SirReadaLot.org

SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

 May 2005, Issue #73

Guide to This Issue

Contents this page:  Art: Capitol Hill Architectural Heritage, Chinese Calligraphy, Digital Video, Suspense: Regina Cutter Mysteries, Fritz Kolbe, WW II Spy, The Bay at Midnight, The White League, Scifi: The Resurrected Man, Business: The Edge to Dynamic Specialization, Change I-Thinking to WE-Thinking, Biography: Domestic Violence, Showbiz Lives: Noel Coward and Cole Porter, Billie Holiday’s Life, Childrens: Hurrying Child, Exploring History Renewed, Cooking: Sustainable Seafood Recipes, Italian Jewish Cooking, Thai Dishes, Fresh Haute Cuisine, Southern Living’s Readers' Recipes, Education: Teaching Technologies, Parents Versus Peers, Native American Biographies for HighSchool  Music: Miles Davis' Jazz, Health & Spirituality: The Art of Wholeness, Destructive Trends in Mental Health, Oncology Nursing, Sex's Ultimate Pleasure, Gender Variation, Walk Yourself Healthy, Hospital's Shaping Death, Wholly Dying, Elder Care, Prevention Techniques, History: Childhood's Global Context, Women of the New Mexico Frontier, Finding Karl Plagge, Home & Garden: Remodeling the Kitchen Literature: Poet's on Place, Contemporary Iranian Literature, Beckian Fritz Goldberg's Poetry, New Directions' Laughlin Looks Back, More Red Hats Women, Nature: Birdwatching, Native Trees, Dobson's Bringing Up Boys Religion: Orthodox Ethics, Augustine's Theology in Modern Perspective, Young Traditional Catholic, A Life of Jesus, Subversive Christianity, The Gnostic Tradition, The Holy Thursday Revolution, Politics: USA World Policy, Axis of Evil Social Science: Iraqw of Tanzania Experience Development, Ethnographical Dreaming, Spanish-Speaking Americans will become 25% of USA Population, Contemporary Sociological Theory

Architecture / History

The Majesty of Capitol Hill by Thomas B. Grooms & Taylor J. Lednum (Pelican Publishing Company)

Capitol Hill is known to the world for its majestic white-domed building and as the home of the U.S. Congress. It is also the site of a quiet neighborhood of eight thousand structures that compose the largest Victorian historic district in the United States . Capitol Hill is a virtual museum of nineteenth-century American architecture – including Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire , Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Classical Revival. Written by Thomas B. Grooms and Taylor J. Lednum, both of whom live on Capitol Hill and work in the Office of the Chief Architect of the U.S. General Services Administration, The Majesty of Capitol Hill features some two dozen Capitol Hill homes, with their charming exteriors and stylish interiors, along with surrounding parks, churches, and historic sites such as the Congressional Cemetery and the Capitol.

The Majesty of Capitol Hill highlights the urban context of the Hill with its many parks and wide streets that create the feeling of spaciousness – one of its key attractions. Nowhere else in Washington is the original plan of Pierre L'Enfant, the man who designed the city, better preserved than on Capitol Hill. Highlights include the much-loved Lincoln and Stanton Parks , the commercial areas of Pennsylvania Avenue and Barracks Row, and the historic Eastern Market – the nineteenth‑century open public market and the heart of the neighborhood today. Photographs and information also capture significant buildings and sites such as the Frederick Douglass House and the Marine Corps Commandant's House, the oldest public residence in Washington after the White House. Also included is the Sewall-Belmont House, which stood at the center of American politics for two hundred years. Rounding out the collection are a number of historic private homes, updated to twenty-first century living.

The Majesty of Capitol Hill captures the vibrancy of this historic community and its many architectural styles, featuring both the charming exteriors and stylish interiors.

Art / Graphic Design

Chinese Calligraphy Made Easy: A Structured Course in Creating Beautiful Brush Lettering by Rebecca Yue (Watson-Guptill Publications)

Rebecca Yue's approach to Chinese calligraphy is distilled from years of teaching this ancient art. Yue started learning Chinese brush painting at the age of ten. She followed the strict disciplines under three masters; one specialized in landscape painting and the other two in bird and flower painting. Yue's systematic approach to learning has brought her many devoted followers. Most teachers prefer to demonstrate all the basic brushstrokes first and then form the characters. However, Yue's experience has taught her that students become frustrated by learning too many basic brushstrokes at one time. Her method involves learning a new brush stroke, forming new characters, and revising brushstrokes learned previously. From this process, beginners gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction by the end of every lesson. As the lessons progress, the characters introduced become more complicated. When there are enough characters to form phrases, projects are introduced with Chinese writing.

Chinese Calligraphy Made Easy presents the Hsing Shu style of calligraphy. During the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907) Kai Shu, with its precise and elegant style, became the favorite among scholars. With much support, the Kai Shu script was recorded in detail, and instructions for writing every brushstroke were passed down for posterity – no other style of calligraphy enjoyed such attention. In modern times, Hsing Shu is still the style for daily communication, although the majority of Chinese would not know in which style of calligraphy they were writing. They would, however, recognize Kai Shu because all textbooks are printed in this style.

In order to write Chinese beautifully, students must learn to choose, use, and properly care for their brushes. Brush care explained before the practical lessons begin. The writing process begins with learning how to control the movement of a brush using the wrist and elbow, in conjunction with lift and press techniques. These are explained in Chapter Three. Once equipped with these techniques, students will be able to learn all eight of the basic brushstrokes, one by one, in the lessons that follow. With each new brushstroke there are words to practice; each has been carefully chosen, with its English meaning beside it.

Students who follow all the lessons build up a collection of Chinese words, starting with simple structures and working up to more complicated compositions. At intervals there are sheets of additional words so students can practice what they have learned so far.

There are also projects try out newfound skills – these are designed not only to help readers enjoy calligraphy, but to give them insight into the traditional uses of the ancient art.

In Chinese Calligraphy Made Easy readers also learn how to make their own Chinese writing book and how to paint greetings onto cards, clothes and pottery.

There are two fold-out cover flaps carrying key information to remind readers of the anatomy of each character. With an extensive gallery of beautiful creations,  Chinese Calligraphy Made Easy is a practical and enjoyable text, guiding readers in creating their own Chinese artworks. The book is logical and well organized using a unique, systematic approach to calligraphy.

Arts & Photography

Digital Video Handbook by Tom Ang (DK)

The digital revolution has transformed video-making, allowing both amateurs and professionals to make videos to high technical standards – yet the complexities of digital video can be baffling without a reliable, user-friendly guide. The extraordinary revolution that is digital video can turn a backyard into a movie studio, transform a study into an editing suite, and make students into directors. It sounds simple enough – instead of recording an image frame by frame on to film or tape, we convert moving images into a series of numbers. And this one change opens up the entire enterprise of moviemaking to anyone with a modern personal computer. Whereas the aspiring moviemaker once needed the support of a highly specialized industrial infrastructure, much of that is now redundant. A single person can shoot broadcast-quality footage, record high-fidelity sound, and edit and post produce it on their own and at home. Better still, the formerly high cost of editing video is now almost vanishingly small.

While it is true that open access to technology is a seedbed for great moviemakers – the teenager who makes gory movies for fun grows up to be the architect of the Lord of the Rings trilogy – its significance to the majority of users is even greater.

In Digital Video Handbook, Tom Ang, a widely exhibited professional photographer and a teacher of 12 years at the university level, shares with readers the thrilling, fast-expanding, and entertaining world of video and moviemaking.

This comprehensive and inspirational handbook explains:

  • How Digital Video (DV) works.
  • What equipment readers need and how to use it.
  • The best techniques for effective video-making.
  • Editing and post-production, including the use of special effects.
  • How to create their own short features.
  • Common DV problems and their solutions.

Readers can keep it simple, making shorts intended for their friends and family; they can make feature-length movies using actors on location; or they can put together an investigative documentary.

Taking readers through every stage of making videos, from handling the camera to using editing software and posting finished work on the Internet, the Digital Video Handbook is a jargon-free, easy-to-understand guide that explains how digital photography works, assesses equipment and software, covers downloading images to computers, and takes a look at common problems experienced by beginners. The book contains straightforward, fully illustrated instructions, and it shows how to create impressive effects and master the editing and post-production processes.

Whatever their level of interest,  Digital Video Handbook offers readers all the key information they need to start, providing a firm foundation for more ambitious projects.

Up-to-date and comprehensive, this is the indispensable handbook on digital video.

Audio / Mysteries & Thrillers / Occult

Now You See Her [UNABRIDGED, 6 cassettes, 8 1/2 hours] by Cecelia Tishy, narrated by Anna Fields (Regina Cutter Mysteries: Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc.)

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 – and 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.

The audio version is enhances by the work of Anna Fields, who has narrated many titles, having garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards and won the coveted Audie Award.

Audio / History / Military

A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich: The Extraordinary Life of Fritz Kolbe, America's Most Important Spy in World War II [UNABRIDGED, 8 CDs, running time 10 hours] by Lucas Delattre, narrated by Michael Prichard (Tantor Media, Inc.)

In 1943, a young official named Fritz Kolbe, a bureaucrat, from the German foreign ministry arranged to meet with Allen Dulles, then an OSS officer in Switzerland and later the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Kolbe had decided to betray his country. Over the next two years, Kolbe passed on countless valuable documents about German war efforts by tying the pages to his thigh and praying to avoid customs searches. He described the location of munitions factories and relayed diplomatic reports on Germany 's intelligence operations and relations with other Axis nations like Romania and nominally neutral countries like Spain . Viewed by many Germans as a traitor, he was erased from the history books and, after Hitler's fall, his diplomatic career came to an end. Drawing on recently declassified materials at the National Archives in Washington and Kolbe's personal archives, Lucas Delattre, a journalist formerly of Le Monde, who now works for the Council of Europe, in A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich has written an extraordinary tale of an ordinary man who knew the most valuable service he could provide his country was to betray it.

The audio version is narrated by Michael Pritchard. Named one of the top ten Golden Voices by Smart Money, Prichard has recorded many audiobooks during his career.

Maybe the greatest spy coup of World War II. – William Casey, Former Director of the CIA

A longtime German correspondent for Le Monde, Delattre has supplemented his firsthand experience with extensive research and is terrific on conditions in Germany during the war. – Publishers Weekly

For a long time hardly anyone was aware of just how courageous and determined Fritz Kolbe was in resisting the Nazi regime... [A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich] draws a fascinating picture of Fritz Kolbe as an example of quiet resistance. It shows his courage, his firm convictions, but also the tragic limits of his influence on events during the war. – Joschka Fischer, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany

Allen Dulles profited so much from the information supplied by Kolbe that he became head of the CIA. Kolbe, on the other hand, was considered a traitor. He died forgotten. With this fascinating narrative, Lucas Delattre remedies that injustice. – Marianne

[The] forgotten story of the civil servant ... is an espionage thriller and a morality play. – Stern

A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich, a useful book, is the first full-scale biography of Kolbe, one of the major Allied agents in Nazi Germany. It is an electrifying account, told with novelistic detail, of the German who worked behind the scenes to become America 's crucial anti-Nazi spy. A work of remarkable scholarship that moves with the swift pace of a John le Carre thriller, A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich is a chilling addition to the literature of espionage.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends on Productive Friction and Dynamic Specialization by John Hagel & John Seely Brown ( Harvard Business School Press)

The continuing quest for efficiency yields diminishing returns – lasting advantage increasingly depends on shifting management horizons beyond the enterprise and mastering new management techniques to mobilize third party resources and to accelerate the building of distinctive capabilities across enterprises.

In The Only Sustainable Edge, renowned business strategists John Hagel and John Seely Brown argue that future market leaders will be organizations that develop an institutional capacity to work closely with highly specialized firms to get better faster. The authors identify the peripheries of companies, industries, and rapidly developing economies as having the best opportunities for innovation and growth, where capability building can be leveraged across enterprises to increase value and ignite unprecedented creativity. In this context, Hagel and Brown suggest that most executives view off shoring and outsourcing much too narrowly as options simply to achieve near-term operational cost savings. They argue instead that these options will force a profound redefinition of business strategy. They say most companies in developed economies are too complacent about these changes and run the risk of destroying economic value as global competition intensifies.

Highlighting the emergence of global process networks, Hagel, business strategist and former McKinsey & Company consultant, and Brown, former Director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center , maintain that companies must reevaluate not only their business strategy, but the very nature of the firm itself to achieve market advantage. In The Only Sustainable Edge, they outline a pragmatic three-stage migration path to accelerate capability building:

  • Deepening specialization within firms.
  • Mobilizing best-in-class capabilities across enterprises.
  • Fostering learning across broad networks of enterprises global process networks and specialized local business ecosystems.

Nagel and Brown say that dynamic specialization will force companies to make difficult choices regarding their areas of distinctive capability, but also make it easier to collaborate with business partners in ways that accelerate capability building. True innovation will then result from the productive friction caused by diverse groups working together to solve real business problems. Nagel and Brown discuss new generations of information technology that amplify the potential for productive friction, but they make it clear that these IT platforms must be woven into a fabric of shared meaning and trust-based relationships across diverse business partners.

In The Only Sustainable Edge, the authors explore the co-evolution of core operating process outsourcing and off-shoring, and stress their roles in increasing dynamic specialization within firms. They highlight the emergence of loose coupling as a new model for managing business processes and driving rapid incremental innovation across multiple enterprises. Finally, Hagel and Brown discuss the implications of these changes in the business landscape for public policy. They make the case that global talent markets, rather than product or financial markets, will increasingly shape where value gets created and captured. They suggest that governments need to reconceive public policy in terms of its potential to accelerate talent development.

As a practitioner working with global supply chains, I find this book captures the essence of our efforts to orchestrate loosely coupled networks on a global basis. This book is a must-read for all executives seeking to improve the performance of their global supply chain. – Victor Fung, Group Chairman, Li & Fung

The two great theorists of information technology, John Hagel and John Seely Brown, show the importance of talent development, specialization, connectivity, and coordination. This indispensa­ble book is an absolutely fascinating guide for business leaders. – Walter Isaacson, President, the Aspen Institute, and author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

In a rapidly evolving global capitalist system, this book is the shortest path to survival and success – it is a bible for the new connected age. It is an absorbing narrative, an acute assessment of the environment, and a must-read for everyone. – Vinod Khosla, General Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

The authors document the impact of globalization and provide a road map for competitive suc­cess through continual cultivation of distinctive capabilities. Their compelling message is relevant for those developing strategies for institutional survival in the private and the public sectors. – William H. Janeway, Vice Chairman, Warburg Pincus LLC

Hagel and Brown's vision of new innovation processes is compelling and quite frightening. These disruptive forces will create exciting growth opportunities for the firms that harness them and will ruin those that ignore them. – Clayton M. Christensen, Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator's Dilemma and The Innovator's Solution

The Only Sustainable Edge offers a valuable guide for organizations seeking answers for operating effectively in a borderless world. The Only Sustainable Edge is both intellectually powerful and eminently practical, with clear-cut questions and guidelines for business success in the global economy. The book introduces fascinating views on how to renew strategic thinking with valuable insights on how to spur innovation and talent development. Hagel and Brown challenge conventional thinking with an in-depth analysis of the forces shaping the current business environment. The book clarifies the stages of evolution for organizations and constructs a framework for creating sustainable value through accelerated capability building. It may also force more than a few executives to rethink their strategies.

Biographies & Memoirs / Recovery

A Private Family Matter: A Memoir by Victor Rivas Rivers (Atria Books)

“This is a story about how I was saved by love at a time when most people considered me beyond rescue," begins Victor Rivas Rivers in A Private Family Matter, a chronicle of how he escaped the war zone of domestic violence – too often regarded as a ‘private family matter’ – and went on to become a good man, a film star, and a prominent activist.

Cuban-born Rivers begins by recalling when he was kidnapped, along with three of his siblings, by his own father, who abandoned Victor's pregnant mother and took the children on a cross-country hell-ride that nearly ended in a fatal collision. This journey of survival portrays how, instead of becoming a madman like his father, Rivers was saved by ‘angels.’ Miraculously, seven families stepped forward, along with teachers and coaches, to empower him on his road from gang member to class president, through harrowing and hilarious football adventures at Florida State and with the Miami Dolphins, to overcoming the Hollywood odds and becoming a champion for all those impacted by domestic violence.

Rivers turned his life around dramatically – going from hard-core gang-member to senior class President and lettering in four sports. He attended Florida State University on a full football scholarship, where he was a team captain and scholar athlete, mentored by Coach Bobby Bowden, before his 1978-79 seasons as a free agent draft pick with the Miami Dolphins.

Today Rivers is a star of more than two dozen films, with such memorable roles as Magic Mike, the prison gang warlord in the cult hit Blood In/Blood Out and as Joaquin Murrietta, Antonio Banderas' ill-fated brother in The Mask Of Zorro. In 1999 Victor became the national spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence, an alliance of shelters and statewide advocacy groups around the country. Having broken the cycle of violence, Rivers is a devoted husband and father – what he believes are his two most important roles.

Grippingly powerful and moving...[this] true story of how a child was raised by a village of some caring, courageous individuals...inspires us all...Masterfully written. – Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas

A story filled with integrity, courage, and humanity – all the things that exemplify Mr. Rivers. The journey makes the man. Thank you for sharing this with us. – Andy Garcia

I know Victor Rivas Rivers' father. He was my father. I know the terror, dread, bruises, inescapability and madness of his violent childhood. It was my childhood. Now I know Victor Rivas Rivers – brave, honest, brilliant and good. This book is a document of his soul's triumph over cruelty. It urges every one of us to break the deadening and debilitating silence by telling our stories. It is a purging, a liberation. – Eve Ensler

Rivers' story reflects an amazing portrait of a young man overcoming the odds and also charges readers to assist victims of domestic violence. Though at times Rivers's odyssey is heartbreaking and disturbing, A Private Family Matter is ultimately a triumphant testament to humanity, courage, and love. Profound and poignant, it is a compelling memoir with a cause.
Biographies & Memoirs / Entertainment

Noel and Cole – The Sophisticates by Stephen Citron (Hal Leonard), just out in paperback, celebrates the fascinating lives of Noel Coward and Cole Porter.

Noel Coward, the celebrated playwright, would never have been caught dead without a full Martini glass and a tailor-made tuxedo. Some of the cleverest, funniest and most romantic songs ever written came from the pen of Cole Porter. He traveled the world, knew all manner of nobility, hobnobbed with all the show business greats and stayed on top in the musical theatre world for more than 30 years.

Aside from being geniuses in music and theatre, Coward and Porter shared many other similarities. Both men were born in small towns during the late 19th century, had strong supportive mothers, died in their 73rd year and were gay. In alternating chapters Stephen Citron, a professional composer, lyricist and lecturer himself, in Noel and Cole – The Sophisticates traces the careers of the two stars. He anchors the pair in a tradition that reflects their restless times and analyzes the qualities that made each man an original.

During the first half of the 20th century, Coward and Porter were far more shocking than the racy artists of today. In his music, Porter introduced anything; for example, he flirted with sex for money in "Love for Sale " and "I'm a Gigolo," sadism in "Why Do You Want to Hurt Me So?" and transvestism in "A Skipper from Heaven Above." The subjects of some of Coward's plays – drugs, blackmail (Suite in Three Keys), an older woman with a younger man, even incest as in The Vortex and a menage a trois in Design for Living are the stuff of shocking drama today.

Porter and Coward have come to represent the ultimate in sophistication and urbanity "Anything Goes," Private Lives, "Night and Day," Blithe Spirit, "It's De-Lovely," Bitter Sweet, "Begin the Beguine," Kiss Me, Kate, are but a few of the imperishable plays, musicals, and songs they created. It is a body of work that was tremendously exciting when it first appeared and remains remarkably popular today.

Based on previously unpublished manuscripts, lyrics, scores, dozens of letters and interviews, Noel and Cole – The Sophisticates includes more than 50 black-and-white photos and music and lyrics to some of their songs.

An exhilarating, scholarly, copiously illustrated tribute to two men who brought priceless perfection to literacy, and the art of popular entertainment. Citron… is at best analyzing music and lyrics: neither pretentious nor patronizing to the layman. – The Evening Standard

… As a reference work, the volume is well indexed, and the useful bibliography directs readers to other useful resources. For most serious music collections. – Richard Lornzen, Univ. of Washington , Library Journal

Noel and Cole – The Sophisticates presents a fresh and often surprising portrait of these two geniuses and their works, and is packed with numerous photographs. This book interweaves their biographical strands with consummate skill, giving readers a clear insight into both men's private lives, illuminating their musical achievements, including a frank discussion of their homosexuality. Ultimately, Noel and Cole – The Sophisticates is an essential reference, as well as a fascinating dual biography of two men who brought style and dazzle to the art of popular entertainment.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Creating We: Change I-Thinking to WE-Thinking, Build a Healthy, Thriving Organization by Judith E. Glaser (Platinum Press)

According to Judith E. Glaser, an executive and organizational coach and the CEO/president of Benchmark Communications, Inc., these phrases have the power to undermine and poison a company:

  • If only they would . . . !
  • They screwed up, it's their fault!
  • I have my own goals and numbers to meet!

If readers hear any of these phrases at work, they should exercise great caution.

Creating We, by visionary executive coach Judith E. Glaser, goes to the root of the problem in organizations today, illuminating how ‘I-centric’ work environments cause ‘unhealthy thinking’ to form and doom companies to failure.

Especially in companies which have recently been acquired, merged, restructured, downsized, are in the midst of rapid growth and expansion, or have lost the sense of unity they once had, this book shows leaders how important they are and how they can create healthy work environments so that the company can become ‘WE-centric’ and achieve breakthrough success.

Creating We is a watershed event, so perfectly on target that the holy grail of leadership is within the grasp of every business leader. – Frank Palantoni, Former Worldwide CEO, Gerber Products; Director of Lexicon Genetics; Director of Gerber Life Insurance

This book is a thorough investigation and synthesis of the best thinking on leadership. Judith Glaser's new and fresh perspective helps leaders see how to create leaders, not followers. This book must be read by anyone who aspires to be a WE-centric leader. – John Watson, Ph.D., Senior Director, Licensing & Development, Pfizer, Inc.

Judith writes with the conviction of a person who finds true meaning in her work. She cares and it shows! Creating We goes beyond describing the way we should work – it describes the way we should live! – Marshall Goldsmith, author of The Leader of the Future, Global Leadership: The Next Generation and Learning Journeys

Judith Gaser's book, Creating We, is a practical hands-on guide to developing leaders at all levels. She shows us how leaders can energize and develop other leaders – a must-read for any leader. – Noel Tichy, Professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Creating We is a blueprint for ridding the corporate world of paralyzing groupthink and the barriers of blame and corporate castes that impede innovation and progress. – Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman of General Motors

In Creating We Glaser provides an alternative to the self-serving mentality that gets in the way of good ideas and well-meaning people. Her book, focused on personal and organizational transformation, goes beyond the hype and offers practical solutions, real-life examples, and useful tools. Glaser's experience and inspirational leadership provides the roadmap. This reference guide is highly recommended.

Children’s

Grandma's Hurrying Child by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Kay Chorao (Gulliver Books, Harcourt, Inc.) is the story of that special day when Grandma embraces her sweet ‘hurrying child’ for the very first time.

Maddy and her grandmother recount the story of the granddaughter's birth. As Grandma tells it, in Grandma's Hurrying Child Maddy was a baby in a great big hurry. On the day she was born, everyone rushed to welcome her into the world. But Grandma, hurrying from far away, worried she wouldn't get to the birth in time.

The book was written by Jane Yolen, the award-winning author of more than two hundred books for children and adults, including How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and Hoptoad, and illustrated by Kay Chorao who has illustrated almost eighty well-loved children's books, including Whose House? and her own The Baby's Lap Book.

Master storyteller Yolen and renowned illustrator Chorao, both loving grandmas, have created a warm read-aloud in Grandma's Hurrying Child that children and their grandparents will want to share again and again. What a sweet, sweet book, for grandmothers, starting with the illustration on the front cover, showing Grandma and Maddy on the swing, sharing the story.

Children’s (Ages 9-12) / Reference / History

The History Encyclopedia by Simon Adams, Philip Brooks, John Farndon, Will Fowler, & Brian Ward (Lorenz Books) was previously published as Exploring History.

