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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

April 2006, Issue #84

Guide to This Issue

The Story of Allen Lane, the Founder of Penguin Books, Inside Information and Corruption in the Stock Market, Training Evaluation Made Simple, Cinderella, Investigate Everyday Mysteries with Forensic Science! A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man, The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s, Men, Action Films, and Contemporary Adventure Narratives, Warrior Women On-Screen, The Life of John Lennon, Promoting Health Promotion, Confessions of a Food Addict, Make Over Your Metabolism, Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss, 21 Steps to Personal Success and Real Happiness, Victorian London, The Meaning of First Democracy, Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977, Designing and Creating Japanese Gardens. Life in Bagdad in the 1990s, A Guide to Literary Patterns in the Bible, Ethical Issues in the New Reproductive Technologies, New Mystery by Cecelia Tishy, A Kiss Goodbye, Four Seasons in the Lives of Migratory Birds, Water Conservation Programs, CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, Design-Build Project Delivery, Negotiating Self-Determination, Diagnostic Parasitology for Veterinary Technicians,, Bricker's International Directory 2006, Mastering Healthcare Terminology, Worldwide Government Directory 2006, Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century, Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children, Tibetan Treasure Literature, Encyclopedia of the Undead, River of Gods: August 15, 2047 – Happy Birthday, India by Ian McDonald, In Our Hands: How to End Poverty and Restore the American Dream, Clearing the Bases: Juiced Players, Monster Salaries, Sham Records, and a Hall of Famer's Search for the Soul of Baseball

Biographies & Memoirs

Penguin Special: The Story of Allen Lane, the Founder of Penguin Books and the Man Who Changed Publishing Forever by Jeremy Lewis (Penguin Books) 

The founding of Penguin Books in 1935 revolutionized the publishing industry with the idea that great writing ought to be made available for the price of a pack of cigarettes. Penguin Special tells the story of Penguin and its founder, Allen Lane. In it, author Jeremy Lewis, who has spent much of his life in publishing, traces the changes the company wrought in cultural and political life in England and in the publishing industry worldwide.

A stocky, dapper Englishman who left school at the age of sixteen and went on to found Penguin Books, Allen Lane was one of the greatest publishers of the twentieth cen­tury and a major influence on the cultural and political life of post-war Britain. As told in Penguin Special, Lane was never a bookish man himself, but he was adept at sensing the spirit of the age and always ready to follow his hunches. For example, he risked prosecution for publishing James Joyce's Ulysses for the first time in England, and a quarter century later he appeared at the Old Bailey to defend Penguin's publication of the unexpurgated version of Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Lane’s influence stretched beyond the world of pub­lishing: his pre-war Penguin Specials alerted the British public to the threat of Nazism and helped usher in a Labour government in 1945, and Penguin itself came to be seen as a benign monopoly, akin to the BBC. By the end of his career, publishing was changing too fast for his liking, and his last years were blighted by illness and a battle with his chief editor that climaxed when Lane set fire to the stock of a book he detested. A mischievous, quixotic, oddly endearing figure who loathed meetings and paperwork – one visitor was shocked to find an editorial meeting taking place in a rowboat and well lubricated with gin – Lane combined ruthlessness with affability, courage with moral cowardice, loyalty with unpredictability. Few publishers are remembered after their lifetimes: Allen Lane is a rare exception to the rule.

Hugely enjoyable to read and surprisingly riveting. – Independent (U.K.)

A masterly account of publishing in the twentieth century ... unlikely to be bettered. – New Statesman (U.K.)

As a rich and humorous history of twentieth-century reading habits, Penguin Special will not be surpassed. – Mail on Sunday (U.K.)

Invaluable and fascinating. – Nick Hornby, Time Out (London)
Hugely enjoyable . . . Jeremy Lewis’s biography is an extraordinarily vivid portrait of an extraordinary man. – The Sunday Telegraph (London)
The book is a triumph. His knowledge of the publishing world is unrivaled and this must be the best survey of the nuts-and-bolts of the industry ever devised. – The Sunday Mail (U.K.)

Rich with anecdote and suffused with Lane’s larger-than-life personality, Penguin Special touches on the entire twentieth century in its portrait of a man and a company that have changed the way the English-speaking world reads.

Business & Investing

Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst: A True Story of Inside Information and Corruption in the Stock Market by Daniel Reingold, with Jennifer Reingold (Collins) 

Here is the true story of a Wall Street player's transformation from a straight-arrow believer to a jaded cynic, who reveals how Wall Street's insider game is played.

Dan Reingold was a top Wall Street analyst for fourteen years and Salomon Smith Barney analyst Jack Grubman's chief competitor in the red-hot sector of telecom. Reingold was part of the ‘Street’ and believed in it. But in this memoir written with Fast Company senior writer Jennifer Reingold, the author describes how his enthusiasm gave way to disgust as he learned how deeply corrupted Wall Street and much of corporate America had become during the roaring stock market bubble of the 1990s.

In Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst, Reingold recounts his introduction to the world of Wall Street leaks and secret deal-making; his experiences with corporate fraud; and Wall Street's penchant for lavish spending and multimillion-dollar pay packages. Reingold spars with arch rival Grubman; fends off intense pressures from Wall Street bankers and corporate CEOs; and is wooed by Morgan Stanley's CEO, John Mack, and CSFB's über-banker Frank Quattrone. Reingold describes instances in which confidential deals are whispered days before their official announcement. He recalls the moment he learns that Bernie Ebbers's WorldCom was massively cooking its books. And he is shocked to have been an unwitting catalyst for a series of sexually explicit e-mails that would rock Wall Street; bring Grubman to his knees; and contribute to the stepping aside of Grubman's boss, Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill.

At the end of December 2005, Former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio was indicted on 20 counts of insider trading. Now Nacchio will try to clear his name, just as Worldcom's Bernie Ebbers and Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski attempted before him. As these and other once mighty CEOs are paraded in and out of the courts, some may believe that Wall Street has been cleaned up and is no longer a rigged insider's game. But Reingold believes otherwise. Reingold writes that "while the world finally saw justice served in the story of WorldCom, the jury is still out...on the telecom industry, which burned so brightly and sucked in so many people before it turned into the deepest of black holes. Moreover, the jury is also still out on the responsibility of the Wall Streeters who aided and abetted the rise of these companies and then simply got out of the way when they collapsed...And it's still out on the insider game that I was a key part of, a game that the average investor – and even many of the professionals – can never win."

The book ends with a series of policy recommendations to clean up the investing business. Reingold is currently Project Director for Telecom Finance at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information at Columbia's Graduate School of Business.

It’s a terrific memoir. This honest and irreverent behind-the-scenes account of life on Wall Street is highly recommended. – Library Journal

A coming-of-age story in an age Wall Street would like to forget. In this riveting memoir, Reingold takes us for an exhilarating ride through the dark alleys of Wall Street and reminds us that in the world of finance one thing remains constant: Caveat Emptor, Buyer Beware! – David Faber, Anchor, CNBC TV

Every rocket needs fuel, but Dan Reingold shows us that much of what propelled the meteoric rise of the stock market in the late nineties was self-interested, sometimes even criminal, hot air. This book is a riveting and revealing account about the people and events that changed Wall Street and the telecommunications landscape forever. – Michael K. Powell, Former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

… The problems and conflicts he reveals remain acute today, even after recent reforms. Read this book before you rely on any investment advisor! – John C. Coffee, Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

This book captures the Shakespearean struggle of an all-star Wall Street analyst who strove to perform his role ethically, while pressured intensely to ‘play the game’ and promote the stocks of his firm's clients. Decades from now, economic historians will turn to Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst for a complete understanding of the nineties' stock market bubble. – Eric Hemel, former Co-Director of U.S. Equity Research, Merrill Lynch

Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst provides a front-row seat at one of the most dramatic – and ultimately tragic – periods in financial history. Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst is a gripping tale of the high-flying 90s, and features a cast of characters who all played a role in Reingold's stellar career. Reingold shares his experiences of jumping from Morgan Stanley, to Merrill Lynch, and finally to Credit Suisse First Boston. Some of Reingold's stories are outrageous, others hilarious, and many are simply absurd. But, together, they provide a sobering exposé of Wall Street: a jungle of greed and ego, a place brimming with conflicts and inside information, and a business absurdly out of touch with the Main Street it claims to serve. 

Business & Investing / Training

Telling Training's Story: Evaluation Made Simple, Credible, and Effective by Robert O. Brinkerhoff (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.)

What all trainers know in their gut – that training and development is valuable and worthwhile – is something that needs to be proven over and over to clients focused on bottom-line results. Hundreds of books and articles have been published about evaluating training, but most of the methods they describe are too elaborate, too complex, too costly, too difficult to explain – or worse, produce data nobody believes.

In contrast, Telling Training's Story offers a simple way of evaluating training's impact: The Success Case Method (SCM), written by Robert O. Brinkerhoff, EdD, Professor Emeritus at Western Michigan University and a principal consultant with Advantage Performance Group. Filled with examples, illustrations, tools, and checklists, Telling Training's Story not only shares the power of the Success Case Method to evaluate training, it also offers practical step-by-step guidelines for increasing the ROI of future learning and performance initiatives. Although the SCM is rigorous enough to convince even the harshest skeptic, it's also easy to understand.

SCM has been proven robust enough to withstand scrutiny from both a research and a business perspective and will not choke real-world practitioners and their clients with cumbersome methods and arcane statistical gyrations. The SCM enables organizations to do much more than just measure and document the impact of training; it uncovers and pinpoints the factors that make or break training success.

Based on careful analysis of participants' first-person accounts of their experiences in a training initiative, SCM doesn't just measure the impact of training, but pinpoints the factors that make or break training success. The book first explains how the SCM works, and then lays out a five-step plan that shows how to perform an SCM evaluation. Later chapters elaborate on the SCM process, providing in-depth instructions and guidelines. There are also four case studies that show how SCM evaluations were performed by global organizations.

No messy statistics, no complicated formulae, no squishy metrics. Brinkerhoff's Success Case Method is a robust and elegant approach to delivering substantive and believable evaluation data about the measurable impact of training and HR interventions. – Marguerite Foxon, PhD, Principal Performance Technologist, Motorola

I like the approach that Brinkerhoff has used.... You, the reader will be able to adapt his solutions to your own. – Donald L. Kirkpatrick, PhD, author of Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels

The Success Case method is the most relevant and compelling way to put educational results in the right light, and reach the results you're after. – Louise Korver-Swanson, Senior Vice President, Executive Development, Bank of America

This book is a ‘must’ for anyone who is serious about learning solutions and the results they can produce. The Success Case Method is simple and practical while yielding compelling and reliable information on training results. – Dana Gaines Robinson, coauthor of Performance Consulting: Moving beyond Training and Strategic Business Partner: Aligning People Strategies with Business Goals

No matter how much trainers believe that their work is valuable, clients will always want solid, objective evidence that the training they're spending good money on is effective. Telling Training's Story provides the tools, allowing anyone to measure a training regime's effectiveness and prove it to customers. Filled with examples and checklists, Telling Training's Story levels the playing field by granting trainers the ability to prove what they know in their heart – training works. 

Children’s Books / Fairytales / All Ages

Cinderella illustrated by K. Y. Craft (SeaStar) 

Remember, if you stay one instant after the last stroke of midnight, your carriage will become a pumpkin… while you yourself will appear just as humble as you did before.

So goes the pronouncement of Cinderella’s fairy godmother as the ragged maiden, Cinderella, now magically transformed into a ravishing beauty, climbs into her magnificent coach and sets of for the prince’s ball. Telling after telling, age after age, this vision continues to thrill and enchant readers, for Cinderella has become a forever-loved story that will never grow old.

With her exquisite touch, Kinuko Craft, who has won more than one hundred graphic arts awards, including five gold medals for the Society of Illustrators, in Cinderella now brings a new warmth and depth to this kind girl who, though cruelly mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, wins the fair prince’s heart. Scenes are radiant and rich with astonishing detail. For all those who dream of fairy godmothers, lavish balls, and living happily ever after, Cinderella is a fantasy come true.

As lavish as Craft's (King Midas and the Golden Touch) previous works, this retold fairy tale abounds with ornamental detail. Inspired by the opulent styles of 17th- and 18th-century France, the paintings are confections of luxurious clothing, densely vegetated woods and regally appointed ballrooms. A number of the pictures are breathtaking. …The story … contains pleasing touches as well as a moral. For example, Cinderella and the prince first meet when Cinderella nurses a lame bluebird in the forest; this same bluebird later becomes the fairy godmother. When the glass slipper fits Cinderella, the prince says, "How I knew that day in the woods that you were indeed special, but I should have fully recognized that heart whether clothed in rags or regalia." While this is not the most childlike version of Cinderella, it may be among the most sumptuous. – Publishers Weekly

Craft retains some of Perrault's formality and many of his story elements in this sumptuous rendition of the oft-told tale. An introductory note points to sources that include The Arthur Rackham Fairy Book, Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book, and the Grimms' "Aschenputtel," in which a bird grants the wish. …A consummate artist, Craft … controls the pace with one-page compositions (faced with bordered, illuminated text) interspersed with wordless double spreads at climactic moments. – Wendy Lukehart, School Library Journal

This brilliant edition of Cinderella is a timeless story sure to become the favorite of a generation. Readers young and old will be enchanted by the vision and mastery of Craft's luminous paintings, embellished with extraordinary borders and ornamentation. Rich with radiant color and astonishing detail, Cinderella is a dream come true for anyone who has ever believed in living happily ever after.
 

Children’s Books / Science / Ages 8 and up

Action Books Detective Tool Kit: Investigate Everyday Mysteries with Forensic Science! by Chris Oxlade (Action Books Series: Running Press Kids) 

Action Books Detective Tool Kit contains the tools young investigators need to solve household mysteries, including training exercises and real detective tools.

Capitalizing on the public's fascination with forensic investigative techniques, this activity kit provides kids with the materials to solve household mysteries. With the detective tool kit, children can use fingerprints to determine who drank that last glass of orange juice, or work with hair samples to figure out if someone's been snooping in their secret hiding place. They can gather evidence and track down the 'culprits'.

Using the science of forensics, they discover how to find and interpret seemingly ordinary clues around them. For example, they can uncover fibers with a magnifying glass, collect hair samples, and analyze fingerprints in their own ‘lab’ at home. The kit includes a 32-page illustrated full-color book, innovative facial identification kit, fingerprint pad, ink stamp, brush and powder, clue containers, evidence bags, labels, chromatography paper for ink analysis, and magnifying glass.

In the Action Books Detective Tool Kit readers find out about the most important parts of forensic science, including fingerprinting, DNA fingerprinting, forensic chemistry, ballistics, forensic art, and forensic psychology. The things young readers need are listed at the start of each activity. Children are encouraged to follow the steps carefully and ask an adult for help if they are unsure of what to do.

The Action Books Detective Tool Kit lets children play the part of a forensic detective at home. An excellent hands-on entertainment and learning activity for active children.

Entertainment / Humor / Health, Mind & Body / Self-help

A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man by Frank Vincent & Steven Priggé, foreword by James Gandolfini (Berkley Books)
”Oh, Godfather, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do…”
(Slap)
“You can act like a man!”

Don Corleone said it best, and truer words where never spoken. But these days, it's harder than ever to know how to act like a real man. We’re not talking about the touchy-feely, ultra sensitive, emotion-sharing, not-afraid-to-cry version of manhood of talk shows. We’re talking about the tough, smart, confident, charming, classy, all-around good fella who upholds the true ideal of what is knows as a 'man’s man.'

Now, renowned actor and man's man Frank Vincent – famed for his unforgettable tough-guy roles in such classic films as Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and HBO's The Sopranos – in A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man shows how any man can be all that he can be in love, work, play, and life. With the help of co-author, Steven Priggé, he delivers advice on practically everything, including:

  • Getting the best women by being the best man.
  • Dressing like a champ.
  • Winning big money and big respect in Las Vegas.
  • Choosing the right song to set the right mood.
  • Knowing how to eat – and cook – like a man.
  • Movies that men will always love.
  • Selecting, smoking, and savoring a great cigar.  

A man's man, according to actor Vincent, is "a jack of all trades, but also a master of all," who drinks only imported beer (that is, when he can't round up a fine scotch, a gin martini with three olives, or a glass of wine), wears cologne, owns a ‘tailored to perfection’ tuxedo and can afford to own only designer clothes. With one glance at the cover, most readers will be able to divine the majority of Vincent's guidelines, but there are a few surprises: recipes for lentil soup, the divination of a Fire & Ice rose and a brief passage on the virtues of monogamy…– Publishers Weekly
Frank Vincent's a stand-up guy. Now, sit down and read! – James Gandolfini
Old school sexy...Frank Vincent's a Renaissance man! – Debi Mazar
As an actor Frank Vincent always leaves an impression. This book is guaranteed to have the same effect. – Ray Liotta
Disgustingly charismatic. Horrifyingly macho. Read it as soon as possible! – Rosie Perez

If you want to learn how to be a man's man, you gotta learn from a man's man. And that man is Frank Vincent, now starring in A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man.

Entertainment / Movies / Literature & Criticism

The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s: Lawrence of Arabia, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, and The Hill by Anna E. Claydon, with a preface by John Beynon (The Edwin Mellin Press) 

Anna Claydon, Lecturer in Media and Communication, Depart­ment of Media and Communication (Centre for Mass Communications Research), University of Leicester, presents her second book and part of Mellen’s Studies in the History and Criticism of Film series, The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s.

Claydon’s central thesis is that representations of masculinity are the core of the ‘imagining’ of Britishness and a constant theme in British cinema. According to the book, it follows that the concepts used to analyze and theorize masculinities can be fruitfully applied to cinema.

Clayton laments the fact that "British men in Hollywood films are either represented as upper class twits or the rough diamond with a heart of gold" and asserts that "the problem with much recent mainstream British cinema, in its bid to make money in the American market, is that these models are little challenged and frequently reinforced.” She then backtracks to the 1960s, in many ways the cultural watershed decade of the 20th century, in that it witnessed a wealth of social and cultural changes that still shape our lives today, to demonstrate that the period was hugely instrumental in challenging existing masculine norms, resulting in new ‘decentered’ and ‘less ensnared’ articulations of masculinity, the immediate ancestors of the plurality of masculinities evident all around us today. Central to this process, she says, was the role of mid-1960s cinema in opening up to scrutiny the tensions, ambiguities and contradictions forever inherent within masculinity. She refers to Arthur Marwick's mapping of the ‘long Sixties’, stretching over three phases, from 1958 to 1974, and culminating in the ‘cultural revolution’ associated with the so-called ‘High Sixties’ and forever associated with such enduring images as Flower Power, Carnaby Street and Swinging London.

