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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

March 2005, Issue #71

Guide to this issue's Contents

April 2004May 2004June 2004July 2004August 2004September 2004October 2004November 2004December 2004January 2005February 2005

Page Contents: Biographies: Self-Searching: a Father, a Daughter, Growing Up in the Nation of Islam, Slave Narrative, Arts: Introduction to the Humanities, April Gornik, Introduction to the Visual Arts, The Art of Agnes Martin, Maria Martinez, and Florence Pierce, Garafola on Dance, Political Art of Bob Dylan, Blues Women, Business: Business Unusual? Personal Finance, Morality for Business, Category Killers: How Big Retailers May Grow to Extinction, Making Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Work, A Political-Economic Analysis of African Americans Food: No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Meals, Education: Reading College-Style, Writing College Style, Multiple Intelligences Revisited,  Speak Arabic, Phenomenal Family Life, Life Skills for Health and HappinessYoga for Back and Neck Pain, Mother-Daughter Wisdom, The Obesity Disease, Effective Communication, Useful Social Psychology, The Male Biological Clock, Surviving Childhood, History:  Kosovo, Mass Murder and the Holocaust, Thought Worlds of the Iroquois/Huron, White House Biographies, Pre-Civil War Story, Maine 's Historic Midcoast Waterways, Crafts & Hobbies: Paper Crafts, Gardening: Perennials, A How-to Around the House, Law:  Criminal Justice, The Herostratos Syndrome, Criminal Behavior, Want to be a Diplomat?, Diplomatic Handbook, The Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery, Mysteries: A Story of Chance, Fate, and Numbers, The Occult Regina Cutter, Tokyo Mystery, Society: A Book Club That Changed America, Transgender Rights? Architecture: Bernard Maybeck at Principia College, Science: Biotechnology, Biogeography of the Rainforest, Protecting Ourselves From Terror?  Science Fictions: A Galactic Civilization Religion: Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings, Huston Smith on the Spiritual Life, Classic Themes In Theology, How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims, Pagan Renaissance, A Psychic's Insights, How Synoptic is Q?

 

African-American / Biographies & Memoirs / Religion & Spirituality

Little X: Growing Up in the Nation of Islam by Sonsyrea Tate (The University of Tennessee Press)
Since the 1930s, the Nation of Islam has been one of the foremost all-black organizations in the United States . Yet for most people outside the movement, it has been known only through media portrayals of the controversial leaders such as Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan. The written history of the Nation of Islam has virtually ignored the transitional period of the 1970s, when Elijah Muhammad's son transformed the movement into one more in keeping with orthodox Islam.

As a young girl, author Sonsyrea Tate, now an award-winning journalist, was one of tens of thousands of ‘Little X's,’ the children raised within the Nation of Islam as future foot soldiers of black unity. Her book, Little X, gives readers a different picture – she has fashioned a female coming-of-age autobiography that unveils life in the Black Muslim sect. Tate shows us how rank-and-file members of the Nation lived, how their dress, organizations, and dietary restrictions set them apart even within Islam. She begins with a brief survey of her grandparents' involvement with Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam and discusses her struggle against many of the strict regulations.

With the 1975 death of their leader, Elijah Muhammad, Tate's family and other followers were set adrift, trying to find a place in orthodox Islam, seeking ways to juxtapose being Muslim and being African-American. Tate began attending public school, wearing street clothes and enjoying new freedoms, though always with more restrictions than her classmates (and her male relatives). As she details her adolescence, moving from the rigors of the Black Muslim school to the laissez-faire world of public education, we see a young woman standing with one foot in a misunderstood, restrictive parochial world, and one foot about to set down in the alluringly wide-open, but dangerous, secular world. She chronicles her struggle within a non-Muslim world (especially regarding the treatment of women), and, finally, her break from the Muslim faith.

Her grandparents joined the Nation of Islam in 1952, which makes Sonsyrea Tate a third-generation member of the Nation. In this fascinating glimpse at life behind the scenes in an NOI family, Tate tells of going to a Muslim school, of the changes in the Nation after the death of its leader, Elijah Muhammad, and of the tensions within her family after her mother converted to Orthodox Islam. For all that, it is a profoundly interesting account of growing up in a different culture, in the end Tate's is a quintessentially American story of a child coming of age and finding her own path. – Amazon.com

Instead of writing a bitter condemnation of the Nation of Islam, Tate has adroitly described its purpose as well as its shortcomings. – USA Today

A temperate and sympathetic treatment of an African-American family's religious evolution. – Publishers Weekly

Tate's loving but clear-eyed memoir is a young woman's answer to The Autobiography of Malcolm X. She tells her truth, tells it straight, and lays it all out for us. – Mohja Kahf, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

A compelling story. It provides an honest, inside view of one of America's most controversial religious movements and perceptively points to social tensions of race, gender and religious identity. – Kirkus Reviews

Extremely valuable. Recent literature ... is interested almost exclusively in male leaders. Tate's book provides a new perspective. I have used the book in a number of teaching contexts to very good results. – Judith Weisenfeld, Vassar College

For the Muslim who has a child that went through these same experiences, this may be an excellent opportunity to draw their child into discussion as to what still bothers them most about their past upbringing.... This book may be the opportunity they've been waiting for to at least reach out to them. – Muslim Journal

Little X is a new classic, selected by the American Library Association as a Best Books for Young Adults, and the New York Library's Best Books for the Teen. USA Today recommended it as literature that helps diversify primary education. College and university professors have found Little X a favorite text for their students in African American Religious Studies, Women in Religion, African American Women Studies and Islam in America courses.

In Little X, Tate shows us the Nation of Islam from the inside: it is the compelling account of one woman's cultural identity, family unity and spiritual fulfillment in a predominantly white and Christian America. Tate offers useful insights into life inside a movement that most readers – including many African American readers – don't understand.

African Americans / Biographies & Memoirs

The Blind African Slave: Or Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace by Jeffrey Brace, edited with an introduction by Kari J. Winter (Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography Series: University of Wisconsin Press ) is a reissue of a slave narrative.

Above all, it is my anxious wish that this simple narrative may be the means of opening the hearts of those who hold slaves and move them to consent to give them the freedom which they themselves enjoy, and which all mankind have an equal right to possess. – Jeffrey Brace

The Blind African Slave recounts the life of Jeffrey Brace (Boyrereau Brinch), who was born in West Africa around 1742. Captured by slave traders at the age of sixteen, Brace was transported to Barbados , where he experienced trauma of slave-breaking and was sold to a New England ship captain. After fighting as an enslaved sailor for two years in the Seven Years War, Brace was taken to New Haven , Connecticut , and sold to a Yankee Puritan.

Sixteen years later in New England , Brace enlisted in the Continental Army in hopes of winning his manumission. After five years of military service, he was honorably discharged and freed from slavery. As a free man, he chose in 1784 to move to Vermont , the first state to make slavery illegal. There, he met and married an African woman, bought a farm, and raised a family. Although literate, he was blind when he decided to publish his life story, which he narrated to a white antislavery lawyer, Benjamin Prentiss, who published it in 1810. Upon his death in 1827, Brace was a well-respected abolitionist with legendary powers of memory.

In this first new edition since 1810, Kari J. Winter, associate professor of American Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo , provides a historical introduction, annotations, and original documents that verify and supplement our knowledge of Brace's life and times.

Unusual among slave narratives...[covers a] sweeping time period & geography, including a rare look at slavery in New England . – The Buffalo News
A unique narrative.... Winter should be congratulated for reconstructing Brace's life, the circumstances of the publication of The Blind African Slave, and the strange career of Benjamin F. Prentiss. – Ira Berlin, author of Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves

Kari Winter's research rescues Brace from historical anonymity and places The Blind African Slave into the canon of early African American autobiography. – William L. Andrews, General Editor

[The Blind African Slave] will certainly be important to specialists in the field of transatlantic Black studies. – Vincent Carretta, editor of The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings by Olaudah Equiano

Fascinating and unique, The Blind African Slave, impressive in the understanding of purpose, drive and action taken by the slave, makes real and concrete the complexities of life as a slave and brings this particular individual’s story back to life for a new generation of readers.

Arts & Photography / Humanities

Perceiving the Arts: An Introduction to the Humanities (8th Edition) by Dennis J. Sporre (Pearson Prentice Hall) is a concise introduction to understanding and appreciating art and literature, focusing on terminology and general concepts in the visual arts, music, writing, theater, dance, and architecture.

If we citizens do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams. – Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Perceiving the Arts has a specific and limited purpose: to provide an introductory, technical, and respondent-related reference to the arts and literature. Its audience comprises individuals who have little or no knowledge of the arts; it seeks to give those readers touchstones concerning what to look and listen for in works of art and litera­ture. Perceiving the Arts shows students how to build on cognitive/perceptual skills they already have to develop discriminating artistic perception for approaching, analyzing, and evaluating works of art – and to think critically about how their relationship with the arts might enrich their quality of life. Those with more background can read it rapidly, pausing to fill in the holes in their understanding. Those who have no or little experience with the arts can spend the necessary time memorizing. Thus, classroom time can utilize expanded illustration, discussion, analysis, and experience of actual works.

Attempting to cover so much in such a short text presents challenges because of the complexity of most artistic terminology and concepts. Many characteristics of the arts change as historical periods and styles change. Further, most artists do not paint, sculpt, compose, or write to neat, fixed formulas. Nonetheless, understanding begins with generalities, and the treatment of definitions and concepts in this text remains at that basic level.

One of the ways we can approach the arts is with the questions of what we can see and hear and read. Perceiving the Arts takes that approach and relates the arts to the perceptual process. To do that, we can ask four questions about an artwork or a work of literature: (1) What is it? (a formal response); (2) How is it put together? (a technical response); (3) How does it appeal to the senses? (an experiential response); and (4) What does it mean? (a contextual and personal response). These questions constitute a comfortable springboard for approaching the arts at a basic level.

Vocabulary isolates characteristics of what to see and what to hear in individual works of art and helps focus perceptions and responses. Knowing the difference between polyphony and homophony, between a suite and a concerto, between prints and paintings, and between fiction and poetry is as important as knowing the difference between baroque and romantic, iconoclasm and cubism.

This eighth edition contains obvious as well as subtle changes. To assist readers in approaching unfamiliar works of art, a feature called "A Question to Ask" appears several times in each chapter. Like the kinds of questions we ask new acquaintances in casual social settings, these questions provide a means of approaching a work of art in order to begin to know it more fully. A second feature, "A Question of' Style," replaces the feature "A Matter of Style" from the previous edition. The change replaces a full-page exposition on one style with several short pieces covering several styles and related to illustrations in the text. This allows a wider introduction to artistic styles than previously possible and does so with less interruption to the flow of the text.

In addition, Chapter 11 moves to the Introduction, where it appeared in previous editions. Chapter 2 expands by additional text and illustrations in printmaking and photography. Chapter 4, Music, has several changes to the text and organization that should make the material more accessible. Chapter 7, Dance, has new text and illustrations as well. Chapter 10 comprises a major revision and reorganization that should enhance appeal, readability, and understanding. The Glossary has been expanded significantly and takes a unique step by providing pronunciation for every term.

Perceiving the Arts illustrates the depth of approachability provided by our current perceptual skills. It offers readers a foundation for understanding the humanities, including the visual arts, architecture, the performing arts, and literature, giving basic information about each of the arts disciplines – drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture, music, theatre, dance, cinema, landscape architecture, and literature. Perceiving the Arts helps readers discover what to look and listen for in the arts.

As part of the Portfolio series of concise textbooks, this one offers the flexibility to use additional materials to enhance courses – as instructors use Perceiving the Arts, they can set up their portfolio by selecting free resources to accompany it. This well illustrated, basic handbook provides a unique introduction to aesthetic perception. Through this study, readers develop the understanding and confidence to make it more likely they will study and involve them­selves with the arts over a lifetime. The book should not affect readers' or instructors' personal philosophies about the arts and literature.

Arts & Photography

April Gornik: Paintings and Drawings by Neuberger Museum of Art and April Gornik, with an essay by Donald Kuspit (Hudson Hills Press) is the first comprehensive overview of April Gornik’s paintings and drawings.

For more than 20 years, renowned artist April Gornik's ethereal landscapes have combined a devotion to light with the intellectual curiosity to explore and the skill to portray it. Influenced by predecessors both in America and abroad, from the Luminists to Vermeer, Gornik's canvases – panoramic, majestic, richly colored – convey what critic Donald Kuspit calls ‘an original, fresh experience of nature,’ and what Gornik herself calls ‘an aesthetic fiction:’ a constructed view of nature addressing the philosophical and aesthetic needs of our time. April Gornik presents a visual history of Gornik's work and tracks the development of her signature style.

Gornik assembles compositions surreal in their presence, yet moving in their exceptional spirituality. Using painting to reach what she finds spiritually and psychologically compelling, Gornik works to create an art not only of visual appeal, but one which, as she recounts in the volume's interview with curator Dede Young, engages the mind.

In addition to the sheer beauty of her landscapes, there are both a distinct physicality and a psychological presence in her paintings and drawings that set them apart from most work created in this genre today. They intrigue, beguile, and bring the viewer into a dialogue with nature, one that is often unexpected. Her landscape paintings and drawings are luminous, mysterious, and profoundly expressive. Some images come from her dreams; some are inspired by literary sources; others, although drawn from direct experience of a specific place, are reworked and reinterpreted, and may no longer resemble a particular location – they have become environments generated by the artist's imagination.

In April Gornik, working closely with the artist in the selection process for the exhibition, curator Young brings together the major paintings and drawings created between 1980 and the present, paintings that show the broad spectrum of Gornik's approach to the natural world, from grand vistas and sweeping horizons to the intimate architecture of backlit trees.

Donald Kuspit, one of America's most distinguished art critics, in his essay, Fictional Freedom: April Gornik's Landscapes, places her work into an art-historical context –  not simply observing the affinity with such early landscape artists as the American Luminists, but also examining attributes of her paintings that relate to European artists from Caravaggio to J. M. W. Turner.

... We offer our heartfelt thanks and congratulate [Gornik] on a monumental body of work that has made her one of the most recognized and significant artists of our time. – Lucinda H. Gedeon, Director, Neuberger Museum of Art

This comprehensive volume is richly illustrated, bringing together and elucidating Gornik’s work in a way that has not been done before, thanks largely to Kuspit’s essay, which is insightful and poetic. April Gornik is published in conjunction with the exhibition at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York .

Arts & Photography

Prebles' Artforms: An Introduction to the Visual Arts (8th Edition) by Patrick Frank (Pearson Prentice Hall)

From the first edition in 1972, Artforms grew out of a desire to introduce art through an engaging visual ex­perience. By introducing art theory, practice, and history in a single volume, Prebles' Artforms draws students into a new or expanded awareness of the visual arts, engaging readers in the process of realizing their own innate creativity, understanding and enjoyment of art. In the Eighth Edition, the title has been modified to Prebles' Artforms, acknowledging the pioneering contribution of the original authors, Duane and Sarah Preble, to the study of art. Their vision and spirit have touched hundreds of thousands of students who have studied Artforms.

Beyond fostering appreciation of major works of art, Prebles' Artforms’s primary concern is to open students' eyes and minds to the richness of the visual arts as unique forms of human communication and to convey the idea that the arts enrich life best when we experience, understand, and enjoy them as integral parts of the process of living.

Highlights include:

  • A new Chapter 24, Modern Art Beyond the West, enhances the book in its coverage of global visual expression.
  • Coverage of diverse artists in Prebles' Artforms expands with 25 new illustrations from women and members of ethnic minorities.
  • Thirty five additional contemporary artists have been added in the eighth edition.
  • New sections on industrial Design and Green Architecture address relevant topics that link art to everyday life.

Resources available with Prebles' Artforms, eighth edition include:

  • OneKey – an online resource that delivers instructor and student online resources – in one place – organized to accompany the text.
  • From environmental design to performance art, TIME Special Edition: Art offers the coverage and photography for which TIME is known.
  • The interactive CD-ROM offers students a dynamic exploration of art through video demonstrations, an electronic image gallery and flashcard program, and interactive exercises included with the text.
  • The Companion Website.

Organization

  • Part One: Art Is ... (Chapters 1 and 2) introduces the nature of art, aesthetics, and creativity, and discusses the purposes of art and visual communication. Strongly believing that we are all artists at heart, Prebles' Artforms includes an essay on children and their Early Encounters with the Artist Within, and a section on the works of untrained artists.
  • Part Two: The Language of Visual Experience (Chapters 3-5) presents the language of vision, visual elements, and principles of design. Experience with the language of visual form introduced in those chapters provides a foundation for developing critical thinking and for considering evaluation and art criticism, discussed in Chapter 5.
  • The visual and verbal vocabulary covered in Part Two prepares readers to sample the broad range of art disciplines, media, and processes presented in Part Three: The Media of Art (Chapters 6-13). In this part Prebles' Artforms con­siders the classical media used in drawing, painting, sculpture, and architecture and the latest developments in photography, video, film, digital imaging, and in­dustrial design.
  • Part Four: Art as Cultural Heritage (Chapters 14-19) and Part Five: The Modern World (Chapters 20-24) introduce historic world styles and related cultural values. Three chapters cover artistic traditions outside the Western world, showing how each new technique in the history of art relies heavily on its predecessors.
  • Part Six: The Postmodern World and its Chapter 25 discuss art of the last two decades and the multifaceted and changing roles of artists today. It includes a section on the Global Present, emphasizing the international aspects of the contemporary art world.

In addition to a revised Glossary, Pronunciation Guide, and Selected Readings, the back matter of Prebles' Artforms includes a listing of Web sites related to art: Images, artists, museums, art organizations, magazines, and other sources. The three-page Timeline is illustrated and includes additional information on both Western and non-Western art.

Special Features

Throughout Prebles' Artforms, three types of essays enrich the presentation. Biography essays profile important artists from across time. Art in the World essays address how art affects our society once it leaves the artist's studio and how we encounter these issues in our everyday lives. Artists at Work essays highlight interviews with six contemporary artists, showing that artists' creativity is a rational process of making choices in order to arrive at a statement that expresses their vision.

Prebles' Artforms is renowned for its high quality images, clear organizational structure, and straightforward writing. These strengths remain in the eighth edition, along with a number of changes that make Prebles' Artforms the most current and relevant text available for the art appreciation course. In keeping with the philosophy of the text, the Eighth Edition is a careful blending of the strengths of its earlier editions – clear organizational structure, straightforward writing, and high quality images – with a number of important changes. This new edition enhances its leadership in covering global visual expression. Frank added a new chapter called Modern Art Beyond the West, the only such chapter in any book of its type. And finally, Prebles' Artforms has been a leader in including art by women and members of ethnic minorities, and that coverage has been expanded to include twenty-five new illustrations of art by women, a section on African­American modernism, thirty-five new contemporary artists, and a new section on the latest approaches to drawing.

Arts & Photography / Museum & Collections

In Pursuit of Perfection: The Art of Agnes Martin, Maria Martinez, and Florence Pierce by Timothy Robert Rodgers (Museum of New Mexico Press) is the catalog of an exposition of three artists – Agnes Martin, Maria Martinez and Florence Pierce – at the Museum of Fine Arts, New Mexico with essays discussing the work of each artist.

When the Museum of Fine Arts opened in 1917, art by Native Americans was presented alongside work done by artists trained in the modern styles of the day. Although these art forms arose out of very different cultures and their respective concerns, the visual similarities linked the work in ways that the founders of the museum believed to be enlightening and visually informative. The Museum of Fine Arts seeks to revive that tradition.

In the exhibition and catalog In Pursuit of Perfection, Chief Curator Tim Rodgers brings together three of New Mexico's most acclaimed artists. Each renowned in her own right, these artists have never had their work presented together in an exhibition. When viewed, this stunning show causes all to question why this has been so. How do artists, especially those who at one time lived only miles apart, come to exist in art worlds light years apart? How much has been gained and lost by the categories that both define and delimit this art?

Marsha C. Bol, director of the Museum of Fine Arts and a scholar of Native American art, remembers curator Rodgers returning from a visit to Florence Pierce's studio and proposing an exhibition of art by Martinez, Martin and Pierce. He had seen in Pierce's home how she displayed Native American pottery, mainly gifts from artists she knew and admired, side by side with her luminous poured-resin paintings. Although unexpected, the relationship between the pottery and the paintings was visually exciting. He added Martin to the mix and began to think about how these artists related to one another.

A week later, In Pursuit of Perfection came into being. Centering the show on a powerful concept like the pursuit of perfection allowed him to ask questions that, when answered, began to weave together these artists and their creations.

The most powerful words are those most difficult to define: happiness, friendship, perfection. Agnes Martin's contention that we all know what perfection is in our minds might be true, but, if surveyed, few would define perfection exactly the same. Despite their amorphous nature, these terms are vested with enormous power by cultures that weave into their meaning, concepts and behaviors deemed worthy of continual discussion, examination and negotiation. In this catalogue and exhibition, Marsha Bol, Lucy Lippard and Rodgers examine three different artists – Agnes Martin, Maria Martinez and Florence Pierce – and attempt to reveal how in the course of making their art these women use the concept of perfection to establish their aesthetic standards, pursue their artistic goals and explain their spiritual and cultural concerns. The conclusion of each essay is nearly the same: none of the artists achieved perfection and none claimed that they had. But in the pursuit of this elusive concept, the artists called upon their deepest beliefs to create their art.

What are those deep-seated beliefs that motivated these artists to establish extraordinarily high standards that they pursued at great personal cost? For each artist, the answer is different. Florence Pierce might point to the importance of light for her life and her art as a force that compelled her to repeat, refine and refine again her poured-resin paintings. In a recent series of paintings titled Clouds, she has created her most luminous work that literally seems to transcend the bounds of earth and exist somewhere between the light and the ground.

Maria Martinez would answer these questions differently, in part because of the cultural position she held as a minority in a society dominated by non-Natives. For Martinez, spiritual and cultural concerns fused with Eurocentric expectations, compelling her to refine, continually, her shapes and their finish. The exactitude of her art fostered a buying public that allowed the artist to give back to her people. The ability to help others in need became the ultimate motive in her pursuit of perfection. Agnes Martin, who of the three has written and spoken most about perfection, has woven together her desire for happiness, love and serenity with her quest to achieve the impossible. Perfection, according to Martin, exists in those moments of great joy and peace, those moments that inspire her to create. The process of trying to recapture on canvas and paper fleeting positive emotions has become for Martin a means of staving off the less-than-perfect times of sorrow, fear and loneliness.

In bringing these artists and their work together in relation to a shared idea, Rodgers in In Pursuit of Perfection moves outside of some of the ways in which their art is typically present­ed. Martin has strenuously objected to having her work associated with the Minimalists. Martinez's art has been bound by her time and ethnicity. Pierce's work has failed to be integrated into typical art categories and exists only on the margins of mainstream art history. This book/exposition is one of New Mexico's gifts to the world of art: a  multicultural art, a hybrid that offers surprising linkages and intersections across time and cultures.

Arts & Photography / Dance

Legacies of Twentieth-Century Dance by Lynn Garafola (Wesleyan University Press) is a selection of Garafola's carefully crafted essays, articles, and reviews that document the extraordinary transformation of dance since the early 20th century.

Although the pieces in Legacies of Twentieth-century Dance originally appeared in highly specialized journals, they were conceived and written with a broad audience in mind, making them valuable to specialists and lay readers alike. Taking advantage of numerous literary, pictorial and historical sources, Lynn Garafola reflects on such broad topics as the influence of second-wave feminism and gay liberation on American intellectual life in the last several decades, dance and gender, The Ballets Russes, and dance in New York City.

Garafola, dance historian and critic, teacher at Barnard College in New York City, shows how economics, revolution, racism, and rank affect the world of dance. She puts human faces on the major and minor figures of dance's last 100 years, and locates dance, dancers, and the people who drive and support the dance world at the center of human culture.

 

Lynn Garafola's breadth of dance knowl­edge is astonishing and, in Legacies of Twentieth-century Dance, it is fully matched by her insightful exploration of provocative issues in the field. – Nancy Reynolds, Director of Research, The George Balanchine Foundation

The author's sense of discovery permeates the book and is one of its chief pleasures. Lynn Garafola is unusual among dance scholars in showing how economics, revolution, racism and rank push and pull at the sometimes insular theatrical world. – Monica Moseley, Associate Curator, Dance Division, The New York Public Library

This book is full of revelations about dance history which should be part of the mainstream narrative. And it's riveting to read because of that rare combination of visionary scholarship and compelling narration. – Elizabeth Kendall, author of Where She Danced

Unlike many dance scholars of her time, Garafola uses a lucid, animated writing style. During the past 20 years, her writings have illuminated a broad spectrum of personalities, moments, and historical circumstances in dance. Operating from a unique vantage point, in Legacies of Twentieth-century Dance, Garafola successfully analyzes the role of dance in culture and the impact of the larger world on esthetic issues.

Biographies & Memoirs

Do You Remember Me?: A Father, a Daughter, and a Search for the Self [LARGE PRINT] by Judith Levine (Thorndike Press Large Print Senior Lifestyles Series: Thorndike Press)

In her award-winning Harmful to Minors, Judith Levine radically disturbed our fixed ideas about childhood. Now, the personal Do You Remember Me? tackles the other end of life.

The book is both the memoir of a daughter coming to terms with a difficult father who is sinking into dementia and an exploration of the ways we think about disability, aging, and the self as it resides in the body and the world. Freelance writer Levine unpeels the layers of his complicated personality and uncovers information that surprises even her mother, to whom her father has been married for more than sixty years.

As her father deteriorates, the family consensus about who he was and is and how best to care for him constantly threatens to collapse. Levine recounts the painful discussions, mad outbursts, and gingerly negotiations, and dissects the shifting alliances among family, friends, and a changing guard of hired caretakers. Spending more and more time with her father, she confronts a relationship that has long felt bereft of love. By caring for his needs, she learns to care about and, slowly, to love him.

