Arts & Photography / Biographies & Memoirs
New York Waters: Profiles from the Edge by Ben Gibberd, with photography by Randy Duchaine (Globe Pequot Press)
A waterfront, by definition, is the most amorphous of subjects. Where do you begin, and where do you end? What do you put in, and what do you leave out? The water mocks such arbitrary appellations as ‘river,’ ‘estuary,’ ‘bay,’ ‘sound,’ and ‘harbor,’ being all of these yet none of them alone. To even call a book New York Waters is misleading, given that New York's waters are also those of New Jersey and Long Island and the Hudson River Valley, to name only a few. – from the book
Enter the world of
New York Waters, written by New York Times stringer Ben Gibberd,
is the first book to examine and record, in text and photographs, the lives of
the men and women who live, work, or play in and along the rivers and coastal
waterfronts that surround
The people in New York Waters have not chosen the normal or easy path in life; instead, they have ‘followed their bliss,’ to use the still relevant phrase from Joseph Campbell; each new perspective connects a personal passion to a fabled local maritime history. Among those readers meet are
But New York Waters is not gloomy; there is too much life in it for that. As long as there are people around like Phil Brabosilo, ready to park his yellow taxicab and drop a line laden with spark plugs into the East River at the drop of a hat, or David Sharps, who spent four years pumping mud out of a sunken barge and repairing her as a living-history lesson for all, things will probably still be all right.
Through this collection of idiosyncratic and engaging individuals – young and
old, male and female, of all ages – a picture of a previously unacknowledged
Arts & Photography / Home & Garden / Animal Care & Pets
Horse: A Portrait: A Photographer's Life with Horses by Christiane Slawik (Willow Creek Press)
Horse: A Portrait is a collection of photographs and writing by award-winning photographer Christiane Slawik. Taking us on her travels around the world photographing horses, Slawik tells the stories behind the photos and about her personal love of horses. She writes: "Horses have been fascinating for me in a way that I can describe only with difficulty. This feeling and fascination I try to capture with my camera – this one magical moment that not only I can take home with me in my heart, but that others can share in my photos. One moment can be everything: strength, elegance, and power combined with a wild and simultaneously gentle spirit. Beauty, innocence, curiosity and again and again the wonderful and permanent will to do right by man."
Slawik in Horse: A Portrait says: "One shouldn't regard horses as merely useful animals. They are so much more. These heavenly creatures are our partners. Infinitely patient, attentive, and always ready to give their life for us. They make us proud, they give us luck, harmony, and inner peace. If we only allow it, they even train our characters and help us grow beyond ourselves. Horses are the most astonishing creatures I know."
Slawik has devoted herself to horse photography with body and soul. Filled with enthusiasm for horses since her childhood and having felt comfortable in all saddles of the world for over 30 years, she financed her academic career through painting and photographing horses. Today Slawik writes and photographs for several international professional journals and publishing houses. Her photographs and paintings have been exhibited in multiple shows. On the search for expressive moments the photo-journalist is steadily inspired by the respective situation, by light and color, by the aesthetics, and the individual charm of each horse.
Through Slawik's incredible photography and inspirational words, Horse: A Portrait reveals a portrait of both these magnificent animals and the life of a passionate and dedicated photographer.
Audio / Mysteries & Thrillers
Spare Change: A Sunny Randall Novel by Robert B. Parker, narrated by Kate Burton (5 Audio CDs, unabridged, running time 6 hours) (Random House Audio)
Spare Change: A Sunny Randall Novel by Robert B. Parker (G.P.
Putnam and Sons)
You miss me? I got bored, so I thought I’d reestablish our relationship. Give us both something to do in our later years. Stay tuned. – Spare Change
When a serial murderer, dubbed ‘The Spare Change Killer’ by the
Back then, the ‘spare change’ killer executed victims with a single shot to the head, leaving three coins near the body. The victims were not assaulted or molested in any way and shared no defining characteristics. The killer wrote Phil taunting letters as the killings piled up. Now with a new killing and a fresh letter to Phil, he and Sunny serve as consultant and assistant respectively to a new task force. Most troubling to the Boston PD is the time elapsed between the two most recent victims: 20 years.
Sunny is certain that she's found her man after interviewing just a handful of suspects. Though she has no evidence against Bob Johnson, she trusts her intuition and plays him dangerously to get hard evidence. Meanwhile, Sunny's relationship with her ex-husband – for whom she still carries a torch – is moving to a new plateau as she tries to understand the family dynamics among her father, mother, sister and herself.
Then the killer strikes a second time, and a third; the murders take a macabre turn, as, eerily, the victims each resemble Sunny. While her father pressures her to drop the case, her need to create a trap to catch her killer grows. Sunny knows the power she has over the killer – she can feel the skittishness and sexual tension that he radiates when he's around her but she realizes too late that she’s setting herself up to become the next victim. The pressure intensifies as she tries to persuade her father and the rest of the task force to let her stay on the case in Spare Change, the fifty-plusth novel by the creator of the Spenser series, Robert B. Parker.
…Parker's signature bantering byplay and some borrowings of characters from
other series (notably Susan Silverman from the Spenser novels) will delight
fans. The outcome is never in doubt, but Parker hits most of the right notes,
and there's still ingenuity to his cat-and-mouse. – Publishers Weekly
… The city was terrorized by the Spare Change killer two decades ago, and Phil Randall headed the task force that came up dry. …Parker, also responsible for … the Jesse Stone novels, continues to add depth to his characterization of Randall as he explores her often contradictory feelings about love. Parker's ruminations on romance are sometimes – not always – wearisome, but he never fails to entertain with humor and recurring characters whom we welcome back into our lives like old friends. – Wes Lukowsky, Booklist
Sunny joins forces with the most important man in her life – her father – to crack a twenty-year-old case and figure out some personal things. We have veteran Parker’s take on love, hard boiled, tongue in cheek, and the entertaining banter in Spare Change, a compelling game of cat-and-mouse.
Business & Economics
Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't by John R. Lott Jr. (Regnery Publishing, Inc.)
So long as people have the freedom to act on their own incentives, the
Are free market economies really based on fleecing the consumer? Is the
Freedomnomics, economist and bestselling author John R. Lott,
Jr. answers these and other common economic questions, confronting the profound
distrust of the market that the bestselling book Freakonomics has helped to
popularize. Using numerous examples, Lott shows how free markets liberate the
best, most creative, and most generous aspects of our society – while efforts to
constrain economic liberty, no matter how well-intentioned, invariably lead to
increased poverty and injustice. Extending its economic analysis even further to
our political and criminal justice systems,
Freedomnomics Lott, senior research scientist at the
Believe it or not, according to Lott, price discrimination by drug companies
actually saves more lives. Overall, says Loft, freedom, not fads, drives
Professor John Lott has guts. In
Freedomnomics he yet again demonstrates his ability to topple
myths and attack sacred cows. The book underscores the Founding Fathers' view of
a limited federal government, and reminds us of the importance of free markets.
– Larry Elder, radio talk-show host and author of The Ten Things You Can't Say
Freedomnomics provides a welcome antidote to the oversimplifications and shortcomings of Freakonomics. John Lott has an unusual knack for over-turning conventional wisdom with good economics. In doing so, he takes the side of such unpopular causes as high gasoline prices and political campaign donations, while vouching for the probity of real estate agents and gun owners. Through it all, he points out the inefficiencies of government attempts to provide everything from schooling to Arctic expeditions. – Murray Weidenbaum, professor, Washington University, President Reagan's first chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, 1981–1982
Adam Smith's insight was that we human beings not only pursue our self-interest but seek the approbation of others, and the combination makes freedom work. John Lott uses the economist's twenty-first-century tools and Smith's own common sense style to explain why that insight is still right, with fascinating examples ranging from why last-minute airline tickets are so expensive to why politicians may actually be voting their convictions. – Charles Murray, author of Losing Ground and coauthor of The Bell Curve
John Lott tells a compelling story of how successful economies really work: with free minds, free markets, and free exchange. John Lott nails it. – John Fund, columnist, Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com and author of Stealing Elections
Freedomnomics is everything readers wanted to know about the
world but didn't know economics could tell them. Economist and bestselling
author Lott shows the logic of free market economics through hard-hitting
examples. Entertaining, persuasive, and based on dozens of economic studies
Freedomnomics demonstrates that, when it comes to promoting
prosperity and economic justice, nothing works better than free markets.
Business & Investing / Economics / Development Policy
Economic Growth: New Directions in Theory and Policy edited by Philip Arestis, Michelle Baddeley, & John S.L. McCombie (Edward Elgar Publishing)
In September 2005, the Cambridge Centre for Economic and Public Policy – based in the Land Economy department of the University of Cambridge, UK – hosted its second official conference. The theme selected for this conference focused on the nature, causes and features of economic growth across a range of countries and regions. Economic Growth is a collection of some of the key papers presented at this conference.
Economic Growth focuses on the nature, causes and features of economic growth across a wide range of countries and regions. Covering a variety of growth-related topics – from theoretical analyses of economic growth in general to empirical analyses of growth in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), transition economies and developing economies – the distinguished cast of contributors address some of the most important contemporary issues and developments in the field. These include, among others:
The volume is edited by Philip Arestis, University Director of Research,
Cambridge Centre for Economic and Public Policy; Michelle Baddeley, Fellow and
Director of Studies (Economics); and John McCombie, Director, Centre for
Economic and Public Policy, all at the
In Chapter 2, Economic Growth begins with `Is growth theory a real subject?', in which Franklin Fisher presents the paper given at the conference as an after-dinner talk. The paper has been left in that form rather than making it more formal because the anecdotes are both interesting and amusing. But the paper's informality does not conceal that fact that, together with the sugar, it is administering bitter medicine to growth theory and to macroeconomics generally. Fisher questions the widespread use of aggregate production functions in growth theory and also raises the issue of what is meant by the words ‘capital’, ‘investment’, ‘labor’, ‘productivity’ and ‘output’.
In Chapter 3, `What is endogenous growth theory?', Mark Roberts and Mark Setterfield provide a critical survey of the literature on endogenous growth theory.
In Chapter 4, `Is the natural rate of growth exogenous?', Miguel Leon-Ledesma and A.P. Thirlwall examine the question of whether the natural rate of growth is exogenous or endogenous to demand, and whether it is input growth that causes output growth or vice versa. This question lies at the heart of the debate between neoclassical growth economists on the one hand, who treat the rate of growth of the labor force and labor productivity as exogenous to the actual rate of growth, and economists in the Keynesian/post-Keynesian tradition on the other, who maintain that growth is primarily demand-driven because labor force growth and productivity growth respond to demand growth. The policy message for slow-growing countries is that they need to identify constraints on demand (such as the balance of payments, and an obsession with low inflation, for example, within the EU at the present time), as well as investing in the capacity to supply.
In Chapter 5, `The representative firm and increasing returns: then and now', Stephanie Blankenburg and G.C. Harcourt return to the debates from the 1920s about the concept of increasing returns and the role of the representative firm, which culminated in the 1930 symposium in the Economic Journal. The objects of the paper are to try to clarify the exchanges between the protagonists in the 1920s and then to relate the findings to the re-emergence of similar issues and confusions in the last 20 years.
In Chapter 6, 'A dynamic framework for Keynesian theories of the business cycle and growth', Pedro Ledo recasts multiplier-accelerator models in a dynamic framework, inspired by Harrod's theory of economic growth. The results are twofold. First, the resulting model provides a satisfactory explanation for the observed self-sustained nature of booms and recessions. Second, the dynamic framework suggests that a change in investment has a greater effect on aggregate demand than on aggregate supply. This is what lies at the root of booms and recessions.
In Chapter 7, `A Keynesian model of unemployment and growth: theory', John Cornwall presents a theory of long-run unemployment, output and productivity as a two-stage recursive process generated by the interaction of aggregate demand and aggregate supply. The dominant role of aggregate demand defines the Keynesian character of the model, which emphasizes the direct effect of policy on aggregate demand and unemployment, and its indirect impact on growth. Also, the included structural features are determinants of performance in the short run but are changed by the system's performance in the longer run, a path-dependent process that generates transformational growth rather than the steady state growth of the neoclassical model.
In Chapter 8, 'A Keynesian model of unemployment and growth: an empirical test', Wendy Cornwall presents an empirical companion to John Cornwall's chapter. She empirically assesses John Cornwall's model, using standard econometric techniques to test the model's ability to explain unemployment and growth in a group of developed OECD economies during the second half of the twentieth century.
