoys a cleaner environment and a variety of climates which allow for the growing needs of many different medicinals.

As described in Herbal Harvest, there is the opportunity for Australia to become a major producer of medicinal herbs, both for the domestic and overseas markets. The enormous increase in demand for those herbal medicines which have become so popular in recent years – herbs such as echinacea, ginkgo and ginseng – is indicative of the potential of the market. Less glamorous herbs are also needed, such as peppermint and thyme.

Greg Whitten has pioneered the development of techniques for producing premium quality medicinal herbs in this country. His knowledge about optimal growing conditions for medicinals and the best ways of harvesting and drying the plants to retain their maximum therapeutic effectiveness is grounded in years of trial and error. – Sue Evans, Lecturer in Herbal Medicine Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales

Access to good accurate information can make the difference between success and failure in an emerging and highly competitive industry. – Kim Fletcher, Herb Industry Consultant

Herbal Harvest is the most comprehensive book on organic herb production in print. In over 550 pages, Greg Whitten covers all facets of commercial organic herb-growing: the state of the herb industry, site selection, climate, irrigation, weed management, propagation, trial plots, composting, pests and diseases, harvesting, drying, processing and marketing, innovative tool design, personal health, and more. The book is a God-send for herb farmers.

Home & Garden

A Year at Kew by Rupert Smith (BBC Books, distributed by Trafalgar Square Publishing) is a beautifully illustrated, month-by-month tour of one of the world's great botanical gardens.

England's Kew Garden, which receives over a million visitors a year, was recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ranking it alongside Stonehenge, the Pyramids, and the Taj Mahal. This companion to the new BBC series, A Year at Kew, now takes readers on a private tour, looking at the work of Kew's experts – in the greenhouses, labs, and libraries that gives the garden its reputation as a center of scientific excellence.

Written by Rupert Smith, a regular writer for the Guardian and Radio Times on television and the arts, A Year at Kew follows the work of the multitude of gardeners, scientists, botanists and landscape architects who maintain the unrivalled collections and their environments for future generations. In each chapter readers are introduced to some of the spectacular monthly highlights at both Kew and its country estate at Wakehurst Place. Readers find out what is in flower, what is being planted or removed, and what special activities are going on, including seasonal festivals and exhibitions, for example, the unrivalled orchid festival in February, the famous rhododendron displays and the stunning autumn color of the sweet chestnut, one of Kew's oldest trees. They also follow some of the stars of the TV series and see how their enthusiasm and skills play a vital part in the garden's success.

A Year at Kew is a glimpse into one of the world's horticultural treasures. Beautifully illustrated and with extensive behind-the-scenes access, the book offers a unique look at the private life of the world's greatest botanical garden, capturing the passion and commitment of those who work there.

Literature & Fiction

Acquainted With the Night: Excursions Through the World After Dark by Christopher Dewdney (Bloomsbury)

Without question, night is the most mysterious and magical of times. It follows each day, we all live half our lives in it, but it is often the secret and private parts of life, shrouded in darkness. Night is woven into our language: night crawlers glisten on residential lawns; while downtown, night owls rub shoulders with fly-by-nights. Acclaimed poet Christopher Dewdney captures the night's romance, science, and lore in Acquainted With the Night.

Dewdney begins with our undeniable and innate fascination with darkness, and then expands out into a wide-ranging discussion of the scientific, natural, artistic and literary properties of night. In twelve chapters, he leads us through the twelve hours of an "ideal" night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., sunset to dawn in the form of explorations of every aspect of night and remembrances of evenings past, punctuated by fragments from the captivating literature of the night. Dewdney, an award-winning poet who has written extensively about language, culture and media, explores global culture's night-time customs and includes sections on nocturnal animals, insomnia, bedtime stories, fireworks, film noir, dreams, constellations, ghosts, nightclubs, and ladies of the night.

An elegant investigation of all things nocturnal, Acquainted With the Night touches on subjects as far ranging as Galileo to E.T., from Athena to Keats to the Big Bang, from Inca night festivals to Van Gogh to the Blues, circadian rhythms to dream interpretation, and is, finally, a tribute to the most mysterious and alluring hours of the day.

...A delightful compendium ... Tautly written in a highly condensed yet personable voice, this tour of the manifold nocturnal realm is a superbly meticulous feat. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A magical tour of night's great landmarks... [A] eulogistic and very personal treatment of a world to itself, full of incident and lovely as a Whistler nocturne. – Kirkus (starred review)

A journey from twilight to dawn with a passionate observer who is endlessly curious, astonishingly eru­dite, and touched by genius. What could be more compelling? From childhood I have loved the night; and Dewdney brought it back to me like a gift. – Rosemary Sullivan, author of Labyrinth of Desire

Beautifully written, with curiosity, enthusiasm, a lyrical, intimate tone, and an eye for nighttime beauties both natural and manmade, Acquainted With the Night paints a captivating portrait of our hours in darkness. What emerges is not just a bountiful compendium of night, but a wide-ranging investigation into the way night shapes human experience.

Mysteries & Thrillers

Doctored Evidence: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery [UNABRIDGED] by Donna Leon, read by David Colacci (7 compact disks: Audio Editions, The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.)

Doctored Evidence: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Doctored Evidence: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery [UNABRIDGED]
by Donna Leon, read by David Colacci (audiocassettes: Mystery Masters)

The 13th of the highly-acclaimed Guido Brunetti mysteries, Doctored Evidence, follows Commissario Guido Brunetti down the winding streets of contemporary Venice as he throws open the doors of a case his superiors would rather leave closed. Elderly, housebound Maria Battestini, a rather unpleasant spinster, is found dead, her skull crushed by several sharp blows. Police immediately suspect her Romanian housekeeper. They are certain their job is done after the immigrant is struck dead by a train while fleeing arrest, but weeks later, a neighbor comes forward to defend the innocence of the accused. The only investigator who believes the alibi is Brunetti, who will have to go behind the backs of his superiors to vindicate the Romanian and find her employer's actual killer. As always, the indispensable hacking skills of the ever-loyal Signorina Elettra are the perfect complement to Brunetti's meticulous detective work. She discovers mysterious deposits in the old woman's bank account, but who made them? As Brunetti investigates, his wife, at home, reads him teachings on the Seven Deadly Sins. In a modern world of intrigue and nebulous morality, how do they relate to the murder at hand?

Moral ambiguities weigh heavily on the beleaguered but warm-hearted Venice cop in this latest mystery in the Guido Brunetti mystery series. With her masterful flair, Donna Leon, former English teacher and expat living in Venice for a good 25 years, charges this riveting new novel, Doctored Evidence, with suspense and evokes a contemporary Venice. With the help of David Colacci, an esteemed audiobook narrator who performs the audio versions, Leon evokes the real Venice, not the place of romantic novels or glitzy travel guides but the gritty, inbred city of dishonest politicians and hamlet-like neighborhoods filled with gossip.

Mysteries & Thrillers

Murder on Marble Row: A Gaslight Mystery by Victoria Thompson (Prime Crime)

As a turn-of-the-century, widowed midwife in New York City's tenements, Sarah Brandt has seen plenty of life's ups and down. Now, in Murder on Marble Row, a new novel in the Edgar-nominated series, she's drawn into a politically-charged case where her help is not wanted – but is very much needed...

When an explosion kills wealthy industrialist Gregory Van Dyke, Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt presumes that anarchists are responsible and personally asks Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to track them down. Malloy is up to the challenge but he faces a different kind of challenge when he encounters Sarah Brandt paying a condolence call on the Van Dykes. Faced with the impossibility of ever expressing his true feelings for Sarah, Frank had vowed never to see or work with her again...

For her part, Sarah is glad to be working with Malloy once again in his hunt for a dangerous killer – though they clash over his conviction that the murder was politically motivated.

Frank would like to dismiss her concerns, but whether he likes it or not he needs Sarah's help, because as she knows – and he is about to discover – the marble facades of Fifth Avenue hide as many dark and twisted secrets as any tenement on the Lower East Side.

Thompson vividly recreates the gas-lit world of old New York. – Publishers Weekly

In this entertaining mix of history and mystery, complete with cameos from Teddy Roosevelt and Emma Goldman, Victoria Thompson, the author of the Gaslight mystery series, continues to deftly embody old New York in Murder on Marble Row, and midwife Sarah Brandt continues to see her fair share of sorrow, birth, and death.

Parenting & Families / Education

Innovations: The Comprehensive Preschool Curriculum by Kay Albrecht & Linda G. Miller (A Gryphon House Book)

Designed for teachers of 3- to 5-year-olds, this complete curriculum book focuses on how teachers can encourage, facilitate and stimulate children to learn and grow. Innovations identifies, explains and supports the major developmental tasks of preschool children, including adjusting to school, making friends, exploring roles, communicating, problem-solving, and expressing feelings. It contains a comprehensive appendix, planning tools and an array of useful teaching strategies.

Each chapter discusses child development theory and relates theory to practice in ways that teachers can understand and implement. Planning pages, webs, lists of materials, equipment and resources, numerous activities for children, and comprehensive observation/assessment lists help teachers ensure a happy, healthy learning experience for every preschooler.

Innovations is a unique combination of the practical and theoretical. Discussions of child development theories are accompanied by curriculum plans for 14 different areas, including Science/Discovery, Sensory, Art, Literacy/Writing, Math/Manipulatives, and Movement/Outdoors, among others.