In this concise and visual presentation, readers discover how humans populated the world, how weapons were invented and developed, how they changed the way men, cities and countries related to each other, and how art, theater, fashion, government and architecture evolved.

The History Encyclopedia was written by Simon Adams, Philip Brooks, John Farndon, Will Fowler, and Brian Ward, who have a wide range of experience writing reference works about history for children, for school use, and to make history fun and interesting for children. The book takes readers through time, showing the reality of what it was like to live in the past. It investigates the whole period of human existence, from prehistoric times to life in the modern world. In its pages readers discover how farming started, and how food was first grown and harvested so that communities were formed. And they learn how developments in science and medicine increased our lifespan, and improved the quality and effectiveness of our lives over the centuries.

In The History Encyclopedia the development of human civilization is explained in a lively and accessible visual style, using artworks, pictures and diagrams to show how great cities were built and destroyed, wars were lost and won, new religions were born, and how advances in science and exploration transformed everyday life and the living environment.

Young readers can follow the development of human civilization from prehistory to the modern world, with over 1500 photographs and artworks. Features include:

  • Fact boxes, which highlight key dates.
  • Clear maps, which show the major historical sites.
  • Information panels, which provide extra details.

The History Encyclopedia makes factual material accessible and interesting for young people. The high spots of human achievement are all brilliantly brought to life in this fascinating and lively book, with over 1,500 vivid illustrations, maps and photographs. This informative book is ideal for every home reference library.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Ocean Friendly Cuisine: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the World's Finest Chefs by James O. Fraioli, with a foreword by Jean-Michel Cousteau (Willow Creek Press)

Arctic char, hoki, opah, sablefish, sanddabs, tilapia, wreckfish – a trip through today's fish markets seems to require a degree in marine biology, and maybe learning a foreign language. What are these fish? Where do they come from? How do chefs and home cooks cook them? Most importantly – are these fish in any sort of danger of being overfished?

With enthusiasm for seafood cookery at an all-time high and overnight airfreight shrinking our globe, professionals and home cooks alike are facing an array of choices like never before. It is no longer a world of generic fish recipes. Especially in today's environmental and health conscience world, chefs and consumers would like to know more about what they are eating, while making it look and taste sumptuous on the plate.

Endorsed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Jean-Michel Cousteau, Ocean Friendly Cuisine embarks on an exciting odyssey – marine expert and adventure author James O. Fraioli explores where various fish come from, how they are harvested, and how the finest chefs prepare them. Combining stunning photography and facts, Fraioli, former filmmaker, environmentalist, writer and photographer, fishing editor for Lake Life Magazine, rescue scuba diver and world-class fisherman, brings us face-to-face with the ‘best’ and ‘good’ species of fish, crus­taceans and mollusks that we should be choosing when selecting seafood.

And on that journey, readers discover dozens of gloriously-designed recipes. Each selected from leading chefs, including notables Emeril Lagasse and Northwest Chef Tom Douglas. The result: fabulous dishes which are both savory and environmentally friendly.

Seafood lovers will be happy to hear that there are a multitude of abundant, well-managed seafood stocks that offer a world of exciting flavor experiences. – Laura Fleming, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

This book is a must-have addition to the library of all enlightened seafood lovers, especially those of us who care about the origins and sustainability of the fish and shellfish we choose to eat. James O. Fraioli has produced a book that is as handsome as it is useful and intelligent. – James M. Lawrence, Editor, EatingWell, The Magazine of Food & Health

Ocean Friendly Cuisine clearly demonstrates that there can be a responsible approach to the future of sustainable seafood. – Chef Roy Yamaguchi, Roy 's Restaurants

The obvious choice for your health and for the health of the oceans is to serve safe and ecologically friendly seafood from known sources. Ocean Friendly Cuisine is an excellent resource for the environmentally conscious chef. – Brad Buckley, The Abalone Farm

More than just a collection of recipes, Ocean Friendly Cuisine is a culinary adventure into the underwater world. Simple, colorful and informative, it answers questions about today's international rainbow of seafood, and gives the ultimate in recipes to bring fascinating – and healthy – choices to the table. These stunning recipes not only taste good, but make readers feel good about themselves as human beings.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Classic Italian Jewish Cooking: Traditional Recipes and Menus by Edda Servi Machlin, with a foreword by Joan Nathan (ECCO) is a guide to Italian Jewish cuisine, with more than 300 recipes.

Italian Jewish cuisine has existed for more than 2,000 years, originally introduced into the region by Jewish settlers from the Middle East , North Africa , Spain , and Portugal and expanded throughout subsequent generations.

Classic Italian Jewish Cooking starts with the ancient Italian adage Vesti da turco e mangia da ebreo ("Dress like a Turk and eat like a Jew"). In this volume of Italian Jewish recipes, Edda Servi Machlin, a native of Pitigliano , Italy , a Tuscan village that was once home to a vibrant Jewish community, reveals the secrets of this delicate and unique culinary tradition that flourished for more than two thousand years.

Italian Jewish cuisine was always more than a mere adaptation of Italian dishes to the Jewish dietary laws; it was a brilliant marriage of ancient Jewish dishes and preparation methods to the local ingredients that relied on the imaginative use of fresh herbs, spices, fruit, and vegetables. Fifteen hundred years later, with the influx of Iberian refugees, it was enriched by some Sephardic (from Spain and Portugal ) dishes.

The recipes in Classic Italian Jewish Cooking represent the essentials of Italian Jewish cuisine – from soups, pasta, polenta, and rice, to fish, meat and poultry; from pizza and bagels to delectable desserts. Here readers will find recipes for the quintessential Italian Jewish dishes – from Goose ‘Ham,’ Spicy Chicken Liver Toasts, and Jewish Caponata to Sabbath Saffron Rice, Purim Ravioli, and Tagliatelle Jewish Style (Noodle Kugel); from Creamed Baccalà, Red Snapper Jewish Style, and Artichokes Jewish Style to Creamed Fennel and Fried Squash Flowers; from Couscous Salad and Sourdough Challah Bread to Haman's Ears, Honey Cake, and Passover Almond Biscotti.

A historian by trade and a humanitarian by nature, Edda Machiin continues to be a gift to the Jewish world and, for all of us, a living testament to the over 2,000 year legacy of Italian Jewry. – Joan Nathan

Classic Italian Jewish Cooking brings out the unique and traditional foods of two old worlds combined. Machlin resurrects and pays homage to an almost vanished culture whose recipes and tradition deserve to be passed on for generations to come! – Mario Batali

Selected from Machlin's three widely admired books on Italian Jewish cuisine and filled with beautifully rendered memories from her birthplace, this collec­tion of simple but tasty dishes is not only a treasure for every Jewish home, but it also introduces these  recipes to a broader audience. This comprehensive collection is a tribute to a rich cultural heritage and a rare gift to food lovers. With a special section on Jewish holiday menus, Classic Italian Jewish Cooking is a volume to treasure for generations.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Vatch's Thai Kitchen: Thai Dishes to Cook at Home by Vatcharin Bhumichitr, with photography by Peter Cassidy (Ryland, Peters & Small)

Vatch – Vatcharin Bhumichitr – a well-known chef and author of numerous books on Thai cooking – has establishments in London which have always been listed in the Top Ten Thai restaurants in Britain , and his new restaurant in Miami , Tamarind Thai Restaurant, has just opened. Among his many best-selling titles are The Essential Thai Cookbook, Vatch's Southeast Asian Cookbook, Vatch’s Thai Streetfood, The Taste of Thailand , and Thai Vegetarian Cooking.

Vatch's Thai Kitchen is a collection of the best of Thai food. The recipes have been written especially for people cooking in a Western kitchen, but using Thai ingredients widely available in supermarkets and Asian stores.

For readers who haven't cooked Thai before, Bhumichitr recommends starting with easy nibbles to serve with drinks. Appetizers and party bites include Shrimp wrapped in Crisp Noodles, Chicken Satay, those famous Fish Cakes, and Vegetable Fritters with Sesame Seeds. Thailand is known for wonderful soups and salads, and the author recommends them as the second thing to prepare; for example, Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp; Cauliflower, Mushroom, and Coconut Soup; Chicken Salad with Mint and Roasted Sesame Seeds; and Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing. The third thing for new Thai chefs to try is one-dish meals such as favorite Pad Thai (stir-fried noodles), Spicy Duck with Sticky Rice, and Mee Krop (crisp deep-fried noodles).

Other favorites include:

  • Delicious curries and pickles to tickle the tastebuds are Green Curry with Shrimp, Baby Clams with Chile Oil and Basil, and Chicken Curry Noodle.
  • Main dishes – Chicken Stir-Fried with Ginger and Pineapple, Shrimp with Chile and Basil, and Pork with Garlic and Fresh Chile.
  • Sweet things, such as Sticky Rice with Mango, Thai Fruit Salad, Coconut Ice Cream, and Tropical Fruit Drinks (the original smoothies).

A useful list of websites and mail order sources will help readers track down interesting suppliers of ingredients, utensils, and other items of interest.

Bhumichitr introduces the best of Thai cooking in Vatch's Thai Kitchen, direct from London to the kitchens of America . The book is enhanced by the elegant photography of Peter Cassidy, one of Europe 's finest food and travel photographers.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Conscious Cuisine: A New Style of Cooking from the Kitchens of Chef Cary Neff by Cary Neff (Sourcebooks, Inc.)

At the start of his career, French-trained chef Cary Neff used sauces rich with cream and butter without giving it a second thought. Taste was the one and only priority. Conscious Cuisine was born out of his desire to do something totally different – to stretch the boundaries of healthful cuisine. What if low-calorie, nutritious food could still be packed with the flavor he was known for delivering? What if fresh fruits and vegetables, used at the peak of their season, were added to virtually every meal to give it new life?
Neff has established Conscious Cuisine, which he delivered at LaCosta and Miraval Resort and Spa, where he was executive chef for eight years, as one of the nation's leading spa cuisines. Conscious Cuisine has been featured in major magazines including Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food and Wine, New York Times Magazine and Metropolitan Home, as well as on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Today.

According to Neff, "Cooking is one of the most memorable, creative, romantic and caring gestures you can make for another or for yourself.” Thai, Mediterranean and American Southwestern flavors, among others, are explored throughout the pages of Conscious Cuisine. Neff reveals that through appropriate lifestyle choices, sinfully delicious foods such as Blue Corn Waffles, Thai Coconut and Shrimp Bisque, Citrus Five-Spice Marinated Duck Breast and Lavender Creme Brulee will delight the palate without excessive fat and calories. His goal is for everyone, from amateur gourmets to busy moms, to be able to make more conscious choices in their shopping and cooking habits. With that in mind, Neff goes through the grocery store and provides basic rules of thumb that help the shopper in every area.

Conscious Cuisine provides cooking terminology to help readers better understand how professional chefs adapt new recipes with ease.

The book includes information on:

  • Shopping seasonally for food.
  • Outfitting the kitchen with healthful foods.
  • Procuring hard-to-find natural ingredients.
  • Choosing the foods that are the least processed; learning some of the countless ways of preparing vegetables and whole grains.
  • Complementing meals with animal proteins rather than having them as the main ingredient.

The book also provides a full nutritional analysis of each recipe to illustrate the benefits of Conscious Cuisine.

Chef Cary Neff's passion for purity utterly oozes from the pages. His recipes are extremely healthy – better still, they explode with bold flavor. I would recommend this innovative work to anyone who wants to eat well. – Charlie Trotter, Chef and Owner of Charlie Trotter's Restaurant

… To his credit, Neff, chef at Chicago's Miraval Life in Balance Resort, makes good on most of these superlatives in his book, which is as much a manifesto for a beautiful way of life – wholesome, elegant, flavorful – as it is a cookbook. Earnest and articulate, Neff is an able culinary innovator. In an entire chapter on low-fat sauces he coaxes strange bedfellows into happy marriages: carrot-cardamom sauce, saffron-chive sauce, beet-ginger sauce. – Publishers Weekly

"Conscious cuisine" is what Neff calls the food he cooks at Miraval Spa near Tucson , AZ , among the top spa resorts in the country. Here he presents dozens of recipes for the sophisticated but healthful food he serves – one of the major reasons for the spa's popularity. Dozens of color photographs, many of them full page, show off the gorgeous presentations that add to the appeal of Neff's boldly flavored dishes. For diet collections and others where spa cookbooks like Jeanne Jones's Canyon Ranch Cooking or Michael Stroot's Golden Door Cookbook have been popular. – Library Journal

In Conscious Cuisine Neff shares 250 imaginative ways to prepare meals that are exceptionally savory and healthy. From a top-rated spa, the book presents bold methods fused with vibrant fresh tastes to create extraordinary food. Readers will enjoy the descriptive and colorful photos that come alive within the pages, demonstrating that Conscious Cuisine is as visually appealing as it is delicious. Readers may use the book for inspiration to come up with new approaches to cooking and eating every day and to open their senses to new possibilities.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Southern Living Our Readers Top-Rated Recipes compiled and edited by Jane E. Gentry and the staff of Southern Living (Oxmoor House, Southern Living)

Southern Living’s devoted readers love great cooking, and, in this case, over 300,000 of them have tested, tasted, and rated their favorite recipes online. This first-ever collection of Southern Living reader-rated, five-star favorites includes over 550 recipes covering every cooking need imaginable, each accompanied by reader reviews from the AOL Food Website.

Features of Our Readers Top-Rated Recipes include the Top Ten all-time winners, quick kitchen tips, substitution ideas, cooking secrets from readers, and meal planning made easy with 20 all-occasion menus. In addition to reader recommendations, the recipes have also been tested by Southern Living Test Kitchens.

Contents include:

  • Top 10 Reader-Rated Favorites
  • Menus
  • One-Dish Meals
  • Healthy & Light
  • Appetizers & Beverages
  • Breads
  • Dishes
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches & Soups
  • Side Dishes
  • Desserts

Because readers will want to know, the top ten reader-rated recipes are:

  1. King Ranch Chicken Casserole
  2. Santa’s Shortbread Cookies
  3. Creole Jambalaya
  4. Hearty Potato Soup in Italian Bread Bowls
  5. Low-and-Slow Baby Back Ribs
  6. Chicken Fajita Pizza
  7. Fruit Punch
  8. Bacon-and-Egg Casserole
  9. Baked Sweet ‘n’ Savory Mashed Potatoes
  10. Linzer Cookies

The photos are mouth watering; this editor advises readers not to look at the book hungry. Our Readers Top-Rated Recipes is a must-have collection; a real keeper to please family and friends.

Education / Technology

Taxonomy for the Technology Domain by Lawrence A. Tomei (Information Science Publishing)

Educators have come to embrace classification systems for the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains for teaching. However, with the advent of multimedia, interactive, student-focused, instructional technologies, the need to push the envelope of teaching with technology has surfaced – a new domain for technology is needed to take advantage of this newest strategy for teaching and learning.

Many educators accept teaching with technology as perhaps the most important instructional strategy to impact the classroom since the introduction of the textbook. In Taxonomy for the Technology Domain, author Lawrence A. Tomei, Dean of Academic Services and Associate Professor of Education at Robert Morris University , suggests a new classification system. That system includes the domains (levels, steps) of literacy, collaboration, decision-making, infusion, integration, and technology. As with most taxonomies, each step offers a progressively more sophisticated level of complexity by constructing increasingly multifaceted objectives addressing increasingly complex student learning outcomes.

Chapters with reference to the domain levels, include:

  1. Domains of Teaching

  2. Psychologies of Learning

  3. Taxonomies of Education

  4. Technology and Education: The Implications

  5. Taxonomy for the Technology Domain

  6. Technology Literacy (Level 1.0)

  7. Technology Collaboration (Level 2.0)

  8. Technology for Decision-Making (Level 3.0)

  9. Technology Infusion (Level 4.0)

  10. Technology Integration (Level 5.0)

  11. Technology: The Study of Technology (Level 6.0)

  12. Investigation into the Taxonomy for the Technology Domain

Taxonomy for the Technology Domain affects all aspects of how technology is used in elementary and secondary classrooms, corporate training rooms, and higher education classrooms. The book is targeted at students, teachers, instructional designers and scholars. Taxonomy for the Technology Domain is suitable for undergraduate and graduate students at universities with technology-related programs and is recommended for library acquisition, to be used in support of the teaching of such programs.

Entertainers / Music / Biographies & Memoirs / African-American

With Billie by Julia Blackburn (Pantheon)

From award-winning author Julia Blackburn, an author whose ability to conjure lives from other times and places is so vivid that one suspects she sees ghosts, here is a portrait of a woman whose voice continues to haunt anyone who hears it.
Billie Holiday’s life is inseparable from an account of her troubles, her addictions, her arrests, and the scandals that repeatedly put her name in the tabloid headlines of the 1940s and 1950s. Volatile, unpredictable, her moods and faces were so various that she could seem to be a different woman from one moment to the next.
Holiday led a turbulent life from the very beginning. Born Eleanor in Philadelphia on April 7, 1915 , Billie was brought to Baltimore to live with her uncle's mother. There she grew up fast, surrounded by drinking, drugs, and prostitution. She spent time in a reform school called the House of Good Shephard and at the age of fourteen moved to New York City to be with her mother. During this time Holiday changed her name and began to sing. During the 1970s, biographer Linda Kuehl collected numerous photos, letters, news clippings, and legal documents and conducted and recorded more than 150 interviews with many of the colorful people who knew Holiday throughout her life. In With Billie, we hear the voices of those people – piano players and dancers, pimps and junkies, lovers and narcs, producers and critics, fellow musicians, each recalling intimate stories of the Billie they knew. They tell of her rise to fame and the depth of her generosity and courage; her wild sense of humor; her emotional troubles and addictions; her relationships with men; the passion she brought to the act, and art, of singing; and her early death at the age of forty-four.

Biographer Kuehl never completed the book she set out to write, but her research survived. Blackburn carefully culled through Kuehl's archive and added her own commentary in a unique documentary style resulting in With Billie, an extraordinary account of one of the most legendary figures in the world of jazz. What emerges is a portrait of a complex, contradictory, enthralling woman, a woman who knew what really mattered to her.

With Billie paints a sympathetic and incisive portrait of the profoundly gifted, charismatic singer. It's the book you feel ... Lady Day herself would have written. – Francine Prose, 0: The Oprah Magazine

This addition to the tide of Billie Holiday books is extremely welcome. Nowhere else is the context of her life and work so vividly captured.  – Toni Morrison
Billie Holiday was – and is – a singer who stays in the mind of everyone who heard her.  Like all jazz musicians, she sang about who she was at the moment and during all that preceded that moment.  Julia Blackburn’s With Billie tells Billie’s own stories of that life and this book becomes part of the music. – Nat Hentoff

Reading With Billie, one is convinced that she has only just left the room but will return shortly. The poignant, intimate, illuminating stories about Lady Day are, in With Billie, deftly woven into a riveting, powerfully evocative, sometimes disjointed, narrative that provides a more complete and complex portrait of Billie Holiday than any before – a this haunting account of the great singer.

Entertainers / Music

The Last Miles: The Music of Miles Davis, 1980-1991 by George Cole (Jazz Perspectives Series: The University of Michigan Press) is the story of the final recordings of perhaps the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century.

The Last Miles centers on the last decade of Davis ' life, when he emerged from a five-year hiatus from music. The focus is on the music Davis recorded and played, and how it evolved in the eyes of the musicians with whom he played. George Cole devotes at least one chapter to each album Davis recorded during this period, and the full track-by-track descriptions contain the stories behind the songs. The Last Miles offers nearly 100 interviews with some of Davis's closest associates and musical friends, many of whom have never before been interviewed about their time with him, including Paul Buckmaster, George Duke, Chaka Khan, Branford Marsalis, Easy Mo Bee, Steve Porcaro, Wallace Roney, David Sanborn, and many more, as well as interviews with thirty-one of the thirty-six band members Miles had in this period, including Bob Berg, Robben Ford, Darryl Jones, Marcus Miller, John Scofield, and Mike Stern, among others.

Cole, a freelance music and technology journalist, uncovers thousands of new facts, including a lost Miles Davis album, how Davis got into hip-hop, and how he worked in the studio and on stage.  In addition, The Last Miles includes new photos of Davis , a discography, details of unreleased material, Davis 's guest recordings, soundtrack recordings, tribute albums, artists who covered Davis 's 1980s music, compilations, and more.

Very moving, emotional material. – Gordon Meltzer, Davis 's last road manager and executive producer of the Doo-Bop album

An important book. – Brian Priestley, jazz pianist, critic, reviewer, and co-author of The Rough Guide to Jazz

Bravo! Thank you for telling it like it was! – Randy Hall, singer/guitarist

George Cole's writing, his choice of references, his descriptions of many incidents – it is all so clear and respectful, and shows a deep understanding. – Palle Mikkelborg, composer, arranger, and producer of the Aura album

The Last Miles is the first book to center exclusively on the music Davis made in the last decade of his life, and it is sure to satisfy the most serious Davis fans.

Health, Mind & Body / Religion & Spirituality / New Age

The Art of Being: Recapturing the Self by Catherine Laroze (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

Envision the personal quest [for] a privileged space where silence, tranquility, and listening are open doors leading to the recapture of our own selves.

Stress is one of the most common complaints in a society where too many people try to pack too much activity into too little time. The effort to keep up, to be constantly ‘doing,’ can lead to an imbalanced life and, even worse, to serious health problems.

In The Art of Being, French philosopher Catherine Laroze provides an antidote to this culture of activity by proposing the exact opposite: a culture of inactivity.
Through her own retreats to the mountains, Laroze has learned both the importance and the pleasure of taking time for oneself. Embracing the art of doing nothing, says Laroze, takes us a long way toward finding inner harmony, balance, and self-knowledge. Her poetic text addresses the struggles of contemporary life and suggests numerous paths – solitude, periods of silence, contemplation of nature, childlike curiosity – to achieving a much-needed sense of retreat. Not only will such moments allow us to feel refreshed and rejuvenated, but they will give us the opportunity to learn important lessons about ourselves.

Part thought-provoking essay and part stress-relief manual, The Art of Being is an inspirational guidebook to finding a better way of living.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling

Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm edited by Rogers H. Wright & Nicholas A. Cummings (Routledge)

Psychology, psychiatry, and social work have been captured by an ultra-liberal agenda.

Before dismissing this claim as right-wing, conservative backlash, it must be noted that it comes from two lifelong liberal activists whose careers have been defined by radical positions and actions, many of which were enacted through their leadership roles within the American Psychological Association (APA) itself. To back it up, the editors have assembled an impressive collection of leading scholars, practitioners, and researchers in Destructive Trends in Mental Health, an insiders’ critique.

Operating under the premise that special interest groups have used faulty – even false – science to promote political agendas, contributing authors examine contemporary issues such as homophobia, the psychology of victim-hood, cultural sensitivity, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), managed care, and intelligence research. Chapters challenge the APA's recent stances on gay marriage, pedophilia, abortion, and boxing, exposing a trend in which they see ideology trumping science at the highest levels. The argument is not against high-minded goals such as cultural or sociopolitical diversity – the book rather warns of the dangers of actively discouraging valid scientific inquiry when it could lead to results that might not be politically correct.

Destructive Trends in Mental Health argues for a reevaluation of the practices and policies of professional organizations in the mental health fields, of the needs of the public they ultimately serve, and of how practitioners deliver care to their patients. The book was edited by Rogers H. Wright, Ph.D., past president of Division 12 and founding president of Division 31 of the American Psychological Association, and founding president of the Council for the Advancement of the Psychological Professions and Sciences (CAPPS). And Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D., distinguished professor, University of Nevada, Reno, and president of the Cummings Foundation for Behavioral Health, past president of the APA as well as its Divisions 12 (Clinical) and 29 (Psychotherapy). Wright and Cummings argue that unless steps are taken to reverse these trends, the mental health professions will suffer fatal blows to their credibility and, in the long term, their economic viability.