In Chapter 9, `The relevance of the Cambridge-Cambridge controversies in capital theory for econometric practice', G.C. Harcourt returns with an assessment of the modern relevance of capital theory.
In Chapter 10, `Foreign direct investment and productivity spillovers: a skeptical analysis of some OECD economies', Carlos Rodriguez, Carmen Gomez and Jesus Ferreiro argue that one of the channels through which inward FDI can promote economic growth in host economies is the existence and absorption of productivity spillovers. This chapter is an attempt to evaluate the existence, size and direction of these externalities.
In Chapter 11, `Increasing returns and the distribution of manufacturing productivity in the EU regions', Bernie Fingleton and Enrique Lopez-Bazo estimate an empirical model motivated by recent theoretical developments in urban and geographical economics. The effects of increasing returns are illustrated by simulations, the density function and stochastic kernels, which show how equilibrium productivity level distributions alter across EU regions assuming different degrees of returns to scale.
In Chapter 12, `The role of wage setting in a growth strategy for
In Chapter 13, `Economic growth and beta-convergence in the East European Transition Economies', Nigel Allington and John McCombie examine the question of whether the transition economies have exhibited any recent evidence of catching up with the EU15 countries in terms of productivity over the period 1994 to 2002. This is accomplished by estimating a number of specifications of the neoclassical beta-convergence growth model.
In Chapter 14, `Knowledge externalities and growth in peripheral regions', Fabiana Santos, Marco Crocco and Frederico Jayme Jr argue that in some models of the so-called endogenous growth theory, externalities play an important role because they are the main rationalization for the emergence of increasing returns to scale. The aim of this chapter is to shed light on the fact that institutional aspects should include the centre-periphery dimension. Having this theoretical approach in mind, the paper analyzes stimuli and constraints to the emergence and absorption of externalities in a peripheral environment.
In Chapter 15, `Knowledge, human capital and foreign direct investment in developing countries: recent trends from an endogenous growth theory perspective', Diana Barrowclough describes new trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) into developing countries, with a particular focus on investment in the highest value-added forms of human capital, such as knowledge, experience and technical expertise.
In Chapter 16, `Is growth alone sufficient to reduce poverty? In search of
the trickle down effect in rural
In Chapter 17, `Strategy for economic growth in Brazil: a Post Keynesian approach', Jose Luis Oreiro and Luiz Fernando de Paula present a Keynesian strategy for public policies aiming at higher, stable and sustained economic growth in Brazil. They hypothesize that the current poor growth performance of the Brazilian economy is due to macroeconomic and structural constraints rather than to the lack of microeconomic reforms. They recommend a strategy to achieve the required increase in the investment rate of Brazilian economy from the current 20% of GDP to 27% of GDP needed for a sustained growth of 5% per year.
Economic Growth is an enlightening and significant new volume providing a useful analysis of the many facets of economic growth and pointing the way toward policy correction. The volume will be an essential read for those interested in economic theory and economic policy-making, as well as students and scholars of macroeconomics and finance.
Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Computers & Internet
24/7: Time and Temporality in the Network Society edited by Robert Hassan & Ronald E. Purser (Stanford Business Book)
For better or worse, the information and communication revolution has transformed our economic, cultural, and political world. On an individual scale, many of the traditional habits of mind and ways of being that evolved under the regime of the clock are changing rapidly, including the way individuals save, spend, and optimize time. At the organizational level, the pacing of innovation, levels of production, and new product development, are no longer temporally fixed due to the effects of living in a networked society and in the networked economy.
Edited by Robert Hassan, Research Fellow in the Media and Communications Program at the University of Melbourne and Ronald E. Purser, Professor of Management in the College of Business at San Francisco State University, 24/7 brings together leading thinkers from a variety of disciplines to analyze the differing relationships to time in an accelerated society. Offering insight and perspective into new issues and problems, this volume is the first to offer a wide range of cutting-edge thought on the new economic, cultural, and political world of the networked society.
24/7 deals with communication and information technologies that have become an integral part of almost every contemporary institutional practice in the industrialized world and beyond, and it seeks to understand this change in relation to the much older and slower, if equally pervasive, processes of global change associated with the social relations, technologies, and economies of time.
Looking at the issues in the round, the chapters in 24/7 offer readers an almost holographic perspective on social relations within the network society, dealing, on the one hand, with the temporal relations of acceleration and, on the other, with nonstop activity in the sphere of work, communication, consumption, and profit creation.
Where we used to deal with space, materiality, and quantity, we are now required to encompass time, virtuality, and networked processes. Information Communication Technology (ICT) temporality is embedded and functioning within social contexts of clock time that are continuing to play their dominant role and have not evaporated with the event of ICT time. This means, for example, that the control of time, afforded most prominently through clock time, and the loss of control through ICTs have to be understood with reference and in relation to each other. This requires a new temporal imagination and an approach to the social that leaves behind the world of either-or choices and moves toward the realm of temporal multiplicity. Complexity rather than simplicity is the order of the day and demands new strategies that transcend the dualisms of old.
To encompass that complexity, some of the authors of the essays in 24/7 begin to unravel the historically distinct temporal logic of the network society. In the course of this work they show how this logic enframes not just understanding but also daily practice at the personal and collective level, acting as both unbounded opportunity and restricting framework that delimits room for maneuvering in every sphere of life.
If we understand the temporal relations of industrial society as a steady development toward increase of control, commodification, and colonization, we begin to realize that with networked information and communication technologies operating at or near the speed of light, control and commodification have begun to implode while the colonization of time and space has risen to previously unknown heights. On the one hand, ICT provides the potential to be connected anywhere, anytime; on the other hand, it affords the capacity to be everywhere at once and nowhere in particular. This places users of ICT in the realm if not quite of the gods then at least of angels.
24/7 contains a variety of scholarly explorations and
provocative essays on time and temporality in the network society. The
contributions come from such disparate fields as media and communications,
cultural studies, geography, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, religion,
and management. They reflect the original perspectives of eminent scholars from
Part 1, Time in the Network Society, acts as a mise-en-scène for 24/7 by providing a sweeping historical, sociological, and technological overview of the temporal transformations that have resulted from the emergence of information and communication technologies. The first chapter, "New Temporal Perspectives in the ‘High-Speed Society,’" by Carmen Leccardi, analyzes the dynamics of acceleration in modern capitalistic society, culminating in what Leccardi describes as a ‘detemporalized present.’ Leccardi argues that the forces of temporal acceleration – social acceleration, technological innovation, and the accelerated rhythms of daily life – are rapidly leading to a loss of present space for reflective action that has a temporal connection to the past and future. Widespread alienation from time degrades democratic civil society, resulting in historical amnesia, a lack of personal responsibility for the future, and pervasive existential angst. Robert Hassan argues in "Network Time" that the convergence of neoliberal globalization and the ‘revolution’ in information and communication technologies has created a new form of technologically generated time, the time of the network, which is a qualitatively and quantitatively different time from that of the clock. Network time, he argues, is very much a time of ‘potentiality.’ Hassan shows that individuals and groups are able to create the contexts for the time of the network in ways that were impossible with the ‘outside’ and abstract time of the clock.
In "Speed = Distance/Time: Chronotopographies of Action" Mike Crang presents an analysis of changing temporalities in society that are by-products of the information technology revolution. Locating the major shifts in space and time as understood by key temporal theorists, Crang suggests that such space-time shifts are more complex than commonly thought, requiring a conceptual approach that better captures the effects of ICTs on the spatial and temporal fabric of our daily lives. Crang provides a conceptual framework that incorporates the complexity of real-time technologies.
Adrian Mackenzie, in "Protocols and the Irreducible Traces of Embodiment: The Viterbi Algorithm and the Mosaic of Machine Time," takes the idea of control further and deeper into the logic of computing itself, not into the rigid binary code that constitutes the core of computing but into the algorithmic logic that is ‘attached’ to computer-based technologies. He seeks to soften the hard edges of machine time by "finding middle ground between the temporality of technologies ... and the temporal flows of subjective experience." The algorithm, in other words, brings the deadening logic of ones and zeros – the basis of binary code – to life.
In Part 2 of 24/7 the contributions turn toward the digitalization of various forms of media and communications to examine how these changes are radically altering our temporal perceptions. Darren Tofts kicks off this section with an apropos cultural study of the cult classic film The Matrix. In "Truth at Twelve Thousand Frames per Second: The Matrix and Time-Image Cinema" Tofts shows how the film's signature bullet photography, designed for the DVD's ability to pause an image, represents a convergence of gaming and interactive video to form a kind of virtual or immersive cinema.
In his chapter, "The Fallen Present: Time in the Mix," Andrew Murphie provides a cogent and in-depth analysis of how human thinking processes are being impacted by real-time network technologies. According to Murphie our very notion of the ‘present moment’ has been redefined by network technologies to such an extent that it has ‘fallen’ and that we are constantly falling into this present – which is ‘a fall away from historical purpose or future hope.’
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, in "Stacking and Continuity: On Temporal Regimes in Popular Culture," notes a fundamental change in our culture from the relatively slow and linear to the fast and momentary, where socially shared routines for distinguishing between wanted and unwanted information are severely lacking. Contrasting the MP3 player to the CD, and the Web to the book, along with examples from rhythmic music, Eriksen argues that information society emerges as cascades of decontextualized signs that are randomly connected to each other. Given the limits on the time we have available, information is compressed and stacked in time spans that become shorter and shorter, leaving little opportunity for internal integration.
In Part 3, Temporal Presence, attention shifts to the deeper existential and ontological questions concerning human consciousness of time within the context of network technologies. Each of the three authors in this section challenges conventional wisdom regarding our potential for ‘being in time’ within our 24/7, networked society. In network societies what we lack is not information but the capacity for sustaining undivided human attention. Geert Lovink begins the section by exploring the time regimes of Internet users. His chapter, "Indifference of the Networked Presence: On Time Management of the Self," explores how the real challenge of being wired and online is not ‘time management’ but time and media indifference. He concludes by proposing new ideas for overcoming the binary opposition between lived time and machine time, fashioning a self-styled approach to Internet use.
In "The Presence of Others: Network Experience as an Antidote to the Subjectivity of Time" Jack Petranker explores an optimistic vision of network technologies as offering possibilities for new forms of temporal presence that are life enhancing rather than debilitating. Petranker's chapter challenges the chorus of critics that have focused on the isolating and alienating tendencies of network technologies (e.g., Virilio's ‘telepresence’) by exploring the phenomenological experience of feeling the presence of others at a distance – what he calls a ‘temporality of presence.’
Drawing from the Buddhist tradition, as well as from his firsthand experience as a Zen student and teacher, David Loy calls into question the claims that the digital revolution is extending consciousness by simulating a ‘timeless time.’ In “CyberLack” Loy juxtaposes the ‘timeless time’ of network technology against the experience of ‘timeless time’ as described by Dogen, a thirteenth-century Japanese Zen master, and illustrates how the latter supports a nondual experience of time while the former merely leads to further alienation.
The contributions to Part 4 of 24/7, Time in the Network Economy, focus on the temporal upheavals occurring in organizations, management, and the political economy as a result of the ICT revolution, examining the temporality of global networks that are linked to the flow of capital and information. Ben Agger opens this final section by tracing the historical socioeconomic dynamics of capitalism and by examining how such dynamics have amounted to what he refers to as ‘time theft.’ In "Time Robbers, Time Rebels: Limits to Fast Capital" Agger argues that recent developments due to the ICT revolution have intensified the magnitude of this time theft, in effect robbing people of the time and space for authentically recreating themselves. In the next chapter Hans Ramo is concerned with how ICT-based networks influence the formation of trust in organizations. In "Finding Time and Place for Trust in ICT Network Organizations" Ramo engages in a spatiotemporal analysis of various forms of trust in network-based organizations by focusing on the dimensions of time/timing and space/place.
Drawing on ethnographic studies of corporations and academic settings, Ida Sabelis, in "The Clock-Time Paradox: Time Regimes in the Network Society," examines contemporary patterns of time use among executives and academics who have come to rely increasingly on ICTs in their daily work. Her research is focused on identifying the unintended effects of network technology on the boundaries between organizational and private life and between work and family.