According to authors Kay Albrecht and Linda G. Miller, both professional educators and consultants, at the very least, curriculum for young children must include a focus on the relationships between the teacher and child and family, teacher observation, assessment, teacher training, and interactive responses; family participation, education, and appreciation as primary educators; integration of environment, toys, materials, health and safety, and room arrangement; knowledge of historical and emerging child growth and development theory and practice, the preschooler's experiences, interactions, reactions, cues, interests, and an understanding of the children's temperament. Each chapter in Innovations includes:

  • Observation/Assessment checklists for teachers to ensure each child is learning and growing.
  • Suggestions for fostering healthy relationships among children, teachers, and parents.
  • Ideas for communicating with families about developmental milestones and what children are learning.
  • Planning pages for classroom activities.
  • Lists of materials, equipment, and resources needed.
  • Creative, fun, and appropriate developmental activities and experiences for children.
  • A discussion about how child development theory relates to everyday child care practice in the classroom

The focus of curriculum must be squarely on the child. This curriculum advocates thinking about and planning for everything that can, by the nature of the setting (school vs. home), contribute to the child's development and the teacher's relationship with the child and the family. Albrecht and Miller think this is a paradigm shift, a way to move the discussion of curriculum out of the narrow range that leads to evaluating children's potential solely by high-stakes testing and outcomes toward a more comprehensive approach that embraces many different ways of knowing and learning. At the same time, Albrecht and Miller recognize the need for teachers to have something that is easy to use regardless of their educational background.

The curriculum is comprehensive – encompassing all aspects of growing and learning. This curriculum framework embraces the inter-relationship among teacher's planning, the child's interest and response, child development knowledge and best practices, the child's family context and culture, and the reactions and interactions of the adults and other children. Everything involved works together to build relationships with children.

Innovations insures that preschoolers are supported in learning, that teachers understand and embrace educating preschoolers in a comprehensive way, and that families and teachers work cooperatively to make sure it all comes together. The book combines all the elements needed in a way that provides a foundation for beginning teachers, support for experienced teachers, and a complete program for every teacher.

The series, Innovations was designed by Albrecht and Miller as a series from the beginning, and Innovations: The Comprehensive Preschool Curriculum is the third book in the series, following Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum and Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum. Together, they form a seamless, comprehensive, developmental approach to early childhood education for children from birth to five years of age.


The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog (4th Edition) by James W. Sire (InterVarsity Press)

For any of us to be fully conscious intellectually we should not only be able to detect the worldviews of others but be aware of our own – why it is ours and why in light of so many options we think it is true. – James W. Shire

The Universe Next Door is a basic catalog of worldviews – that is, of the primary ways people have viewed reality. In part, James W. Shire’s book is a work of popular intellectual history. Shire, former editor of InterVarsity Press and campus lecturer for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, begins with Christian theism, the worldview dominant in the seventeenth century and very much alive today, and shows how subsequent worldviews (deism, naturalism, nihilism, existentialism) developed from theism, and then how Eastern pantheism, New Age thought and postmodernism have emerged to further complicate the pluralistic character of our Western culture. The book is also a work to help individuals understand their own worldview and why they think it is true. The Universe Next Door is not itself an apologetic for the Christian faith, but it provides much of the material from which an apologetic can be constructed by those who think through its implications.

In addition to explications of such worldviews as theism, deism, naturalism, nihilism, Marxism, and others, the third edition added a new chapter on postmodernism and thoroughly revised the chapter on New Age philosophy. This fourth edition includes updates throughout. But most significantly, it reflects refinements in Sire's definition and thinking about the nature of worldviews themselves, which are taken up in greater detail in the companion volume, Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept.

In an increasingly pluralistic academic environment, the ability to understand and evaluate various worldviews is vitally important. With over a quarter million copies in print in three editions, The Universe Next Door has established itself as the premier textbook on worldviews. In clear, readable prose, Sire explains each worldview.


Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings (4th Edition) by Elliott Sober (Pearson Prentice Hall – Philosophy, Humanities, Social Science)

The philosophical problems investigated in this introductory text concern fundamental facts about our place in the universe. Many of us were brought up to believe that God exists, that there is a real difference between right and wrong, that we can freely choose what sort of lives to lead, and that it is possible for us to gain knowledge of the world we inhabit. A major goal of philosophy is to discover whether these opinions can be rationally defended or are just comfortable illusions.

Presented in an engaging lecture-style format, this combined textbook-anthology leads students through a series of discussions on the basic issues and ideas in philosophy. The lectures are supported by related readings from historically important sources. Most of the lectures also contain boxed material highlighting key concepts or related topics. The discussions emphasize the logic of philosophical arguments – and in particular, how they relate to the content of scientific theories such as evolution. While the author's lecture approach lends Core Questions in Philosophy a natural flow and sense of immediacy, it comprises a fully integrated textbook with all of the traditional organizational and pedagogical features, including chapter summaries, marginal notes, discussion questions, problems, test questions, a glossary, and bibliography.
Core Questions in Philosophy emphasizes the idea that philosophy is a subject devoted to evaluating arguments and constructing theories. This is not the same as describing the history of what various philosophers have thought. Although author Elliott Sober, University of Wisconsin-Madison, discusses historical texts, he does so because they are rich sources of ideas pertinent to answering philosophical questions. The point is not to say solemn and respectful words about worthy figures now dead, but to engage them in dialogue—to grapple with the theories they have proposed, to criticize these theories, even to improve upon them.

Core Questions in Philosophy is a combination textbook with readings. The first part, the lectures, is followed by a group of related readings. The lectures flow together, so that the main areas covered—philosophy of religion, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and ethics—are connected to each other to make a coherent whole. The lectures are intended to stand on their own as well as to provide points of entry into the readings. They are also intended to be launching pads from which readers can pursue issues on their own. Sober believes students are best able to think about philosophy if they first are provided with some basic tools and concepts; the lectures provide these core ideas.

Following the lectures in Parts II through V, readings are drawn from historical texts: Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Anselm, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Mill, with a few from  contemporary philosophers. The lectures often discuss these readings, but the area of overlap is far from total. Many lectures contain material that not touched on in any reading; and the readings raise a wealth of issues that the lectures don't address.

Each lecture is followed by review questions and by problems for further thought. These help readers consolidate their understanding of the lecture and think creatively about related problems.

Besides covering a number of traditional topics, Core Questions in Philosophy also takes up some contemporary theories and problems, both from philosophy and from other disciplines. For example, creationism and evolutionary theory are hotly debated now. The issues they raise are continuous with a tradition of argument in the philosophy of religion that goes back (at least) to Aquinas, Hume, and Paley. The relation of mind and body is as old a problem as philosophy engages, but the ideas of Freud and Skinner get a hearing along with those of Descartes. In ethics there has long been a debate as to whether ethical truths are discovered or created. Plato and Sartre are separated by more than 2,000 years, but both speak to this issue. The problem of free will raises the question of whether every event is caused. Here the contribution of modern physics must be brought into contact with a perennial problem of philosophy. Philosophy isn't the same as biology, psychology, or physics, but the problems of philosophy cannot be isolated from the sciences. One aim of Core Questions in Philosophy is to connect philosophical problems with ideas derived from a wider culture.

Philosophers strive for wisdom; whether they do so, and whether they attain it, are separate questions. Wisdom involves understanding—seeing how things fit together. When the pieces of a puzzle are fitted together, one attains a sense of wholeness. Current philosophy is embedded in a historical tradition of philosophical discourse. It also is connected with problems in the sciences, the other humanities, and the arts. Core Questions in Philosophy aims to give the reader a sense of these multiple connections.  

The 4th edition of Core Questions in Philosophy contains a significantly enhanced section on epistemology and a new lecture that introduces the basics of probability theory.

I have yet to see another text that so ably exemplifies the methods of contemporary philosophy. – William Russell Payne, Bellevue Community College

...It was a pleasure reading this book. It is innovative in design and it addresses philosophy in an original and unique manner. – Doug Frame, National University

This five-part text, made up of “lectures” and readings, covers an introduction to philosophy, the philosophy of religion, theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, and ethics. The discussions emphasize the logic of philosophical arguments, in particular, how they relate to the content of modern physical and social sciences and scientific theories such as evolution. Core Questions in Philosophy is presented in an engaging format; the book has a natural flow & immediacy and is appropriate or anyone looking for adequate answers to enduring questions.


On the Nature of Things by Lucretius, translated by W. E. Leonard (Dover Publications)

A Roman poet and philosopher of the first century, Lucretius sought to dis­pel what he considered the chief cause of unhappiness: the fear of death and the wrath of the gods. His great didactic poem in six parts, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), theorizes natural causes as the forces behind earthly phenomena and dismisses the concept of divine intervention.

Lucretius' discourse ranges from his discussions of the motion of atoms, natural phenomena, and sensation to his assertions regarding free will and the soul's relationship to the body. He maintains that rather than a distinct, immaterial entity, the soul is a chance combination of atoms that perishes with the body. The philosopher proposes completely natural causes for all earthly phenomena, suggesting that the world operates independently of divine agency and that fear of the supernatural is unfounded. Although he refrains from denying the existence of gods, Lucretius considers them unconcerned with human affairs and destiny.