The four films Clayton examines in The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s belong to the seminal central phase of the Sixties, stretching from 1962 to 1966, and represent the four modes of British film production of the period, namely the independent production (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, 1962); the big prestige picture (Lawrence of Arabia, 1962); the small-scale investment (The Hill, 1965); and the B-movie (The Projected Man, 1966). In each film the male protagonist is a failing icon of masculinism. Peter O'Toole's remarkable performance demonstrated, as Clayton observes, that "masculinity is more than a series of soldiering stereotypes". She employs Arthur Brittan's term ‘masculinism’ to good effect and concludes that "the rendering of men in British film is not driven by a concept of masculinity-in-crisis, but rather of identities challenging explicit changes in the role of masculinism.

Claydon structures the study so that a development of characterization, subjectivity, adjectivity and masculinity follows through each chapter. She asks questions in The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s which arise from examining not only how masculinity is represented in British film but also how it is talked about. She seeks to advance a kind of cohesion of methodologies for British cinema in its analyses of its own subjects. Her first hypothesis, concerning British cinema studies, is that the constraints of the methodologies of socio-historical analysis placed upon the field are a reflection of British culture's preoccupation with history and society, or, more precisely, the place of the individual in history. She takes issue with this self-delimitation because it alienates potential interest in the national cinema, making the films and their critics appear self-absorbed in what is another issue in its own right, Britishness. If British cinema is to be comprehended upon the same level as other films which are the staple of Film Studies, as a field of its own, then, she argues, the boundaries of what is analyzed, and how it is analyzed, must be crossed.

Claydon’s second hypothesis, relating to the question of how else we might talk about masculinity other than to describe it as being in a state of ‘crisis’, is that the male protagonists within the films, each representative of differing masculinities, are set apart from society and decentered in their relation to the world, rather than from their gendered and psycho-sexual identities, as the ‘crisis’ in masculinity argument maintains. At the root of this idea is a concern with the way in which the terminology of a ‘crisis’ in masculinity has been misused and warped.

In Chapters One and Two, Claydon discusses the precedents already established within British cinema studies, work on masculinity which has shaped the concept of British film studies as the study of cultural artifacts and modern masculinity as existing in a state of ‘crisis’ shaped by feminism.

In Chapter Three, specifically written about a B-movie so that the twin issues of quality and content within an example of British pulp cinema can be taken in hand, she analyzes the psychoanalytical structures which inform the characters' actions and opened out the textual aspects of the films which assert its status as a b-movie on the brink of the ‘swinging sixties’ able to take risks with the representation of sexuality and identity.

Chapter Four also employs psychoanalysis significantly in analyzing the characterization of the ‘angry young man’. Typically discussed in terms of the anti-feminist ‘crisis of masculinity’, Claydon examines the protagonist and his relations with other characters within the framework of his frustration as a post-war discontent towards the anachronistic masculinist establishment. The second theoretical and textual influence upon this chapter is a discussion of the narrative of the film through the theories of Gerard Genette and Gilles Deleuze and an analysis of how the protagonist's identity is, in part, created within the atemporal narration of the film.

In Chapter Five, the analysis of the masculinity within the masculine institution magnifies the institutionalization of masculinism as a system of power. Key to this chapter are the theories of Foucault and Nietzsche alongside a discussion of how sadism informs the manifestation of the technologies of power. The specificity of the film's representation of rebellious but conventional masculinities is situated in the contextual comprehension of the film as a post-imperial and post-National service text in which the textual iteration is the anachronistic framework upon which the army is built and against which post-colonial identities must rebel.

The final chapter, Chapter Six, takes the theoretical propositions of the previous chapter a stage further by moving the sadism or sadomasochism from the film's villain to its hero but its central foci are first, the representation of the mythography rather than biography of TE Lawrence and second, the configuration of Lawrence as a doubled Other within the film's narrative (sadomasochist, homosexual, Lawrence and yet also not Lawrence), a representation of which is only possible with the changes in censorship of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Throughout all of the chapters within The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s Claydon uses contextual information drawn from original and secondary sources alongside the textual evidence in order to establish the parameters within which the films were viewed on their release. This is in part because unlike many American films, which are well known and have been analyzed solely as film texts, the films analyzed here are not established as texts. Even Lawrence of Arabia, which has received the most previous analysis, has principally been discussed within the context of production and textual comparison (to Seven Pillars of Wisdom). Claydon maintains throughout that the socio-cultural research into British film is a necessary part of British film studies and she has used it herself; but what she shows is that the analysis of the films as texts must and can surpass the depth of any contextual investigation.

The future of the decentered masculinities of the sixties British cinema can be seen in abundance in the representation of masculinity in contemporary British cinema, from the brothers in both East is East and Bhaji on the Beach to the gangsters of films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Guy Richie, 1999) Even a film such as Bridget Jones' Diary with its cads and nice-guys, presents these stereotypical ideals as failing icons of masculinism. Ultimately, the contemporary, postmodern, British cinema suggests, not only do all men exist in a position of dejection but also many women, the Bridget Joneses who were only ever pseudo-feminists. Thus, the crisis within masculinism has created not only a struggle for masculinities' identifications with the world but also a questioning of feminism, which we can see articulated through the sad concept of post-feminism.

One of the undoubted strengths of The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s is the author's skillful deployment of multiple methodologies to theorize film – psychoanalytical, narratological, historical, as well as more conventional, representation-based approaches. Importantly, Claydon’s analyses of each of the four films arises from, and is fully grounded in, the filmic texts themselves. She presents herself as working at the “intersection between students of film history; those of psycho-analytical film theory; and those of film text”. Claydon's volume is laudable because it places masculinities at the forefront examining the four films, brings together in a fruitful congruence a range of ways of ‘reading’ films, places the spotlight on the iconic 1960s, restates the centrality of film to that seminal decade, and opens up and indicates further useful lines of investigation.

The thought-provoking The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s will become recommended reading not only in Film Studies but also in Media, Cultural and Communication Studies, in the Humanities, as well as in the Social Sciences. Claydon's book will undoubtedly assist students in the task of seeing film through the lens of masculinity. In demonstrating how masculinities were articulated in British cinema at a particular time, the mid-1960s, she raises important wider issues about how to make sense of and talk about films in general, British films in particular. 

Entertainment / Movies / Social Science / Popular Culture

Action Figures: Men, Action Films, and Contemporary Adventure Narratives by Mark Gallagher (Palgrave MacMillan) 

What accounts for the massive global popularity of action films and adventure literature? How do men and women respond to iconic screen stars such as Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve McQueen, and Charlton Heston?

Action genres have been Hollywood's most profitable global exports for most of its history, their male heroes the subject of much fascination and derision. Bestselling literary thrillers, from The Hunt for Red October to Into Thin Air, have also contributed markedly to popular understandings of male activity. Action films manifestly appeal to viewers through their huge production budgets, dynamic editing, and sophisticated special effects. They also intersect crucially with material concerns such as gender and race relations, violence, and global politics. Action Figures, written by Mark Gallagher, who has taught courses in film history and theory, film genres, and 20th-century literature at Oberlin College, the University of Oregon, the University of Missouri, Georgia State University, and Oklahoma State University, takes stock of action narratives' many appeals and recognizes how contemporary crises of gender identity manifest themselves in popular commercial texts.

To interrogate them in original ways, this work combines textual analysis with consideration of popular texts' historical, cultural, and industrial situations.

Gallagher in Action Figures says his work is heavily indebted to early-1990s works such as Susan Jeffords's Hard Bodies and Yvonne Tasker's Spectacular Bodies, both of which compellingly analyze action films and their cultural situation. Jeffords's 1994 book surveys models of masculinity in the action genre as well as in successful comedies and dramas of the same period, and identifies in early-1990s films a tendency to define heroic masculinity through fathering. Gallagher traces related lineages of heroic masculinity through the late 1990s, interrogating not only the increasing prevalence of paternal heroes across the decade but also the genre's correspondingly melodramatic situation. Similarly, he draws upon Tasker's 1993 book, which examines dynamics of gender, race, and class in the action films of the 1980s and early 1990s, and situates these categories in relation to patterns of genre evolution and hybridity.

With Tasker's volume as a point of reference, Gallagher considers how transformations in film genre, and surround­ing cultural discourses in the United States and abroad, have produced the contemporary male action hero. Jeffords's and Tasker's works provide the critical foundation for the study of masculinity in the contemporary Hollywood action film. Action Figures, in comparison, links the contemporary action genre to a number of earlier U.S. films, to popular literature of the 1980s and 1990s, and to popular Hong Kong films of the same era. Gallagher examines popular literature and non-U.S. films' engagement with Hollywood's models of active masculinity, an interplay that lends the U.S. action genre continued legitimacy.

Action Figures' organization is partly chronological and partly dialectical. First, it assesses the cultural situation in which the contemporary U.S. action hero is located, then it examines that figure's many compelling facets. Following that Gallagher turns to the contemporary action hero's origins, then to his corollaries in print fiction. He looks finally at an alternative to the U.S. action hero, a figure who provides quite literal comic relief from his Hollywood counterparts. Though he engages with a range of texts produced since the 1960s, he begins with contem­porary nonfiction texts to demonstrate the ways discourses of action and adventure shape our understanding of specific events in historical reality. Chapter 1, "Armchair Thrills and the New Adventurer," deals with a recent popular manifestation of the continued cultural appetite for action narratives. This chapter examines the outpouring in the late 1990s of nonfiction-adventure literature, looking at a number of texts that became best-sellers not only because of their chilling narratives of real-life tragedy, but also because of their fealty to conventions of popular fiction and film.

Contemporary U.S. action films constitute the lingua franca of global film audiences, and the structure of Action Figures pro­ceeds from this basic understanding. In chapter 2, " ‘I Married Rambo’: Action, Spectacle, and Melodrama," a case study of True Lies (1994) exemplifies the genre's redefinition of masculinity according to social pressures related to gender in the late twentieth century. To demonstrate the importance of genre with regard to the cinematic representation of masculinity, the book examines the increasing presence of melodrama – a genre or mode associated with women and femininity – in the male-oriented action film. Through melodrama, action films offer both male and female viewers access to a rigidly codified narrative world. The action genre's slowly growing interest in female representation suggests that only conditions of ritualized behavior and personal style exclude women from the connotatively masculine world of action – the world of military and government installations, high technology, lethal weaponry, and pyrotechnic spectacle. (See the review immediately following this one for a review of The Modern Amazons.)

Chapter 3, "Omega Men: Late 1960s and Early 1970s Action Heroes," moves back historically to a period crucial to an understanding of the contemporary action hero and his milieu because the films of this period develop models for that hero. Vietnam-era films recurrently depict conflicted but conventionally ‘tough’ male heroes during a period of severe challenges to many pillars of traditional Western masculinity. The U.S. military's problematic experience in Vietnam raised questions about the utility of prevailing notions of military engagement, home-front opposition to the war resulted in unprecedented acts of political dissent aimed at the male-dominated government and institutions, and the feminist movement called attention to grave gender imbalances in the workplace and in the domestic sphere. Vietnam-era action heroes' generic descendants in film – the proficient, muscular heroes of the 1980s and 1990s – bear few of their predecessors' scars. However, the legacies of feminism and the Vietnam War are apparent in the literary blockbusters of the same period, albeit through exaggeration and omission. Chapter 4, "Airport Fiction: The Men of Mass-Market Literature," follows the audiences of the earlier films into midlife and to a different venue – that of the popular novels of Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler – through which aging men's attitudes are represented and validated. Despite the well-reported consolidation among the film and publishing industries since the 1980s, contemporary critical work on popular film has only sparingly addressed its literary offshoots. A thorough cultural analysis of contemporary masculinity requires attention to literary as well as cinematic texts, particularly given filmmakers' reliance on name recognition of popular novels to lure audiences into theaters.

Chapter 5, "Restaging Heroic Masculinity: Jackie Chan and the Hong Kong Action Film" returns to films but looks to an alternative to Hollywood's generic and industrial frameworks. In the early 1990s, Hollywood studios began borrowing narratives of Hong Kong action films, their visual styles, and performers and directors such as Chan, Jet Li, and John Woo. Chan's Hong Kong-produced films, popular throughout Asia, made him the world's most popular action star long before his late-1990s Hollywood successes. Chan's persona suggests ways active male identity can be formed through a combination of physical dexterity, comic self-effacement, and a perceptible ‘naturalness’ or ordinariness. In addition, the racial dynamics of Chan's Hong Kong films – particularly the enactment of both comedy and masochism on the nonwhite male body – provide a telling counterpoint to the economy of race representation in U.S. action films. Gallagher approaches Chan and his films through analysis of film comedy, masochistic subversion, and carnivalesque pleasure. With their mixtures of comedy and masochistic spectacle, Chan's films unsettle paradigms of active male identity. These films raise questions about bodily spectacle, kinesthetic pleasures, and generic blends of action and comedy in both U.S. and Asian cinemas.

Throughout the last few decades, U.S. culture has produced a rich body of film and literature venerating, lampooning, and interrogating active manhood, invigorating the category of masculinity for readers, viewers, and scholars. As Gallagher concludes, “the images of active masculinity, and the apparent threats to that masculinity, continue to inspire media spectacle, careful analysis, and sometimes, relieving comedy.” Through Action Figures, Gallagher contributes to the productive analysis of cinematic masculinity and the action genre now flourishing in film studies. 

Entertainment / Movies / Television / Sociology / Popular Culture

The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen by Dominique Mainon & James Ursini (Limelight Editions) 

A pop-culture first from cover to cover, The Modern Amazons celebrates some of Hollywood's most memorable women on film and television for the past five decades.

From Barbarella to Barb Wire, The Modern Amazons, by Dominique Mainon, writer-researcher and producer for an independent film company, and James Ursini, author of more than twenty books on film history, traces the public's seemingly insatiable fascination with the warrior-woman archetype in film and on television.

The Modern Amazons brings readers today's warrior woman on-screen, citing her often complex transformation from traditional roles of passivity or ‘screaming victim’ to ‘vicious avenger and warrior’. The book examines the cautious beginnings of new roles for women in the late fifties, the rapid development of female action leads during the burgeoning second-wave feminist movement in the late sixties and seventies, and the present-day onslaught of female action characters now leaping from page to screen.

Readers see how the ‘fur bikinis and jungle love’ of Raquel Welch, who was launched to international sex-symbol status in the prehistoric adventure fantasy One Million Years BC, and Pam Grier, the first African-American woman to play a warrior woman within the action movie genre (Coffy, Foxy Brown, and Sheba, Baby), would set the stage for Jessica Alba of Dark Angel, Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil, Jennifer Garner from Alias, and Uma Thurman from the Kill Bill series and The Avengers, to name a few.

Complete with an extensive filmography of more than 150 titles, The Modern Amazons also features the warrior women of fantasy including Grace Jones as Zula in Conan the Destroyer, superheroes including Wonder Woman and Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, sci-fi warrior Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Alien, super-sleuths and spies such as Charlie's Angels, gothic warriors including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the ‘girl power’ of comics, cartoons, and video games such as the Powerpuff Girls. In addition, the book highlights Hong Kong warriors such as Angela Mao (Enter the Dragon) and Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and sexploitation films including the Ilsa trilogy.

The Modern Amazons is organized into chapters that group women warriors into sub-genres, e.g., classic Amazons like Xena Warrior Princess and the women of the Conan films; superheroes and their archenemies such as Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Catwoman; revenge films such as the Kill Bill movies; sexploitation and blaxploitation films such as Coffy and the Ilsa trilogy; Hong Kong cinema and warriors like Angela Mao, Cynthia Rothrock, and Zhang Ziyi; sci-fi warriors including Star Trek, Blade Runner, and Star Wars; supersleuths and spies like the Avengers and Charlie's Angels; and gothic warriors such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Kate Beckinsale in Underworld and Van Helsing.

The Modern Amazons also relates a brief background on warrior women in history, myth, and literature, chronicling the effects of male fantasy and societal values on their portrayal in film and on television, and their overall portrayal in Hollywood. Revenge and loss of father, Oedipal conflicts, sisterhood – just a few of the themes that underlie warrior-women movies – are also discussed. Special features include topics such as the "Weapons of Warrior Women," "Final Notes: Occupational Hazards of Superheroines," and the representation of women as felines ("The Feline Woman") and as snakes in myths and history ("Woman and the Serpent"). The Modern Amazons is illustrated with over 100 photos of these popular-culture icons in action, and includes articles and sidebars about themes, trends, weapons, style, and trivia, as well as a complete filmography of more than 150 titles.

They're the ‘butt-kicking babes’ who have dominated televisions and movie screens for the past five decades, and now their stories are told in the definitive collection, The Modern Amazons. The book powerfully commands readers from the beginning, with a sleek, modern wraparound cover depicting generations of warriors. With hundreds of stunning photographs and entertaining vignettes from classic, cult, and little-known films, Mainon and Ursini offer a book of both sheer fun and keen insight that puts this growing trend in sociological perspective. The book also informs the previously reviewed Action Figures. (See the immediately preceding review in this issue.) 

Entertainment / Music / Biographies & Memoirs

We All Want to Change the World: The Life of John Lennon by John Wyse Jackson (Haus Books) 

I am not in the group of people who think that because all our dreams didn't come true in the Sixties everything we said or did was invalid. No, there isn't any peace in the world despite our efforts, but I still believe the hippie peace-and-love thing was worthwhile. If somebody stands up and smiles and then gets smacked in the face, that doesn't invalidate the smile. It existed. – John Lennon

We All Want to Change the World is a new biography focusing on John Lennon’s Irish roots and how they influenced him. The book was written by John Wyse Jackson, an Irishman, writer, and aficionado of James Joyce.
John Lennon (1940-80) was the founder of the most successful pop/rock group of all time, the Beatles. Convinced of his genius from an early age, he explored his own complex, witty personality in his songs, drawing on drugs, meditation and psychotherapy for insights into his art. Two books published in his twenties (John Lennon in His Own Write 1964, A Spaniard in the Works 1965) reveal his surrealist talent as a writer – evident also in the lyrics of the Beatles.

Lennon’s career was transformed in 1969 when he married Yoko Ono and joining forces with her. As the Beatles broke up, the extraordinary couple became familiar figures in the international protest movement as they became public ‘clowns for peace’. "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded during a ‘bed-in’ which they staged in a Montreal hotel in 1969.

Lennon's groundbreaking solo work during the 1970s would be overshadowed by the success of the 1971 ‘Imagine’ – one song on the album "How Do You Sleep?" contained a veiled attack on Paul McCartney. Its title song became an anthem after Lennon was shot by a mentally disturbed fan, Mark Chapman, in New York December 8, 1980 as he and Ono were entering their New York apartment block.

Jackson's biography is published to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Lennon's death. Touching for the first time on how Lennon’s Irish background influenced his music, philosophy and attitude toward life and politics, We All Want to Change the World travels to the heart of the ‘little child inside the man’. 

Health, Mind & Body / Administration & Practice / Public Health

Health Promotion in Practice edited by Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin & Joan Arnold, with a foreword by Lawrence W. Green (Jossey-Bass) 

Striking the right balance between theory, evidence-based guidelines, and the practical experience and wisdom of practitioners is the challenge of every generation of health workers, but that balance has become more challenging with the proliferation of theories, evidence, and varied circumstances of practice. Health promotion adds additional challenges, with its subject matter involving the complexities of human behavior, above and beyond the complexities of human biology.