This collection of thought-provoking essays addresses the relationship between contemporary times and technology, especially cybertechnology. In doing so, the essays demonstrate so very well Elliott Jaques' statement of the ultimate justification for studying time: “In the form of time is to be found the form of living.” For by developing this collection, Hassan and Purser – and the essays' authors – have made an important contribution to understanding both time and life in the early 21st century. – Allen C. Bluedorn, author of The Human Organization of Time: Temporal Realities and Experience, University of Missouri-Columbia
The authors gathered here are among the leading theorists of the new shift in
dimensional thought. Original, provocative, and sophisticated, their arguments
will have a profound impact on social theorists and the emerging generation of
digital scholars. – Sean Cubitt,
Given the ubiquity of networks and the massive temporal changes occurring on a global scale, this compilation is timely in itself. The editors of 24/7 have assembled an interdisciplinary panel of international academics whose individual knowledge bases complement each other and who have produced a rich body of work, presenting a wide range of interpretations and diverse opinions. Although these interdisciplinary contributions address a wide range of themes, they nonetheless share a common thread in providing a deeper and more critical understanding of the temporal dynamics of digital networks and the impact these are having on our changing temporal ecology.
By bringing together such a breadth of expertise in one volume, the editors have opened up for discussion an important contemporary development that impacts sociocultural existence almost anywhere on this planet. And these essays may serve as the foundation for a new temporal ontology through which we may have some control over the ‘new times’ that are being created with every network connection.
Business & Investing / Real Estate
Dealmaker: A Real Estate Mogul's Blueprint for Success by Jerry L. Wallace (Career Press)
Jerry L. Wallace is a mega developer who built an empire from scratch – he
has put under construction, planning, or contract more than $6 billion in
property in less than four years. In
Dealmaker, he reveals how he did it ... and how anyone – novice
or pro – can use the same process. Wallace, known widely as ‘The Dealmaker,’ is
an entrepreneur, author, and one of the most publicized real estate
Dealmaker is a collection of Wallace's real estate secrets – his insights, wisdom, and real-world techniques. Wallace says that he has successfully utilized all the principles he shares in Dealmaker – techniques that took him from bankruptcy to success. The book outlines:
To refer to Jerry as a real estate agent is like referring to Babe Ruth as a
baseball player! Jerry has certainly earned his title as `The Dealmaker'. – Ed
Kirkland, broker and owner of RE/MAX Coastal Properties
Jerry Wallace's refreshing approach to real estate success is right on for today's and tomorrow's marketplace. Read his book. He shares all his secrets. – Don Nations, president, Nations Realty
As a real estate attorney, I am impressed with Wallace's step-by-step approach to real estate investing, which makes even the most complex issues easy for anyone to understand. This book explains how to become a great success in the real estate industry while maintaining your character and integrity. – Mel Weinberger, Esquire, partner, Holland & Knight LLP
No one has more down-to-earth wisdom about 'dealmaking' than Jerry Wallace, and he shows you how in this terrific book. – Robinson Callen, chairman, H.I. Development Corporation
Dealmaker is one of the most enlightening how-to books on real estate I have ever read. – Efren Ramirez, actor and TV personality
While real estate novices will find tips they can use on every page,
Dealmaker is also a tool for those already involved in the real
estate industry who wish to achieve greater success. This book, written in a
clear and concise style, is a must-read for anyone who wants to make serious
money in real estate.
Children’s / Ages 4-8 / Computers & Internet / Entertainment / Games & Activities
SmartLab: 1st Grade Challenge by Jennifer Jacobson (Becker & Mayer, Distributed by Chronicle Children’s)
1st graders take on these and 495 other questions in SmartLab: 1st Grade Challenge.
This electronic game gives 1st Graders a fun and conﬁdence-building
opportunity to learn what they need to know, when they need to know it. With
hundreds of questions covering all curriculum areas and a 1- or 2-player game
component, kids challenge themselves and each other to hours of brain-building
fun. It's a chance for them to test their memory, prove what they already know,
and discover the possibilities of curriculum-connected play.
The nifty little computer, shaped like a computer game with a booklet attached, randomly generates one of the color-coded sections (Language Arts, Social Studies, Art & Music, Science, or Math) in the book and tells which question to turn to. After reading the question, the child selects from the multiple choice answers. If the answer is correct, the computer generates a smiley face and a laughing sound and increases the child’s score. If the answer is incorrect, the computer gives the child a second try.
The designer of SmartLab: 1st Grade Challenge, Jennifer Jacobson received her master's in education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has taught pre-school through sixth grade and has served as Curriculum Coordinator, Head of Studies, and Language Arts Specialist in several
Amazing! A teacher's dream, a parent's salvation, and a kid's hope for filling empty moments with something useful and fun! Enticing questions that beautifully cross all areas of the school curriculum. – Steve Layne, Award-winning teacher and educator (USA Today's All-Teacher Team, the Milken Foundation's National Award for Teaching Excellence, and the NCTE's Edwin A. Hoey Award for Outstanding Middle School Teacher in the U.S.)
A step up from Brain Quest! I imagine that every parent, teacher, and child would love this book for practicing and mastering curriculum concepts. I could see the kids fighting over this thing. – Donna Whyte, Author, teacher, national education consultant
SmartLab: 1st Grade Challenge gives kids a fun way to engage in curriculum-connected play. Kids will love that parents and teachers endorse taking the SmartLab: Challenge. With sequels for grades 1, 2 and 3, and with hundreds of questions across all curriculum areas, this is an electronic way to build knowledge – and confidence. These books prove it is fun to be smart.
Children’s / Ages 4-8 / Mythology
Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart by Marybeth Lorbiecki, illustrated by Renée Graef (Sleeping Bear Press)
Paul Bunyan's larger-than-life adventures have become the stuff of American legend. In Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart young readers learn the story of how the towering lumberjack met his match.
Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart, award-winning author Marybeth
Lorbiecki tells the tale of Lucette Diana Kensack, the daughter of an Ojibwe
maiden and a French-English pioneer. Young Lucette tragically lost her family in
a smallpox outbreak, but a big momma bear took pity on the eight-year old and
raised her as her own. It could have been the pox, it could have been the
berries, but little Lucette began to grow and grow – to 'Bunyanesque'
proportions. Some years later, the giant lumberjack met up with the beauty from
When Paul Bunyan meets pretty Lucette, he knows she's the gal for him. After all, she's so tall she can't fit into an ordinary cabin. She can churn butter into a thick creamy river, and when she cleans house she can twirl up a tornado! It's a match made in heaven.
He is in love; she isn't impressed. Lucette assigns him tasks to prove his worth, an old-fashioned love test. But what finally wins her is his transformation from lumberjack to forester – an environmental change of heart that will strike a chord with readers today.
Master storyteller Lorbiecki has written more than twenty award-winning books. Her stories bring history alive for young readers, such as Jackie's Bat, about Jackie Robinson; Sister Annie's Hands, which won several awards, including the Bank Street College Children's Book of the Year; and Stickeen: An Icy Adventure with a No-Good Dog, which was a Teacher's Choice Award Winner.
From the quiet rolling hills of
With Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart Lorbiecki brings together history and legend for a rollicking American tall tale. And Renee Graef's folksy artwork tenderly gives life to the biggest love story the north woods region has ever seen. Her illustrations provide a glimpse back to the colorful past of the American wilderness.
Children’s / Ages 9-12 / Humor / Science Fiction & Fantasy
The Chaos King by Laura Ruby (Eos, HarperCollins Children’s Books)
The Chaos King has a city filled with wonders, and in it, one girl can do the most wonderful thing of all.
Georgie is special.
In this fantasy tale of an alternative universe, not only is Georgie the one person who can disappear at will, but since she found her parents, she's become The Richest Girl in the Universe.
She may be special, but is she lucky? Her parents have forbidden her to vanish, her new school is full of snooty heiresses, she's had a growth spurt that makes her as graceful as a grizzly, and her best friend in the world, a belligerent boy named Bug, seems to have abandoned her.
But adventure is just around the corner in The Chaos King, written by Laura Ruby, a Chicago-based fiction writer, as a madman who calls himself The Chaos King has Georgie and Bug in his sights. In their efforts to save themselves from his insane plans, Georgie and Bug discover some of the amazing secrets of the city they love. Their journey will lead them to confront a pack of blasé vampires, a living lion of stone, a disgruntled teenage poet, a candy-loving sloth, The Second Richest Girl in the Universe, a fussy man named Mr. Fuss, and finally, the brink of the unimaginable. . . .
Praise for Ruby’s previous book, The Wall and the Wing:
Witty and ironic, Ruby's sharp writing propels the story to an exhilarating climax. – VOYA (starred review)
Fast-paced wackiness that will have young readers giggling even as they cheer. – SLJ
Utterly odd and charming. Inspired silliness from start to finish. – Publishers Weekly
The Chaos King is all, delightfully, about chaos. This story of a post-modern heroin is great fodder for the adolescent imagination.
Children’s / Ages 12 and up / Family Life
Beyond the Billboard by Susan Gates (Harcourt Children’s Books)
Firebird took one last longing look at the billboard. But it had no help to offer – she had to decide for herself. Slowly, she moved away from its shelter and protection, away from the swamp where she'd spent all her life. She felt a queasy cramping in the pit of her stomach. But it wasn’t just fear that was making her feel sick. There was another emotion churning inside her. It was excitement.
She’d made up her mind. Firebird took a deep, shaky breath and plunged into the scrubland, following Gran and Swamp Dog toward the city. – from the book
In Beyond the Billboard, written by Susan Gates, almost nobody knows that thirteen-year-old Firebird Tucker and her family exist. Their primitive ramshackle house is completely hidden, thanks to the massive billboard shielding it from prying eyes. Firebird is not allowed to leave their wilderness swamp, not even to go to school. And she must never, ever talk to strangers.
But suddenly, strangers are everywhere – encroaching from the dangerous city that looms nearby, intruding beyond the billboard, discovering the most secret corners of the swamp – and threatening her family's survival. And despite the Tuckers' insistence that nothing must change, everything does. In the midst of the turmoil, Firebird finally finds what she's been looking for: a way out.
Beyond the Billboard is an affecting coming-of-age novel, set in an isolated and mysterious world, a chilling portrayal of a girl's struggle to break free of family secrets – no matter the cost.
Cooking, Food & Wine
Easy and Healthy Japanese Food for the American Kitchen by Keiko O. Aoki, photographed by Susumu Miyamoto (Quill Driver Books)
The Japanese diet promotes good health and longevity in many ways while also
being delectable. According to Keiko Aoki, one reason many Americans don't cook
Japanese meals is that they feel it is too difficult. They think special skills
are required and they assume it is hard to get the proper ingredients. Actually
cooking Japanese food is easy, because the ingredients used are simple, and most
dishes do not have complicated sauces like the ones used in
With this collection, Aoki, a Tokyo-born, New York-based businesswoman and
housewife, has set out to simplify matters so those living in the
Easy and Healthy Japanese Food for the American Kitchen combines easy cooking techniques with traditional Japanese cuisine. Most of the recipes in Easy and Healthy Japanese Food for the American Kitchen can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Aoki balances the delicate Japanese flavor and difficulty with ingredients and equipment found in the average American kitchen. The book features entrée recipes with beef, chicken, pork, seafood, vegetables, tofu, sushi, and also dessert selections. Each recipe is accompanied with a full-color photograph. Resources include shopping lists, substitutable ingredients, cooking tips, product websites, and an index.
There are ingredients that Japanese eat almost every day which promote good health which are mostly absent from the American diet, primarily soy beans which are used in various ways including miso and natto, both of which are basically fermented soybeans.
As explained in Easy and Healthy Japanese Food for the American Kitchen, the Japanese people enjoy the highest longevity of any people in the world. Some of the properties of fermented soybeans have been scientifically proven, such as their ability to reduce blood clots and prevent heart attacks. But they Japanese also believe, and there is some evidence for it, that products like miso and natto prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, have an antibiotic effect, improve digestion, prevent obesity, and reduce the effects of aging.
Three-quarters of Japanese cooking in
The book takes away the potential obstacle to cooking healthy Japanese food: time. These quick-to-prepare recipes are designed to accommodate the hectic and busy lifestyles most Americans endure. The recipes take no more than thirty minutes, and many take even less than that. Easy and Healthy Japanese Food for the American Kitchen provides readers with recipes that are easy to prepare, healthy, and don't cost very much. This is a sure-to-please cookbook for all enthusiasts of Japanese food, as well as those looking to prepare healthier meals for their families.