Buttressed and burnished by a glittering Who's Who in scientific and professional psychology, Wright and Cummings persuasively and forcefully dramatize how the mental health professions will enhance patient benefits by removing from the therapeutic process such destructive barriers as political correctness and intrusive ideologies. – Robert Perloff, Ph.D., Distinguished Service Professor, Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh ; Past President, American Psychological Association

Want to avoid foolishness, stupidity, and harm? Read this book; highly recommended. – Michael Hoyt, Ph.D. Chief of Adult Psychiatry, Kaiser Permanente

Destructive Trends in Mental Health could not be more timely, confronting issues that bedevil healthcare – namely, the physician glut that has arisen, transforming medicine and mental health from science-based, health-seeking, Hippocratic endeavors to pharma-mandated, dollar-seeking enterprises, saying whatever to embellish diagnosis and treatment. – Fred Baughman, M.D., author of The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Makes ‘Patients’ out of Normal Children

This book brings together outstanding and respected mental health scholars to challenge the permeation of mis- and disinformation being foisted on the public, the medical profession, and the mental health communities. With such noted scholars challenging these trends, the public has greater insight into what has heretofore been blindly accepted. – David Stein, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Longwood University ; author of Unraveling the ADD/ADHD Fiasco: Successful Parenting without Drugs

Organized psychology has been captured by a small group that is dumbing down psychology while pursuing its own agenda. This book shows how this oligarchy threatens to destroy the science and profession of psychology and wreak harm on an unsuspecting public that trusts and depends on psychology. It deserves very wide readership. – Arnold A. Lazarus, Ph.D., ABPP, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University

In this disturbing book, the authors offer compelling arguments for a reevaluation of recent policy decisions in psychology today. An eye-opening read from cover to cover, the information contained in Destructive Trends in Mental Health will undoubtedly challenge readers’ views of the APA and the field of professional psychology, but also more generally their faith in health care systems and the purity of scientific inquiry.

Health, Mind & Body / Sex

Secrets of the Sexually Satisfied Woman: Ten Keys to Unlocking Ultimate Pleasure by Laura Berman & Jennifer Berman, with Alice Burdick Schweiger (Hyperion)

For decades, women's sexuality has been little more than a hush-hush topic that tends to make most people uncomfortable. Drawing on their vast experience in the fields of urology and couples therapy, and combining their professional, clinical approach with thousands of real women's answers to what makes them sexually satisfied, Drs. Laura and Jennifer Berman, leading experts on women's sexual health, in Secrets of the Sexually Satisfied Woman offer women the awareness and the tools they need to live a satisfying sex life. They address common sexual myths and expectations that have limited women's sexual pleasure. For instance, they reveal that orgasms are not the key to women's sexual satisfaction, and that sexual satisfaction is blind to religion, conservatism, or sexual orientation.

Dr. Laura Berman, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University and founder/director of the Berman Center in Chicago, and Dr. Jennifer Berman, assistant professor of Urology and director of the Female Sexual Medicine Center at the UCLA Medical Center, topple common misconceptions and reshape conventional wisdom based on their National Women's Sexual Satisfaction Survey. Extrapolating from the study results, the Bermans address the psychological and medical factors that affect sexuality while providing advice on how women can improve their sex lives and enhance sexual pleasure.

Secrets of the Sexually Satisfied Woman addresses women directly, citing the personal differences that make all of their experiences unique. Written with the help of Alice Burdick Schweiger, a freelance writer specializing in health and relationships, the book instructs women in the techniques that enable them to achieve pleasure and sexual satisfaction with a professionalism that is lacking in many of today's magazines and self-help publications. The Bermans cover not only the physical side of sex and sexuality but also the significance of love and healthy relationships. They teach women the importance of having a healthy relationship with themselves in order to enhance and define their sexuality as a whole.

Not since The Hite Report twenty-five years ago has female sexuality been so comprehensively addressed and analyzed. Secrets of the Sexually Satisfied Woman is a valuable and accessible resource for women – it gives the tips, tools, and guidelines needed to achieve ulti­mate lovemaking. By following the guidelines of the Ten Keys to Unlocking Ultimate Pleasure, women and their partners can realize their sexual potential. From self-stimula­tion to the joys of sex toys and vibrators, the doctors cover it all, providing an accessible guide to a happy sex life.

Health, Mind & Body / Sociology / Gender Studies

Gender, Nature, and Nurture, Second Edition by Richard A. Lippa ( Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers)

Written by Richard Lippa, Professor of Psychology at California State University in Fullerton , one of the foremost authorities in the field, Gender, Nature, and Nurture presents the latest scientific findings on gender differences, similarities, and variations – in sexuality: cognitive abilities, occupational preferences, personality, and social behaviors. The impact of nature and nurture on gender is examined from the perspectives of genetics, molecular biology, evolutionary theory, neuroanatomy, anthropology, sociology, and psychology. The result is a balanced synthesis of diverse points of view. Lippa's text summarizes each side of the nature-nurture debate, and in witty, imagined conversation between a personified ‘nature’ and ‘nurture,’ it identifies weaknesses in the arguments offered by both sides. Lippa’s review defines gender, summarizes research on gender differences, examines the nature of masculinity and femininity, describes theories of gender, and presents a ‘cascade model,’ which argues that nature and nurture constitute the threads that wave together to form the complex tapestry known as gender.

Gender, Nature, and Nurture, Second Edition has these new features:

  • New research on sex differences in personality, moral thought, coping styles, sexual behavior, and antisocial behavior.
  • New research on masculinity, femininity, and psychological adjustment.
  • Results of a new meta-analysis of sex differences in real-life measures of aggression.
  • New sections on non-hormonal direct genetic effects on sexual determination; hormones and maternal behavior; research on male and female attitudes toward computers; and on gender, work, and pay.
  • Expanded accounts of sex differences in children's play and activity levels, social teaming theories of gender, and social constructionist views of gender.
  • A new glossary of key terms and concepts.

Competition: are you kidding: What competition? I created this course around the Lippa book. The author draws the reader in… The additions will make the book an even stronger teaching tool, and cement its position as unique in the marketplace in presenting balanced and up-to-date coverage of sex differences... – Lori Van Wallendael, PhD, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

There is a real need for one text to synthesize both sides of this still raging debate. This book meets that need. The book is able to describe an expansive amount of research on complex topics and not intimidate students in the process. – Christa Spears Brown, PhD, UCLA

Readers of all levels should find this book informative, entertaining, and most of all worthwhile. – Psychology of Women Quarterly

Lippa's engaging book stands as one of the few to tackle gender and its biological and environmental influences based on it thorough review of the research in both areas....ideally suited for newcomers to the subject – lower and upper-division undergraduates...and general readers. – CHOICE

Gender, Nature, and Nurture is a lively, engaging and fair-minded ‘primer’ and an ideal book for courses on gen­der studies, the psychology of women or of men, and gender roles. Its wealth of updated information will stimulate professional readers, its accessible style will captivate student readers, and its forthright examination of the relation between scientific debate and public policy will captivate general readers.

Health, Mind & Body / Health & Fitness

The Walking Deck: 50 Ways to Walk Yourself Healthy by Shirley Archer (Health Deck Series: Chronicle Books)

Walking – almost everyone does it.

Walking does not cost money, takes little time, and involves low-impact stress joints, making it an accessible form of exercise for seniors, expectant mothers, and those recovering from surgery or injury.

Studies show that the benefits that come from simply walking can be enormous. Walking as little as 30 minutes daily is one of the easiest, safest, and most enjoyable ways to keep in shape and reduce stress. Regular and moderate walking can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 40 percent. Other health benefits include improved bone health, reduced blood cholesterol, better mental performance, and sounder sleep. Not only does it improve physical health overall, it allows time to reconnect with nature, friends, and pets – warding off anxiety and depression and increasing the quality of life.

Written by Shirley S. Archer, health and wellness educator and fitness specialist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, The Walking Deck introduces simple ways to incorporate the benefits of walking into one’s routine, providing convenient ways to meet health and fitness goals. Cards cover form, technique, how to monitor intensity, proper stretching and strolling, plus 20 specialty itineraries for hoofing it everywhere from the beach to the mall to city streets.

Individual cards feature waking techniques, stretching exercises, toning exercises, and specialty walks: from the Easy Stroll to the Power Walk and from the Hill Walk to the Toning Circuit Walk. Each card includes an illustration with a description, tips, or suggested variations on the reverse side. Other specialized walks include the Mall Walk, the Urban Walk, the Dog Walk, and the Meditation Walk.

An introductory fold-out card delineates training guidelines as recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General and the American College of Sports Medicine; conscientious walking tips regarding posture, safety, form, and frequency; as well as tips on how to monitor progress, how to add variety and how to advance in the program. Other cards feature a Fitness Test, a Calorie-Burning Chart, and a Walking-Pace Chart to help readers determine where to begin and how to proceed on a regimen best suited for them.

The Walking Deck provides practical and thorough information in a handy and portable format. It helps readers adapt this simple act to meet their health and exercise goals and promote well-being of mind, body, and spirit. A compact deck of cards packed with a lot of information and even bigger benefits, The Walking Deck is also a wonderful gift of health.

History / Patterns

Growing Up: The History of Childhood in a Global Context by Peter N. Stearns (Edmondson Lecture Series: Baylor University )

In 1975 Dr. E. Bud Edmondson of Longview , Texas , began an endowment fund at Baylor University to honor his father, Mr. Charles S. B. Edmondson. Edmondson's wanted the proceeds from the fund used to bring to the University outstanding historians who could synthesize, interpret, and communicate history in such a way as to make the past relevant to the present generation. Growing Up is Edmondson lecture twenty-eight, made up of the transcripts of two lectures, essays given by Peter N. Stearns on the topics of childhood in two varied global settings, over time:

  1. Childhood in Agricultural Societies – The Emergence and Elaboration of a Powerful Model
  2. Childhood Amid Modernization and Globalization

Editor of the Journal of Social History, Peter Stearns, currently provost at George Mason University, is a prolific author, having recently published The Battleground of Desire: The Struggle for Self-Control in Modern America; Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in Western Society; Gender in World History; and World History: Patterns of Change and Continuity. Stearns also is editor of the recently published six-volume Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000. He is active in several professional organizations including the American Historical Society, the Society of French Historical Studies, the Social Science History Association, and the International Society for Research on Emotion.

No historian takes the long view and the big picture more seriously than Peter Stearns. In these provocative and important essays, Stearns challenges historians of childhood to think seriously and globally by outlining a world history of childhood. – Paula S. Fass, Margaret Byrne Professor of History, University of California at Berkeley

Growing Up, the very first book to delineate the global history of childhood, brilliantly demonstrates how a focus on children can bring the major themes in world history to life. Succinctly and convincingly, Peter Stearns analyzes the implications of the transitions from a hunting and gathering to an agricultural and industrial economy and traces the distinctive ways that diverse civilizations and religious traditions approached childhood. This study will be the starting point for all future attempts to place childhood in comparative perspective. – Steven Mintz, John and Rebecca Moore Professor of History, University of Houston

Stearns explores how some of the larger patterns of world history intersect with the intimate experience of childhood. Readers will note with respect the range of learning that underpins this informative text, and they will discover with gratitude how interesting and provocative the history of childhood is. – Raymond Grew, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Michigan

Growing Up is the first book written on the history of childhood within a global context. Baylor has provided a starting point for future discussion of how childhood happens through time and across cultures.

History / Americas / Sociology / Women’s Studies

Women of the New Mexico Frontier, 1846-1912, Revised by Cheryl J. Foote (University of New Mexico Press)

Just in time for Mother's Day, Albuquerque author and educator Cheryl J. Foote chronicles the lives of ordinary women living on the New Mexico frontier from 1846-1912.

Women of the New Mexico Frontier, 1846–1912 is a collection of essays that include biographical sketches and writings from women of all walks of life who helped bring about the Americanization of the New Mexico Territory , from the Mexican War until statehood in 1912. These women were wives of missionaries, soldiers and military officers, and government officials who came from the eastern part of the United States . Unearthing previously overlooked records from historical archives, Foote examines the full gamut of women's experiences on the raucous Old West frontier of New Mexico .

For this edition, Foote, who teaches at the Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute, has provided a new introduction, which highlights information uncovered since the book’s original publication in 1990.

Throughout, Foote does not shy away from sensitive topics, including alcoholism, domestic violence, and prostitution. . . . She has unearthed some women’s documents that were either unknown or have been overlooked, and she has encouraged others to delve into southwestern women’s history. – Glenda Riley, Alexander M. Bracken Professor Emeritus of History, Ball State University , Muncie , Indiana

Battered wives, Presbyterian missionaries, army laundresses – these are the people that Cheryl Foote presents in Women of the New Mexico Frontier. Even though she restricted her portraiture to Anglo-American women, Foote still found individuals about whom we usually know too little. For example, a particular strength of this book is the new dimension it brings to our understanding of army women. – The Journal of Arizona History

Based on careful research, Women of the New Mexico Frontier brings to our attention the lives and work of obscure but nevertheless significant women. For the first time, the lives of Anglo women from the Eastern United States are examined vis-à-vis the Americanization of New Mexico Territory.

History / Jewish / Biographies & Memoirs

The Search for Major Plagge: The Nazi Who Saved Jews by Michael Good ( Fordham University Press)

In 2005, in Jerusalem, Karl Plagge joins Oskar Schindler and some 380 other Germans honored as a ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ hero by the State of Israel for protecting and saving Jews during the Holocaust.

Perhaps in other places only a small amount of determination was lacking in order to prevent or decrease the atrocities. I never felt that this needed special courage. It required only the conviction and strength that anyone can draw from the depth of moral feelings that exists in all humans. – Major Karl Plagge, from a letter written in 1956

While all ‘Righteous Gentiles’ share the stamp of conscience, Plagge’s story is of a unique kind of courage – that of a German army officer who subverted the system of death to save the lives of some 250 Jews in Vilna, Lithuania. One of those he saved was Michael Good’s mother.

The Search for Major Plagge is the culmination of Michael Good's five-year search to discover the identity of the mysterious German army officer who saved his mother and 250 Jews from certain death. Good, a physician in Durham , Connecticut , was captivated by his mother's Holocaust survival story and after a visit to Vilna in the summer of 1999, he decided to launch an investigation to find out everything he could about the man whose courage spared hundreds of lives.

The book operates on two historical levels. The first reconstructs the experience of the author's family in Vilna in the 1940s, recounting both his parents' stories of survival. The second is the account of Good's research, as he builds a team of researchers from around the world and gradually pieces together the story of how Plagge was transformed from a Nazi party activist into a man determined to resist the genocidal machine he had helped create.

On July 1st 1944 , Major Plagge gathered his workers at the slave labor camp he ran and gave a warning that would save many of their lives. He told them the SS was coming to evacuate the labor camp and, "you know how well the SS takes care of its Jewish prisoners." With that, Good's mother, Pearl , her family, and 100 other Jews fled to the basement of the building where they hid for three days.

This wasn't Major Plagge's only act of resistance and compassion. Plagge went to Berlin and argued for the lives of 19,000 Jews who were scheduled to be executed, and he saved the lives of hundreds by issuing them yellow ‘life’ certificates declaring them indispensable laborers in his camp. He insisted his workers have the same amount of food to eat as his German officers, and Plagge even fired one of his officers who reportedly kicked a Jewish worker.

But Plagge never saw himself as a hero. He was plagued with guilt and called his efforts inadequate. When German judges were ready to give him a classification of innocence during his post-war trial, he refused it. He instead asked the court to give him the ‘fellow traveler’ label, which acknowledged his contribution to the rise of the Nazi Party.

"There are always some people," Pearl Good said of the man who saved her life when he didn't have to, "who decide that the horror is not to be."

Against the background of the Holocaust which has robbed so many of their faith, here is a story to restore one's faith. – Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

This is a riveting book, written as an involved detective story, and an exemplary tale of unassuming human courage. After the Vilna Ghetto was liquated by the Nazis in September 1943, a group of Jews survived in the houses of HKP (An industrial workplace of the German army) almost until the liberation, protected by the Wehrmacht commander of the outfit, Major Plagge, who stood up for his Jews even against pressures from the Gestapo. – Benjamin Harshav, Yale University

… This is an exceptional story of one man's bravery and compassion in a world where six million Jews were murdered. – George Cohen, Booklist

The Search for Major Plagge explores how one man's moral choices saved hundreds of lives. Interviewing camp survivors, opening German files that had been untouched for more than fifty years, and translating newly discovered letters by Plagge, Good weaves an amazing tale. This unforgettable book is the first portrait of a man who simply refused to play by the rules and reminds us of the many ways human beings can resist evil.

Home & Garden / Remodeling & Renovation

Kitchen and Bath Idea Book Collection (Idea Books) [BOXED SET] by Joanne Kellar Bouknight, Andrew Wormer (The Taunton Press)

New Kitchen Idea Book by Joanne Kellar Bouknight ( Taunton 's Idea Books Series: The Taunton Press)

New Bathroom Idea Book by Andrew Wormer ( Taunton 's Idea Books Series: The Taunton Press)

Taunton 's new Kitchen and Bath Idea Book Collection includes both the New Kitchen Idea Book and the New Bathroom Idea Book boxed together as a set.

New Kitchen Idea Book starts from the premise that the kitchen has become less utilitarian and more creative – a place where homeowners express their personal style as much as they would in any other room of the house. Homeowners are spending time and money making it the true heart of their home. By that same token, new appliance technology allows for a more useful kitchen, while hiding the pragmatism behind aesthetics. With all these new possibilities comes an overwhelming array of choices. Homeowners need guidance, and New Kitchen Idea Book provides that guidance. The book, written by Joanne Kellar Bouknight, a licensed architect, helps readers figure out their desires and how to create them, whether it’s a contemporary, brushed-stainless workroom worthy of an upscale restaurant; a rustic, farmhouse-style great room with wood flooring and a couch; or an elegant, streamlined space for a small city apartment. For every style – new appliance technology and cabinetry, fixtures and faucets, doors and counter materials, sinks, pulls, built-ins, and bookcases – New Kitchen Idea Book helps homeowners create the kitchen of their dreams.

New Bathroom Idea Book begins with the idea that the bathroom today is also getting more attention than ever – homeowners are realizing its value as a personal retreat and resale enhancer. Gone are the days of garish tile and fuzzy toilet seat covers; now, bathrooms are about taste and style. People want them to be both beautiful and functional, and manufacturers have provided more choices in materials and fixtures. This book, written by Andrew Wormer, an experienced builder and bathroom remodeler, covers them all, with ideas for tiny half-baths, medium-size his-and-hers, and large, luxurious home spas. Specifics on ventilation, waterproofing, faucets, showers, and tubs, give readers the knowledge they need to create the bathroom they want. With 325 photographs from today’s leading designers and architects, New Bathroom Idea Book gives homeowners hundreds of ideas about how to make the bath one of the most enjoyable and beautiful rooms in the house.

Both of the books in Kitchen and Bath Idea Book Collection are brimming with visual inspiration. Photos will inspire readers with creative ways to solve problems and enhance the quality of each space. This collection offers practical information and a wide array of design ideas to appeal to every budget and taste.

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Travel

Poets on Place: Tales and Interviews from the Road edited by W. T. Pfefferle, with a foreword by David St. John (Utah State University Press)

Out to see America and satisfy his travel bug, W. T. Pfefferle resigned his position as director of the writing program at Johns Hopkins University and hit the road to interview sixty-two poets about the significance of place in their work. The gathering of voices and ideas in Poets on Place is illustrated with photo and word portraits from the road and represented with suitable poems.

The poets include, among others: James Harms, Martha Collins, Linda Gregerson, Richard Tillinghast, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Karen Volkman, Lisa Samuels, Marvin Bell, Michael Dennis Browne, David Allan Evans, , Robert Wrigley, Nance Van Winckel, Christopher Howell, Mark Halperin, Barbara Drake, Floyd Skloot, Ralph Angel, Carol Muske-Dukes, David St. John, Sharon Bryan, Donald Revell, Claudia Keelan, Alberto Rios, Richard Shelton, Jane Miller, William Wenthe, Naomi Shihab Nye, Peter Cooley, Miller Williams, Denise Duhamel, Campbell McGrath, Terrance Hayes, Alan Shapiro, Nikki Giovanni, Charles Wright, Rita Dove, Henry Taylor, Dave Smith, Nicole Cooley, Michael S. Harper, C. D. Wright, Mark Wunderlich, James Cummins, Frederick Smock, Mark Jarman, Carl Phillips, Scott Cairns, Elizabeth Dodd, Jonathan Holden, Bin Ramke, Kenneth Brewer, and Paisley Rekdal.

In Poets on Place Pfefferle locates the urgencies of American poetry, poet by poet, against the backdrop of real places, actual landscapes, allowing his poets to reflect upon the landscapes of childhood or the vistas of a particular past. He also found poets who live comfortably in the fiercely imagined landscapes of their interior lives, their personal desires and hopes, and shows the way these more private and internal tensions are mirrored in a poem's more literal, external landscape. Poetry is forever looking to discover and describe what we mean by a sense of ‘home.’ In this collection of interviews, each poet struggles with the details of his or her own biography, of the complexities of residence and movement, in order to speak with the voice of place, the voice of landscape, within the poetic voice. We begin to see in the course of the interviews in Poets on Place that, although collected individually, these voices weave together into a fabric that exhibits a profound sense of American poetic community.

Pfefferle journeys deep into the American heartland to ...record the . . . songs of and photograph poets in their habitat. – David Citino, poet laureate of Ohio State University
These interviews . . . exhibit the profound richness and dazzling diversity of American poetry and its poets. – David St. John, from the foreword

Every generation or so we are reminded that thinking about ‘Place’ is enormously significant, especially to us North Americans. Notice the name: who we are is where we are. ‘Place’ is intelligence and emotion as well as geography, but it is geography, and this amazing collection of interviews reminds us all of that fact and of that glory. … – Bin Ramke

Poets on Place is an extraordinary and unique collection of interviews with American poets. Collected with intelligence and wit by Pfefferle on his cross-country travels, these interviews on the importance of place and landscape in poetry exhibit the profound richness and dazzling diversity of American poetry and its poets.

Literature & Fiction / Anthologies / Iranian

Strange Times, My Dear: The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature edited by Nahid Mozaffari, poetry edited by Ahmad Karimi Hakkak (Arcade Publishing) is the book over which Arcade sued the U.S. Government.

For thousands of years, multiple ethnicities, languages, and religions have coexisted in Iran , and they continue to do so despite traumatic events and transient ideologies. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the United States has been virtually cut off from Iran 's culture. Despite war, repression, and censorship, a veritable cultural renewal has taken place in Iran over the past quarter-century, not only in literature but in music, art, and film. Here in translation for the first time are selections from the work of over forty writers – both men and women – from three generations.

This anthology of fiction and poetry, Strange Times, My Dear, edited by Nahid Mozaffari, showcases the developments in Iranian literature over this period. Mozaffari, with a Ph.D. in history and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University , has taught Middle Eastern history at the New School in New York and at Cabot University in Rome . In her introduction, Mozaffari offers an overview of contemporary trends in Persian liter­ature and describes the general state of Iran since the revolution.

According to Dick Seaver, editor in chief of Arcade Publishing, after Arcade contracted to publish Strange Times, My Dear, the editors learned that to proceed with its publication would subject them to a possible fine of $1,000,000 and ten years in prison. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury demanded that to avoid these penalties Arcade would have to apply to them for a permit. This was in their view a blatant violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of the press, and Arcade decided to proceed without a permit. Further, together with PEN American Center , the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, and the Association of American University Presses, filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Government in late September 2004 asking for an injunction against enforcement of the OFAC regulations.

In December 2004, without responding directly to their lawsuit, the Treasury Department issued a ‘general license’ allowing Arcade to "freely engage in most ordinary publishing activities" involving countries on America 's ‘enemies list.’ While this is a step in the right direction, Arcade firmly believes that no organ of government has the right or authority to decide what publishers can publish and what the public may read. Even as ‘general licenses’ can be issued, so too can they be revoked, thus reinstating censorship.

Ambitious . . . It seems remarkable that these writers have escaped the wrath of the authorities, given their candor. A diverse sampling of contemporary Iranian letters and a welcome tool for anyone seeking to understand a complex culture that has long been explained away as The Enemy. – Kirkus Reviews

An extraordinary collection of fiction and poetry, this rich and varied collection – or, to use the Persian term, golchine, bouquet – provides a much needed window onto a largely undiscovered branch of world literature. Strange Times, My Dear brings to readers both literary enjoyment and a fuller understanding of Iran's complex contemporary culture and goes a long way toward filling the gap in our knowledge.