While Levine chronicles these developments, she looks outside her family for the sources of their perceptions and expectations, weaving politics, science, history, and philosophy into their personal story. A memoir opens up to become a critique of our culture's attitudes toward the old and demented. What creates a self and keeps it whole? Do You Remember Me? insists that only the collaboration of others can safeguard her father's self against the riddling of his brain. Embracing interdependence and vulnerability, not autonomy and productivity, as the seminal elements of our humanity, Levine challenges herself and her readers to find new meaning, even hope, in one man's mortality and our own.

Unsentimental and unsparing, this work studies in unnerving detail what happens when the mind begins to separate from the body and how our society has no model for coping with such fragmentation. … Levine, a natural storyteller and author of the controversial Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, presents more than a tale about one man's disease and its impact on his family; she also examines how society separates itself from those who can no longer think clearly. …This is a daughter's poignant homage to a father she came to know best after he lost his mind, but it's also a searing indictment of how America treats its disabled and a cautionary tale for aging baby boomers. – Publishers Weekly
In this memoir, Levine chronicles her family's struggles to care for her father after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Through telling this story, she explores the cultural, historical, and political meanings of dementia and aging in a hyper-cognitive society that values self-reliance. The medicalization of the normal aging process is also addressed. – Book News

A claustrophobic account of Alzheimer's is transformed into a complex lesson about love, duty, and commitment in Do You Remember Me?, the insightful memoir of a daughter coming to terms with a difficult father sinking into dementia. In prose that is unsentimental yet moving, serious yet darkly funny, complex in emotion and ideas yet spare in diction, Levine reassembles her father's personal and professional history even as he loses track of it, confronting a relationship that has long felt bereft of love. Chronicling the negotiations of his care, Levine looks outside her family for the sources of their perceptions and expectations, deftly weaving politics, science, history and philosophy into their personal story.

Business & Economics

Corporate Scandals: The Many Faces of Greed by Kenneth R. Gray, Larry A. Frieder, & George W. Clark, Jr., with an introduction by Sybil C. Mobley (Paragon House Publishers)

Dramatic corporate malfeasance marked the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the new millennium. Industrial and financial sector scandals filled newspaper headlines. Nowhere could anyone find pro­ponents of the status quo in business and finance, yet few emerged to constructively address what can only be characterized as a crisis or breakdown of major proportions.

In Corporate Scandals, Professors Kenneth R. Gray, Larry A. Frieder, and George W. Clark, Jr. dissect one of our country's most devastating economic periods. The three authors are uniquely qualified to execute their work by their extensive experience at the School of Business & Industry (SBI) at Florida A & M University, in the Professional Development Program. Gray as SBI's Eminent Scholar Chair of Global Business, specializes in business strategy, policy, and international management. Frieder, Eminent Scholar Chair Professor of Financial Services is deeply rooted in the study of commercial banking consolidation and 'best practices.' Clark holds Florida A & M's distinguished 3M Professorship as a leader in the field of business ethics.

Much has been reported in the popular press about the financial scandals of the previous decade and their specific resolutions. Corporate Scandals does more than recount events however. Rather, it provides the background needed to allow the readers to better appreciate how such problems came into being and how one can constructively address resultant challenges. Corporate Scandals speaks to the deep failure of public auditors and the accounting profession, the need to address breakdowns in corporate governance, and the potential opportunities that exist in business education.

After an introductory chapter, Corporate Scandals begins chapter two with a brief survey of corporate scandals throughout history. Great waves of exploration and innovation have propelled often worthless speculative ventures that grew until they burst, hence the name ‘bubble.’ Financial scandals followed. A look at some of history's more infamous financial bubbles provide numerous insights relevant today. Many bubbles grew from the enthu­siasm generated by world exploration, and from the subsequent colonial land grabs. The discovery of new territories initiated speculative bursts of capital expansion that produced both the South Seas and the Mississippi Company bubbles. Two centuries later, the steam engine and the railroad boom created an investment bubble that was similar to the technology bubble of the 1990s.

Chapters three to six discuss the systematic evolution of corporate malfeasance and corruption both on and off Wall Street, noting the laxity of the SEC and of various self-regulated professions and stock exchanges. Chapter three explores recent high profile corporate breakdowns. Enron was the first prominent firm to exhibit the direct results of stock market pressures, corporate malfeasance, questionable oversight by the board of directors, as well as dubious conduct by its public auditors, law firms, and investment bankers. Evidence of a general breakdown of the corporate culture arose when the public discovered similar problems at numerous other prominent companies.

Chapter four presents the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The chapter discusses the case of HealthSouth as an example of how effective SOA may be as a tool for corporate policing.

Chapter five focuses on Wall Street. Beginning with a discussion of the SEC and its embattled Chairman, Harvey Pitt, Corporate Scandals details SOA's development and Pitt's resignation. The chapter examines New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's efforts to address the unfolding Wall Street scandal and it discusses the $1.6 billion settlement that he reached with ten major investment banks. The chapter also reviews the plight of several high profile investment analysts and analyzes the breakdown of the venerable New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Chapter six explores the scandals and corruption afflicting the $7 trillion mutual fund industry. Chapter seven focuses on a subplot the authors call ‘the great heist’: the perversion of corporate financial management practices that facilitated excessive and ruinous executive compensation. Dramatically rising executive salaries, benefits, and awards triggered a major shift in the historical role of corporate dividend policy. Share repurchase strategies applied in the 1990s not only destroyed stock value at the various firms, but also left the door open to a $1.679 trillion ‘heist’ by corporate management that Corporate Scandals uncovers. Massive share buybacks masked an explosive issuance of executive stock options by which management acquired vast wealth without actual conspiracy or illegality.

Chapters eight and nine identify how our society can address fundamental economic and corporate problems. Chapter eight examines social institutions and the incentives that guide social welfare. The market system is a social institution. Non-market institutions – such as family, educational and cultural organizations, and professional associations – seek to constrain socially undesirable traits, promote attractive values, and balance individual behavior. The spillover of marketplace values to other non-market institutions is one of the great challenges of our time. Social institutions and cultural norms set parameters for executive compensation. Chapter nine looks at business ethics from the point of view of virtue across history in Western and Eastern philosophy and offers an alternative pedagogy.

The final chapter of this book is reflective. In considering the broad, systemic breakdowns in accounting, regulation, and Wall Street practices, several problems and issues emerge, and the authors bring these to light.

Corporate Scandals is the encyclopedia of corporate scandals and an essential text for Business Ethics. – Dr. Gary Quinlivan, Dean of the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government at Saint Vincent College

Its insightful presentation of a $1.6 trillion financial ‘heist’ is must reading for observers of U.S. capitalism and corporate governance. – Dr. Stanley D. Smith, SunTrust Chair of Banking and Professor of Finance, University of Central Florida

The definitive guide to understanding the topic of corporate scandals and their impact on the U.S. economy .... puts the reader in the middle of the ac­tion. encouraging reflection on how to behave....offers provocative insights on the institutional changes necessary to restore confidence and trust in business accounting. This book should be required reading in every MBA program, and for undergraduate business majors. – Harvey Rosenblum, Former Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and University Professor of Finance, Southern Methodist University

A critique and road-map combined in one wide-ranging discussion of stock-market capitalism and how to improve it. – Steve Young, Global Executive Director, The Caux Round Table

Corporate Scandals is accurate and well-grounded both in business theory and in ethical perception of just how much a good society needs a moral foundation. The Gray, Frieder, and Clark author team does a terrific job integrating the diverse elements that resulted in unparalleled scandal – readers benefit from the remarkable perspectives all three authors share with their readers. Their writing brings important insights, as well as a sense of candor about our free enterprise system that is often missing from public and academic discourse. And their work is detailed, objective, definitive, includes the latest developments – it has much to teach those engaged in business, education, and government regulation.

Business & Investing / Personal Finance

Start Late, Finish Rich: A No-Fail Plan for Achieving Financial Freedom at Any Age [ABRIDGED] by David Bach, 5 CDs (Random House Audio)

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who’ve saved too little and borrowed too much will never catch up financially. Why? Because they don’t know how.
Whether in their thirties, forties, fifties, or even older, David Bach shows readers that they really can start late and still live to finish rich – and they can get a plan in place fast. Start Late, Finish Rich contains the plan. It’s easy to follow, and based on proven financial principles.

Bach advises readers to find their ‘Latte Factor’ – something they are currently wasting money on that they can give up – and turbo charge it to save money they didn’t know they had. For example, they can get rich in real estate – by starting small. Another example, readers can start a business on the side – while they keep the old job and continue earning a paycheck. Readers can spend less, save more and make more – and it doesn’t have to hurt.
Bach, author of the runaway bestseller The Automatic Millionaire, which spent fourteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, gives readers step-by-step instructions. The book also contains worksheets, phone numbers and website addresses to help readers put their ‘Start Late’ plan into place fast. He also shares the stories of ordinary Americans who have turned their lives around, at thirty, forty, fifty, even sixty years of age, and are now financially free. Bach says: ‘They did it, and now it’s your turn.’

Straight-shooting, action-oriented tips for getting a handle on [your] spending and saving habits . . . presented in a straightforward, non-intimidating manner perfect for the personal finance newbie. – ABCNews.com

… Anyone can finish rich, says Bach (Automatic Millionaire, etc.), if they are willing to ‘spend less, save more, and make more.’ The bulk of the book describes a variety of tactics and strategies (many covered in his previous books) for accomplishing these three tasks. Readers of financial help books will have heard many of Bach's ideas before, but he does deliver a lion's share of solid advice in an entertaining format, and, for good measure, he throws in an occasional counterintuitive gem, such as why paying off credit card debt can be "a huge mistake."… – Publishers Weekly
David Bach is the one expert to listen to when you’re intimidated by your finances. His easy-to-understand program will show you how to afford your dreams. – Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within

With Bach at one’s side, it’s never too late to change one’s financial destiny. In Start Late, Finish Rich, a motivating, swift read or listen, readers learn how to ramp up the road to financial security with the principles of spend less, save more, make more – and also, according to Bach, live more. And he gives readers a plan to do it.

Business & Investing / Public Policy

It's Legal But It Ain't Right: Harmful Social Consequences of Legal Industries edited by Nikos Passas & Neva R. Goodwin (Evolving Values for a Capitalist World Series: The University of Michigan Press)

Many U.S. corporations and the goods they produce negatively impact our society without breaking any laws. We are all too familiar with the tobacco industry's effect on public health and health care costs for smokers and nonsmokers, as well as the role of profit in the pharmaceutical industry's research priorities.

It's Legal But It Ain't Right tackles these issues, plus the ethical ambiguities of legalized gambling, the firearms trade, the fast food industry, the pesticide industry, private security companies, and more.

In It's Legal But It Ain't Right a wide range of scholars, journalists, and policy analysts present essays examining the ‘lawful but awful’ practices that populate the gray area between legality and morality. Significant challenges remain to better define the problems, to further document and analyze some of the most significant externalities, to launch a debar, toward the redefinition of legitimacy in business practices, and to propose concrete and practical courses of action. Recognizing that their mission requires a change in social attitudes, the first task is to create wide awareness that many practices that are now legal (actually or potentially) can cause us all grave harm.

Most generally, the authors in It's Legal But It Ain't Right see the need for transparency, accountability, and regulation. But this effort will not really succeed without a reshaping of cultural norms and the acceptance of responsibility by those whose decisions shape corporate behavior.

According to editors Nikos Passas, Professor in the College of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University and Neva Goodwin, Co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, corporate executives are not always aware of the ultimate consequences of their actions or failures to act, whether because of compartmentalization, specialization, or neglect. These leaders need to be challenged and asked, When do you become responsible? When should you know that your corporate practice is wrong? Individual responsibility is about saying, "I won't do it because it's wrong." This can be supported by accountability (creating legal and other institutions that allow those affected by externalities to challenge the individual and institutional actors) and transparency (making it easy for others to see the externalities). Responsibility goes beyond but is strongly supported by accountability and transparency, giving conscience a hearing even when there is little likelihood of getting caught.

Changes in the norms that guide behavior in corporations will require wide public support. A key goal of It's Legal But It Ain't Right, therefore, is to change social attitudes so that people both inside and outside the industries in question no longer think that whatever is not illegal is okay. In some cases it is desirable to change laws; more often, the need is to redefine legitimacy. The two may have to be pursued in parallel. Changing laws sometimes changes legitimacy (gambling unfortunately became legitimate when it became legal). Changing legitimacy sometimes changes laws (as illustrated in issues relating to the environment or with tobacco).

It's Legal But It Ain't Right chronicles the abuse of power and privilege by businesses that defy the strictures of law and limits of regulation. Contributors stretch the conceptual boundaries of corporate deviance across a wide range of industries at a time when standards of corporate social responsibility and good corporate citizenship are in flux. – William S. Laufer, The Wharton School of Business

This delightful and serious book involves a matter I have long felt of first importance. That is our tendency to make social truth and acceptance conform to personal or larger corporate interests. On this I have written, but gladly yield to this persuasive parallel. No one concerned with literate, informed, and relevant – as distinct from self-serving – truth should miss It's Legal But It Ain't Right. – John Kenneth Galbraith

This absorbing and well-written book of essays on the harmful consequences of legal industries skillfully illuminates the ways in which some corporate harms fail to be transformed into criminal law-making and enforcement, and offers cogent suggestions for better regulation in the public interest. – Dr. Michael Levi, Professor of Criminology, Cardiff University

An accessible exploration of corporate legitimacy and crime, It's Legal But It Ain't Right will be important reading for advocates, journalists, students, and anyone interested in the dichotomy between law and legitimacy. Aiming to identify industries and goods that undermine our societal values and to hold them accountable for their actions, this wide-ranging collection makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion of ethics in our time.

Business & Investing

Category Killers: The Retail Revolution and Its Impact on Consumer Culture by Robert Spector ( Harvard Business School Press)

The retail business has always been a dog-eat-dog world, an industry wrought with vigorous resistance to change and disruption. Department stores, mail-order catalogs, shopping malls, discounters, and chain stores, have all been introduced over the years to much resistance. But no concept has dramatically altered the consumer shopping experience more than the category killer big box specialty stores like Barnes & Noble, PETsMART, and Wal-Mart, and the latest disrupter in an already tumultuous industry.

In Category Killers, veteran business journalist Robert Spector explores the rise of retail's reigning disruptor: retailers who seek to dominate a distinct classification of merchandise and wipe out the competition. Based on decades of research and investigative reporting, Spector vividly recounts how ‘category killers’ from Toys R Us and Home Depot to Wal-Mart and Costco have rewritten the retail playbook and, in the process, profoundly altered cultural and economic factors.

Spector explores the brilliant strategies that have enabled category killers to overpower department stores, regional chains, and mom-and-pop stores and to reshape the concept of shopping malls.

According to Spector, we are observing the last gasps of both the so-called ‘traditional’ department store, and, in turn, the classic shopping mall. At the same time, we are witnessing a metamorphosis of the urban/suburban experience as Main Street and the mall are meeting to form something entirely new. Expansion – both domestically and abroad – is the economic imperative of every one of the category killers; if they do not grow; they die. However in their search for growth, their aggressive expansion strategies have led to the inevitable backlash, as many local governments, under pressure from local and national anti-sprawl activists, land-use experts, and competing independent retailers, take a closer look at the toll of these stores on land-use legislation, farmland, taxation, migration patterns, traffic patterns, infrastructure, wages, and jobs – the ones they add and the ones they take away (by eliminating other retailers). Spector outlines the specific ways category killers feed and are fed by consumer demand, and warns that they might fall victim to the changing consumer landscape unless they get in touch with the desires of the communities that have grown up around them.

…Anyone interested in the future of shopping, from both a business and cultural perspective, will find this book to be a useful primer. – Publishers Weekly

Robert Spector has once again provided a historically accurate and insightful portrait of American retailing in terms of where it is and where it's going. This is a compelling read for anyone who professes to know a thing or two about the retail industry, especially with regard to what the future might hold. – Bob DiNicola, Chairman, Zale Corp.

Category Killers is thorough, fact-filled, and engaging. It is the best history I have read of the development and ramifications of large-scale retailing. – Joseph H. Ellis, former partner and head of the Retail Research Group, Goldman Sachs

Robert Spector is America's preeminent retail historian. In the tradition of Stephen Ambrose, Spector's books are aimed at a popular audience looking for an enjoyable and informative read. – Paco Unerhill, Founder and Managing Director, Envirosell, Inc.

Based on research and reporting, absorbing and insightful, Category Killers is at once a vivid journey down the aisles of retailing history and an incisive analysis of modern retail's most influential players. Category Killers offers an unbiased, and engaging analysis of the history of category killers and their impact and strategies – good and bad – on the retail industry. Spector reveals the secrets behind ‘big-box’ retailers – and also the ‘weak spots’ that leave room for new entrants to become tomorrow's category killers.

Computers & Internet / Business & Investing

Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Excel 2003: A Problem-Solving Approach by Debra Gross, Frank Akaiwa & Karleen Nordquist (Course Technology)

In today's technology-driven business world, having a good gut instinct and basic computer familiarity will only get readers so far. In order to make and stand by strategic business decisions, they need to move beyond simple formulas and functions.

Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Excel 2003, part of the new Succeeding in Business Series, prepares readers to solve real-life business problems using the popular spreadsheet software Microsoft Office Excel 2003. Written by Debra Gross, Ohio State University; Frank Akaiwa, Indiana University; and Karleen Nordquist, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University , it moves beyond the basic ‘point and click’ skills to get readers to think critically about realistic business situations. Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Excel 2003 contains a companion Skills Training CD to ensure readers have the prerequisite skills to achieve success. Powered by SAM, this skills Training CD provides an opportunity for skills refreshment and acquisition through robust software simulations.

Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Excel 2003 focuses on learning how to solve problems using Excel, widely used in business as a tool for solving problems and supporting decision making, although the concepts and tasks presented could apply to a variety of computer applications and programming languages. There are two perceptions of Excel to consider: one is that Excel is the obvious extension of the desktop calculator into the personal computer; the other is that Excel is a powerful tool for the manipulation and analysis of data. Data is usually analyzed to provide support for whether or not to take some course of action a decision. Not all decisions require a spreadsheet for analysis, but many of the complexities faced in business are made simpler and easier to understand when a tool like Excel is employed properly. One of the main goals of Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Excel 2003 is that readers will ‘learn how to learn,’ becoming confident in their own ability to explore new Excel features and tools to solve problems and support their decisions.

For example, the spreadsheet could be used to evaluate ‘what’ would happen ‘if’:

  • The organization cut sale prices by 5%.

  • The sales volume increased by 10%.

  • The organization improved its inventory turnover by 8%.

  • The organization issued $1,000,000 in bonds.

Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Excel 2003 focuses on how to use Excel as a decision support tool and shows readers that a spreadsheet is far more than a sophisticated calculator; it is used extensively at the highest level of decision making.

Throughout Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Excel 2003, readers are presented with various problems to solve or analyses to complete using different Excel tools and features. Each chapter in the book presents three levels of problem solving. Level 1 deals with basic problems or analyses that require the application of one or more spreadsheet tools, focusing on the implementation of those tools. However, problem solving not only requires readers to know how to use a tool, but, more importantly, why or when to use which tool. So, with Level 2 the problems and analyses presented increase in complexity. By the time readers reach Level 3, the complexity increases further, providing them with opportunities for more advanced critical thinking and problem solving. Each level ends with a section called ‘Steps To Success,’ which provides hands-on practice of the skills and concepts presented in that level.

In the Case Problems at the end of each chapter, not only does the degree of complexity increase, matching how the material is presented in each level, but the structure of the problem to be solved decreases as well. The goal is to move readers toward an environment that is more like the real business world they will encounter during internships and upon graduation from college.

The reader is drawn into the challenges and joys of problem solving rather than simply being given, rather mechanically, ‘how to’ instructions and then rather mundane situations in which to apply the mechanics. What's more, the problem sets at the back of the chapter provide interesting and appropriate contexts for application of the material. – Thomas J. Schriber, University of Michigan

Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Excel 2003 starts students where they are and teaches them, through practical application, the skills of problem solving with Excel. The CD gives readers a chance to practice the ‘mechanics,’ such as navigating and organizing a worksheet, entering text and values, writing simple formulas, and applying basic formatting, before they start applying the skills to solve problems.

Cooking, Food & Wine

The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Light Meals Book by Donald Gazzaniga & Maureen A. Gazzaniga, with a foreword by Dr. Michael B. Fowler (Thomas Dunne Books)

More than five million Americans are affected by various forms of heart failure. Now from retiree Don Gazzaniga, the author of The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook, and his retired-school-teacher-and-innovative-cook wife Maureen Garaniga, comes the latest in their life-changing cookbook series. The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Light Meals Book is a collection of recipes for soups, salads, and sandwiches, perfect for those occasions when one wants lighter fare.

Don Gazzaniga was sixty-three years old when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was about to be placed on a heart transplant list. His doctor advised him to limit his sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day, but Gazzaniga decided to do more. He headed for the kitchen and found ways to drastically remove sodium from everyday dishes and still leave them delicious and easy to prepare.

Gazzaniga has been sharing his life-giving recipes on his website and has received thousands of appreciative responses from readers of The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook. That first cookbook was a surprise to medical professionals and their patients alike, because doctors had always believed that no one could get below 1500 milligrams of sodium in a daily diet. "Keep it at that level," Gazzaniga's doctor told the sixty-three-year-old Gazzaniga in 1997. After three years of following his own recipes, Gazzaniga was no longer considered a candidate for a heart transplant.

In this new volume, The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Light Meals Book, he provides tips on where to purchase low sodium products, and, as he has done previously, he lists the amounts of sodium each ingredient adds, the amount per serving, and the total amount per recipe, showing readers not only how to live and eat healthy, but also that they can do so without sacrificing taste and enjoyment. For readers want to celebrate their grandson's third birthday, or their doctor's latest green light, with a party and need delicious tidbits for the guests, they will be pleased by this new book. Readers who feel like a light lunch – a salad, a sandwich, a bowl of soup – will find it in Maureen Gazzaniga’s specialties. And there are sections explaining where to buy special flavorings and the like, how to substitute low-sodium or sodium-free ingredients, and a foreword by Dr. Michael Fowler, director of the Stanford Heart Transplant Program and medical director of the Stanford Cardiomyopathy Center.

For the millions of people diagnosed with congestive heart failure and/or high blood pressure, The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Light Meals Book offers valuable recipe alternatives and new hope for a healthier life.

Economics / Social Sciences / African Americans

African Americans in the U.S. Economy edited by Cecilia A. Conrad, John Whitehead, Patrick Mason, & James Stewart (Rowman & Littlefield, Publishers)

Over the past several decades, academic discourse on racial inequality has focused primarily on political and social issues with significantly less attention paid to the complex interplay between race and economics. African Americans in the U.S. Economy represents a contribution to recent scholarship that seeks to lessen this imbalance. Influenced by path-breaking studies presented in several scholarly economic journals, African Americans in the U.S. Economy is designed to provide a political-economic analysis of the past and present economic status of African Americans. The volume is edited by Cecilia A. Conrad, Stedman-Sumner Professor of Economics at Pomona College; John Whitehead, professor of economics and African American studies at the City College of San Francisco; Patrick Mason, associate professor of economics and director of the African American Studies Program at Florida State University; and James Stewart, professor of labor studies and industrial relations, African and African American studies, and management and organization at Penn State University.

The chapters in African Americans in the U.S. Economy represent the work of some of the nation's most distinguished scholars on the various topics presented. The individual chapters cover several well-defined areas, including black employment and unemployment, labor market discrimination, black entrepreneurship, racial economic inequality, urban revitalization, and black economic development. A study guide, designed to promote student comprehension of the ideas and terminology in the individual chapters with the goal of enhancing critical thinking skills, is also available.

Despite over three hundred years of participation in the U.S. economy, African Americans continue to be excluded from the full realization of the American dream. African Americans represented 12.3 percent of the U.S. population in 2000 but received only 9 percent of the income and owned only 3 percent of the assets. Yet, economics textbooks, particularly those for introductory students, are either silent about the economic influence of race or provide only a cursory overview of Gary Becker's theory of discrimination. Because Becker's theory predicts that race does not matter, scholars of racial inequality have focused on developing explanations other than race for persistent racial differences in economic status.

African Americans in the U.S. Economy takes a different approach. The chapters in this book begin with the premise that race matters – and then proceed with an analysis of the implications of race and racism for the economic status of African Americans and for the operation of the American economy. This approach challenges the adequacy of neoclassical, mainstream economic analysis as a useful paradigm in explaining the persistence of racial inequality; hence, it also challenges the validity of the neoclassical paradigm for explaining the general distribution of income and wealth, the operation of labor and capital markets, and the competitive process.

The chapters in African Americans in the U.S. Economy span the ideological spectrum of economics, from neoclassical theory to Marxian analysis of class. While most focus on the economic impact of racism on African Americans, not all of the authors are economists, nor are they exclusively African American. Although the authors begin with the shared premise that race matters, they do not always agree about its implications for the economic status of African Americans, nor do they agree about the appropriate public policies to ameliorate its effects.

Despite the diversity of perspectives repre­sented in African Americans in the U.S. Economy, several broad themes do emerge. The first is that neoclassical economic theory cannot adequately explain racial differences in economic status. Competitive markets not only fail to erase the effects of racial discrimination, but they tend to reproduce the inequality that racial bias creates. A second broad theme in African Americans in the U.S. Economy is that history matters. Because competitive markets tend to reproduce inequality, restrictions on economic opportunities in the past affect the present. This history of racial oppression and exclusion created the conditions under which African Americans participate in the contemporary U.S. economy. This history has also left African Americans especially vulnerable to structural changes in the U.S. and the global economy, the third broad theme in African Americans in the U.S. Economy. Most conservative economists believe that competitive markets are self-correcting and that the effects of racial discrimination will disappear over time and without government action. Once again, African Americans in the U.S. Economy offers a different perspective, of which the fourth theme is that a laissez-faire approach will not reduce racial inequality. The authors advocate traditional forms of intervention, such as enforcing antidiscrimination laws and endorsing new strategies.