Education / Biographies & Memoirs
The Short Bus: A Journey beyond
A young man once labeled ‘severely learning disabled’ journeys across America to find others who have used humor, imagination, and attitude to create satisfying lives beyond ‘normal’ in The Short Bus.
When his teachers decided Jonathan Mooney needed special ed because he
couldn't follow directions, sit still, or read well out loud, he feared he'd
lost his chance to be a regular kid. Suddenly he was ‘not normal.’ Labeled
dyslexic and profoundly learning disabled with attention and behavior problems,
Mooney was a ‘short bus rider’ – a derogatory term used for kids in special
education and a distinction that told the world he wasn’t normal. Along with
other kids with special challenges, he grew up hearing himself denigrated daily.
Ultimately, Mooney surprised skeptics by graduating with honors from
Jonathan Mooney is an uplifting, rebellious voice who will strike a chord with anyone who has ever had a hard time marching in step in a culture of conformity. …In person, in his amazing speeches around the country, Jonathan speaks with heart, spirit and energy, helping audiences re-imagine their lives. He does this same thing in his remarkable, magical book. Get on the short bus and fasten your seat belts. No matter who you are, you won't be the same at the end of this ride. – Edward M. Hallowell M.D., author of Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder
Curious and compassionate, clearheaded and self-questioning, enlightened and
illuminating, Jonathan Mooney takes us on a modern yet timeless odyssey. … A
long overdue tribute to our brothers and sisters on the short bus, and a
desperately needed battle cry against the tyranny of normalcy. – Rachel Simon,
author of Riding the Bus with My Sister
This book should be required reading for anyone who thinks they are in the business of ‘helping’ or ‘serving’ people with disabilities. Mooney understands the power that comes when disabled children and adults claim their identity, reject social constructs of what is normal, and define success on their own terms. By journeying beyond normal, Mooney shows the way to a more human, more interesting destination that can transform the field of education, lay bare the shortcomings of the helping professions, and help disabled people get in touch with their own power. – Andrew Imparato, President and CEO American Association of People with Disabilities
The Short Bus is a wonderful ‘on the road’ story that beats out
even Kerouac’s book. … Superbly written. – John McKnight, author of The Careless
The view from The Short Bus is candid, irreverent and eye opening. Mooney takes us On the Road, asking what happens when you stop chasing the horizon of normalcy and start reveling in your differences. – Harold S. Koplewicz, M.D., Chairman, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine, Author of Moore than Moody and It’s Nobody’s Fault
Ride Jonathan Mooney’s The Short Bus and you will be changed. With captivating storytelling, Mooney kidnaps the reader away from ‘normal’ for a journey that is hilarious, heartbreaking, and ultimately liberating. Anyone has had to deal with the ill fitted suit of ‘normalcy’ in their coming-of-age will recognize the struggles in these stories – and as it turns out that means every one of us! The Short Bus gives us a whole new way to understand all young people, and to support the genius of difference in our communities. – Michael Patrick MacDonald, author of All Souls and Easter Rising
The Short Bus is an inspiring record of his odyssey and a unique gem, propelled by Mooney’s humor, and outrageous rebellions. With a unique writer's heart, mind, and spirit, the book is a rebellious, funny, and incredibly colorful investigation of life lived happily outside the lines.
Education / History / Civil Rights / African Americans
Still Not Equal: Expanding Educational
I hope you find this book both challenging and stimulating. Further, I hope that you will keep in your consciousness the very simple but powerful message that we keep before us at the College Fund every day in all the work that we do: A mind is a terrible thing to waste. – Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, United Negro College Fund, from the Foreword
The educational, political, and social influence resulting from Brown v Board
of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and their progeny have shaped the
dynamics of the collective educational and social experiences of people of
color. Notwithstanding, the obstacles, barriers, and enablers of educational,
occupational, and economic status outcomes impact the formation and
interpretation of public policy, specifically, and public perception, generally,
about racialized notions of schooling and learning. The pursuit of educational
access, attendance, and attainment is intertwined with the implications of
academic research and public policy to improve local practices in school
Still Not Equal addresses the successes and failures of Brown and the Civil Rights Act, as well as the continuing challenge of expanding educational opportunity in the
Still Not Equal focuses on the implications of racial inequalities in school and societal settings. According to Brown, racial inequalities impede the processes by which institutions of higher education develop human potential and talent. The effects of racial inequalities represent an unfinished quest to secure equality in educational settings at large. Given the demands of the diverse nature of schools and other settings, it is necessary to conceptualize policies and implement practices that promote opportunity, access, and hopefulness. Racial inequalities interrupt the ability to create an academic continuum that seeks to be inclusive rather than exclusive. The context of an academic continuum must be forged in order to provide cultural sensitivity and awareness of the challenges that the racial divide creates.
Still Not Equal engages various perspectives related to student performance and assessment in education. Student performance levels for African Americans are becoming increasingly linked to the quality of ‘the teacher’ and ‘the teaching.’ How teachers are prepared in teacher education programs impacts the ways in which their students learn in school classrooms. Standardized assessments must be developed in concert with the school's curriculum and pedagogy. The use of traditional forms of curriculum and pedagogy can no longer be accepted without question. As all children can learn, it is our civic responsibility to develop to the highest capacity all of our human capital. The time has come to close the achievement gaps, to place all children on the same college preparatory curricular track, and to provide the resources necessary to acquire the best learning facilitators, school environments, and scholastic materials.
While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 sought to eliminate the external impact of
segregation, the vestiges of segregation denied African Americans full
participation in society and produced a de facto apartheid within
Still Not Equal exposes the role of the school and the community in creating environments for learning. It is important to have community involvement within the processes of educational settings. The community can provide input that has practical and applicable value. Such input is critical to preparing the families of school-age children to parent in ways that are transferable within school contexts. Literacy does not begin and end in the school. Literacy is required in both the home and school environments in order for children to do well in academic activities.
The chapters included in this volume represent the most instructive and innovative ideas to emerge from a historic 4-day meeting of the United Negro College Fund's (UNCF's) 2004 Patterson Research Conference. Still Not Equal highlights the global dimensions of both education and school. Attaining higher levels of performance for all persons at all levels in all sectors is critical to global participation and productivity. What is becoming increasingly clear is that the skills students need to be successful in college go beyond K–12 academic preparation. Without prior academic development and financial aid materials, students may suffer from disparate educational attainment across their lifespan. This phenomenon requires continued attention to the details of what it truly means to leave no one behind. It highlights the continued inequality across myriad contexts and invites everyone to assist in expanding opportunity throughout society.
If we commit ourselves to this greater cause, maybe sometime in the not-so-distant future we can reflect on what we have achieved on behalf of generations yet unborn.
Still Not Equal identifies some of the most critical educational and social issues impacting the educational attainment levels of African Americans. Many of the issues are central to the work of the College Fund, which strives to increase African American college enrollment, strengthen historically Black colleges and universities, and increase access to education for deserving young men and women. While UNCF has broadened educational opportunities for thousands of students over the last 60 years, there is still much work to be done to ensure that all children have an equal chance.
Collected together in Still Not Equal are selected research findings, conceptualizations, and initiatives by the dedicated educators, researchers, and professionals who joined in that historic meeting in September 2004, marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Negro College Fund, the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Each chapter presented identifies challenges, develops strategies for eliminating barriers, and/or introduces ideas for creating an educational environment that is truly equal for everyone.
Entertainment / Music
The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music with consulting editor Bob Allen & general editor Tony Byworth (Billboard Books)
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. – Garth Brooks
You’ve got a song you’re singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. – Johnny Cash
Country is old. Country is new. Country is us.
Although the first seeds of country music were brought to the
The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music explores this durable genre, following its development through the twentieth century and up to today. With consulting editor Bob Allen, a country music journalist, historian, and critic for the past twenty-five years and general editor Tony Byworth, who has been involved in country music for over 30 years, the chapters trace the history of country chronologically.
Over the years, country has evolved from the early hillbilly music of Roy
Acuff and the Carter Family, ‘singing cowboys’ such as Gene Autry and Roy
Rogers, and the fast-paced bluegrass of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, to
wilder forms such as honky-tonk with Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb, rockabilly
with Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, and Nashville with Johnny Cash and Patsy
Cline. More recently, country music has taken such forms as country rock,
launched by bands like the Byrds and the Eagles, and mainstream and pop
crossovers, famously embodied by Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton, before coming
full circle with neo-traditionalists such as
From the earliest days to the latest artists, The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music tells the story of country music in words and pictures, with detailed information on the groundbreaking artists that helped to develop and expand the style. Organized chronologically by era, the introductory text to each chapter provides background information, while the Influences and Development sections place the music in its cultural context and discuss how it evolved during the period. A separate essay in each chapter features specific topics of discussion, such as how the film O Brother Where Art Thou? has encouraged a revival in the popularity of bluegrass. In addition, biographical sections focus on the key artists of each decade, detailing the key tracks and classic recordings of each artist, before exploring the lives of numerous other musicians and artists in an alphabetical listing. A comprehensive reference section also includes information on country instruments and equipment.
The accessible, informative text is accompanied by over 500 color and black-and-white photographs that paint a vivid picture of the people who have created and played country music throughout the years, and the transition from rural to urban environments that influenced its development. Written by a team of experts, The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music is an invaluable reference book for anyone whose imagination has been captured by the rich and diverse sounds of country.
Entertainment / Music / Classical
Debussy – The Quiet Revolutionary: Unlocking the Masters Series, No. 13, with CD by Victor Lederer (Unlocking the Masters Series, No. 13: Amadeus Press)
Debussy's music, some of the greatest composed in the twentieth century, also ranks among the century's most challenging. His influence on others was enormous.
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was famous before he was thirty and the extraordinary sophistication and refinement of his music would, in fact, later influence some of the world’s greatest composers – Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, and Olivier Messiaen included – notes author Victor Lederer in Debussy – The Quiet Revolutionary. Bartok, Stravinsky, Webern, Boulez, and Messiaen all freely acknowledged their debt to their groundbreaking predecessor.
Lederer, New York-based music critic and writer, in
Debussy – The Quiet Revolutionary explores Debussy's music,
pointing out subtleties that otherwise could take years of careful listening to
fully appreciate. He shows how the composer developed his own unmistakable sound
from a variety of musical inspirations, including folk, medieval, the musical
"It is clear when listening to Debussy that what one hears is beautiful, but its beauty turns out to be surprisingly hard to get one's ears around, and even harder to define," declares Lederer in Debussy – The Quiet Revolutionary.
Readers explore Debussy's unmistakable sound and its inspirations in Debussy – The Quiet Revolutionary, learning to appreciate the subtlety in his music. Each of the books in this series, of which this is the thirteenth, make it possible for reader/listeners to become astute at understanding beloved composers including Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Shostakovich, Monteverdi, Hayden, Dvorak, Mozart, Mahler and Wagner.
Entertainment / Sports
The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History by Jayson Stark (Triumph Books)
It's one of the oldest pastimes known to man, dating as far back as the invention of the wheel (somewhat overrated) and the discovery of fire (vastly underrated). But not until thousands of years later, with the arrival of baseball, did the overrated-underrated debate really fulfill its potential.
Baseball was virtually made for the debate. Whether readers are hardcore fans or casual observers, they almost certainly have been lured into a war of wits on the merits, or lack thereof, of a particular ballplayer, team, or record-setting achievement. Sports-radio-talk-show hosts are well-known instigators of these kinds of debates, as are baseball columnists, friends, ex-friends, or the complete stranger sitting three seats down at the local watering hole.
The O-U debate is so subjective that any argument could last for hours, regardless of the presence of statistical facts or hardball knowledge in the discussion. That was the case, that is, until Jayson Stark took it upon himself to end the debate once and for all in The Stark Truth – or, more likely, energize it for years to come. Stark, a baseball columnist and television analyst for the better part of the last three decades, attempts to identify the most overrated and underrated players of all time at each position. He'll be the first to admit that his selections will invite skepticism and even controversy, which is the very essence of the O-U debate.
Stark, senior writer for ESPN.com, formerly at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 21 years, is one of the best minds in baseball, someone whose reputation precedes him as knowing every aspect of the game. So when he says Phil Rizzuto is the most overrated shortstop of all time he doesn't just offer his opinion, he proves it with stats. An entire constellation of baseball stars are going to have a little of the shine on their careers taken away. Some of the players Stark ranks as overrated or underrated are: Babe Ruth, Nolan Ryan, Duke Snider, Derek Jeter, Frank Robinson, Andrew Jones, Pete Rose, Yogi Berra, and Sandy Koufax.