Literature & Fiction / Poetry

Lie Awake Lake by Beckian Fritz Goldberg (Oberlin College Press)

Already one of America 's most admired poets, with a substantial following, Beckian Fritz Goldberg joins the FIELD Poetry Series as the winner of the annual poetry prize with her new collection, Lie Awake Lake. Goldberg, author of three previous books of poetry, Body Betrayer, In The Badlands of Desire, And Never Be the Horse, teacher in the MFA program at Arizona State University , is among the most daring practitioners of her art.

Centered around the event of her father's death, Lie Awake Lake explores the meanings of the body in new and often surpris­ing ways.

There is a lot to be said for saying things straight, especially if, like Beckian Fritz Goldberg, you have the ear of an angel and a wildly passionate regard for words. I love the world rendered in Lie Awake Lake because of how carefully the poet makes me feel at home there, makes me be part of that world. This is the in­timacy of romanticism: an invitation to enter, however trance-like, the landscape of these poems, breathtak­ingly beautiful and resolute in their conviction that words matter, espe­cially in the face of randomness and moral collapse. I envy these poems. – Bruce Weigl

Lie Awake Lake is made out of a bril­liance of thought, of heart, and of lan­guage that we find only in the truest poetry. This fierce homage to the body and to the spirit…. It is as relentless and unmediated as if it was letter or diaries, but it is song – come to give us human animals pleasure and to help us endure. – Jean Valentine

Greatly admired by her fellow writers, Goldberg has put together in Lie Awake Lake a brilliant collection, extending her range and accomplishment.

Literature & Fiction / Biographies & Memoirs

Byways: A Memoir by James Laughlin, edited, with annotations and an introduction by Peter Glassgold, with a preface by Guy Davenport (A New Directions Book) is the long-awaited memoirs of New Directions' founder.

James Laughlin founded New Directions in 1936 while still an undergraduate, doing so on the advice of Ezra Pound. Laughlin was wealthy, tall, good-looking, intelligent, sophisticated, athletic, well connected, conversant in French, Italian, German, and Latin, and he used all of these gifts to his own and ultimately New Directions' advantage: he changed the literary landscape of America , working closely with some of the greatest writers and artists of our time.

In Byways Laughlin looks back to his immigrant Irish family's history and its expanding wealth in the Pittsburgh steel business after the Civil War, to his own childhood and school years in Switzerland and at Choate and Harvard, to his early travels abroad, his years in the mid-50s as extracurricular publisher of Perspectives, an international literary venture of the Ford Foundation, even to his other enterprise, the famous ski-lifts and resort in Alta, Utah, and to his many love affairs.

Yet the man who published, promoted, and kept in print the work of some of the greatest writers of the twentieth century remained resistant to the memoiristic impulse. In the end, he found his autobiographical voice not in conventional narrative but in verse. Since the best work of Laughlin as a poet is his short-line poems, and it seems right that he turned to poetry and the three-stress narrative line that he adapted from Kenneth Rexroth for his autobiographical opus.

The scope of Byways, edited by Peter Glassgold, a writer, translator, and literary editor, is ambitious, weaving together family history, the poet's early memories and travels in Europe and America with his playboy father, his student years at Harvard and his first meetings with Ezra Pound, the first decades in publishing and his reminiscences of his close friendships with W.C. Williams, Thomas Merton, and Kenneth Rexroth.

Byways is an acute portrait of a gone era: the Pittsburgh of steel magnates, the London and Paris of discreet assignations, the Harvard where tailors routinely come to the dormitory to take the measurements of undergraduates for their tweeds. Who would have thought such an environment could breed the most avant-garde of our publishers? For Laughlin, publishing was not a trade but, like his own poetry, a labor of love: whether ‘courting’ William Carlos Williams or discovering a beautiful young girl, love is at the heart of this memoir. – Marjorie Perloff

… The great publisher, lover, poet, and patrician looks on the life he writes with serene, almost Olympian, fond­ness. His warmest recollections are of friends. Laughlin's genius for friendship gives his work the timeless feeling of the classics he loved. You are reading the man who published the twentieth century, but reading also Catullus and Ovid. An Ars Vivendi, an Ars Amandi, and an Ars Poetica in one volume. – Andrei Codrescu

Byways is an absorbing, engaging, and at times gossipy memoir. Though unfinished, Byways stands as testimony to the author's long, influential, and productive life.

Literature & Fiction / Women’s Fiction

The Red Hat Club Rides Again by Haywood Smith ( St. Martin ’s Press)

On the heels of her bestselling novel, The Red Hat Club, Haywood Smith, aka Anne Haywood Pritchett, is back with The Red Hat Club Rides Again, inviting readers to put on their red hats and plenty of attitude, and have a heartwarming read with five fabulous women. As in The Red Hat Club, the midlife heroines face the challenges of friendship in sickness and in health, with heart and indomitable humor.

These are five of the sassiest southern women you might ever meet – Georgia , Su Su, Teeny, Diane, and Linda, who always wondered what happened to their childhood friend Pru Bonner. In The Red Hat Club Rides Again, Pru makes her appearance, and the five learn that she's been battling a hard life of bad men and too much liquor. But the Red Hat Club is the balm that Pru needs, and soon she's back in rare form.

But when Pru falls off the wagon, the Red Hats stage a hilarious kidnapping in Vegas to get her into rehab, adding their own brand of support to family night – whether she wants them to or not. To celebrate Pru's successful completion of treatment, multimillionaire Teeny treats all six of the gang to a month-long, carte blanche plastic surgery cruise, after which the girls explore the world of Internet dating. And there are pitfalls aplenty – including a ‘change of life’ baby for one of the group, gold-digging men, and surprising truths about mothers and daughters.

As the women confront their pasts along with their hazardous adventure, they discover surprising strength in themselves and their friendships. Laughter is spiced with secrets, and surprises, and a surprise celebration that proves it's never too late for love.

 … If you're willing to suspend disbelief and go along for the joy ride, then hitting the road with Smith's lovable ladies is a riotous, raucous, roller-coaster adventure. – Carol Haggas, Booklist

A spicy sequel offers an engaging ode to the lasting bonds of southern sisterhood and life-begins-at-50 optimism that will melt the most cynical of Yankee hearts. – Kirkus Reviews

The Red Hat Club is back, in rare form. With her trademark humor seasoning a story full of surprises, Smith recounts the further adventures of the tight-knit group of Southern belles who decide to deal with life's setbacks with frivolity and fun, and who emerge victorious through divorce, menopause, spreading waistlines and other tribulations. So join the Red Hat Club and remember that age is all in one’s head, at least in The Red Hat Club Rides Again – not authorized by the Red Hat Society, incidentally.

Medicine / Death & Dying

And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life by Sharon Kaufman (Scribner)

Most Americans, when pressed, have a vague sense of how they would like to die. They may imagine a quick and painless end or a gentle passing away during sleep. Some may wish for time to prepare and make peace with themselves, their friends, and their families. Others would prefer not to know what's coming, a swift, clean break. Yet all fear that the reality will be painful and prolonged; all fear the loss of control that could accompany dying.

That fear is justified. It is also historically unprecedented. In the past thirty years, the advent of medical technology capable of sustaining life without restoring health, the expectation that a critically ill person need not die, and the conviction that medicine should routinely thwart death have significantly changed where, when, and how Americans die and put us all in the position of doing something about death.

In And a Time to Die medical anthropologist Sharon R. Kaufman examines the powerful center of those changes – the hospital, where most Americans die today. In the hospital world, the deep, irresolvable tension between the urge to extend life at all costs and the desire to allow ‘letting go’ is rarely acknowledged, yet it underlies everything that happens there. Over the course of two years, Kaufman, professor of medical anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco, observed and interviewed critically ill patients, their families, doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff at three community hospitals. In And a Time to Die, her research places us at the heart of that science-driven yet fractured and often irrational world of health care delivery, where empathetic yet frustrated, hard-working yet constrained professionals both respond to and create the anxieties and expectations of patients and families, who must make ‘decisions’ they are ill-prepared to make.

Filled with actual conversations between patients and doctors, families and hospital staff, And a Time to Die exposes the reasons for complicated questions about medical care at the end of life: for example, why ‘heroic’ treatment so often overrides ‘humane’ care; why patients and families are ambivalent about choosing death though they claim to want control; what constitutes quality of life and life itself; and, ultimately, why a ‘good’ death is so elusive.

This is a book about the bureaucracy, rhetoric, machines, and procedures that define American hospitals and structure time and death within their walls, creating a new reality – death brought into life. It is also about the culture that predominates in the hospital and its deep, internal ambivalence about death. That ambivalence arose with the coming together of three elements: the work and goals of medicine, American individualism, and the market-oriented health care delivery system. It confronts patients, families, and hospital staff with the need to make seemingly impossible choices. Together, these elements have contributed to a vociferous nationwide conversation about the problem of death,’ a problem that is manifested most visibly and dramatically by patients who have entered the ‘gray zone’ at the threshold between life and death. And a Time to Die maps the journeys such patients take into and through that zone as well as the culture that surrounds it.

While the primary task of medicine is to deny death, everyone also knows that, ultimately, death cannot be denied. But medicine can manipulate when death occurs. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), mechanical ventilators, feeding tubes, and powerful medications, for example, are all tools that, if applied, can slow death's arrival and, if withheld or withdrawn, can speed it up. Yet medical tools and procedures are not the only contributors to the way hospital deaths happen, and they are not the only contributors to the widely felt disquiet. In American society, with its strong emphasis on the ideal of individual rights, the decision-making power of a person facing death is deemed necessary and central. A specific rhetoric – of ‘suffering,’ ‘dignity,’ and ‘quality of life’ – shapes those judgments and is deployed often in hospital discussions about what to do for and about the critically ill individual. That rhetoric emerges as a strong determinant of when death occurs.

People today want things from death, and their desires are both contradictory and unprecedented. Many want dying to be an experience that can be characterized as ‘good,’ yet persons near death and those who care for them often perceive it as difficult or painful, harrowing or humiliating. People want death to be made comfortable by the tools of medicine, which they expect can eliminate both the disturbing visible signs of the body's disintegration and the patient's experience of suffering. Yet they also hold vague ideas that death can somehow be ‘natural’ – and by that they usually mean peaceful and easy, like the sleep of a child – and without the overuse of drugs or machines. People want the medical profession to offer hope and compassionate intervention, but they are distraught when death is preceded by ‘too much’ invasive medical technology. Many want to control the way death happens for themselves and their loved ones by planning ahead for it, yet few are actually prepared for the moments when decisions must be made or for the kinds of questions that will emerge when death is near.

Hospital death is framed as a problem in the United States because, while many claim to want that elusive ‘good’ death for themselves and their loved ones, they also want – equally or more strongly – that their loved ones not die. These contradictory emotions emerge from a particular view of medical progress – that the tools of contemporary medicine can effect more and more cures, stop (for a while at least) the process of growing old or repair the failing bodily systems that accompany very late life, and deny death indefinitely. Thus a great many people experience – as patient, family member, friend, or clinician – the seemingly insoluble tension between, on the one hand, the desire to extend someone's life and the expectation that it can and should be extended using the tools of medicine and, on the other, the contrasting value of allowing death to occur ‘with dignity’ or without ‘artificial’ technological prolongation.

After her two years of observation, Kaufman learned that each patient's hospital stay is seen by medical personnel through the lens of the passage of time, through the institutional demand to move through time with economic and clinical efficiency. For doctors and nurses in the hospital, the timing of decisions and procedures (that is, the speed or slowness with which they occur), the ability to get things done in a timely way, the obstacles to that timeliness, and the timing of death all represent overarching concerns. People who work in hospitals across the United States will recognize these scenarios – dependence on the mechanical ventilator, extended periods of watching a patient hover at the threshold of death, endless and perhaps ‘futile’ procedures, the decision to insert a feeding tube or withdraw life support, and all manner of dying itself. In each of the twenty-seven patients' stories she reconstructs, the death scenario is clearly the inevitable outcome of ways in which the hospital system guides events and individual choices. She says she chose these particular stories because, taken together, they represent a range of hospital phenomena and patient and family experience that are considered problematic in the public discourse.

Kaufman’s experience in these hospitals led her to recognize and consider four topics that have been missing from the growing conversation about problematic death, and And a Time to Die describes them. First, the hospital system shapes medical practice and practitioner and patient experience, yet that system has not often been acknowledged in the ongoing lay discussion of problematic dying. The hospital system organizes how lifesaving biomedical technologies are used as well as the ways in which day-to-day activities are carried out. Together the bureaucracy, the technologies, and ordinary medical practices create the phenomenon of the threshold between life and death, and the waiting that occurs there, and thus spark the conversation of complaint. At that threshold, the hospital acts as a laboratory, an experimental space in which new kinds of persons, new forms of life itself, are made and questions are raised about what it is to be alive and to be human.

Second, the rhetoric used by hospital staff, families, and patients to make sense of an individual life when it hovers at the gray zone is not acknowledged in the public conversation for its powerful role in determining when to allow death to happen. Though that rhetoric circulates widely in American society and thus seems ‘natural’ in the hospital setting, it is deployed and negotiated at the bedside of very sick patients to control the dying transition.

The third overlooked topic concerns the hidden kinds of knowledge that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals share among themselves about hospital procedures, routines, and what needs to be done at the threshold between life and death. The information they possess stands in sharp contrast to what patients and families experience and grasp when they enter the hospital and confront critical illness. Despite the widespread critique of the overuse of medical treatments and the apparent desire for change, professional knowledge of what goes on in the hospital when death is near and why, as well as hospital staff's expectations about patient and family responsibility, remains sequestered there.

Lastly, neither the management of the threshold nor the way death occurs in the hospital is inevitable. Our understandings of how hospital death occurs and is staved off, and of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ with either, are determined by historical trends in politics, medicine, and social life. Those include the changing power relations among the institutions of science, religion, and the law; the ways in which biomedical technologies have come to be used and valued; developments in Medicare and other federal regulations and policies; the transformation over the twentieth century of ideas about the body, the person, and old age; and the evolving roles of medical specialists, ethicists, legal experts, managers, hospital patients, and families in that transformation.

With the tools of anthropology, by traveling into the hidden yet taken-for-granted world of the hospital and by closely observing what occurs in territory both familiar and strange, Kaufman dismantles simple views of technological overload and lack of personal command that so commonly characterize how American hospital dying is understood and to expand the concept to include the institutional structures and cultural forces that shape it.

Kaufman’s research makes it clear that she could not provide direct solutions to the ‘problem’ of hospital dying – that problem is deeply, perhaps inextricably embedded in the political and economic organization of American medical care, the logic of hospital routines, the values and language associated with individualism, and a complex history of the ways in which doctors have come to understand both disease and their patients and in which medical practices have shaped the nature of relationships among disease, its management, old age, and the end of life. Within this complex context, Kaufman maps for readers the routes toward dying in American hospitals. She shows what the different roads to that destination look like, their impact on those who travel them, and some of the cultural foundations on which they were built. She shows how all individual decisions about travel on those roads (which byway to take, when to stop, when to speed up) are mostly not ‘decisions’ at all, but rather are determined by the existing grid – the structural patterns of the hospital system. That system works by forcing decision-making on us all, by claiming that we have choices to make; and her discussion of how the system operates does not and cannot change that, for the ideologies and values that support the system reach deep into American society. Her discussion does show, however, how we got into the present dilemma and what its contemporary features look like. The web of routines, regulations, and finance mechanisms that both coordinate and fragment the health care delivery system, of which the hospital is one part, cannot easily be dismantled or abandoned. And the values of individualism and individual rights, along with the powerful rhetoric that supports those values and guides many of us in deciding what to do at the threshold of death, cannot easily be ignored. But they can be described. Kaufman’s aim in And a Time to Die is to show why the so-desired ‘unproblematic’ death is so hard to attain. Her hope is that what she reveals can be a useful guide for all who face a journey through the hospital in the future.

Kaufman brilliantly captures the ethos of the American intensive care unit. I can no longer walk into the ICU of the teaching hospital where I practice without hearing the relentless drumbeat that Kaufman describes, the rhythm marking that special sense of time evident only to the physicians and nurses in the ICU. It is a clock that tells practitioners when to ‘do everything’ and when to withdraw treatment, a clock whose ticking is often inaudible to patients and families, with sometimes tragic consequences. This is a book that anyone who wants to understand the contemporary American hospital should read. – Muriel Gillick , MD Associate Professor Harvard Medical School , author of Lifelines: Living Longer, Growing Frail, Taking Heart

There are good routines for medical care and for cure, but patients and their families, physicians and other ‘healthcare workers’, have such different concepts of life and consciousness, of dignity and duty, of faith and obligation, that there can never be agreement on how we die or how we should die. This fine work, Sharon Kaufman's new book, should help policy makers and physicians transform the experience and culture of death in America . – Robert N. Butler, M.D., President and CEO International Longevity Center USA
Ethnography at its best. [Kaufman's] quietly powerful book needs to be read by both family caregivers and medical professionals. – Library Journal, starred review

This beautifully synthesized and disquieting account melds disciplined description with acute analysis. It incorporates the voices of doctors, nurses, social workers and patients in an analysis of the modern American quest for ‘a good death.’ In compelling prose, this penetrating and revelatory study reveals the dilemmas of hospital death in America today: the shift to patients' control of decision making despite the doctors' greater knowledge; the ethics and practical effects of resuscitation versus pain relief; the complexities of assessing ‘quality of life’ while guessing at the desires of an unconscious patient. This probing study lays bare the cultural and institutional assumptions and rhetoric that frame our search. Kaufman exposes the clash of dying patients and their families with the only institutional resources available to them. Kaufman's unwavering account reveals a culture of clinical practice that has trouble acknowledging the inevitability of death, and that moves awkwardly from curative to palliative treatment.  And a Time to Die is a provocative, illuminating, and necessary read for anyone working in or navigating the health care system today, providing a road map to the disorienting territory of the hospital, where we all are asked to make life-and-death choices.

Medicine / General

Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation for Active Older Adults edited by Kevin P. Speer (Human Kinetics)

Geared toward those health care professionals working with active seniors – from competitive and recreational athletes to fitness enthusiasts – Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation for Active Older Adults contains the information to help practitioners

  • Strengthen their understanding of general issues in sports medicine for active seniors.
  • Explore prevention of, and determine treatment for, specific injuries.
  • Apply to their own practice the knowledge of specialists experienced in working with older populations.
  • Implement and supervise appropriate conservative therapies.

Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation for Active Older Adults was written by a team of specialists with extensive experience in treating active seniors. Edited by Kevin Speer, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon, former head team physician for all Duke University athletic teams, assistant team physician for the New York Giants, the New York Mets, and St. John’s University, and head team physician for the Durham women’s professional fast-pitch softball team, it emphasizes conservative treatment over surgery. It also guides readers in knowing when to refer a client to a surgeon, how to prepare a client for what might happen when referred, and what type of surgery might be indicated.

Part I focuses on a variety of issues in sports medicine, including senescent changes in the musculoskeletal system, exercise testing and prescription, and factoring the kinetic chain into prevention and therapy. Flexibility, stretching, and massage for older people are also covered, as are nutrition, nutritional supplements, and pharmacology.

Part II, organized by anatomical areas, delves into specific injuries and conditions. This approach helps readers easily locate regional musculoskeletal problems and identify appropriate rehabilitation procedures. These regions include the shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, spine, hip, knee, and foot and ankle. Common injuries, conditions, and treatments are explored in each area.

Accompanying photos and illustrations supplement Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation for Active Older Adults, showing stretches for all parts of the body, exercises for both injury prevention and rehabilitation, diagnostic techniques (including special tests and best X-ray positions) and various treatment options. Chapters include:

Part I. General Issues in Sports Medicine for Active Older Adults

  1. Senescent Changes in the Human Musculoskeletal System – Hardy Singh , MD
  2. Exercise Testing and Prescription – Rafael Escamilla, PhD, PT, CSCS
  3. The Kinetic Chain – W. Ben Kibler, MD
  4. Soft Tissue Care: Flexibility, Stretching, and Massage – Carol C. Figuers, PT, EdD
  5. Nutrition and Pharmacology – Franca B. Alphin, MPH, RD, LDN; Daryl C. Osbahr, BS

Part II. Injuries and Conditions in Active Older Adults

  1. Shoulder Problems – Edward G. McFarland, MD; Hyung Bin Park, MD; Tae Kyun Kim, MD; Efsthathios Chronopoulos, MD; Atsushi Yokota, MD
  2. Elbow Problems – Todd S. Ellenbecker, MS, PT, SCS, OCS, CSCS
  3. Hand and Wrist Problems – Jonathan Isaacs, MD; L. Scott Levin, MD
  4. Spine Problems – Joshua D. Rittenberg, MD; Joel M. Press, MD; Amy E. Ross, MPT; Venu Akuthota , MD
  5. Hip Problems – Srino Bharam, MD; Utku Kandemir, MD; Marc J. Philippon, MD
  6. Knee Problems – Douglas J. Martini, MD; Lauren A. Carlson, MPH
  7. Foot and Ankle Problems – Ryan W. Simovitch, MD; Mark E. Easley, MD

With the rise in active participation in sports and exercise by older people, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation for Active Older Adults is both timely and instructive. It explores the issues involved in working with active older adults, providing a valuable resource to help sports medicine professionals prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries for this growing population. Therapists and trainers will strengthen their ability to explain their basis for both treatment and referral. Explaining the issues involved in preventing and treating injuries in active older people and in helping them recover and return to full activity as soon as possible, this is a book which will serve as a useful reference.

Mysteries & Thrillers

The Bay at Midnight by Diane Chamberlain (MIRA)

Family secrets are at the core of the mystery, The Bay at Midnight, written by Diane Chamberlain, the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels that deftly explore the complexities of human relationships – between men and women, brothers and sisters, parents and children.

Her family's cottage on the New Jersey shore was a place of freedom and innocence for Julie Bauer – until tragedy struck when her seventeen-year-old sister, Isabel, was murdered.

It's been more than forty years since that August night, but Julie's memories of her sister's death still color her world, causing turmoil in her relationships with her teenage daughter, Shannon, and her mother, Maria.

Now an unexpected phone call from someone in her past raises questions about what really happened that night. Questions about Julie's own complicity, about a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. Questions about the man who went to prison for Izzy's murder – and about the man who didn't.

The niece of Ned Chapman, on whom Julie had a crush that fatal summer, arrives at her door bearing a letter from her uncle, recently dead of cirrhosis of the liver, claiming that the person convicted for Isabel's murder, an African-American named George Lewis, was wrongly imprisoned. Julie never believed the man convicted of drowning Isabel was guilty, but she isn't prepared for the family secrets, both past and present, that reopening the investigation will dredge up. Now she must harness the courage to revisit her past and untangle the shattering emotions that led to a terrible act of violence on the bay at midnight .

… Through multiple points of view, Chamberlain skillfully explores the painful memories of the tragedy. The story of what really happened unfolds organically and credibly, building to a touching denouement that plumbs the nature of crimes of the heart. – Publishers Weekly
… Chamberlain's latest is both an enticing mystery and a rewarding love story; expect demand from word of mouth. – Kristine Huntley, American Library Association.

With her flawless ability to craft unforgettably real characters, Chamberlain in The Bay at Midnight gives readers a simmering, evocative novel about the secrets that families keep – and the haunting legacies they leave behind. This romantic suspense novel is a smooth and well-written tale.

Mysteries & Thrillers

The White League by Thomas Zigal (The Toby Press)

A secret organization hiding within the elite society of New Orleans , blackmail, and a white supremacist running for governor of Louisiana are the key ingredients in this Southern crawfish boil of a novel about guilt, privilege and racism in one of America 's most exotic cities.

In The White League by Tom Zigal (author of the critically acclaimed Kurt Muller mystery series set in Aspen, Colorado), coffee magnate Paul Blanchard's comfortable world is turned upside down when his old fraternity brother, Mark Morvant, threatens to expose the secret that Paul has been harboring for twenty years – his black girlfriend in college died of a heroin overdose, and Morvant helped him dispose of the body in a bayou – unless he bankrolls Morvant's bid for governor. In addition, Morvant demands that Paul secure the financial and political backing of a clandestine organization called The White League – a group that he maintains is the real power in New Orleans , and has been for more than a century. Despite Paul's avowed belief that the group no longer exists, he has just three weeks to bring the League on board the campaign, or Morvant will destroy him.