A final broad theme that emerges from the chapters of African Americans in the U.S. Economy is that social capital matters. Paraphrasing Shondra Nash and Cedric Herring in this volume, social capital "consists of cohesive community networks that indicate trust and cooperation based on a common culture and goals, group loyalty, a sense of identity and belonging, and coordinated actions." Social capital is a critical ingredient to community economic development strategies, and institutions such as churches, community-based businesses, and cooperative organizations help to build and sustain social capital.

The forty-three chapters in African Americans in the U.S. Economy are organized into nine subsections: part I, Slavery and the Early Formation of Black Labor; part II, Organized Labor and African Americans; part III, Theories of Racial Discrimination, Inequality, and Economic Progress; part IV, Current Economic Status of African Americans; part V, Globalization and Its Impact on the Economic Well-Being of Americans and Latinos; part VI, Black Capitalism; part VII, Education, Employ­ment, Training, and Social Welfare; part VIII, Understanding Black Reparations; and part IX, African American Economic Development and Urban Revitalization Strategies.
Part I examines the historical role played by blacks in the building of the U.S. economy and in the emergence of the black working class. It documents the development of a capitalist world system dependent on slavery and the importance of black slaves to American economic development. Philip Foner describes the origins of the international slave trade and its role in financing the British industrial revolution. William Darity, Jr. links the wealth created by the slave trade to the contemporary prosperity of the United States and Europe and to the economic stagnation of many African countries.

James Stewart focuses attention on how black labor was mobilized on plantations to generate profits that fueled economic growth in the Southern and the Northern states.

The last two chapters in part I provide accounts of the economic circumstances of African Americans following the Civil War. Daniel Fusfeld and Timothy Bates describe the operation of the Southern sharecropping system, which led to the super-exploitation of black sharecroppers and their condition of chronic debt. Philip Foner examines how World War I created new employment opportunities for blacks in the urban North, spurring the largescale emigration of blacks from the South.

Part II continues the examination of black labor in the post-Civil War period. It chronicles the early attempts to recruit black workers into organized labor and the racist union practices that excluded blacks from most trade unions in the period immediately following the Civil War. William Harris describes the history of blacks and trade unions. Philip Foner recounts how the exclusion of blacks from white unions led to the formation of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. In the final chapter of part II, James Stewart provides a detailed case study of attempts to overcome racism within the United Steel Workers of America during the pivotal years 1948-1970.

Part III builds on this historical foundation to analyze the economic status of African Ameri­cans. Part III presents and critiques the major theories of discrimination and racial economic inequality. John Whitehead's chapter compares conservative and liberal theories of discrimination, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. Whitehead concludes that neither conservatives nor liberals have developed an adequate theoretical model of how capitalism can exploit a racial distribution of resources. Peter Bohmer's chapter continues Whitehead's discus­sion of the capitalism-racism nexus by looking at its treatment within the Marxist theory of racism and racial inequality. Timothy Bates and Daniel Fusfeld present a radical version of the crowding model. They argue that the crowding of black workers into the secondary, low-wage job sector worsens black-white income differentials and contributes to other racial differences in economic outcomes. Mary King's chapter presents a unique twist to the analysis of racial economic disparities by looking at racial violence as a tool for economic repression and for the enforcement of unequal property rights in ‘whiteness.’ James Stewart and Major Coleman conclude this section with a chapter that introduces the black political economy model that highlights the economic value of racial identity and examines the linkages between racial identity production and economic disparities.

Parts IV, V, and VI examine economic outcomes for African Americans today. In the first chapter of part IV, Susan Williams McElroy discusses the relationship between education and labor market outcomes. Her research demonstrates that, while educational attainment plays a crucial role in labor market outcomes, it does not fully account for disparities in earnings for race-gender groups. In the chapter "Persistent Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market," Patrick Mason challenges Becker's prediction that competitive markets will destroy racial discrimination within the labor market, through an examination of the relationship between the racial wage gap and changes in the quality and the quantity of schooling. In a second paper, coauthored with Gary Dymski, Mason shifts attention from labor markets to financial markets, examining racial differences in access to credit. The next two chapters focus on the economic status of African American women: Cecilia Conrad describes the movement of black women into clerical and sales jobs after 1960, a change she attributes to the enforcement of equal employment laws and the narrowing wage gap between black and white women, which she attributes to legislation and to improvements in educational attainment. Cecilia Conrad and Mary King then focus on the status of one group of African American women – single mothers who maintain families – and they examine the economic and social factors contributing to the high proportion of black families headed by single women. The differences in income, access to credit, and family structure described in these five chapters have long-term consequences for the accumulation of wealth. Hence, it is appropriate that part IV concludes with Thomas Shapiro and Jessica Kenty-Drane's chapter on racial differences in the accumulation of wealth.

The chapters in part V examine the impact of globalization on the socioeconomic well-being of people of color in the United States with particular attention to African Americans. Peter Dorman gives an in-depth analysis of the impact of increased capital mobility on employment in black and Latino communities. Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Steven Pitts, and Patrick Mason describe the consequences of corporate-driven globalization for economic inequality within the black community. The remaining three chapters focus on specific aspects of globalization: the shrinkage of the public sector (Mary King), immigration (Steven Shulman and Robert Smith), and the expansion of the penal system (Andrew Barlow).

Part VI examines the characteristics of black-owned businesses, from barbershops to hip-hop entrepreneurs, and debates the merits of black capitalism as a strategy for black economic advancement. Manning Marable describes the early history of black-owned businesses. The next two chapters examine the current status of black-owned businesses (Cecilia Conrad) and banks (Gary Dymski and Robert Weems Jr.). Part VI continues with two provocative chapters, written by Robert Weems Jr. and by Dipannita Basu, on hip-hop culture and its implications for black business development. In the final chapter of part VI, Earl Ofari Hutchinson worries that black capitalism will exacerbate class divisions among African Americans. He cautions that black capitalism by itself will not have a major impact on black economic well-being because of the small size of the black-owned business sector.

The remaining sections of African Americans in the U.S. Economy suggest alternative strategies for improving the economic position of African Americans. Part VII examines public policies to improve the educational attainment and incomes of individual blacks. Howard Fuller and Louis Schubert each debate the merits of school voucher programs, and Michael Stoll and Bernard Anderson each identify effective policies to increase black youth employment prospects. Linda Burnham discusses the consequences of welfare reform for black families.

Part VIII explores critical aspects of the growing and controversial reparations movement. Robert Allen presents an overview of past and present black efforts to obtain reparations. Richard America uses a general theory of restitution to make the case that reparations are due to African Americans, and he discusses policy options for payment. William Darity, Jr. and Dania Frank discuss precedents for reparations payments to blacks emerging from the experiences of Americans Indians, Japanese Americans, and Jews.

Part IX presents various economic development and revitalization strategies to address some of the challenges that face African Americans in the dawn of the new millennium. John Whitehead and David Landes emphasize the im­portance of attracting debt and equity capital to support the development of minority businesses that are linked to high-growth sectors of the economy. Rose shows how equitable development strategies can be used to lessen the adverse effects of gentrification that often accompanies community revitalization efforts. The next chapters discuss the job and wealth creation potential of the black church (Shondrah Nash and Cedric Herring) and of black-owned businesses (Thomas Boston). In the final chapter of this section, John Whitehead and James Stewart examine the potential role of black athletes as a funding source for broad-based inner-city investment initiatives.

Taken as a whole, African Americans in the U.S. Economy provides a comprehensive overview of the historical, contemporary, and prospective economic challenges that have confronted and currently confront African Americans in an ever-evolving global capitalist regime. The range and detail of the information presented in the various chapters provide a solid foundation for developing new approaches that can move society toward providing true equal economic opportunity for all. African Americans in the U.S. Economy builds upon, and significantly extends, the principles, terminology, and methods of standard economics and black political economy. The book is written in a style free of the technical jargon that characterizes most economics textbooks. While methodologically sophisticated, the book is accessible to a wide range of students and the general public and will appeal to academicians and practitioners alike.

Education / Reading / Reference

Getting Ahead: Fundamentals of College Reading by JoAnn Yaworski (Pearson Longman)

Every student can become an A-student.

The college reading class poses a tremendous challenge to literacy educators – lack of reading skills is the greatest barrier to success in all disciplines.

Getting Ahead covers the foundations of basic reading comprehension, including improvement and practice of study, vocabulary, sentence building, and critical thinking skills. The goal of the text is to build the reader's motivation – about themselves, their life situation, and their academic situation – in order to excel or ‘get ahead’ in both their academic and professional careers. Written by JoAnn Yaworski, developmental reading teacher in the Department of Literacy at West Chester University , Getting Ahead discusses the basic skills and strategies required for the simple comprehension of a written piece, coupled with an introduction to critical thinking and reading.

The main difference between college and high school is reading. High school teachers spend approximately 25 hours per week providing students with academic information via lectures and class activities while students are not required to read much – if at all. In college, students spend only 12-15 hours in classes with the professor covering three times the amount of information. In other words, the college classroom time is reduced by half while the amount of information the student is expected to learn triples.

Getting Ahead provides instruction in basic reading, vocabulary, grammar, critical reading, and study skills. Approximately 200 cross-disciplinary readings from college textbooks reflect the types of reading students are required to comprehend for their college courses and for national or statewide reading exams – biology, sociology, psychology, chemistry, communications, history, physical science, economics, geography, geology, and English. Each chapter focuses on a fundamental reading skill and leads students through a progression that become increasingly more difficult. This structure allows students to focus quickly and experience success immediately while learning new skills and strategies for reading college-level materials. The gradual increase in the length and difficulty of the excerpts makes it easier for students to maintain a level of success throughout the chapter without feeling overly challenged. This scaffolding strategy builds students’ confidence that they are capable of not only basic comprehension but advanced thinking as well.

Chapter coverage:

  • Chapter 1 focuses on motivation because so much can be accomplished when students are highly motivated to learn.
  • Chapter 2 addresses time management skills and the PQ4R method for reading textbook chapters. These skills are addressed early on in the text to enable students to begin applying this knowledge to their college studies.
  • Chapter 3 shows students various ways to learn vocabulary, including context clues, structural analysis (prefixes, suffixes, and roots), and dictionary use.
  • Chapters 4 and 5 cover main idea and provide scaffolding through the use of practice exercises that segment longer readings.
  • Chapter 6 presents four simple text structures: (1) term, definition, and example, (2) topic with a list, (3) process, and (4) chronological order.
  • Chapters 7, 8, and 9 respectively cover inference, purpose and tone, and critical thinking. Four different types of inference are highlighted in Chapter 7. In Chapter 8, purpose is looked at from three perspectives: (1) to inform, (2) to entertain, and (3) to persuade. In Chapter 9, reason and consequence are used to show the logical steps in drawing a conclusion.
  • Note-taking – from both lectures and textbooks – and exam preparation are highlighted in Chapters 10 and 11.
  • Speed-reading exercises consistent with current research are provided in Chapter 12. Comprehension of thought is emphasized. Students are shown how to think more quickly instead of sole reliance on moving the eyes faster.
  • Finally, the Appendix offers a brief English handbook that focuses on grammar with respect to parts of speech (e.g., nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions) and basic sentence structures.

Each chapter includes a demonstration of a reading skill along with practice exercises. The practice exercises include readings that become progressively longer and more difficult.

I ... like the format of [the readings] much better than in previous textbooks I have used. I particularly like the short blurbs at the beginning to trigger background knowledge on the subject. The author's style of writing is so engaging that all the exercises, practices, boxes, and texts are woven together as a seamless whole. It is far superior to anything I have used in the past. – Pamela L. Gray, Austin Community College

Chapter 7 offers an excellent review of implied main idea, a skill students have difficulty grasping. The Visual Literacy and Getting Ahead Boxes ... are a challenging and ‘fun’ way to bridge the familiar with the unfamiliar. [They] build confidence because they hone in on one skill at a time, which allows students to be successful.... Overall, this is a quality textbook that will give instructors flexibility. – Tammy Frankland, Casper College

I love the letters and essays from former reading students.... This book is different from content-area textbooks. Students need to understand that there are learning skills, strategies, and concepts that they must learn and apply to their reading tasks. Overall, the purpose and organization of the text are well explained. – Jean Gorgie, Santa Monica College

Getting Ahead targets those interested in improving basic reading skills; it provides the college reading instructor with the tools to help students cope with the academic transition to college. It assists and motivates students in developing the basic and critical reading skills that will enable them to pass, and excel in, college-level, cross-disciplinary courses. Scaffolding, progressions, and vocabulary terms are provided to ease students from easy to more difficult readings. In this way, it is possible to challenge students without upsetting or discouraging them or making them feel incapable and unprepared. High-interest topics are provided to help students develop confidence in reading expository text information. Attention is given is also given study strategies.

Education

Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered edited by Joe L. Kincheloe (Counterpoints Series, V. 278: Peter Lang)

Twenty years after the publication of Howard Gardner's Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Joe L. Kincheloe, Professor of Education at the CUNY Graduate Center Urban Education Program and at Brooklyn College , and the contributing authors of Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered critique and rethink the theory in new frames of reference. Initially drawn to multiple intelligences (MI) theory because of its self-proclaimed challenge to the psychology establishment, the authors delineate their disillusionment with its evolution over the last two decades. Each intelligence presented by Gardner is examined and critiqued, while larger concepts in the theory are identified and assessed.

When editor Kincheloe and the authors first read Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (MI) in 1983, they were profoundly impressed by the challenge he issued to traditional psychology, particularly psychometrics. They believed that Gardner stood with them in their efforts to develop psychological and educational approaches that facilitated the inclusion of students from marginalized groups whose talents and capabilities had been mismeasured by traditional psychological instruments. Gardner's theory appeared to assume a wider spectrum of human abilities that were, for some reason or another, excluded from the domain of educational psychology and the definition of intelligence. They taught multiple intelligences theory to their students in hopes of exposing and overcoming some of the ways particular students were hurt by these exclusionary disciplinary practices. As Gardner has continued to develop his theory over the last twenty years, those associated with this book grew increasingly uncomfortable with many of his assertions and many of the dimensions he excluded from his work. A few wars ago they decided it was time to undertake a comprehensive questioning of the theory and Gardner's work surrounding it. Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered is the result of that project.

Our point here is not to issue some reductionistic validation or repudiation of Gardner's work. They are more interested in raising questions about the nature of mind, self-production, intelligence, justice, power, teaching, and learning arising from a careful confrontation with his scholarship. They respect Gardner, the work he has produced, and the constructive passions he has elicited from a variety of individuals and they do not mean for such unsparing criticism to be taken as a personal attack.

Frames of Mind was received enthusiastically because it struck all the right chords:

  • Learning is culturally situated.
  • Different communities value different forms of intelligence.
  • Cognitive development is complex, not simply a linear, cause-effect process.
  • Creativity is an important dimension of intelligence.
  • Psychometrics does not measure all aspects of human ability.
  • Teaching grounded on psychometrically inspired standardized testing is often deemed irrelevant and trivial by students.

Throughout Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered, various authors explore different dimensions of this sociopolitical theme. Most of the critiques of MI emerged from more conservative analysts, arguing that theory shifted educational priorities away from development of logic, in the process producing a trivialized, touchy-feely mode of education. In Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered, the authors provide a progressive critique, maintaining that despite all its democratic promise Gardner's theory has not met the expectations of its devotees. The reasons for this failure are multidimensional and complex, as the authors of this volume delineate. One aspect of the failure comes from Gardner's inability to grasp the social, cultural, and political forces that helped shape the initial reception of MI. Even when he addresses what he describes as a ‘dis-ease’ in American society, Gardner fails to historicize the concept in a way that provides him a larger perspective on the fascinating relationship between American socio-cultural, political, and epistemological dynamics of the last two decades and MI theory.

The authors in Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered are especially concerned with the democratic and justice-related dimensions portended in Gardner's early articulation of MI. Taking their cue from the concerns of many people of color, the poor, colonized individuals, and proponents of feminist theory, they raise questions about the tacit assumptions of MI and its implications for both education and the social domain. They  raise questions about knowledge production and power in the psychological domain in general and MI in particular. Gardner seems either unable or unwilling to trace the relationship of MI to these issues. Danny Wen's chapter in Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered carefully delineates the social alienation, the absence of situatedness that Gardner so summarily dismisses from his work.

As post-formalists they deploy their power literacy to reveal MI's ideological inscriptions. In this context they examine the multiple and complex ways power operates to shape psychological descriptions of human abilities and behaviors. For example, what is labeled intelligence can never be separated from what dominant power groups designate it to be. Thus, what Gardner attributes solely to the authority of a Cartesian science always reveals the fingerprints of power. What psychologists such as Gardner designate as intelligence and aptitude always holds political and moral significance. Kathleen Nolan illustrates this ideological dynamic clearly in her chapter on linguistic intelligence. While Gardner's notion of linguistic intelligence at first glance appears to value a more equitable, suitable classroom it tacitly privileges the language of the dominant culture as superior and the language of marginalized groups as inferior.

Indeed, what post-formalists and any other cognitive theorists designate as intelligence and aptitude produces specific consequences. The important difference between post-formalism and Gardner's psychology involves post-formalists' admission of such ramifications and their subsequent efforts to shape them as democratically, inclusive; and self-consciously as possible. Gardner, concurrently, dismisses the existence of such political and moral consequences and clings to the claim of scientific neutrality.

Despite these concerns the editor and authors of Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered still believe there is value in Gardner's work. In many of the chapters authors seek the kinetic potential of Gardner's ideas in the socio-psychological and educational domain. In this context they seek to retain the original democratic optimism of Gardner's theories, confront him and his many sympathizers with powerful paradigmatic insights refined over the past twenty years, and move the conversation about MI forward with a vision of a complex, rigorous, and transformative pedagogy.

By not exploring the ways power shapes educational purpose and the knowledges validated by dominant culture, Gardner omits a huge piece of the psycho-educational puzzle and leaves students vulnerable to the sociopolitical and cultural forces that produce disinformation in the contemporary informational landscape. This is certainly not the intent of Gardner's education or a factor in shaping MI theory. Gardner's vision is truncated; his sense of the socio-historical is naive. Without substantial rethinking and reconstitution, MI theory and the schooling it informs have reached a conceptual dead end.

Chapters and authors include:

PART I: Introduction

  1. Joe L. Kincheloe – Twenty-first-Century Questions about Multiple Intelligences

PART II: The Eight Intelligences

  1. Kathleen Nolan – The Power of Language: A Critique of the Assumptions and Pedagogical Implications of Howard Gardner's Concept of Linguistic Intelligence
  2. Yusef Progler – Musical Stupidity and the Reigning Monoculture
  3. Peter Appelbaum – Where Is the Mathematics? Where Are the Mathematicians?
  4. Richard Cary – Howard Gardner's Theory of Visual-Spatial Intelligence: A Critical Retheorizing
  5. Donald S. Blumenthal-Jones – Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence and the Democratic Ideal
  6. Joe L. Kincheloe – Getting Personal: Rethinking Gardner's Personal Intelligences
  7. Maria Morris – The Eighth One: Naturalistic Intelligence

PART III: Themes and Issues

  1. Jay L. Lemke – Multiplying Intelligences: Hypermedia and Social Semiotics
  2. Gaile S. Cannella – Multiple Intelligences in Early Childhood Education: A Poststructural/Feminist Analysis
  3. Danny Weil – Howard Gardner's Third Way: Toward a Postformal Redefinition of Educational Psychology
  4. Kathleen S. Berry – Multiple Intelligences Are Not What They Seem To Be

Eleven academics, all but one from the U.S. , revisit Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences some 20 years after Gardner 's text, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, introduced the concept. While the authors respect Gardner and his continuing research, they feel it is time to evaluate the theory and to explore questions about the nature of the mind, self-production, intelligence, justice, power, teaching, and learning. An opening discussion of 21st century questions about MI is followed by chapters examining each of the eight intelligences and a section addressing various themes and issues. – Book News

The critiques provided in Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered open exciting new doors to innovation in educational psychology and pedagogy, and move the fields in the direction initially promised by MI theory.

Education / Test Guides / Reference

American Foreign Service Officer Exam, 3rd edition by Elaine Bender, Larry Elowitz, Arva C. Floyd, Philip J. Lane, Steven Petersen, & Eve P. Steinberg (ARCO: Peterson’s)
This test preparation book asks readers: Have you ever wanted to be a diplomat?
This guidebook helps readers start on their way – American Foreign Service Officer Exam is the only guide available to help readers launch their careers as American Foreign Service Officers.

American Foreign Service Officer Exam includes the latest step-by-step preparation for the oral assessment. The book contains coverage of the two-part qualifying exam that tests their knowledge of political science, geography, American history, economics, and more – for positions with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Commerce Department overseas. The book also includes an application form, test-taking techniques and tips.

The third edition has been fully updated with new details about the oral assessment, and the latest edition features:

  • 3 full-length model exams with answers and explanations
  • In-depth coverage of both the written exam and oral assessment
  • An overview of the officer selection process
  • Detailed descriptions of career opportunities
  • Review of English grammar and usage

American Foreign Service Officer Exam provides the information and expert test preparation readers need to make a decision about whether they are reasonable candidates to become foreign service officers and to practice taking exams.

Reviews of people who have used the book on Amazon report that there are quite a few typos in the book, and that there is also no practice provided for the portion of the exam requiring essay writing; nevertheless, as the only guide available, it is of great value, since it is the only study book available. Especially helpful is the section detailing career opportunities, where the jobs are, steps in preparing oneself, and the selection process.

Education / Foreign Language / Reference

Mastering Arabic, with 2 audio CDs by Jane Wightwick & Mahmoud Gaafar (Hippocrene Master Series: Hippocrene Books, Inc.)

Arabic is spoken in over twenty countries from North-West Africa to the Arabian Gulf. This makes it one of the most widely-used languages in the world, and yet outsiders often regard it as obscure and mysterious. Authors Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar feel that this perception is more the fault of the material available for learning Arabic than the complexity of the language itself. Most available books are designed for linguists or concentrate on only one aspect of the language – the script, for example, or the spoken language of a particular region. Mastering Arabic is designed to fill that gap, teaching both.

There are three main categories of Arabic:

  • Classical – The language of the Qur'an and classical literature. Its structure is similar to Modern Standard but the style and much of the vocabulary is archaic.
  • Modern Standard – The universal language of the Arab World, understood by all Arabic speakers. Almost all written material is in Modern Standard as are formal television programs, talks, etc.
  • Colloquials – These are the spoken languages of the different regions of the Arab World. They are all more or less similar to the Modern Standard language, and they vary the most in everyday words and expressions.

Mastering Arabic teaches Modern Standard – it is the best place for learners to start, is universally understood and the best medium through which to master the Arabic script. However, whenever there are dialogues or situations where the colloquial language would naturally be used, the author chooses vocabulary and structures that are as close to the spoken as possible. In this way, Mastering Arabic enables readers to understand Arabic in a variety of different situations and will act as a base for expanding their knowledge of the written and spoken language.

This comprehensive course in modern, standard Arabic focusing on teaching both the script and the spoken language, was written by language guide experts Wightwick and Gaafar.  Designed for both individual and classroom use and assuming no previous knowledge of the language, Mastering Arabic aims to provide students with a general understanding of the language's overall structure as well as the means for basic communication. The unique combination of step-by-step grammar and practical exercises emphasizes a functional approach to mastering a new script and acquiring vocabulary. Everyday situations and local customs are explored through dialogues, newspaper extracts, drawings and photos. There are over 200 exercises in Mastering Arabic designed to help students practice what they have learned and prepare them for the next exercise. An exercise key and an English-Arabic glossary are included. Accompanying CDs are enclosed with the text.

There is very little available for non-specialist learners who wish to acquire a general, all-round knowledge of Arabic. Mastering Arabic fills that gap by providing anyone working alone or within a group with a lively, clear and enjoyable introduction to Arabic.

Entertainment / Music / Popular Culture

The Political Art of Bob Dylan edited by David Boucher & Gary K. Browning (Palgrave Macmillan)

Bob Dylan is one of the most significant figures in popular culture. In The Political Art of Bob Dylan, edited by David Boucher and Gary Browning, provides a multi-faceted analysis of his political art.

Editors Boucher, Professorial Fellow and Assistant Head of School, Research, School of European Studies , Cardiff University , Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, and Director of the Collingwood and British Idealism Centre at Cardiff ; and Browning, Professor of Politics at Oxford Brookes University , address Dylan’s career as a whole. Other chapters are written by Andrew Gamble, Richard Brown, Michael Jones, and Lawrence Wilde. They deal with such themes as alienation, protest, non-conformity, the American Dream and pivotal moments in Dylan’s career such as the ‘Judas’ accusation at the 1966 Manchester Free Trade Hall concert. They also deal with various aspects and periods of Dylan's career, including the early protest ballads, the artistic highpoint of his mid-sixties electric period in which his songs question the very notion of collective politics and present alternative disturbing images of a counter-reality.

Dylan’s songs are analyzed for their political meaning, and the context of the songs in contemporary American political and popular culture is examined. As notable specialists in the fields of political theory, literary criticism and popular culture, Boucher and Browning also examine Dylan’s work from a variety of perspectives – aesthetic theory, Kant, Adorno, Lyotard, Lorca and Collingwood. Collectively, they question how Dylan’s work relates to the theory and practice of politics. Finally, The Political Art of Bob Dylan explores the more personal and religious songs on issues of identity, alienation and ethical striving. Whereas in the early protest songs the diagnosis and prognosis did not always give rise to answers, the later religious analyses of the world gone wrong appeared to generate a very clear and simple remedy in Jesus.

In this exciting new work, The Political Art of Bob Dylan, Boucher and Browning explore Bob Dylan's radical and changing engagement with the ‘political.’

Entertainment / Music

A Bad Woman Feeling Good: Blues and the Women Who Sing Them by Buzzy Jackson (W.W. Norton & Company) is about the women who broke the rules, creating their own legacy of how to live and sing the blues.