Into the breach comes Health Promotion in Practice, a practice-driven guide to promoting the health of individuals, families, communities, and groups. It offers basic information about the concepts and methods of social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and the solution of public health problems. Health Promotion in Practice translates theories of health promotion into a step-by-step clinical approach for engaging with clients. The book covers the theoretical frameworks of health promotion, clinical approaches to the eleven healthy behaviors – eating well, physical activity, sexual health, oral health, smoking cessation, substance safety, injury prevention, violence prevention, disaster preparedness, organizational wellness, and enhancing development – as well as critical factors shaping the present and the future of the field. Written by the leading practitioners and researchers in the field of health promotion, and edited by Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, associate professor at Columbia University, Teachers College, and senior member, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, New York, and Joan Arnold, professor of nursing, The College of New Rochelle School of Nursing, New York, Health Promotion in Practice is intended to serve as both a text and a reference.

Gorin and Arnold focused their health promotion matrix in the first edition on clinical practice, ac­knowledging the greater complexities presented by the social, cultural, and eco­nomic forces affecting health in the broader community. But they related clinical practice to that broader reality with their placement of clinical practice within an ecological framework of community influences. With this second edition they have stretched their courage and challenged their readers to stretch beyond the clinical to organizational wellness, with a stronger emphasis on health management, policy, and community disaster pre­paredness. Health Promotion in Practice links clinical practice with the social ecology of health be­havior, emphasizing cultural competence and the broader contexts of economic and even global influences.

The four chapters in Part One, "Health, Health Promotion, and the Health Care Professional," describe the theoretical frameworks on which the work rests. Chapter One, "Images of Health," begins that description by presenting various con­structions of health, such as health as a balanced state, health as goodness of fit, health as transcendence, and health as power. Such images represent the clustering of views on health and provide a framework to explain the dynamics of client change.

"Models of Health Promotion," Chapter Two, explores contemporary theo­retical approaches to health promotion. It integrates the images of health with models of health promotion, from the macro level, such as the social ecology model, to the micro level, including the health belief model. It highlights the moral underpinnings for these varied models of health promotion, as well as the cross-cutting constructs of empowerment and cultural competence

In Chapter Three, "Contexts for Health Promotion," the myriad political and economic forces influencing health promotion are detailed. With the expanding influence of international bodies like the World Health Organization, global legislation and policy mandates are changing the purview of national health promotion. States are playing a larger role in the maintenance of health for their citizens and in the protection of the most vulnerable. "Agents for Health Promotion," Chapter Four, describes who the current health care professionals are and the principles of practice that unify them across disciplines.

Part Two of Health Promotion in Practice, "Practice Frameworks for Health Promotion," is organized around clinical approaches specific to eleven healthy behaviors: eating well, physical activity, sexual health, oral health, smoking cessation, substance safety injury prevention, violence prevention, disaster preparedness, organizational wellness, and enhancing development. The introduction to each chapter establishes the importance of the area and provides an evidence-based literature review. The chapter then moves on to suggest clinical interventions. Each chapter concludes with practice-related resources for engaging with clients in a dialogue about health promotion.

Chapter Five, "Eating Well," describes the role food plays in daily life, especially given the increased attention to obesity as a national health concern. Unlike behaviors such as smoking, eating is not something that clients can just stop doing. In changing eating behaviors, the health care professional must recognize that clients ingest food, not nutrients.

Chapter Six, "Physical Activity," explores activity as a major contributor to risk reduction for multiple diseases, including non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and as central to weight control and the maintenance of bone mass. Using trans-theoretical theory, techniques for assisting sedentary clients are described as well as mechanisms for engaging moderately or highly active clients. The Patient-Centered Assessment and Counseling for Exercise (PACE) program, an empirically tested program for systematic exercise development, is explored in depth.

Chapter Seven, "Sexual Health," looks at sexuality as a healthy dimension of being human. With an understanding of the diversity of sexual health needs across varied subgroups, the chapter examines how sexual health is defined and promoted. After assessing the evidence for the effectiveness of sexual health promotion, the chapter presents two interventions for clinical care settings: taking sexual histories and promoting individual safer sex.

In Chapter Eight, "Oral Health," the effects of common oral diseases and health conditions that place clients at risk of periodontal diseases, dental decay, and oral cancer are reviewed. An emphasis is placed on recognizing symptoms of these oral diseases through clinical assessment. Evidence-based preventive health activities are provided for health care professionals to use with their clients to prevent new disease and to reduce the severity of existing disease.

Chapter Nine, "Smoking Cessation," highlights the population subgroups that continue to smoke despite the enormous resources applied to both national and worldwide smoking cessation education and legislation. It addresses the causes of smoking, including emerging findings on genetic susceptibility. Further, the chapter explores key interventions for smoking cessation, particularly among the vulnerable oncology and psychiatric populations.

Chapter Ten, "Substance Safety," details the benefits of such safety promo­tion. It classifies drugs into several types: prescribed and over-the-counter drugs; banned street drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin; alternative medicines, such as herbs and vitamins; and social drugs, such as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. Alcohol, the most widely used of the risky substances, is the focus of the remainder of the chapter.

Chapter Eleven, "Injury Prevention,' investigates injuries as a public health problem. It begins with the causes and magnitude of the problem, detailing the epidemiology of injuries. Axioms for injury prevention are then provided to guide efforts to control this problem. The chapter describes strategies for health promotion, education and behavioral change, legislation and law enforcement, use of engineering and technology, and use of combined behavioral and environ­mental approaches to injury prevention.

Resting on an epidemiologic base, Chapter Twelve, "Violence Prevention," details the significant advances that have been made in understanding violence as a public health issue. Using a taxonomy of types of violence and an ecological framework, violent behavior is thoughtfully examined. A framework for violence prevention and intervention is outlined as are strategies for program evaluation. The process of implementing and disseminating effective interventions is illus­trated through discussion of the use of consensus documents and evidence-based guidelines and the involvement of those public health agencies that are leading the efforts to reduce violence.

Chapter Thirteen, "Disaster Preparedness," examines emerging concerns about threats to safety and security now omnipresent in the United States. In the prologue, it explores the social ecological determinants of population health following disasters. It also discusses approaches to threat detection, vehicles for terrorism, and human responses to potential disasters. Detailing protocols for system wide evacuations, triage, and treatment, this chapter explores a new area of public health that is now in the forefront of public health professionals' attention.

Chapter Fourteen, "Organizational Wellness," adopts a comprehensive definition that strategically integrates business, interpersonal, and individual needs to optimize overall human and organizational well-being. Applying a myriad of concepts derived from psychology and sociology to the understanding of the work-site as a venue for and an influence on health promotion, this chapter suggests a set of innovative approaches to enhance workplace wellness.

As Chapter Fifteen, "Enhancing Development," unfolds, development is explored as an ongoing and evolving process in individuals, families, groups, and communities. Viewed from a life course perspective, development is seen as complex, unique, and patterned. Resilience, spirituality, and grieving are discussed as significant forces in human systems as they develop. Throughout the chapter, loss and growth are viewed as intrinsically linked, at no time more than at the end of life.

Part Three of Health Promotion in Practice, "Economic Applications and Forecasting the Future of Health Promotion," explores some of the factors shaping the present and the future of the field. Chapter Sixteen, "Economic Considerations in Health Promotion," recognizes the pivotal role economics plays in directing health promotion practice at present. Practical tools for analyzing the economic advantages of health promotion practices are offered. A detailed example of the process of implementing a health promotion program in a managed care organization anchors the chapter.

Finally, Health Promotion in Practice closes with a chapter titled "Future Directions for Health Promotion." This chapter invites students and health professionals to look forward and to create the future of their practice, not just react to it. According to Gorin, it is likely that the opportunities will include addressing the needs of the growing elderly population, designing health promotion for a diverse populace, harnessing the forces of global change to promote health, measuring community change, and engaging in an ongoing ethical dialogue.

Finally, a signature book in which practitioners of health promotion will find relevant guidance for their work. Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin and Joan Arnold have compiled an outstanding cast of savvy experts whose collective effort has resulted in a stunning breadth of coverage. Whether you are a practitioner or a student preparing for practice, this book will help you to bridge the gap between theory and practice-driven empiricism. – John P. Allegrante, professor of health education, Teachers College and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

The models of health promotion around which Health Promotion in Practice is built have a sound basis in current understanding of human development, the impact of community and social systems, and stages of growth, development, and aging. This handbook can provide both experienced health professionals and students beginning to develop practice patterns the content and structure to interactions that are truly promoting of health. – Kristine M. Gebbie, Dr.P.H., R.N., Columbia University School of Nursing

Much has been made in the writings of scientists of the need for theory and evidence to guide practice, but this plea often sounds hollow to practitioners who perceive the theory and the scientific evidence to have come from outside the realities of everyday practice situations. The applications in Health Promotion in Practice should help to bridge that gap between theory and practice. Full of chapters written by the leading practitioners and researchers in the field of health promotion, the book is a key text and reference for students, faculty, researchers, and practitioners. The book will help health professionals and students preparing for practice to find applications of theory in understanding the problems they face in practice, but even more important will be the solutions to problems in practice that will grow out of their greater understanding. Editors Gorin and Arnold have waded courageously into the challenges and complexities of public health to strike the right balance between theory and practice with a creative approach as they sort out and frame the various theories and problems of behavior and of practice. 

Health, Mind & Body / Diet & Weight Loss / Mental Health / Biographies & Memoirs

The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict [LARGE PRINT] by William Leith (Thorndike Press Large Print Biography Series: Thorndike Press) 

Hunger is the loudest voice in my head. I'm hungry most of the time.

"I thought: if I can understand the despair, my own and everybody’s else’s, I could write the story – of why we hate fat, of why we are fat, of why, in some perverse way, we want to be fat. And, most importantly, what we can do to stop being so fat. Obesity is the essential human problem in a nutshell – we try to make life easy by giving ourselves access to resources, and then we make life difficult by over consuming those resources. We have more of everything than we’ve ever had, and yet we feel emptier." – William Leith

William Leith, a leading British journalist, began the eighties slim; by the end of that decade he had packed on an uncomfortable amount of weight. In the early nineties, he was slim again, but his weight began to creep up once more. On January 20th, 2003, he woke up on the fattest day of his life. That same day he left London for New York to interview controversial diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins. But what was meant to be a routine journalistic assignment set Leith on an intensely personal and illuminating journey into the mysteries of hunger and addiction.

From his many years as a journalist, Leith knew that being fat is something people find more difficult to talk about than nearly anything else. But in The Hungry Years he does precisely that. Leith realized that he could not report on diet alone; he wanted desperately to develop a deeper understanding of his relationship with food and the pathological cravings that led him (and millions of others) to become dangerously overweight. His Atkins interview led him to probe not only the link between carbohydrates and addiction, but also how our relationship with food has changed over the last few decades in light of economic, technological, and cultural changes in the world, as well as our cultural obsession with our bodies. 

…In his fast-paced, stream-of-conscious style, Leith molds a journalistic exposé, a food journal and a memoir into the personal exploration of a man consumed by a consuming society. … Leith's ups and downs will ring true for anyone who has tried to lose a significant amount of weight, and the revelations that come out of Leith's therapy sessions will undoubtedly have readers asking why they really want that doughnut. – Publishers Weekly
The Hungry Years is a confessional, satirical, wise, tragic, truly original book about addiction, food and what's really inside a fat man that's trying to get out. The Hungry Years defies categorization – it's part memoir, part diet book, part comedy, and part sugar rush. It's the first real book about body image for men, and it breaks taboos, breaks new ground, and breaks your heart. William Leith has finally fulfilled his always huge potential. I loved it. – Tim Lott, cultural critic and author of White City Blue 
A personal journey of discovery, written as a feverish addict's memoir: waist size, sex life, repressed childhood bullying, it's all laid bare in painful details. It's wired, often desperate but, finally, hopeful. Its striking design and well-connected author will ensure plenty of exposure and unlike most books about diets, you don't have to feel guilty about devouring it. – Bookseller (UK)

Fat has been called a feminist issue: William Leith's unblinking look at the physical consequences and psychological pain of being an overweight man charts fascinating new territory for everyone who has ever had a craving or counted a calorie. The Hungry Years is a story of food, fat, and addiction that is both funny and heart wrenching.

Combining the science of food addiction with memoir, humor, and sociological insights, The Hungry Years forces us to look at our culture of consumption in a new way. 

Health, Mind & Body / Diet & Weight Loss

Make Over Your Metabolism: 4 Weeks to a Faster Metabolism and a Fitter, Firmer You by Robert Reames (Meredith Books)

  • Drop pounds. Gain energy.

  • Look and feel great!

  • Metabolism is the key to energy and weight loss.

Now, according to Robert Reams, nationally recognized fitness expert and head fitness consultant/trainer for Dr. Phil’s Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge, a tested and proven approach to fitness gives readers the power to boost their metabolism permanently.

Reams strongly believes that continuing education is a lifelong endeavor and constantly provides his predominately executive clientele with the latest research in exercise science, as well as the most up-to-date information in the fields of health, wellness, weight loss, anti-aging, sports specific training, and injury prevention.

Reams asks readers: Why can some people eat all they want and still stay thin? Answer: Their high metabolism simply burns up the calories. Reames’ breakthrough fitness and nutrition plan revs up readers’ sluggish metabolism so they burn more calories even when they’re not working out.

Make Over Your Metabolism provides a road map to ultimate fitness, including:

  • Workout options for any level of fitness.
  • Exercises for working out at home, on the road, or in the gym.
  • Journal pages to track progress.
  • Tips to staying motivated.
  • A four-week meal plan with foods that boost calorie-burning muscle.

Highlights of the program include:

  • Focused 4-week program based on an innovative exercise concept – ‘metabolic burst training’ – that turns the body into an efficient calorie-burning machine 24/7 with just 3 hours of exercise per week.
  • Special sequences of easy-to-do exercises, proven to deliver real fitness results.
  • Detailed photos show the suggested order and correct form for every exercise.
  • Expert nutrition advice to increase the metabolism and maximize the body’s ability to burn fat while also taming cravings.
  • Detailed recommended eating plan to help get the most out of each meal and snack.
  • Guidance to specific lifestyle practices that can be easily put into a daily routine to help normalize metabolism and ensure greatest results.
  • A simple guide to designing a home gym – five pieces of basic equipment.
  • Bonus: Optional programs, each 4 weeks long, which target specific trouble zones (i.e., abs, thighs, hips, etc.) and step up fitness level.

Make Over Your Metabolism offers four basic workouts 30 minutes in length:

  • Tubing and body-weight workout.
  • Chair and dumbbell workout.
  • Stability ball and dumbbell workout.
  • Gym workout.

Read this book and change your life! – Torn Freston, President and CEO, Viacom Inc.

I lost 141 pounds in nine months. – Jim Toth, winner of Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge

Robert ramped up my fitness program to a new level that I never thought my 43-year-old body could endure. – Monika Barkley, Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge and ABC's Extreme Makeover

Make Over Your Metabolism integrates timesaving exercise techniques, the latest nutrition advice, and proven lifestyle strategies that increase readers’ energy as well as their metabolism – and, if applied consistently, gives each reader a body that is more trim, toned, and noticed. All it takes is a decision to get started. 

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling

Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss: Stones in My Heart Forever by Kathryn Bedard (The Haworth Press, Inc.) presents a glimpse into the mind and heart of a mental health clinician who volunteered after the World Trade Center attacks.

Written as the events unfolded, Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss gives a behind-the-scenes view of disaster response, including the mechanics of developing a plan, setting up systems to address the needs of survivors and victims' families, and the responses of those who suddenly found themselves in the midst of one of the most traumatic events in recent history. Kathryn Bedard illustrates through this personal journal the reactions of families, the stages of grief, the stages of compassion fatigue, coping with trauma exposure, the effects of the disaster on survivors and disaster workers, and ultimately, the touching lessons learned of compassion, strength, hope, and courage.

Bedard has been in human services since 1972 and has extensive clinical experience, including treatment of individuals with severe and persistent mental illness in psychiatric inpatient hospitals; she also has extensive administrative experience in program development, policy development, implementation, clinical and administrative supervision; and she has been a faculty member of the Rutgers School of Alcohol and Drug Studies.

This book is a journal about journeys to Ground Zero, a mass graveyard. These journeys were crucial to the families and survivors who made them. They were, for the most part, the first steps in their recovery process. As a clinician and someone who has responded to almost 70 disasters, I can attest that this book is a valuable resource for all clinicians studying posttraumatic experience and secondary or vicarious traumatization. Find heart in the tragedy – find hope and gratitude that helpers are there. – Judy Farrar Nicholson, MSW, LCSW-C, Disaster Mental Health Manager, American Red Cross

This volume ... pulls at your heart and soul, as it should. Kathryn Bedard's book – journal, really – of her work at the New Jersey Family Assistance Center after 9/11 allows us to walk with these angels as they escort the families into the hell of Ground Zero and back out again. – Craig Nakken, LICSW, LMFT, author of The Addictive Personality: Understanding the Addictive Process and Compulsive Behavior

Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss provides a stirring look at disaster response and the overwhelming emotions that result; it is vital reading for human services professionals, medical professionals, clinicians, early responders, disaster workers, educators, students, families of victims and survivors, and for anyone interested in the day-to-day trials and tribulations of this horrific historic event. Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss is more than a retelling; the book enfolds readers with intense multi-sense descriptions of what happened after the soul-searing disaster and the ways people tried to cope. Bernard presents a clear picture of post-disaster operations, along with the ways in which support was provided to survivors and families. She reveals important lessons along the way, most of all about how simple, ordinary people can rise to extraordinary heights of courage, compassion, and resiliency.  

Health, Mind & Body / Self-help / Religion & Spirituality

The Templeton Plan: 21 Steps to Personal Success and Real Happiness (4 Audio CDs, abridged, running time 4 hours, 37 minutes) by John Marks Templeton (Templeton Foundation Press)

Sir John Templeton was born in Winchester, Tennessee, went to Yale and then to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. He is known for his astute investment skills on Wall Street and through the Templeton Mutual Funds. In 1987 he founded the John Templeton Foundation, and he currently funds the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. Templeton believes that his financial accomplishments are directly related to his strong convictions.

Forbes has called John Marks Templeton "one of the handful of true investment greats in a field of crowded mediocrity and bloated reputations." Templeton, regarded by Wall Sweet as one of the world's wisest investors, shares his personal plan for increasing listeners’ quotient of happiness and prosperity in The Templeton Plan. According to Templeton, the secret to life lies in having a plan to live by.