When I first knew Jayson Stark, he was often mistaken for Bernie Carbo, the erstwhile Red Sox outfielder. In a very short time, Jayson was himself unmistakable for his creative, thoughtful, human, humorous, and passionate writing that has made him one of the greatest of all baseball journalists. Everything he has done has been thoroughly researched and thought out, which is what makes his study of the most underrated and overrated players so fascinating. You know one thing as you open the book – that Stark will touch on things you never even thought about. – Peter Gammons, Hall of Fame baseball writer and ESPN baseball analyst
Jayson Stark has always, in my opinion, been the most underrated baseball writer since man started writing about the game. Of course, I may have been influenced a little by the fact that I'm in his book. Nevertheless, if this book doesn't end up in Oprah's Book Club, then Oprah's list is overrated. – Andy Van Slyke, underrated centerfielder, underrated back-jacket blurb writer, and current Tigers first-base coach
There is no one with more passion for baseball than Jayson Stark... Once you've read this book, you'll know why... – Mike Greenberg, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and co-host of ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning
One can be considered the best player of his time and still be overrated – or underrated – which makes The Stark Truth a fascinating journey into the greatest debate about the greatest game. Team loyalists will be intrigued to read Stark's rankings. Fans will be stunned to see their beloved heroes such as Ernie Banks and Joe Carter labeled as overrated and the nicknames tagged on them by Stark. The Stark Truth finally brings closure to this classic debate. Ha!
An Illuminated Life: Belle da Costa Greene's Journey from Prejudice to Privilege by Heidi Ardizzone (W. W. Norton)
What would you give up to achieve your dream?
Could you hide your secrets in the light of celebrity and notoriety?
These are some of the questions explored by Heidi Ardizzone, assistant professor of American studies at the University of Notre Dame, in An Illuminated Life.
An Illuminated Life reveals the secret life of the sensational
woman behind the J.P. Morgan masterpieces, who lit up
When Morgan hired Greene in 1905 to organize his rare book and manuscript
collection, she had only her personality and a few years of experience to
recommend her. Soon she was Morgan's confidante, responsible for shaping his
world-renowned collection of rare books and art. Famous in her time for her
self-made expertise, her acerbic wit, her endless energy, and her flirtatious
relationships, Greene was an enigma even to those who knew her well. She gained
access to a world that would have been denied her had her true story been known,
Belle da Costa Greene was born Belle Marian Greener, raised in a family of
color who had long been a part of
As told in
An Illuminated Life, Greene eventually reached a level of
professional stature that few women of her generation were able to attain. An
independent and impatient soul, Belle never married. Nevertheless, she did
become ‘hipped,’ as she put it in her customary slang, to a new man once or
twice a year and took several lovers.
Slightly exotic compared with the ‘old-stock’ Americans of western and northern European ancestry who worked and socialized with Morgan and his peers, Belle's physical appearance prompted much comment. Belle herself attributed her beige complexion to a Portuguese grandmother, like the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who were adding their southern and eastern European faces to the mixture of American ethnicities. Belle could not have achieved the social and professional prominence she did at the turn of the twentieth century had she been completely open about her background. She certainly could not have reached such heights without her quick wit, fearless persona, and extraordinary ability to handle millionaires, art dealers, scholars, and the occasional obsessed would-be or ex-suitor. Scholars estimate that thousands of people of mixed ancestry left communities of color to live as white every year in the early twentieth century. Had Belle followed her mother and siblings into historical obscurity, she and they would have been simply a few more anonymous members of this quiet response to segregation and racism. But when Belle met J. P. Morgan on that fateful day in 1905, she stepped out of obscurity and into history.
An Illuminated Life is not exactly a rags-to-riches story; Belle's childhood was not one of poverty. But she and her family did live with prejudice, even as a relatively comfortable family of color, or light-skinned ‘Negroes’ – the polite term of the time roughly equivalent to today's ‘African American.’ Her family's history includes enslavement and active struggle at first against slavery, then against segregation, and always against discrimination and racism. And she did not end up marrying riches, or even becoming independently wealthy – at least not by the standards of the Morgans and their ilk. But she certainly did achieve privilege. And she did so despite constant rumors about her ancestry and her identity.
Belle's emergence from nowhere into such an intoxicating existence evokes Americans' love of the self-made man – or woman, in this case – making her fortune through hard work, character, and ability. In this myth there are no insurmountable obstacles to wealth, no uncrossable lines dividing the democratic society. That there are so few examples of actual self-made men, and fewer still of women, illuminates the real power of social class to restrict opportunity. But it was a story many believed in, and Belle was one of them. In some sense she absolutely was a self-made woman, a success story of the promise of the American dream. But the patronage and protection of J. Pierpont Morgan and his son were crucial to her rise.
Belle's story is a compelling one for many reasons. The force of her personality alone explains her strong presence in the memories and imaginations of many who knew her and knew of her. Ardizzone in An Illuminated Life says she has, like many of her contemporaries and peers, succumbed to the vitality of Greene’s presence as it lingers in the stream-of-consciousness scrawl of her letters. The energy and personality that so many of her contemporaries marveled at leap off the page and reveal a woman who was constantly thinking and learning and seeking inspiration and new ideas.
An Illuminated Life focuses on Belle de Costa Greene's
background and experiences, on the social worlds and times she inhabited. Belle
grew up in the struggling elite community of people of color in
Belle lived in a series of social realities, moved in and out of different circles (sometimes permanently), and embraced complicated public identities. At the turn of the twenty-first century, hardly a public figure emerges without a written or televised biography explaining his or her personal and family background and its impact on his or her career or public activities. But in her generation Belle was not alone in scorning personal history as irrelevant, in destroying personal papers, and in maintaining very different public and private personas.
Her attitude on this issue throws some obstacles into the path of those who have tried to tell her story. Belle was remarkably successful in limiting and controlling publicity about her private life both during and after her lifetime. No published study of Belle exists. A number of essays and a few public lectures focus on her, and she appears in biographies of Morgan and the other great men in her life, most notably Bernard Berenson. The absence of more published information is due in no small part to her decision to burn all of her personal papers shortly before her death, in 1950. And, as her own protégée and friend Dorothy Miner wrote in her posthumous tribute collection, Studies in Art and Literature for Belle da Costa Greene, few of her intimates felt they really knew her well.
Belle took some secrets, especially about her early life and career, to her grave. And the friends and colleagues who knew her best have passed away. So too have her siblings, who might have been greatly affected had her story been told during their lifetimes. Belle was not completely successful, however, in destroying her papers. She left shelves full of her professional, and occasionally not so professional, correspondence in her records at the Morgan Library. A few key folders have disappeared in recent years, but the files are still a rich source. Moreover, since written correspondence was the main way people did business in the early twentieth century, she left thousands of letters in the files of dealers, curators, and scholars, many of which have since been archived. The bulk of these papers document Belle's daily work in acquiring, assessing, and making accessible the artistic and scholarly treasures of the Morgan Library, but some – in handwritten postscripts or letters that stood in for both professional and personal updating – contain clues to Belle's social life and experiences that are the focus of An Illuminated Life.
Most significantly Bernard Berenson kept a trunk of her letters – over six
hundred of them – dating from the period 1910-44. The bulk were written during
the initial years of their friendship, 1909-16, when the two maintained a
passionate although mainly long-distance love affair. These letters are a gold
mine of information about her social life, about her work, about the people and
events around her, about her own life and thoughts. Belle wrote so prolifically
and engagingly about
Through a combination of these letters, the professional papers kept at the Pierpont Morgan Library and her correspondence scattered through dozens of archives, as well as public records, memoirs of her contemporaries, and stories told by those who knew her, Ardizzone in An Illuminated Life derives the events and patterns not just of Belle Greene's life but of the many social circles and worlds she inhabited. Over the course of her life, she moved between and across lines of color, class, culture, nation, and world views. Perhaps most astonishingly, she also illuminated her inner world, where she lived ‘behind the curtain of my mind.’
Ardizzone's competent, complimentary biography explains the complicated,
glamorous woman who transcended her lack of formal higher education and
obfuscated her race to become head of the Pierpont Morgan Library and confidante
of the financial mogul who founded it. … the daughter of a civil rights activist
who was the first African-American man to graduate from Harvard College …
Although Ardizzone delineates the intricacies of major art transactions, she
devotes more space to the copious details of Greene's flamboyant personal life
than to assessments of the Morgan treasures that were her legacy. Still,
Ardizzone (coauthor, Love on Trial) showcases the impressive talents of a woman
who once wielded enormous power in
A splendid biography! – Kathy Peiss, author of Hope in a Jar: The Making of
Adrizonne's definitive biography unravels the mystery of the bi-racial woman who made herself a world-famous celebrity. – Carla Kaplan, editor of Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters
The contradictions of Greene’s life only serve to accent her achievements. Secretive yet constantly in the public eye, Greene is pure fascination – the buyer of illuminated manuscripts who attracted others to her like moths to a flame. That one woman lived in so many different worlds offers readers the opportunity to examine this moment in history through the eyes of an individual and watch a single person, a very singular person, navigate her way through the cultural shifts of communities and time. Ardizzone approaches this project with the gaze, experience, and tools not of an art scholar or a paleographer but of a social historian and a biographer. Greene’s world, and the many social circles she inhabited, comes through in An Illuminated Life.
Troubled Commemoration: The American Civil War Centennial, 1961-1965 by Robert J. Cook, with series editor David Goldfield (Making the Modern South Series: Louisiana State University Press)
After years of neglect, the Civil War centennial is finally gaining the recognition it merits from historians – not so much because of the intrinsic importance of the event itself but for what it tells us about the diversity, pliability, and openness to manipulation of American memory at a time when elite and popular anxieties over change were rendered acute by the country's ongoing battle against communism and the growing stridency of the African-American civil rights movement.
As told in
Troubled Commemoration, in 1957, Congress voted to set up the
United States Civil War Centennial Commission. A federally funded agency within
the Department of the Interior, the commission's charge was to oversee
preparations to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the central event
in the Republic's history. Politicians hoped that a formal program of activities
to mark the centennial of the Civil War would both bolster American patriotism
at the height of the cold war and increase tourism in the South. Almost
overnight, however, the patriotic pageant that organizers envisioned was
transformed into a struggle over the Civil War's historical memory and the
injustices of Jim Crow. In
Troubled Commemoration, Robert J. Cook, Professor of American
History at the
Cook shows how the centennial provoked widespread alarm among many African
Americans, white liberals, and cold warriors because the national commission
failed to prevent southern whites from commemorating the Civil War in a racially
exclusive fashion. The public outcry followed embarrassing attempts to mark
secession, the attack on
Forced to quickly reorganize the commission, the Kennedy administration
replaced the conservative leadership team with historians, including Allan
Nevins and a young James I. Robertson, Jr., who labored to rescue the centennial
by promoting a more soberly considered view of the nation’s past. Though the
commemoration survived, Cook illustrates that white southerners quickly lost
interest in the event as it began to coincide with the years of Confederate
defeat, and the original vision of celebrating
Although Cook in
Troubled Commemoration says he has been influenced by the
recent surge in scholarly interest in historical memory, his desire to write
what is, perhaps surprisingly, the first full-length study of the centennial
derives primarily from his preoccupation with the Civil War itself and the wider
black struggle for freedom and equality in the
Troubled Commemoration suggests that an assessment of this
under-explored event can contribute to a fuller understanding of the civil
rights struggle and the role of historical memory in the development of modern
America, especially the modern South. Chapter 1 probes the cold war origins of
the commemoration as well as the formation and initial organizing activities of
the United States Civil War Centennial Commission. Chapter 2 investigates white
southerners' relatively enthusiastic response to the commemoration with
particular emphasis on local celebrations of the Confederacy in Montgomery and
Jackson. By the spring of 1961 the centennial had run into trouble owing to the
federal commission's tolerance of segregated accommodation in Charleston, South
Carolina, the venue for the agency's fourth national assembly as well as a
grand reenactment of the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter that had
unleashed civil war one hundred years previously. The events and immediate
consequences for the centennial of the
A splendid scholarly treatment of the Civil War Centennial. It will be much admired for its careful and deep research and for its fairness of judgment and interpretation. This book will stand up for a long time as the standard treatment we have needed of this troubled and enlightening story. – David W. Blight, author of Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory & the American Civil War
Troubled Commemoration reveals the nation's unresolved ambivalence about the Civil War. A captivating study of mid-twentieth century American historical memory, this book is a sobering reminder of how historical experiences that could not be reconciled with the romance of the Civil War were ignored or silenced. While African Americans were shunted to the sidelines, the centennial became a pretext for fiery southern sectionalism, opportunistic tourism, and shrill cold war nationalism. But because of the efforts of a few historians and public intellectuals like Robert Penn Warren, who insisted that it was too important to be crassly exploited for politics and profit, the centennial also inspired some classic meditations on the lingering impact of the nation's bloodiest conflict. Cook's elegant book deserves a place among the best of those works. – W. Fitzhugh Brundage, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory
Cook has written a rich and judicious study of the contested, entrenched and
often tendentious recollections of the American Civil War, their purposeful
exploitation, and their limits, during the centennial years. Finely crafted and
engagingly readable, it makes a distinguished contribution to our understanding
of historical memory, the African American struggle for civil rights, and
domestic responses to the cold war. – Richard Carwardine, Rhodes Professor of
The first comprehensive analysis of the U.S. Civil War Centennial,
Troubled Commemoration masterfully depicts the episode as an
essential window into the political, social, and cultural conflicts of
Cultures in Conflict: The Seven Years' War in North America edited by Warren R. Hofstra (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.)