The twentieth century was a time when women in the U.S. gained radically new political and social freedoms. The power of the early blues women was the first sign that black culture was going to shape the look and sound of the new American Century. The blues became a medium for deep truth-telling about what it meant to be a woman as well as an African-American.

It was Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey's piano player, Thomas Dorsey, who said, "The blues is a good woman feeling bad." But Dorsey got it backwards, as shown in A Bad Woman Feeling Good by Buzzy Jackson. An exciting lineage of women singers – originating with ‘Ma’ Rainey and her protégée Bessie Smith – shaped the blues, launching it as a powerful, expressive vehicle of emotional liberation. Jackson explores their work and phenomenal success in the early days of recording.

Along with their successors, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Janis Joplin, they injected a dose of reality into the often trivial world of popular song, bringing their message of higher expectations and broader horizons to their audiences. According to Buzzy Jackson, these women passed their image, rhythms, and toughness on to the next generation of blues women, which has its contemporary incarnation in singers like Courtney Love, Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams (with whom the author has done an in-depth interview) and other contemporary performers. None of them are traditional blues singers, but all are examples of the heritage passed down from the early blues women - not just musically but as an attitude toward life.

Jackson, who originally conceived the book as a dissertation, combines biography, an appreciation of music, and a sweeping view of American history to illuminate the pivotal role of blues women.

A Bad Woman Feeling Good takes readers on a tour through time and place: steamy New Orleans and the American South at the dawn of the new century; the Harlem Renaissance of the 20s; the Los Angeles jazz scene of the 50s, and San Francisco in the 60s. Jackson also examines the role of drugs and alcohol, sexual norms (as the romantic lives of Rainey, Smith and Holliday suggested, many women and men in the early 20th century were inclined to view human sexuality as a broad spectrum, rather than as an ‘either/or’ option), and the role men and record companies played in these women's lives.

"The story of the American blues women" writes Jackson "is a story about hard work and bad luck, about happiness and sexual satisfaction and the way it feels when you've been sweet and tried your best to be good and you're still all alone at midnight and it's raining. It's a story about African-Americans emerging from slavery, hoping for a future that is truly free, and it's the tale of a white woman who hears the music and knows that it speaks to her too. It's the story of a good woman feeling bad and a bad woman feeling good, because no woman's all good or all bad, in the end."

A stunning achievement. Busty Jackson has written a 'ba-ad' book, chronicling the lives, sounds, and innermost feelings of the 'baddest' of the 'bad,' from Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to Tina Turner and Janis Joplin  … The book explores with sensitivity, insight, and resourcefulness what it meant to be a 'bad woman' in blues culture, living and performing in ways that tested the limits of permissible behavior. The writing is lucid and compelling, much like the eloquent voices Buzzy Jackson manages to capture. – Leon F. Litwack, A.F. & May T. Morrison Professor, University of California , Berkeley and author of Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery and Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow

… By celebrating the genre's ‘bad women’ as forces for positive social change, Jackson gives blues fans a refreshing new perspective. – Publishers Weekly

Jackson , in A Bad Woman Feeling Good, her first book, combines biography, an appreciation of music, and a sweeping view of American history to illuminate the pivotal role of blues women in a powerful musical tradition. This look at the success and unconventional lifestyles of the female blues singers is thoughtful and fluent.

Health, Mind & Body / Self-help / Parenting & Families

Family First: Your Step-By-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family [ABRIDGED], 6 CDs, running time 6.5 hours by Phillip C.  (Simon & Schuster Audio)

Phillip McGraw has been working with families for over 25 years to help them repair the fissures that have fractured their home lives.

In Family First, McGraw gives it to parents straight: even in this fast-paced world the family should be the center of their lives and their children’s lives. Parenting is the most important and noble act parents ever undertake, yet American families are threatened like never before from the inside as well as the outside – many people fight too much, don't get involved enough in their children's lives, or get bogged down in life's daily struggles instead of focusing on the big picture of their family's well-being.

In Family First, he provides a proven action plan to help parents determine the strengths and weaknesses of their parenting style. His 7 Tools for Purposeful Parenting cover the most important elements for any parent – for the purpose of raising cooperative, caring, and competent children. McGraw shows parents how to make changes now – how to put a stop to their children's tantrums, talk to them about peer pressure or self-esteem, instill values like integrity, honesty, and respect for other people and bring order back to their house. Exercises, scripts, assessments, solutions for specific problems, and precise directions for implementing the steps they need to take are all included in this work.

… In his trademark, just-folks speaking style (all his work reads as if it is spoken rather than written), Dr. Phil isolates five factors that define such a family: a nurturing and abuse-free environment, stable daily routines and the ability to celebrate meaningful family rituals, communicate and manage crises. The ultimate measure of success of any family, according to McGraw, is the ability of each member to live according to their ‘authenticity.’ … Based on the very sound principle that parents must be willing to really parent, each tool of talking and listening, disciplining, and guiding by example (for purposes of book structuring, they are divided into seven), is backed by McGraw’s rock-bottom, no-two-ways-about-it confidence that nurturing our children and strengthening our families is the most important work that any of us can be doing. This plain-spoken guide will convince millions that this is so. – Publishers Weekly, starred review

Family First, with a 2.3 million first printing, is a landmark work offering families hope – for an improved home life now, and a productive, fulfilling future for their children. With Family First, McGraw offers a new classic on family life – and gives parents real answers and a plan for being the most positive and effective parents possible.

Health, Mind & Body / Stress Management

Stress Free for Good: 10 Scientifically Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness
by Frederic Luskin & Kenneth R. Pelletier (HarperSanFrancisco)

We live in an age of stress. Each day at work and at home as we struggle to take care of the basics; constant stress significantly affects our ability to lead healthy and happy lives. We struggle with stomach pain, headaches, mood swings, fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, and even heart failure. Not only does stress damage our physical and emotional well-being, but our relationships and productivity suffer as well. What, if anything, can we do to stop this cycle?

There is a multitude of books, magazine features, TV programs, videotapes, meditation classes, and seminars, all aimed at stopping stress. But until now there has never been a scientifically based program that not only starts working within seconds but also creates a foundation to help remove stress and the symptoms associated with it from your life for good. But Fred Luskin and Kenneth Pelletier spent years at the Stanford University School of Medicine developing ten proven skills for eliminating the stress, anxiety, and pain that occur in daily life. Offering more than just the promise of breaking even and eliminating daily stress, these ten skills provide a foundation for living a healthier and happier life.

Stress Free for Good presents 10 scientifically proven LifeSkills. ‘Belly Breathing’ is one of them. These exercises provide a lifelong foundation for living well. They offer the tools for attaining emotional competence and the means to make readers happy and healthy. These deceptively simple LifeSkills are presented as exercises that are practical, straightforward and easy to master.

The Stress Free for Good program:

  • Is the first stress management program based on scientific methodology.
  • Helps combat stress both immediately and long-term.
  • Ends the pain and discomfort associated with stress related ailments such as headaches, chronic pain and high blood pressure.
  • Simplifies stress management and balances the nervous system.
  • Relieves tension and aids in relaxation.
  • Assists with sleep and alleviating anger.
  • Help readers concentrate even when not under stress.
  • Has been substantiated by ongoing clinical practice.
  • Is presented in clear, practical, and quick step-by-step stages.

I frequently travel around the country talking to people about how best to cope with the stress in their lives. Now with Stress Free for Good, I have a book filled with proven scientific data I can refer to. Stress is a major issue in all our lives and Drs. Luskin and Pelletier have delivered a major book to help us combat this problem once and for all. – Richard Carlson, author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

The life skills presented so beautifully here can heal you and reawaken you to a life of joy and fun! – Christiane Northrup, Md, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom

At a time when many people are feeling more stressed than ever, Stress Free for Good can help you lead a happier, healthier life. Like a wise friend, it distills decades of research and clinical experience into ten practical and powerful stress management skills. – Dean Ornish, M.D., Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute

Finally! A book on stress reduction that does not require you to become a master meditator or an advanced yogi. In Stress Free for Good, Luskin and Pelletier offer us simple, commonsense, scientifically tested ways to reduce stress in the midst of our busy lives. Don't get out of bed without it. – Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom, My Grandfather's Blessings

Delivering skills that have been honed and tested among a diverse group of Americans, Stress Free for Good is easy to use and starts working immediately, as tested by this reviewer. This breakthrough program, based on research, promises real help to stressed-out readers. In the words of the press package: “It takes 10 minutes to learn, 1 minute to practice and 10 seconds to work.” This is not only a practical and accessible guide to conquering stress once and for all, it is also the last stress aid readers will ever need.

Health, Mind & Body / Exercise & Fitness

Yoga Heals Your Back: 10-Minute Routines That End Back and Neck Pain by Rita Trieger (Fair Winds Press)

Our backs work hard and are abused by sitting too long in chairs and cars, and by lifting weight that we aren't prepared to support. In fact, back pain is the number one reason people stay home from work, and the best way to help chronic back pain is with exercise. Many of us have turned to abdominal exercises to help our backs. However, those of us who rely on crunches and other exercises alone are doing our backs a disservice, because as the abdominals become stronger and tighter, our backs become relatively weaker and overstretched. The end result is a rounded, slumped posture with a weak and vulnerable lower back.

According to recent studies, more than 80 percent of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. How do readers fight the inevitable?

Author Trieger, editor-in-chief of Fit Magazine, teaches readers how to feel better both mentally and physically without expensive treatment.

Yoga Heals Your Back provides a collection of 10-minute routines to stretch and soothe the neck, shoulders, and back. It includes breathing exercises, meditations, as well as relaxing postures that will take out the kinks and unknot even the most stubborn aches and pains.

Yoga Heals Your Back’s simple 10-minute yoga routines will help:

  • Stop back, shoulder and neck pain.
  • Correct posture.
  • Reduce stress throughout the body.
  • Heal your pain through meditation.

Routines include:

  • Morning Stretch to wake up the body slowly and safely.
  • Align the Spine to get the kinks out.
  • Moving Forward to stretch the back.
  • Unwind to loosen neck muscles.

Yoga is a wonderful way to heal back pain and through her teaching, writing, and insights, Rita Trieger continues to redefine the healthy pulse of wellness in America . Rita’s advice is solid, helpful, and easy to follow. – Scott Cole, creator of Discover Tai Chi

Yoga Heals Your Back includes simple, quick yoga routines that promise to stop back, shoulder, and neck pain – it’s a great promise, and one this editor has been trying out. So far so good; the back definitely gets loosened up.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology

Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health [ABRIDGED] by Christiane Northrup (Random House Audio)

With such groundbreaking bestsellers as Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause, Christiane Northrup is one of today’s most trusted and visionary medical experts. In Mother-Daughter Wisdom she presents her most profound and revolutionary approach to women’s health.
According to Northrup, the mother-daughter relationship sets the stage for our state of health and wellbeing for our entire lives. Because our mothers are our first and most powerful female role models, our most deeply ingrained beliefs about ourselves as women come from them. And our behavior in relationships – with food, with our children, with our mates, and with ourselves – is a reflection of those beliefs. Once we understand our mother-daughter bonds, we can rebuild our own health, whatever our age, and create a lasting positive legacy for the next generation.
Mother-Daughter Wisdom introduces a new map of female development, exploring the ‘five facets of feminine power,’ which range from the basics of physical self-care to the discovery of passion and purpose in life.

The book covers:

  • How to lay the nutritional foundation to prevent eating disorders and adult diseases.
  • The truth about the immunization controversy – and the true meaning of immunity.
  • How we can change our genetic health legacy.
  • Why financial literacy is essential to women’s health.
  • How to foster healthy sexuality and future ‘love maps’ in our daughters.
  • How to balance independence with caring, and individual growth with family ties.

Drawing on patient case histories and personal experiences, Northrup presents findings at the cutting edge of medicine and psychology. Mother-Daughter Wisdom provides a blueprint which allows any woman – whether or not she has children – to repair the gaps in her own upbringing and create a better adult relationship with her mother. If she has her own daughter, it will help her be the mother she has always wanted to be.
Written with warmth, enthusiasm, and rare intelligence, Mother-Daughter Wisdom is an indispensable book destined to change lives and become essential reading for all women.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology / Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders, Overeating, and Pathological Attachment to Food: Independent or Addictive Disorders?, edited by Mark S. Gold (Haworth Medical Press)

The CDC has reported that obesity is second only to tobacco as the leading cause of associative deaths in America. Can both be types of substance abuse?

A decade ago, scientists hypothesized that loss of control over eating – which results in obesity – may be a form of addictive behavior. Using direct evidence gathered by the nation's leading experts, Eating Disorders, Overeating, and Pathological Attachment to Food examines the relationship between overeating and addiction. The text is editted by Mark S. Gold, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Community Health & Family Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Chief of the Addiction Medicine Division in the Department of Psychiatry and the department's Vice-Chair for Education. In it readers find case studies, tables, figures, and analyses supporting the hypothesis that there are important similarities between highly desirable foods and the classic addictive substances.

Researchers have only recently come to a consensus that obesity is a disease, but the debate continues as to whether it is related to depression, personality disorders, or addictions. In Eating Disorders, Overeating, and Pathological Attachment to Food, readers gain new insight on:

  • The social and environmental factors related to eating disorders.
  • Problem drinking and eating disorders from a gendered perspective in a college student population.
  • Possible neural interconnections between eating messengers and targets for drugs of abuse.
  • Neuroimaging studies on somatosensory cortex changes and hypothalamus reward responses.
  • Weight gain following supervised abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Contents include:

  • Introduction – Mark S. Gold

  • Overlapping and Interactive Pathways Regulating Appetite and Craving – Salvia P. Kaira and Pushpa S. Kalra
  • Interaction of Satiety and Reward Response to Food Stimulation – G. Andrew James, Gold, and Yijun Liu
  • Similarity Between Obesity and Drug Addiction as Assessed by Neurofunctional Imaging: A Concept Review – Gene-Jack Wand, Nora D. Volkow, Panayotis K. Thanos, and Joanna S. Fowler
  • Adolescent Drug Addiction Treatment and Weight Gain – Candace C. Hodgkins, Kevin S. Cahill, Anne E. Scraphine, Kimberly Frost-Pineda, and Gold
  • Examining Problem Drinking and Eating Disorders from a Gendered Perspective – Connie R. Matthews
  • Genes and/or Jeans?: Genetic and Soeto-Cultural Contributions to Risk for Eating Disorders – Anne E. Becker, Pamela Keel, Eileen P. Anderson-Fye, and Jennifer J. Thomas
  • Body Mass Index and Alcohol Use – Katie D. Kleiner, Gold, Kimberley Frost- Pineda, Barbara Lenz-Brunsman, Michael G. Perri and William S. Jacobs

Few books change the paradigm for major health problems. Mark Gold, MD, has edited one of those especially valuable books. Putting the tag ‘addiction’ on obesity opens up hopeful new avenues of research and treatment as it changes the way the disorder is understood. This book lays out the case for calling eating disorders addictions by relating this form of addiction to those that are more familiar. This perspective not only improves the understanding of eating disorders, but also sheds useful new light on alcohol, other drug, and tobacco addictions. – Robert I.. DuPont, MD, President, Institute for Behavior & Health, Inc., former Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Important.... Dr. Gold, a brilliant addictions researcher, has put together a first­ rate team of authors and scientists to tackle this important problem from a multidisciplinary point of view. The text is well organized and includes current references. The hypotheses generated in the text are challenging and interesting. Kudos to Dr. Gold and his excellent team of authors. – Mark D. Aronson, MD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Vice Chair for Quality, Department of Medicine, and Associate Chief, Division of General Medicine & Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston

With overeating and obesity on the rise, Eating Disorders, Overeating, and Pathological Attachment to Food offers new hope in the quest to help patients and clients successfully conquer their eating disorders and/or substance addictions without substituting one for another. This enlightening book is a step forward for concerted research toward a better understanding of cravings, which can lead to new therapeutic options more suited toward eating disorders and drug addiction. This resource will be of particular interest to psychiatrists and neuroscientists.

Health, Mind & Body / Self-Help

Instant Persuasion by Laurie Puhn (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin) provides thirty-five fast, simple rules that can improve the way readers communicate.

The words we choose – whether we're apologizing, complaining, agreeing, disagreeing, delivering a compliment, or asking for a favor – can make the difference between understanding and misunderstanding, connection and disconnection, getting what we want and watching it slip away. The ability to say the right thing at the right time can influence the people in our lives to listen to us, cooperate with us, respect us, like us – and more.

Lawyer and mediator Laurie Puhn mastered the fine art of verbal persuasion at Harvard Law School. She has taken those complex mediation skills, which are so effective in the courtroom and at the negotiation table, and applied them to everyday life. In Instant Persuasion, Puhn reveals these easy-to-follow rules through real-life stories. The result according to Puhn: the ability to resolve conflict quickly, get what we want more often, and enjoy greater success in our personal and professional lives.

Imagine this scenario. John comes home with a brand-new, large-screen TV. "But it was on sale," he reassures his wife Jane, who is horrified to see this thing in her living room. After all, she and John had agreed not to make any big purchases for a while, to save money. They go back and forth. Eventually realizing his blunder, he apologizes: "I'm sorry." But for some mysterious reason, his apology doesn't make a dent in Jane's anger.

Some Instant Persuasion rules include, for example, how to:

  • Find factual solutions.
  • Be a problem solver.
  • Disagree without being disagreeable.
  • Beware of uncomplimentary compliments.
  • Avoid superficial offers.

Puhn presents readers with a script that allows them to implement these rules in everyday life and change the way they communicate. In each chapter of Instant Persuasion, Puhn shows the wrong way to say something, what she calls a ‘Communication Blunder,’ followed by the simple fix, what she calls a ‘Communication Wonder.’

Laurie Puhn brings to bear her remarkable talents as a lawyer, negotiator and all-around­very smart person on the everyday problems of persuasion. Her brilliant balance of anecdotes and analysis makes this easy-to-read book a must for anyone who wants to change minds – in other words, all of us. – Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Law, Harvard and author of Rights From Wrongs

Instant Persuasion puts values into action. Laurie's message is right on target for success in business and life in general: If we talk to people with respect and show them appreciation, they will be persuaded to treat us the same way. This timely and important book is an excellent reference with rules that teach us how to put our best words forward to achieve the results we want. – Greg Carr, Former Chair of Prodigy Internet

On and off the ice, communicating with Olympic athletes, parents, international judges and the press is crucial to my job as a coach. How and when I say something is as important as what I say. Laurie Puhn's book, Instant Persuasion, provides a practical roadmap to successful communications. – Robin Wagner, 2002 Figure Skating Coach of the Year

For anyone needing a reminder of some essential communication guidelines, this volume is essential. – Publishers Weekly

Instant Persuasion is a tool that has the power to transform friendships, marriages, and careers. A unique communication book, it offers a creative way to reduce stress, resolve conflict, and enrich our relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers. Puhn cleverly translates complex mediation skills into simple, practical communication rules that readers can apply during everyday situations to persuade others to listen to, cooperate with, respect, and like them.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling / Education

Understanding Critical Social Psychology by Keith Tuffin (SAGE Publications) is a new textbook providing a comprehensive and reader-friendly approach to the theories and methods surrounding critical social psychology.

Understanding Critical Social Psychology combines a critical examination of the traditional philosophies, practices and topics with an emphasis on introducing innovative and contemporary developments in social psychological research. In this way, Keith Tuffin, Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology at Massey University, New Zealand, integrates newer insights with established modes of thinking.

Key features of the book include:

  • Student-friendly structure that contains numerous features suitable for undergraduate course use: chapter overviews and summaries, further reading and a tutorial that answers students' questions about critical social psychology.
  • Broad framework that is ideal for students taking a critical social psychology module having already studied a mainstream course.
  • Applied focus tackling key themes in the discipline, i.e. prejudice, politics, identity and emotions from critical perspectives.

Tuffin has written Understanding Critical Social Psychology for students so that is accessible for those who are new to the area. Ideally, students who read this work should have already completed a first course in social psychology; much of what is said here assumes at least an introductory knowledge of the topics and methods of traditional social psychology.

The book provides a bridge between the traditional and the newer critical approaches to the discipline. In making this bridge, Tuffin attempts to remain focused on ‘understanding’, explaining the work of critical social psychologists for students who come to the area with an understanding of mainstream, traditional approaches. What Understanding Critical Social Psychology achieves is to refresh and restate the theoretical and methodological concerns that have been gather­ing momentum as interest in critical alternatives has flourished. It moves beyond criticism and introduce research alternatives that have developed from these growing dissatisfactions.

The book tells a simple story that begins with a critique of mainstream social psychology and looks at the limited ways in which the discipline has delivered on its promise to reveal the secrets of social life. This critique highlights the reasons why social psychology has been constrained in what it has been able to offer. Following this, readers are introduced to a new understanding of the place of language in social psychology. This in turn opens up a series of different orientations that enable social psychology to increase the range of methods it may call on in the pursuit of better understanding the ‘social’ in our lives. One such method, textual analysis, has become a key marker of critical social psychology. This style of analysis is based on a belief in the profound importance of language for understanding the social world. Critical scholars are keenly aware of, and interested in, the importance of language for understanding our social worlds. Having studied, researched and taught social psychology for twenty years, Tuffin documents some changes that have occurred within the discipline over this time.

Structurally, Understanding Critical Social Psychology features six substantive chapters. These chapters are framed by a Prologue and an Epilogue, which should be regarded as half chapters. This book is not an encyclopedic overview of the full complexities of this area, but rather a modest attempt to introduce some new ideas current in critical social psychology. The material covered may be classified into three broad sections. The first section (Chapters One and Two) examines and critiques existing practices within social psychology. The second section (Chapters Three and Four) lays the philosophical groundwork for an alternative way of thinking about social life and sketches an alternative, language-based orientation to research within social psychology. The third and final section of the book (Chapters Five and Six) includes material that offers a contrast between the way selected topics have traditionally been studied and how they have been examined by critical social psychologists.

Chapter One critiques traditional social psychological research methods. These methods are illustrated by taking three well-known studies in experimental social psychology and analyzing these in terms of critical concerns about method­ology and ethics. Tuffin argues that these studies are weakened by their reliance on plac­ing participants in artificial situations and deceiving them about the social reality they find themselves in. In Chapter Two the orientation moves from methodology to an examination of the theory behind the methods of mainstream social psychology. This chapter is oriented to the question of why mainstream social psychology has aligned itself so closely with positivism and experimentalism. Doubts are raised regarding the appropriateness of positivism as the guiding philosophy for social psychology because of the way it encourages reductionism and individualism.

Chapter Three suggests that a quiet revolution is taking place within the discipline of social psychology. An alternative paradigm, which rests on the view that we are compulsive users and consumers of language, is introduced. The constructionist view argues that language is active and constructive, and, most importantly, that our psychological experiences are inseparable from language. The chapter concludes with a number of comparisons between experimental and critical work. Chapter Four introduces readers to an approach to research that comes out of the work of discursive psychology. The action orientation of talk and text is a basic tenet of discursive research. Further, readers are introduced to some of the details of conducting analysis.

Chapter Five focuses on prejudice and racism, beginning with a historical review of the area. This review includes coverage of traditional approaches to understanding and conducting research in the area of prejudice. These features provide a powerful resource that allows racist talk to appear reasonable and allows the unsayable to be said. In Chapter Six the topics of emotion, identity and politics are considered from a critical perspective. Emotion from the traditional perspective of social psychology is private, internal and closely linked to physiology. Critical views of emotion place it as public, constructed through the ways in which it is talked about, and working to serve important interpersonal functions. Within traditional mainstream social psychology identity is assumed to be part of the essential core of the person. The critical view of identity is to argue that it is a changing psychological resource that is sensitive to context. Thus the argument is made that identity is something that people do, rather than have.

The book concludes with an Epilogue that tidies up some loose ends and restates the basic message of Understanding Critical Social Psychology. Firstly, the ‘shame’ of social psychology is revisited, where the discipline's dedication to individualism is reiterated and critiqued. Secondly, the relationship between critical and traditional social psychology is reviewed. Thirdly, criticality is revisited with the point being reiterated that different critical authors will emphasize differing aspects of criticality. The importance of accessible language precedes the conclusion which highlights the positive aspects of critical social psychology.

Keith Tuffin has written this short book with the needs of undergraduate students as its priority. It is written in a beautifully clear, engaging and conversational style which will make the book accessible and appealing to those encountering critical ideas for the first time. I will certainly be recommending it to my second and third year undergraduates. – Dr.Viv Burr, University of Huddersfield

Written in a straightforward style, Understanding Critical Social Psychology will be welcomed by undergraduates seeking to develop their understanding of critical social psychology, and social psychology more generally, venturing beyond the traditional philosophies, methods and topics of the discipline. It does justice to the breadth of interests critical social psychologists have, putting many of the ideas of critical social psychology, previously not in any textbook, into an accessible and coherent framework. The book also presents abstractions and complexities in a user-friendly manner, thereby opening the field of critical social psychology to a broader range of students.

Health, Mind & Body / Men’s Health / Reproduction

The Male Biological Clock: The Startling News about Aging, Sexuality, and Fertility in Men by Harry Fisch, with Stephen Braun (Free Press)

Conventional wisdom holds that men never have to worry about getting too old to father children. After all, Saul Bellow became a father at age 85, making Tony Randall seem like a young new dad at 72. "Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom is wrong." attests Harry Fisch, M.D., one of the nation's leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility.

Yet men have biological clocks too, reveals Fisch, in The Male Biological Clock. But while men's clocks don't strike a ‘ midnight ’ toll heralding an end to fertility the way menopause does for women, male fertility, testosterone levels, and sexuality all do decline with age. Fisch, Director of the Male Reproductive Center at Columbia University Medical Center, with the help of Stephen Braun, award-winning medical writer, reveals the little­known facts of life about older men and declining virility. For starters, among the nearly six million Americans struggling to overcome infertility each year, the problem lies with the man in an astonishing 40 percent of couples. Yet, as Fisch contends, the epidemic of male infertility has been largely overlooked in the last decade or so, as partners have tended to wait longer to start a family and doctors themselves have given birth to a lucrative industry for ‘fixing’ female infertility with in vitro fertilization and other high-tech procedures.