The Templeton Plan reveals the secrets of Templeton’s phenomenal success in 21 principles that provide readers with guidelines for prosperity and happiness. He maintains that the common denominator connecting successful people with successful enterprises is a devotion to ethical and spiritual principles. He emphasizes the ‘laws of life’ – truthfulness, perseverance, thrift, enthusiasm, humility and altruism – that can help everyone discover and develop their individual abilities. The practical steps – to be followed one step a day for three weeks –  can improve anyone's personal and professional life. These steps, which form the structure of the program, are:

  1. Learning the Laws of Life
  2. Using What You Have
  3. Helping Yourself by Helping Others
  4. Putting First Things First
  5. Achieving Happiness by What You Do
  6. Finding the Positive in Every Negative
  7. Investing Yourself in Your Work
  8. Creating Your Own Luck
  9. Utilizing Two Principles of Success
  10. Making Time Your Servant
  11. Giving the Extra Ounce
  12. Conserving Your Resources to Best Advantage
  13. Progressing Onwards and Upwards
  14. Controlling Your Thoughts for Effective Action
  15. Loving as the Essential Ingredient
  16. Maximizing the Power of Your Faith
  17. Receiving Strength Through Prayer
  18. Giving as a Way of Life
  19. Winning Through Humility
  20. Discovering New Frontiers
  21. Seeking Solutions

The solid program described in The Templeton Plan is spiritual and common-sensical in nature; it’s about self-management more than about money management. By following Templeton's twenty one step program, vital connec­tions between beliefs in religious principles and belief in oneself are revealed, enabling listeners to become more successful and happier.  

History / Europe

Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840 -1870 by Liza Picard (St. Martin’s Press) 

When reflecting on an age of dramatic technological change, it is all too common to focus more on the technology than the people who were affected by it. After all, the buildings of Victorian London are still with us, while its inhabitants are long gone.

But Victorian London takes readers back. To Londoners, the years 1840 to 1870 were years of dramatic change and achievement. As suburbs expanded and roads multiplied, London was ripped apart to build railway lines and stations and life-saving sewers. The Thames was contained by embankments, and traffic congestion was eased by the first underground railway in the world. A start was made on providing housing for the ‘deserving poor.’ There were significant advances in medicine, and the Ragged Schools are perhaps the least known of Victorian achievements, in those last decades before universal state education. In 1851 the Great Exhibition managed to astonish almost everyone, attracting exhibitors and visitors from all over the world.

Liza Picard in Victorian London shows readers the physical reality of daily life. Picard, author of an acclaimed set of books about London, takes readers into schools and prisons, churches and cemeteries. Many practical innovations of the time – flushing lavatories, underground railways, umbrellas, letter boxes, driving on the left – point the way forward. But London was also, at least until the 1850s, a city of cholera outbreaks, transportation to Australia, public executions, and the workhouse, where children could be sold by their parents for as little as £12 and street peddlers sold sparrows for a penny, tied by the leg for children to play with. Cruelty and hypocrisy flourished alongside invention, industry, and philanthropy.

In this history about class consciousness, burgeoning suburbs, and leading industries in post-Industrial London, Picard's Victorian London uses unpublished diaries of Londoners from all classes to uncover signs of progress in the great metropolis – from sewer systems and umbrellas to urban oases and the Underground.

The author freezes a three-decade time frame to capture the essence – literally, the sights, sounds, and odors – of the British capital at the height of the Victorian era. Picard's systematic examination offers both detail and insight into conditions of life, from all walks of life, as she presents an account at once greatly factual and highly atmospheric. The format is logical and the material easy to follow, with chapters ranging in topic from "Smells"…, "The Streets," "Destitution and Poverty," "Upper Classes and Royalty," "Health," "Education," and "Religion." Not for casual browsers but for serious and well-versed readers seeking to stoke their interest in learning more about the city that, at the time, was the world's capital. – Brad Hooper, Booklist

This compassionate and wonderfully observant book re-creates the splendor and misery, the inventiveness and energy, the vices and pleasures of that extraordinary age. Victorian London is full of acute detail and humor, setting it apart from traditional history books. In an era that emphasized class distinctions, Picard covers everything from health to amusements, providing a vivid social history of one of London's most dramatic and exciting periods.
 

History / Europe / Philosophy

First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea by Paul Woodruff (Oxford University Press) 

If you can vote, if the majority rules, if you have elected representatives – does this automatically mean that you have a democracy?

Americans have an unwavering faith in democracy and are ever eager to import it to nations around the world. But how democratic is our own ‘democracy’?

First Democracy is an eye-opening look at an ideal that we all take for granted; classical scholar Paul Woodruff offers some surprising answers to these questions. Drawing on classical literature, philosophy, and history – with many intriguing passages from Sophocles, Aesop, and Plato, among others – Woodruff immerses us in the world of ancient Athens to uncover how the democratic impulse first came to life. The heart of First Democracy isolates seven conditions that are the sine qua non of democracy: freedom from tyranny, harmony, the rule of law, natural equality, citizen wisdom, reasoning without knowledge, and general education. Woodruff, Darrel K. Royal Professor in Ethics and American Society and Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Philosophy, The University of Texas at Austin, concludes that a true democracy must be willing to invite everyone to join in government. It must respect the rule of law so strongly that even the government is not above the law. True democracy must be mature enough to accept changes that come from the people. And it must be willing to pay the price of education for thoughtful citizenship. If we learn anything from the story of Athens, Woodruff concludes, it should be this – never lose sight of the ideals of democracy.

Paul Woodruff takes us to where democracy began – as a beautiful idea – and brings us all the way to the present moment of peril and the challenge we face to fulfill the dream. – Bill Moyers

This book is a masterpiece. It's a heartfelt story of the birth, life and death of real democracy in ancient Athens and, by implication, its country cousin in America. Woodruff … subtly compares how modern American democracy has collapsed, as did Athens, because of imperial overreach and betrayal of democratic ideals by ambitious elites. He correctly concludes, with a fervent hope, that America's future salvation lies in finding a way to be true to Athens at its best. – Ted Becker, Alumni Professor of Political Science, Auburn University

This elegant essay from a distinguished classicist raises fundamental questions relevant to our contemporary political life through the prism of the Athenian democracy. The reader may disagree with Woodruff's policy prescriptions – I do, myself – but one must admire the insights and erudition of the analysis. It is a beautiful book. – Philip C. Bobbitt, author of The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History

…This book will make even jaded readers want to see more of that ideal in action. – Publishers Weekly

First Democracy is compact, eloquent book which illuminates the ideals of democracy and lights the way as we struggle to keep democracy alive at home and around the world.
 

History / Middle East

The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977 by Gershom Gorenberg (Times Books) 

There is little doubt that the best way to truly understand current events is to go back several decades in history. Never has that been truer than with the current stasis of Israel, a region that continually experiences great turbulence. Veteran journalist Gershom Gorenberg takes readers back several decades in A Question of Torture, a riveting look at the moments that led to much of what we've seen recently in the news for the region, and that sheds light on what might be in store for Israel.

The Accidental Empire is the untold story, based on groundbreaking original research, of the actions and inactions that created the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
After Israeli troops defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in June 1967, the Jewish state seemed to have reached the pinnacle of success. But far from being a happy ending, the Six-Day War proved to be the opening act of a complex political drama, in which the central issue became: Should Jews build settlements in the territories taken in that war? Today – nearly forty years after the war's end – this question continues to drive events in the Middle East, from the pullout from Gaza, to the Israeli elections following Ariel Sharon's stroke, to the landslide win of Hamas in the recent Palestinian vote.
The Accidental Empire is Gorenberg’s account of the strange birth of the settler movement, which was the child of both Labor Party socialism and religious extremism. It features the giants of Israeli history – Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Levi Eshkol, Yigal Allon – as well as more contemporary figures like Ariel Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres. Gorenberg shows how the Johnson, Nixon, and Ford administrations turned a blind eye to what was happening in the territories, and reveals their strategic reasons for doing so.
Drawing on newly opened archives from the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Texas to the settlement records in the West Bank and Golan Heights, Gorenberg, who has been based in Jerusalem for more than twenty years, reconstructs what the top officials knew and when they knew it, while weaving in the dramatic first-person accounts of the settlers themselves.

An indispensable and riveting account – Naomi Klein, The Nation

Revelatory ... [An] essential guide to understanding Israel's own contribution to its current tragic pass. – Publishers Weekly, starred review

Of hard choices and strange bedfellows: an illuminating account of a current controversy that extends back many years, namely, Israeli settlements beyond the bounds of Israel . . . An exemplary history of a phenomenon that is still unfolding. – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Given recent developments in both Israeli- and Palestinian-controlled areas, this is a timely, vital, and even riveting analysis of how the current territorial and ethnic Gordian knot developed. – Booklist, starred review

A thoroughly documented, path breaking analysis of Israel’s disastrous settlement project in the occupied territories; it reads like a chapter in Barbara Tuchman’s well-known book, The March of Folly. – Amos Elon, author of The Pity of It All and The Israelis: Founders and Sons

The Accidental Empire is an extraordinary book. It offers insight and understanding into a period that has never been well understood. …As Gershom Gorenberg shows in this wonderfully written history, the building of settlements took on a life of its own – too easy to do, too hard to stop, and too easy to simply let happen. – Dennis Ross, former U.S. envoy to the Middle East, and author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace

Proclaimed a ‘groundbreaking investigation’ by the bestselling historian Michael Oren, The Accidental Empire is a masterful, eye-opening look at a complex history that continues to resonate to this day. Fast-moving and penetrating, The Accidental Empire casts the entire enterprise of West Bank ‘resettlement’ in a new and controversial light, calling into question much of what we think we know about this issue that continues to haunt the Middle East. What really sets the book apart is that it is a gripping and articulate narrative of history – one which provides a foundation to a better understanding of current affairs.

Home & Garden

Designing and Creating Japanese Gardens by Penny Underwood (The Crowood Press, distributed in the US by Trafalgar Square Publishing)

Japanese gardens over the centuries have expressed awareness of the natural world and acknowledged the interdependence of plants, rocks, gravels and water. Spiritual beliefs have been embraced with Taoist, Shinto and Buddhist myths and legends woven into the developing designs.

For the Japanese, the garden is a microcosm of the world, rich in symbols; it is also the perfect expression of their affinity with nature. From early times, natural materials that were close to hand have been skillfully maneuvered to create vignettes of Japanese life, whether it be in a restricted space within the confines of a dwelling, in a small garden leading to the Tea House, in association with magnificent shrines and temples, or providing recreational parks for emperors and nobility. The common thread running through the design, creation and nurturing of Japanese-style gardens was and is the recognition of man's affinity with the natural world. The resultant aura has a powerful effect on those open to spiritual experiences.

Designing and Creating Japanese Gardens explains the spiritual and philosophical symbolism of the Japanese garden and how Western gardeners can recreate its beauty and serenity. Featuring more than 300 color photos and drawings, Designing and Creating Japanese Gardens is a lavishly illustrated introduction to the unique qualities of Japanese gardens and what they express, as well as a practical guide to their design, creation, and care. Among the topics are:

  • History, philosophy and spirituality – an introduction to what a Japanese-style garden can represent and mean.
  • Changing styles, design and fusui – from pavements and stepping stones to gateways and lanterns.
  • Plants and planting – the importance of the cultivation, choice, positioning and maintenance of plants is explained and practical tips given.
  • Water and structural features – whatever their scale, these features enhance the tranquility and beauty of the garden.
  • Gardens of Japan and advice on gardening in the West.

Inspiring as well as practical, Designing and Creating Japanese Gardens is a guide to the Japanese style of garden. By dispelling some Western misconceptions, Designing and Creating Japanese Gardens, written by Penny Underwood, degreed, professional horticulturalist, brings readers closer to the experience of peace and tranquility that is the quintessence of Japanese gardens through the ages. With it extensive and lavish photographs and line drawings, the book is sure to inspire enthusiasts and attract all gardeners, whatever their experience and their gardening space.
 

Literature & Fiction / International

Absent by Betool Khedairi, translated from the Arabic by Muhayman Jamil (The American University in Cairo Press) 

There is a demand – make that a need or a hunger – in the U.S., in the West, in the English-speaking world, for fiction to help ordinary people understand the way people in the Middle East think, how they conduct their lives – where are the writers to satisfy the need? Here’s one…

Betool Khedairi was born in Baghdad in 1965 to an Iraqi father and a Scottish mother. She received a B.A. in French literature from the University of Mustansiriya and then traveled between Iraq, Jordan and the United Kingdom. She worked in the food industry while writing her first novel, A Sky So Close, published in Arabic in 1999 and now translated into English, Italian, French and Dutch. Absent is her second novel.

Set in a crowded apartment building in Bagdad in the 1990s, Absent tells the story of Dalal, a young Iraqi woman living with the childless aunt and uncle who raised her. Dalal and her neighbors try to maintain normal lives despite the crippling effect of bombings and international sanctions resulting from the first Gulf War. By turns affectionate, wry, and darkly comic, Absent paints a moving portrait of people struggling to get by in impossible circumstances. Upstairs, the fortune-teller Umm Mazin offers her customers cures for their physical and romantic ailments; below, Saad the hairdresser attends to a dwindling number of female customers; and on the second floor, the nurse Ilham dreams of her long-lost French mother to escape the grim realities she sees in the children's ward at the hospital. Hoping to bring in much needed cash by selling honey, Dalal's uncle turns to beekeeping, and instructs his niece in the care and feeding of these temperamental creatures. With memories of happier times during the ‘Days of Plenty’ of her childhood, Dalal falls in love for the first time against a background of surprise arrests, personal betrayals, and a crumbling social fabric that turns neighbors into informants.  

Tightly crafted and skillfully told, Absent, translated by Muhayman Jamil, who was born in Bagdad, and is currently an associate specialist in palliative medicine in London, is a haunting portrait of life under sanctions, the fragile emotional ties between individuals, and, ultimately, the resilience of the human spirit.
 

Literature & Fiction / History & Criticism / Religion & Spirituality

The New Testament and Literature: A Guide to Literary Patterns by Stephen Cox (Open Court)

The New Testament is perhaps the most influential book in the world from an intellectual, religious and literary standpoint. So pervasively influential has the New Testament been within English-speaking culture that even works by anti-Christian authors or writers whose orientation to Christianity is ambiguous persistently replicate the New Testament's literary patterns. But while the New Testament's impact upon people's religious beliefs and practices has been analyzed – and continues to be analyzed – at length and in detail, amazingly little has been written about the New Testament's impact as literature.

In The New Testament and Literature, Stephen Cox offers a literary guide to the New Testament and to some of the classic works of Christian literature that have followed it. Cox, Professor of Literature and Director of the Humanities Program at the University of California, San Diego, identifies the literary formulas in the New Testament and shows how these elements have shaped English and American literature. He looks at the New Testament both as a distinctive work of literature and as a productive influence on later works of literature. Cox begins with fundamental questions of the origin and nature of the New Testament, identifies its literary genres, and shows how its basic literary patterns unite specific ideas with specific techniques.

Making the New Testament accessible as literature does not mean examining its techniques in abstraction from its mes­sage. Nor does it mean tracing its themes in abstraction from its literary methods. The New Testament and Literature approaches its subject by identifying certain patterns, certain combinations of ideas and methods, that give the New Testament its distinctiveness and coherence and its ability to create resemblances to itself in later literature. Cox calls these patterns the ‘DNA’ of the New Testament.

Part I (the first eight chapters) explores these patterns, identifying specific elements of the New Testament's DNA, and examining their effects on the four major types of New Testament literature: gospel, epistle, church history, and apocalypse. The chief examples are the gospels of Luke and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the epistles of Paul to the Galatians and the Corinthians, and the Revelation.

Part II (Chapters 9-16), the heart of the book, examines the influence of New Testament patterns on a wide range of English and American literature. Chapter 9 shows the persistence of the New Testament DNA in one of the earliest works in the English language, the Dream of the Rood, and in a story written twelve centuries later, Rudyard Kipling's "The Gardener." Chapter 10 samples the vast popular literature of Christian revival, with special reference to George Foxe's Book of Martyrs, a work of the Protestant Reformation, and Christian hymns of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Chapter 11 discusses the importance of the New Testament DNA in the seemingly opposed religious movements represented by John Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress and the poetry of John Donne and George Herbert. Chapter 12 explores the tradition of New Testament individualism, as represented especially in the work of William Blake and Emily Dickinson. Chapter 13 takes up the influence of the book of Revelation, particularly in American culture. It looks at a variety of popular American writers, including Dickinson, Julia Ward Howe, James Baldwin, and Vachel Lindsay. Chapter 14 analyzes literary challenges to Christianity, exposing their ironic tendency to assimilate Christian patterns of thought and writing. This chapter considers works by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, D.H. Lawrence, Harold Frederic, Sinclair Lewis, and others. Chapter 15 follows some of the many literary responses that Christians and non-Christians have made to attacks on Christianity and the New Testament. The authors considered here include Thornton Wilder, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Betjeman, Martin Luther King, C.S. Lewis, and Robert Browning. Chapter 16 studies two distinguished examples of twentieth-century literature, the fiction of I.F. Powers and the poetry of T.S. Eliot – vivid illustrations of the way in which the same New Testament patterns can renew themselves in works that seem radically different in approach and style.

For readers’ convenience, Part III presents the texts of some of the works discussed in the book.

The New Testament and Literature is a large quarry from which English teachers will take useful paving stones. Stephen Cox makes thoughtful comments on writers from Luke to Lewis (both Sinclair and C.S.). – Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief, World magazine

The New Testament and Literature does what some books only promise to do. It explains the characteristic literary features of the New Testament – its ‘DNA’ – and then demonstrates how this 'DNA' helps us read the texts as they were written. Marrying his literary expertise to his biblical knowledge, Professor Cox traces the New Testament's ‘DNA’ through literature in English, showing how much it relies on the New Testament. – Michael E. Travers, Professor of English, Southeastern College

Many books have been written about ‘the Bible as literature.’ For some, the phrase means, in effect, the Old Testament as literature. For many others, it means the study of historical issues that have little to do with the special characteristics of New Testament writing. Few books are willing to assess the literary quality of the New Testament, and fewer still are written for intelligent readers who may not already be very familiar with the Bible or Christian teachings, but The New Testament and Literature is one. This book is not primarily theological, historical, or devotional. It does something uncommon, something often mentioned or recommended but rarely attempted in a serious way – it explicates the Bible’s real impact on English literature. The book will be very useful for English teachers.
 

Medicine / Philosophy / Ethics

Ethical Issues in the New Reproductive Technologies, 2nd edition edited by Richard T Hull (Prometheus Books) 

In the last few decades, as new reproductive technologies have been developed, couples desiring children have increasingly turned to various medical interventions when natural conception has been unsuccessful. These new technologies have raised ethical concerns from various quarters, including medical ethics committees, the American Fertility Society, and the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Ethical Issues in the New Reproductive Technologies provides an overview of the ethical implications of reproductive technologies; in it philosopher Richard T. Hull offers a cross-section of the thinking of individuals specializing in the ethical and legal problems involved in this new area of medicine. The contributors – including Joseph Patzinger and Pope Benedict XVI – reflect interests as varied as those of the enthusiastic proponent of the new reproductive technologies, the feminist opposing the exploitation of women, the social critic worrying about erosion of the responsibilities of parenting, and the traditionalist concerned with the transformation of the fundamental moral fabric and social character of the family. Many of the chapters include cases for further discussion and reflection. Also included are three speculative scenarios: selections from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Gena Corea’s report of the drive to develop an artificial womb.