Lucretius divided his argument into six books. Books I and II establish the main principles of the atomic universe, refute the rival theories of the pre-Socratic cosmic philosophers Heracleitus, Empedocles, and Anaxagoras, and covertly attack the Stoics, a school of moralists rivaling that of Epicurus. Book III demonstrates the atomic structure and mortality of the soul and ends with a triumphant sermon on the theme "Death is nothing to us." Book IV describes the mechanics of sense perception, thought, and certain bodily functions and condemns sexual passion. Book V describes the creation and working of the world and the celestial bodies and the evolution of life and human society. Book VI explains remarkable phenomena of the earth and sky, in particular, thunder and lightning. The poem ends with a description of the plague at Athens, a somber picture of death that contrasts with the depiction of spring and birth in the invocation to Venus with which the poem opens.

The linguistic style of the poem is notable. Lucretius' aim was to render the bald and abstract Greek prose of Epicurus into Latin hexameters at a time when Latin had no philosophic vocabulary. He succeeded by turning common words to a technical use. When necessary, he invented words. He freely used alliteration and assonance, solemn and often metrically convenient archaic forms, and old constructions. He imitated or echoed Homer, the dramatists Aeschylus and Euripides, the poet Callimachus, the historian Thucydides, and the physician Hippocrates.

The translation is accurate, clear, readable, and vigorous. – Charles Segal, Harvard University

Meticulous, judicious and reader-friendly in equal measure, it embodies the fruits of a lifetime's study of Lucretius' poetic masterpiece. – David Sedley, Christ's College, University of Cambridge

Derived from the philosophical materialism of the Greeks, Lucretius' writings remain the primary source for contemporary knowledge of Epicurean thought.  A staple of introductory philosophy courses, On the Nature of Things is also a masterpiece of Latin verse.

Politics / Global

The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century (A Project of the International Peace Academy) edited by David M. Malone (Lynne Rienner Publishers)

Why a volume on the Security Council now?

Much has changed since the end of the Cold War. The decisions of the Security Council – largely improvised and inconsistent though they may be – have profoundly affected international relations. Among other things, the Council's deci­sions have eroded conceptions of state sovereignty firmly held during the Cold War years, altering the way in which many of us see the relationship between state and citizen the world over.

Two crises in international relations centered on Iraq, in 1990-1991 and in 2002-2003, have led to two totally different views of the UN in gen­eral and the Council in particular. Following the first, marked by the mobi­lization of many countries to eject Iraqi occupation forces from Kuwait under a strong Council mandate, extraordinary and unjustified euphoria took hold among practitioners and some scholars about the potential of the UN to serve as the agent for the "new world order" advertised by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. At the time of the second crisis, obituaries were written for the UN, as well as for the idea of international order that it represented. In both cases, these extreme views of the UN suggested that international practitioner, media, and scholarly opinion was not rooted in a sound understanding of the Security Council. Moreover, there was a failure to understand how the Council continues to coexist with an older form of international relations still based on sovereign states pursuing their various national interests. The UN Security Council seeks to give a rounded assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Council. It also seeks to identify what may be enduring in its approaches to a widening agenda of international security issues since the end of the Cold War.

Given the centrality of individual state interests at the UN, the question arises as to whether the Council, in terms of the perceived legitimacy of its decisions, can be more than the sum of its parts. Perhaps the key driver in Council decisions today, is the agenda of the United States. This raises questions about the extent to which the Council can resist the "pull" of U.S. policy preferences. As of mid-2003, there is also concern that the Council could find itself confined to mandating UN humanitarian, peacekeeping, and transitional government mop-up operations after U.S.­led military interventions. This tension – between military and political power and the power of legitimacy – runs through The UN Security Council.

With the geopolitical setting altered by the end of the Cold War, the issues addressed by the Council and the way in which they are addressed have evolved radically. Furthermore, the Council occasionally today features female ambassadors, most recently including Madeleine Albright of the United States and Patricia Durant of Jamaica.

By slicing and dicing in many different ways the Council's decisions and activities, the substantive themes of its work, and the institutional developments in its life, The UN Security Council attempts to assess its performance during the turbulent, hyperactive years of the post-Cold War era. The contributors represent a mix of prac­titioners, many of whom have served on the Council or sought to implement its mandates; knowledgeable academics, a number of whom have published extensively on related topics; and members of the community of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) interacting frequently with the Council.

The approach taken in The UN Security Council is not theoretical. When the contributors met in January 2003, they debated key issues pertaining to the Council, joined by a number of Council ambassadors. They considered a number of possible models for the Council's role in international relations: an Athenian model, essentially consultative: a Congress of Vienna conclave model under which the Council devotes itself to norm-development, as many in Washington would have us believe is the Council's most characteristic trait today; and a Roman model allowing for mobilizational governance – under this scheme, the Council serves as a senate constraining the emperor. In the post-Cold War era the Roman model may apply best, with the U.S. president cast as emperor, but contemporary history is proving sufficiently fluid that the contributors were not persuaded that taking such a theoretical approach would be useful. They are content to let their research and conclusions serve as fodder for others.

One snare for any writer on the Security Council relates to assessments of UN “success” and “relevance.” Differences of appreciation will be clear throughout the volume and in its conclusions, being defined largely in the eye of individual beholders.

The first section focuses on factors in Council decision-making that are new in the post-Cold War era, drivers such as the humanitarian impulse or terrorism. They move on to focus for several chapters on one key change: the greater resort to the provisions of Chapter VII of the UN Charter allowing for the enforcement measures of sanctions and the use of force. Editor David M. Malone then offers ten chapters covering evolving institutional fact affecting the Council, from the role of NGOs to pressures for Council reform. In order to illustrate a number of these themes, he offers eleven brief case studies that the contributors believe shed particular light on new approaches by the Council. In the final section, the book seeks to offer an interpretation and an integration of points raised in all these chapters, doing justice to none of the contributors singly, but aiming to offer one possible synthesis of their views.

Encyclopedic in scope and authoritative in analysis.... Everyone who cares about the future role of the United Nations and the international rule of law will want to read this book. – John G. Ruggie, Harvard University

It is hard to imagine a more timely volume. This is a must read for any serious student or scholar of the United Nations, or indeed anyone pondering the relative success or failure of the international community's grand experiment in regulating the use of force by law. – Anne-Marie Slaughter, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

A wide-ranging and highly topical study of that most mysterious and misunderstood international body, the UN Security Council. – David Hannay, British Ambassador to the UN, 1990-1995

This encyclopedic volume, bringing together the world’s foremost thinkers, gives a rounded view of the strengths and weaknesses of the Security Council, offering a range of broad thematic observations. The inner workings of the Council have been, for the most part, opaque and so not part of the ongoing national and international discourse – The UN Security Council changes that. The book will be useful for anyone who wishes to be informed about the UN.

Politics / Education

Educating for Liberty: The First Half-Century of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute by Lee Edwards (Regnery Publishing, Inc.)

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) was founded half a century ago to defend traditional liberal education in American colleges and universities against the onslaught of leftist ideologues. With its myriad lectures, journals, fellowships, books, seminars, and mentoring programs, ISI is today the educational pillar of the conservative movement and the leading source of information about a free society fot the many students and teachers who reject the post-modernist Zeitgeist.

The founders of ISI hoped their work would give rise to a better future for their children's children. In Educating for Liberty, Lee Edwards, the preeminent historian of the conservative movement, details how ISI has inspired collegiate conservatives for decades and prepared them to defend the American and Western patrimony in public office, research organizations, the media, and the academy. Readers meet the men and women behind ISI and encounter their vision for renewing higher education in America. Long before the advent of “compassionate conservatism,” ISI promoted a robust and humane conservatism through the works of Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk and others.

Edwards, Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at the Heritage Foundation, an adjunct professor of Politics at The Catholic University of America, and founding director of the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University, tells the story of ISI's original focus on combating socialism, its resistance to the cultural crisis of the 1960s and the 1970s, its battle against political correctness in the 1980s and 1990s, and its answer to the anti-Americanism on college campuses after 9/11. ISI's mission from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism has been to lay the intellectual and cultural foundation for ordered liberty in America and to help the West win for the right in the clash of civilizations.

By the time the Reagan Revolution marched into Washington, I had the troops I needed – thanks in no small measure to the work with American youth ISI had been doing since 1953. I am proud to count many ISI products among the workhorses of my two terms as President. – Ronald Regan

By fighting for the soul of the university, ISI is performing a very valuable function for America as a whole. – Robert Bork

ISI performs a valuable service to the nation by introducing to American college youth the great moral and intellectual achievements of our Western heritage. I am proud to take part in their ef­forts. – Robert P. George

Chronicling the rise of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and its influence on American conservatism, Educating for Liberty is required reading for the left as well as for the right in these highly polarized times.

Popular Culture / Entertainment

Bullets over Hollywood by John McCarty (DaCapo Press, Perseus Books Group)  

You know how many mobsters are selling screenplays and screwing things up? The Golden Age of the mob is gone, it's never coming back – and the mob has only itself to blame. – James Gandolfini as Tony in The Sopranos

Dark, ambiguous and exciting, the gangster movie has never waned in popularity – and the allure of the gangster as antihero remains as powerful as the days of Prohibition were long. John McCarty traces the history of mob movies, looks at the archetypal characters, compares early movies with their recent counterparts, dishes behind the scenes anecdotes and delves into the minds of movie-goers – ultimately bringing readers the definitive book on the gangster film.