Cultures in Conflict addresses the broad pattern of events that
framed the causes of the Seven Years’ War – referred to in the
Edited by Warren Hofstra, Stewart Bell Professor of History at
The Seven Years' War was a pivotal event in the history of the Atlantic
world. Throughout this century and a half of writing and scholarship, the War
has been portrayed consistently as a military and imperial conflict. Yet, from
1754 to 1765, it touched – if not engrossed – the lives of practically every man
and woman in eastern
It is in this context, therefore, that Cultures in Conflict addresses the broad pattern of events that framed the causes of this struggle, the intercultural dynamics of its conduct, and its consequences for subsequent events, most notably the American Revolution and a protracted Anglo-Indian contention for the North American continent. Contemporary scholarship on the war, on ethno- and social history, and on cultural history provides the means to view it anew from the perspectives of all its major participants. Needless to say attitudes on the war varied considerably from different cultural vantage points provided by northern and western Indian groups and the varying experiences of European imperial authorities versus those of their colonial counterparts. In many instances the progress of the conflict was charted by cultural differences and the implications participants drew from cultural encounters. These encounters, their meaning in the context of the Seven Years' War, and their impact on its unfolding are the subjects of Cultures in Conflict.
Certainly the national cultures of
The authors in Cultures in Conflict plot their own ways through the oft-confused currents of contemporary historiography. In the final analysis this book is a blend of the new and the old. That individuals, institutions, and states act out of self-interest is an idea that retains its power in the essays that follow. The efficacy of culture to explain human action in history is also evident throughout. Thus, from the balance that each author strikes, arises a set of perspectives casting the Seven Years' War not as a conflict of cultures but as cultures in conflict.
The essays in
Cultures in Conflict originated as scholarly papers from a
conference on the Seven Years' War held at
Paul Mapp's "British Culture and the Changing Character of the
Jonathan Dull's close analysis of eighteenth-century European diplomacy and military policy similarly suggests that both the avoidance and the acceptance of war proceeded from fundamentally rational (or at least rationalized) causes: royal and ministerial calculations of advantage and anxieties concerning their own nations' vulnerabilities. Once undertaken, however, wars acquired a logic and a momentum of their own, creating consequences that echoed for decades in relations between states. Thus, Dull shows, French decisions to invade the Netherlands in 1744 may have been made ‘merely [as] military expedients’ but influenced British kings' and foreign ministers' attitudes and policies toward France for the next seventy years.
The cultural consequences of war and the exercise of state power in pursuit
of imperial ends emerge strongly as themes in the remaining essays in
Cultures in Conflict, all of which deal with North American
groups. In "War, Diplomacy, and Culture: The Iroquois Experience in the Seven
Years' War," Timothy Shannon assesses the cultural impact of the war on the
peoples of the Six Nations, and finds that they were remarkably successful in
avoiding the kind of devastation that the war visited on other Indian groups.
The Iroquois managed this feat by adhering to a policy of neutrality for most of
the war and then throwing in their lot with the British in 1759-1760, when an
active alliance could bring them decisive material and diplomatic rewards at the
lowest possible cost. In escaping the most direct adverse impacts of the war,
however, the Iroquois could not avoid its larger consequences, for the
Eric Hinderaker’s “Declaring Independence: The Ohio Indians and the Seven
Years’ War” describes the destructive consequences of the war for the native
peoples of the upper
Finally, Catherine Desbarats and Allan Greer offer a wide-ranging assessment of the war's impact on habitants who saw their lives upended by war and invasion and on the bi-national Canadian political culture that emerged from a world transformed by la guerre de la conquete. "The Seven Years' War in Canadian History and Memory" frames the cultural effects of the conflict in two intriguing ways. On one hand, it describes a tradition of scholarly writing on the war deeply divided by language and religious affiliation, charged with emotion and inflected by nationalist mythologies; on the other, it introduces the findings of the late demographic historian Louise Dechene concerning the war's effects on the people of the St. Lawrence Valley. Dechene's clear-eyed, empirical, and resolutely anti-mythologizing approach to the war illuminates the social character of the Canadian militia, the experience of military service, and even the terms in which the militiamen understood the conflict.
What the essays in Cultures in Conflict share is a new and promising approach to understanding the Seven Years' War and its significance in North American and Atlantic history. The insight on which these scholars base their work is that empires should not be undertaken merely as hierarchical administrative institutions that project power from a metropolitan governing authority to an imperial periphery, but rather ‘negotiated systems’ – inherently unequal partnerships that create ‘sites for intercultural relations’ and which express above all an attempt to impose and maintain order in a dangerous world. The unequal political relationships characteristic of empires survive because they provide tangible benefits in the form of trade, defense, governance, and so on; they create consenting political communities.
Cultures in Conflict is an exceptional collection of essays
from a diverse group of scholars. This book raises an intriguing set of
questions about early
Cultures in Conflict takes a dynamic, historical approach in which cultural context provides a rationale for the well-established military and political narrative of the Seven Years' War. The authors deliver the best of contemporary scholarship on social and cultural history, cutting six facets in the prism of the Seven Years’ War so that they view the conflict as it was perceived by its major participants: British, Native American, and French. The promise of the new imperial history, as these excellent essays suggest, is to show in high relief the ways in which the history of North America has been shaped by the quest for power and the need for order, no less than by the more easily celebrated values of enterprise, egalitarianism, and republican political culture. This collection of excellent and provocative essays goes beyond its original intention as a proceedings of a conference, and brings recent scholarship regarding the Seven Years’ War to a large public and professional audience.
Massacre at Camp Grant: Forgetting and
Remembering Apache History by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh (
I ran on up the side of the mountain, to the top, and stayed there. Some others who had gotten away were on top of this mountain also. It is called m-ba-ma-guśl-î-he. The sun was getting really low now. We stayed on top of this mountain all night. The next day one man went back to the place where we had been dancing. He found lots of dead Apaches there. – Sherman Curley, Apache survivor, recounted in 1932
The attack was so swift and fierce that within a half hour the whole work was
ended and not an adult Indian left to tell the tale. Some 28 or 30 small
papooses were spared and brought to
The Apaches, predominantly of the Aravaipa and Pinal bands, were living as
prisoners of war along Aravaipa Creek five miles east of
Thirty or more Apache children were stolen and either kept in
Massacre at Camp Grant weaves together the documentary record, Apache narratives, historical texts, and ethnographic research to provide new insights into the atrocity. Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Project Director at Anthropological Research, LLC, begins with the premise that every account of the past is suffused with cultural, historical, and political characteristics.
Few if any have denied the basic sketch of the event. But the rest is, as anthropologists are apt to say these days, contested. Accounts differ in details, tone, and perspective. They are also distinct in more subtle ways, such as the means of their recording and their selective use (or non-use) by later writers to craft stories of the massacre. But these differences, perhaps innocuous at first glance, provoke a series of unsettling questions: How is it that one event can result in such distinct accounts? What do these different versions say about how the massacre unfolded? Why do writers choose one source but not another? How is the past remembered, individually and collectively? Can we ever know what really happened? And why should it matter? Drawing from a range of sources, the book demonstrates the ways in which painful histories continue to live on in the collective memories of the communities in which they occurred. The differing accounts of a single event are examined in Massacre at Camp Grant to illustrate that history is not simply the accumulation of names and dates but is rather a strategy people use to make sense of where they have come from, where they are, and where they are headed. The differing fragments of information scholars use to understand the past reflect how every account is culturally, historically, and politically charged.
This volume reaffirms Colwell-Chanthaphonh's reputation as a voice to be
heard. His way of interweaving the differing perspectivess of the
This book is a little gem, a passionate and informed narrative about a
shockingly invisible chapter of western American history. – David Hurst Thomas,
Through interdisciplinary study,
Massacre at Camp Grant examines how history is used as a
political tool and engages those perspectives previously silenced to reveal the
complexity of the 1871 massacre. This powerful book is geared toward college
students and researchers, but it is not written to exclude the interested
general public – while building from a solid scholarly foundation, Colwell-Chanthaphonh
has written a concise book accessible to multiple audiences. It is not the final
word on the massacre but is meant to open a discussion, to foster a constructive
dialogue about the past. By paying attention to all of these aspects of a
contested event, he provides a nuanced interpretation of the cultural forces
behind the massacre, illuminates how history becomes an instrument of politics,
and contemplates why we must study events we might prefer to forget.
History / World / Science / Arts / Philosophy
Lost History: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers, and Artists by Michael H. Morgan, with a foreword by King Abdullah II (National Geographic)
Even if you must go all the way to
A thousand years ago, when London and Paris were muddy towns of 30,000, when
few Europeans could read and their continent was wracked by poverty and
superstition, Baghdad was one of the world's greatest cities with 2 million
people, a thought-center churning out higher math, proto-modern chemistry,
effective medical care and vast libraries that held the memory of civilizations.
In an era when the relationship between Islam and the West seems mainly
defined by mistrust and misunderstanding, we often forget that for centuries
Muslim civilization was the envy of the world. With a foreword by King Abdullah
Michael Hamilton Morgan reveals how early Muslim advancements in science and culture lay the cornerstones of the European Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and modern Western society. As he chronicles the Golden Ages of Islam, beginning in 570 A.D. with the birth of Muhammad, and resonating today, he introduces scholars like Ibn Al-Haytham, Ibn Sina, Al-Tusi, Al-Khwarizmi, and Omar Khayyam, towering empirical figures who revolutionized the mathematics, astronomy, and medicine of their time and paved the way for
Morgan is a former diplomat and journalist covering foreign policy issues, who created and now heads New Foundations for Peace, which promotes cross-cultural understanding and leadership among youth. Morgan's extensive experience in Muslim cultures informs much of his insight into not only Islam's historic achievements but also the ancient resentments that fuel today's bitter conflicts.
Juxtaposing scenes of modern life with related events of the past, Morgan
details how in magnificent centers of learning, from
It is hoped that this work will contribute to greater understanding of Islam by Westerners, and will help them to appreciate that just as our pasts have intertwined in constructive ways, so too can our futures. – King Abdullah II
Lost History delivers a missing link to the story of an interconnected world: the achievements of Muslim civilization and its influence on East and West. – President Jimmy Carter
Michael Morgan gives us a gift by restoring a history that has been lost for too long. Lost History should be read by every person who suspects that there is more to the story than the tired clichés of a ‘clash of civilizations’. – Edward L. Widmer, Director, John Carter Brown Library
In Lost History former diplomat Morgan offers his profound insight and presents a more complete view of Muslim culture – one that counters the current focus on war, terrorism and politics. As timely as it is telling, the book seeks to bridge the gulf of misunderstanding, misinformation and incomplete knowledge that plagues both sides in what is now called the ‘clash of civilizations’. Lost History affords Muslim pioneering leaders the credit and respect they deserve – and readers with a vibrant, vital story that resonates in its timeliness. It is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how early Muslim breakthroughs not only laid the cornerstones of the Renaissance, but how they reverberate today in computation, digital appliances, surgery and pharmaceuticals, film and books, modern universities and global commerce.