In this updated second edition, Hull, recognized researcher in the field of ethics, professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, offers, in addition to the areas covered in the first edition, in a new chapter, the vision – to some, utopian, but to the contributors, dystopian (that is, the reverse of uto­pian) – of the future of reproduction as society comes to terms with the consequences of decreasing fertility in the industrialized world and the social, religious and technological imperatives of our new reproductive possibilities. The book also provides a glossary of ethical, legal, medical, and technical terms. The glossary also lists URLs for Internet resources where readers can access additional information about the terms.

The work lies squarely in the discipline of bioethics because it is concerned with the application of biotechnology to problems of fertility and practices of childbearing. At the same time, we can view this work as overlapping with the more general ethical concerns about having children that have come to characterize much of our social reflection about human institutions. The concern in Ethical Issues in the New Reproductive Technologies is first with the struggles of individuals who have unsuccessfully attempted to have children, and with the professional ethical concerns and motivations of those who have sought to bring relief to the couples' problems of infertility with medical technology. Finally, with the uses of the available technology developed for medical purposes, it seeks to also address the needs and wants of individuals not afflicted with biological causes of infertility. Contributors provide factual information about the scope and limitations of those technologies, and the uses to which these technologies have been put. Essays examine the functions of the technologies in the wider cultural context of our collective wisdom about human reproduction broadly construed.

[Ethical Issues in the New Reproductive Technologies] provides many potentially interesting hours of discussion for college courses in ethics and morals. Health care professionals, particularly those who counsel infertile couples, will find it an accurate, up-to-date reference source book. Infertile couples, their friends, and their families will find, from the many different viewpoints expressed, guides for personal and societal decisions. – Science Books and Films

Ethical Issues in the New Reproductive Technologies is an excellent and highly informative collection of expert articles sure to stimulate appreciation of the complex and multi-tiered character of moral decision-making as it is experienced by patients, medical professionals, and legislators and jurists charged with preserving, protecting, and applying justly the principles of society.
 

Mysteries & Thrillers

All in One Piece by Cecelia Tishy (Mysterious Press: Warner Books) 

Prolific writer Cecelia Tishy, Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, who has won the University's prize for excellence in teaching, lived in Boston for some 20 years before moving to Nashville. When she introduced Boston’s psychic-sleuth Reggie Cutter in Now You See Her (reviewed by www.SirReadaLot.org) she was greeted with high praise. Publishers Weekly said, "Tishy's mystery thriller with a psychic twist introduces an engaging new heroine...Tishy does a good job conveying the feel of contemporary Boston." Booklist said "With just the right degree of psychic intercession, Tishy neatly interweaves the disparate threads of her newly divorced, forty-something protagonist's life. An appealing mix of foolish enthusiasm and derring-do, Reggie makes a reasonably credible and quite likable amateur detective."

Now Reggie returns in Tishy's new novel, All in One Piece. When Reggie is hit by a car while crossing the street in front of her townhouse in Boston's South End, she gratefully accepts the help of her attractive upstairs tenant, financial analyst Steven Damelin. Over ice packs, Reggie is surprised to hear that Steven and her late Aunt Jo, the psychic, were involved in a deal just before she died, and now Steven wants to get Reggie involved. But before she can hear more, Steven is murdered, and her own apartment door is smeared in blood. Reggie’s used her psychic powers before to help the Boston P. D., but this time she’s the suspect who discovered the body – and she’s relegated to the sidelines. But Reggie knows she must use all her powers to find the murderer – before she becomes the next victim.

Tishey provides a cool, clear portrait of Boston’s property landscape [in All in One Piece] while giving her heroine enough edges to make her more than a television show premise. – Chicago Tribune

Boston psychic Regina ‘Reggie’ Cutter is a little more comfortable with her sometimes strong but always unpredictable paranormal powers in her second outing from English professor Tishy (after 2005's Now You See Her). Reggie escapes with minor injuries after a car tries to run her down outside her South End townhouse, which she inherited along with her psychic abilities from her Aunt Jo, but her troubles really begin with the brutal murder of her upstairs tenant, Steven Damelin. …As in Now You See Her, Aunt Jo's police detective pal, Frank Devaney, and an enigmatic biker, R.K. Stark, lend a helping hand. Middle-aged Reggie dithers less this time out and is more determined than ever to take charge of her own fate when challenged. – Publishers Weekly

The suspense builds all the way to the end. – Booklist

Tishy brings the city vividly to life in her Reggie Cutter novels, and especially in All in One Piece. Here’s a heroine we look forward to watching grow into her powers as a psychic sleuth.
 

Mysteries & Thrillers

A Kiss Goodbye by Jane Adams (Allison & Busby) is the thirteenth novel by British novelist Jane Adams 

Grippingly edge – Sunday Times

Jane Adams’ first novel was nominated for best first novel for both the CWA's John Creasey Award and also the Authors' Club Award. She combines writing with teaching and is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Leicester University – soon to be transferring to De Montford University. She is also the Course Director for the Certificate in Creative Writing at Vaughan College in Leicester, and in addition to be a writer, a gardener, photographer and painter.

In A Kiss Goodbye, to painter Robert Carr, Anna is a mystery. She has always been an enigma and that's the way he'd like her to stay. Over the past thirteen years, his imagination has fed on his last, parting image of Anna; kissing her goodbye before she turned to leave. And that image has been the inspiration for a number of his paintings. Now, through his work, Anna's likeness has become famous, everybody recognizes her face, while the woman herself disappeared long ago. But a TV documentary hopes to rectify that and launches a nationwide search for the elusive muse.

Robert's world, held together by the illusion of his lost lady, is threatened by the flesh and blood reality of Anna. What if she is nothing like he remembers, if she destroys the fantasies he's created about her? Will he ever he able to paint her again? And Anna herself is unwilling to be dragged from the shadows into the media spotlight for reasons of her own. But it is soon too late; she has been found. While her discovery has resulted in a creative block for Robert, it has far more deadly consequences for Anna...

Jane Adams will keep you on the edge of your scat from the first few pages until the chilling climax. – Stirling Observer

Adams' story is described with a low key discretion and deliberate lack of sensationalism that make it all the more haunting. – Sunday Times

A Kiss Goodbye is a darkly compelling novel that delves into the pits of obsession and the pain of coming to terms with the naked truth.
 

Outdoors & Nature / Birdwatching / Science / Zoology

Songbird Journeys: Four Seasons in the Lives of Migratory Birds by Miyoko Chu (Walker and Company) 

One of the world's most extraordinary wildlife migrations passes within hundreds of feet of our own neighborhoods – the biannual night flights of millions of songbirds. By dawn, these colorful migrants descend to our backyards, urban parks, and forests, either to replenish themselves for the rest of their trip or to settle in for the summer and raise their young.

Until recently, little was known about the lives of songbirds during their autumn and spring travels or in their winter habitats. Aided by modern technology, however, scientists have documented mass migrations over the Gulf of Mexico, identified the voices of migrants in the night sky, and showed how songbirds navigate using stars, polarized light, and magnetic fields. With these latest advances, a songbird's migratory habits (done mostly under the cloak of night) are finally coming in to focus. Songbird Journeys is the first book devoted to songbird migration – it moves through the four seasons to explain their behavior. Written by Miyoko Chu, ornithologist and staff science writer at the internationally recognized Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the book explores the intricacies underlying the ebb and flow of migration, the cycle of seasons, and the interconnectedness between distant places. Songbird Journeys pays homage to the wonder and beauty of songbirds while revealing the remarkable lives of migratory birds and the scientific quest to answer age-old questions about where songbirds go, how they get there, and what they do in the far-flung places they inhabit throughout the year.

Everyone interested in birds, and even people who know little about them, will enjoy Songbird Journeys because it allows you to experience birds. It is sprinkled with sparkling anecdotes that give visceral contact and meaning to the biology of one of the planet's most epic marvels – migration, much of which has been unraveled only in the last half century. – Bernd Heinrich, author of The Geese of Beaver Bog

By mixing crisp writing with patient explanation, Miyoko Chu has produced something rare – a book that offers something for both expert ornithologists and backyard bird lovers. Read Songbird Journeys and learn about the miracle of bird migration. – Mark Obmascik, author of The Big Year

Songbird Journeys is one of the best bird books ever, filled with solid and current scientific information while beautifully expressing what it is about birds that touches our minds and hearts. A satisfying read on every level. – Laura Erickson, author of 101 Ways to Help Birds

In Songbird Journeys, Chu provides a sweeping overview of the latest research into songbird migrations, one of the most dramatic, but long misunderstood, phenomena in nature. Chu incorporates the groundbreaking research to give the most complete and readable understanding of songbird migration to date, while also revealing the dangers ahead. Global warming, deforestation, and pollution have all taken a toll on songbirds, and fewer and fewer migrate each year. Songbird Journeys provides a new and eloquent appreciation for what is at stake, to help prevent it from getting worse.
 

Outdoors & Nature / Environment / Conservation / Utilities

Water Conservation Programs – A Planning Manual, AWWA Manual M52 by William O. Maddaus & Lisa A. Maddaus (AWWA Manual Series: American Water Works Association) discusses the benefits of water conservation programs that are carefully designed and implemented.  

Water conservation is a key component of overall water resources planning. Carefully planned conservation programs can bring many benefits; among these are the efficient utilization of available sources of supply, public recognition and participation, and improved support for water pricing adjustments.

Water Conservation Programs – A Planning Manual is a water conservation planning guide for city water utilities. This first edition of M52, Water Conservation Programs – A Planning Manual provides information on how to develop, implement, and measure the success of a utility's conservation program. It provides worksheets, steps, goals, and program participant responsibilities and roles. It discusses water conservation rates, involvement of various outside groups, obstacles to overcome, the efficient utilization of available sources of supply, public recognition and participation, and success measurement.

Contents of the chapters include:

  1. Introduction: What Is Water Conservation?, Why Conserve Water?, Ten Steps to Develop a Water Conservation Plan, Develop a Work Plan, Responsibility of Program Participants, Partnership Opportunities, Organization of Manual, AWWA Water Conservation White Paper
  2. Need for Efficiency and Setting Goals: Typical Incentives for Water Utilities, Qualitative Need for Conservation, Identify Mutual Goals with Other Utilities or Departments, Overview of Demand Management Approaches to Implement Goals, Alternative Approaches to Target Setting
  3. Analysis of Water Use and Water Savings: Evaluate Current Water Use and Project Future Use, Evaluation of Supplier Accountability and Water Loss Control, Identify and Screen Alternate Water Conservation Measures, Prepare List of Potential Conservation Measures, Screening of Conservation Measures, Evaluation of Water Savings
  4. Evaluation of Benefits and Costs: Introduction, Overview of Benefit-Cost Analysis Methodology, Typical Benefits and Costs, How to Calculate Water Savings, How to Determine the Benefits of Efficiency Measures, How to Determine the Costs of Conservation Measures, How to Perform a Benefit-Cost Analysis, Other Considerations, Other Perspectives on Benefits and Costs
  5. Creating a Formal Water Conservation Program Plan: Introduction, Use Benefit-Cost Analysis to Evaluate Packages of Potential Measures, Plan Selection Criteria, Select the Program, Example of a Conservation Plan Report's Contents, Implementation Considerations, Program Monitoring and Evaluation, Reevaluate Program Cost-Effectiveness, Examples of Successful Programs
  6. Conservation Plan Development and Implementation: Dealing With Perceptions, Barriers, and Obstacles to Effective Water Conservation: Introduction, Mitigating Revenue Impacts, Maintaining an Adequate Budget, Involve the Public in Support of the Program, Overcoming Obstacles, Data Needs, Summary of Recommendations

The manual discusses long-term versus short-term conservation. According to AWWA, the common public perception is that water conservation means restricting or curtailing customer use as a temporary response to drought. Though water use restrictions are a useful short-term drought management tool, most utility-sponsored water conservation programs emphasize lasting long-term improvements in water use efficiency while maintaining quality of life standards. Water conservation, very simply, is doing more with less, not doing without.

Water Conservation Programs – A Planning Manual covers the ten steps to develop a cost-effective water conservation plan:

  1. Review detailed demand forecast.
  2. Review existing water system profile and descriptions of planned facilities.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of existing conservation measures.
  4. Define conservation potential.
  5. Identify conservation measures.
  6. Determine feasible measures.
  7. Perform benefit-cost evaluations.
  8. Select and package conservation measures.
  9. Combine overall estimated savings.
  10. Optimize demand forecasts.

Five key points from Water Conservation Programs – A Planning Manual that can help the planner create and implement a successful conservation plan are:

  1. Identify obstacles to plan preparation early on and take steps to mitigate them.
  2. Use rates as a conservation tool and factor conservation into the rate-setting process to avoid reduced revenue surprises.
  3. Use the conservation plan process to set priorities, justify an adequate budget, and maximize benefits at the lowest cost (fund programs that are cost-effective to the utility).
  4. Use public participation to garner public support for the plan and its programs.
  5. Communicate with key stakeholders inside and outside the utility to ensure smooth implementation, including adequate staff and budget.

Examples of how to do all calculations are provided, and the book is complete with eight case studies from various cities including Austin, Tampa Bay, Cary, Fort Collins, Philadelphia and San Diego.

This publication is the first edition of the American Water Works Association Manual M52, Water Conservation Programs – A Planning Manual. The manual is intended for use by water utilities that are contemplating the development of a conservation program. Also, water suppliers that already have a conservation program can use this information for improvement and gain the benefits of a more comprehensive approach.
 

Politics / Law / Social Sciences

A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror by Alfred McCoy (American Empire Project Series: Metropolitan Books)

In April 2004, Americans were stunned when CBS Television broadcast photographs from Abu Ghraib prison showing Iraqis stripped naked, hooded, and contorted into positions, while U.S. soldiers stood over them smiling. Although everyone from the White House down has denied the systematic practice of torture, in A Question of Torture historian Alfred W. McCoy shows that what lies behind the photos from Abu Ghraib is a sophisticated form of psychological torture developed by the CIA in 1950s and used worldwide for decades. McCoy, who exposed the CIA's connection to the heroin trade in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, traces the story of the U.S. government's use of psychological torture in interrogations.

Far from aberrations, as the White House has claimed, A Question of Torture shows that these abuses are the product of a long-standing covert program of interrogation. McCoy shows that early in the Cold War some of the nation's top university psychology programs worked closely with the U.S. Army to develop simple yet devastating techniques of psychological torture. Developed at the cost of billions of dollars, the CIA’s method combined ‘sensory deprivation’ and ‘self-inflicted pain’ to create a revolutionary psychological approach – the first innovation in torture in centuries. The simple techniques – involving isolation, hooding, hours of standing, extremes of hot and cold, and manipulation of time – constitute an all-out assault on the victim’s senses, destroying the basis of personal identity. McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, follows the years of research – which, he reveals, compromised universities and the U.S. Army – and the method’s dissemination, from Vietnam through Iran to Central America. He traces how after 9/11 torture became Washington’s weapon of choice in both the CIA’s global prisons and in ‘torture-friendly’ countries to which detainees are dispatched. Finally McCoy argues that information extracted by coercion is worthless, making a case for the legal approach favored by the FBI.

… This book is unique …in connecting the dots all the way back to early cold war mind-control research, reminding readers that the CIA has been an innovator in modern torture methods. … As in his earlier work on CIA complicity in the global heroin trade, McCoy is adept at tracing the inertia of government practice; his research on the effect of torture on the Philippine armed forces likewise shows policy in practice and demonstrates that psychological torture is at least as scarring as thumbscrews. Timely and compelling. – Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

A Question of Torture is a startling exposé of the CIA’s development and spread of psychological torture, from the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and beyond. Scrupulously documented and grippingly told, A Question of Torture is an indictment of inhumane practices that have spread throughout the intelligence system, damaging American’s laws, military, and international standing.

A Question of Torture is the tenth title in the American Empire Project, a new line of provocative and critical books that focuses on the increasingly high cost of America's foreign policies. Written by leading U.S. thinkers, these books examine the country’s turn to empire-building and the domestic and international consequences that follow.
 

Professional & Technical / Architecture / Engineering / Home & Garden / Management

Design-Build Project Delivery: Managing the Building Process from Proposal through Construction by Sidney M. Levy (McGraw Hill Professional Publishing) promises to help owners, architects and builders understand every step of the design-build process.

Design-build is widely recognized as the most profitable method of project delivery for non-residential construction, and being able to offer the design-build method of project delivery is now a necessity for professionals involved in nonresidential construction. Written by Sidney Levy, a construction industry consultant with more than four decades in the field and enriched by examples and advice from a wide variety of industry experts, Design-Build Project Delivery covers all the essentials – from determining how, when, and where to use it, to proposals, bids, and contracts including the valuable checklists and forms. Complete with practical techniques and case studies, Design-Build Project Delivery provides hands-on guidance to readers.

The book covers:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of design-build: where, when, and how to use it.
  • Developing a design-build capability.
  • How to define roles and assemble a design-build team.
  • Marketing design-build services in the private and public sectors.
  • The cost-estimating process.
  • Contracts, bonding, and insurance issues.
  • Green buildings – their time has come.
  • Project management methods.
  • The CM approach to design-build.
  • Building information modeling.

According to Levy, design-build is a project delivery system with a record of reducing overall project costs and bringing capital facilities on-line more rapidly. But its true value may be in the cultural changes it effects in the process. Other design and build processes include third party relationships, owner contracts with design con­sultant and then owner contracts with builder, each party to the process having their own agenda and their own concerns, which frequently do not mesh.

Design-build offers a different approach. According to Design-Build Project Delivery, the collaborative effort that develops as owners work with design consultants and contractors from project genesis through design development and into construction creates an environment of trust as problems arise. These problems are then discussed, dealt with and resolved as a team. This working together toward a common goal – the successful completion of a construction project – may just be design-build's lasting legacy.

Design-build carries the owner-designer-builder interface much further than other methods by creating a single entity charged with transforming the client's program into an aesthetic and cost-effective reality. Design-build began testing the waters of mainstream project delivery systems with promises of, if not eliminating, then drastically reducing the adversarial relationships that sprouted in previous decades while controlling the costs associated with the resultant disputes and claims. This process was not a new one, having its roots in the master builder's concept going all the way back to ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, but it was a renewed effort to seamlessly take a project from design to completion with all parties working together and con­gratulating each other on a job well done, instead of facing one another in a court of law.

The design-build team as described in Design-Build Project Delivery focuses on achieving a common goal, and along the way each participant realizes that to do so, they will be required to assume some risk, allay professional prejudices, accept compromise when the occasion arises and be willing to listen to others in the group. The design-build process provides this environment where the challenges that arise can be addressed and resolved in a non-confrontational manner. According to Levy, as owners, architects, and builders learn to work together and respect each other's concerns and desires, the cultural differences of the past slowly melt away. Clients appreciate this ‘one-stop shopping’ process where they, like their architect/engineer and builder counterparts, can work in an open environment pursuing their common goal the more perfect project. And design-build will be judged as one of the dominant forces in pushing capital delivery systems closer to that goal. The book explores this methodology from an owner's, architect's, and contractor's perspective and provides a roadmap for those contemplating a new way to create an old product.