Blanchard's desperate pursuit of the truth uncovers family secrets, historical intrigue, and the underworld machinations of a dangerous group that has no qualms about committing murder in order to maintain power. As his well-ordered world begins to collapse, Paul struggles with the moral consequences of his own past. Now it is up to him to placate Morvant, outsmart the White League, and save his family, his reputation, and ultimately, his life.

Zigal, author of the Colorado sheriff Kurt Muller series, sets this gripping novel of racism, justice denied, retribution and redemption in the upper-class environs of New Orleans circa 1990. … As in any good Southern novel, present events are dictated by the past, and colorful characters from all stations of life perform both honorable and despicable acts. There's plenty of New Orleans lore and even a swipe at a JFK assassination connection in this solidly written, adroitly plotted and satisfyingly ethics-driven tale. – Publishers Weekly
Zigal presents a taut thriller that will keep readers guessing as he probes the moral dilemmas at the heart of both New Orleans ' checkered past and Paul's contradictory character. This is a page-turner with a conscience, and it leaves some heady questions in its path. – Misha Stone, Booklist

The White League is a fine and gripping tale of racism, of retribution and redemption, of white picket fences and guilt and privilege, and a south haunted by the past.

Outdoors & Nature / Birdwatching

Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America by Kenn Kaufman (Houghton Mifflin Company)

Five years ago, Kaufman's Birds of North America was the first nature guide in the world to be illustrated with digitally enhanced photographs. Critically acclaimed for its innovative design, the Kaufman guide began introducing a new generation to birding.

In this new Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America writer/author/illustrator Kenn Kaufman continues to use his revolutionary technique, combining the immediacy of photography with the accuracy of painting. In his artwork, distinguishing field marks are clear and a number of birds can be shown together on one page. The technique is especially helpful for beginners, who are thrilled at the ease with which they can identify birds in their own backyards.

The book includes dozens of changes by the American Ornithologists’ Union in official names of birds, the addition of new species to reflect the latest scientific discoveries, dozens of updated range maps, and an expanded section on bird conservation. Everything in the Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America is designed to make it the easiest guide for fast identification:

  • Pictorial table of contents and color-tabbed sections
  • Similar species grouped together
  • One-page quick index
  • New introduction

Birds that are often seen swimming together are illustrated together, even if they are not related. Common birds are shown in more detail than rarer species, and the most widespread or typically seen birds are illustrated first. Color-keyed tabs make finding the desired selection a snap, and the maps, descriptions, and illustrative material are all on two-page spreads, making the book easy to use. The description of each bird, covering distinctive habits and habitats and summarizing its field marks and songs, is rendered in Kaufman's celebrated prose – a blend of scientific insight and poetic elegance.

The most user-friendly guide every published. – Bill Thompson III, Bird Watcher’s Digest

If you are going to buy only one guide to the birds of our continent, then this is the book. – Mark Wilson, Boston Globe

… Author and illustrator Kaufman (Lives of North American Birds) has long been one of the bird-watching community's stars. His colorful, practical and very portable book aims to become the new standard in the field. The book is small enough for a big jacket pocket, and can be held in one hand; color-coded tags divide its 16 sections on 16 classes of birds … The guide may not be the most comprehensive available…But Kaufman makes up for those limits with compactness, great design and ease of use…– Publishers Weekly

The book unites simplicity and artistry to great effect. Up to date and compact, the Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America will inspire birders and others who care about the natural world to support bird conservation. Bird watching can thrive only as long as we have birds to watch, and Kaufman hopes that as more people become aware of birds and their beauty, they will also care about preserving the environment.

Outdoors & Nature / Field Guides

Our Native Trees by Harriet L. Keeler, with an introduction by Carol Poh Miller and a foreword by Anne Raver (The Kent State University Press)

Educator, author, and naturalist Harriet L. Keeler (1844–1921) was a prominent figure in her time. With this facsimile reprint of her first book, Our Native Trees, written for a national audience, she once again is brought to the public's attention.

An 1870 graduate of Oberlin College , Keeler devoted her career to service as a teacher and administrator in the Cleveland public schools. She was active in Cleveland civic life and a prominent champion of women's rights. But it was as a naturalist that she did her most distinctive work, preparing authoritative and literate field guides to native flora. Keeler was one of those amateur botanists who was as at home with a calyx and peduncles as with the writings of Emerson and Shakespeare.

Our Native Trees, first published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1900, was warmly received at a time when America was rapidly urbanizing and public interest in conservation and the establishment of parks was growing. In her preface, Keeler explained that "the trees described in Our Native Trees are those indigenous to the region extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to the northern boundaries of the southern states; together with a few well-known and naturalized foreign trees" such as the Horse-chestnut, Lombardy Poplar, Ailanthus and Sycamore Maple.

Keeler says in the preface that she hopes Our Native Trees “will commend itself –

  • To amateur botanists who desire a more extended and accurate description of trees than is given by the botanical text-books in ordinary use.
  • To such of the general public as habitually live near fields and woods; or whose love of rural life has led them to summer homes in hill country or along the seashore; or whose daily walks lead then through our city parks and open commons.
  • To all those who feel that their enjoyment of outdoor life would be distinctly increased were they able easily to determine the names of trees.”

In writing this work of reference, Keeler drew from many books of reference and also the works of Lowell, Longfellow, Emerson, Whittier, Holmes, Thoreau, Burroughs, Miss Thomas, Wilson Flagg, G. Frederick Wright, George Pierce, D. T. MacDougal, and Professor Charles S. Sargent. According to Ann Raver, a writer on gardens, landscape design, and the natural world for the New York Times, in the foreword, “In Our Native Trees…she takes us by the hand to say, in her conversational voice, what is so engaging about the magnolia or the linden or, in the case of the pawpaw, what is not. Of the paw paw's fruit, she writes. ‘Although credited in the books as edible and wholesome, one must be either very young or very hungry really to enjoy its flavor.’ (Hear, hear! The pawpaw, though a lovely tree, bears tasteless fruit with the consistency of pabulum.)

“Keeler … strides right into the botany, as if to say that this is not a man's world, and she proceeds to parse a flower's parts matter-of-factly – just as she must have diagrammed those sentences on the blackboard. The linden's flowers, for example, she describes as "perfect, regular, yellowish white, fragrant, nectariferous, downy, born in cymous clusters, pendulous, with the flower-stalk attached for half its length to the vein of an oblong leaf-like bract as long as itself." Now, here is a technical description that I can actually picture! I might skip over it in order to read all the intriguing things she has to say about the linden, but it is there to refer to when I am out and about, sticking my nose into one of those nectariferous, cymous clusters.

“I think Keeler would have used her rake as energetically as she used her mind. Her presence is palpable in this friendly guide to native trees. There is no reason not to savor every moment while embracing the world in all its layers. And there is no excuse for not being accurate.”

Profusely illustrated and with a biographical introduction by Carol Poh Miller, a historical consultant in Cleveland, who has written widely on local history and architecture that illuminates Keeler's life and accomplishments, this edition of Our Native Trees will aid a new generation eager to identify and thus better appreciate what they observe outdoors.

Parenting / Psychology & Counseling

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld & Gabor Mate (Ballantine Books)

Parenthood today is being undermined in almost every way possible.

In a controversial new book, Gordon Neufeld, a clinical psychologist with over thirty years of experience working with children, identifies a little-understood but disturbing problem that has become more and more pervasive in today's culture: the phenomenon of ‘peer orientation,’ that is, children's attachments are less and less to the nurturing adults in their lives and more and more to their peers.

International authority on child development Dr. Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., joins forces with physician and bestselling author Gabor Mate, M.D., to tackle one of the most disturbing and misunderstood trends of our time: peers replacing parents in the lives of our children. Hold On to Your Kids explains the causes of this crucial breakdown of parental influence – and offers compassionate, common-sense solutions.

According to the good doctors, due to economic and cultural changes of historic proportions, children today are increasingly looking to their peers for direction: for a sense of right and wrong, and for values, identity, and codes of behavior. This phenomenon undermines family cohesion, interferes with healthy development, and fosters a hostile and sexualized youth culture. Under the influence of peer orientation, children lose their true individuality and become overly conformist, desensitized, and alienated. Being ‘cool’ matters more to them than anything else. They naturally look to their friends for everything – how to dress, how to talk, how to behave. Neufeld says there is nothing wrong with kids making close friends. "Having friends is normal and natural; being alienated from parents and teachers is abnormal and unnatural.

At its most extreme, our children's weakened connection with adults provides a powerful explanation for schoolyard bullying, teenage gangs, and growing high school violence.

Nature never intended children to bring each other up, says Dr. Neufeld. When children look to each other for values, validation, and a sense of themselves, they stop developing and maturing in healthy ways. To assure children's healthy development, parents must hold on to them until they are mature enough to hold on to themselves. The book contains ways to ‘reattach’ sons and daughters, to establish the proper hierarchy in the home, to make kids feel safe and understood, and to earn again their loyalty and their love.

Hold On to Your Kids brings us genuinely new ideas and fresh perspectives on parenting. The authors integrate psychology, anthropology, neurology, and their own personal and professional experiences as they examine the ‘context’ of parenting today. This is a worthy book with practical implications for Mom and Dad. – Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shelter of Each Other

A great step forward in grasping the sorrow and suffering that our kids are experiencing. This is a brilliant book on the level of Paul Goodman's Growing Up Absurd. Give a copy to every parent you know. – Robert Bly, poet, author of The Sibling Society and Iron John

A visionary book that goes beyond the usual explanations to illuminate a crisis of unrecognized proportions. Most important, the authors offer concrete examples, clear suggestions, and practical help for parents to fulfill their instinctual roles. A brilliant and well-written book, one to be taken seriously, very seriously. – Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., author of Waking the Tiger – Healing Trauma

This important book boldly states the problem of ‘peer orientation’ and maps out plans for its solution. Let us take its suggestions seriously now so that together we can improve our children's futures. – Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry, UCLA, author of The Developing Mind and Parenting from the Inside Out

The concepts, dramatic case histories, and advice contained in Hold On to Your Kids will help parents and other nurturing adults hold on to or regain their natural authority and protect children from becoming lost in the emotionally barren and culturally sterile world of peer orientation. Neufeld and Mate show parents how they can reclaim their peer-oriented children and maintain a positive connection with them to counteract overwhelming peer pressure. The book’s practical advice will empower parents to be for their children what nature intended: the true source of guidance, security and love.

Parenting / Religion / Christianity

Dr. James Dobson's Bringing Up Boys: Video Seminar by James Dobson, total running time 8 hrs. 37 min. (Tyndale House Publishers)

Offering practical advice and encouragement for those shaping the next generation of men, Bringing Up Boys is a 12-week video course for parents, grandparents, teachers, youth leaders, counselors, and coaches with a decidedly Christian bent, based on the work of James Dodson and Focus on the Family. The course begins from the premise that boys are suffering as a result of the mixed message that our society sends them.

This boxed set of materials is intended to be used by a selected leader, in facilitating a small-group study in a church or community. Bringing Up Boys asks readers to volunteer to lead a Bringing Up Boys study and discussion group, to help other concerned adults acquire the understanding and biblical principles to steer the boys they care about toward confident, responsible manhood.

Bringing Up Boys includes:

  • 12 sessions on six videocassettes.
  • 96-page leader’s guide.
  • 96-page participant’s guide.

Dr. Dodson, child psychologist, founder and president of Focus on the Family, and international authority on family issues presents this curriculum based on his best-selling book Bringing Up Boys, recorded in front of a live audience at Focus on the Family. Dobson, with decades of expertise, shares secrets of raising boys and answers such questions as:

  • How are boys designed and ‘wired’ different from girls?
  • What role does competition play in a boy’s development?
  • What is the importance of a father/male role model? How is a father's contribution to the parenting process different from a mother’s?
  • What's the best way to educate boys so they learn and excel?
  • What causes homosexuality? How does one recognize it? Can it be prevented?
  • What special advice is there for single mothers with sons?
  • How should I show affection for my son?

I can’t think of a more important subject. – Charles Colson

America 's trusted family advocate brings his trademark warmth, humor and common sense to the important topic of raising boys in Bringing Up Boys in this lively series. Dobson provides parents, teachers and other influential role models with a road map for growing boys into good men. Whether readers use this curriculum in their churches, small groups, or family gatherings, they will gain the understanding based on biblical principles to help boys toward confident, responsible manhood.

Professional & Technical / Oncology Nursing

Palliative Practices: An Interdisciplinary Approach by Kim K. Kuebler, Mellar P. Davis, & Crystal Dea Moore (Elsevier Mosby)

What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other? – George Eliot

Palliative care may be defined as “the study and management of patients with active, progressive, far-advanced disease for whom the prognosis is limited and the focus is the quality of life.”

Modern palliative care emerged in the United Kingdom during the 1960s as a response to the unmet needs of terminally ill patients and their families. The original palliative care programs were mostly community based and non-academic. In the United States the adoption of palliative care in major teaching hospitals, cancer centers, and universities has been slow. The medical and nursing specialty of palliative medicine is already available in the United Kingdom , Canada , and Australia , and it is in an advanced stage of planning in most countries of the European Union.

In recent years there has been a major increase in interest in palliative care in North America . However, as compared with other health care disciplines, there are a very limited number of North American books on this subject. Palliative Practices helps address the educational needs of a large number of North American health care professionals.

The book offers a combination of insights into the palliative care perspective in health care decision making and very specific chapters addressing issues such as cardiovascular disease and nephrology. Palliative Practices is the first book of its kind to examine the integration of palliative interventions from a disease-specific approach. This practical book addresses the multidimensional aspects of palliative practices and offers readers a progressive approach to the management of common symptoms accompanying advanced diseases.

Palliative Practices features include:

  • A collaborative editor team of palliative care experts – an oncology/palliative care nurse practitioner, an MD, and a social worker – who recognize physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of patients and families.
  • Interdisciplinary and expert contributors in the field of palliative care discuss and demonstrate evidence-based practice.
  • Practical guidance demonstrates precisely how and when to integrate palliative practices into the trajectory of an advanced disease.
  • Each chapter begins with Objectives to help the reader identify important concepts.
  • Prognostic indicators are identified to help practitioners evaluate when to integrate palliative interventions.
  • A Case Study at the conclusion of each disease chapter illustrates an important patient scenario in the context of clinical practice.
  • Multiple-choice Objective Questions test comprehension of key palliative concepts.

There is an extensive Appendix in Palliative Practices, which includes medications by disorders, medication routes and metabolism, palliative care assessment tools, and helpful websites.

Authors include: Kim K. Kuebler, MN, RN, ANP-CS, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Primary/Oncology/Palliative Care, Private Practice, Adjuvant Therapies, Inc., Atlanta , GA ; Mellar P. Davis, MD, FCCP, Director of Research, Harry Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine, Tassig Cancer Center, The Cleveland Clinic; and Crystal Dea Moore, PhD, MSW, Social Work Program Director, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Skidmore College

Contributors include:

  • Nancy M. Albert, MSN, RN, CCNS, CCRN, CNA Director, Nursing Research, Division of Nursing Clinical Nurse Specialist, George M. and Linda H. Kaufman Center for Heart Failure, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation – 6. Cardiovascular
  • Eduardo Bruera, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Texas; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas – Foreword
  • Bushra I. Cheema, MD, Clinical Fellow, Palliative Medicine/ Hematology Oncology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation – 11. Neurology
  • Lewis M. Cohen, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Director, Renal Palliative Care Initiatives, Baystate Medical Center Springfield , Massachusetts – 8. Nephrology
  • Joshua Cox, PharmD, RPh, Pain Management Consultant Good Samaritan Hospital , Dayton , Ohio – 7. Pulmonary
  • Mellar P. Davis, MD, FCCP, Director of Research, The Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine, Taussig Cancer Center, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation – 4. Pharmacology, 10. Cancer Pain, 11. Neurology, & Appendixes A and B
  • Jan L. Frandsen, MSN, CRNP Nurse Practitioner, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation – 10. Cancer Pain
  • Michael Germain, MD, FACD, Assistant Professor of Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine; Professor of Medicine, Springfield College – 8. Nephrology
  • Mary Magee Gullatte, MN, RN, ANP, AOC, Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University; Director of Nursing, Inpatient Oncology and Transplant Services, Emory University Hospitals and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University – 9. Oncology
  • Debra E. Heidrich, MSN, RN, CHPN, AOC Nursing Consultant, Private Practice, West Chester, Ohio – 9. Oncology
  • Roberta Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN Clinical Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University – 9. Oncology
  • Barry M. Kinzbrunner, MD National Medical Director, Vitas Healthcare Corporation, Miami , Florida – 1. Palliative Care Perspectives
  • Kim K. Kuebler, MN, RN, ANP-CS, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Primary/Oncology/Palliative Care Private Practice Adjuvant Therapies, Inc. Atlanta, Georgia – 14. The Dying Process & Appendixes A-D
  • Diane B. Loseth, RN, MSN, Advanced Practice Palliative Care Nurse, Yale-New Haven Hospital – 13. Cultural and Spiritual Issues
  • Helen Kathleen Brophy McHale, MSN, RN, FNP, ARNP-BC, Family Nurse Practitioner, Patient Educator Green Country Free Clinic; Hospice and Palliative Care Primary Nurse and Consultant, Jane Phillips Medical Center, Bartlesville, Oklahoma – 15. Grief and Bereavement
  • Crystal Dea Moore, MA, MSW, PhD, Social Work Program Director, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Skidmore College – 2. Advance Care Planning & 13. Cultural and Spiritual Issues
  • John A. Mulder, MD, Clinical Faculty, Vanderbilt University; Chief Medical Officer, Alive Hospital, Inc. – 13. Cultural and Spiritual Issues
  • David Oliver, MD, FRCGP, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care, Kent Institute of Medicine and Health Science University of Kent; Consultant Physician in Palliative Medicine Wisdom Hospice, Rochester, Kent – 11. Neurology
  • Marilyn O'Mallon, RN, MSN, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Armstrong Atlantic State University; Clinical Instructor/ PRN RN, Hospice Savannah, Inc. – Appendix C
  • Kathy P. Parker, PhD, APRN, FAAN Edith F. Honeycutt Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University – 5. The Interface of Sleep
  • Chad S. Peterson, PhD, MD, Resident Physician, University of California at San Francisco – 13. Cultural and Spiritual Issues
  • Dana N. Rutledge, RN, PhD, Associate Professor in Nursing, California State University - Fullerton – 3. Evidence-Based Intervention
  • Sandra E. Schrader, RN, ADN, BSN, Clinical Manager, Medical Surgical Services, Shands at Alachua General Hospital (AGH) Gainesville, Florida – 14. The Dying Process
  • Pamela Sue Spencer, B, RN, BSN, FNP, Family Nurse Practitioner, Saginaw Veterans Medical Center – 11. Neurology
  • Tom Tomlinson, PhD, Professor, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Michigan State University – 12. Ethical Issues
  • James Varga, RPh, MBA, Palliative Care Consultant Hospice of the Comforter Altamonte Springs , Florida   - 7. Pulmonary & Appendixes A and B
  • Catherine Vena, RN, PhD(c), Doctoral Candidate, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University – 14. The Dying Process

The editors have produced in Palliative Practices a unique book that is eminently practical, addressing the needs of patients and families. The book will be particularly useful to physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals practicing in general hospitals or the community, as well as senior medical students and residents. It is also an excellent resource for continuing education and certification review. And it may very well have a major impact on the care given to thousands of patients and their families in the United States .

Philosophy / Ethics / Religion & Spirituality / Judaism

The Emergence of Ethical Man by Rabbi Joseph B Soloveitchik, edited by Michael S. Berger (MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Series, Volume 5: Ktav Publishing House, Inc.)

What does it mean to be human? What is the nature of our being? What is our place in the world – particularly when science places us within the larger natural order as just another biological species?

The Emergence of Ethical Man is Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's exploration of these burning questions. This book, the fifth volume in the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, presents the view on the nature of man by Orthodox Judaism's foremost thinker of the 20th century.

Relying on classical Jewish sources along with a broad knowledge of science and philosophy, Soloveitchik shows how a thoroughly naturalistic setting, where human beings are typical creatures with animal urges and instincts, could give birth to the unique human personality. Grounding his approach in a masterful literary exposition of the first chapters of Genesis, Soloveitchik shows how the Bible, and the Jewish law (halakhah) that flowed from it, views human life as continuous with the organic realms of plants and ani­mals.

The editor of The Emergence of Ethical Man is Michael S. Berger, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion at Emory University , and Head of School at the Yeshiva Atlanta High School . Ten handwritten notebooks, sequentially arranged and bound together, form the mate­rial for the book. Berger and his staff transcribed these manuscripts, arranged the material into a single work, divided it into chapters, etc., to assist readers in the flow of Soloveitchik’s argument.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993) was not only one of the outstanding talmudists of the twentieth century, but also one of its most creative and seminal Jewish thinkers. Drawing from a vast reservoir of Jewish and general knowledge, ‘the Rav,’ as he was widely known, brought Jewish thought and law to bear on the interpretation and assessment of the modern experience.

The nature of being proved to be an ongoing preoccupation of the Rav. In 1957-58, he offered a series of lectures for the National Institute for Mental Health entitled The Doctrine of Man; and his The Lonely Man of Faith appeared in Tradition in 1966. The Emergence of Ethical Man (the title was chosen by the editor) is a further effort by the Rav to articulate the concept of man as he saw it embedded in the Bible and the halakhic tradition. In Part I of the book, the Rav sets out to show how Judaism, contrary to both the classical Greek and Christian worldviews, fundamentally sees man as an organic being, subject to the same processes of birth, growth, deterioration and death as other living things. In chapter 1, the Rav notes how the account of man's creation is rendered in parallel structure and language to the creation of plants and animals. The unity of men and plants can further be seen in Biblical imagery associating human beings with plants, particularly with respect to growth, reproduction and decay, and in halakhic injunctions against unnatural mixing of species. Finally, Judaism's treatment of the endpoints of life – the embryo and the dying person – shows that man is defined primarily as a dynamic organic being, a full juridical person, regardless of the presence of consciousness.

Moving to the next organic realm, chapter 2 explores the continuity of man with animals, a relation underscored by the Bible's clearly vegetarian tendencies, both in the original creation story, and in the tone of ‘grudging concession’ found in the subsequent license to consume meat in the Torah. It should be underscored that for the Rav, paradise's vegetarianism was a natural tendency rather than an ethical rule; animals – including man – lacked any drive to consume their fellow creatures. God was the originator and hence owner of all that breathed, so in this regard, human beings and animals were members of the same class. Carnivorous­ness thus implied ‘over-reaching’ – seeking to control and consume that which was beyond human limits and belonged to God.

Man's rootedness in his environment makes nature the primary arena for moral behavior, says the Rav in chapter 3. Human freedom is embedded in man's coexistence with nature: as long as he lives in harmony with the earth, ennobling his natural existence, then Mother Earth is cooperative; violating natural bounds and frustrating nature's designs, however, leads to alienation from earth – at once defiling the land and forfeiting her blessings. In this very rootedness to place man discovers God; holiness is possible in the location where the divine-human encounter occurs, such as Mount Sinai or the Temple . The Jewish view of sin is detachment from nature, in stark contrast to the Christian notion that sin emerges from man's attachment to nature and his natural desires.

Even as man is part of the animal kingdom, in chapter 4 the Rav explores the nature of man's distinctiveness. Even as instinctive behaviors normally satisfy the needs of the species, individual animals employ trial-and-error learning and associative memory to achieve their goals. In more complex species of animal life, we begin to notice a directedness in fulfilling these urges, with increasing reliance on technical intelligence to satisfy the animal's needs. But the true turning point in the Creation story is God's address to man to be fruitful and multiply, and to assume stewardship over the earth and creatures. By perceiving himself for the first time as a unique personality, distinct from nature and able to encounter it cognitively as an It, man breaches his immediate and intimate connection with nature that had existed to this point.

In Part II, the Rav studies this emergence of human personality in detail. Chapter 5 begins with the first divine command forbidding Adam to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. This decree was pivotal in the story, for it introduced ethical impera­tives into the world. Immediately after that, God observes that "it is not good that man should be alone" – a lament that man as an animal lives in solitude, indifferent and neutral with respect to others. By bringing animals before Adam to name them, God seeks to split man-animal and the animal kingdom; the act of cognition – reflecting, classifying and naming the animals – helps Adam confront nature as an object, to sense himself as apart from his environment. But that opposition, in turn, engenders a longing for the solidarity he once shared with the natural world. This is precisely when woman is created: someone who is both different from Adam, but also able to join him in an existential community of two individuals.