Bullets over Hollywood also looks at the lasting power of this genre, the heir apparent of the Western, complete with superior firepower and greater relevance. McCarty, adjunct professor in the Department of Theatre at SUNY, Albany, explores how these movies still resonate with today's youth; and questions how the characters in these movies can seem so over-the-top, yet so much like the gangsters on the evening news.

Is it life imitating art or the opposite? Both, says McCarty, quoting George Raft – “gangster movies... taught gangsters how to talk." That the "movie gangsters based their characters' styles of dress, their mannerisms, and other behavioral tics on the famous gangster personalities of their time, we know. But ... gangsters are not immune from the desire to be like their icons flickering back at them from the big screen ... often like caricatures of their movie counterparts, acting out roles in their own real-life gangster films."

This is the definitive study of the gangster movie. Mr. McCarty goes beyond the standard historical textbook; he peels back complicated layers, bringing to light observations about film as a reflection of real life, and interpreting the fine line between character and caricature, man and actor. Every page provides a deep insight into the gangster hero without diminishing his enigmatic power. – Elaina Archer, producer of Rita and Clara Bow: Discovering the "It" Girl

Bullets over Hollywood is that rarest of beasts: an impeccably-researched source­book so powerful it sinks its fangs into you and won't let go. McCarty is brilliant in analyzing the different gangster types.... and the stories he tells are sometimes fall-down funny. The appendixes alone – the gangster films year by year, Oscar­winning films and performances, a marvelous bibliography – are worth the price of admission. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever loved the movies. – Joe Gores, author of 32 Cadillacs and Cons, Scams & Grifts

In Bullets over Hollywood, film scholar McCarty traces the history of mob flicks and reveals why they are so beloved by Americans. This lively and insightful history of gangsters in American film is packed with revelatory behind-the-scenes anecdotes and information about real-life hoods and their cinematic alter egos. Bullets over Hollywood will be the definitive book on the gang­ster movie for years to come.

Popular Culture / Entertainment / Movies

Hollywood Italians: Dagos, Palookas, Romeos, Wise Guys, and Sopranos by Peter Bondanella (Continuum)

From the silent era and The Black Hand (1906) to The Sopranos, Hollywood has a love-hate affair with Italian Americans. Hollywood Italians by Peter Bondanella is a celebration of nearly one hundred years of images of Italians in American motion pictures and their often under-appreciated and truly remarkable contributions to popular culture. Bondanella, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian at Indiana University, Bloomington, showcases the values associated with Italian culture, such as hard work and loyalty to family, emphasizing the fact that their acceptance in American culture in spite of negative portrayals may be because they rejected victim status to gain upward mobility.

The book covers stars as well as directors: Danny Aiello, Frank Capra, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Brian De Palma, Leonardo Di Caprio, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Dean Martin, Vincente Minnelli, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese, Frank Sinatra, Marisa Tomei, John Travolta, Rudolph Valentino, and others. Dozens of films are discussed, concentrating on the most important, including their literary and European cinematic roots. Hollywood Italians is capped by a definitive examination of Coppola's Godfather films as well as the international television phenomenon The Sopranos.

Bondanella has created a veritable primer of the history of the Italian American presence in American film in an interesting and accessible style. From the earliest silent films to The Sopranos, Bondanella gives stats and covers plots of all the major and many minor productions that have had anything to do with Italians. This is the overview that the field has been waiting for. Bondanella has done it and the culture a great service by taking on such a grand study. Bravo! – Fred Gardaphe, Director, Italian American Studied Program, SUNY at Stony Brook

While previous studies have focused on isolated cases of Italian American portrayals in film, Bondanella's book is the first to survey this vast and complex subject in its entire­ty. Combining detailed analyses of landmark films with a panoramic overview of cine­matic trends from the silent period to today, Bondanella devotes special attention to the link between stereotypes of 'Italianness' and the traditions of such key Hollywood genres as the gangster chronicle, sentimental romance, comedy, and family melodrama. Exhaustively researched and entertainingly written, Hollywood Italians is an indispensable resource for teachers and students of ethnicity, as well as for general readers interested in mass-media treatments of this highly visible and important minority. – Millicent Marcus, Professor and Director of the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania

With its engaging plot lines, astute observations and compelling behind-the-scenes tidbits, Hollywood Italians is entertaining summer reading – while making readers feel they are learning their cultural and film history.


The Psychology of Gender, 2nd Edition by Vicki S. Helgeson (Pearson Prentice Hall)

Focusing equally on both men and women, this innovative book ties together the empirical research and conceptual discussions surrounding gender in the areas of psychology, sociology, anthropology, medicine, and public health. Going well beyond simple summary statements of the similarities and differences between men and women, The Psychology of Gender explains them – and the magnitude of the differences – between men's and women's thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It reviews the research from multiple perspectives, but emphasizes the implications of social roles, status, and gender-related traits, particularly for relationships and health – areas that are central to readers' lives and that have a great impact on their day-to-day functioning.

An overview of the contents shows: Conceptualization and Measurement of Gender Roles and Gender-Role Attitudes, Sex-Related Comparisons: Observations, Sex Related Comparisons: Theory, Aggression, Achievement, Communication, Friendship, Romantic Relationships, Sex Differences in Health: Evidence and Explanations, Relationships and Health, Work Roles and Health, Mental Health.

A focus on gender rather than a focus on men or women is a much needed innovation. It is hard to find a book that combines information on both genders this well.  – Diana I. Cordova,Yale University

The author's writing style is not only clear and understandable, but more importantly, it is not biased. – Edward R Garrido, The University of Houston

The Psychology of Gender will be my first choice for some time to come. I can't explain how many different ways I was able to use the text and stimulate discussion on presented research. –William R. Holt, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

There are not many textbooks that I have been assigned to that I have found the least bit interesting throughout school. This book is different. The writing style of the author is impressive... This may be the first book in college that I do not throw away or sell back! – A Student at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

My students have been critical of other texts that I have used which did not present both sides of major issues in various areas. However, Helgeson seems to present multiple sides in a way that encourages critical thinking on the part of students. – Deanna R. Riveira, College of the Canyons

Written by Vicki S. Helgeson, an accomplished scholar and teacher at Carnegie Mellon University, The Psychology of Gender explores the roles that society has assigned to men and women. Other variables, such as sex, status, and gender-related traits, are addressed and contribute to the understanding of the individual in the social context in this exciting new introductory text.  The book will well serve anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences between the sexes, especially in regard to relationships and health.

Reference / Writing

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Making Your Novel Stand Out and Succeed by Donald Maass (Writer’s Digest Books)

With Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook readers learn to set their work-in-progress apart from the competition and write their own breakout novel, guided by Donald Maass, a powerful force in the New York book community. As the president and founder of the Donald Maass Literary Agency, he sells more than 100 novels a year, teaches writing workshops across the country, and is a celebrated author in his own right.
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook builds on the success of it predecessor – Writing the Breakout Novel, which offered novelists of all skill levels and genres insider advice on how to make their books rise above the competition and succeed in a crowded marketplace. This new book takes them to the next level: improving their work with practical, hands-on lessons and exercises.

With patented techniques designed for and used in his popular writing workshops, Maass shows fiction writers exactly how to make their work stand out from the crowd. Readers learn how to strengthen any novel-in-progress, with sections on:

  • Building plot layers

  • Creating inner conflict

  • Strengthening voice and point of view

  • Discovering and heightening larger-than-life character qualities

  • Strengthening theme

Every workbook exercise is followed by examples from real-life breakout novels. Maass carefully dissects these examples so readers learn how to read and analyze fiction like a writer.

This powerful book presents the patented techniques and writing exercises from Maass's writing workshops to offer novelists instruction and practical guidance. With authoritative instruction and hands-on workbook exercises, Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook is one of the most accessible novel-writing guides available.

Religion & Spirituality

Women's Wisdom from the Heart of Africa [UNABRIDGED] by Sobonfu Somé in 6 CDs (Sounds True)

Women's Wisdom from the Heart of Africa [UNABRIDGED] by Sobonfu Some in Audiocassettes (Sounds True)

In the Dagara tribe of West Africa, women are valued as the source of the world's wisdom. They are dreamers, diviners, the backbone of the community – the core of human survival. But what can the teachings of this indigenous culture show us of relevance to the way we live?

"There is a deep longing among people in the West to connect with something bigger – with community and spirit. People know there is something missing in their lives, and believe that the rituals and ancient ways of the village offer some answers." These are the simple yet deeply poignant words of author and teacher Sobonfu Somé, one of the foremost voices in African spirituality to come to the West.

Somé is the sole woman from her tribe – empowered by the tribal elders to bring the traditional teachings on women’s spirituality to the West. Now, for the first time, Sobonfu shares the essential principles and practices of African feminine wisdom in a complete audio learning course – Women's Wisdom from the Heart of Africa. In 12 sessions, listeners learn universally applicable teachings to claim their unique gift; engage their dreams; honor transitions; reclaim their ancestral lineage; identify power places in nature and in their body; and open the gateways to intimacy.