Home & Garden / Animal Care & Pets / Biographies & Memoirs
Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz (Villard)
Jon Katz is one of
In his memorable memoirs about life with his dogs, readers have followed
Katz's transformation from a suburban
Dog Days and it predecessor volumes also tell the story of a husband and wife as they grow and change over the years. It is a marriage in which two people love each other but sometimes want different things. In spite of the aches and pains brought on by his demanding lifestyle and days when Bedlam Farm truly lives up to its name (like the day Elvis pulled the fence down), Katz is sustained in all he does by his wife, Paula. And on timeless summer days and in punishing winter storms, he continues his meditation on what animals can selflessly teach humans – and what we in turn owe to them.
During his years at Bedlam Farm, Katz's menagerie of animals (and stories about them) has continued to grow. In addition to his yellow Labs and border collies, Katz now shares his life with his four donkeys Lulu, Fanny, Jeannette and Jesus; his barn cat Mother; the already mentioned steer Elvis; the cow Luna; Winston the Rooster; three hens; and a flock of sheep. In Dog Days, as the lazy days of summer arrive, Katz is able to reflect on the farmers and neighbors around him, the reassuring yet punishing rhythm of his daily chores on the farm, and the great rewards of mankind, animals, and land – as well as the mire of bugs, mud, manure, and chicken droppings.
Riding herd on the entire place is Rose, the workaholic border collie. Not
even Rupert, the ram, can intimidate her. As for
Not only has Katz written 16 books, he co-hosts Dog Talk on public radio,
freelances for a variety of newspapers and magazines, and operates the eponymous
Bedlam Farm in upstate New York – sometimes with his wife, but always with dogs
and chickens and sheep and even a few donkeys and cows. Readers familiar only
with Katz's suburban mystery novels will find that his farm memoirs set out to
do basically the same thing, bring order to chaos. … He has to balance his focus
on the farm with his relationship with his wife, who never particularly approved
of the farm idea, even if she supported his need to do it. Anyone who loves
animals or country life, but maybe can't have a pet or actually live in the
country, will find Katz a perfect armchair companion. – Publishers Weekly
"Trying to assemble a sort-of-heavenly city in
Just in time for the real Dog Days of Summer, Katz delivers a wonderful
memoir of living the life he always dreamed of on a rural, upstate
Home & Garden
Country Living Easy Transformations: Makeovers for Your Outdoor Spaces: Backyards, Decks, Patios, Porches & Terraces by Elizabeth S. Hamilton, from the Editors of Country Living (Easy Transformations Series: Hearst Books)
According to Makeovers for Your Outdoor Spaces, the outdoor room serves multiple purposes. It connects a home to its environment; creates a private space for residents and guests to enjoy the natural world; and encourages us to fully inhabit the space outside the house, whether we are strolling along a path, relaxing on a porch, or simply sitting on a bench contemplating patterns of sunlight and shadow.
The definition of an outdoor room is flexible, but, in essence, what makes an outdoor room recognizable as such is some way of defining the space that differentiates it from the rest of the outdoors – while still maintaining its harmony with the whole. This may be done with walls, floors, roofs, plantings, containers, furnishings, and accessories, alone or in creative combinations.
Where to begin is often the biggest challenge. In Country Living Easy Transformations: Makeovers for Your Outdoor Spaces, the editors of Country Living gather dozens of idea-filled gardens. There are welcoming porches, well-appointed patios, meandering paths, and secluded spots perfect for afternoon idylls. Every sector of outdoor space is eligible, regardless of its size and shape. Front yards, from the sidewalk to the front door are a great place to start, aiming for a welcoming approach to the house and a pleasing entryway. Side and backyard spaces, such as porches, patios, and decks, make appealing transitions from indoors to out. Outdoor rooms can also emerge as one moves farther away from the house, using paths and walkways that are essentially outdoor corridors, to partially or fully enclosed spaces framed by fences and walls. Freestanding structures give definition to expansive areas.
Makeovers for Your Outdoor Spaces shows readers how to transform any outdoor space – into a special retreat.
Some ideas include:
The outdoor rooms in Makeovers for Your Outdoor Spaces interpret the concept of ‘outdoor rooms’ in wonderful ways. They may inspire readers to transform their outdoor space into an integral part of the home. Whether readers have a small courtyard or acres of land, they will find easy ideas, lushly photographed, for creating perfect retreats.
Home & Garden / Animals & Pets / Children’s / Ages 8 & up / Sports
Jumping for Kids by Lesley Ward (Young Equestrian Series: Storey Publishing LLC)
Jumping a fence is one of the most exciting things you can do on horseback. It feels like flying! If you spend lots of time in the saddle, I'll bet that your riding goals include learning how to jump or improving your jumping skills. You may be interested in jumping at shows or learning to jump cross-country fences. Perhaps you want to teach your favorite horse how to jump. This book will help you.
Too often, we point our horse at a fence, give him a squeeze with our legs, and pray that he'll go over it. If you've been riding a while, you'll know this doesn't always work! Don't worry. This book will help you develop your jumping skills, so that you can help your horse when he jumps, not hinder him.
You'll start out by trotting over poles, move on to jumping single fences, and finish up by cantering confidently around show jumping and cross-country courses. And if you don't have any jumps at your barn to practice over, [Jumping for Kids] will teach you how to make some.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your helmet and gloves, shorten your stirrups a hole or two, and pick up a canter. It's time to jump! – from the book
Young equestrians dream of galloping toward a fence on their favorite horse
and sailing over it in one long, smooth leap. Jumping is one of the most
thrilling things young riders can accomplish on horseback and the ultimate goal
of countless horse-crazy kids.
Lesley Ward, editor of Young Rider magazine, interacts with young people and horses every day. She has witnessed the youngsters' enthusiasm for jumping, their courage in the saddle, and their thirst for knowledge and reliable advice. Responding to readers' letters asking for help with jumping problems, Ward covers the fundamentals of jumping safely and correctly in Jumping for Kids – a guide for children eight and up – from properly positioning their body in the saddle to jumping combination fences. Ward also coaches frustrated youngsters in working with their horses, guides trainers in problem solving, and even shows enterprising riders how to build their own jumps. The book includes cross-country, show jumping, training, poles and fences, and safety and gear. Full-color photographs, line illustrations, jumping diagrams, charts, sidebars and a calm, encouraging voice engage the child every step of the way – from building strength and confidence riding on the flat to jumping at a show.
Ward imparts enthusiasm and constant safety reminders along the way. Jumping for Kids is the fourth book in the award-winning young equestrian series – following Horse Care for Kids, Riding for Kids, and Horse Showing for Kids.
Photographs, diagrams, charts, and Ward's friendly, encouraging voice shows readers the fundamentals of safe jumping in Jumping for Kids. A complete learn-to-jump program, the book gives readers plenty of information to study at home after the day's lessons are over, in a easy-to-read, highly illustrated design. It is a resource young horse lovers will want to read and reread as they progress from jumping over hay bales at home to taking their first cross-country fences.
Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies
Fun with Chinese Knotting: Making Your Own
Fashion Accessories and Accents by Lydia Chen (Tuttle Publishing)
Knotting, or the joining of two cords to form symmetrical patterns, is an old and revered art form in
Today, breakthroughs in designs, materials and applications have rejuvenated the art of Chinese knotting, and have attracted a large following worldwide.In Fun with Chinese Knotting, author Lydia Chen, a leading authority and teacher of traditional Chinese decorative knotting, focuses on the use of Chinese knots as fashion accessories – hair ornaments, earrings, necklaces, pendants, brooches, belts, bracelets and anklets – and as accents on clothing.
The book contains full color photographs of the creative use of these decorative knots and the variety of materials that can be used, as well as step-by-step instructions, and diagrams to help readers in learning to make them. Nine basic knots, nineteen compound knots (more complex combinations and variations), and five tassel designs form the foundations for making the 135 knot formations illustrated in full color throughout Fun with Chinese Knotting.
Detailed instructions, clear diagrams, and beautiful color photographs illustrating the creative use of Chinese knots and the variety of materials used make Fun with Chinese Knotting easy to use and a source of inspiration for craftspeople, opening up a brand new world for creative and dedicated knotters. The book invitingly helps readers discover the relaxation, artistic satisfaction and beautiful personalized ornamentation that Chinese knotting has to offer.
Law / Human Rights / Political Science
Human Rights Watch World Report 2007 by Human Rights Watch (Human Rights Watch World Report Series: Seven Stories Press)
I haven't seen the report, but if they're saying we tortured people, they're
wrong. Period. – President George W. Bush, press conference,
Who will act as the world's human rights leader?
Written in straightforward, non-technical language,
Human Rights Watch World Report 2007 prioritizes events in the
most affected countries during the year. The backbone of the report consists of
a series of concise overviews of the most pressing human rights issues in
In the report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urges the European Union and developing democracies to step into the leadership role the
In 2007, there is no shortage of human rights crises requiring international
Human Rights Watch World Report 2007, the largest human rights
organization in the
In addition to director Roth's introductory essay on the leadership void, the volume contains three new essays: "Principled Leadership: A Human Rights Agenda for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon" by Peggy Hicks about how Kofi Annan's successor can succeed by treating human rights as an integral part of his job; "Globalization Comes Home: Protecting Migrant Domestic Workers' Rights," by Nisha Varia about the profound human cost of inadequate labor protections for migrant workers; and "A Shrinking Realm: Freedom of Expression Since 9/11" by Dinah PoKempner about the erosion of free expression norms worldwide since 9/11.
Roth has been at the helm of HRW since 1993. Previously, he was a federal
prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York
and the Iran-Contra investigation in
A wonderful report. An attempt to bring rationality where emotion tends to
dominate. –Simon Jenkins, former editor of The Times of London, speaking on BBC
Radio 4's Start the Week
The reports of the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) have become extremely important. . . . HRW has documented practically every aspect of the growing crisis in a series of detailed reports which have offered sensible recommendations. Cogent and eminently practical, these reports have gone far beyond an account of human rights abuses in the country. – Ahmed Rashid in The New York Review of Books
When Human Rights Watch, a respected organization that has been monitoring the world's behavior since 1978, focuses its annual review on America's use of torture and inhumane treatment, every American should feel a sense of shame. And everyone who has believed in the
The world's leading human rights organization's indispensable annual account
of global human rights abuses is the most probing review of human rights
developments available anywhere. Powerfully written, heavily researched, and
urgently needed – the 17th annual
Human Rights Watch World Report 2007 presents human rights
conditions in 70 countries across the globe. Highly anticipated and widely
publicized by the
Law Enforcement / Social Sciences
Policing the Wild North-West: A Sociological
Study of the Provincial Police in
The provincial police in
Policing the Wild North-West, the first comprehensive social
history of provincial police in western
Policing the Wild North-West concludes with an examination of the transition between federal and provincial responsibilities for policing in the two provinces, the reasons for the disbandment of the provincial police forces, and the broader issues of police development and the rationalization of policing in modern society.
The exploration of the professionalization process of the provincial forces in Policing the Wild North-West is organized around three general themes: (1) the professionalization of police forces; (2) the evolution in the objects of police control from the dangerous classes to serious crimes; and (3) the effect of the presence of police on the crime rates. These themes suggest that police institutions in modern societies have adopted the structure of bureaucratic administration; that is, policing has been increasingly conducted according to legal rules and procedures with reference to standards of universality and equity, regardless of ideological and political considerations and ethnic or moral preference.
Following these three themes, the study of the development of the provincial police forces in Alberta (APP) and Saskatchewan (SPP) during the period 1905-32 suggests that the professionalization of the provincial police was a result of the interplay between various social factors, including technical innovation, legal framework and government policy of emphasizing police efficiency and impartiality, and continuity between different police forces. Police continuity was very much reflected by continuity in personnel. This was a unique factor that can be attributed largely to the process of professionalization of the provincial police. When the provincial police were created in 1917, 62 out of a total 106 SPP members, including all the inspectors, were ex-Royal North-West Mounted Police (RNWMP) members. There were almost 100 ex-RNWMP members in the APP (when it was at maximum strength of 150). All APP officers, including the superintendent and inspectors were ex-RNWMP members. Using the RNWMP as a model, these former RNWMP officers organized the provincial police as a professional bureaucratic apparatus and emphasized the efficient and impartial enforcement of law. There was a professional tradition and a commitment to authority, as well as a belief in law and order, that ran through the successive western police forces. In terms of professionalism, the experience of the SPP with political interference was certainly a setback. The autonomy of the police requires a political culture that restrains politicians from manipulating the police to make it another political arm of government.