Chapter 6 focuses on the emergence of sin as it unfolds in Genesis chapter 3. The serpent's arguments to persuade Eve to eat of the fruit are not simple acts of rebellion; they are radically different portrayals of the experience of God. The serpent sought to depict God as a being endowed with highly developed technical intelligence like man, who is therefore locked in competition with man. The prohibition against eating the fruit was just another attempt by God to enslave man. Two personalities – the demonic and the ethical – were now on the Biblical stage, locked in combat. By eating of the tree, the first couple took the urge for sex and ethical solidarity and distorted it into a desire for pleasure, for possession and exploitation of one's partner – eliciting unprecedented feelings of sexual shame in man. By making pleasure his sole objective, man made the entire world his object; and that objectification entailed domination, the insatiable desire to rule over all. Lust, theft, the rejection of authority – all these sins of overreaching stemmed from the demonic personality's hunger for pleasure.

In chapter 7, the Rav deals with the results of the sin in the Garden of Eden. Awe and fear now typify the relationship between God and man; man flees before this jealous God, and terror necessarily accompanies every instance of divine revelation. The lie, too, is thus invented, for the esthetic personality needed a defense mechanism against the ethical conscience which would not tolerate such self-indulgent behavior. Finally, punishment for the sin of pursuing hedonic pleasure is meted out to each sinner: Adam and Eve, severed from their natural environment, will find only pain and suffering in the very esthetic activities they craved, and the serpent is condemned to eternal boredom, absent all joy and pleasure.

Repentance, on this conception, is thus the restoration of the original unity of man, of healing the two parts of human person­ality – the ethical and the esthetic – that had been severed by the sin in the Garden. This is the basis of Judaism's optimistic view of man, yet the goal requires the charismatic personality, embodied in Abraham and Moses – the subject of Part III.

As the Rav explains in chapter 8, the charismatic personal­ity is always lonely, always a stranger. He must uproot himself from his family, from his society, and from his past in order to develop a bond with God. The lonesome God, as it were, enters into a covenant with the lonesome wanderer, and the two become companions and friends. Interestingly, throughout the entire saga of Abraham, God's voice is that of entreaty and request, never command. Abraham offers loyalty and friendship, not surrender. This is the covenant, the bilateral agreement, between God and man. The two thus form an ethical community; God directs and is part of the destiny of His chosen: where they wander, so does He, and where they settle, so does He.

Chapter 9 elaborates on the historical character of charis­matic man. God joining the historical drama means that history assumes some of the divine constancy over past, present and future. By covenantally sharing in this historicity, Abraham, the charismatic personality, is able to experience both past events and the mysterious future as the present. He understands that the moral ideal will be realized gradually over time, and therefore organizes a community to connect to the distant past and remote future simultaneously.

As for God, His companionship with Israel and steadfastness through the interim period, followed by His deliverance of the people in fulfillment of the promise, grant Him the title of king and ruler over the Jewish people. Sinai is not a separate covenant, but a new phase in the original covenant with the patriarchs. The people can now become a ‘kingdom of priests’ – with God as freely chosen ruler over them – precisely because the divine re-entered history and realized the vision of the original covenant. The Ten Commandments articulate the God-man relationship not in cultic or ritual terms, but in ethical terms that govern social interrelationships, both within society and between man and God.

The Emergence of Ethical Man, edited from manuscripts that the Rav kept together but never finished, is further evidence of several lines in his thought that emerged in earlier works. First, the Rav saw in Judaism, and in Halakhah specifically, particular Jewish responses to many universal, existential questions. Halakhah addressed man as a human being first and foremost; the Rav is thus regularly drawn back to the early chapters of Genesis to mine them for understanding of the condition of universal man, not the parochial Jew. The Emergence of Ethical Man should therefore be placed firmly alongside other components of his lifework, such as The Lonely Man of Faith; Confrontation, and several chapters in Family Redeemed, all of which closely read the chapters about creation and find within them profound analyses that speak to all human beings.

Second, the Rav's appreciation for and validation of science as a divine source of truth comes through clearly in this work. Not only was he well-versed in contemporary scientific views, he seems to have been especially interested in how natural science explained the psycho-emotional dimension of human existence.

Third, the appreciation for evolutionary processes in both human development and historical progress, particularly in dialectical forms, informs much of the book. In The Emergence of Ethical Man, the Rav clearly resists Christianity's lifting of man out of natural history, thus separating the realms of the ethical and the religious from nature. For Judaism, sin results from the esthetic side of man gaining dominance over his ethical side, and redemption results from the successful merger of the historical and the natural.

The religious anthropology of Judaism laid out by Rabbi Soloveitchik is a startlingly fresh reading of the early chapters of Genesis and Jewish law, and highlights Judaism's distinctive view among those of other religious traditions. Taken as a whole, The Emergence of Ethical Man is one of the most sustained and thorough readings of the creation story found in Orthodox thought.

Rabbi Soloveitchik bestrode the worlds of Torah and Western thought like a colossus, and could draw on both with ease, whether revealing their similarities or highlighting their differences. His view is revolutionary in that it breaks with traditional metaphysical categories that are the warp and woof of medieval Jewish commentary and philosophy, and instead bases its analysis purely on the categories of the natural and social sciences. In grounding the halakhic tradition in that alternative nexus, the Rav enables Orthodoxy to take deep and firm root in the intellectual milieu of the modern period – a project he took up throughout his life.

The Emergence of Ethical Man will stand as one of the most significant contributions to that noble enterprise – living in the modern world – as it afforded Soloveitchik an opportunity to express the profound – and highly particular – insights of the Biblical and Rabbinic traditions on all the major issues facing humankind.

Politics / International Relations

The United States and the Great Powers: World Politics in the Twenty-first Century by Barey Buzan (Polity)

The idea that world politics can be understood in terms of a United States-dominated unipolarity became generally accepted during the 1990s. Following the September 11 attacks, however, U.S. foreign policy took an imperial turn, and many began to question the form, style and substance of U.S. leadership at the start of the twenty-first century.

But why is the U.S. behaving as if it lived in a world of enemies? What can other great powers do to change its behavior, and what will be the consequences if they fail? Could the E.U. and China become superpowers alongside the U.S. ? And what would happen if the U.S. stepped down from its superpower role, creating a world with only great powers and no superpowers?

In The United States and the Great Powers, Barry Buzan seeks to provide answers to these pressing questions. Buzan, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, begins by introducing the core concepts of polarity and iden­tity in world politics, which he uses to advance three possible scenarios for the future development of the international political system. Buzan contends that we are not living in a strictly unipolar world where the great powers are helpless in the face of the U.S. Instead he argues that the existence of great powers alongside an American superpower plays a crucial role in creating both opportunities and responsibilities which will shape the way in which world politics unfolds in the coming decades. What the great powers do or don't do will be crucial to how long U.S. dominance lasts. It will also help determine whether the period of American hegemony will develop or destroy the unique multilateral international society built up by U.S. foreign policy over the last half century.

This is a superb piece of scholarship. It both draws on and deepens contemporary IR theory and illuminates the real world of post-9/11 international relations ... indeed, it does what few current books in IR can claim in recent years – it truly links the theoretical world to the real world and thereby advances our understandings in both realms. – John Ikenberry, Georgetown University

The subject of mapping the international system since the end of the Cold War is one that has attracted a number of writers, but few have approached it with the clarity and rigour of this text. Barry Buzan writes very well, with the result that his argument is readily accessible and easy to engage with. – James Mayall, Centre for International Studies, University of Cambridge

The United States and the Great Powers is a well-written, well-researched, important book clarifying the position of the U.S. in the world today and forecasting the likely future, given likely actions by the U.S.

Politics / Current Events

The Axis of Evil: Iran , Hizballah, and the Palestinian Terror by Shaul Shay (Transaction Publishers)

In the nearly 25 years since the ascent of an Islamic regime, Iran has become one of the most prominent supporters of terror worldwide. According to author Shaul Shay, today Iran actively employs terror to achieve its international objectives. Shay, research fellow at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Inter-disciplinary Center, Herzliya and head of the Israel Defense Forces' Department of History, in The Axis of Evil outlines the operations and goals of Iranian and Shiite terror. Shay shows how Iran has done its utmost to conceal its involvement in terror activities and to avoid leaving incriminating ‘fingerprints’ that might prompt retaliatory action by victims of this terrorism. In consequence, most of what we know about Iranian terror activity has been gleaned from the capture and trials of Iranian terrorists or terrorists acting on Iran 's behalf.

The Axis of Evil deals extensively with Iran 's involvement in terrorist activity against Israel through Hizballah after the Israel Defense Forces' withdrawal from Lebanon (May 2000) and the instigation of the Al Aksa Intifada (September 2000-2003). It examines Iran 's attitude towards the State of Israel since the rise of Khomeini, confirming that Iran sees Israel as a primary source of the world's wrong-doings and the epitome of evil. According to Shay , Israel has become one of Iran 's archenemies. Over the years, Iran has strengthened its ideological links with radical Arab and Palestinian circles. In addition, it actively supports Hizballah, which acts on behalf of Iran from its base in Lebanon and perpetrates terror attacks against Israel and against representatives of Western and Arab countries in Lebanon as well as in the international arena.

The Axis of Evil is a comprehensive and in-depth study of Iranian and Shiite terror activity. In addition to drawing attention to the significance of Iran 's contributions to terror, it provides readers with an understanding of Iran 's activities in light of the global war against terrorism as well as the deployment of American troops along Iran 's borders with Afghanistan and Iraq .

Reference / Biographies & Memoirs

American Indian Biographies, Revised Edition edited by Harvey Markowitz & Carole A. Barrett (Salem Press)

As core curricula at the middle school, high school, and college levels have expanded to encompass the diversity of American peoples and historical perspectives, so has the need for high-quality reference works. Biographical encyclopedias, among the cornerstones of any library reference collection, have not always been able to fill the need for reliable reference covering key personages previously overlooked.

American Indian Biographies is a revised and expanded edition of American Indian Biographies, published in 1999. The majority of the essays in that first edition were taken from Salem 's Ready Reference: American Indians (1995), and 32 new essays were added at that time. American Indian Biographies, Revised Edition includes all the subjects covered in the first edition and adds 60 new essays and longer versions of other essays from the Great Lives from History series and American Ethnic Writers (2000), bringing the new total to 391 essays. Essays on living fig­ures have been brought up to date, essay bibliographies have been updated through 2004 publications, and several new appendices have been added.

American Indian cultures hold a fascination for Americans of all ages and ethnicities. The essays in American Indian Biographies examine the lives of the American Indians who are most widely studied in secondary schools, colleges, and universities in the United States and Canada and who have had the greatest impact on popular culture. Ranging in length from 200 to 3,000 words, the alphabetically arranged articles profile religious, social, and political leaders, warriors, and reformers from the past, as well as modern activists, writers, artists, entertainers, scientists, and athletes. The best-known and most important figures are covered in articles ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 words in length, with the longer formats allowing for greater biographical depth and the presentation of full historical and cultural contexts.

While American Indian Biographies includes portraits of such well-known historical figures as Powhatan, Pocahontas, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Geronimo. It also covers such modern political activists as Dennis Banks, Russell Means, and Elouise Cobell – who may yet prove to be the most important Indian figure in U.S. history. The chronological coverage ranges from mid-sixteenth century to present day figures. More than 310 of the 391 people profiled were born before the twentieth century, and more than 110 before the nineteenth century. Of the figures born in the twentieth century, more than 50 were still living as American Indian Biographies went to press.

Although the sixty new articles added to this edition cover many traditional leaders, they also include a number of contemporary figures whose names and faces will be especially familiar to young-adult readers. These figures include actors Adam Beach, Irene Bedard (famous as both the voice and the model for the title character in Disney's Poca­hontas), and Wes Studi. There is also a new article on actor Iron Eyes Cody, who may not have been a real Indian by heritage but who presented himself to the world as the son of Cherokee and Cree parents and came to symbolize to millions of Americans the face of authentic Native Americans as the Indian who gazed over a polluted river and wept in television environmentalism spots.

In addition to those essays already mentioned, there are long pieces on such major figures from the past as Pontiac, Tecumseh, John Ross, Sacagawea, Sequovah, Cochise, Joseph the Younger (Chief Joseph), Black Elk, Red Jacket, and Red Cloud, as well as such twentieth century personages as Cherokee chief Wilma Mankiller, humorist Will Rogers, and Osage prima ballerina Maria Tallchief.

Notable twentieth century political figures include Charles Curtis, the first Native American U.S. senator and vice president; five-term congressman Ben Reifel; Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell; and the first Native Canadian senator, James Gladstone; as well as Bureau of Indian Affairs commissioners Louis R. Bruce and Ada Elizabeth Deer and the controversial Navajo leader Peter MacDonald. Among the modern activists discussed are Leonard Peltier, Mary Crow Dog, John Trudell, and LaDonna Harris.

Writers covered here include Sherman Alexie, Vine Deloria, Jr., Michael Dorris, Louise Erdrich, Joy Harjo, Linda Hogan, N A. Scott Momaday, Gerald Vizenor, playwrights Tomson Highway and Seth Riggs, and others. Artists profiled include silversmith Delgadito, potters Potpovi Da and Nampevo, weavers Datsolalee and Hosteen Klah, as well as a number of painters, such as Awa Tsirah, James Bear Heart, Acee Blue Eagle, R. C. Gorman, Oscar Howe, Fritz Scholder, Jerome R. Tiger, Spencer Asah, and the other members of the Kiowa Five group. Entertainment industry figures include Cher , Dan George, Graham Greene, Will Sampson, Jay Silverheels, Robbie Robertson, Wayne Newton, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. There are also articles on record-setting athletes Jim Thorpe and Billy Mills and scientists Mary Ross and Freda Porter-Locklear.

Each essay in American Indian Biographies provides essential information at its beginning: the individual's birth and death places and dates, alternative names, tribal affiliations, and significance. Many articles contain cross-references to other personages who are subjects of their own articles in the set. Reference features at the end of the volume include a time line of events in North American Indian history from 15,000 B.C.E. to the early twenty-first century, a list of personages categorized by tribe, a list of personages ar­ranged by the dates of their birth, and a comprehensive subject index.

This very useful compendium offers detailed coverage of Native Americans who have played a significant role in North American and world society, from religious leaders, social figures, and political and social activists to artists, scientists, athletes, and warriors. … The entire volume is organized alphabetically, with cross references where applicable; it closes with a time line of significant events in Native American history, a tribal affiliation's index, and a standardized alphabetical index with page number references. As a whole, this should prove to be extremely useful in a variety of educational settings, including middle-school, high school, and college libraries. – A. John Dockall, Bernice P. Bishop Museum , Honolulu , Library Journal

American Indian Biographies, Revised Edition provides an affordable, authoritative and essential resource for librarians seeking to fill gaps in their collections.

Religion & Spirituality / Church History

The Richness of Augustine: His Contextual and Pastoral Theology by Mark Ellingsen ( Westminster John Knox Press)

It is difficult to imagine what can be said about Saint Augustine (354-430) that has not already been said. The last thing we need is another commentary on Augustine. Indeed, the entire history of theology of the post-fifth-century Western church might be construed as a commentary on Augustine's thought. But other dimensions of this Augustinian saturation of Western Christianity, of the numerous diverse interpretations of his thought, occasion one more book on the subject (especially this one). We have not yet satisfactorily examined the ecumenical and pastoral implications of Augustine's thought.

In The Richness of Augustine Mark Ellingsen, Associate Professor of Church History at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, demonstrates that the Augustinian traditions claimed by the Catholic church, the Presbyterian church, and virtually every other protestant denomination, all have validity. What makes Ellingsen’s approach unique is that he affirms most of the classi­cal interpretations of Augustine, to claim that they are correct about the African Father. In so doing, however, he offers an implicit critique of these earlier interpretive traditions as well as of much of the history of Western Christian thought. In essence, his argument is that earlier interpretive traditions are correct about Augustine; most of them have grasped some essential insights about his thought. But none of them has the whole Augustine. Most of them stress a particular set of themes in his thought, and negate or ignore those themes that seem to conflict with what the interpreters line stressed. Also missing in virtually all of the Western interpreters is Augustine' African roots, the degree to which he truly was an African Father.

The Richness of Augustine, then, is about recovering this richness in Augustine’s thought, to present an inclusive reading of the African Father that is itself inclusive of previous interpreters' insights. Ellingsen shows that many of the classical interpreters. They accurately represent him. Each interpreter is especially accurate when considering texts written by the African Father that addressed pastoral concerns akin to those occupying the interpreter in question. If the various interpretations of Augustine are all correct, if he really embraced all the distinct positions attributed to him, which has fertile ecumenical implications. It also may teach us lessons about how to do theology. For to the degree that Ellingsen succeeds in showing that the classical interpreters of Augustine tend to be correct about the African Father's thought when he was addressing pastoral and theological issues akin to their own, that may indicate that there is a pattern to the use of Christian concepts reflected in his theology. Ellingsen demonstrates that Augustine tended to say the same thing about the classical doctrines when addressing similar pastoral concerns throughout his career.

Not only does this approach help us address the question of whether the diversity in Augustine's thought is a function of development in his career, of the difference between the later Augustine and the early Augustine. If such a pattern to the use of Christian concepts exists, it has significant ecumenical implications. To the degree his thought has legitimately generated distinct denominational traditions, it might be argued that they are reconcilable, insofar as their core convictions were successfully integrated by Augustine in his theology. And if these core convictions have not been successfully integrated by Augustine in his theology, which must entail that the Church needs seriously to reconsider the positive assessment the African Father has been given over the centuries. Judgments about the validity of Augustine's theology seem to be at stake in the conclusion one reaches about the ecumenical harmony of the core commitments of the various denominational traditions.

Identifying a pattern to the use of Christian concepts embodied in Augustine's thought also suggests a new model for theology, one that is more pastorally inclined. This new theological model will be concerned with providing guidance regarding when the various classical theological conceptions are best employed. Insofar as it can provide such guidance regarding how to use theological formulations, the sort of pastoral, contextual model for theology suggested in The Richness of Augustine can begin to bridge the all-too-wide gap between academy and parish. To appreciate the richness of Augustine's theology is to receive guidance not just about what to say, but about when to say it.

Context! Context! Context! It is the clue by which Ellingsen recognizes the fundamental coherence among Augustine's highly divergent theological formulations; it is the test by which he establishes the validity but also the inadequacy of traditional interpretations of Augustine's theology; it is the guide he offers for ecumenical conversation among churches founded on isolated pieces of the Augustinian whole; it is the method he recommends for writing theology today. Ellingsen's work is ambitious; his analyses, compelling. The result is a fresh perspective on Augustine and much-needed encouragement for the theological tasks facing the church today. – Rebecca H. Weaver, John Q. Dickinson Professor of Church History, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education

Fresh and comprehensive. This companion to the theology of St. Augustine will introduce the reader to the African theologian's contributions to ecumenical and pastoral theology. The well-known diversity in Augustine's theological thought is carefully analyzed in its literary contexts and celebrated as a resource for the variety of modern theological and denominational traditions. This ambitious volume will serve as an excellent introduction to the rich resources in Augustine for the whole western tradition. – Philip D. Krey, Ministerium of New York Professor, Early and Medieval Church History, and President, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

In an inclusive reading of Augustine, Mark Ellingsen reveals a patterned conceptual richness in Augustine’s thought.  The Richness of Augustine is a wonderful introduction and a rich ecumenical and historical resource. It is the first introduction that places in focus the significance of Augustine’s African cultural and ethnic roots. This volume can function as a helpful introduction to the differences among the teachings of the various denominations and as an overview of the major theological options in Western Christianity. Readers also receive a refresher in the core doctrines and issues dealt with in Theology, and the volume could well function in classes devoted to such doctrinal matters.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Partnership with the Dying: Where Medicine and Ministry Should Meet by David H. Smith (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.)

Many Americans are dying bad deaths. More and more people die of old age or chronic illness in hospitals or nursing homes, so that dying has been moved outside the worlds of home and family. In a Western industrialized democracy, death is no longer just a natural process but a technological event that occurs when aggressive medical treatment is stopped. Serious illness, trauma, and dying are facts beyond human control, but we can influence the timing and circumstances of death. Too many health care providers and ordinary citizens continue to regard death as an enemy to be confronted and overcome at any cost, rather than the inevitable fate of all. These facts are not news to anyone who has seriously observed American health care in the last decades, but they reflect a serious problem.

Based on intensive interviews with a cross sample of health care professionals, David H. Smith, Nelson Poynter Senior Scholar at the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, details in Partnership with the Dying how churches could not only be supportive of these primary caregivers in dealing with end-of-life issues, but could also enlist their help in informing their own congregations about the realities of death.

In Partnership with the Dying Smith moves back and forth between religion and Christianity, writing primarily for a culture in which the remarkably diverse Christian tradition is especially influential. First he introduces his methods and then he offers a profile of the respondents, focusing on their religious views, their attitudes toward their own work, and their general views on care for the dying.

The substantive argument begins with chapter 3, in which Smith finds two strategies for coping with unmerited suffering and premature death in the comments of the persons interviewed. These are fragmentary theodicies. One of them stresses the sovereignty of a transcendent power or God; the other builds on the comfort that comes from the creation of community either between God and persons or simply among persons. From this perspective an adequate religious response to suffering entails personal presence with the sufferer, rather than an attempt to explain how suffering fits with God's purposes.

Chapter 4 tries to spell out the implications of the two frag­mentary theodicies for a controverted moral issue – physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Most respondents oppose physician-assisted suicide; Smith summarizes their arguments, trying to make some of the connections between religious or spiritual conviction and moral conclusions explicit. Respondents feel a true dilemma: torn between resistance to killing, commitment to relieve suffering, and conviction that the patient's interest is fundamental. Many of them favor a situation in which PAS is illegal but covertly practiced in a few cases. Smith makes a case for a policy that is more honest and supportive of professionals in hard cases yet faithful to a prohibition on killing.

Both chapters 3 and 4 emphasize the importance of building a robust community within institutions that provide care for dying persons. That concern leads naturally into the argument of chapter 5, which concerns community and conflict. Respondents tell many stories of conflict: among professionals, among family members, between families and professionals. Smith explains what the religious perspectives of transcendence and community can contribute to the resolution of these conflicts. Religion will not make the conflicts go away; indeed it is often a source of conflict. A community based on superficial agreement can easily be exploitive, however, and Smith argues that a religious perspective that has honestly come to terms with suffering and death is well positioned to serve as a catalyst for community creation.

In the last chapter Smith summarizes the argument to that point and then discusses ritual as a key component in community creation and personal support. A focus on ritual and community-building is a much more constructive way to argue for the importance of religious sensibilities than attempts to show that prayer and other spiritual practices are clinically helpful; he suggests that religious communities are at their best when they retain a modest vision of their essential contribution to human well-being. He also proposes a set of recommendations for action to improve both the ministry to dying persons and their contribution to the public discussion of these issues.

In the efforts to improve the treatment of dying people in the United States, the religious or spiritual commitments of health care professionals have often been understood as irrelevant to or even inconsistent with their caretaking obligations in our pluralist, secular culture. David H. Smith shows how explicit attention by professionals to their deepest convictions about human mortality can be the wellspring for more profound and therefore more caring interactions with dying patients without in any way disrespecting the differing religious or spiritual traditions that they may profess. This is a wise and thoughtful book. – Robert A. Burt, professor of law, Yale University

Smith builds this book on interviews with various caregivers to the dying – physicians, nurses, chaplains, and social workers. The result is a rich trove of insights for professionals, family members, friends, and church members who must reckon with death and the dying. – William F. May, Cary M. Maguire Professor of Ethics Emeritus, Southern Methodist University

At a time when many are seeking scientific proof for the health effects of religious rituals, Smith calls for a deeper understanding of the role of religion and spirituality in healing, especially in the care of the severely and terminally ill.  Partnership with the Dying is an important book for health professionals, religious leaders, and their communities. It deserves a wide reading. – Larry R. Churchill, Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Partnership with the Dying is a clarion call for new, practical, and vital forms of education, support, and commitment – particularly within churches – in the cause of improving care for the dying. Smith illustrates a dis­tinctively religious perspective on care for the dying and suggests ways in which it might be put to use. If the result is to enhance the involvement of American religious communities with care for the dying, that will count as a great success.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Biographies & Memoirs

Swimming with Scapulars: True Confessions of a Young Catholic by Matthew Lickona (Loyola Press)

For a wine connoisseur and fan of Nine Inch Nails, 30-year-old Matthew Lickona lives an unusual inner life. He is a Catholic of a decidedly traditional bent.