Women's Wisdom from the Heart of Africa includes:

  • Using ritual to discover a "power place," in nature – and in the body
  • Forming a council of women to initiate growth and change in the community
  • Relating to stages in the life cycle as times of grace, beauty, and energy
  • Leadership as seen through the eyes of Dagara women: a different way of using power
  • Creating a shrine at home to call in the divine
  • Unfiltered intuition: a guide to trust
  • Calling in the "spirits of the elements" to create balance and harmony
  • Reclaiming ancestral lineage to find one’s greatest strength
  • Visible and invisible power: tapping into sacred energy
  • Using grief and mourning to restore, renew, and regenerate
  • Drawing upon dreams for guidance support, and encouragment
  • Ritual: the key to connecting with spirit – and with people 
  • Seven hours of rituals, reflection, and stories from the traditions of the Dagara tribe

Filled with grace and eloquence, Somé possesses a charm and modesty that enables her to touch her audience deeply. Told in Women's Wisdom from the Heart of Africa, Somé’s message about the importance of spirit, community and ritual in our lives rings with an intuitive power and truth that Alice Walker has said "can help us put together so many things that our modern western world has broken."

Religion & Spirituality

The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg: a Collection of Original Documents, Illustrative of the Theology, Wisdom And Usages of the Bardo-Druidic System of the Isle of Britain edited by J. Williams ab Ithel, with an introduction by John Matthews (Weiser Books)

Full of ancient inspiration and mystery, The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg is one of the few extant books detailing the practice of the Druidic Bards to survive the ages. It contains beliefs and practices handed down through generations by oral tradition and recorded only in fragments. The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg is a compilation of Iolo Morganwg's writings by Welch patriot J. Williams ab Ithel – the first comprehensive text about the Bards to be published and one of the few sources of authentic Druid thought and philosophy, but not without some controversy. Morganwg remains a controversial character who detractors claimed was as much inspired by fiction and laudanum as by the actual legitimate sourceworks he collected. Critics aside, The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg has played no small role in the resurgence of interest in Bards and Druids in the neo­Pagan spectrum of beliefs.

An introduction to this edition by noted Celtic writer John Matthews puts the material in perspective – from Morganwg's checkered past and Williams ab Ithel's Welsh fanaticism, to the impact Barddas has had on Druidism in the past and its continuing relevance today.

Morganwg remains an enigma, a man celebrated and reviled both during his lifetime and since his death. Some would claim him a scholar, others deride him as a dilettante. But all acknowledge his thirst for knowledge of Druid tradition and laud his efforts in seeking out and preserving what remained of traditional Druidic thought in the 1700s.

Ab Ithel was a Welsh clergyman and scholar who lived and died in the 1800s. He was dedicated to Welsh and Celtic history and acknowledged as an outspoken supporter of Wales at a time when traditional Welsh and Celtic culture was in danger of being subsumed by British rule. Thanks to his dedication to such history, The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg survives to this day.

The writings of the Regency Welsh Bard Iolo Morganwg are the most influential sources of the modern Druidic revival, and The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg is the most important collection of them. A new edition is much needed, and John Matthews provides an admirably concise, accurate, scrupulous, and fair-minded introduction. –Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at Bristol University

Nothing has influenced modern revivalist Druidry more than The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg. This book deserves an honored place in the library of anybody interested in the Druids. – John F. Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor of Comparative Religions, Universal Seminary

Much of the material in this book, previously released in 1862 and 1874, inspired the outpouring of interest in Druidry to the modern day as well as interest in modern Celtic literature. The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg provides a much-needed resource to make this material once again accessible to students of the mysteries, the mystic beliefs of the Celts, bardic poetry and Druidry, that it may inspire a new generation.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail: Evangelical Ecumenism and the Quest for Christian Identity edited by Timothy George (Beeson Divinity Studies Series: Baker Academic)

During the past generation, American evangelicals have moved from the margins to the mainstream of religious life and have become a powerful force in American politics and culture. This shift has brought challenges to evangelical identity as well as opportunities for mission and outreach. It has also created new conversations among evangelicals and between evangelicals and those from other Christian traditions, groups long separated by deep theological and historical differences.

How can Christians of various faith traditions work together? What face can and should Christians today show the world? Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail brings together scholars and church leaders to examine the new ecumenical conversations and relationships among evangelicals and the following groups: fundamentalists, Pentecostals, mainline Protestants, and Roman Catholics. The fourteen contributors, including Joel Carpenter, Richard Mouw, Gabriel Fackre, Richard John Neuhaus, and Thomas Oden, seek to forge a common Christian identity without glossing over the deep and meaningful differences that con­tinue to exist.

Edited by Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, the essays in Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail were originally presented at a symposium that brought together scholars and church leaders to examine recent discussions and new initiatives. The desire of those present was to speak to one another, not merely about one another. The participants in these conversations were not seeking a false unity that ignores differences of conviction and conscience. But out of these conversations they gained a greater appreciation for one another as fellow believers.

Joel A. Carpenter, provost of Calvin College, in an important keynote essay explains why dialogue has historically been so difficult for evangelicals and why it still remains controversial for many today. Contemporary American evangelicalism emerged out of a movement of reaction and retrenchment commonly called fundamentalism. The first major section of the book examines this relationship from both sides of this historical divide. Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, in "What Evangelicals Can Learn from Fundamentalists" explains why many conservative Protestant Christians felt it necessary to distance themselves from some of the harsher elements of the fundamentalist heritage, and calls for evangelicals to recover – through a "second naiveté" – new appreciation and fresh engagement with the better impulses of the fundamentalist phenomenon without lapsing into the legalism, anti-intellectualism, and separatism that have marred the movement. Kevin T. Bauder, professor of systematic theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, responds to Mouw's appeal with civility and gratitude but also resistance. Bauder makes a strong appeal for the idea of fundamentalism with its concern for the purity of the visible church. Rightly seen in this light, fundamentalism remains a viable force in church life today related, as Bauder argues it is, to the centrality of the gospel rather than the negotiable boundaries of Christian fellowship.

Both Pentecostalism and fundamentalism arose in the early twentieth century and share a number of features, including a strong biblical commitment, a counter-cultural ecclesiology, and an emphasis on a distinctive Christian lifestyle. Bishop George D. McKinney, senior pastor of St. Stephen's Church of God in Christ in San Diego, a scholar-activist well known for his interdenominational and ecumenical commitments, in "The Azusa Street Revival Revisited," takes readers back to the origins of the American pentecostal movement in the Los Angeles revival of 1907. He examines the pentecostal witness in light of concerns for racial reconcil­iation and justice. A participant in recent efforts to transcend the legacy of segregation within the pentecostal tradition, McKinney interprets Azusa as a model for the recovery of the vision of unity and justice symbolized in Seymour's mantra of the "washing away of the color line in the blood of Jesus."

Cheryl Bridges Johns, speaking from the perspective of a his­torically white pentecostal denomination, the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee, responds with appreciation to McKinney's vision, adding a distinctive word about gender reconcilia­tion. Johns has also been an active participant in the recent Roman Catholic-pentecostal dialogue and thinks that pentecostals have much to offer to the ecumenical quest: "Within Pentecostalism there is a 'subversive memory' of a vision of Christian unity. It is a vision found among those who long ago walked a sawdust trail toward a new order of creation." In his sermonic essay "Who Is the Holy Spirit for Us Today?" Glenn E. Davis examines some of the reasons why certain evangelicals (and fundamentalists) have resisted the Pentecostal witness as misguided or even dangerous.

As evangelicalism emerged from the post-fundamentalist context of post-World War II conservative Protestantism, it positioned itself polemically against two fronts: Protestant liberalism (often called modernism back then) and pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. In recent years, however, many evangelicals and Roman Catholics have discovered that they share many things and have begun to make common cause on several fronts. One of the leaders in this effort is Richard John Neuhaus, editor-in-chief of First Things and a former Lutheran priest who converted to Roman Catholicism in 1990. In "Why Evangelicals and Catholics Belong Together," Neuhaus reviews this initiative and projects a hopeful scenario for future Roman Catholic and evangelical engagement. Jeffrey Gros, an ecumenical officer with the National Council of Catholic Bishops, reviews various Roman Catholic and evangelical discussions, including Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) and the Roman Catholic-pentecostal dialogue, and calls for a "common witness" despite significant persisting differences. Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and an active participant in the ECT process, examines evangelical motivations for engagement with Roman Catholics and also addresses some of the issues raised by evangelical critics of such efforts.

Gabriel Fackre and Thomas C. Oden are leading theologians with significant experience in both the evangelical and ecumenical camps. Fackre thinks evangelicals and ecumenicals have much to learn from one another, as well as things to be wary about in one another's traditions, and he offers a winsome and hopeful prospect for a greater confluence between these two communities. Oden, on the other hand, offers the paradigm of "a new ecumenism," one that bypasses the official ecumenical and denominational structures of the older Protestant establishment in favor of new alliances and emerging associations of like-minded believers committed to the historic Christian faith.

The essays by Zahl, Knippers, and Armstrong remind readers of the Reformation principle of ecciesia semper reformanda – the church reformed and yet ever reforming on the basis of the Word of God. John Calvin once said that "the building of the church must still be combined with many struggles." The very idea of pilgrimage, the guiding motif of this book, reminds readers that the church is always in via, not there yet, always needing to persist with humility and vigilance in the service of Jesus Christ. But pilgrimage is not a solitary concept, and the essays in Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail are an invitation to a continuing journey in process, a jour­ney toward that City with foundations whose builder and architect is God.

Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail, the first volume in the Beeson Divinity Studies series, offers pastors, students, and interested lay readers much food for thought, even as the church actively pursues the goal of Christian unity.

Science / Food / Agricultural Microbiology

Preharvest and Postharvest Food Safety: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions edited by Ross C. Beier, Suresh D. Pillai, Timothy D. Phillips, & Richard L. Ziprin  (IFT Press, Blackwell Publishing)

A worthy new edition to the Institute of Food Technologists series of food science and technology titles, Preharvest and Postharvest Food Safety describes what we know today in food safety and provides focus for the future. This text presents the latest scientific research on the major pathogens associated with meat, poultry, produce, and other foods, and goes beyond other professional reference books by identifying the research needed to assure food safety in the future.

The editors include Ross C. Beier, Research Chemist for the Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center; Suresh D. Pillai, Associate Director of the Institute of Food Science and Engineering; Timothy D. Phillips is Director of the Center for Food Safety, Institute of Food Science and Engineering; all at Texas A&M University, College Station. Together with the authors they review the current literature in each of their areas, and also provide insights into the development of new research strategies. Scientists and researchers from academia, industry, and government have collaborated to examine the high-priority food safety areas recognized by the federal government: pathogen/host interactions; ecology, distribution and spread of foodborne hazards; antimicrobial resistance; verification tests; decontamination and prevention strategies; and risk analysis.

Contents of Preharvest and Postharvest Food Safety include:

I.                    Pathogen/Host Interactions

1.      Foodborne Salmonella Infections – A.J. Baumler

2.      Pathogenic Escherichia coli – S.D. Waghela

3.      Foodborne Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Infections – V.L. Tesh

4.      Bacterial Hazards in Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce: Sources and Control – A. Castillo and M.O. Rodriguez-Garcia

5.      Campylobacter Species and Fresh Produce: Outbreaks, Incidence and Biology – R.E. Mandrell and M.T. Brandl

6.      Campylobacter and Campylobacteriosis: What We Wish We Knew – R.L. Ziprin

7.      Global Analysis of the Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Genome and Model Systems Exploring Host-Agent Interactions – T.A. Ficht, L.G. Adams, S. Khare, B. O'Shea and A.C. Rice-Ficht

8.      Viruses in Food – S.M. Goyal

II. Ecology, Distribution and Spread of Foodborne Hazards

9.      Microbial Ecology: Poultry Foodborne Pathogen Distribution – J.A. Byrd II

10.  Microbial Ecological Principles Underlying Preharvest Intervention Strategies – T.R. Callaway R.C. Anderson,  TS. Edrington, K.M. Bischoff, K.J. Genovese, TL. Poole and D.J. Nisbet

11.  Limiting Avian Gastrointestinal Tract Salmonella Colonization by Cecal Anaerobic Bacteria and a Potential Role for Methanogens – S.C. Ricke, C.L. Woodward, Y.M. Kwon, L.F. Kubena and D.J. Nisbet

12.  Distribution and Spread of Enteric Pathogens in Swine: Outlook for the Future – R.B. Harvey and H.M. Scott

13.  Environmental Reservoirs and Transmission of Foodborne Pathogens – S.E. Dowd, J. Thurston-Enriquez and M. Brashears

14.  Do Animal Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Pose a Risk for Human Health? – M.J. Schmerr

III. Antimicrobial Resistance

15.  Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing – P.F. McDermott, D.G. White, S. Zhao, S. Simjee and R.D. Walker

16.  Antimicrobial Resistance in Food Animals – K.M. Bischoff, T.L. Poole and R.C. Beier

17.  Antimicrobial Resistance and the Microflora of the Gastrointestinal Tract – T.L. Poole, K.J. Genovese, R.C. Beier, T.R. Callaway and K.M. Bischoff

18.  Disinfectants (Biocides) Used in Animal Production: Antimicrobial Resistance Considerations – R.C. Beier, K.M. Bischoff and T.L. Poole

19.  Prevalence of Antimicrobial-Resistant Bacteria in Retail Foods – D.G. White, S. Zhao, S. Simjee, J. Meng, R.D. Walker, and P.F. McDermott

IV.Verification Tests

20.  The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System and Importance of Verification Procedures – J.T. Keeton and K.B. Harris

21.  Are They Vibrios? How Do You Know? – S.W, Joseph

22.  Molecular Methods for Microbial Detection – S.D. Pillai

23.  Methods for Differentiation among Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens - S.L. Foley and R.D. Walker

V. Decontamination and Prevention Strategies

24.  Chemical Methods for Decontamination of Meat and Poultry – J.T. Keeton and S.M. Eddy

25.  Decontamination Systems – M.E. Castell-Perez and R.G. Moreira

26.  Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods – D.L. Marshall

27.  Bacteriophage: Potential Role in Food Safety – W.E. Huff, G.R. Huff, N.C. Rath, J.M. Balog and A.M. Donoghue

28.  Food Irradiation – S.D. Pillai

29.  Clay-Based Interventions for the Control of Chemical and Microbial Hazards in Food and Water – H.J. Huebner, P. Herrera and T.D. Phillips

VI. Risk Analysis

30.  Food Safety Risk Communication and Consumer Food-Handling Behavior – W.A. McIntosh

31.  Addressing Microbial Food Safety Issues Quantitatively: A Risk Assessment Approach – K.D. Mena, J.B. Rose and C.P. Gerba

32.  How to Manage Risk – the Way Forward – E.C.D. Todd

In Preharvest and Postharvest Food Safety the editors and authors not only review the currently cutting-edge literature in each of their areas, but they also provide insights into the development of groundbreaking approaches and research strategies. No food science library will be complete without this all-inclusive text.

Science / History / Agriculture

Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid by Tim Ecott (Grove Press, Atlantic Monthly Press)
Vanilla is the kaleidoscopic story of one of the world's most exotic plants and how it transformed history. From the Aztec Indians to Martha Stewart, vanilla has been synonymous with sweetening foods. Yet it's also in chili, perfume, paint, desserts, and car tires, as well as soda (Coca-Cola and Pepsi). It finds its way into cakes, biscuits and confectionery products, smooth yogurts, and well-known brands of rum and vodka. The only orchid that produces an agriculturally valuable crop, vanilla can mask unpleasant tastes and smells, but it also makes pleasant tastes stronger, smoother, and longer lasting. With over four hundred separate flavor components, choosing premium-quality vanilla beans is as complex as judging the aroma and taste of fine wine. Americans consume more vanilla than anyone else on Earth – a fact that has helped drive the price of vanilla beans and flavor extracts to an all-time high. In Tim Ecott's Vanilla, readers learn the fascinating history of the world's most sought-after flavoring.

But the story of vanilla reads like a mystery, a plant that traveled the world but would not bear fruit outside Mexico. For centuries, the secret of how to pollinate the vanilla orchid remained a botanical mystery. Only in 1841 was the riddle solved by a twelve-year-old slave boy on a French island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. His discovery – le geste d'Edmond – created an industry, but he died in poverty, his health ruined by a spell in prison he didn't deserve.

Endangered in the wild and the world's most labor-intensive agricultural crop, vanilla is more expensive to procure today than at any time in its history. Journalist Ecott follows its journey from Mexico to Madagascar and back to America, meeting the farmers, the brokers, and the ice-cream makers who make vanilla a multimillion-dollar business. From the islands of Tahiti to the botanical gardens of London and Paris, Ecott traces the story of the vanilla plant and its secretive trade, from the golden cups of Aztec emperors to the ice-cream dishes of U.S. presidents.

The traders who travel the world in search of America's favorite flavor form a small and secretive elite. And harvesting orchids is dangerous; growers stand guard over their plants in the jungle, and men carrying vanilla beans to market in Madagascar and Mexico have been murdered for a few kilos of their crop. The handful of commercial buyers who control the world market are desperate to secure their lines of supply in the face of a world shortage. Demand is so high that nothing is left unsold, and vanilla brokers often sign a contract to supply their customers with a year's worth of beans in advance.

Ecott's Vanilla is a journey that chronicles the power of the velvety brown, long, and slender bean, one of the world's most exotic and sensual plants. Like other microhistories, for example, Tobacco, the book offers a mix of history, science and travelogue. Fans of of this genre, as well as fans of orchid growing, who enjoyed books like The Orchid Thief and Orchid Fever, will love Vanilla.

Science / Policy

Global Climate Change by Horace M. Karling (Nova Science Publishers, Inc.)
The Bush Administration recently announced that global warming may be imaginary and that the Kyoto Protocols are not acceptable and would be opposed, raising the ire of most developed countries. The Administration's own scientific commission followed with a report confirming the validity of the scientific basis for global warming. Since the United States Senate was not expected to ratify the Protocols in any event, the Bush Administration has reaffirmed its position that they were economically unjust to America and likely to result in negative impacts on the U.S. economy.

The likely scenario is that the United States government will probably either take some ameliorative actions or appear to do so, based on whether the current position can be politically massaged within the next twelve to eighteen months. Serious efforts on any of the underlying causes of global climate change are unlikely, based on the razor-thin election of George W. Bush blended with a heavy dosage of financial supporters from the energy industries who would be required to clean up their operations.