Design-Build Project Delivery offers a complete how-to resource for delivering design-build projects, packed with illustrations, as well as with practical techniques for more profitable project delivery. The book includes real-world examples and advice from a wide variety of industry experts on every aspect of design-build project delivery – complete with checklists and forms, this is the most practical and comprehensive resource on design-build project delivery available.

Professional & Technical / Law / Philosophy / Policy / Politics

Negotiating Self-Determination edited by Hurst Hannum & Eileen F. Babbitt (Lexington Books)

Living in the age of American ‘hyper power,’ the relevance of both international law and conflict resolution have been called into question. Hurst Hannum and Eileen F. Babbitt, highly respected practitioners in these respective fields, have collected a series of experts to examine the relationship between these two disciplines. Focusing on self-determination, a particularly thorny issue of international law, Negotiating Self-Determination takes an in-depth look at what an understanding of conflict analysis can bring to this field and the impact that international legal norms could potentially have on the work of conflict resolvers in self-determination conflicts. Hurst Hannum is Professor of International Law and Eileen F. Babbitt is Assistant Professor of International Politics and Director of the International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program, both at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Contributors include: Allen Buchanan, Erin Jenne, Susan Slyomovics, and Anke Hoeffler and Paul Collier.

In the era of American ‘hyper power,’ many have questioned the rele­vance of both international law and efforts at conflict resolution. The co-editors of Negotiating Self-Determination came to believe that it was time to examine more profoundly the relationship between these two disciplines. One of Hannum and Babbitt’s goals for the book was to analyze what an understanding of conflict analysis and resolution might bring to the issue of self-determination. Similarly, they wished to examine the impact that international legal norms might or should have on the work of conflict resolvers in self-determination conflicts. Their investigation into these interrelated concerns – under the rubric of ‘negotiating self-determination’ – adopted two different modes of analysis. They convened a series of workshops in which these questions were examined in the context of specific situations, that is, Kashmir, Nagorno-Karabakh, Czechoslovakia, and Sudan. Second, they brought to bear on the issues a number of theoretical perspectives quite different from the international law and policy context familiar to the co-editors. It is those different perspectives that form the core of the Negotiating Self-Determination.

Self-determination raises a number of philosophical and cultural issues, and it seemed obvious that the disciplines of political philosophy and anthropology might be able to shed light on the normative and contextual aspects of self-determination claims. From the perspective of conflict prevention and resolution, a better understanding of the causes of self-determination conflicts is essential, and new quantitative work in the fields of political science and economy seemed promising.

In the first chapter, Allen Buchanan discusses his philosophical writings, which have addressed issues of secession and self-determination for well over a decade. He expands his analyses into a wide-ranging proposal for reforming international law, based on principles of morality, justice, and human rights. He rejects the ‘nationalist’ principle of self-determination put forward by many secessionist movements, although he does accept that there are morally relevant circum­stances that should give rise to a right to unilateral secession in order to redress legitimate grievances. In most cases, Buchanan believes that secessionist goals are more appropriately served through arrangements that maintain the boundaries of existing states.

Erin Jenne uses a quantitative analysis to explain the conditions under which specifically secessionist movements come into existence. Noting that an arguable possibility of success is often a de facto requirement, she emphasizes the importance of outside political, financial, and/or military support to both the creation and success of secessionist movements. Sounding an implicit warning for those who believe too readily that ‘autonomy’ is a ubiquitous solution that can easily respond to minority or secessionist grievances, Jenne concludes that undermining or undoing previous autonomy arrangements is another indicator that a secessionist movement is more likely to arise than where no such arrangements existed in the past.

Much work has been done in recent years that suggests an economic basis for secessionist movements and other violent substate conflicts, and this approach is reflected in the chapter by Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler. Their findings with respect to the causes of large-scale civil war are not automatically applicable to the more limited focus of Negotiating Self-Determination on self-determination conflicts, but they may be relevant for our understanding of those self-determination conflicts that erupt into major violence. Essentially arguing that civil wars (implicitly including secessionist wars) are motivated or facilitated by greed, Collier and Hoeffler do not find a significant linkage between the ethnic makeup of a population and the prospects that civil war will occur. Like Jenne, they find little correlation between the outbreak of violence and prior discrimination or human rights violations.

The chapter by Hurst Hannum argues that a significant normative change is occurring in the way self-determination has been interpreted by the international legal community. He suggests that outsiders have been consistent in their rejection of secessionist claims since 1945, despite the explosion in the number of newly independent states since the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s. He finds increasingly broad acceptance for a non-secessionist definition of self-determination that encompasses new articulations of minority rights, including the right to effective participation in the political and economic life of a country.

Eileen Babbitt's chapter identifies a number of aspects of self-determination claims that increase the likelihood of intractability. She notes the negative impact of politics based on identity and the lack of any tradition of a ‘loyal’ political opposition. She also posits that the tendency to assert self-determination and the corresponding state-centered concept of territorial integrity as rights make it more difficult for both sides to consider the compromises that may be required to bridge differences. In order to overcome these hurdles, Babbitt posits that outside intervention by third parties is crucial, both to encourage the parties concerned to begin negotiations and to reassure them of post-agreement support during the difficult process of reconstruction and reconciliation.

In her chapter, taking Morocco as a case study, anthropologist Susan Slyomovics suggests that self-determination must realistically be understood as occurring within the existing state (excluding from the discussion the question of Western Sahara). Her nuanced analysis explores the cultural and linguistic aspects of self-determination, whose primary purpose is seen as serving the identity and dig­nity needs of the Berber population. She also links self-determination with the protection of human rights.

Several unifying themes form the basis of the concluding chapter. Indirectly, they also draw from the co-editors' own experiences in situations as diverse as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, the Caucuses, Western Sahara, East Timor, Kashmir, Aceh, and the Middle East. These insights hardly offer a ‘road map’ that one can use to negotiate a peaceful settlement to self-determination disputes in all circumstances, but they do suggest ways in which negotiation processes might be enhanced in these difficult contexts. While specific settlements will necessarily depend on a diverse set of factors unique to each situation, greater comparative knowledge and theoretical foundation are essential if interventions are not to continue to be based on ad hoc geopolitics or force.

Negotiating Self-Determination is a well-researched volume looking beyond the editors' international law and policy fields to philosophy, anthropology, political science, and economics to achieve a more complete understanding of self-determination and conflict prevention. Buchanan's philosophical writings consider the goals of secessionists, Jenne uses quantitative analysis to explain the conditions under which secessionist movements come into existence, Slyomovics suggests that self-determination must realistically be understood as occurring within the existing state, and Hoeffler and Collier study the economic basis for secessionist movements. The volume will contribute to a greater comparative knowledge and a more thorough theoretical foundation for the involved parties who choose to read it.
 

Professional & Technical / Veterinary Medicine

Diagnostic Parasitology for Veterinary Technicians, 3rd edition by Charles M. Hendrix & Ed Robinson (Mosby Elsevier) is now in full color and spiral bound.  

The third edition of Diagnostic Parasitology for Veterinary Technicians features concise discussions of the most commonly encountered internal and external parasites. The book, written by Charles M. Hendrix, Associate Professor of Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University; and Ed Robinson, Instructor, Johnson College, Scranton, offers guidelines for gathering samples and performing lab procedures. Comprehensive terminology coverage familiarizes readers with the language of parasitology for effective communication with clients and other members of the veterinary team.

Chapters are organized by parasite group protozoans, trematodes, cestodes, nematodes, acanthocephalans, arthropods, leeches, and pentastomes and include a detailed description of the group, with special emphasis on morphology, life cycle, and uniquely important parasites of the group. Species covered in Diagnostic Parasitology for Veterinary Technicians include dogs and cats, ruminants, horses, swine, birds, rabbits, laboratory animals, and fish. Also featured is a chapter on zoonoses that discusses public health concerns related to various kinds of parasites.

The book includes a basic chapter on terminology so readers can become familiar with the language of parasitology and communicate effectively with clients. The multispecies approach addresses how parasites can be specifically diagnosed in individual species.

The text also includes comprehensive information on the different laboratory techniques used to identify parasites.

Updates to this third edition readers include:

  • Step-by-step guidelines for gathering samples and performing key lab procedures.
  • Full-color images, including 15 new color illustrations of the life cycle of various parasites.
  • A new chapter covering common parasite ova and forms seen in veterinary medicine.
  • Expanded heartworm coverage, including an extensive discussion of the performance and interpretation of heartworm diagnostic tests.
  • Additional information on avian and exotic species and laboratory animals.
  • Expanded coverage of clinical signs, treatment, and chemoprophylaxis.

Providing concise, full-color coverage of diagnostic parasitology, the third edition of Diagnostic Parasitology for Veterinary Technicians is an outstanding resource. Designed specifically for the information needs of veterinary technicians, the manual features clear, organized and concise discussions of the most commonly encountered internal and external parasites affecting animals.
 

Reference / Professional & Technical / Education

Bricker's International Directory 2006: University-Based Executive Education and Development Programs by Petersons (Thomson Peterson’s)

Anyone serious about advancing their career knows the value of education. Bricker's International Directory 2006 offers ambitious individuals a myriad of opportunities worldwide, from programs in e-commerce and general management to seminars on technology, human resources and more. Librarians, HR professionals, and executives find:

  • A detailed analysis of trends in executive education.
  • Comprehensive profiles of more than 1,300 executive-level education programs at universities and other learning institutions worldwide.
  • Details on program purpose, target audience, and focus, clearly presented for ease of valuation.
  • Up-to-date information on faulty, cost, schedule, and contacts.
  • Statistical data on past program participants, including management level, salary range, geographic origin, and industries represented.
  • Two-page narrative descriptions of featured programs, provided by the institutions.
  • Easy-to-use indexes listing programs by institution, location, and subject.
  • Ideal reference guide for librarians, human resources professionals, and corporate executives.

Bricker's International Directory 2006 provides the basic, unbiased information needed in order to select university-based executive development programs. It is not a compendium of all university management development programs but rather a directory of 1,353 general and functional management programs that meet standards of excellence for executives at relatively high levels in their organizations.

Bricker's International Directory is continually updated to reflect the dynamic changes taking place in executive education. The 2006 edition features a set of practical, goal-oriented guidelines for evaluating an executive education program. Again this year, readers will find In-Depth Descriptions written by institutions that wish to convey more detail about their Executive Education Programs in terms of philosophy, faculty, unique characteristics, and benefits. The absence from this section of any institution does not constitute an editorial decision, rather it is an open forum for institutions to convey their particular message to prospective participants. Program Announcements appear at the conclusion of a program description and allow a university to comment briefly on specific program characteristics.

The Directory is organized into ten subject categories that address executive education from its broadest perspective (that is, as it applies to the company as a whole or to the business environment) to its narrowest (that is, as it applies to a specific function or area of concern). The ten subject categories appear in alphabetical order as follows:

  • Business Environment and Global Concerns.
  • Business Strategy.
  • Finance and Accounting.
  • General Management.
  • Government and Nonprofit Management.
  • Human Resources and Organization.
  • Leadership.
  • Marketing and Sales.
  • Operations and Manufacturing.
  • Technology Management.

Each description of an executive program is presented in a concise and consistent format for ease of evaluation. Complete information on each program includes:

  • Program and sponsor name.
  • Inauguration date.
  • Program purpose outlines the program's objectives and target audience.
  • Program focus further describes the content of the program and includes the percentage of time spent on a particular point. This section also outlines the strengths of the programs.
  • New and noteworthy items – programs are given the opportunity to include any information on how their content has changed since the last time they were offered.
  • Program faculty includes faculty makeup and key instructor names.
  • Program preparation identifies any prerequisites for entrance into the program.
  • Program follow-up specifies any activities required upon completion of the program.
  • Program contact.
  • Program schedule.
  • Participant profile includes demographic information on the past year's participants, including total program attendance, age range, average age, salary range, average salary, management levels represented, functions represented, size of organization participant represents, geographic origin of participant, and industries represented.

Finally, indexes provide listings of programs by institution, location, and subject. The Programs by Subject index contains more than 145 keywords to help readers locate programs that deal with specific topics.

Bricker's International Directory 2006 keeps pace with the latest developments in the constantly changing field of executive education, each year reviewing established programs and add noteworthy new programs in both established and evolving areas of executive education. Therefore the volume is the definitive reference guide to executive education programs at leading universities and private-sector organizations worldwide and an ideal resource for librarians, human resource professionals and busy corporate executives searching for just the right educational development program.
 

Reference / Professional & Technical / Medicine

Mastering Healthcare Terminology: An Integrated Approach, 2nd edition (Spiral-bound) by Betsy J. Shiland (Mosby Elsevier)

Beginning a healthcare career is like visiting a foreign country. If readers want to converse with the inhabitants, they need to speak the language, and if they are interested in a career in healthcare, fluency in its terminology is required. The goal of Mastering Healthcare Terminology is to help learners learn the large number of terms that describe very specific healthcare conditions or procedures in the easiest, most effective manner possible.

Mastering Healthcare Terminology has been designed by Betsy J. Shiland, Assistant Professor, Health Information Technology, Community College of Philadelphia to help readers learn this new language quickly and effectively. A variety of exercises appear at logical breaks in the text and are intended to reinforce the concepts covered. Organized by body system, each chapter presents material in small learning segments of related concepts, terms, and abbreviations. These segments are followed by exercises that reinforce and assess readers’ mastery of the material. End-of-chapter exercises encourage readers to apply what they have learned through case studies with accompanying healthcare reports, and cumulative review items tests their knowledge of previous chapters. Illustrations and informative boxes and tables reinforce key concepts.

Each chapter contains a variety of short exercises that focus on knowledge, analysis, and application and take readers from simple to more complex tasks by building on knowledge gained from previous exercises. Anatomy and physiology sections at the beginning of each body system chapter prepare readers to learn medical terms relevant to that particular body system. All pathology, procedures, interventions, and diagnostics terms are presented in tables that include the pronunciation, origin, and meaning of the most frequently occurring diseases and disorders and their treatments.

Chapters 1 and 2 help orient readers to the basic concepts necessary to learn healthcare terminology, which will be reinforced throughout the rest of the text.

Chapters 3 through 15 are body system chapters, each organized in the same way. The function of each system is introduced first, then its anatomy and physiology. Once the terms for normal function are covered, pathologic terms, diagnostic techniques, therapeutic interventions, pharmacologic terms, and common abbrevi­ations are presented. Chapter 16 covers cancer terminology for all the body systems.

The internal structure of each chapter consists of small learning segments or ‘chunks.’ Concepts, terms, and abbreviations for a topic are covered and then immediately followed by exercises that reinforce and assess students' understanding and retention of the material.

The first edition of Mastering Healthcare Terminology was loaded with the essentials and nice ‘extras,’ such as an opening quote relevant to healthcare; threaded case study; stated objectives; the most frequently occurring pathology, procedure, and treatment terms; terminology ‘pitfalls’ boxes; Did You Know? boxes; career information; generous exercises interspersed throughout the chapter; helpful word part and abbreviation appendices; and a student CD. The second edition also includes those features while adding others designed to further facilitate and enhance readers’ acquisition of medical language, such as

  • Chapter at a glance, a quick overview of the most important anatomy and physiology terms, word parts, and key terms in each chapter.
  • Age matters boxes, which provide healthcare terminology specific to chil­dren and the elderly.
  • Neoplasm tables in most body system chapters to assist readers in learning the cancers relevant to a certain body system.
  • More medical records to provide learners the practice with the forms and records they will see and use in the clinical setting.
  • More decoding exercises to help learners more easily learn the structure of medical terminology.
  • Expanded career boxes that further explore the career possibilities for the healthcare graduate.
  • New appendices, including Imaging, Laboratory Procedures, and Pharmacology terminology; and common English to Spanish translations.
  • A newly revised student CD filled with interactive games and exercises, such as Wheel of Terminology, Tournament of Terminology, and Triage Terminology.

The Instructor's Resource Manual consists of an Instructor's Manual, a Test Bank in ExamView, an Image Collection, and PowerPoint slides. The Instructor's Manual includes a course outline, chapter objectives, activities for the classroom, and extra handout activities, including crosswords and word scrambles. Also included are a Learning Styles Inventory, to help students realize how they process and learn information, and Suggestions for Working with Second-Language Students.

Evolve is an interactive learning environment that works in coordination with the textbook, providing Internet-based course management tools and content that reinforces and expands on the concepts instructors deliver in class.

Medical Terminology Online – designed to work with Mastering Healthcare Terminology, second edition, enhances students' understanding of the subject through a range of visual, auditory, and interactive ele­ments that amplify text content, synthesize concepts, and demonstrate the practical applications of healthcare terminology. Interactive tools reinforce learning by providing a variety of student and instructor communications options, interactive exercises, illustrations, animations and slide shows with audio narration, and instructor administrative tools. Instructors can tailor the program's content to the specific needs of their courses, resulting in greater learning opportunities and flexibility.

The new edition of Mastering Healthcare Terminology offers a unique, powerful approach to understanding and using healthcare language to clearly communicate with other health care team members. The additions, especially the new appendices, medical records and at-a-glance overviews, are welcomed.

Reference / International

Worldwide Government Directory 2006: With International Organizations by Congressional Quarterly, edited by Randy Miller (Worldwide Government Directory with International Organizations Series: CQ Press)

Worldwide Government Directory with International Organizations Series publishes a new edition each year and comes with free Web access. Available from CQ Press, this series of books was previously published by World Bureau but was acquired by CQ Press in January, 2005. CQ Press, 2004 winner of the Directory & Database Publishers Forum & Network's Directory of the Year Award, includes in addition to the Worldwide Government Directory, Profiles of Worldwide Government Leaders, Trade and Customs World Directory, and Worldwide Directory of Defense Authorities – along with the World PowerBase online service to its list of U.S. and Canadian government staff directories. Titles now include the Congressional Staff Directory, Federal Staff Directory, Judicial Staff Directory, Media Contact Directory, Homeland Security Staff Directory, Almanac of Federal PACs, California Staff Directory, Illinois Staff Directory, New Jersey Staff Directory, New York Staff Directors Texas Staff Directory, Alberta Staff Directory, British Columbia Staff Directory, Ontario Staff Directory Federal-State Court Directory, and Directory of State Court Clerks and County Courthouses. CQ Press has published directories for more than 40 years, and they base much of their success on the insight and feedback they get from those in the industries they serve. They encourage readers to contact them with suggestions, concerns, or questions they have regarding any of the other directories that they publish.