The Male Biological Clock emphasizes that even young men can have testosterone levels as low as those of much older men, leading to infertility, sexual problems, and other serious health issues. Another startling revelation is that men over thirty-five are twice as likely to be infertile as men younger than twenty-five. In addition, as men age, the quality of their sperm declines significantly, giving rise to an increased chance of a Down syndrome baby, other genetic abnormalities, and miscarriage. Every couple should know all the risks and issues facing men, because these affect two of the most important things in their life: their ability to have children and their capacity to have good sex.

Fisch tells frustrated, desperate couples the truth about the male biological clock and how it 'ticks.' As men age, the count and quality of sperm, testosterone level, and sexual function wind down. With his own extensive research and over fifteen years devoted to treating thousands of men with sexual problems, Fisch offers couples proven strategies for slowing the clock and even rewinding it. And he offers men a practical guide to maintaining peak sexual vitality through lifestyle changes, including:

  • Lose weight and eat a balanced diet. (High cholesterol and diabetes are both significant risk factors for erectile dysfunction.)
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and recreational drugs, including anabolic steroids.
  • Stay away from saunas and hot tubs, which can inhibit or harm sperm formation.

This groundbreaking book carries an extraordinarily important message for the millions of couples who struggle with fertility issues and with the misinformation and emotional turmoil surrounding them: Fertility problems are not just a women's issue. Dr. Fisch tells the story of the overlooked partner in 'baby making' and sexuality – the man. His recommendations are must reading for men and the women who love them. – Pamela Madsen, executive director, American Fertility Association

This book by Dr. Harry Fisch is by far the best comprehensive guide on male reproduction yet. Every man (and also every woman) should read it since it puts in plain words and in a completely unique way so many sides of male sexuality, fertility, and aging. I could not leave it out of my sight once I started reading it. – Dr. Jacques Cohen, scientific director of assisted reproduction, St. Barnabas Medical Center

Male sexuality is a topic discussed far more by stand-up comics than by responsible physicians. Dr. Harry Fisch's book is a fascinating, well-written guide that provides enormous amounts of informa­tion that men – and their partners – of all ages will find useful and informative. – Robert Bazell, chief science correspondent, NBC News

Eye-opening and encouraging, The Male Biological Clock offers hope for couples eager to become parents and to stay sexually intimate and fulfilled – a must-read. Many of Fisch's findings are startling – beginning with the fact that infertility is not mostly a women's problem – and he offers helpful suggestions for how to deal with declining testosterone, changing sexual needs, and the fertility industry. The book is filled with simple, effective medical treatments, from using an erection-enhancing pill to clearing up an unrecognized infection with antibiotics.

Health, Mind & Body / Self-Help / Biographies & Memoirs

A Brother's Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuse by Richard B. Pelzer (Warner Books)

"Mom has no one like David around to beat on anymore. I am more afraid of her than ever.... I get in more trouble for anything I do or say. Now I find that I'm always in trouble and I don't know why. Now that David is gone, I'm afraid that she will try to kill me, like she tried to kill him. I'm afraid that she will treat me like an animal like she did him. I'm afraid that now I'm her IT."

The Pelzer family's secret life of fear and abuse was first revealed in Dave Pelzer's inspiring New York Times bestseller, A Child Called "It." In it Dave Pelzer told a story of horrific abuse, describing the terrible treatment he received at the hands of his mother and his brother Richard. Fortunately for Dave, he was removed from the Pelzer household by the time he was twelve years old.

However unfortunately for Richard, his mother needed a new scapegoat for her wrath, a new target for her alcohol-fueled anger. Turning to her middle son, she began treating him the same way she had treated Dave. Now it was Richard who received nocturnal beatings, had Tabasco sauce poured down his throat, was denied clean clothes, and was kicked and slapped to the point of needing hospitalization. Abuse became the reality of Richard Pelzer's daily life. Yet he survived.

In A Brother's Journey Dave’s brother Richard Pelzer tells the story of his abusive childhood. From tormenting his brother Dave, to becoming himself the focus of his mother's wrath, to his ultimate liberation – here is a horrifying glimpse at what existed behind closed doors in the Pelzer home.

…As Pelzer details his outward struggle to survive – learning to fall asleep with his eyes open, for example – and his internal efforts to understand and rise above his circumstances, he assaults readers with the graphic facts, told in surprisingly matter-of-fact language, about being beaten bloody for falling asleep when he was supposed to be awake, and being forbidden to bathe and forced to eat scraps from a dog bowl. Family members (including Pelzer's father), neighbors and teachers were aware of the abuse but did nothing to help, and Pelzer credits outsiders, especially his friend Ben, with finally ‘allowing’ him to see himself more clearly. By looking back at – and then releasing – the image of the skinny, red-haired boy who wanted nothing more than his mother's love, Pelzer discovers his true spirit, which he shares courageously and selflessly here in the hope of healing himself, as well as raising awareness of and preventing child abuse. – Publishers Weekly

It is my sincere hope that Richard’s story will help others with an unfortunate past to become productive, responsible, and fulfilled adults. – Dave Pelzer

Richard Pelzer's touching account is a testament to the strength of the human heart and its capacity to triumph over almost unimaginable trauma. A Brother's Journey is a troubling and courageous story from the brother who was first abuser, then abused.

History / Europe

Kosovo: Facing the Court of History by Branislav Krstić-Brano (Humanity Books)

Using his thirty years' experience in regional and city planning and cultural heritage within the territories of the former Yugoslavia , Branislav Krstić-Brano in Kosovo explains the history and the complex causes and consequences of the ethnic and territorial conflict that erupted in bloody confrontation throughout Kosovo in the late nineties.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach, Krstić-Brano, professor in the postgraduate faculty of the Belgrade School of Architecture, vice president of the Coordinating Center of the Yugoslav federal government and the government of the Republic of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija, examines demographic changes. He also looks at ethnic development of settlements; land ownership; Serbian and Albanian historical monuments, whose listing and preservation are regulated by international conventions; changes in state constitutions; the role of international law in resolving national disputes; and the great powers' strategy for dealing with the Kosovo crisis.

The crux of the problem, Krstić-Brano shows, is that two peoples claim legitimate rights to the same territory: the Serbs claim a historical right and the Albanians counter that they have an ethnic one. Without favoring either side, the author presents the facts regarding the unique Serbian cultural heritage in the province and the rapid growth of the local Albanian population in the last four decades. Krstić-Brano illustrates how the great powers waged war but failed to ensure peace. He constructs a viable solution to the cultural, ethnic, and political strife – one that he hopes will satisfy both sides of the conflict.

Kosovo is composed of two books, each previously published. Part one came into being at the time when the Kosovo conflict was resolvable within Serbia. Findings of Krstić-Brano’s earlier investigations led to the assumption that the two mentioned rights, from a territorial standpoint, were not irreconcilable. Hence, it was worthwhile to investigate the substance, scope, and range of these two rights and, respecting them both, examine possibilities for their reconciliation. Krstić-Brano focused his investigations on six exact, but complementary, courses: population, settlements, territories, architectural heritage, land ownership, and – as a receptacle of these courses – the constitutional transformation of the state. These form the backbone of the first part (chapters 1-13), published in 1994 as a book titled Kosovo between the Historical and Ethnic Right. In Kosovo that book is given in an abridged form.

Part two of Kosovo was written at the time of the conflict internationalization and occupation of Kosovo by NATO forces. Part two (chapters 14-17 of Kosovo) is essentially different from the first part. Krstić-Brano could not stand indifferent before the dramatic events occurring in Kosovo and concerning Kosovo: the abandoning of the peace option by Serbia, armed conflict between the state authorities and the ethnic Albanian community, a threat of military intervention against FRY, Rambouillet, NATO aggression, the ceding of Kosovo, its occupa­tion by NATO forces, UNSC resolution 1244 (June 1999), and so on. With the new events, successively, he was adding new chapters. In early 2000, he concluded that further developments would not essentially change the situation, and joined together the period in which the crisis was managed by Serbia with the period in which it was managed by the big powers. This second book, as well, was completed at the time of Milosevic's regime, so it was published in the author's edition under the title Kosovo Facing the Court of History.

In writing about the events, Krstić-Brano tried to avoid the role of a historian or a journalist. He made efforts to organize and present facts about events, stands, and activities of three respective factors in the resolving of the conflict: Serbia, the ethnic Albanian community, and the big powers, not in the form of a chronology of events, but rather as an attempt to grasp the essence, motives, and strategy of the protagonists – because these were determining the direction and outcome of the developments. If Kosovo would provide part of the proofs for the establishment of responsibility, then it would well serve its purpose.

Kosovo has become a metaphor of the key contradictions of the post-cold-war world. There is no convincing evidence that NATO has been successful in ensuring peace and normal life for Kosovo citizens. The ethnic cleansing of Albanians has been replaced with the ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Montenegrins, and Roma, along with the emergence of an independent, ethnically pure territory. It simply could have not been any different, because in the carrying out of its strategic goals, NATO has replaced the domination of the one side with the domination of the other side. The essence of the conflict has not been changed. Therefore, the Security Council as well shall have to stand the trial of history, because by its role in Kosovo, contrary to its original role, it has as a matter of fact consented to be the long arm of the superpower that has assumed world leadership.

Krstić-Brano concludes on a cautiously optimistic note, arguing that the international community has a new opportunity to reconcile the Serbs and Albanians on the basis of population size, land ownership, and origin of cultural monuments.

Kosovo is clearly written. This important work by a recognized expert in regional culture, urban planning, and politics should be read by everyone interested in a peaceful future for this long troubled region. Let us hope that the years of research Krstić-Brano has done may contribute to a better understanding of the situation and a more rational approach.

History / Americas / Native American

The Renewed, the Destroyed, and the Remade: The Three Thought Worlds of the Iroquois and the Huron, 1609-1650 by Roger M. Carpenter ( Michigan State University Press)

Native American history for three centuries has been dominated by two major themes. The first is ‘The Cant of Conquest,’ the notion that all native peoples who came into contact with Europeans suffered devastating effects due to disease, alcohol, and warfare. But the argument can be made that in some cases native peoples controlled their own fortunes, at least for a while. The other dominant theme is the ‘The Contest of Cultures,’ the idea that Native American history needs to be examined in the context of their dealings with Europeans. Europeans changed the Americas, but this approach concerns colonialism and colonists as well as Native Americans.

In The Renewed, the Destroyed, and the Remade Roger M. Carpenter, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Saskatchewan , examines the changing worldviews of the Huron and the Iroquois in the first half of the seventeenth century during a period of increasing European contact. From Samuel de Champlain's armed encounter with the Iroquois in 1609, to the dispersal of the Huron in the mid-seventeenth century, Carpenter's book traces the evolving thought worlds of Iroquoian peoples.

In a comparative study, Roger Carpenter argues that the thought-worlds of the Hurons and Five Nations Iroquois were complexly intertwined, as the two Iroquoian-speaking peoples shared a mythic origin. At the same time, they shared the historic world of the early 17th century as each confronted the French, Dutch and British. Carpenter reconsiders how the Hurons and Five Nations were differently able to incorporate disparate European cultural elements, ranging from metal trade goods to religious concepts. He reminds us that the Native/European encounter was neither wholly negative nor wholly positive for Native peoples and that Hurons and Five Nations Iroquois incorporated European goods selectively according to their own needs and on their own terms. Further­more, he argues that both nations sought to understand Europeans in the framework of their own intellectual concepts of renewing, destroying and remaking the world. Their varying degrees of success, he reminds us, were due to each nation's unique historical circumstances. – Rebecca Kugel, author of To Be The Main Leaders of Our People; A History of Minnesota Ojibwe Politics, 1825-1898

Carpenter's original work is superb and will stimulate future thought and scholarship that will continue our conversation about a dramatic era of our past. – Clifford E. Trafzer University of California, Riverside

Provocative, well researched and original, The Renewed, the Destroyed, and the Remade examines the Iroquois and the Huron through an analysis of their worldviews and in the process redefines our understanding of the impacts of Europeans coming to the new world.

History / U.S. Leaders / Biographies & Memoirs

The Presidents, First Ladies, and Vice Presidents: White House Biographies, 1789-2005 by Daniel C. Diller & Stephen L. Robertson (CQ Press)

On January 6, 2005 , Congress formally counted the electoral votes: 286 for George W. Bush, 251 for John Kerry, and 1 for John Edwards. The Presidents, First Ladies, and Vice Presidents has been updated to include the results of the 2004 presidential election plus new information on security issues and updates on former office holders.

In the months leading up to the 2004 presidential election, political pundits debated the parallels between the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush, theorizing whether the younger Bush would repeat his father's experience and lose his bid for a second term. John Quincy Adams – the son of President John Adams and the first son of a president to be elected to the presiden­cy (in 1824) became the first son to lose a reelection bid (in 1828). George W. Bush the second son of a president to be elected president (in 2000) – became the first son to win reelection.

The election of 2004 generated fervor, anxiety, and anger like few before it. A number of issues – terrorism, the war in Iraq, the economy, and, as it turns out, ‘moral values’ energized an avalanche of new voters, led to unprecedented amounts of campaign contributions and spending, and produced a race for the presidency whose winner could not be predicted. Bush ultimately defeated Democrat John Kerry in the electoral college.

Thus far in U.S. history, forty-two individuals have served as president. History views some of them, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as great because of the leadership they exhibited in, respectively, guiding the formation of the U.S. government, fighting to preserve the Union , and steering the nation from depression to economic recovery. The majority of past presidents have been capable chief executives, governing in times of peace and prosperity. A few have been categorized as failures, yet the lives of every U.S. president, whether great or barely noteworthy, remain fascinating because they are so closely tied to the history of the nation.

Along with the president, the first lady has always been one of the most prominent individuals in the United States . Americans have generally watched and admired how these women handled their responsibilities as wives and mothers while fulfilling that of White House hostess. In the modern era, in addition to performing traditional roles assumed by the first lady, women in this position have taken on more public ones, such as traveling abroad as a representative of the United States , promoting social causes, or participating in the work of the administration.

The Constitution originally awarded the vice presidency to the second-place finisher in the electoral college vote. Highly respected American leaders John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were first elected vice president before later becoming president. After passage in 1804 of the Twelfth Amendment, which requires a separate vote for president and vice president, what little luster accompanied the vice presidency disappeared, and the position sank in esteem. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, however, with the advent of the nuclear era and homeland security issues, the importance of the vice president's role as successor to the president reemerged. Since 1945 three vice presidents – Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Gerald R. Ford – have assumed the presidency after the death or resignation of an elected president. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 , attacks against the United States , Vice President Richard Cheney often spent time in an ‘undisclosed location’ as a security measure, should anything happen to the president. Given the importance of presidential succession post September 11, and with the vice presidency now widely seen as a stepping-stone to a presidential nomination, the office has gained in stature and influence.

The first chapter of The Presidents, First Ladies, and Vice Presidents opens with a short look at the president's day-to-day living and work arrangements in the White House, including discussions of recreational activities and the new structure and procedures of the Secret Service following the September 11 attacks.

In the second chapter, biographies of the presidents examine their early lives, political careers and campaigns, and years in the White House, focusing especially on events during their terms in office. In addition to presenting biographies of the first ladies, the third chapter profiles presidents' wives who were not first ladies, White House hostesses for presidents who did not have wives during their terms in the White House and surrogate White House hostesses for first ladies who were unable, usually for health reasons, to fulfill their social duties. Biographies of the vice presidents comprise the final chapter. Photographs accompany the biographies.

New to this edition are updated biographies for President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, and Vice President Richard Cheney; the Secret Service's transfer from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security and other post-September 11 security-related issues; and updated information on former office-holders, including Ronald Reagan's death, Jimmy Carter's Nobel Prize, and the post-presidential career of Bill Clinton and that of former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. A detailed index concludes The Presidents, First Ladies, and Vice Presidents.

High school and other introductory-level history students continue to enjoy the personal approach of the biographies in The Presidents, First Ladies, and Vice Presidents, which highlight daily life issues as well as public actions and accomplishments.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Great Paper Crafts: Ideas, Tips, and Techniques by Judy Ritchie & Jamie Kilmartin, with Deborah Cannarella (Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc.)

The texture, color, and weight of paper constantly stimulate our senses. How often do we reach out to smooth the cool surface of an elegant sheet, to feel the rough texture of a handmade paper, or ruffle the edges of delicate tissue paper? It's almost impossible to resist. And working with paper is just as irresistible!

Sticker art, pierced paper, paper weaving and bargello, paper folding, collage, altered books – readers will find them all in Great Paper Crafts, many with step-by-step instructions.

Paper crafting encompasses two of the largest categories in the craft industry: rubber stamping and scrap booking. Rubber stamping has evolved beyond the stamp-color-layer process; stampers are experimenting with origami, paper quilting, and various three-dimensional looks. Scrap booking is no longer a simple cut and paste operation; emphasis has shifted to scrapbooks that reflect a family's personality instead of just photos placed in albums.

Nothing lets family and friends know they are cared for more than a personal, handmade card or package. Great Paper Crafts, written by Judy Ritchie and Jamie Kilmartin, owners of The Great American Stamp Store in Westport, CT, brings readers projects ranging from simple to complex – gathered from paper craft artists and suppliers around the country. Projects range from sticker art, punch art, pierced paper, paper weaving, and tea bag folding, to origami, iris folding, quilling, collage, and altered books. Clear, easy-to-follow instructions are accompanied by full-color images. With stickers and papers from Mrs. Grossman's Paper Company, punched projects from Punch Bunch, quilling projects from Jan Williams and Lake City Craft Company, pierced paper projects from Ecstasy Crafts, paper weaving and bargello projects from Magenta Rubber Stamps, paper folding projects from Hanko Design and Moote Points, collage, altered books, torn paper, embossing, and punched projects from Petite Motifs. Great Paper Crafts presents ideas for scrapbooks, handmade greeting cards, gift wrap, bags, tags, party invitations, decorations and favors. At least one project in each chapter has illustrated step-by-step instructions to help recreate it.

Packed with fresh ideas for making greeting cards, gift wrap, bags, tags, party invitations, decorations, favors, boxes, frames, ornaments, and more – here are all the best paper-based projects, gathered from the nation's top paper-craft artists and suppliers. Instructions on how to make many of the projects are included along with generously sized full-color images of each project. Great Paper Crafts offers the inspiration and the information readers need to create their own unique handmade paper crafts.

Home & Garden / Gardening

The Big Book of Northwest Perennials: Choosing, Growing, Tending by Marty Wingate, with photographs by Jacqueline Koch (Sasquatch Books)

Returning with showy brilliance year after year, perennials continue to be the center of gardening interest both nationally and regionally. Perennials – plants that grow for at least three years in the garden – are the best choices for gardeners seeking a year-round succession of flowers, form, and foliage. But where do readers start when there are thousands of flowers to choose from?

In The Big Book of Northwest Perennials, master gardener, garden columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Marty Wingate and news and garden photographer Jacqueline Koch present a guide to the best perennials for Northwestern climates. The book is filled with specific advice on how to select the best type and quality. Readers will find advice on how to best to use each plant in the garden. The book also has recommendations on pairing – which perennials work best together based on similar light and water needs. Finally, the book also contains ideas on how to design and maintain a perennial garden, including tasks for each season.

The Big Book of Northwest Perennials is a handy, gorgeous and definitive guide. This extensive and colorful resource helps readers select the ‘best’ perennials for Pacific Northwest growing conditions. Wingate's easy-to-follow instructions on caring for perennials are enhanced by Koch's lovely photos, which fill the book with color.

Home & Garden / Home Improvement

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements, Illustrated by David J. Tenenbaum (Alpha)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements, Illustrated, written by David J. Tenenbaum, magazine and staff writer for The Why Files, author of nine how-to books, is a definitive guide taking readers step-by-step through the most popular improvements around the house – from installing wood, laminate, and ceramic tile flooring to resurfacing countertops. The book provides instructions for other common projects such as framing a new interior wall, upgrading windows and doors, and more. It includes a visual glossary with 300-400 how-to photos and illustrations.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements, Illustrated provides step-by-step instructions for tackling common house projects efficiently and safely. In this illustrated Complete Idiot's Guide, readers get over 30 projects they can do themselves to add beauty and function to their homes. The book provides a pro's advice on what tools they should have in the home workshop – and how to keep them in good working condition. And readers get safety tips to keep them out of harm's way.

Examples of projects:

  • Build an archway.
  • Construct built-in bookshelves.
  • Dress up a wall with wainscoting.
  • Crown a room with molding.
  • Install hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile, or vinyl flooring.
  • Frame and finish a sleeping loft.
  • Tile a kitchen countertop or back­splash.
  • Learn how to build a stud wall and hang drywall.
  • Replace a sink, fixture, or toilet.
  • Brighten up a room by installing a sun tube.
  • Make electrical improvements safely, ­from running cable through walls to upgrading ground fault outlets.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements, Illustrated is aimed at the true beginner – instruction is presented in a non-intimidating, visually accessible format. With photos and illustrations and easy-to-understand how-to instructions, readers will be able to make repairs and improvements themselves without having to call expensive contractors.

Law / Criminal Justice / Reference

Criminal Justice: A Brief Introduction (6th Edition) by Frank Schmalleger (Pearson Prentice Hall)

Offering the latest information in a concise source, Criminal Justice, written by Frank Schmalleger, Professor Emeritus, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke,  focuses on the crime picture in America. It covers the three traditional elements of the criminal justice system: police, courts, and corrections. It reflects ever-changing crime statistics, newsworthy events involving American law enforcement, precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court decisions, rapidly breaking changes in correctional practice, and current career opportunities.
Criminal Justice features real-life stories that are designed to capture and sustain the attention of its readers, helping them achieve a comprehensive understanding of the concepts. It explores how the criminal justice system balances individual rights (freedom) with the need for public order (safety). It explores the new environment of the ongoing threat of domestic terrorism; with its updated research and statistics, this edition is the most timely and relevant resource available. Real-life examples of current issues and topics in the criminal justice system round out comprehensive coverage of criminology, multiculturalism, crime reporting, criminal law, policing, adjudication and the court system, and the corrections system. The book also contains comprehensive appendices, an online resource guide and the complete text of the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Features include:

  • A thematic approach – The book's ‘safety vs. freedom’ theme, present since the first edition – and contrasting the justice system's twin goals of ensuring public order and safety while guaranteeing individual rights – is more relevant today than ever before.
  • Timely content – The most up-to-date brief text available, the sixth edition highlights the latest news stories, the most up-to-date crime statistics, the hottest emerging trends and the most recent court decisions that impact the criminal justice system of today.
  • Accessible technology – The book's free award-winning Companion Website is integrated seamlessly throughout the text, providing students with access to a wealth of resources on the World Wide Web. These resources include a text-specific online study guide, breaking crime and justice news, the latest research and government-sponsored studies and thousands of links to important websites and online readings.

New features of the sixth edition include:

  • Police Terrorism Response: The most recent information on counter-terrorism initiatives by America 's police.
  • The Juvenile Justice System: New e-material detailing the special needs of juveniles in the criminal justice system.
  • Real People, Real Jobs: Personal profiles of working criminal justice personnel.
  • Islamic Law: Expanded coverage of Islamic law as it forms the basis of legal systems in a number of countries, as well as a discussion about how Islamic law differs from Islamic extremism.
  • CompStat and Computerized Investigations: Updated coverage of today's most sophisticated crime-fighting technology.
  • Less-lethal Technology: New coverage of cutting-edge technologies available to today's police.

An introductory text for students and criminal justice professionals alike, focusing on police, courts and corrections, and highlighting the need to balance respect for the rights of the individual with the interests of society. Covers the Uniform Crime Reports program; sources and types of criminal law; police administration; adjudication and sentencing; the criminal trial; and prisons. … – Book News, Inc.

Hallmark features have made Criminal Justice the most widely read brief college criminal justice textbook form the core of this eighth edition. This sixth edition of Criminal Justice continues to offer instructors and students a trusted, authoritative and impeccably researched introduction to the criminal justice system in America . This book is an excellent reference for all involved in the criminal justice system.

Mysteries & Thrillers

Improbable: A Novel by Adam Fawer (William Morrow)

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. – Sherlock Holmes

The new talent of Adam Fawer, former CEO at About.com, bursts on to the thriller scene with a work of fiction, a story of chance, fate, and numbers, and one man's journey past the boundaries of the possible into the chilling realm of the ... Improbable.

After nightfall, David Caine inhabits a world of risk, obsession, rich rewards, and sudden, destructive downfalls. A compulsive gambler possessing a brilliant mathematical mind – and an uncanny ability to calculate odds in the blink of an eye – he prowls the underground poker clubs of Manhattan , winning more than he loses. But Caine is a man prone to crippling epileptic incidents – and one night he makes a costly miscalculation, suffering the most intense seizure he has ever experienced. And his life spins madly out of control.

Desperate to regain his equilibrium, he agrees to test an experimental drug with unnerving side effects. Suddenly he is having visions of the past, present, and future; either peering through a window into an alternate reality or teetering on the precipice of a psychotic breakdown. Chemistry and destiny have colluded to grant Caine the astonishing ability to foresee the consequences of his actions and the probability of various outcomes, both good and terrible. But with his ‘gift’ comes grave danger, for he is not the only one who knows his secret. Frightening powers operating from the shadows now want him for their own, forcing Caine to seek help from a most improbable ally – a beautiful rogue CIA agent skilled in the death arts – on a desperate race for survival with his sanity hanging by the slenderest of threads.