Lickona is a wine columnist, sometime cartoonist, avid moviegoer, fan of alternative rock, and a wonderfully talented staff writer and sometime cartoonist for the San Diego Reader. He is also a devoutly religious young man (“I am a Roman Catholic, baptized as an infant and raised in the faith, a faith which holds the exemplary and redemptive suffering of Jesus Christ at its core.”). He fasts during Lent, leads his family in prayer every day, and wears a scapular – a medieval amulet said to protect the wearer from harm.

In Lickona’s ‘true confessions,’ readers are introduced to a unique and singular voice, one that is emblematic of a new generation of believers who combine a premodern faith with a postmodern sensibility. Swimming with Scapulars is a modern-day Catholic, coming-of-age story that takes its author from the austere Catholicism of his Irish-French family in upstate New York to the exotic spiritual tapestry of Southern California . It is the story of the formation of an ardent young believer who is painfully honest about his spiritual shortcomings ("In times of suffering, I look first to myself. God is the backup, to be called upon when I find myself insufficient"), yet who finds consuming joy in receiving the Eucharist and embracing ‘the ancient treasures of the faith.’

Lickona doesn't mind that many of his secular friends and acquaintances regard him as a religious fanatic. As he writes, "Perhaps, coming from a fanatic, the message of God's love will regain some of its wonderful outrageousness. ‘Listen. I have a secret. I eat God, and I have his life in me. It's the best thing in the world.’"

Swimming with Scapulars shatters many stereotypes. If you have been wondering about the emergence of an informed and sophisticated group of orthodox young Catholics who take the spiritual life seriously, this book reveals this fascinating group. – Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, author of The Reform of Renewal

This is a highly personal account of a young man seriously trying to live the Catholic faith in America today; it will encourage Catholics and entertain them. Lickona faces the difficulties and appreciates the blessing of belonging to Christ and the Church in an often hostile and uncertain world and he does so with literacy and style. – Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago

Dave Eggers meets G. K. Chesterton in this funny, wise, and acutely perceptive memoir by a precocious young Catholic. Lickona in Swimming with Scapulars gives voice so we may hear intelligent young believers speak.

Religion / Biographies & Memoirs

Jesus: An Intimate Portrait of the Man, His Land, and His People by Leith Anderson (Bethany House Publishers)

Readers are invited to join Leith Anderson, senior pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie , Minnesota , on a journey of discovery about this man Jesus, how he lived and died, and why his extraordinary influence after 2000 years in Jesus.

“There was no good way to hurry the pregnant young bride as she traveled the caravan route from Nazareth to Bethlehem . Her husband, Joseph, may have wanted to encourage her to greater speed, but she already was doing her best.

“They needed to make it to Bethlehem before the baby was born or their tax would increase by 50 percent. The Roman census required all Jewish citizens to register in the town of their family of origin, and this was a head tax Joseph already could ill afford. It was difficult enough to pay for the two of them, but three would stretch him to the limits. “It certainly would help if – they could reach the village and register with the Romans before the baby was born....”

And so the story opens, this biography of Jesus, whose life and teachings and assertions about himself have been subjects for discussion and debate from the first century until modern times. In this reprint,  Jesus has been expanded to include the culture, politics, and the personal relationships that shaped his world. Included are all the details from the Gospels in chronological order, the geopolitical scene, the historical and cultural setting, and the likely emotions and motives of those who interacted with him.

Readers will appreciate the simplicity and the depth of this rich perspective on Jesus' life. – Christian Retailing
A gift of creative insight into the life of Jesus Christ... I can't wait to share this with my church. – Ted Haggard, President, National Association of Evangelicals
Anderson has done impressive research into Jewish history and has a firm grasp of the sociopolitical climate of Jesus’ time. – CBA Marketplace

Jesus is a great introduction to Jesus’ story for those who don’t know much about him, and a fascinating read for those who are familiar with the Gospel accounts. Anderson 's conversational storytelling style makes the book appealing to a wide range of audiences and ages. Carefully researched and finely crafted, the book provides a new understanding of Jesus – an obscure rabbi with a handful of followers whose imprint is found in every generation that came after him.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Subversive Orthodoxy: Outlaws, Revolutionaries, and Other Christians in Disguise by Robert Inchausti (Brazos Press)

Over the past seventy-five years, the Gospels have served as a pivot around which many of the most trenchant analyses of modern civilization have turned. And yet there remains a persistent misconception that Christianity is inherently reactionary and full of superstition – unconsciously wedded to class, race, and gender prejudices, and bound by foundational metaphysics.

It is easy to understand why so many people think this way. The media showers attention on the most extreme and sensational expressions of the faith, while the work of serious Christian thinkers spans such a variety of disciplines that it's very hard to track. Written by Robert Inchausti, Merton scholar and professor of English at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo , Subversive Orthodoxy attempts to correct this error. It takes a hard and sustained look at those historians, social activists, and avant-garde novelists whose unique contributions to secular thought come from their Christian worldviews.

None of these figures is strictly speaking a theologian, and yet if there is any significant theological breakthrough on the horizon, it must be found here – in the refreshed, battle-hardened spirituality of Christian thinkers who operate within secular contexts. In other words, the work of each of these thinkers proves that the quaint collection of unfashionable religious absolutes – what used to be called ‘Christian humanism’ – has not stood idly by amidst all the attacks leveled upon it by fundamentalists and cultural materialists. On the contrary, it has survived and thrived – quietly absorbing the blows, navigating the philosophical backwaters, weathering the political storms, and offering up its own (if largely misunderstood) critique of the contemporary world.

This new breed of theoretically savvy Christian humanists are not apologists for the status quo, but subversive – inherently suspicious of worldly power and actively working for a more just world. For them, the postmodern culture critics Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida got it only half right. Yes, the Enlightenment project was narrowly conceived, but that doesn't mean that the best alternative to it is an even more theoretically self-conscious hyper-rationalism. For even if Western civilization is built upon metaphysical assumption that privilege men over women, ‘presence’ over ‘absence;’ and ‘speech’ over ‘writing,’ that doesn't mean that the best way to compensate for these distortions is by politicizing our thinking even more.

On the contrary, the figures examined here argue for exactly the reverse procedure: the ‘depoliticizing’ of thought altogether through the creation of shared contemplative ‘space’ made available by a return to an eschatological perspective on human existence – a perspective that examines all thought and culture in terms of how they would appear in the messianic light of the Last Day.

In other words, they subject everything to the cleansing fire of an eschatological perspective on existence. This strategy puts them in a peculiar and, from Inchausti’s point of view, privileged position from which to assess the transition we are all currently experiencing from the modern to the millennial mind. For them, myth – as the mode of simultaneous awareness of multiple causes and effects – remains at the heart of human self-understanding and, properly understood, is capable of renewing our culture and transforming the Enlightenment disciplines from the inside out.

The thinkers examined in Subversive Orthodoxy have all grown unbearably uncomfortable with the current metaphysical arrangements. Each reimagines the Judeo-Christian epic in global, transcultural, and macro-historical terms and in the process refigures our relationship to God and our place in the cosmos.

So this book is an extended essay that links their views into a single, as yet largely unacknowledged, tradition that Inchausti calls ‘the orthodox avant-garde.’ Subversive Orthodoxy is not about new religious values so much as it is about the eternal freshness of the old ones. Most of the thinkers examined in the book are religious traditionalists whose ideas challenge the assumptions of their secular colleagues. Most are also innovators in their respective fields, alert to contemporary circumstances, aware of changes in their disciplines, critical of the dominant narratives and yet still capable of drawing connections between their faith and the realities of the modern world.

Each of them does far more than simply say ‘no’ to modernism; they bridge the chasm between our longings for spiritual completion and the techno-scientific world within which we live. From Andy Warhol to Marshall McLuhan, this orthodox avant-garde finds its inspiration not only in the Gospels, but in the monastic silences of John Cage, the devotional music of John Coltrane, even the negative dialectics of Theodore Adorno. They don't adopt the views of these figures without critique but transform them in the light of their faith. This is the subject and substance of Subversive Orthodoxy: the impact this unrecognized cadre of avant-garde Christian humanists have had – or should have had – upon both Christian theology and contemporary thought.

Robert Inchausti writes with a sharp eye and considerable wit to argue that Christians, often from the margins, are among the most acute critics of modernity. His book is trenchant and informative enough to claim a wide audience. He well deserves one. A finely written volume packed with learning worn lightly. – Lawrence S. Cunningham, University of Notre Dame

This is an important and brilliant book. Robert Inchausti always says things that I enviously wish I had said myself. But he says it much better, and in a way that is hard to either dismiss or improve. Subversive Orthodoxy is the kind of thinking we need to reform Christianity in the true spirit of the Gospels. – Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation

What a good book! Its celebration of personalism is a timely reminder of the value of a wisdom of the heart. The Christian writers whose thought it examines have nothing in common except an interest in what Chesterton called the return to the modern world of true logic and the luminous tradition. – Ian Boyd, CSB, editor of The Chesterton Review

By telling their stories and explaining their perspectives, Inchausti in Subversive Orthodoxy awakens Christians to the contemporary wing of their own prophetic tradition – especially those who, from simple inattention, have never noticed the contributions Christian thinkers have made to the cutting edge of contemporary thought. And he challenges those suspicious of religious assumptions altogether into reconsidering the powerful insights that can emerge when one takes seriously the paradox of the incarnation and the scandal of the cross.

Religion & Philosophy / Mysticism

Gnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern Times by Tobias Churton (Inner Traditions)

Gnosticism was a contemporary of early Christianity whose demise can be traced to Christianity’s efforts to silence its teachings. The Gnostic message, however, was not destroyed but simply went underground.

The Gnostics believed that the universe embodies a ceaseless contest between opposing principles. Terrestrial life exhibits the struggle between good and evil, life and death, beauty and ugliness, and enlightenment and ignorance: gnosis and agnosis. The very nature of physical space and time is an obstacle to humanity’s ability to remember its divine origins and recover its original unity with God. Thus the preeminent Gnostic secret is that we are God in potential, and the purpose of bona fide Gnostic teaching is to return us to our godlike nature.

Starting with the first emergence of Gnosticism, Tobias Churton in Gnostic Philosophy shows how its influence extended from the teachings of Neoplatonists and the magical traditions of the Middle Ages to the beliefs and ideas of the Sufis, Jacob Böhme, Carl Jung, Rudolf Steiner, and the Rosicrucians and Freemasons. In the language of spiritual Freemasonry, gnosis is the rejected stone necessary for the completion of the Temple, a temple of a new cosmic understanding that today’s heirs to Gnosticism continue to strive to create, according to Churton, filmmaker, founding editor of the magazine Freemasonry Today, and creator of the award-winning documentary series and accompanying book The Gnostics.

…From the Magi to the Freemasons, the Hermetics to Jimi Hendrix, Churton unfurls an evolving awareness of and quest for truth across the ages. If there is a criticism, it is only that the rich history of the Knights Templar and the ensuing incarnations of the Freemasons could have been balanced with equally detailed study of the Enlightened literati and modern scientists. Seasoned with excerpts from original texts and replete with multicultural narratives, Churton will pique the interest not only of professional academics but anyone interested in the Gnostics through the centuries. – Publishers Weekly

Exhaustive in its research and thoroughly annotated, Gnostic Philosophy provides academically sound information on Gnosticism and early Christianity and it belongs on reading lists on those subjects.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

The Holy Thursday Revolution by Beatrice Bruteau (Orbis Books)

The ills of the world continue in abundance, but efforts to counter them are also vigorous. We still need to go to the root of the trouble in the way people perceive one another and at the same time work out economic and political arrangements that will give relief to oppressed and commodified people. Everyone needs to learn on every level that everything people do must be for the welfare of all people. People are the bottom line.

The Holy Thursday Revolution has had a long evolution in the thinking of Beatrice Bruteau, writer on books of philosophy, religion and spirituality. The fundamental idea of the social paradigm shift, which appears here under the figures of foot-washing and Holy Communion, was first treated by her in terms of ‘partiality’ and ‘wholeness’ in an address to the American Teilhard Association in 1975. That occasion led to invitations to do something in the area of feminism, and the concepts were reworked as ‘masculinism’ and ‘feminism,’ the latter being subdivided into ‘paleo-feminism’ and ‘neo-feminism.’ Bruteau began thinking in terms of ‘The Holy Thursday Revolution’ with some vague feeling of making it sound like a political remembrance.

Bruteau does not pretend in The Holy Thursday Revolution to give an alternative interpretation of the Last Supper; all great teaching stories are susceptible of endless retelling in different contexts with different emphases and lessons drawn. She works the other way around: not starting with Holy Thursday and looking for its lessons, but starting with an idea of the kind of experiential/conceptual/social shift that is needed and finding that these stories offer an effective way to dramatize and present the idea. That there was historically a consciously anticipated Last Supper seems to Bruteau unlikely. But that there were suppers, lots of them, and that they were used as the Jesus Movement's principal instrument of teaching and implementation seem to her quite likely. And, having begun to make use of New Testament material in this way, she goes on to build in the baptismal vision, Nathaniel and the fig tree, and various words and events that support and display what she wants to say. She says that a shift in consciousness and behavior of this sort was what the Jesus Movement was proclaiming, explaining, and demonstrating. However, even if none of this was historically the case, the thesis still stands on its own social, psychological, and metaphysical terms.

Readers may note that there is a good deal of Jewish material in The Holy Thursday Revolution.  Insofar as the thesis of the book is related to the Jesus Movement antecedent to Christianity, this is appropriate, because that was a Jewish movement in its time and place. But the contemporary movement of Jewish Renewal also has appropriate contributions to make, for it is advocating many of the same points that Bruteau makes in regard to the union of mysticism and social transformation.

I know scarcely anybody who goes to the heart of reality as profoundly as Beatrice Bruteau does. – Dom Bede Griffiths, author of A New Vision of Reality

Dr. Bruteau is a philosopher of great measure whose work should be required reading for all who seek the deepest truth about themselves. – Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees

In a time of increasing anxiety, Bruteau breaks new ground as she explores the two teaching events of Holy Thursday: the Footwashing and Holy Communion. The Holy Thursday Revolution shows how this new paradigm – a movement from Lord to friend – can dramatically alter readers’ personal and social relations, their economic and political practices. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines The Holy Thursday Revolution presents a unifying vision of a world that must move from economic and military domination to one of equality and sharing. She dares to offer hope for the future based on a revolution begun two thousand years ago with the spiritual power to make all things new.

Science / Applications

Technology Applications in Prevention edited by Steven Godin (Haworth Press, Inc.)

In 2000, approximately 20% of U.S. employers changed their health insurance plans as a cost-savings strategy. American companies and their employees must now deal with new insurance plans that have reduced the breadth of their coverage and/or increased employee deductibles.

Prevention techniques are the best way to stem the rising costs of providing health care. In 2001, Americans spent $1.4 trillion on health care services. By 2010, health care costs are forecasted to approach 20% of the United States ’ Gross National Product.

New technologies have opened the door to better, more economical modes of preventive care. Technology Applications in Prevention, written by Steven Godin, presents a cross-section of the current state of the art in the application of technology to prevention and intervention. Godin, Professor of Health, East Stroudsburg University , Pennsylvania , highlights much-needed, technology-based prevention and intervention methods. Chapters include:

  • "Efficient and Effective Uses of Technology in Community Research" provides the information that future prevention researchers and program evaluators need to be effective in electronic data collection, management, and cost analysis.
  • "Community Building with Technology: The Development of Collaborative Community Technology Initiatives" presents a case example showing how Web sites can function as regional clearinghouses of useful information and provide convenient forums where agency staff can update their prevention skills.
  • "Applying Web-Based Survey Design Standards" addresses a question critical to professionals in e-data collection: How reliable is Web-based needs assessment and/or outcome data? This chapter suggests standards that should be adhered to in Internet-based data collection.
  • "Assessing Quality Assurance of Self-Help Sites on the Internet" and "The Quality of Spanish Health Information Web Sites: An Emerging Disparity" address the current lack of quality in the health and mental health information available on the World Wide Web.
  • "A Participatory Internet Initiative in an African-American Neighborhood" explores health disparity concerns regarding the use of the Internet. This chapter discusses several ways to empower those who are on the dark side of the ‘digital divide’ – and shows how to ensure that Web-based material is culturally relevant and appropriate for those it is intended to help.
  • "Alcohol Abuse Prevention Among High-Risk Youth" presents a case example of a life-skills based CD-ROM intervention designed to discourage kids from abusing alcohol.
  • "Constructing Better Futures Via Video" looks at video-based futures planning, which combines self-modeling and ‘feed-forward’ to forecast a student’s future capabilities. This technique helps teenagers find meaning in their current educational setting and prepare for adulthood. This chapter also explains how to train school-based personnel to encourage positive attitudes and support the life skills of their students via carefully planned and edited – yet inexpensive – video productions.

Much-needed. . . . Can move us closer toward building models that harness technology for improved efficacy in prevention efforts. The spectrum of applications in this book is logically arrayed along a continuum of care directed toward initiatives for community health – from local to international levels. – Joseph S. Coyne, DrPH, Professor, Department of Health Policy & Administration and Director, Center for International Health Services Research & Policy, Washington State University

Technology Applications in Prevention provides vital information, allowing readers to examine the new prevention options that today's technology makes possible, and allowing healthcare providers to control health care costs with cost-effective, technology-based prevention/intervention techniques.

Science Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers

The Resurrected Man by Sean Williams (PYR)

Private detective Jonah McEwen is wanted for murder. Someone has been killing women who resemble Marylin Blaylock, his former colleague and ex-lover. He is the obvious suspect. The problem? He has been in a coma for three years – a coma he has no memory of entering. And there's worse to come. Using matter transporter technology, or ‘d-mat,’ a serial killer known only as the ‘Twinmaker’ has been brutally torturing and killing perfect facsimiles of his victims and leaving the originals alive. As legal arguments rage about whether this even constitutes murder, Jonah finds himself in the awkward position of defending his innocence when his own exact copy might actually be guilty.

Set in a time where the lines between human and machine are increasingly blurred, The Resurrected Man explores the future of terrorism, serial murder, law enforcement, and globe-spanning conspiracies. A blend of suspense and science fiction, the novel follows the complexities of Jonah and Marylin's relationship and their quest to find the killer before he strikes again, while they try to unravel the tensions between Jonah and his father – a man who has been dead for three years but who might yet hold the key to everything...

The Resurrected Man, written by award-winning author Sean Williams, author of 18 published novels, takes a close look at one of sci-fi's most recognizable gizmos – the matter transporter – and portrays the world that might result should such a device become commercially available. The new technology prompts renewed questioning of what it means to be alive, as well as allowing criminals new opportunities to prosper. If an identical copy of a person is made, are both legally alive? If one of those people is subsequently killed, leaving the other alive and well, has a murder been committed? These are the kind of existential questions The Resurrected Man raises.

The Resurrected Man pays homage to crime fiction as well as SF, referencing Agatha Christie and following many of the conventions of the genre. Winner of the Ditmar Award the year it was first published, it was hailed as a ‘tour de force’ in Australia, the author's home country, and described as ‘compulsively readable’ by Locus.

...one of the brightest new generation Aussie SF stars. The Resurrected Man pushes cyberpunk’s envelope, then licks its stamp. – Damien Broderick, award-winning author of God Players
Sean Williams is one of the best writers of future noir thrillers around. – Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City

Williams makes full use of this detailed future world that echoes William Gibson's Neuromancer...and blends it with an Agatha Christie-style plot to create an exciting mystery-thriller that's nearly impossible to put down...This book raises interesting and unique questions of legality, technology, and identity. … It's sure to thrill readers. – School Library Journal

A perfect blend of suspense and science fiction, the fast-moving, compelling, nourish, award-winning The Resurrected Man is a tour de force exploring what it means to be alive by one of Australia ’s brightest young stars.

Social Sciences / Anthropology

The Iraqw of Tanzania: Negotiating Rural Development by Katherine A. Snyder (Westview Case Studies in Anthropology Series: Westview Press)

The value of anthropology rests with its ability to bring local concerns and lived experience to bear on larger social issues. Nowhere is this more apparent than in anthropological contributions to development studies.

In The Iraqw of Tanzania author Katherine Snyder focuses on how the Iraqw perceive, respond to, and affect development in Tanzania . Snyder, assistant professor of anthropology at Queens College , CUNY, explores how the ideology of development affects people's actions, from what crops to plant, to what to do at their weddings, and also considers how issues of development play out between elders and juniors, men and women, wealthy and poor. She shows the creativity of local actors in adapting to ideological shifts and using the rhetoric of development to pursue their own goals.

Snyder's sensitivity comes from her fieldwork for more than a decade in Irqwa Da'aw (‘the Iraqw Land of the East’). The Iraqw are a patrilineal society organized around kinship and clan ties overlaid with the formal structures of the Tanzanian state. Agro pastoralists who depend on communal labor within communities and amiable trade relations with neighboring pastoralists, they have a reputation as ‘a peaceful people’. Maize and beans are the principal subsistence crops, and most households also keep some cattle and pigs. These two forms of livestock capture a division in Irgwa Da'aw over maendeleo (‘progress’ or ‘development’): cattle belong to a system of sharing within and between families that reinforces kinship and community rotations; pigs, however, are part of a new market-driven economy, considered the private capital assets of individual households.

Snyder relates the tensions in Iraqw communities between elders and youths over what the future should look like. Working with this theme, Snyder presents a holistic ethnographic portrait of Iraqw life. From kinship and history to religion and witchcraft, she shows how each of these aspects of local culture and society is linked to issues of development. Christianity, for example, is associated with modernist notions of development and progress, about half of the Iraqw identify as Christian (mostly Catholic), but Christianity coexists with a strong tradition of native religion and beliefs about witchcraft that serve as mechanisms of social control.

The Iraqw are an extremely reserved people, making fieldwork difficult. But Snyder shows how such secrecy also serves as an effective weapon of the weak – just as sorcery and witchcraft offer a means of circumventing government control. Longstanding traditions such as circumcision, remain an important feature of Iragw personhood. Circumcision is an important life stage for Iraqw boys and girls, marking their passage from children into marriageable adults. Female circumcision is a controversial practice from the Western perspective, but Snyder shows how it is eagerly awaited by Iraqw girls as a status symbol – and how hospital circumcisions have become a progressive alternative for boys.

Snyder relates changing Iraqw cultural patterns to their position in national and international political economies. The Iragw were relatively favored under first German and then British colonial regimes. During Tanzania 's experiment with isolationist ujamaa (‘family-hood’) socialism, which started in the late 1960s, traditional territorial divisions remained while new forms of state organization were imposed. By the mid-1980s, Tanzania could no longer support the ujamaa experiment, and the country was forced to adopt structural ad­justment policies mandated by the International Monetary Fund. As a result, private ownership (of pigs, land, milk) is irreversibly changing social relations and conceptions of progress – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

The Iraqw of Tanzania shows how notions of tradition and modernity have resulted in a struggle over identity as well as the meaning of community. This struggle takes place at a national level, in the form of what aspects of ‘modern’ life Tanzanians really want to adopt, as well as a local one. In the Iraqw homeland, these concepts are at the center of how community is defined and what rights and responsibilities people have in their communities. For many, the notion of a local community to which one is morally bound no longer has resonance. Many Iraqw see themselves as part of more ‘modern’ communities, the boundaries of which are not fixed and are definitely not local but rather regional, national, and global in nature. For those Iragw, particularly male and female elders, who see their idea of moral community eroding in the face of development, this change is perceived as bringing a greater ‘selfishness’ or individualism, which has its costs at the level of community.