Worldwide Government Directory 2006 identifies 32,000 elected and appointed officials in 201 countries throughout the world. Each listing includes complete contact information, including phone, fax, and e-mails for contacts in the executive, legislative, and political branches in these countries. In the more than 1,600 pages readers can also find listings of the top executives of over 100 international organizations. An annual subscription includes one print edition and Web access.

Worldwide Government Directory 2006 is a comprehensive guide, the authoritative source for identifying names, titles, and contact information of heads of states, top-level government officials, ministries, state agencies, legislative courts, and other offices in the countries of the world. Although some of the material in the Worldwide Government Directory 2006 is available elsewhere in one form or another, it is available nowhere else as arranged in this volume. It is especially the organization and presentation of these facts in a format designed to offer both speed and ease of reference that is original with this book. The collection, compilation, and verification of information is done carefully with a significant employment of staff time and resources.
 

Reference / Words & Language / Linguistics

Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century: Discourse, Language, Mind
edited by Louis De Saussure & Peter Schulz, with a foreword by Frans van Gemeren (Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture Series: John Benjamins Publishing Company)

Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century is a collection of 12 papers regarding manipulation and ideology, mostly with reference to political speeches by the leaders of major totalitarian regimes, but also addressing propaganda within contemporary right-wing populism and western ideological rhetoric. This book brings together researchers in the field of ideology reproduction in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms of speaker-favorable belief inculcation through language use. Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century covers a wide range of theoretical perspectives, from psychosocial approaches and discourse analysis to semantics and cognitive linguistics and pragmatics. The book is edited by Louis De Saussure, University of Neuchâtel, and Peter Schulz, University of Lugano.

According to Frans van Gemeren, the contributors to Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century would not only like to have a clear-cut definition of manipulation but are in particular interested in the stronger meaning of managing or controlling somebody or something skillfully or craftily but unfairly. As to the question of what the manipulative deception exactly aims to achieve, various answers are given in Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century. Rigotti phrases his answer most succinctly: "to induce into error". Saussure is much more specific: "to have the hearer or reader adopt a behavior consistent with the manipulator's interest". It is Frans van Gemeren’s impression, as expressed in the foreword, that most other authors tend to agree with the inclusion of an interest dimension in the characterization of manipulation. By itself, however, this inclusion is not enough. In valuing communicative practice, there is a vital difference between cases of convincing the addressee of a standpoint that serves the arguer's interest by means of sound argumentation and cases of getting the addressee to adopt one's position by means of manipulation. Manipulation in discourse, according to van Gemeren, boils down to intentionally deceiving one's addressees by persuading them of something that is foremost in one's own interest through the covert use of communicative devices that are not in agreement with generally acknowledged critical standards of reasonableness. Most contributors to Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century set out to examine, like Weiss, the range of linguistic manipulative devices characteristic of political discourse or to construct, like Rigotti, a typology of manipulative devices. In the process, Saussure suggests that there is a "central mechanism" of manipulation through discursive strategies, the "trouble-and-resolution device', which consists in "causing trouble in the hearer's understanding procedure and offering resolutions of that trouble".

The proposed approaches in Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century are in many cases illustrated by examples taken from public discourse within totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century. Blass considers the manipulation by the Nazis. The press instructions of the Nazi government (and the German Democratic Republic) are central in Wilke's essay. Carlos Inchaurralde concentrates on the former Chilean dictator Pinochet and Cornelia Ilie on Ceausescu's speeches at Romanian Communist Party meetings. Weiss presents a comparative description of the propagandistic discourse in the Stalinist Soviet Union and the Third Reich. Allott examines contemporary political discourse in the western world and Kienpointner contemporary populism in Europe, focusing on potentially racist propaganda. Blass opines that manipulation plays an increasing role in many areas of our life, such as advertising, religion and politics. Weiss adds the useful reminder that it may well turn out that "the essence of totalitarianism does not lie in its subtle persuasive tricks but in its power to overwhelm the audience".

As all the papers gathered in Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century show, the questions surrounding the problem of manipulation in discourse are very complex. For example, what about the father saying to the child: "Go and have a look in the attic, there's a present there for you", when the utterance is true (there is actually a present), but the intention of the father remains to watch TV without disturbance for a while? And what if the present was precisely put in the attic in anticipation of this situation?

The question of manipulative discourse requires much attention to:

  • The kind of communicated material.
  • The ways in which communication is achieved (including the ‘packaging’: formal aspects of sentence semantics and syntax).
  • The intentions of the speaker and the recovery of these intentions by the addressee.
  • The sincerity of the addressee’s consent to the propositions conveyed.

Of course, other crucial problems must be considered when studying manipulation. Among the theoretical questions addressed in this volume are the following:

  • Precisely which phenomena should be tackled under the label 'manipulation'?
  • What tools allow for the identification of manipulative discourse?
  • What links can be assumed between morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics when they all converge in building up a manipulative discourse?
  • Are there several types of linguistic / discursive manipulative behaviors?
  • Do specific problems of coherence and of logic appear exclusively in manipulative discourses?
  • How can apparently incompatible theories (for example cognitive the­ories vs. psychosocial theories, objectivist approaches vs. anti-objectivist approaches, formal models vs. informal trends, etc.) be made to interact on this topic?
  • What kind of speech act is performed when manipulating?

Following is a partial summary of the twelve articles in Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century:

Paul Chilton (University of East Anglia) addresses the case of Mein Kampf from the hypothesis that a manipulative discourse is deceptive and luring, driving the hearer to have his thought ‘controlled’ by the manipulator. One of the main problems the article addresses is the question of the spreading of ideas, detailing both Dawkins' hypothesis of menes and Sperber's hypothesis of cultural epidemiology relating to Relevance theory. Addressing the question of the search for truth, Chilton recalls that the type of expressions chosen to refer to some object lead the hearer to draw specific inferences according to connotative aspects of the lexical item used. Chilton addresses the issue of the cognitive critical module dedicated to controlling consent to a discourse, and suggests that memes, if they exist, are active in making the critical module inactive or dysfunctional.

Paul Danler (University of Innsbruck) starts from the fact that the aim of any political speech is to persuade the audience of selected political goals and that the justification of decisions taken or to be taken is an indisputable underlying function. Considering that a speech is fundamentally a ‘textual whole’, Danler emphasizes that the speaker, as initiator in this particular communica­tive situation, resorts to various morpho-syntactic and textual means to convey syntactic and textual meanings which go far beyond the meanings of individual words. Danler's paper investigates two aspects: the means the speaker has at his disposal to leave some arguments unexpressed and to focus on others; and how gifted orators manage, through a skillful selection of complements in corresponding syntactic constructions, to claim general or even universal validity of their ideas. Examples chosen are speeches by Franco, Mussolini and Petain.

Eddo Rigotti (University of Lugano) understands manipulation in a cross-theoretical perspective, where theories of argumentation and ideology embed into a model of dialogue within communication science. Doing so, he attempts to list a number of manipulative processes. Among them, he details what he calls the ‘cake temptation’, which is the human instinct to totality. The paper also explores the ‘polarity temptation’, which plays with inferences based on opposite terms. Finally, Rigotti wonders about the notion of interest, saying that a way of manipulating an individual with language is to trigger the hearer’s interest towards elements of knowledge that would not deserve interest (or presumption of relevance) under normal circumstances, that is, benevolent communication.

Andrea Rocci (University of Lugano) wonders whether manipulative discourses are coherent or not, and to what extent. Within the framework of Congruity theory, he explains that the question arises from the results of two rather independent strands of research. He identifies coherence with congruity at the level of the ‘connective predicates’ that form the pragmatic and rhetorical structures of the text. Rocci claims that, though all forms of manipulation cannot be reduced to incongruity (straightforward lies and contradictions in the asserted content, for instance, cannot), many forms of manipulation rest more or less directly on incongruities (violations of presuppositions) at various levels. The relationship between (in-)congruity, common ground and ideology is investigated and the notion of ‘logical incongruity’ is introduced.

Louis de Saussure (University of Neuchâtel) applies to manipulative discourse the theoretical framework of Relevance theory, a mechanist and naturalistic theory often referred to as cognitive pragmatics and primarily devoted to human understanding and communication. He emphasizes that manipulative discourse is not a discourse type which can be identified through strictly formal linguistic parameters: it is, on the contrary, a type of pragmatic usage of language. De Saussure addresses in detail the question of truth-conditional and truth-functional aspects of manipulative discourse and focuses on how the hearer is misled in evaluating the conveyed propositions. The paper insists that the most efficient mechanism of manipulation is a twofold device that he calls the trouble-and-resolution device, consisting in (l) altering the hearer's self-confidence in his ability to understand the discourse completely (mostly because of excessive use of fuzzy communication and defective argumentation together with a great confidence in the speaker's competence), and (2) proposing seemingly convincing conclusions that save the hearer from the mental trouble created.

Nicholas Allots (University College London), who refers to the cognitive tra­dition from Chomsky to Relevance theory, focuses on ‘misuse of concepts’, viz. lexical items which are inappropriately used, and takes contemporary Western political discourse as his main target. His contribution is achieved within Sperber and Wilson's approach to human understanding. Recent work within Relevance theory has focused on pragmatic illusions like the ‘Moses’ illusion. Allott claims that misuse of concepts is a type of pragmatic illusion, where known information is not accessed because of shallow processing due to contextually lowered expectations of relevance. A main contribution of the paper is that the mental representations derived then by the hearer do not contain the contradictions they should contain, and that, therefore, the misuse of concepts goes unnoticed by the hearer, which makes it a powerful tool in covert intentions of specific changes in the hearer's cognitive environment.

Regina Blass (Summer Institute of Linguistics, Africa branch) makes use of recent work within Relevance theory, notably on the study of advertising and covert communication, in order to capture and track some fundamental aspects of manipulation in the speeches and writings of Hitler and the NSDAP. She compares manipulation to persuasion and suggests that both are products of a covert manipulative intention which must not be identified. Blass identifies strategies like testimony, argumentation, omission / commission, with a particular focus on lies and half-truths, and comes then to propaganda proper (which she assumes is directly linked to emotions), to implicatures weakly and unreliable communicated, and to deontic mood. She proposes an elaborated treatment of manipulation within Relevance theory, referring in particular to an internal and external consistency-checking module, Sperber's logico-rhetorical module, which allows for a ‘persuasion-counter-persuasion arms race’.

Cornelia Ilie's (University of Orebro) study is focused on the manipulative (re)interpretation of certain speech-act verbs that involve a (re)distribution of their respective participant roles with particular reference to the totalitarian discourse illustrated by Ceausescu's speeches. Her theoretical approach is situ­ated at the semantics-pragmatics interface and draws on insights from seman­tic role theory and speech act theory. Ilie pays particular attention to specific instantiations of the pragma-semantic relations of Agency, Co-Agency and Causation.

Manfred Kienpointner (University of Innsbruck) deals with racist manip­ulation in the political propaganda of right-wing populist parties in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. To begin with, Kienpointner discusses some basic methodological problems, notably the problem of finding a neutral and unbiased perspective for the analysis of populist discourse and the problem of avoiding the straw man fallacy. In the empirical part of the paper, some racist aspects of the political discourse of Jean-Marie Le Pen, Umberto Bossi, Ronald Schill, Joerg Haider and Pim Fortuyn are analyzed critically. Kienpointner focuses on their use of argument schemes such as the pragmatic argument and illustrative examples as well as their use of figures of speech such as metaphor and hyperbole. Finally, a comparison of the five right-wing populists shows both similarities and differences as far as their discourse strategies are concerned.

Carlos Inchaurralde (University of Zaragoza) applies two related important frameworks of pragmatics, Fauconnier's theory of mental spaces, and Werth's ‘text-world’ theory to pro- and contra- Pinochet propaganda. Instead of fo­cusing on the analysis of some discourse of the Chilean leader, Inchaurralde addresses the way the image of Pinochet is built up by people holding opposite opinions. He shows that these approaches have much to say, in their granularity of analysis, about the fact that the image of the dictator is a product of a con­struction that takes place within a certain time period, within certain spaces and under certain circumstances.

Daniel Weiss (University of Zurich) compares various aspects of semantic features taking place in manipulative discourses in Nazism and in Stalinism, using tools from the Russian School of Semantics. After detailing how manipulative discourse makes specific use of universal and existential quantifiers, Weiss refrains from drawing strong conclusions from evident similarities between the two types of ideological discourse. He shows that the Marxist-Leninist discourse always puts forward a collective entity of power, which was unfavorable to the construction of Stalin as the only leader, the personality cult towards him always being backed up by alleged collective opinion within ‘the party’. He suggests that the Stalinist discourse was continually and consistently developing arguments that were taken as rational whereas Nazi discourse was inconsistently arguing in favor and in disfavor of ratio­nality.

Jurgen Wilke (University Johannes Gutenberg, Mainz) presents a paper with less linguistic and pragmatic concern but with a great import, as far as contextual constraints are concerned, regarding manipulation in media discourse. He analyses a number of instructions that were given by the Nazi propaganda officials to the newspapers. Interestingly, his analysis shows much similarity between these instructions and the ones that were later given by the concerned ministry of the German Peoples' Republic. He explains the different levels on which these press instructions were active and what their particular role was in shaping a global discourse designed for the people to believe what the power in place wanted them to.

With a strong focus on theoretical aspects, Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century provides not only a textbook with up-to-date information on the analysis of manipulation in discourse but also a number of tools for scholars, some of them being developed within theories originally not designed to address belief change through language interpretation. The articles in Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century capture the most critical properties of manipulative discourse and suggest ways towards an explanation. Most of them have particularly strong theoretical consequences and propose epistemological and methodological discussions, and a number of them attempt to use the tools provided by theories of ‘normal’ discourse on the biased form of communication that takes place in manipulative discourse. Their contributions help open the research on the topics towards new and promising perspectives in pragmatics and discourse analysis.
 

Religion & Spirituality / Biographies / Old Testament

Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives edited by Phyllis Trible & Letty M. Russell (Westminster John Knox Press)

 

To the myriad children of Hagar and Sarah, now unto the thousandth generation and beyond, comes the responsibility of seeking understanding, doing justice, and walking humbly with one another…

In different ways, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all trace their beginnings to Abraham. But Abraham’s wives Hagar and Sarah, though also pivotal in the story, have received far less attention than Abraham himself. In Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children, however, noted Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars focus on Hagar, Sarah, and their children, from Ishmael and Isaac to their many descendents through the centuries.

Moving from ancient and medieval sources to contemporary appropriations of the Sarah and Hagar story, the contributors begin Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children, in part 1, with an overview of the three religions – from their scriptural beginnings to their contemporary questions. Part 2, "Hagar and Sarah in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Traditions," explores how the story was developed after its canonization, in rabbinic interpretations, in the stories of Islam, and in the teachings of the early church fathers. And part 3, "Continuing the Conversation with Hagar and Sarah," presents contemporary womanist and feminist perspectives. In addition to editors Phyllis Trible, University Professor of Biblical Studies at Wake Forest University Divinity School and Baldwin Professor Emerita of Sacred Literature, Union Theological Seminary, and Letty M. Russell, Professor Emerita of Theology, Yale Divinity School, contributors include Elizabeth A. Clark, Riffat Hassan, Adele Reinhartz, Miriam-Simma Walfish, and Delores Williams.

Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children grows out of the 2004 Phyllis Trible Lecture Series held at the Divin­ity School of Wake Forest University. Founded the preceding year, the series explores feminist perspectives in the field of religious studies as these perspectives relate to the academy, diverse communities of faith, and society at large. The 2004 event featured four lecturers on the subject "Children of Hagar and Sarah: Feminist Perspectives in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." As adherents of the three religions, the lecturers spoke within their respective scholarly disciplines. Phyllis Trible interpreted narratives in the book of Genesis that pertain to Hagar and Sarah. Adele Reinhardt focused on Judaism and gender in the Gospel of John. Riffat Hassan reported on stories about Hagar in the traditions of Islam. Letty Russell considered Paul's allegory in the book of Galatians about Hagar and Sarah and reflected theologically on the larger subject.

For Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children the lecturers have altered their presentations. Trible and Hassan expand theirs. Reinhardt, joined by her daughter Miriam-Simma Walfish, changes her subject to write about rabbinic interpretations of Hagar. Russell divides her material into two essays, the first on Paul's allegory and the second on theological and ethical ramifications of the Hagar and Sarah stories. Moreover, two scholars who did not participate in the lecture series offer essays. Elizabeth Clark investigates what the church fathers said about Hagar and Sarah; her study parallels Reinhardt and Walfish's on the rabbis. Delores Williams gives a womanist reading of the Hagar tradition for African American Christian communities: her study parallels Russell's reflections from the perspective of a white Christian feminist. As a whole, Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children moves from ancient and medieval sources to contemporary appropriations of a story that haunts the centuries with unresolved problems and formidable challenges

Both Hassan and Williams call attention to the importance of search­ing for an understanding of God's welcome in our lives through the wilderness story of Hagar. Hassan does this by reminding us that the Qur'an and the hadith do not divide the Abrahamic family. Instead, they report that Abraham continued to live with both women and to respect both sons. Nevertheless, in Islam Ishmael and Hagar receive the most attention as the direct ancestors of Muhammad and all Arabs. Hagar's courage in the wilderness when she searches for water for Ishmael is remembered in the annual pilgrimage or hajj to Mecca, the holy site of the spring at Zam-zam, between the two mountains of Safa and Marwa. As Hassan says, the pilgrims "pay homage to Hagar who has become an indestruc­tible emblem not only of a mother's love for her offspring but of a true believers faith in the saving power of God."

In her contribution to Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children, Daughters of Abraham, Hibba Abugideiri writes that Hagar's ‘God-consciousness’ made her worthy to receive divine revelation, to see the ‘God of Seeing’ and live, and strong enough in her struggles to "carve out an active female role within Islam." Commenting on Genesis 16:9-12, which reports on Hagar's relationship to God, Trible points out that this Egyptian maid is the first person in the Bible to be visited by a divine mes­senger who speaks directly to her by name. She is the only woman in the Bible to receive a promise of future descendants, the only woman to receive an annunciation that she will bear a son, whom she is to name Ishmael (God hears), "for God has heard your affliction."

Williams describes this story of faith and struggle as one in which the God of Seeing gives Hagar the ability to see the resources she needs for survival. She shows how Hagar's story has been appropriated as the basis of insight and faith in the African American cultural tradition and for the construction of womanist theology. It has become a lens, what Williams calls ‘protogesis,’ through which African Americans interpret the Bible based on their experience of wilderness and struggle to survive. She shows that the presence of God is not only found with those who declare themselves to be the ‘winners.’ God is present to Hagar, the outcast, in surprising actions of solidarity and in actions that do not necessarily deliver her but instead provide her with resources to make her own way. As many African American women know so well, the wilderness experience continues despite repeated declarations of independence and freedom. In that wilderness the presence of God, as One in solidarity with the marginalized, gives them the strength to live each day in the hope that God intends things to be made right in the world and in their lives.