I was hooked from the first sentence, turning pages like a poker addict flipping cards, desperate for a royal flush. Improbable is an ingenious melding of thought-provoking mathematical theories and thriller mayhem, reminiscent of Michael Crichton and Robert Ludlum. A truly great read. – Ben Mezrich, bestselling author of Bringing Down the House

Adam Fawer put the pedal to the metal and never lets up. Improbable combines a compelling and sympathetic hero, action on full-forward, and a nice touch of weirdness. You’ll be glad you were along for the ride. – James S. Thayer, author of Five Past Midnight

…Although this brisk read is full of seat-of-the-pants and keep-you-guessing action, it occasionally gets bogged down in dry scientific explanations of probability theory and quantum mechanics (which can always be skipped over).This freshman offering from Fawer is highly recommended for both adventure and sf readers.  – Booklist

A riveting amalgam of explosive action, ingenious twists and turns, and brilliant extrapolation, Fawer's debut, Improbable, is the novel of the year. In the tradition of The Rule of Four and The Da Vinci Code, Improbable’s accessible prose weaves a the wild ride together with dynamic characters and straightforward explanations of historical and modern theories of mathematics, probability, quantum physics and psychology.

Mysteries & Thrillers / Occult

Now You See Her by Cecelia Tishy ( Regina Cutter Mysteries: Mysterious Press)

In Now You See Her a suddenly psychic 40-something divorcee uses her newly acquired ability in this, the premier novel in a new series by Cecelia Tishy, professor of American literature at Vanderbilt University and author of the popular Kate Banning mystery series.

Regina Cutter is the mother of two grown children and the victim of her husband’s midlife crisis. Out of a marriage, an income, and a place to live, she has relocated to Boston ’s Back Bay where her psychic aunt bequeathed her a townhouse – and some paranormal ability. Adjusting to her new middle-class life and taking on a new job as a police psychic, Reggie is called upon to help prove the false imprisonment of a drug felon and end the possible haunting of a recently renovated townhouse. It’s quite a long way from bemoaning a broken marriage, and newly minted psychic Cutter is just getting started.

Reggie's two grown children worry about her, but she's happier than she's ever been. But even her sixth sense doesn't prepare her for Detective Frank Devaney's request: to determine once and for all if he put the right man behind bars thirteen years ago. The crime was murder, the victim a politi­cian's son, and though the evidence was slim, the brass pushed for a quick arrest. To this day the prisoner, sentenced to life, has never stopped proclaiming his innocence.

A case this cold sounds like a dead end. But before Reggie can politely refuse, she gets a ‘hot tip,’ a fiery sensation below her ribcage as she reads a letter from the prisoner. In between visits to the murder site and talks with folks who lived nearby at the time, Reggie does her ‘real job’ – working at a resale-clothing store for cash-strapped women reentering the workplace – walks the Beagle she shares with a scruffy motorcycle enthusiast, R. K. Stark, who wants her to learn to ride. Now nothing can stop her from burning up the pavement, doing old-fashioned legwork as she searches for the truth.

Long-vanished clues are tough to coax out, and a fledgling psychic's ability can be unreliable. Add a crime scene turned luxury high-rise, a Back Bay house erupting in weird noises, a mumbling bag lady, and an entrepreneur working in a white limo – and Reggie is wishing for ESP on demand. It may be the only thing that could save her when her investigation into the past leads to new and pressing danger...

In, Now You See Her, an appealing mix of foolish enthusiasm and derring-do, Reggie make a reasonably credible and quite likable amateur detective, and Tishy does a good job conveying the feel of contemporary Boston . We’ll be hearing more from this new detective.

Mysteries & Thrillers

Shadow Family by Miyuki Miyabe, translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter (Kodansha International) is a compelling new mystery from the author of All She Was Worth.

Shadow Family takes place in Tokyo where the police, who are investigating the murder of middle-aged office worker named Mr. Ryosuke Tokoroda and his college-aged girlfriend. They discover email correspondence linking the victim with members of an online fantasy family, in which he plays the part of ‘Dad.’ Meanwhile, his real-life teenage daughter is assigned police protection after complaining of being stalked.

The investigation focuses increasingly on the Shadow family, as there is evidence that the members emerged from the chat room and started meeting up offline. Mr. Nakamoto, a head detective who is in the hospital, convinces his superiors to allow the team to conduct a controversial experiment that involves questioning members of the Internet 'family,' while Kazumi watches from behind a two-way mirror to see if she recognizes any of them. During these sessions, Kazumi talks about her feelings toward her Mom, her dead father, and her boyfriend with whom she is constantly text-messaging on her cell phone.

Veteran Desk Sergeant Takegami finds himself unexpectedly in center stage of the investigation after his colleague is hospitalized. Adding to his surprise, he is partnered with his old friend Detective Chikako Ishizu after a break of fifteen years. Working on a hunch, they collaborate to unravel the fine line between fantasy and the harsh reality of murder. As the story unfolds, we are drawn into a psychological drama that pits real life and illusion against each other in astonishing ways.

Shadow Family is written by Miyuki Miyabe a full-time writer living in Tokyo , recipient of numerous literary prizes. With her taut writing style and expert pacing, author Miyabe is best known for her extensively researched crime fiction, which explores Japan ’s real-life social issues.

[A] theatrical plot swirls with the naked emotions of deeply unhappy people yearning for an idealized family life. – The New York Times Book Review
Offers more than a classic whodunit plot; explores a less-charted human lust – for family connection – not for romantic love. – Romantic Times Book Club

In Shadow Family, family ties can be murder, even if they've been forged online ... a clever puzzle whose commentary on the fragility and reinvention of families gives it a special edge. – Kirkus Reviews

Shadow Family is a compelling murder mystery focusing on the murky world of Internet chat rooms populated by people from all walks of life. Within a skillful web of intrigue, this taut police procedural sensitively explores the ultimate breakdown of the nuclear family, Japanese style. Shadow Family keeps readers guessing until the very end.

Politics / Terrorism

Terrorism for Self-Glorification: The Herostratos Syndrome by Albert Borowitz (The Kent State University Press)

In this study of the roots of terrorism, author Albert Borowitz assesses the phenomenon of violent crime motivated by a craving for notoriety or self-glorification. Borowitz, retired partner from the international law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, in Terrorism for Self-Glorification traces this particular brand of terrorism back to 356 BCE and the destruction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus by arsonist Herostratos. He then examines similar crimes through history to the present time, detailing examples of what he calls the ‘Herostratos Syndrome,’ such as the attempted explosion of the Greenwich Observatory in 1894, the Taliban’s destruction of the giant Buddhas in Afghanistan, the assassination of John Lennon, the Unabomber strikes, and the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings. According to Borowitz, the study of terrorism requires interdisciplinary inquiry. Demonstrating that terrorism cannot be the exclusive focus of a single field of scholarship, he presents this complex subject using sources based in religion, philosophy, history, Greek mythology, and world literature, including works of Chaucer, Cervantes, Mark Twain, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Albert Borowitz's wide-ranging and erudite essay deals with an aspect of terrorist motivation which has been almost wholly neglected by students of this subject and deserves to be read widely. It does not offer a magic key to a complicated subject, but it should not be omitted from view – as unfortunately it was for a long time. – Walter Laqueur, Distinguished Scholar, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., and author of No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-first Century

... With this brilliant, original, engaging work on terrorism, Borowitz's Terrorism for Self-Glorification takes its place in the tradition of our best academic essayists and intellectual explorers, and he joins the ranks as one of the best transdisciplinary essayists of our day. – James R. Elkins, editor, Legal Studies Forum

This absorbing book is lucid, learned, and downright scary. Expertly crossing boundaries of time, space, and culture, Al Borowitz studies history and literature to reveal how a warped desire for fame has triggered terrorism from antiquity to the present day and how crucial it is to find ways to protect society against those who burn and kill to feed a literally murderous vanity. – Thomas R. Martin, chair and Jeremiah O'Connor Professor, Department of Classics, Holy Cross

Terrorism for Self-Glorification, written in clear and direct prose, is original, thorough, and thought provoking. Borowitz, who has authored numerous studies about true crime, does a nice bit of detective work with this timely study of something no one wants to think about – terrorism. Scholars, specialists, and general readers will find their understanding of terrorism greatly enhanced.

Popular Culture / Literature

Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America by Kathleen Rooney (The University of Arkansas Press)

Deplored by its critics and adored by its fans, Oprah's Book Club has been at the center of arguments about cultural authority and literary taste since its inception in 1996. Virtually everyone seems to have an opinion about this monumental institution with its revolutionary and controversial fusion of the literary, the televisual, and the commercial. Reading with Oprah, by Kathleen Rooney, is the first in-depth look at the phenomenon that is OBC.

An award-winning poet and writing instructor at Emerson College, Rooney employs extensive research to untangle the myths and presuppositions surrounding the club, to reveal its complex and far-reaching cultural influence, confronting head-on how the club became a crucible for the heated clash between ‘high’ and ‘low’ literary taste. The book features a wide survey of recent commentary, and describes why the club ended in 2002, as well as why it resumed fourteen months later in 2003, with a new focus on ‘great books.’ Rooney also provides extensive analysis of the Oprah Winfrey-Jonathan Franzen contretemps. Rooney examines each of the club's selected novels, as well as personal interviews and correspondence with OBC authors to demonstrate that in its tumultuous eight-year history Oprah's Book Club has occupied a place of prominence unique in the culture for which neither its supporters nor its detractors have previously given it credit.

By nine o'clock on the first night after the announcement there were four thousand holds on the book at the New York Public Library. – Jacquelyn Mitchard
Many of the white women who wrote to me expressed surprise that they could relate so easily to the black characters in my book. I think that's part of what Oprah's Book Club does. It allows people to be drawn into different worlds that they might never encounter in real life through the safe space that fiction can create. I think that's always a good thing. – Pearl Cleage

Rooney takes a steady, smart look at a situation that is both fascinating in its own right and deeply revealing about 'how it is' in our cultural life these days. – Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

I'm particularly disdainful of the critics who complain that the selec­tions focus on ‘women's issues’ or ‘women's books,’ and wonder where they were over the years when virtually the entire canon focused on ‘men's’ books.... I admire what she has done for reading in America. – Anna Quindlen

Comprehensive and up-to-date, the book features a wide survey of recent commentary. Combining extensive research with a lively personal voice and engaging narrative style, Rooney defends Oprah. In this fascinating account of the club's history, Reading with Oprah describes Oprah as a genuine ‘intellectual force’ who ‘promoted the bridging of the high-low chasm’ in American literary life.

Professional & Technical / Architecture

Bernard Maybeck at Principia College: The Art and Craft of Building by Robert M. Craig (Gibbs Smith, Publisher)

The history of Bernard Maybeck at Principia College is a story of an architect with romantic vision and matured practical experience in college planning and architecture who finds an immediate rapport with a client of extraordinary managerial abilities and insight. It was a vision, conceived in spirit that evolved into an architectonic painting set among the trees above the bluffs at Elsah , Illinois .

Bernard Maybeck at Principia College brings focus to Maybeck's late career and work outside California and provides a reevaluation of his design approach and intentions in his more traditionally styled work. The book relies on a unique and extensive archive at Principia College , and documents Maybeck's last and longest commission, the campus plans, unexecuted projects, and built architecture for Principia. Author Robert Craig, architectural historian and Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, gains new assessments through Maybeck's taped interviews with this major client, Frederic Morgan, and with Edward Hussey of Maybeck's office, as well as on conversations and interviews with others associated with the work. The extensive Maybeck-Morgan correspondence allows much of the story to be told by the participants, through letters and other records preserved in the Principia archives. The Maybeck reassessment is also presented in the light of a wider range of theoretical influences discussed here for the first time.

When Maybeck first observed the Elsah grounds that Principia had purchased for the college campus, he told Frederic Morgan his major challenge would be to create a general plan and designs that would not disturb the beauty already inherent in the site. … At Elsah, "the buildings cannot compete with the beauty of the location but should fit into it without effort, whereas in the previous location, beautiful though it was, the surrounding environment made it necessary for the buildings to enhance the beauty of the property." Mr. Morgan explained the difference: on the first site, "the buildings had to be handsome in themselves – in the present location they must be beautiful, but must play second fiddle to what is already there." – from the book

Bernard Maybeck was born February 7, 1862 in New York City. He became intrigued by architecture while in Paris as a furniture maker's apprentice and enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1886 he returned to New York and joined the office of Carrere and Hastings, but soon moved west to Kansas City. From 1894 to 1899 Maybeck taught at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1900 through the 1920s he designed in a number of modes, including the Craftsman, Gothic and the classical Beaux Arts. Rooted in the Arts & Crafts tradition, Maybeck aspired to the ideal that art is life and life is art.

Maybeck often chose building materials that were unusual for the time, experimenting with concrete, industrial steel, and untested fireproof materials such as bubblestone and burlap covered in cement.

In 1923, Maybeck was granted the Principia College commission, an opportunity to design the master plan of an institution of higher learning. Such opportunity had eluded Maybeck in the past, and he immediately put his visionary mind to work creating a grand vision of a college. Maybeck believed that the physical environment has an important impact on the human condition, and the prospect of creating a setting in its entirety for the purpose of educating young minds became a very important endeavor to him, despite many obstacles.

Your architect very evidently not only had an interesting job but he also loved it because you can see countless evidences of personal attention in various details throughout. Beautiful as are the dormitories, the Chapel, however, is simply perfect in every single detail, inside and out. I regard it as flawless... – Hugh Ferris, 1935

Not only the history of the building of a college, or simply a discussion of Maybeck's lesser-known architectural designs, Bernard Maybeck at Principia College is most importantly a detailed study of the working relationship of an architect and his client. The extensive Maybeck-Morgan correspondence over a decade and a half provides insight to the often elusive evolution of architectural planning and the forces and influences affecting that process. And further, the book is the most in-depth study of this groundbreaking American architect to date, offering an abundance of new insights into his outlook and method. A massive volume, it is also an excellent resource for students and historians, and a splendid photographic tribute to the art and architecture of Principia College.

Recognized in 1993 as a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior, Principia College is not only an outstanding example of design and construction important to the heritage of the United States, but also represents the capstone of Maybeck's career. Now for the first time, Maybeck devotees can explore in detail the creation of this architecturally distinct campus from conception to completion in Bernard Maybeck at Principia College.

Professional & Technical / Criminology / Law / Psychology

Criminal Behavior: A Systems Approach by Bruce A. Arrigo (Prentice Hall)

Criminal behavior is vast and multifaceted. To be sure, academicians, practitioners, and policy analysts remain uncertain about what is and what is not within the scope of this subspecialty area. According to Bruce Arrigo, Professor of Crime, Law, and Society at The University of North Carolina-Charlotte with appointments in the Psychology Department, the Public Policy Program, and the Center for Applied and Professional Ethics, this is because the study of criminal behavior is evolving rapidly. Offenders are inventing novel forms of illicit conduct, victims are subjected to new forms of harm, and communities are left to respond to both, sometimes with only modest direction from the scientific and legal establishments.

The study of crime, behavior, and their relationship can occur in many ways. One way to appreciate this relationship is to investigate how the disciplines of criminal justice and psychology approach those crime and delinquency issues that straddle both fields of study. In this first edition of Criminal Behavior, the broad and thorny challenges confronting the domains of crime and delinquency are examined. In order to facilitate this investigation, these challenges are interpreted systemically; that is, they are assessed within the confines of relevant theoretical models, realistic concerns, and institutional solutions. This ‘systems approach’ is a useful organizational device for teachers, students, researchers, and lay professionals interested in established crime and delinquency problems as well as emerging trends in criminal behavior studies.

Criminal behavior studies share some affinities with the fields of deviance, abnormal psychology, criminology, forensic psychology, and victimology. However, we also recognize that research on criminal behavior is sufficiently distinct that it is not completely synonymous with any one of these intellectual and practical domains of inquiry. Thus, there is considerable room to examine a host of issues at the intersection of crime, violence, and behavior. This is precisely what Criminal Behavior endeavors to do.

Utilizing a ‘systems’ approach, Criminal Behavior skillfully and methodically addresses:

  • Relevant theories of criminal behavior.

  • Various types of violent and non-violent crimes and criminals.

  • Institutional and organizational responses to crime and criminal behavior.

Criminal Behavior does not intend to offer an integrated assessment of theory, practice, and law. Thus, for example, Criminal Behavior does not systematically discuss how theory affects the behavior of police, court, and correctional agencies (and personnel) in dealing with specific offender types. Although certainly a worthwhile enterprise, this level of synthesis would necessarily entail the development of several volumes well beyond the scope of what this project intends.

Instead, the systemic approach entertained throughout Criminal Behavior is more modest and can be divided into three specific areas: theoretical, practical, and institutional. Part I includes four chapters. Each chapter relies on a particular conceptual frame of reference by which to study criminal behavior. Thus, chapter 1 emphasizes biological theories of crime; chapter 2 emphasizes psychological theories of crime; chapter 3 emphasizes sociological theories of crime; and chapter 4 emphasizes social-psychological theories of crime. Part 2 also includes four chapters, reflecting a systemic analysis of practical crime and delinquency problems. Each chapter focuses on a unique group of offenders and explores how these groups behave. Accordingly, chapter 5 addresses violent crimes and criminals; chapter 6 examines nonviolent crimes and criminals; chapter 7 explores juvenile delinquency; and chapter 8 investigates mental illness and crime. Part 3 completes this systemic assessment of criminal behavior. It singularly focuses on institutional or organizational responses to crime and criminal behavior. As such, chapter 9 considers the role of the police; chapter 10 reviews the role of the courts; and chapter 11 describes the role of prisons and jails. Chapter 12 completes Part 3 of Criminal Behavior. This chapter systematically identifies emerging areas in education, theory, and practice, where the study of crime, behavior, and public policy are evolving considerably. Future-directed research attention in these areas might be warranted, especially if the problems posed by criminal behavior are to be meaningfully addressed.

This first edition stresses the importance of relevant conceptual analysis, detailed practical problems, and thoughtful institutional interventions as the best overall strategy by which to explain crime and interpret behavior. Guided by the need to balance student interests in topical issues with what readers must know, important and useful information on offender profiles, victim characteristics, and crime statistics are provided throughout this volume. In addition, many well-publicized cases are described and several controversial problems are highlighted. These pedagogical tools are placed as inserts throughout each chapter for easy access and referencing. Finally, key terms and discussion questions are located at the end of each chapter. These items will facilitate the classroom learning as students and teachers alike explore, discuss, and debate the study of criminal behavior and society's fascination with and concern for it.

Dr. Arrigo has deftly covered in detail a broad swath of material, and his systems approach aids in developing the subject matter. The book is certainly thought-provoking and realistic. – Michael H. Lilly, Bluefield State College, Bluefield, West Virginia

Criminal Behavior is an undergraduate textbook that strikes a sensible, reader-friendly, and insightful balance between explaining crime and delinquency and interpreting human behavior. In this way, the emerging insights of criminal justice and the unique values of psychology are strategically brought to bear on what conduct society defines as criminal. Instructors will find Criminal Behavior useful as a primary text in such courses as Criminal Behavior, Criminology, Forensic Psychology, The Criminal Offender, and Topics in Criminal Justice and Psychology.

Professional & Technical / Science / Biotechnology

Environmental Biotechnology: Concepts and Applications edited by Hans-Joachim Jördening & Josef Winter (Wiley VCH Verlag GmbH & Co) covers the biological, chemical and engineering fundamentals needed to further develop effective methodologies.

Environmental Biotechnology, edited by Hans-Joachim Jördening, professor at TU – Brunswick, who headed the Department of Microbiology and Wastewater Technology from 1992 to 1997; and Josef Winter, Professor of Waste Water Management and head of the Institute of Biology for Biological Engineering and Biotechnology of Wastewater Treatment at TU – Karlsruhe, devotes detailed chapters to each of the four main areas of environmental biotechnology. These include wastewater treatment, soil treatment, solid waste treatment, and waste gas treatment – dealing with both the microbiological and process engineering aspects.

The growing awareness of environmental problems, caused especially by the predominate use of fossil resources in connection with pure chemical pathways of production, has led the focus on those alternatives, which sounds environmentally more friendly. Environmental Biotechnology, covers the ways by which biotechnology has the chance to influence and improve the quality of the environment and production standards:

  • Introduction of renewable instead of fossil raw materials.
  • Controlled production of very specific biocatalysts for the development of new and environmentally improved production technologies with less purified substrates and generation of fewer by-products.
  • Bio-products as non-toxic matters, mostly recyclable.

According to the authors, environmental biotechnology initially started with wastewater treatment in urban areas at the turn of the 19/20th century and has been extended to soil remediation, off-gas purification, surface and groundwater cleaning, industrial wastewater purification, deposition techniques of wastes in sanitary landfills and composting of bioorganic residues, mainly in the second half of the 20 century.

The available processes for the protection of the terrestric and aquatic environment were summarized in the first edition of Biotechnology, still in one volume. Some ten years later in the second edition, the development in the above mentioned environmental compartments was updated and described by experts in the field from Europe and the United States of America . Although the description was kept stringent, the above mentioned areas of environmental processes finally were issued in 3 volumes. Volume 11a of Biotechnology was subtitled "Environmental Processes I – Wastewater Treatment" and was devoted to general aspects and the process development for carbon, nitrogen and phosphate removal during wastewater treatment and anaerobic sludge stabilization. Volume 11b was subtitled "Environmental Processes II – Soil Decontamination" and summarized microbial aspects and the processes that were applied for soil (bio-) remediation and Volume 11c, subtitled "Environmental Processes III – Solid Waste and Waste Gas Treatment, Preparation of Drinking Water" covered general aspects, microbiology and processes for solid waste treatment, waste gas purification and potable water preparation.

This new book Environmental Biotechnology covers what the editors think are the most relevant topics of the previous volumes 11 a, b and c of Biotechnology in a comprehensive form. The invited authors were given the opportunity to update their contributions when significant progress was achieved in their field. For instance, although many alternatives existed in the past for domestic sewage treatment to remove nitrogenous compounds, the development of new biological processes for nitrogen removal in the laboratory and in pilot scale-dimension was reported recently. These processes work with a minimized requirement for an additional carbon source, and although they are not yet widely applied in practice, they are investigated in detail in pilot- or demonstration-scale in single wastewater treatment plants.

Contents include:

Part 1 – Wastewater Treatment

  • Bacterial Metabolism in Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • Industrial Wastewater Sources and Treatment Strategies
  • Activated Sludge Process
  • Modeling of Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Processes
  • High-rate Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment
  • Modeling of Biogas Reactors

Part 2 – Soil Treatment

  • Aerobic Degradation of Recalcitrant Organic Compounds by Microorganisms
  • Principles of Anaerobic Degradation of Organic Compounds
  • Soil Remediation and Disposal
  • Bioremediation by the Heap Technique
  • Bioreactors
  • In-situ Remediation

Part 3 – Solid Waste Treatment

  • Composting of Organic Waste
  • Anaerobic Fermentation of Wet and Semidry Garbage Waste Fractions
  • Landfill Systems, Sanitary Landfilling of Solid Wastes, and Long-term
  • Problems with Leachate
  • Sanitary Landfills: Long-term Stability and Environmental Implications

Part 4 – Waste Gas Treatment

  • Process Engineering of Biological Waste Gas Purification
  • Commercial Applications of Biological Waste Gas Purification
  • Perspectives of Wastewater, Waste, Off-gas and Soil Treatment

Environmental Biotechnology is a comprehensive overview of the processes required for liquid, solid and gaseous waste treatment. The book provides deep insight into the complex processes involved in this field and should help students and professional experts to obtain a fast, fundamental overview of the biological background and general process alternatives.

Professional & Technical / Law / Human Rights

Though the Heavens May Fall: The Landmark Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery by Steven M. Wise  (A Merloyd Lawrence Book: Da Capo Press) is for the first time, the story of the landmark trial that led to the abolition of slavery in the Western world.

Though the Heavens May Fall tells the true story of James Somerset, a black slave whose 1772 trial in London was one of the most important human rights cases in history. Perhaps no trial changed the course of history as much as one that took place that day in London: the case of  Somerset, a black man rescued from a ship bound for the West Indies slave markets.

Steven M. Wise, trial lawyer and legal historian, President of the Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights, has uncovered layer upon layer of revelations in a case, which threatened, according to slave owners, to bring the economy of the British Empire to a crashing halt. In Though the Heavens May Fall, a narrative of Somerset 's trial, he sets the stage for the unexpected decision by the famously conservative judge, Lord Mansfield, which would lead to the abolition of slavery and the end of the African slave trade.

The characters in this great historical moment go beyond a screenwriter's dream: Somerset's novice attorneys arguing their first case; the fervent British abolitionist Granville Sharp, a cross between Ralph Nader and William Lloyd Garrison, who had brought case after case to court in an attempt to abolish slavery; the master's two-faced and skillful lawyer, who had recently argued before Mansfield that slavery could not exist in England; and finally, the greatest judge of his time, whose own mulatto grand-niece, Dido Belle, was his slave. As the case drew to a close Lord Mansfield spoke these stirring words that continue to resound more than two centuries later: "Let Justice be done, though the Heavens may fall."

Wise draws on a cache of previously unavailable sources to deliver a compelling account. Somerset's case was on the scale of the Scopes trial and Brown vs. Board of Education.

Illuminates the most important of the English ‘freedom suits.’ – Los Angeles Times Book Review
[Wise] has an eye for evocative detail and an interest in the trappings and procedures of an 18th-century courtroom. – New York Times Book Review

Steven Wise's excellent book brings home the drama of this landmark case in the history of human rights. – Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee, author of Disgrace and Michael K

Steven Wise brings to brilliant life the great case that started the downfall of slavery on both sides of the Atlantic. His fascinating book shows us not just the case but the characters in the drama. – Anthony Lewis, author of Gideon's Trumpet

Having uncovered layer upon layer of fascinating revelations in the case, Wise recreates each exciting moment that slave owners contended would do nothing less than bring the economy of the British Empire to a crashing halt. In Though the Heavens May Fall, a gripping narrative of Somerset's trial – and the slave trials that led up to it – Wise sets the stage for the extraordinary decision by the notoriously conservative judge, Lord Mansfield and the outcome with far-reaching significance.

Professional & Technical / Education / Law / International

Diplomatic Handbook (8th edition) by Ralph G. Feltham (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers)

The aim of the Diplomatic Handbook is to provide a concise but comprehensive source of relevant information for those who are embarking on an international and, particularly, a diplomatic career. It is also useful for civil servants who are required to attend multilateral conferences on a wide range of subjects and for those interested in the mechanisms of international relations.