Global Climate Change presents analyses of energy efficiency, the scientific research on global warming, the Kyoto Protocols, reduction techniques for greenhouse gases and carbon emissions, and policy options.

At the heart of the global warming concern is the fact that that human activities are affecting the heat/energy-exchange balance between Earth, the atmosphere, and space, and inducing global climate change. Human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (C02) and other trace greenhouse gases. If these gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere at current rates, many believe global warming would occur through intensification of Earth's natural heat-trapping "greenhouse effect." Possible impacts might be seen as both positive and negative.

A warmer climate would probably have far-reaching effects on agriculture and forestry, managed and unmanaged ecosystems, including natural habitats, human health, water resources, and sea level depending on climate responses. Regional agricultural practices could change, yield stabilities might decrease in some regions, and survival over winter of some insect pests might increase. Forest productivity might decline in some regions; and changes in climate, when added to other environmental stressors, could produce major regional disturbances. Some climate modification, e.g., in northern-most growing regions, is thought to be beneficial for agriculture however.

Although casual relationships between projected long-range global climate trends and record-setting warmth and severe weather events of the past two decades have not been firmly established, attention has been focused on possible extremes of climate change and the need for better understanding of climate processes to improve climate model forecasts.

The basic policy question is: Given scientific uncertainties about the magnitude, timing, rate, and regional consequences of potential climatic change, what are the appropriate responses for world decision makers? Fossil-fuel combustion is the primary source of CO2 emissions, and also emits other "greenhouse" gases. Removing these gases after combustion is a technical challenge and imposes economic penalties. Policy options to curb emissions, so far, have stressed energy efficiency and conservation, sequestering of atmospheric CO2, market-oriented strategies such as carbon taxes, emissions trading, switching to less C02-intensive fuels, and substituting renewable and nuclear energy. A warmer climate might also result in less energy consumption during winter months.

Congress has reviewed scientific information about climate change to evaluate potential economic and strategic impacts of a warmer, and perhaps more variable, climate to formulate policy responses. Because of the global implications of this problem, concerns are addressed internationally through direct communication between U.S. decision makers and world leaders, participation in international conferences, passage of legislation, and exchange of views and information with international organizations within and outside the United Nations system.

The 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change called for a "non­binding" voluntary aim for industrialized countries to control atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases by stabilizing their emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. The 1997 U.N. Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change goes further and, if it were to enter into force, would commit world governments to legally binding emissions reduction.

Citing George W. Bush's ignoring of his own science advisors, the shakiness of his election, and the heavy dose of financial support from the energy industries as evidence that US policy will probably make few if any efforts to address climate change, unnamed contributors analyze energy efficiency, the scientific research on global warming, the Kyoto Protocols, techniques for reducing greenhouse gases and carbon emissions, and policy options. – Book News

Global Climate Change presents the issues of global climate change in a crystal clear manner leaving no doubt that a crisis is enveloping the world. This presentation focuses light where it is much needed, outlining the facts and policy options.

Social Sciences / Gender Studies / Biographies & Memoirs

Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green (Vanderbilt University Press)

In this artful and compelling inquiry into the politics of gender, leading transsexual activist Jamison Green combines candid autobiography with informed analysis to often unique insight into the multiple challenges of the female-to-male (FTM) transsexual experience, ranging from encounter with prejudice and strained relationships with family to the development of an FTM community and the reality of surgical sex reassignment.

In Becoming a Visible Man, Green, board chair of Gender Education and Advocacy, a non-profit educational corporation, and board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute, gently brings readers into his world, allowing and inviting readers to see how the struggles that he has confronted as a transman are at their core human struggles which we all share, trans and non-trans alike. As he skillfully weaves back and forth, using his personal stories to build empathy and connection, he erodes some of the foundations of fear of difference upon which prejudices are built.

Jamison Green has always known who he is. Others may have been confused, but never he. Now he tells, with integrity, and in a moving and thoughtful way, his story. We learn how he became a visible man – and in the reading, we learn much about being human. – Dallas Denny, Editor, Transgender Tapestry Journal

An intelligent and engaging book. Jamison Green, an extraordinary activist and advocate for FTM transsexuals, demonstrates that he is also an extraordinary writer. – Joanne Meyerowitz, author of How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States

Becoming a Visible Man shows why [Jamison Green] is a leading voice to a generation of transmen and transwomen and why this issue should be on the top of the agenda for all of us in the 21st century. – Henry Rubin, author of Self-Made Men

Jamison Green has given a great gift – based on experience born of a great personal journey, he demystifies gender in a way that transfixes the reader. The biological journey from zygote to adulthood unfolds to challenge the neat, little boxes into which our culture drives gender each day. This is an essential contribution to the growing body of literature on gender identity and expression. – Elizabeth Birch, Executive Director, Human Rights Campaign

Brimming with frank and often poignant recollections from Green's own experiences – including his childhood struggle with identity and his years as a lesbian parent prior to his sex-reassignment surgery, Becoming a Visible Man examines transsexualism as a human condition, and sex reassignment as one of the choices that some people feel compelled to make in order to manage their gender variance.

Social Sciences / Anthropology

The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America by Joseph L. Graves (Dutton)

Although few issues are as volatile as that of race, The Race Myth, by one of the world’s leading evolutionary biologists, Joseph L. Graves, Jr. makes a revolutionary claim: Race does not exist.

Race as many people understand it – groups of people from distinct continents having separate genetic lines of descent – has no scientific basis. Not only is the concept misleading, it's made for catastrophic social problems throughout the world. While acknowledging that many Americans believe in genetic differences among races, Graves makes it clear that characteristics often defined as racial are in fact cultural. The high number of American CEOs with European ancestors and of outstanding athletes with African ancestors says less about genetics than about centuries-old social hierarchies.

Graves attacks commonly-held racist beliefs, making it clear that the genetic traits of ethnic groups have no bearing on such qualities as:

  • Intelligence
  • Susceptibility to disease and varying mortality rates
  • Sexual appetites and reproductive capacities
  • Musical and athletic abilities

For example, while there's no denying the high number of exceptional African American basketball players, the NBA imports more players from Europe than from Africa, where basketball has only recently become popular. Graves, a professor of Biology and African American Studies in the Arizona State University system, turns many other beliefs on their heads, alerting people to the dangers of continuing to accept fallacies involving race. Unless we commit to overturning harmful social constructs, Graves warns, we risk tearing the country apart as we have done in the past over the same issue.

Despite a grim overview of racist thought throughout human history, Graves sees some hope; human culture changes faster than human genetics, he reminds readers, and he explains what people must do to organize a society free from racist concepts – thereby creating a culture that lives up to America's claim of equality for all.

Excerpt from the book: We have paid dearly for the policies of racism, and are continuing to pay in a currency of despair, unfulfilled dreams, and blood. We paid in King Philip's War, the middle passage, on the cotton fields, in the master's bed­chamber, and along the underground railway. John Brown warned us we would pay further, and we saw the fulfillment of that terrible prophecy on the battlefields of the Civil War. We paid along the Trail of Tears and at Wounded Knee.... We paid all through Jim Crow. We paid in the Japanese internment camps.

We are paying now with academic underachievement, the drug epidemic, health disparities, unequal justice, urban malaise, and the ongoing social and political division that still exists between the socially defined races. Every time we pay, we slide closer toward hell on a road paved with our racial misconceptions. We will continue to pay until we reject the notion that there are biological races in the human species, and that race determines an individual's worth.

Graves' integration of science and objective analysis with popular biological assumptions of race makes this an enlightening and provocative work. – Booklist

Through accessible and compelling language, Graves reveals the impossibility that any group of humans now in existence has a separate genetic line of descent. By demonstrating that racial distinctions are social inventions, not biological truths, The Race Myth brings much-needed, sound science to one of America’s most emotionally charged debates. And Graves’ book is eminently readable and engrossing as well.

Social Sciences / Criminology

New Perspectives on Economic Crime edited by Hans Sjögren & Göran Skogh (New Horizons in Law and Economics Series: Edward Elgar Publishing)

Economic crime is, by definition, crime committed to gain profit within an otherwise legitimate business. Examples are illegal pollution, brand name infringement and tax evasion. The victims of such crimes may be private citizens, businesses and the state. Brought together by editors Hans Sjörgren, Professor of Economic History, and Göran Skogh, Professor of Economics, both at the University of Linköping, Sweden, the authors of the essays in New Perspectives on Economic Crime survey recent advances in the study of economic crime from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

The key areas examined are:

  • The economics of corporate crime
  • Enforcing regulation
  • Law and economics of environmental crime
  • Corporate fraud and tax evasion
  • The history of economic crime

Criminology traditionally focuses on crime, against property and person, on deviant behavior, and on treatment of offenders. Dominating fields of study are psychiatry, psychology and sociology. Without diminishing the importance of the traditional research it is clear that crime in business, such as illegal pollution, tax evasion, infringement of brand name and so on requires contributions from other sciences as well. Obvious disciplines are business administration, economics and information technology.