Timely, relevant, and provocative, Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children offers a reliable and insightful look into a scriptural text foundational to these three great religions, and more important, it provides an entrée into interreligious discussion and understanding. As Russell says in the final chapter, “One discovery we can make as we reflect together on the enmity between Hagar and Sarah is that the struggle between us will not cease unless we become children who struggle for the wider gift of God's justice, peace, and wholeness in our lives and in the whole creation.”

Religion & Spirituality / Buddhism

Tibetan Treasure Literature: Revelation, Tradition, and Accomplishment in Visionary Buddhism by Andreas Doctor (Snow Lion Publications)

May this book be an excellent circumstance for its readers to expand the wisdom of study and reflection, and may they give rise to the extraordinary experience and realization of the meaning of the tantras. – Chokyi Nyima, from the foreword

The Treasure tradition of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism is richly permeated with wonder and controversy. This mysterious tradition embraces revelation as the primary path to spiritual awakening. Over the course of Tibetan history, revelations – known as ‘Treasures’ (gter ma) – have been discovered hidden in nature or have emerged directly from the great minds of the Nyingma School, creating a profound and lasting effect on Tibetan religious society and culture.

Tibetan Treasure Literature discusses central themes and personalities in the history and practice of Tibetan Treasure revelation. In particular, the book presents the first thorough survey of the revelations of the great visionary master Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870). Chokgyur Lingpa was a prominent member of the famed ecumenical (ris med) tradition and his revelations are widely practiced today in many schools and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Particular emphasis is placed on his revelations pertaining to the wrathful deity Vajrakilaya. Translations of selected texts are presented together with a detailed commentary on their practice composed by Khenpo Rinchen Namgyal (nineteenth century), one of Chokgyur Lingpa's foremost students. Also included is a translation of the renowned master Ju Mipham's (1846-1912) discussion of the criteria for evaluating the authenticity of those beings who claim to have revealed such Treasures of Buddhist teaching.

Within Chokgyur Lingpa's Treasure of the Seven Profound Cycles, the text known as the Practice Manual of Combined Activity for the Single Kila of Innermost Mind belongs to the profound activity of the kila tantric system. To elucidate this practice, Tsawa Bhande Karma Rinchen Namgyal composed a commentary entitled Instructions of the Knowledge-holders: Clearly Arranged Deity Guidance for the Single Form of the Most Secret Kila of Mind. These two texts, together with the Gem that Clears the Waters: An Investigation of Treasure Revealers composed by the Lion of Speech, Mipham Rinpoche, have now been translated into English by the author of Tibetan Treasure Literature, Andreas Doctor, Director of Studies at Kathmandu University – Centre for Buddhist Studies, Nepal, who has extensively studied the key points of Buddhism.

First, this book seeks to answer the seemingly simple question of what a Treasure is. As it turns out, the positions on this issue vary considerably among writers, traditions, and time periods and so no easy answer is found. Nevertheless, from the perspective of the tradition itself, certain broad identifications and typologies may still be identified and extracted, which is the concern of chapter 1.

The emergence of the Treasures coincided with the second spread of Buddhism in Tibet, a renaissance of the Tibetan efforts to import Buddhist thought and practice from India. As these events unfolded, the question of authenticity arose almost immediately upon the first revelations of ‘Treasure.’ This topic is examined in chapter 2, which looks at the traditional Tibetan polemics on revelation, full of disputation, and examines the influence of this literature on the subsequent perceptions of the Treasures in the West. In conclusion, this chapter offers additional thoughts on Treasure authenticity centered on a brief text by the Tibetan scholar-practitioner Mipham, who himself has been considered a significant Treasure revealer. Blunt and biting in his description of the impostor, Mipham here considers critically the question of Treasure authenticity and the relevance of revelation as such in late nineteenth century Tibet. The text, which in this way offers a unique intra-traditional evaluation, is presented in chapter 3 in translation and juxtaposed with Mipham's original Tibetan.

Whereas the first part of Tibetan Treasure Literature is concerned with the phenomenon of revelation as such, the middle part focuses on a particular, classical expres­sion of visionary Buddhism – the life and revelations of the Treasure revealer Chokgyur Lingpa, whose visionary activity has had a defining influence on contemporary views of Buddhist revelation. Chapter 4 introduces the biographical sources for Chokgyur Lingpa's career, followed by a brief look at his past lives as recounted by tradition. Next, chapter 5 offers a detailed survey of Chokgyur Lingpa's revelations and the historical circumstances surrounding them. This section concludes with an account of the numerous masters who have assumed responsibility for upholding his rich spiritual legacy.

Finally, the last chapters of Tibetan Treasure Literature present translations of two individual texts from the Treasure tradition, both of which concern the practical application of the Treasure to achieve the liberating accomplishment of Buddha hood – the underlying teleological justification for Treasure revelation per se. Both texts, introduced in chapter 6, belong to the tradition of Chokgyur Lingpa and focus on the deity Vajrakilaya, the personal deity of the Indian master Padmasambhava and one of the central figures of the Treasure pantheon. The meditation ritual, translated in chapter 7, is a concise text adapted by Padmasambhava from the original root tantra to support the meditation of the individual practitioner, while the deity instruction, presented in chapter 8, is a detailed commentary on the practical application of the meditation ritual.

Andreas Doctor's Tibetan Treasure Literature is a treasure trove of fresh insights into the fascinating forces at work in the continuing development of Tibetan Buddhism. By giving extensive new access to centuries of scholarship on Tibet's remarkable visionary literature, he uncovers a multitude of Tibetan strategies to establish religious authenticity and unity amidst tremendous historico-cultural change and multiplicity. Fresh perspectives emerge on the crucial role of religious communities in the construction and authentication of revelation. This book is a must for those interested not only in Buddhism's past, but also in its present and future ways of negotiating these fundamental issues. – John Makransky, Professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology, Boston College

This innovative book is a valuable, well-argued, and insightful contribution to the growing literature on gter ma. It lays bare the narrative and argumentative strategies behind the treasure polemics and broadens our knowledge of this fascinating literature, not only by summarizing the results of the latest research, but also by providing us with new significant materials. – Per K. Sorensen, Professor, Institute for Indology and Central Asian Studies, University of Leipzig

The continuing Tibetan tradition of terma, hidden treasures, is an important case for study. This book informs us about significant questions asked within the terma tradition, including the all-important one: how are we to know if a revealed book contains authentic Buddha Word? – Dan Martin, author of Unearthing Bon Treasures

In contemporary society, Buddhism is often portrayed as a ‘science of the mind’ rather than a religious tradition based on faith. Such a portrayal does not do adequate justice to the comprehensive ritual practices and profound devotional approaches that equally abound in Buddhism. It is this system of practice that is put forth in Tibetan Treasure Literature. By presenting the Treasure tradition in this manner, Doctor highlights central aspects of this visionary tradition that, although at first seemingly isolated and removed from each other, upon closer inspection reveal an intricate mutual connection, influence, and dependency. The book makes this rich tradition of individual spiritual awakening accessible to contemporary, English-speaking readers.
 

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Occult

Encyclopedia of the Undead: A Field Guide to Creatures That Cannot Rest in Peace by Bob Curran, illustrated by Ian Daniels (New Page Books)

What lurks out there in the fog?

What was that eerie sound in the dead of night?

What flitted by at the end of the street, just beyond the farthest street lamp?

From earliest times, tales of the restless dead and their fellow travelers have terrified mankind. Whether around a remote campfire or in the middle of a bustling city, the unquiet spirits that have tormented humanity since the prehistoric darkness haven’t gone away.

Encyclopedia of the Undead traces those shadowy entities – vampires, werewolves, ghouls and monsters – that lurk just outside the range of human vision and inhabit our most frightening tales. Drawing on a wide range of beliefs and literature, author Bob Curran, a psychologist and a historian, who lives and works in the North of Ireland, traces these horrors from their earliest recorded inceptions and charts their impact upon the human psyche.

Readers will find detailed descriptions of terrors from all over the world – from the mist-shrouded mountains of Eastern Europe to the sweltering jungles of the Caribbean islands, from the dark, stone-lined tombs of the uncoffined dead beneath the remote New England hills to the dark magics that lurk beneath the thriving, colorful surface of a city like New Orleans. In addition to the more conventional creatures, Encyclopedia of the Undead also details some of the more obscure Things that gnaw at the edges of men’s minds – Incubi and Succubi, the Mara, and the dark legends that have influenced writers from Sheridan Le Fanu to H.P. Lovecraft.

Curran unravels the various strands of interconnected historical detail from their earliest recorded inceptions and charts the perceptual development of each creature.

The book explores both the history and perceptions of the Undead, and whether legends concerning them have, in their roots, some form of reality. It also looks at how these perceptions have developed and deeply ingrained themselves within the human psyche. Through the years, both aspects have become so inextricably intertwined that it is sometimes difficult to delineate the various strands that make up the beliefs and treat them separately.

Encyclopedia of the Undead is a book for all those who are interested in the darker side of the human mind – the side that examines and even embraces those beliefs and imaginings that form the basis of our most archetypical fears. In showing how our perceptions of the creatures has changed over the years, the author walks a fine line between artist and scholar. He does not try to dismiss the Undead or the supernatural, nor to explain them away, nor to deny the horror that they generate. Rather he presents a picture of terrible entities that have frightened Mankind across the years, that have shaped common nightmares, and have inspired the darker elements of the literary imagination.
 

Science Fiction & Fantasy

River of Gods: August 15, 2047 – Happy Birthday, India by Ian McDonald (PYR)

Ian McDonald is the author of many science fiction novels, including Desolation Road, King of the Morning, Queen of the Day, Out on Deep Six, Changa, and Kirinya. He has won the Philip K. Dick Award and the BSFA Award, been nominated for a Hugo Award, and has several nominations for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. He lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His new book River of Gods has already been nominated for both the Hugo and the Arthur C. Clarke awards and won the British Science Fiction Association award for best novel.

Mother India approaches her centenary in River of Gods – the book teems with the life of a country choked with peoples and cultures – one and a half billion people, twelve semi-independent nations, nine million gods. In the India of 2047, genetically engineered children comprise a new caste, adults can be surgically transformed into a neutral gender, a water war has broken out as the Ganges threatens to run dry, AIs are violently destroyed if they approach levels akin to human intelligence, and something strange has just appeared in the solar system.

Nine people are going about their business – a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Aj – the waif, the mind reader, the prophet – when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden. In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.

This ambitious portrait of a future India from British author McDonald (Desolation Road) offers multitudes: gods, castes, protagonists, cultures. Nine disparate characters, including a cop, a scientist and a stand-up comic, act out their related dramas – be they personal, political or of the mystery-thriller variety – in successive chapters within each of the book's five sections. … The deliberate pace and lack of explanation require patience at the outset, but readers will become increasingly hooked as the pieces of McDonald's richly detailed world fall into place…. this is sure to one of the more talked-about SF novels of the year. – Publishers Weekly
I will read anything that man writes – he is the most underappreciated genius working in the field today. – Cory Doctorow, author of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town; coeditor, boingboing.net

A staggering achievement, brilliantly imagined and endlessly surprising...a brave, brilliant and wonderful novel. – Christopher Priest, Guardian
One of the best SF books I’ve read this year. – Iain M. Banks, author of The Algebraist
Hugely adventurous and entertaining, sumptuously inventive and full of heart...likely to rank as Ian McDonald’s best creative achievement. – Nick Gevers, Locus

In River of Gods McDonald has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium – a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world decoded – as the great river Ganges flows on. SirReadaLot.org predicts this will become one of the classics.

Social Sciences / Politics

In Our Hands: How to End Poverty and Restore the American Dream by Charles Murray (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research)

American Enterprise Institute scholar and bestselling author Charles Murray has written some of the most controversial books of this generation, and his ingenuity has sparked profound changes in American public policy. Murray, author of Losing Ground and The Bell Curve, W.H. Brady Scholar in Culture and Freedom at the AEI, tackles the explosive growth in entitlements in a provocative book: In Our Hands. Murray's solution: demolish the entitlement system and give every American, age 21-50, $10,000 per year.

"The solution is to give the money back to the people," writes Murray. As Murray puts it, "America's population is wealthier than any in history. Every year the American government redistributes more than a trillion dollars of that wealth to provide for retirement, health care, and the alleviation of poverty. Yet we still have millions of people without comfortable retirements, without adequate health care, and living in poverty. Only a government can spend so much money so ineffectually."

In Our Hands describes the financial feasibility of the plan and its beneficial effects on retirement, health care, poverty, marriage and family, work effort, vocations, neighborhoods, and civil society. Murray claims:

  • About 36 million people live below the poverty line – under the Plan, all of them would have the resources to escape poverty.
  • A 21-year-old in a low income job can expect an annual pension of about $11,000 from Social Security when he retires – under the Plan he can expect a retirement income of about $34,000 a year by investing in a simple, indexed, mutual fund.
  • About 45 million Americans have no health insurance – under the Plan, all of them could have access to health care at far less than insurance costs now.

According to Murray, the Plan is a radical approach to social policy that defies any partisan label. Murray demonstrates that the Plan is financially feasible and then uses detailed analysis to argue that many goals of the welfare state – elimination of poverty, comfortable retirement for everyone, universal access to health care – would be better served under the Plan than under the current system.

The most provocative chapters of In Our Hands discuss the broader impact of the Plan on all Americans, rich and poor alike. Murray argues that the most important quandary facing wealthy societies is how to enable people to live meaningful lives in an age of plenty and security. Western Europe is the canary in the coal mine, in Murray's view, demon­strating that the advanced welfare state strips life of the raw materials that give human existence weight and consequence. Murray presents his reasons for thinking that the Plan, by reclaiming those raw materials from bureaucracies and returning them to individ­uals, will revitalize the instruments through which life takes on meaning: family, vocation, and community.

What causes poverty in America? Lack of money. It’s that simple. And Charles Murray is simple minded. All geniuses are. Now read In Our Hands and watch the sword of Alexander the Great – or rather, the pen of Murray the Brilliant – sever policy’s tangled skein. – P.J. O’Rourke, author of Parliament of Whores

As the Republican Party slips ever more away from its small government principles, Murray shows who these principles work, and, more importantly, how they can be put into practice. We need his voice now more than ever; and in this book, it is as piercing, honest and rigorous as ever. – Andrew Sullivan, Senior Editor, The New Republic

Libertarian Murray's Losing Ground laid the groundwork for controversial welfare reform proposals. His latest volume continues in the same vein, positing that government support has exacerbated dysfunctional underclass behavior, and offering a compromise to social democrats who call starve-the-beast policies cruel. … His volume makes an intriguing contrast to 1999's left-meets-libertarian book The Stakeholder Society (unmentioned by Murray), which proposed $80,000 grants, financed by taxing the rich. Given Murray's track record – he coauthored The Bell Curve – and his think tank backing, expect much discussion of this book in print and on air. – Publishers Weekly

Murray's goal, shared by the Left and the Right, is a society in which everyone, including the unluckiest among us, has the opportunity and means to construct a satisfying life. In Our Hands offers a startling new way to think about how that goal might be achieved. In his trademark, provocative style, Murray puts forth a radical solution, worth of consideration – and sure to generate a great deal of discussion.
 

Sports

Clearing the Bases: Juiced Players, Monster Salaries, Sham Records, and a Hall of Famer's Search for the Soul of Baseball by Mike Schmidt, with Glen Waggoner (Harper Collins)

Between 1995, when Mike Schmidt, one of baseball’s most respected players, was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the dawn of the recent ‘Steroid Era,’ when baseball's biggest names were as likely to appear before Congress as they were to play in the All-Star Game, our national pastime has devolved into a national punch line. Even though the past two years have witnessed the Red Sox finally putting an end to the Curse of the Bambino and the White Sox bringing a championship to the South Side of Chicago for the first time in eighty-seven years, the sad truth is that the 2005 and 2006 seasons may be remembered as much for the league's scandals and blockbuster free-agent signings as they are for historic accomplishments on the field. Something has gone horribly wrong with the game, and according to Schmidt, it's time to do something about it. "Baseball's not permanently broken," he writes. "It's just a little banged up. It will survive; it's too great a game not to."

Clearing the Bases is a call to arms. Drawing on his experiences as a third baseman, a manager, and, most recently, a fan, Schmidt, best-hitting third baseman in baseball history, takes on everything from skyrocketing payrolls, callous owners, and unapproachable players to inflated statistics, and, of course, ersatz home run kings.

Clearing the Bases also examines the ways in which Major League Baseball has improved over the years, including interleague play, expansion, and, most surprising, better all-around hitters. Schmidt also takes an unexpected stance on longtime friend and former teammate Pete Rose's lifetime ban from baseball and describes his behind-the-scenes November 20002 meeting with Rose and Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Finally, Schmidt offers his own prescription for restoring integrity to the game and bringing baseball back, once and for all, to its rightful place.

Mike Schmidt was not only the greatest baseball player in Philadelphia history, but one of the smartest and most articulate … His timely reflections here on the state of the game … ought to be of great interest to any baseball fan. – Mark Bowden, Philadelphia Inquirer

It's about time one of the legends of the game spoke out on steroids and other issues that are going to have an im­mense effect on the history of baseball. Clearing the Bases is a must-read for any fan who cares about the game. – Joe Morgan

Mike and I are a lot alike. As passionate former players who gave the game everything we had, we see baseball struggling in the post-steroids era. Clearing the Bases makes solid contact on the challenges baseball faces and takes a hard look at what needs to be done. I truly enjoyed it. So will you. – George Brett

More than just an old-timer's screed against the modern game, Clearing the Bases goes beyond the BALCO investigation and never-ending free-agent bonanzas that dominate the back pages. Riveting, wise, and illuminating, the book is an unflinching look at how Major League Baseball has lost its way and how it can head back home.

 

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Guide to This Issue

The Story of Allen Lane, the Founder of Penguin Books, Inside Information and Corruption in the Stock Market, Training Evaluation Made Simple, Cinderella, Investigate Everyday Mysteries with Forensic Science! A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man, The Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s, Men, Action Films, and Contemporary Adventure Narratives, Warrior Women On-Screen, The Life of John Lennon, Promoting Health Promotion, Confessions of a Food Addict, Make Over Your Metabolism, Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss, 21 Steps to Personal Success and Real Happiness, Victorian London, The Meaning of First Democracy, Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977, Designing and Creating Japanese Gardens. Life in Bagdad in the 1990s, A Guide to Literary Patterns in the Bible, Ethical Issues in the New Reproductive Technologies, New Mystery by Cecelia Tishy, A Kiss Goodbye, Four Seasons in the Lives of Migratory Birds, Water Conservation Programs, CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, Design-Build Project Delivery, Negotiating Self-Determination, Diagnostic Parasitology for Veterinary Technicians,, Bricker's International Directory 2006, Mastering Healthcare Terminology, Worldwide Government Directory 2006, Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century, Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children, Tibetan Treasure Literature, Encyclopedia of the Undead, River of Gods: August 15, 2047 – Happy Birthday, India by Ian McDonald, In Our Hands: How to End Poverty and Restore the American Dream, Clearing the Bases: Juiced Players, Monster Salaries, Sham Records, and a Hall of Famer's Search for the Soul of Baseball