This new edition of the Diplomatic Handbook, by Ralph Feltham, diplomat, consular officer, founder and Director of the Oxford University Foreign Service Programme, founding member of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training, has been up-dated to take account of the major political, economic, social and technological changes which have taken place since the previous edition was published in 1998.

We are living through a period of change unparalleled in recorded history: a transitional stage in the social, political and economic evolution of states and their relations with each other. Author Feltham elucidates three major revolutions that have broken out virtually – in historical perspective – simultaneously, and these place unparallel requirements on diplomatic work.

The first is the revolution that produced the most immediate and extensive impact – the political one – the collapse of the Soviet Empire which resulted in the end of a period of potential nuclear war on a global scale; the end of a period of military imperatives when diplomats, through no fault of their own, had little opportunity to act effectively; the break-up of Europe's last major conglomerate state and the end of the two-power world order.

The second is the revolution that is gradually becoming self-evident to the popular mind – the economic one. The globalization of the factors of production resulted in the reduction of barriers to trade; the creation of a global capital market. The chip-based industrial revolution re-orientated and in many instances reduced employment opportunities; the belief in economic socialism and the corporate state has largely disappeared; and preferential trading blocs are being established with little thought for their eventual social consequences.

Third, there is the communications revolution, which has created a global society. It has helped to internationalize science and business and, through the medi­um of television and the Internet, has created a global sense of political awareness: and since the pen – in the long run – is mightier than the sword, it may well prove to be the most profound of the structural revolutions.

Regrettably, the one major factor that remains constant is the failure of the members of the international community to act in accordance with the Charter the United Nations to which they are committed and legally bound. The Primary purpose of the Charter remains the maintenance of international peace and security and the sanctioning of the use of armed force for this purpose; and if it fails, it is inevitable that it will follow its predecessor the Covenant of the League of Nations into the dusty archives of history. It will doubtless need to be revised one day in order to make it more acceptable, more transparent and more effective, and to tackle not only present responsibilities encompassed by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also fresh problems such as secession, the control of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.

Coverage in the Diplomatic Handbook includes:

  • The establishment and conduct of diplomatic relations
  • The organization and functions of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at a diplomatic mission
  • Protocol and procedure
  • Diplomatic privileges and immunities
  • Consular officers and consular posts
  • The European Union, NATO, the United Nations and other international organizations
  • Key elements of international law
  • Conference practice and procedure
  • Information, misinformation, disinformation, and media presentation skills
  • Glossary of diplomatic, consular and economic terms

This eighth edition of the Diplomatic Handbook provides the basic information, updated, needed by students preparing for a diplomatic career as well as those who assist them at diplomatic functions, and those who are interested and curious about how diplomacy works.

Religion & Spirituality / Theology

Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings (2nd edition) with CD-ROM edited by Timothy F. Lull, second edition edited by William R. Russell, with a foreword by Jaroslav Pelikan (Fortress Press)

Now in a new edition, with additional texts and a companion CD-ROM, Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings provides a judicious selection of signal texts from the most influential reformer of the Christian tradition. With his most important writings represented, the volume takes readers straight to Luther the man, to his controversial Reformation insights, to his strongest convictions about God and Scripture and the life of the church, and to his theology – an encounter with the meaning of Jesus Christ.

Originally edited by Timothy E. Lull, President of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley and Professor of Systematic Theology until his death in 2003, the second edition of Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings has been edited by William R. Russell, author of Luther's Theological Testament. This new edition augments the first with further autobiographical excerpts, Luther's Preface to Romans, some of his controversalist writings, and a selection of graphics from the period. The CD-ROM features the fully searchable text, a short biography of Luther, a historical timeline, links to Reformation-era graphics, links to biographies and pictures of key Reformation figures, a glossary of key theological terms, a research-paper guide, and introductions to each part of the volume.
The ‘Libronix Digital Library System’ on CD-ROM features

  • A powerful search engine
  • Topic, word, and verse indices
  • Library browser
  • Custom toolbars and menus and navigation aids
  • Context-sensitive menus
  • Interbook linking, online help, and an electronic user’s guide 

Well designed to initiate readers into the world of Luther's thought.... College students, seminarians, pastors, and students of theology in general will get a taste of the real Luther. – Eric W. Gritsch, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Emeritus

Luther comes across as a theologian steeped in the word of God, speaking to the whole church.... Teachers and students from all Christian traditions may very well find in Luther's writings a fresh voice crying in the wilderness of our age. – Carl E. Braaten, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Emeritus

A superb collection of texts.... All Christians concerned with the ecumenical dialog will find this edition an indispensable introduction to Luther's theology. – Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Harvard Divinity School

The best one-volume reader of Martin Luther's writings, Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings has become the gold standard for use in seminary and college environments. It not only offers Luther's most influential, noted, and important writings in modern translation from the American edition of Luther's Works but also includes excerpts of his sermons and letters that shed light on Luther's own religious and theological development.

Religion & Spirituality

The Way Things Are: Conversations with Huston Smith on the Spiritual Life by Huston Smith, edited by Phil Cousineau ( University of California Press )

Where can we find what is ultimately meaningful?

How can we discover what is truly worth knowing?

In one form or another Huston Smith has been posing these questions to himself – and the world – all his life. In the course of seeking answers, he has become one of the most interesting, enlightening, and celebrated voices on the subject of religion and spirituality throughout the world. The twenty-three interviews and essays in this volume, edited by cultural historian and filmmaker Phil Cousineau, offer a uniquely personal perspective on Smith's own personal journey, as well as wide-ranging reflection on the nature and importance of the religious quest.
In The Way Things Are, readers will find Smith, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Syracuse University , the country's preeminent public scholar of world religions, in conversation with some of the world's most influential personalities and religious leaders, from journalist Bill Moyers to religion scholar Philip Novak. Included are 22 fascinating conversations, which editor Cousineau has gathered spanning more than 30 years. He also recounts his personal experiences with such luminaries as Joseph Campbell, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Daisetz Suzuki, Ram Dass, and the Dalai Lama. His conversations touch upon many Big Questions: what is the meaning of God? Where do science and religion meet? How can we teach children about the sacred in everyday life? Why do we move toward the light?

Throughout these engaging exchanges Smith speaks with passion and humor of his upbringing as the son of missionary parents in China , of the inspiring and colorful individuals he has known, and of his impressions of the different religious and philosophical traditions he has encountered.

[An] engaging collection of interviews that cover Smith's rich career of inquiry into religion and the nature of consciousness. In these interviews ... Smith passionately lets us in on his fascinating lifelong journey to understand and practice a living spirituality in an increasingly secularized world. Like a profound conversation that lasts deep into the night, this book will captivate readers in search of a brilliant mind. – Ions Review
Huston Smith's ruminations are radiant, rich, passionate, informed and thought-provoking. They will remind you once again why religion matters so much. – Rich Heffern, National Catholic Reporter
The Way Things Are sparkles with philosophical insights, cross-cultural epiphanies, religious truths, memorable stories, and a wonderful batch of juicy quotations about the human adventure. This is a must-read. – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Health
[A] substantive book that should make it to the best-seller lists. . . . Cousineau's preface and Smith's introduction, a theological autobiography, are worth the price of the book. . . .Smith helps remove our blinders to the spiritual realities of the universe. – Paul Lowder, News & Record ( Greensboro , NC )
Only a scholar as brave and plain-spoken as Huston Smith would try to produce a single, slim volume that makes sense of the world's vast diversity of faiths. Smith, now 84 and frail, actually spoke this text in a question-answer format to interviewer Phil Cousineau, but his insights have been polished by a lifetime of scholarship until his answers are crystal clear. What's so inspiring is that, after decades of witnessing religious conflict, Smith's enthusiasm for the enduring lessons of faith remains undimmed. – David Crumm, Detroit Free Press, Best Spiritual Books, 2003

In this, his new book, Huston Smith gives us, his readers, a priceless gift during our time of struggle with the nature of good and evil, carefully differentiating between the concepts of good and perfect. – Robert A. Johnson, author of Inner Work and We

A fascinating view of the state of world religion and religious leadership over the past fifty years, the book also looks to the future with a final interview on the vital importance of the transcendent message of religion for the post-9/11 world. Smith passes on his delight and excitement, his conviction, about what is real. A lifelong career of studying the world's religions has made Smith especially gifted in illuminating the dialogues that are timeless. Readers will find themselves eavesdropping on fascinating conversations, and they will find The Way Things Are to be Huston Smith's most accessible book to date.

Religion & Spirituality / Islam

The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims edited by Robert Spencer, with a foreword by Ibn Warraq (Prometheus Books) is a collection of essays by some of the world's leading authorities on Islamic social history.

Edited by Robert Spencer, freelance writer, the director of Jihad Watch, and an adjunct fellow of the Free Congress Foundation, The Myth of Islamic Tolerance  focuses on the juridical and cultural oppression of non-Muslims in Islamic societies. The authors of these articles contradict the widely held concept of a largely tolerant, pluralistic Islam. The contributors describe the oppressive legal superstructure that has treated non-Muslims in Muslim societies as oppressed and humiliated tributaries, and they show the effects of these discriminatory attitudes and practices in both past and contemporary global conflicts.

Besides original articles, primary source documents presented in The Myth of Islamic Tolerance also elucidate how the legally mandated subjugation of non-Muslims under Islamic law stems from the Muslim concept of jihad – the spread of Islam through conquest. Historically, the Arab-Muslim conquerors overran vast territories containing diverse non-Muslim populations. Many of these conquered people surrendered to Muslim domination under a special treaty called dhimma in Arabic. These non-Muslim indigenous populations, mainly Christians and Jews, were then classified under Islamic law as dhimmis (meaning ‘protected’). According to Spencer, although protected status may sound benign, this classification in fact referred to ‘protection’ from the resumption of the jihad against non-Muslims, pending their adherence to a system of legal and financial oppression, as well as social isolation. The authors maintain that underlying this religious caste system is a culturally ingrained contempt for outsiders that still characterizes much of the Islamic world today and is a primary impetus for jihad terrorism.

Also discussed is the poll tax (jizya) levied on non-Muslims; the Islamic critique of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the use of jihad ideology by twentieth-century radical Muslim theorists; and other topics not widely covered.

Robert Spencer has here assembled a collection of documents devastating to PC myth and multiculturalist wishful thinking. Anyone concerned about the dangers of politically motivated distortions of Islamic theology and history should not miss this explosive and enlightening volume. – Jeffrey Rubin, Editor, Conservative Book Club

… Comments describing alleged troublesome behavior by Muslims lack sources and citations. Some authors ignore basic Islamic concepts; Bat Ye'or, for example, says that the dhimmi treatment was considered ‘justified by the superiority of the master-race,’ although the Qur'an strictly states though that all races are equal in Islam. The collection includes multiple essays by the same author, including 17 by Ye'or. The resulting repetition and monotone provide little insight and a disconnected feel. This book would have been more persuasive and less alarmist if it had excluded half the essays.  – Publishers Weekly

The scholars presented in this volume come up with surprising and disturbing conclusions. In an alarmist tone, The Myth of Islamic Tolerance describes deeply ingrained historical, cultural, and religious elements of what may be a modern crisis – the violence, fanaticism, and contempt for outsiders that characterizes much of the Islamic world today. This wide-ranging group of essays explains how the attitudes are rooted in laws and cultural habits that are connected to the concept of jihad and its corollary institution, dhimmitude – which are in turn a primary impetus for global terrorism today. This critique of Islamic teachings and practices by Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, regarding non-Muslim minorities exposes a significant intolerance that rarely receives any mention either in academic circles or in the mainstream press.

Religion & Spirituality / Historical Novels

Dream of Freedom by Michael Phillips (American Dreams Series, Volume 1: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc)

Set before the Civil War, best-selling author Michael Phillips gives readers a glimpse into the past in Dream of Freedom, an epic historical novel. One man and his family make the decision to follow God's will for their lives and free their slaves. The controversy over his decision sets off sparks as the lines are being drawn between North and South over slavery.

The setting of this new series American Dreams is a familiar one. The U.S. Civil War is an era of ideas and change and growth, when new trends clashed with old ideals. It is also an era in which the history of our nation comes into focus in a unique way. This history can be seen in the context of the intermingling of three primary ethnic roots – the first Native American settlers who called this continent home long before the rest of civilization even knew it existed, the black African tribesmen and women who were transplanted as laborers into a strange new world, and the white Europeans who subdued the other two at first and later had to find a way to include them in an ongoing history that is still being written.

Into the familiar backdrop of the Civil War, Dream of Freedom and its sequels explore the roots of human unity by asking fundamental questions: What does freedom mean? How can three ethnic cultures learn to live together and forge a nation as one new people – a people with diverse dreams and yet who share a single dream: Freedom.

To answer such questions nationally, an even more fundamental perspective must also be considered: What do slavery, redemption, and freedom mean individually? In a sense, the slavery that once existed in this land is a picture of the bondage that enslaves us all. The story Phillips tells is a Christian interpretation of our history, about a Father-Master who frees us from the essential human slavery, which is independence of will ... slavery to sin and self. The characters’ struggle for release from the bondage that long ago enslaved the children of Israel in Egypt, and not so very long ago the African blacks of our own land, is, in his telling, an image of the freedom God desires to bring to all people.

Phillips has a sweeping saga planned. The ‘Prologue’ to each book encompasses all the volumes that follow, and he promises that the clues and threads and mysteries will resolve themselves over the course of the entire series, not in just one segment of the story. The Prologue establishes the historical context, and lays the groundwork for the series by providing a sense of the bigger picture of our nation's foundations.

In this the 100th novel by Phillips, Dream of Freedom is a look back at a pivotal time of danger, change, and growth. Readers may find it exciting to launch into a new historical adventure together with Phillips, a sweeping saga of people longing for freedom with the author attempting to balance the story of America’s peoples: the enslaved, the disinfranchised and their European masters.

Religion & Spirituality / Occult

The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance by Joscelyn Godwin (Weiser Books)

During the Renaissance, a profound transformation occurred in Western culture, fueled in large part by the rediscovery of the mythological, pagan imagination. While the gods and goddesses were never entirely eclipsed during the Dark Ages, with the Renaissance, their presence once again became a powerful force in Western civilization.
The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance recounts the almost untold story of how the rediscovery of the pagan, mythological imagination during the Renaissance brought a profound transformation to European culture. This illustrated book by Joscelyn Godwin, professor of music at Colgate University , author of more than 15 highly regarded books on music, harmony, and the Western esoteric traditions, is available for the first time in paperback. The book shows that the pagan imagination existed side by side – often uneasily – with the official symbols, doctrines, and art of the Church. Godwin documents how pagan themes and gods enhanced both public and private life. Palaces and villas were decorated with mythological images; stories and music, and dramatic pageants were written about pagan themes; landscapes were designed to transform the soul. In this time of great social and cultural change, the pagan idea represented nostalgia for a classical world untroubled by the idea of sin and in no need of redemption. The book demonstrates how the pagan revival permeated every aspect of Renaissance life and culture and was a precursor to the contemporary Neo-Pagan movement.

The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance is a gem of a book, and I mean that with all the resonance of alchemy, beauty, magic, and art. It's an exquisitely written tour of a still rather unknown practice in Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries when art was linked directly to the mysteries that comprise human life. If you want a doorway to a world far richer than the one of inanimate machinery and mere information that is ours, enter the dream of this book, which doesn't just describe but evokes the genius of those times. – Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and The Soul's Religion

If anything proves that Renaissance imagination is divine and immortal, Joscelyn Godwin's The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance does. This compendium of voluptuous images of the soul's longing for beauty is a fountain of delight. – Noel Cobb, author of Archetypal Imagination

Godwin gives us a chamber of wonders that's also a map of dreams, a guidebook to Neo-platonic eroticism, Hermeticism, and the grotesque. No one since Dame Frances Yates has done as much for this strange lost religion of beauty as Joscelyn Godwin. – Peter Lamborn Wilson, author of Sacred Drift

In The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance, Joscelyn Godwin excites the imagination at every turn. – Anthony Rooley, international recording artist and founder of The Consort of Musicke

The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance is a stunning and well illustrated book that brings alive this period with all its rich conflict between Christianity and classicism.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age

Secrets and Mysteries of the World by Sylvia Browne (Hay House)

In this book, you'll read about some of the secrets and mysteries that have greatly puzzled humankind, in some cases for centuries.... I've personally visited most of the places where the mysteries in this book originate. I've walked the paths and used myself as a psychic barometer first, and then I've gone back to see if I could prove what I telepathically picked up using research, statistics, eyewitness accounts, and sometimes just good of common sense. – Brown

For those who have always been fascinated by the unexplained – or inadequately explained – best-selling psychic and writer Sylvia Browne now brings her insight.

Using a combination of information from her spirit guide Francine as well as her own psychic powers, Brown in Secrets and Mysteries of the World augments current scientific research to provide detailed explanations about seeming inexplicable concepts. The truth behind sacred and controversial objects such as the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Grail are discussed, and fascinating and mystifying topics such as crop circles, the Lost Continent of Atlantis, UFOs, Easter Island , and more are examined and clarified.

Some of the topics include:

  • Stonehenge: "There were no words spoken, but a very spiritual hush fell over everything­ even the people I was with said they felt it. The atmosphere, the birds, the air ... everything became quiet, as if we were piercing the veil of a time long passed. It was obvious we were in the presence of the Druid priests...."
  • The Bermuda Triangle: "I feel that something underwater in this area becomes activated at a certain time or under certain conditions (maybe as a long-lost means of communication), and when boats or planes encounter the activated area, they become confused and get caught in the envelope of time."
  • The Pyramids: "When you bask in the shadow of the Great Pyramid, it literally takes your breath away. As I stood there for the first time more than 20 years ago, I was dumbstruck­ and I became absolutely convinced that not even thousands of workers toiling over their entire lifetimes could have cut, hauled, and placed those stones by themselves...."

… Influenced by Francine and theorist Erich Van Daniken, who believes astronauts existed in ancient times, Browne ascribes most unexplained phenomena to extraterrestrials from the Andromeda galaxy, who are responsible for the Pyramids (built with ‘anti-gravity rods’), crop circles (formed by aliens to ‘get their message across’) and the blood-sucking Chupacabra (‘a creature from another planet that was put here for research purposes and sometimes runs amok’). – Publishers Weekly

Secrets and Mysteries of the World is mostly a rehash of pop mythology combined with Brown’s own personal new age religion. Brown is a very popular psychic with a wide readership and Secrets and Mysteries of the World should appeal to those who enjoy her psychic revelations.

Religion & Spirituality / Theology

Constructive Theology: A Contemporary Approach to Classic Themes edited by Serene Jones & Paul Lakeland (Fortress Press) provides resource materials on CD for active learning and religious reflection in the field of theology.

The book invites readers to join in the extended argument that is Christian theology today. Nearly fifty of North America's top teaching theologians (members of the Workgroup on Constructive Christian Theology) have devised in Constructive Theology a text that encourages students to explore classical themes. Coordinated by Serene Jones, Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and Paul Lakeland, Professor of Catholic Studies at Fairfield University , Connecticut , these theologians have devised a text that allows students to

  • Experience the deeper point of theological questions.
  • Delve into the fractures and disagreements that figured in the development of traditional Christian doctrines.
  • Sample the diverse and conflicting theological voices that vie for allegiance today.

Chapters are titled God, Human Being, Sin and Evil, Jesus Christ, Church, and Spirit.
The accompanying CD-ROM not only contains the fully searchable text but also includes chapter summaries, discussion questions, a glossary, weblinks, and a guide to writing research papers in theology. The ‘Libronix Digital Library System’ on CD-ROM features:

  • A powerful search engine
  • Topic, word, and verse indices
  • Library browser
  • Note-taking and footnoting
  • Custom toolbars and menus
  • Navigation aids
  • Context-sensitive menus
  • Interbook linking
  • Online help
  • Electronic user’s guide

Constructive Theology celebrates a rich, kaleidoscopic variety of theological structures, genres, arguments, and insights. The authors are committed to retrieving the deep insights of the classical tradition by bringing contemporary problems and experiences to bear on the work of theological construction.... A fresh engagement with Christian faith. – Peter C. Hodgson Vanderbilt Divinity School

Innovative in both approach and style, Constructive Theology presents an exciting and engaging way for today's students to encounter theology as they actively participate with the 50 theologians in construction theology anew.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology

Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique edited by Mark Goodacre & Nicholas Perrin, with a foreword by N. T. Wright (InterVarsity Press)

One need not undertake a very close reading of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke to recognize that they have much in common. But what are the origins of their literary relationship?

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw considerable energy devoted to this question; Early hypotheses supposed a primitive proto-Gospel to have been the source for all three Synoptics, but later theories envisioned two sources – an early lion of Mark and a sayings-source document eventually dubbed Q.

In contemporary Gospel studies, Q has taken on a quasi-factual status, resulting in such publications as The Critical Edition of Q, complete with critical apparatus. This textualization of Q has taken place despite the fact that Q has never been found; we have no manuscripts of Q; and no church fathers attest that such a document ever existed.

A diverse network of scholars examines the Q hypothesis from a variety of perspectives in Questioning Q, written by Mark Goodacre, lecturer in New Testament, Department of Theology, University of Birmingham ( England ) and Nicholas Perrin, assistant professor of New Testament, Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield , Pennsylvania . These discussions – historic, literary, source-critical and redactional – ask ultimately, Can we dispense with Q? and What would a world without Q look like?

Why discuss this now? Well, because of the current, popular myth, visible in dozens of books, films, television programs and so on, which runs like this. Jesus was quite different from how the canonical gospels portray him; there were earlier ‘gospels’, including Q and Thomas and quite possibly many other works now known in later or fragmentary form; the canonical gospels suppressed some of this material and significantly altered the thrust of what they retained, perhaps in the interests of a more comfortable and easygoing Christianity; when we examine these earlier works it appears that mainstream Christianity, from the writing of the gospels onwards, was based on a mistake, a mistake about who Jesus Was, what he intended to do and to teach, and what had happened to him in the end. This myth has become enormously popular for all kinds of interesting reasons beyond Questioning Q. But it is on the powerful running tide of this myth that the present wave of enthusiasm for Q, particularly, but not exclusively, in North America , has been carried along.

This explains (what might otherwise remain a mystery) how something as inher­ently abstruse and complex as the analysis of Q material our of Matthew and Luke should have become so popular. It is not just because of the skill and hard work of the rowers in the boat; they happen to be pulling in the same direction as the flood tide. Lots of people today are eager for the ‘discovery’ of ‘lost gospels’ that will offer a hidden wisdom very different from orthodox Christianity. And the energy generated by this myth has raised the stakes: has become not just a hypothesis, but a source; not just a source, but a gospel; not just a gospel, but the key theological document of a very early Christianity. To stand against wave upon wave of this tide is to risk being mocked as a Cnut.

But the reason Questioning Q is so exciting and important is that it does indeed stand, not like a Cnut but like a lighthouse on solid rock, unmoved by the surging sea all around, and giving hope to those who may be afraid of being shipwrecked as the waves crash in. It continues the remarkable iconoclastic work of Michael Goulder, who, following Austin Farrer, has argued in great detail that while Markan priority may well be correct, all you have to do to eliminate the need for the Q hypothesis is to show that Luke could plausibly have used Matthew. As various essayists here stress, it should not be taken for granted (as Farmer and others often did) that an attack on Q and an attack on Markan priority are necessarily bound up together; and it is with Q that Questioning Q is concerned. The writers brought together here take on the mass of arguments from Streeter to Kloppenborg and beyond, giving attention both to the large-scale implications of the theory and the results of questioning it, and to the small-scale details where not only the devil but also the deliverance may be presumed to dwell.

Nicholas Perrin and Mark Goodacre have assembled in Questioning Q a book which presents engaging and tenacious arguments on several different scores for questioning the still-dominant hypothesis. Even the most ardent and articulate defenders of Q will benefit from this well-reasoned, respectful challenge to an oft-unexamined assumption.

Science / Biology / Ecology

Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison by Richard Primack & Richard Corlett (Blackwell Publishing)

In the popular imagination, the tropical rain forest consists of giant trees towering above a tangle of vines and beautiful orchids below, with colorful birds, tree frogs, and monkeys everywhere abundant. Scientists and visitors quickly realize that this image is not accurate: animal life, while highly diverse, is not necessarily strikingly abundant, and flowers are often very small and hard to find. But beyond the difference between perception and reality, there are tremendous differences among regions. Biologists working in one area rapidly recognize the special features of the biological community in their area, yet they would find themselves in highly unfamiliar terrain should they move, for example, from their accustomed study site in Borneo to a seemingly similar location in New Guinea. Indeed, even in locations within the same overall zone, such as the Amazon and Central American forests, there can be differences both dramatic and subtle from place to place.

Tropical Rain Forests explodes the myth by showing that rain forests in different tropical regions are unique despite superficial similarities.

Tropical Rain Forests was written by Richard Primack, Professor at Boston University, who has conducted research on forest ecology and conservation in Malaysia, India, and Central America; and Richard Corlett, Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong, who has studied tropical forests in New Guinea, Southeast Asia, and southern China. Throughout the book, the distinctive characteristics of rain forests in tropical Asia , tropical America , Africa , Madagascar , New Guinea , and Australia are emphasized. After an introduction to the climate, biogeographical history, and environment of tropical rain forests, successive chapters are devoted to plants, primates, other mammals, birds, canopy animals, and insects. The final chapter considers the impact of people on tropical forests and discusses conservation strategies that, based upon the characteristics of particular regions rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, may prove more effective in preserving different finest ecosystems.

In many earlier books on rain forests, authors such as Paul Richards in The Tropical Rainforest and Tim Whitmore in An Introduction to Tropical Rain Forests tried to describe the unifying properties of rain forests on each continent – features such as the high diversity of trees species and the low nutrient status of the soils. They took comparable examples from each region and emphasized certain principles of tropical ecology that are true on all continents. However, this emphasis on commonalities meant that readers could – and often did – easily overlook the fact that each of these rain forests has its own unique features of plants, animals, climate, topography, and past history. The goal in Tropical Rain Forests is therefore to redress this oversight by emphasizing the ways in which the major rain forest areas are special.