The chapters in The Iraqw of Tanzania provide a story of transformation. Not only have people's individual lives changed over the decade, but the cultural forms Snyder observed in 1990 continue to be modified and contested today. Chapters 2 and 3 look at how Iragw are situated within the wider region of north-central Tanzania and examine the organizational structure of Iragw communities. Chapters 4 and 5 examine kinship, marriage, and circumcision. Chapter 6 shifts to a study of land use in the mountainous landscape of the homeland. Chapters 7 through 10 focus on religious beliefs and practices. Throughout these chapters, attention is paid to how things have changed over time in Iragw communities as a result of their incorporation into first the colonial and then the postcolonial state. The ideology and practice of development have touched nearly every aspect of Iragw culture and society.

The Iraqw of Tanzania makes an important contribution to the Westview Case Studies in Anthropology series and to the discipline as a whole. In the series there is a focus on contemporary ways of life, forces of social change, and creative responses to novel situations as well as the more traditional concerns of classic ethnography. The Iraqw of Tanzania brings the anthropological gaze to bear on issues of development with implications that reach far beyond East Africa . Snyder inter­rogates received knowledge about ‘development’ and reaches some surprising conclusions. All the while she manages a fine balance between humanizing ethnographic particulars and social analysis of broader, even global, trends. Snyder has written this book in an engaging and accessible style, advancing our understanding of cultural diversity while uncovering the often hidden webs of global relations that affect us all. Presenting the author's own fieldwork, avoiding jargon, and making extensive use of vignettes – stories of peoples' lives and incidents – The Iraqw of Tanzania illustrates its themes in a manner useful and fascinating to students.

Social Sciences / Anthropology / Dream Study

A World of Relationships: Itineraries, Dreams, and Events in the Australian Western Desert by Sylvie Poirier (Anthropological Horizons Series: University of Toronto Press)

A World of Relationships is an ethnographical account of the cultural use and social potential of dreams among Aboriginal groups of the Austra­lian Western Desert . The outcome of fieldwork conducted in the area in the 1980s and 1990s, it was originally published in French as Les jardins du nomade: Cosmologie, territoire et personne clans le desert occidental Aus­tralien.

In her study, Sylvie Poirier, professor in the Department of Anthropology at Université Laval, explores the contemporary Aboriginal system of knowledge and law through an analysis of the relationships between the ancestral order, the 'sentient' land, and human agencies. At the ethnographical and analytical levels, particular attention is given to a range of local narratives and stories, and to the cultural construction of individual experiences. Poirier also investigates the cultural system of dreams and dreaming, and the process of their socialization, analyzing their ideological, semantic, pragmatic, and experiential dimensions.

A World of Relationships explores dialectical aspects of Australian Aboriginal social and cosmological realities that have been brought to light by recent ethnographic work. With a focus on some Western Desert groups, Poirier discusses the facets of their world where intransigence gives way to negotiation, constraint yields to strategy, repetition allows innovation, rigidity bends to openness and flexibility, formal rules flex under the performative, structures are molded by the event, and univocality gives voice to plurivocality. This ethnographic study focuses on the manifold and dynamic relations among the ancestral order, the land, and human and non-human agencies, and underlines the local sense of historicity and identity. By investigating the different modes of experience as they are recognized and lived locally, including dreams and dreaming, Poirier attempts to understand a contemporary Aboriginal system of knowledge and law, and Aboriginals' specific way of being-in-the-world and of relating to it.

A World of Relationships is the outcome of three years spent in the Aboriginal community of Balgo Hills, now known as Wirrimanu, and its neighboring communities, located on the northern edge of the Gibson Desert in Western Australia . The first chapter of A World of Relationships presents Poirier’s narrative of the history of the relationships between Aborigines and non-Aborigines in the Balgo area.

Classical and positivistic anthropological views and paradigms have tended to emphasize the 'prescriptive' nature of Aboriginal Australian socialities, 'where all is execution and repetition', portraying these as rigid and closed structures, a view that denies and conceals their potential for transformation and reinterpretation. With the advent of new paradigms in the discipline as a whole, the empirical and theoretical emphasis in Australian Aboriginal studies has shifted to 'human agency, individual choice, event and action'. This shift has allowed a deeper understanding of the active and creative engagement of Aborigines in the world through their own ontological and epistemological principles; it has also paved the way for insightful studies on the nature and extent of Aboriginal forms of resistance to wider Australian (and Western) society, and the relationships and dialogues they have engaged in with that society.

In their present-day, ever-changing expression, Australian Aboriginal socialities are characterized by a continuously negotiated and somewhat paradoxical dynamic between 'the forms of permanence' (meaning the existing mythological and ritual expressions), and their structural transformations. In the Western Desert , this dynamic of change is barely noticeable, because the Aborigines themselves have a very conservative discourse in relation to their ancestral Law and order: 'This is Law from our fathers and grandfathers, and we follow that Law.' Because of this prevalent atti­tude that emphasizes the unchanging and rigid character of the Law, the peoples of the Western Desert are 'known throughout Australia for their conservatism and the strength of their adherence to the Law'. This dominant standpoint effectively conceals from outside observers all possible mechanisms through which mytho-ritual elements can be modified and transformed, both through reinterpretation and through innovation. However, another reality is revealed when one analyzes the dimensions of openness and flexibility inherent in the Law.

Among the main themes of A World of Relationships are the qualities of 'openness' and 'flexibility' inherent in the Aboriginal system of law and cosmological order – usually known as the Dreaming, or Tjukurrpa in most Western Desert languages. 'Openness' is the capacity to introduce new forms, new variants of existing themes, and to suggest new readings of older structures. While these accretions remain true to the founding principles of the Law, they show the potential for transformation, reinterpretation, and reformulation of the structures of permanence. The dimension of 'flexibility' refers to the pragmatics of individual choices; in other words, it shows that the dictates of ancestral Law can be negotiated on the basis of one's own knowledge and understanding of the Law and its mythological and ritual expressions. The Law is far from being closed to novel interpretations. Western Desert Aborigines constantly reevaluate the different elements of the existing cosmological order, depending on circumstance. Paramount in such a process is the polysemous and contextual value of signs. In other words, within the imperatives of the Law, creativity, negotiation, and different levels of interpretation are primordial for the reproduction of the world of the ancestors.

The dimensions of openness and flexibility are the avenues through which Poirier examines the structural transformations of the mytho-ritual elements of the Law and tries to understand the meanings that Aborigines confer upon events and local, regional, or supraregional historicity. In the Western Desert, such an 'endogenous historicity' can only be understood by considering the value of ancestrality and its encompassing, immanent, and coeval nature, and by considering the paramount role of spatial, rather than temporal, referents. In the Wirrimanu area, as elsewhere in Aboriginal Australia, the sense of events and the sense of place are intimately linked. Chapters 2 and 3 of A World of Relationships explore these qualities of 'openness' and 'flexibility' in relation to cosmological, territorial, and social configurations.

In the Wirrimanu area, dreams and dreaming, and the process of their socialization, have proved extremely relevant in identifying the underlying thread that could guide the ethnographer in exploration because they are granted a particular status, value, and role at the ideological, pragmatic, and experiential levels. As an integral part of human actions in the world, dreams and dreaming represent a mode of experiencing and knowing the world and one form of engagement with one's surroundings; they are a way to 'open out' to the world as a whole. The dream realm is a privileged space-time to encounter and communication with the ancestors and deceased relatives. The dream realm offers a cognitive and narrative potential; it is an opportunity for individual or collective reflection, interpretation, and objectification of events and experiences, as part of a (re)evaluation of the state of relationships among the human, the ancestral, and the non-human constituents of the world, including the land as a sentient actor. The aim in A World of Relationships is to understand the role granted to dreams and dreaming in the processes by which Aborigines interpret and give meaning to events in the world around them.

When studying a cultural system of dreams, investigators cannot limit their analysis to 'dreams as objects' (or products of the mind). They must investigate the ontological and epistemological principles as well as the semantic and pragmatic dimensions of dreams and dreaming in a given world. Only then can they hope to develop a basis for an anthropology of dreams. At the methodological and analytical levels, it is relevant to consider five aspects in the process of dream socialization. While each element does not necessarily apply to every dream narrative and experience, as a group they nevertheless offer a wider view that locates the role of dreams in local understanding, discourses, and practices. The five aspects are as follows: (1) Local dream theories and what they can reveal about the local notion of the person and about local ontology and epistemology. (2) Dream narratives as a process of translating, structuring, and communicating a dream experience – a process in which the embodied social, cultural, and symbolic components, as well as the contextual and personal variables, come into play from the moment a dream is remembered until it is communicated. (3) The modes of dream sharing: that is, where, when, why, how, and with whom one shares dreams. It should be added that in some societies dream sharing can also be considered as 'narrative events'; this is by no means an unimportant point, considering the social and political ramifications of dreams in addition to their entertainment and aesthetic value. (4) Local modes of dream interpretations and local dream typologies, both of which are a rich source of information as long as their true value is not undermined in favor of grids of dream interpretation based upon the anthropologist’s own culture. (5) The revelatory, mediatory, and often creative and innovative role ascribed to dreams in a number of societies throughout the world, including Australian Aboriginal societies. This dimension of the dream experience reveals that a dream and its narrative, in whole or in part, are often received as the spoken word of the ancestors, which is then subjected to collective scrutiny and approbation (or refusal) as to its relevance. It may eventually be integrated into existing cultural forms and expressions and can contribute to cultural transformation.

A World of Relationships contributes many element of analysis to the existing literature. Poirier presents an analysis of the different aspects of the socialization of dreams and examines the relationship between dreams, the flow of events, and local historicity, and the role that dreams play in local cultural politics. The different realms of action and modes of experience, as well as the cultural system of dreams and dreaming in the Wirrimanu area, are the topics of chapters 4 and 5, while chapter 6 analyzes ritual innovation through the medium of dreams.

These inspirations and improvisations are, in turn, ‘part of the process by which mythopoetic thought nurtures and is nurtured’. Poirier examines the elements of analysis and understanding of this historical imagination and consciousness and its intimate links with ancestrality, the land, and dream experiences and narratives.

In A World of Relationships, Poirier discusses the different elements of the structural, moral, social, and symbolic codes, along with their dialectic and dialogic interrelations with variables of a more contingent and experiential nature. The Aboriginal system of Law, the mythical itineraries and their dimension of 'openness' (chapter 2), the social morphology and the flexibility inherent in it (chapter 3), the local modes of experiencing and knowing the world, with an emphasis on dreams and dreaming (chapters 4 and 5), and the intensity of the ritual sphere (chapter 6) are explored in relation to sociocultural logic and its dynamic unfolding.

A World of Relationships is a work of considerable empirical and analytic originality that offers an important study of the sociocultural use and impact of dreams in the daily life of sedentarized Aboriginal people in a small village in Central Australia . The ability to link empirical work to theory is a refreshing stand in anthropology and I wish there were more monographs like Poirier's. – Francoise Dussart, Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut

The strength of this splendid, invaluable book is that it avoids post-modernist polemics concerning social identity and polit­ical resistance by grounding these important issues not in jar­gon but on solid and detailed fieldwork observations. Poirier is obviously an excellent field anthropologist who knows there is little to be gained from polemics. A World of Relationships is extremely well-argued, logical, exciting to read, exceptionally well-written, and, needless to say, an important contribu­tion on ethnographic and theoretical levels. – Guy Lanoue, Département d'anthropologie, Université de Montréal

Through the synthesis of a complex and diverse range of theoretical and empirical materials, A World of Relationships offers new insights into Australian Aboriginal sociality, historicity, and dynamics of cultural change and ritual innovation.

Social Sciences / Hispanic American Studies

Translation Nation by Hector Tobar (Riverhead Books)

The year 2005 marks Latino-Americans' first year as the largest minority in the United States . By the middle of the century, Spanish-speaking Americans will make up 25 percent of the population. Never before has a group been as poised to make so substantial an impact on American culture and identity. And not just in California and Texas – but also in Georgia , Alabama , New York , and Idaho . As a Guatemalan-American journalist, Héctor Tobar, the former national Latino affairs correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, has grown up with and chronicled this parallel nation, surrounded by its people and their collective experiences, complexities, and contradictions. In Translation Nation he introduces us to its past, the present – and our future.  

In Translation Nation, Pulitzer Prize-winner Tobar takes readers on a surprising and enlightening journey through this rapidly changing landscape. He presents the reality of Spanish-speaking and Latino America in all of its complexities and contradictions, challenging outdated notions about who Latinos are, how they live, what their values are, and what they contribute to the United States.

Tobar begins with the immigration story of his own Guatemalan family, and goes on to examine the changing dynamics of Cuban Miami, the all-Hispanic city councils of southeast Los Angeles County, the state of the Puerto Rican independence movement, as well as many other diverse facets of the Spanish-speaking United States. He travels with illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to Alabama , where he works with them in a chicken-processing plant. He describes the prospering Hispanic community of Dalton , Georgia , where thousands of Mexicans have come to work for the carpet industry and are putting down deep roots. He profiles an Anglo Mormon with perfect Mexican Spanish who becomes the most popular radio DJ in Rupert , Idaho .

Tobar observes that unlike any previous immigrant group, many Hispanic immigrants are able to travel frequently between the United States and their countries of origin. Furthermore, they see no need to give up their sense of Latino identity, which Tobar calls Latinidad, in order to become true Americans. Perhaps nowhere, as Tobar portrays, is this novel blend of identities more powerfully expressed than among the many Latinos who are serving in the U.S. armed forces in Iraq .

The facts about the Hispanic community in the United States are eye-opening. For example:

  • In 2001, Latinos surpassed African Americans as the nation’s fastest growing minority, with a current population 39 million and counting.
  • One in ten Americans over the age of five is a Spanish speaker.
  • Hispanic Americans currently represent 13% of the U.S. population.
  • By the middle of the 21st century, Americans of Latino descent will comprise a quarter of the U.S. population.
  • In 2004, Caribbean and Hispanic migrants sent over $45 billion to their native countries.

"Today," Tobar contends in Translation Nation, " Los Angeles and California are quietly exporting their people and their way of life eastward across the continent. The city is the starting point of a new identity that is at once Latin American and – though it may not be immediately apparent – intertwined with North American traditions, with Jeffersonian ideals and the civic culture molded in the United States over the past two centuries. Los Angeles is to the twenty-first century what New York City was to the twentieth. It is the crucible where a new national culture is being molded...."

Indeed, Tobar chronicles nothing less than what he sees as the birth of a new Latin Republic of the United States . In Alabama, Georgia and other the states of the old Confederacy, the eastward thrust of the Mexicans and Central Americans meets the westward push of the Cubans and Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, that other big, Caribbean strain of Latinness. All across this new Latin country, Hispanic Americans are coming to believe that they have a transnational identity, that their bodies and souls can live between two countries, that the physical border need not exist in the mind.

Like de Tocqueville two centuries before him, Tobar describes a nation in its infancy; a democracy just unwrapped from the cellophane, its civic institutions raw and crisp.

Moreover, Tobar vividly evokes how dreams, ambitions, and economics are fueling the Hispanic migration within the United States . News has filtered back to the more established Latino communities of promising lands where good wages can be had, the land is cheap, and even a journalero (day laborer) can own his own home. In North Carolina , the gossip goes, there is so much work carving up chickens that you can save up enough to buy your own little rancho. Go to this place called Maine, others say, way on the northeastern edge of the map of the United States, and work in the forests and the gringos will treat you even nicer than in California, because there aren't so many of us paisanos there. In that biggest of big gringo cities, New York , there is work underneath the skyscrapers, good-paying jobs and big tips in restaurants and cafeterias and other places where the gringuitas still smile at you.

In Tobar's view, Latinos are practicing a new kind of Americanism, an Americanismo, a lively dialogue about citizenship and cultural identity and public life in both English and Spanish. He documents their increasing civic and political involvement in places ranging from Los Angeles County to Grand Island , Nebraska , and the speed with which pure demographics is making Latino political power inevitable. No instance of the new Latino identity is more striking or poignant than that of Hispanic members of the U.S. armed forces whom Tobar met in Iraq . In California , he describes the funeral of one who was buried with a Mexican flag draped over his coffin, while a Marine honor guard stood at attention with the Stars and Stripes.

Tobar does a magnificent job of portraying the ‘contradiction and possibility’ contained in the words una nacion unida. – Kirkus Reviews

Tobar's nuanced reportage vividly conveys the complexity and pathos of the Latino experience. – Publishers Weekly

Translation Nation is a thoughtful, ambitious, and sweeping guide to our America 's future, which Hector Tobar makes clear is already present. – Richard Rodriguez, author of Brown: The Last Discovery of America

Frankly, I'm jealous as hell of Hector Tobar. He combines a journalist's eye for the devastating fact with a poet's eye for the astounding image. Translation Nation goes places many of us have not traveled, and once we get there, our jaws often drop. This book may not comfort you, but it will delight you. It's beautiful. – Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Across the Wire and The Devil's Highway

Hector Tobar is a worthy descendant of Che Guevara: without a motorcycle but with equal brio, he travels the American landscape from west to east in pursuit of an unexplored America, reinvigorated everywhere by Latino immigrants. His chronicles are as agile as they are unpretentious and thought-provoking, a welcome respite to the diet of manufactured national identity we're accustomed to. – Ilan Stavans, author of Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language and The Hispanic Condition

Latino immigration to the United States is a hot-button issue that has sparked fiery debate in politics, the media, and communities across the country. Yet few Americans have grasped the full scope of the way that the Latino community is changing the U.S. Now, novelist and journalist Tobar, offers an up-to-date, nuanced portrait of the Hispanic community in Translation Nation. According to Tobar, the vast and growing Hispanic population alters our basic conception of what it means to be an American. The book is a brilliant and provocative account of how millions of Latino Americans will change America like no other immigrant group before them – in everything from food to pop culture to politics – and how they will be profoundly changed in turn. In Tobar Latino Americans have found a perceptive and worthy bard. Sophisticated and deeply human, Translation Nation makes fascinating reading, both for the Anglos who want to understand the profound transformation of the United States they see taking place around them, and for the Latinos who have become a significant cultural force.

Sociology

Contemporary Sociological Theory: Expanding the Classical Tradition, 6th Edition by Ruth A. Wallace & Alison Wolf (Prentice Hall) examines the assumptions and concepts of the five major sociological theories and the classical roots of the modern theories.

Contemporary Sociological Theory focuses specifically on functionalism, conflict theory, theories of rational choice, symbolic interactionism, and phenomenology. Emphasizing on writers whose work has most influenced social theory, this book explores the key concepts of each theory, the background of the major theorists, empirical applications, and everyday ‘lay’ use of each perspective. Written by Ruth A. Wallace, George Washington University , and Alison Wolf, University of London , it also features examples of research based on actual theory, direct quotations from major theorists, and feminist contributions and critiques on each major perspective. This sixth edition of Contemporary Sociological Theory has been revised to include updated research examples that were theoretically driven.

Contemporary Sociological Theory discusses and analyzes sociological theory as it is practiced today. Contemporary sociology, at almost every point, builds on and incorporates the classics, especially the work of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, and Mead. Wallace and Wolf believe that the best way to study and understand theory is to follow the ways in which the work of classical writers has been expanded by later sociologists, and to see how theoretical insights are actually used by people to explain social developments. They therefore describe the contributions of classical theorists directly when discussing the historical roots of each perspective. Throughout Contemporary Sociological Theory they also point out the many ways in which contemporary theorists and researchers alike make active use of clas­sical ideas.

In the earliest editions of Contemporary Sociological Theory, the subtitle of the book was Continuing the Classical Tradition. Upon reflection, Wallace and Wolf still see a continuity with the early founders of the discipline in the work of contemporary theorists. But they have come to the conclusion that there is more than continuity in the theoretical work going on in sociology today. What has been happening recently in sociological theory is as exciting as the newly created technologies that are bringing the rest of the world closer to us, thus enriching us by a fuller appreciation of other cultures. Contemporary theorists do stand on the shoulders of the giants of sociology, but they also expand the horizons of the discipline at all three vantage points: the macro-structural, micro-interactional, and interpretive levels of analysis. This is the reason for our change in subtitle to Expanding the Classical Tradition.

In Contemporary Sociological Theory, Wallace and Wolf describe the central ideas and arguments of these thinkers and the ways in which they provide a number of quite distinct perspectives on society and social behavior. Although they also assess and criticize their theories, their purpose is to provide readers with a clear summary of sociological theory's arguments, not to engage in a detailed critique of each approach or to espouse a particular perspective. To give readers as clear an idea as possible of the authors' own style and presentation, they include a number of direct quotations in the text. They also show how sociological theories inform social scientists' empirical research and they demonstrate the close links between sociological theory and the ways in which we all, sociologists and nonsociologists alike, deal with and try to understand our world. To this end they have updated and increased the empirical examples of how a theoretical perspective is used both by sociological researchers and by ordinary people as they interpret daily events, avoiding jargon in so far as is possible.

Contemporary Sociological Theory, 6th edition, in addition to the five major perspectives of contemporary sociological theory (functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, and theories of rational choice) also provides an overview of recent theoretical developments. For this edition the text has been updated generally, and a number of significant additions have been made.

Chapter 1 discusses the structure of sociological theories and their practical importance as a way of analyzing and understanding how human societies work. It also introduces two important research themes. One of these is the role of women in contemporary society, and the second is the working of the huge formal educational systems that characterize modern society. Each major theoretical perspective can provide important but partial answers to the questions about formal education and the role of women, themes woven throughout Contemporary Sociological Theory.

The chapters on functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, and theories of rational choice follow a common pattern – they set out the basic assumptions and key concepts of each theory and the questions it raises and attempts to answer. Wallace and Wolf identify the intellectual roots of the approach and discuss the insights derived from previous scholars by contemporary theorists. They then describe in detail the work of the perspective's major theorists, with particular emphasis on their most recent or current arguments. Each section stresses the reciprocal relationship between theory on the one hand and sociological research and general social observation on the other. They show how contemporary theorists analyze concrete phenomena, including the educational system and the role of women, and how the research of their colleagues draws on and embodies different theoretical perspectives. They also illustrate how the outlook of contemporary theorists is reflected in the way non-sociologists look at and discuss the world. Chapter 8 discusses a theoretical development of interest to contemporary sociology: the sociology of the body. Finally, Chapter 9 discusses modernism and postmodernism, and synthesizes the major perspectives' contributions to answering the questions posed in Chapter 1 regarding education and the role of women.

Contemporary Sociological Theory is an essential reference for every professional whose work is related to sociology, as well for anyone interested in the contributions social science can make to understanding the world.

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Guide to This Issue

Contents this page:  Art: Capitol Hill Architectural Heritage, Chinese Calligraphy, Digital Video, Suspense: Regina Cutter Mysteries, Fritz Kolbe, WW II Spy, The Bay at Midnight, The White League, Scifi: The Resurrected Man, Business: The Edge to Dynamic Specialization, Change I-Thinking to WE-Thinking, Biography: Domestic Violence, Showbiz Lives: Noel Coward and Cole Porter, Billie Holiday’s Life, Childrens: Hurrying Child, Exploring History Renewed, Cooking: Sustainable Seafood Recipes, Italian Jewish Cooking, Thai Dishes, Fresh Haute Cuisine, Southern Living’s Readers' Recipes, Education: Teaching Technologies, Parents Versus Peers, Native American Biographies for HighSchool  Music: Miles Davis' Jazz, Health & Spirituality: The Art of Wholeness, Destructive Trends in Mental Health, Oncology Nursing, Sex's Ultimate Pleasure, Gender Variation, Walk Yourself Healthy, Hospital's Shaping Death, Wholly Dying, Elder Care, Prevention Techniques, History: Childhood's Global Context, Women of the New Mexico Frontier, Finding Karl Plagge, Home & Garden: Remodeling the Kitchen Literature: Poet's on Place, Contemporary Iranian Literature, Beckian Fritz Goldberg's Poetry, New Directions' Laughlin Looks Back, More Red Hats Women, Nature: Birdwatching, Native Trees, Dobson's Bringing Up Boys Religion: Orthodox Ethics, Augustine's Theology in Modern Perspective, Young Traditional Catholic, A Life of Jesus, Subversive Christianity, The Gnostic Tradition, The Holy Thursday Revolution, Politics: USA World Policy, Axis of Evil Social Science: Iraqw of Tanzania Experience Development, Ethnographical Dreaming, Spanish-Speaking Americans will become 25% of USA Population, Contemporary Sociological Theory