The focus on deviant behavior and treatment may explain why crime in business is neglected relative to its importance. Economic incentives to circumvent the law arise whenever a state imposes costly regulations. This is true for taxes and tolls, as well as for restrictions on, for example, trade or effluence. Obedience to law presumes supervision and various types of sanctions. If regulations are to be followed, a loyalty to the authorities also has to prevail. Laws and rules have, in other words, to be both ethically and economically defensible, and in line with the public sense of justice. Hence research into ethics, various fields of law, history and political science has important contributions to make to the study of crime.

An important obstacle in the fight against crime in business is the limited enforcement in an open society. Physical and human capital moves easily between territories, while crime control mainly remains national. Moreover, individual loyalties differ and change – norms are neither globally unified nor static. Hence new incentives to gain profit illegally arise. Indeed, the movement of people and capital in combination with tax avoidance and new crimes in a global business community, may threaten the modern tax-based welfare state.

The variety and complexity of crimes in international business makes research into crime important on various fronts. This conviction motivates New Perspectives on Economic Crime, which surveys recent contributions to the growing field of research into 'economic crime' – crime committed to gain profit within an otherwise legal business. The crime may damage private citizens, business and/or the public sector. The definition thus includes tax evasion as well as various forms of fraud and embezzlement in otherwise legal corporations.

The overview in Chapter 1 by editors Sjögren and Skogh presents recent research on economic crimes in economics, public law, environmental law, economic psychology and history. In these areas the surveys complement and extend traditional criminology.

In the next chapter Nina Garonpa presents the state of the art in the economics of crime. Firms should according to the theory on optimal law enforcement be punished more severely than individuals if the firms are wealthier, less risk-averse and cause more damage. A number of issues are introduced: how might a firm align the interests of the employee with its own, how a principal-agent framework is suitable in the search for insights into business crime, how a corporation may also protect itself from becoming a victim of crime, and what is the social benefit of criminalizing certain business activities such as insider trading and anti-competitive regulations.

In Chapter 3 Cindy R. Alexander introduces the principal-agent perspective on corporate misconduct and its implications for the design of sanctions and prediction of misconduct. She explains how contemporary economists have adapted the Becker model to incorporate insights on the different roles that shareholders, directors and managers may play in corporate misconduct and its prevention. Related empirical evidence has begun to emerge in the USA. Crime appears to be less frequent among corporations in which insiders (directors and officers) possess concentrated ownership.

Chapter 4 by Anthony Ogus reviews the literature – legal, sociological and economic – on the role of criminal law in the enforcement of regulation. It maps regulatory enforcement systems and indicates how different forms of intervention might be efficiently applied. The main focus is on economic deterrence theory.

In Chapter 5 Michael G. Faure and Marjolein Visser provide an overview of the application of theories oil the economics of crime to environmental criminal law. They begin by addressing the question of why criminal law should be used at all to deter environmental pollution. The chapter also looks at what the optimal penalties for environmental pollution would be.

Chapter 6 by Karin S. Thorburn deals with issues related to fraudulent actions during financial distress. Within that perspective, she discusses corporate governance mechanisms designed to ensure that the profits of the firms are returned to their investors. There are signs that, under a weak governance system, the risk of expropriation by corporate insiders is substantial.

Paul Webley provides in Chapter 7 an overview of the area of tax compliance by businesses, with a focus on economic crime. From a systematic review of economic and psychological theories in this area Webley identifies some robust empirical findings. These are that non-compliance by individuals is associated with the tax system being seen as unfair, with people having opportunities to evade, and with being younger, male and egotistical. If a person believes that non-compliance is widespread, he or she is more likely not to comply and if the tax authorities provide a poor service, non-compliance is more likely. Webley also reviews research on VAT compliance, employer evasion of unemployment insurance taxes and tax compliance by small businesses and wealthy individuals. The survey confirms the importance of fairness, legitimacy and good treatment by the tax authorities.

Since the 1980s crime has become an important field of historical research, but the specific field of economic crime has not yet attracted much attention. Finally, in Chapter 8, Dag Lindstrom reviews the main empirical findings in this field. Some historical studies indicate a growing number of violations against trade regulations during the beginning of the early modern period.

Economic crime is not a new phenomenon; what is new is information technology and the speed in trade and business. Also new – with the exception of the work of Jeremy Bentham in 1780 – is the economic theory of crime and its application to business activities. The contemporary economic analysis of crime was initially concerned with individual deterrence in a cost-benefit setting. That is, potential criminals are supposed to compare the illegal gain from an offence with the expected cost, including expected punishment. The cost-benefit analyst investigates the optimal law enforcement by weighing the costs of crime, the cost of policing and the costs of punishments. This approach has emerged as a normative comprehensive framework to prescribe optimal legal policies when individuals behave rationally and can, as is demonstrated in New Perspectives on Economic Crime, be beneficially applied to corporate illegal activities in business. The surveys also show that there is a vast area of unexplored research on economic crime which must be approached from different scientific perspectives.

This book brings together a collection of essays that gives the reader an up-to-date perspective on the current research in corporate crime, ranging from regulatory and tax non-compliance to fraud, money-laundering and the role of organised crime in legitimate enterprises. The essays don't provide all the answers but certainly ask all the right questions. This book will be of value to regulators, law enforcement agents, criminologists, economists and lawyers, and all students of the economics of crime. – Kent Matthews, Cardiff University, UK

This important volume will be of interest to scholars and policymakers involved in examining and regulating economic crime in both developed and developing countries.

Sports / Biographies & Memoirs

The Pussycat of Prizefighting: Tiger Flowers and the Politics of Black Celebrity by Andrew M. Kaye (The University of Georgia Press)

In 1926 Theodore "Tiger" Flowers became the first African American boxer to win the world middleweight title. The next year he was dead, the victim of surgery gone wrong. His funeral in Atlanta drew tens of thousands of mourners, black and white. Atlantans would not grieve again in comparable numbers until Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968.

Flowers, whose career was sandwiched between those of the better-known black boxers Jack Johnson and Joe Louis, was not America’s first successful black athlete. He was, however, the first to generate widespread goodwill among whites, especially in the South, where he became known as "the whitest black man in the ring."

The Pussycat of Prizefighting is more than an account of Flowers’s remarkable achievements – it is a penetrating analysis of the cultural and historical currents that defined the terms of Flowers’s success as both a man and an athlete. As he reveals the sources of Flowers’s immense popularity, Andrew Kaye also helps readers understand more deeply the pressures and dilemmas facing African Americans in the public eye.

We read, for instance, how boxing reinforced fans’ notions of masculinity and ethnic pride; how whites rationalized the physical superiority of a black sportsman; and how blacks debated the value of athletes as racial role models. Kaye, lecturer in the history department at the University of Durham, shows how Flowers, mindful that the ring was a testing ground for much more than his punching ability, carefully negotiated the mass media and celebrity culture. He crafted an uncontroversial public persona – that of a religious man who prayed before each match, was deferential to whites, and exuded an aura of middleclass respectability.

Through the prism of prizefighting, The Pussycat of Prizefighting reveals the personal cost to African Americans as they attempted to earn black respect while escaping white hostility. Kaye gives us much to ponder about our own hopes and prejudices – and how we often burden our athletes and celebrities with them.

Kaye's work has nuance, depth, and insight that ranges far beyond the career of Tiger Flowers. – Randy W. Roberts, author of Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and The Era of White Hopes
Engagingly written, this is sport history at its best…. – John D. Fair, author of Muscletown, USA

This is the story of how one black athlete struggled to the top in his native Georgia, the Jim Crow South, presenting himself as a charming gentleman, making a significant contribution in the history of race relations, at significant personal sacrifice. The Pussycat of Prizefighting provides a fresh look at black athletes and the perils of stardom.

Sports / Health, Mind & Body / Exercise & Fitness / Martial Arts

Karate Fighting Techniques: The Complete Kumite by Hirokazu Kanazawa, translated by Richard Berger (Kodasha International)

Hirokazu Kanazawa is arguably one of the most famous and respected karate masters in the world today: one of the last living disciples of Gichin Funakoshi, the father of modern karate and the founder of the Shotokan school. Kanazawa continues to practice and convey the spirit and techniques of his teacher. He is the founder and President of Shotokan Karate International, an association that now has branches in over 80 countries. Karate Fighting Techniques is Kanazawa's first book to appear in English.

The karate training process comprises four areas: basics, kumite, kata (forms; prearranged movements and techniques), and competition Kumite. "The art of grappling with opponents," or sparring as it is often called, is the key to success in karate tournaments. Karate Fighting Techniques teaches all the various kumite techniques, and presents a systematic approach to applied kumite that is designed to provide essential information for match-style kumite and tournament kumite. The author also writes with great affection of his experiences with Master Gichin Funakoshi, and offers some insight into the true spirit and teachings of Shotokan karate.

Karate Fighting Techniques was translated by Richard Berger who was born in Rochester, New York, in 1963, and began training in Shotokan karate in 1982 while attending the University in Southern California. Berger moved to Tokyo in 1990 and has been training at SKIF headquarters since 1993. With 700 photos of the author, his students, and some rare photos of the late Gichin Funakoshi and his famous disciple Masatoshi Nakayama, author of the popular Best Karate series, Karate Fighting Techniques is the first book of its kind to provide such a comprehen­sive guide to kumite and its role in Shotokan karate. It will be an indispensable resource for all karate practitioners.

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