Primack and Corlett believe this approach can suggest new research questions that can be investigated in comparative studies of rain forests in different regions. At the end of each chapter, they suggest specific new approaches, sometimes involving experimental methods that could be used to develop new research questions. Finally, in the last chapter they consider the unique threats faced by rain forests in each area of the world and suggest strategies for conservation. Such topics may have relevance to policy initiatives aimed at protecting rain forest habitats – initiatives that currently are based upon a misunderstanding that the various communities would respond in the same manner to the same methods of management.

In Tropical Rain Forests, therefore, Primack and Corlett compare the major rain forest regions of the world. The three largest of these rain forest regions are in the Amazon basin of South America , in the Congo River basin of Central Africa , and on the everwet peninsula and islands of Southeast Asia . There are also two smaller and very distinctive rain forest regions on the giant islands of Madagascar and New Guinea . They show that the rain forests of these five regions are unique biogeographical and ecological entities, each with many distinctive plants, animals, and ecological interactions that are not found in the other regions.

The exciting Tropical Rain Forests, filled with natural history examples, figures, and stunning photographs provided by world-renowned photographers, will be invaluable reading for undergraduate students in a wide range of courses. Readers will come away with an appreciation that our planet is host to not one monolithic tract of rain forest, but many unique tropical rain forest habitats, all worthy of study and protection. The book's comparative approach also poses many questions that will be of special interest to researchers and advanced students.

Science / Technology / Terrorism

SAFE: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World by Martha Baer, Katrina Heron, Oliver Morton & Evan Ratliff (HarperCollins)

The technologically-driven world in which we live today makes it harder than ever for ordinary citizens to grasp the complexities of the problems we face and to feel empowered and hopeful in the quest for a safer future. The first step toward empowerment is learning what is going on in the largely invisible realms – the vast tangle of networks, infrastructures, and interdependent systems – that define our world.

We have all spent the last three-plus years fixated on the challenges of true homeland security. We've been subjected to a steady drumbeat of media reports about ongoing lapses and vulnerabilities in our protection and emergency-response capabilities; we've scratched our heads over what to make of color-coded security alerts issued periodically by something called the Homeland Security Advisory System; we've taken our shoes off in airports and haggled with security personnel over nail-clippers; and, most of all, we've wondered whether we are any safer today than we were on September 11, 2001.

SAFE is the first book to fully explore not only the wide array of cutting-edge work being done by scientists, engineers, academics, and entrepreneurs across the country (and around the world) in areas of security and defense, but also – and more importantly – the mysterious networks, infrastructures, and interdependencies that both aid and complicate their work. Martha Baer, Katrina Heron, Oliver Morton, and Evan Ratliff, four highly-qualified journalists working the science and high tech beat, take readers on a lively journey into the worlds of the brilliant, and often colorful, men and women who are tackling the mysteries of data mining, behavior profiling, genetics and biology, port security, more security-conscious building design, the Internet, encryption, and emergency response.

Political grandstanding aside, real progress is being made in the many areas that affect our security, and SAFE offers a comprehensive tour of the maze of puzzles facing the experts, and some of the ingenious solutions in the works, including:

  • Developing computerized maps using geographical information systems, or GIS, that can map the entire infrastructure of the nation and predict likely scenarios that a domino effect could cause in a disaster.
  • Designing buildings that can withstand attack without resorting to fortress-like, soul-destroying edifices.
  • Studying the human genome to combat twenty-first century bioweapons – pathogens that have been re-engineered using today's molecular biology, or tomorrow's.
  • Sharing, rather than sequestering, breakthroughs in bioengineering; enabling self-policing and curtailing abuse by sociopathic dropouts.
  • Training and placing those most adept at behavior profiling in airport security, providing a much needed human antidote to the lapses and limitations of technology.
  • Devising an advanced tracking system to prevent tampering with the millions of uninspected containers that move through our ports each year.
  • Sorting through privacy issues while working to create a system to mine data that would connect potential terrorists.

SAFE features a cast of brilliant, idiosyncratic characters. Among the many profiled in the book, there's high school dropout Jeff Jonas, a Las Vegas software entrepreneur (who happened to leave the hotel across from the World Trade Center just minutes before the first plane struck) who is applying his technology for identifying casino cheaters to a worldwide system of data mining; Tom O'Rourke, an understated engineer with a penchant for Dickens, who spends his life in the invisible realm of excavation pits, subway tunnels, gas pipelines, and urban water cisterns looking for the flaws in our infrastructure; Mark Ehlens, who spends his days thinking about how a disruption of the nation's rail transit would affect the nation's drinking water because of a resulting disruption in the transport of chlorine; Rafi Ron, a former Israeli paratrooper who retired from his job as director of security at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport one month after September 11, 2001, and now spreads the gospel of ‘behavior pattern recognition’ across the U.S.

SAFE offers readers the ability to understand, perhaps for the first time, how invisible aspects of the world around us work. It is also an empowering book that explains how personal knowledge, coupled with judgment and action, will make each of us more secure. "The road to safety is not to simplify things," the authors write. "It is to arrange the world in such a way that its complexity keeps options open, offers alternatives, provides opportunities to adapt."

SAFE takes us inside the secret world of the scientists and entrepreneurs who are using technology to foil the terrorists of the future. Code-breakers, bioterror warriors, even airport security specialists – they are all here as we have never seen them before, revealing their thoughts and strategies for our strange new world. Safe is sometimes scary, sometimes hopeful – and always fascinating. – Jeffrey Toobin

SAFE is a valuable and engrossing trip into the heart of our newly dangerous world. However it is no dry, dusty scientific tome, but is written in accessible, entertaining prose, and the stories it tells are human ones, infused with the enthusiasm and brilliance of the men and women – unsung heroes, in many cases – working to achieve our safety. With its dramatic and engaging narrative, SAFE takes highly complex ideas and brings them down to earth; it demystifies the tools that run enormous entities like the power grid and the Internet and shows how they relate to our everyday lives. It explains why a society such as ours, the most technologically sophisticated on Earth, is uniquely vulnerable to harm, and what experts are doing to surmount the challenges. Most importantly, SAFE places an emphasis on the role of individual empowerment, showing why ordinary people need to believe that their judgment and action matter – because they have more access to information and resources than ever before.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany, with a foreword by Carl Freedman (Wesleyan University Press) is the story of a truly galactic civilization with over 6,000 inhabited worlds.

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand has been one of my favorite books and, in particular, the book that, more decisively than any other, has defined for me just what science fiction is capable of and why it is worth bothering about. – Carl Freedman, from the foreword

First published in 1984, Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand’s central issues – technology, globalization, gender, sexuality, and multiculturalism – have only become more pressing with the passage of time.

Written by Samuel R. Delany, award-winning novelist and critic, currently teaching English and creative writing at Temple University, the novel's topic is information itself: What are the repercussions, once it has been made public, that two individuals have been found to be each other's perfect erotic object out to ‘point nine-nine-nine and several nines percent more’? What will it do to the individuals involved, to the city they inhabit, to their geosector, to their entire world society, especially when one is an illiterate worker, the sole survivor of a world destroyed by ‘cultural fugue,’ and the other is – you!

Sentence by sentence, phrase by phrase, Delany invites the reader to collaborate in the process of creation. The reader who accepts this invitation has an extraordinarily satisfying experience in store. – Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand is a science fiction masterpiece, an essay on the inexplicability of sexual attractiveness, and an examination of interstellar politics among far-flung worlds.

Social Sciences / Gender Studies

The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism, and Transgender Rights by Deborah Rudacille (Pantheon Books)

When Deborah Rudacille learned that a close friend had decided to transition from female to male, she felt compelled to try to understand the reasons for her friend's decision to inject testosterone and undergo a mastectomy in order to live as a man. Coming at The Riddle of Gender from several angles – historical, sociological, psychological, medical – science writer Rudacille discovered that gender variance is anything but new; that changing one's gender has been met with both acceptance and hostility through the years; and that gender identity, like sexual orientation, appears to be inborn, not learned, though in some people the sex of the body does not match the sex of the brain.

Male-bodied persons dressing and living as women, and female-bodied persons dressing and living as men, were known in the ancient world, among Native American tribes prior to the arrival of Europeans, and in nearly every indigenous society that has been studied by anthropologists. But although there have always been transgendered individuals, there has not always been a transgender movement or community. In 1919, Magnus Hirschfeld, a German physician, first provided treatment, counseling, and legal assistance for gays and transgenders at the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin. In 1952, Christine Jorgensen became front-page news and a national obsession as the first American to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. Since then, the course of transgender politics and social acceptance of gender variance has proceeded in tandem with other civil rights movements, including gay and lesbian activism. And all the while, psychology, science, and medicine have uncovered many answers and still many more questions about why and how some of us feel comfortable with the gender identity assigned to us at birth, and others do not.

Throughout The Riddle of Gender Rudacille intersperses interviews with some of the most prominent activists, scholars, and scientists in the contemporary transgender community, including: Ben Barres, Professor of Neurobiology and Developmental Biology at Stanford University; Chelsea Goodwin, an activist and founding member of Queer Nation; Tom Kennard, a 51 year-old transman who spent many years in the lesbian community prior to his transition; Dana Beyer, a transwoman ophthalmologic surgeon who was in the process of hormonal treatment at the time of the interview; and Joanna Clark, a transwoman who served in the United States Navy for 17 years before establishing the Transsexual Rights Committee of the Southern California ACLU.

Informed by meticulous research, The Riddle of Gender is a look at a sexual revolution that calls into question many of our most deeply held assumptions about what it means to be a man, a woman, and a human being.

…She considers the interplay between the science of gender and the human side of transgender issues, beginning with the story of the Chevalier d'Éon, who spent the mid-1700s as a man and then lived over three decades as a woman. Her narrative progresses through Magnus Hirschfeld's Berlin Institute for Sexual Science and ends with the possibility that pesticides and synthetic estrogens may be increasing gender variance by affecting human endocrinology. … Rudacille's evenhandedness bolsters her final opinion, which is that gender identity, including variance, is probably hardwired – and that culture [should] follow nature's lead and celebrate variety. – Publishers Weekly

Amazing! This is the long-awaited fusion of science, criticism, and compassion that scholars of gender – and everybody else – have been waiting for. The Riddle of Gender is meticulous, funny, brilliant, and readable. Alternating the latest scientific research with personal narrative and interviews, Deborah Rudacille creates a work of tremendous importance – not just for those interested in the enigmas of sex and gender, but for those interested in the universal mystery of how we become ourselves. – Jennifer Finney Bovlan, author of She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders

The Riddle of Gender is a timely, insightful, sympathetic, and accessible examination of a sexual revolution. It is well-researched elucidation of the threads that make up the tangled issue of gender variance, most visible in transsexuals, and it is lively enough to be a good introduction for educated lay readers and documented enough for scholars.

Social Sciences / Religion / Judaism

World Without Civilization: Mass Murder and the Holocaust, History, and Analysis (2 volume set) by Robert M. Spector (University Press of America)

World Without Civilization, a two-volume set, is the result of over ten years of research by Robert M. Spector, full Professor in History and Law at Worcester State College and senior lecturer in Law at the School of Professional and Continuing Studies at Northeastern University .

World Without Civilization is not only a historical account of the Holocaust, but also an analysis of how, when, where, and why it took place. As a sub-theme, and perhaps just as important, is the realization that what happened originally to the Armenians at the start of the 20th century and continued with the Jews of Europe, was experimentation in the settling of problems with minorities by means of genocide.

Of recent vintage, Abraham J. Edelheit and Herschel Edelheit published a Bibliography of Holocaust Literature detailing thousands of books on the Holocaust. Not long after the publication of this compendium, a supplement of still more thousands of books written on the Holocaust was needed by the same authors to bring the compendium up to date, entitled Bibliography of Holocaust Literature Supplement. When one adds up the original sources such as testimonials plus secondary works of history and analysis, it becomes apparent that no other period in human history has been so discussed in written form. Nor can it be denied, when one considers all aspects and ramifications of the years 1918 to 1945, that any other period of human history, save perhaps that of human slavery, white or black, can be more deserving of so vast a literature. The Holocaust not just of Jews, of Gypsies, of Russian prisoners of war, and of untold millions of innocent civilians, is a story that surpasses the darkest nightmares of man's path toward civilization. There have been many splendid texts already published in the field. Yet, the huge outflow of writings manifests a certain disadvantage. Important as this abundance of materials is to the still-living survivors and to scholars working in the field and related fields, it remains a vast uncharted area to new generations and to those who have little knowledge of what went on during this period not only in Germany, or the United States, and throughout the world in international affairs. For new generations, those born well after 1945, what World Without Civilization seeks to do is (1) present not so much a textbook on the Holocaust as a workable synthesis of the primary events of the 1918-45 period together with the military aspects of the Second World War (since the Allied Armies were the only genuine and practical opposition to National Socialism (2) analyze the events of the period, (3) apply the meaning of that period of human history to the modern world, and (4) indicate through extensive footnoting the proper directions available for students who wish to pursue the field further.

In addition to the chronological structure of the Holocaust, World Without Civilization deals extensively with (1) the economic and social aspects that presented fertile ground for the seeds of racism and discrimination, (2) the realization that no one person such as Hitler or Himmler either could be or was the deep-seated cause of the murder of so many people but that the entire world has to bear the responsibility, (3) various controversies that yet remain to be settled, and (4) the meaning of the Holocaust, not so much for the Jewish, but primarily for the non-Jewish world in terms of the survival of the human race.

The facts of the Holocaust – despite the rash of modern deniers – are basically known in their general outline in terms of what occurred and where. The purpose of World Without Civilization to use these facts in trying to discover the how and why of that subject. However, one should note, in obtaining facts, that Yad Vashem in Jerusalem now has a Holocaust database web site that gives internet users access to information on at least three million of the Jewish victims of that tragedy.

Basic theses of the book:

  1. There are undoubtedly differences between the word genocide and the word mass murder, but little is achieved in defining those differences.
  2. Hitler and National Socialism were not alone the causes of the Holocaust of the Jews; they only sparked the dry timber of anti-Semitism that had lain dormant throughout Europe over the course of 2,000 years. Anti-Semitism was as strong in Lithuania , Latvia , or Rumania , for example, as in Germany , or even stronger, but these countries did not have the power to enforce a genocide throughout the continent, as did a strong Germany .
  3. If the Jews were once a separate people, they have been since the Diaspora loyal citizens of the countries in which they reside, held together, if at all, as adherents of a particular religion and a set of traditions.
  4. Anti-Semitism is a major example of ‘the minority factor’ in history. Any group which differs from the majority in some way – religion, race, traditions, dress, language, sexual preferences, gender, ancestry, political affiliation – is likely to experience discrimination to either a lesser or greater extent.
  5. The major share of deaths in the Holocaust occurred among the unassimilated Orthodox Jews of Eastern Europe rather than the assimilated Jews of Western.
  6. Lack of significant armed rebellion by Jews may be found for many reasons which are elucidated in World Without Civilization.
  7. Far from a genius, as formerly believed by historians, Hitler was a person of mediocre mind and evidence is given in the book.
  8. The cloak of civilized behavior worn by humankind is a thin material and easily pierced when the occasion so warrants.
  9. The Holocaust of the Jews, Gypsies, Russian prisoners of war, and homosexuals, having been achieved within three to four years under relatively elementary conditions, ushered in a new method of disposing of populations offensive to the majority. If so many millions could be eliminated under such relatively primitive conditions within so short a time, how easy it would be under the more advanced methods available at present – should the wrong person, for example, attain power in the United States – to eliminate within months or perhaps a year or two any minority, not just Jews, but Roman Catholics, Muslims, Baptists, Quakers, Mormons. Knowledge of the Holocaust, therefore, is far more important to the non-Jewish population of the world than to Jews who, at the present writing number only about 12,000,000 people in a world population of over six billion.

Still, the danger prevails that even if a military system is set up to counter efforts at mass murder over the entire earth, that this very same military force, once it obtains power superior to any other force, may itself become corrupt and capable of instituting mass murder. This was the fear of the anti-Federalists during the early years of the American Republic – that a strong government established in Washington could itself become tyrannical. Had Hitler won the Second World War, there is little question that a powerful Wehrmacht would have been entirely capable of maintaining peace in the world, but at the same time sufficiently capable of eliminating not only Jews, Gypsies, and non-whites, but also any religious forces that sought to maintain Biblical versus Pagan traditions, and reduce non-Teutonic peoples to permanent servile positions.

Spector says he would like to declare proper education in the individual the solution, but the Universities, composed of the most cultivated men and women in Germany , were supporters of Hitlerism, with no generally patent manifestation of opposition in such institutions of higher learning as Göttingen or Heidelberg . World Without Civilization makes the case, rather well, that the solution lies in world-wide democracy. This history and analy­sis of the Holocaust serves as an alert that genocide is becoming a world-wide technique and method of domestic policy. It is intended not only for both public and personal libraries, but also for practical classroom use.

Travel / U.S.

Rivers of Memory: A Journey on Maine 's Historic Midcoast Waterways by John Gibson (Down East Books)

One summer, John Gibson, a well-known author of hiking and travel books, decided to explore several of Maine's middle coast of rivers, including the Sheepscot, the Damariscotta, the Kennebec, the St. George, and the Cathance, by kayak. Not content with simply viewing their natural beauty, Gibson set out to learn about the rivers' legacies, economic contributions, geological foundations, and prospects for the future. The result of this journey is chronicled in his book, Rivers of Memory.

Inspired by Henry David Thoreau's week-long journey on Massachusetts rivers, Gibson, fly fisherman, photographer, and teacher at the University of Maine-Augusta, explores sections of the rivers that surround his Maine home in order to gain a new perspective and a better understanding of this historically and culturally important region. As he states in the introduction to Rivers of Memory, “The Kennebec, Sheepscot, and Damariscotta nurture a place where forest and coastal ways of life have converged and where the life of early America stubbornly dug in, held on, and is still holding on.”

Readers follow Gibson during eight days of exploring the waterways between Damariscotta and Nobleboro, Wiscasset and Head Tide, Thomaston and Warren, and from Waterville to the sea with stops in Augusta, Hallowell, Gardiner, Richmond, Bowdoinhan, and Bath.

When a thoughtful observer such as Gibson directs our gaze, however, we pause and look deeper: “With a little imagination, you can feel the weight of all this history, community building, down­river commerce, and the change that has followed,” he writes. “In rivers lie the truths of a place, a region, a nation.” To explore these waters firsthand, Gibson quietly slips “away downstream for a few days, getting closer to the currents ... and letting the natural and human history of the place sink in.” Along the way, Gibson investigates ancient Abenaki shell heaps, old mill sites and shipways, remnants of the timber and ice industry, and once-proud fortifications, each place attesting to the culture of an earlier America.

This is Gibson’s record of eight days afloat on seven midcoast waterways, minutely observing the present, searching for traces of the past, and musing about the future of these rivers of memory. His black and white photographs capture much of the region's extraordinary scenery.

Rivers of Memory is more than a guide to Maine 's coastal waterways; it is a journey through time in a familiar place, and an invitation to reacquaint paddlers and armchair travelers with Maine , as seen from her rivers.

Writing / Reference

The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers, Brief (7th Edition) by Stephen P. Reid (Prentice Hall)

This brief edition of The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers focuses on the importance of a writer's research, critical reading skills, and the ability to organize ideas. Retaining an emphasis on traditional writing purpose and process, Stephen Reid, Colorado State University , acknowledges the technological changes that influence and enhance contemporary writing. The new edition demonstrates how computers and networks provide additional opportunities for communication, writing, and revising while the World Wide Web and the Internet are becoming an important part of the research process.

The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers helps readers succeed in their college writing classes by organizing everything on the Web, including:

  • Personal tutoring.
  • Additional readings and writing assignments.
  • Paper review tool and research tools, including The New York Times archive.
  • Visual analysis exercises.

In its seventh edition, The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers has many new and revised features, but it still maintains sufficient flexibility so that, come Monday morning, teachers may select what they need to help individual students in their classes.

Revised extensively for the seventh edition, The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers focuses on helping teachers and students meet course and program goals.

First, every chapter has been revised to emphasize the rhetorical situation in which writers work. Writers' purposes still figure prominently, but additional coverage of audience, genre, occasion, and cultural contexts for writing builds students' rhetorical knowledge and helps improve their writing. In particular, coverage of a variety of genres – from academic essays and letters to editorials and short articles – has been expanded.

Second, critical thinking and critical reading are given more emphasis in the seventh edition. Third, guidelines for analyzing images and visuals, from works of art to cartoons to advertisements, have been added throughout the seventh edition. Images have always had a powerful rhetorical effect, and the impact of increased use of images in newspapers and on the Internet has effectively thrust writers into a culture that relies on visuals as a key part of illustrating, explaining, and persuading. The seventh edition includes over forty new works of art, images, cartoons, and graphs for illustration and analysis.

Fourth, guidelines for integrating community-service-learning projects into first-year writing courses have been added. Students may wish to keep a journal about their service learning, write assessments of community program needs, produce brochures for a particular agency, and evaluate and reflect on their own learning. Fifth, Chapter 11, "Writing about Literature," has been expanded to include guidelines for reading and responding to poetry as well as to short fiction.

Sixth, a Writer's "Toolbox” has been added to the inside front cover pages of the sev­enth edition. Collected on one page are references to passages on reading strategies, invention, strategies for organization, argumentation, research strategies, language of rhetoric, and common fallacies in logic.

Finally, the seventh edition features over twenty-five new selections, including poems, student writing, and essays by professional writers.

Contents

Chapter 1, "Writing Myths and Rituals," discounts some common myths about college writing courses, introduces the notion of writing rituals, and outlines the variety of journal writing used throughout The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers. Writing-process rituals are crucial for all writers but especially so for novice writers. Illustrating a variety of possible writing rituals are testimonies from a dozen professional writers on the nature of writing.

Chapter 2, "Situations, Purposes, and Processes for Writing," bases the writing process in the rhetorical situation. It shows how audience, genre, subject, and context work together with the writer's purpose to achieve a rhetorical end. It demonstrates how meaning evolves from a variety of recursive, multidimensional, and hierarchical activities that we call the writing process. Finally, it reassures students that, because individual writing and learning styles differ, they will be encouraged to discover and articulate their own processes from a range of appropriate possibilities.

The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers then turns to specific purposes and assignments for writing. Chapters 3 through 6 ("Observing," "Remembering," "Reading," and "Investigating") focus on invention and critical reading strategies. These chapters introduce genres and situations for writing that build students' rhetorical repertoires: observing people, places, objects, and images; remembering people, places and events; developing critical reading and responding strategies; and investigating and reporting through genres such as interviews, profiles, and multiple source articles.

Chapters 7 through 10 ("Explaining," "Evaluating," "Problem Solving," and Arguing") emphasize subject- and audience-based purposes and occasions for writing. The sequence in these chapters moves the student from exposition to argumentation, building on the strategies and repertoires of the previous chapters. The teacher may, in fact, use chapters 7 through 10 as a mini-course in argument, teaching students how to develop and argue claims of fact and definition, claims of cause and effect, claims about values, and claims about solutions or policies.

Chapter 11, “Responding to Literature” guides students through the process of reading and responding to poetry and short fiction, using many of the critical reading strategies, invention techniques, and shaping strategies practiced in the earlier chapters.

Chapter 12, "Writing a Research Paper," draws on all the reading, writing, and researching strategies presented in the first eleven chapters. This chapter helps students select and plan their projects, find and critically evaluate library and Internet sources, record their progress in a research log, and document their sources using MLA or APA styles.

A brief handbook includes a review of basic sentence elements, sentence structure and grammar, diction and style, and punctuation and mechanics.

The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers provides a great explanation of the purposes of writing. This writing guide offers readers the best in-depth coverage of the writing process. Reid integrates purpose, process, and rhetorical strategies into every chapter, making this textbook easy to use and to understand.

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Guide to this issue's Contents

April 2004May 2004June 2004July 2004August 2004September 2004October 2004November 2004December 2004January 2005February 2005

Page Contents: Biographies: Self-Searching: a Father, a Daughter, Growing Up in the Nation of Islam, Slave Narrative, Arts: Introduction to the Humanities, April Gornik, Introduction to the Visual Arts, The Art of Agnes Martin, Maria Martinez, and Florence Pierce, Garafola on Dance, Political Art of Bob Dylan, Blues Women, Business: Business Unusual? Personal Finance, Morality for Business, Category Killers: How Big Retailers May Grow to Extinction, Making Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Work, A Political-Economic Analysis of African Americans Food: No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Meals, Education: Reading College-Style, Writing College Style, Multiple Intelligences Revisited,  Speak Arabic, Phenomenal Family Life, Life Skills for Health and HappinessYoga for Back and Neck Pain, Mother-Daughter Wisdom, The Obesity Disease, Effective Communication, Useful Social Psychology, The Male Biological Clock, Surviving Childhood, History:  Kosovo, Mass Murder and the Holocaust, Thought Worlds of the Iroquois/Huron, White House Biographies, Pre-Civil War Story, Maine 's Historic Midcoast Waterways, Crafts & Hobbies: Paper Crafts, Gardening: Perennials, A How-to Around the House, Law:  Criminal Justice, The Herostratos Syndrome, Criminal Behavior, Want to be a Diplomat?, Diplomatic Handbook, The Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery, Mysteries: A Story of Chance, Fate, and Numbers, The Occult Regina Cutter, Tokyo Mystery, Society: A Book Club That Changed America, Transgender Rights? Architecture: Bernard Maybeck at Principia College, Science: Biotechnology, Biogeography of the Rainforest, Protecting Ourselves From Terror?  Science Fictions: A Galactic Civilization Religion: Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings, Huston Smith on the Spiritual Life, Classic Themes In Theology, How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims, Pagan Renaissance, A Psychic's Insights, How Synoptic is Q?