At the same time, the professionalization process of policing was also displayed by the shift of police work from controlling a class of people held to be inherently dangerous to controlling a class of behavior. This shift was highlighted in the transition from the federal police to the provincial police and the heyday of provincial control agendas. The transition was not only a matter of policies and agendas, but a question of changes in the level of serious crime in the West.
However, after the transition in the objects of control from the dangerous classes to serious crime, the police did not focus absolutely on serious criminals as emphasized by some historians. Police in the prairies still devoted a considerable proportion of their resources to the social services required by the lower segments of the population. Police often contended that social service was an important part of order maintenance. The professionalization of police services in favor of law enforcement tended to degrade the social service function of police. In other words, the specialization of the police function on crime control envisaged by police historians appears to have overlooked the importance of the police as a source of assistance – not in respect of the ‘dangerous classes’ as much as in respect of the ‘vulnerable’ classes. Professionalization seems to overshadow this dimension of the police role.
With the evolution of the police function, an association between crime rate and policing was considered as an important outcome of police professionalization. Due to the confounding effect of the changes in police regimes and social movements, there are difficulties in assessing the real effect of the police on crime rates. On the one hand, the police often used proactive strategies to suppress public disorder crime, such as drunkenness and disorderly conduct – especially when this was made a priority by prohibition politics. Frequently, the public regarded those caught up in these campaigns as hardly criminals at all. On the other hand, the police employed a reactive strategy to control serious crimes and criminals. Police action in these cases was initiated by the public and reflected public demands for protection.
In light of these two strategies, Lin in
Policing the Wild North-West argues that the labeling processes
governed the trends in control for public order offences. The arrests in these
categories were control driven while trends in crimes against persons and
property were ‘crime’ driven. The specific tests of crime trends in
The final observation about police professionalization based on this analysis is that the professionalization process was not completely linear. The professionalization of police reflected diffusion from different sources – technological changes, competing political agendas, and a continuity that might be more a matter of personnel than formal policy. At the same time, the public needs for policing were not entirely issues of crime control. Social service and order maintenance continued as elements of a professional police function. The mixed results of the impact of the police on the crime rate reflected the complexities of the services performed by police and complexities in the public's demand for different kinds of law and order.
All of the statistical analyses in
Policing the Wild North-West are included in the appendices,
making them easily accessible. The book is a comprehensive social history
analyzing the effects of the police on various social phenomena, especially the
active role they played in the settlement of western
Literature & Fiction / Historical
North River: A Novel by Pete Hamill (Little,
Brown and Company) It is 1934, and in Pete Hamill’s
When he saves the life of a gangster friend Eddie Corso, Italian hood Frankie Botts is not happy; Delaney can feel the threat to him and his grandson.
But slowly, as Rose and the boy begin to care for the good doctor, the numbness in Delaney begins to melt. Then the FBI shows up looking for Grace.
Hamill is a New York City writer through and through, having brought the city to life for millions of readers through his writings for the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, The New Yorker, and Newsday. He is the author of numerous previous novels, including the bestselling Forever and Snow in August and the bestselling memoir A Drinking Life. North River too, draws much from the city.
… In the dead of winter in the Depression year of 1934, Dr. Delaney knows the
cause of death was always life. … Soon the
… The time is the 1930s;
Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Anthologies
One Thousand Songs of Earth: A Lyrical Journey by Richard Ranier (Aventine Press)
One Thousand Songs of Earth is large collection of poems, the product, the magnum opus, of years of work by Richard Ranier, retired Flying Fortress commander in World War II. Ranier is also retired from a government career at which he won several awards and citations, establishing computer centers and integrated information and communication systems around the country; and who is now a full-time writer.
Beginning with traditional forms and progressing to grand levels of
experimentation, the poems in
One Thousand Songs of Earth cover a broad area of subject and
style, and present multiple meanings for personal interpretation. If read aloud,
their imagery tends toward the musical – hence the title. Many were composed in
retreat in the wooded mountains of
Environmental concern is woven throughout One Thousand Songs of Earth, as well as satire of the popular culture. The poet has followed the dictum of Archibald MacLeash, that "A poem should not mean, but be" – readers can see, feel, hear and live within, a piece, and often correlate it with a similar emotional or esthetic event of their own. This tangible sort of empathy can lead to, or entail, therapy in all sorts of situations, depending on need.
The poems in One Thousand Songs of Earth vary in their level of accessibility. Their breadth of subject matter is wide. Choosing at random, one could mention love (physical and spiritual, requited and unrequited), nature (birds, animals, woods, solitude. etc.), technology (pro and con), psychology, philosophy, music, mysticism, astronomy (especially the individual's personal enjoyment thereof), and on the darker side, grief (from loss of loved icons on the national scene to personal loss). Poetic technique is in evidence, including complex rhyme schemes, rhythm, assonance, dissonance, internal rhyme, free verse within form, interwoven. Meaning, or being, is paramount.
A 612-page compilation of short poems infused with vibrancy. The poems apply
to both traditional forms and experimentation, and speak to the gamut of human
feelings. Each is roughly the same half-page length, allowing a moment to dwell
on a specific reflection before traversing to the next. –
One Thousand Songs of Earth is a quintessential collection, not to put on the coffee table, but to be well-thumbed and worn, the poems being read as an enrichment of daily life. The poems' varying levels of accessibility make them adaptable to all ages of reader enjoyment, from teenagers up. Formidable in subject matter, diverse and sparkling with energy, these poetic gems allow for personal interpretation. Readers may profit from Ranier’s wide-ranging past, as his production is infused with variety, maturity, and a depth of human perception.
Literature & Fiction / World Literature / Biographies & Memoirs
Fever Vision: The Life and Works of Coleman Dowell by Eugene Hayworth, with a preface by Edmund White (Dalkey Archive Press)
Gene Hayworth has done his homework by interviewing surviving family members and friends and by reading early drafts and letters and everything unpublished that the estate has made available. …This is a cautionary tale, perhaps – though what it mainly seems to be cautioning us against is a sentiment that overtakes most people with time: disappointment. – Edmund White, from the Introduction
From his birth in rural
But Dowell was deeply troubled by a depression that hung over him his entire
life. Pegged as both a Southern writer and a gay writer, he loathed such
categorization, preferring to be judged only by his work. Written by Eugene
Hayworth, reference librarian for the
When Coleman Dowell jumped to his death on
Like many artists he was a hypochondriac. He feared he had AIDS or leukemia
or something else fatal. As if to tempt fate, this sense of imminent doom did
not make him work harder but rather drove him to fritter away his days cruising
Or Coleman entertained, if such a frivolous word can be applied to something
so grueling and something he so resented. Cole could turn a tea-party into
martyrdom. His dinners were his form of traveling; he went to
Like most alcoholics, Coleman alternated between grandiosity and
self-hatred. His grandiosity took the form of lies – about his origins, his
According to White, though Cole killed himself because his life so bitterly disappointed his childish expectations of it, fortunately for his art he never compromised in order to succeed in any vulgar way. He wrote a muscular, unstoppable prose; he invented passionate, tragic characters; he created places and moods that are often chillingly gothic. He constructed his novels to resemble Rubik cubes. He tested the boundaries of morality and even decency. He understood passion in all its life-denying forms. He brought together the quite different influences of William Faulkner and the Icelandic novelist Halldór Laxness.
Over a fifteen-year period Dowell published five novels and over twenty finely crafted short stories. One of the Children is Crying appeared in 1968, followed by Mrs. October was Here (1974), Island People (1976), Too Much Flesh and Jahez (1977), and White on Black on White (1983). The Houses of Children: Collected Stories was published posthumously in 1987.
As told in
Fever Vision, from 1962 until his suicide in 1985, Dowell made
it a habit to write daily. He developed a distinctive style by exploring and
experimenting with different facets of narrative technique. Unfortunately, he
has received little scholarly attention – Dowell is rarely mentioned or
anthologized. With the exception of book reviews and occasional pieces written
by colleagues, the critical response to Dowell's fiction has been sparse, even
though he enjoyed the praise and friendship of authors such as Gilbert
Sorrentino, John Hawkes, George Whitmore, and White, who continues to champion
Dowell's work, regarding Island People as a postmodern masterpiece. Though
ignored by mainstream readers, Dowell cannot be considered an obscure writer.
All of his books were reviewed, and, though he was not often discussed in the
media, he was featured on WGB’s Radio in Miami with host Bev Smith, filmed for a
television documentary shown in
The shift in his career from music to fiction came gradually. After two disappointments, Dowell decided to give up writing plays and turn his complete attention to fiction.
Dowell's first published story, "Alte Frau im Garten" dates from this time; Ruth Landshoff York translated the story into German and submitted it to Frankfurter Hefte for publication in 1962. Though this story is fairly uncomplicated, his later, more mature work draws upon many artistic and literary influences. From Faulkner he derives a reliance on southern culture and dialect, peppering his dialogue with expressions such as ‘I reckon’ and ‘you figger.’ Like T. S. Eliot he uses shifting perspectives. Although he does not always provide a linear narrative structure, Dowell provides anchors: repetition of imagery, setting, and time serve to ground readers. Specific techniques include narrative fragmentation, narrative within a narrative, multiple temporalities evoked by juxtaposition of varying verb tenses, and interior monologue.
Much of Dowell's work explores the psychology of the taboo in its evocations of incest, homosexuality, and pedophilia. His characters have been separated from society, and only through human contact can they find salvation. Core to his characters' relationships is the act of sex, which moves from oblique references to Millicent's lesbian lifestyle in One of the Children is Crying, through a pedophilic fantasy in To Much Flesh and Jabez, until it finally becomes the central theme in White on Black on White, the title of which Dowell explains in a quote from the book: "it's America fucking, twos and threes and mores, white on black on white." Even more than sexuality, the novels are concerned with the association between madness, creativity, and desire. They examine the power one person holds over another and reveal the multiple manners of human deception: by words, actions, and the failure to take action.
Some critics have situated Dowell's work in the style called ‘New Gothic,’
loosely defined as the evocation of psychological and spiritual horror and
suspense, often brought on by history's effects on the present. Dowell
embellishes this tradition further by placing his emphasis on dreams and the
imagination. Some of the themes of One of the Children is Crying reflects those
of Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. By depicting the decline of an
aristocratic family line, Dowell's characters Robin and
Dowell disrupts the traditional notion of authorial voice by creating characters who are themselves authors represented in the act of creating their own narrative. Every novel with the exception of his first examines the notion of fiction as a bridge between the writer and the imagined reader. The narrative unfolds in segments, offering multiple perspectives that do not provide factual insight, but add additional emotional levels, layer upon layer, serving, in Edmund White's words, as ‘nested, Chinese boxes,’ a term Dowell himself used in Island People to describe the fused consciousness of his main characters.
Although Dowell was reluctant to be considered a gay writer, since his death
his career has been most widely promoted in the gay press, including
biographical and literary pieces in such publications as The James White Review,
The Advocate, and
The themes and characters of Dowell's fiction are intertwined with the fact and fiction of his life. Although some readers might find anti-Semitic, anti-feminist, and anti-religious rhetoric in these works, Dowell asks readers to look beyond those labels to examine the individual's role within these groups. Ultimately, he turned his animosity toward such group mentality. Social change can occur, Dowell suggests, not through any assembled movement, but only through individual action. He was not a gay writer, or a WASP writer, or a Southern writer – he was a writer.
Fever Vision describes one of the most tormented, talented, inventive, and least recognized writers of recent American literature, and shows how his eventful life contributed to the making of his incredible art. He is worth getting to know.
Literature & Fiction / World Literature / French / Philosophy / Existentialism
The Development of Camus's Concern for Social and Political Justice:
“Justice Pour Un Juste” by Mark Orme (
The ideal of justice has preoccupied innumerable philosophers, political scientists, and moral theorists over the ages and, today, the subject remains fundamental to ethical debate. The French intellectual Albert Camus (1913-1960) is a man whose life was devoted to justice, yet that devotion, which has not yet been significantly analyzed by critics, underwent significant changes in the different phases of his life and under pressure of external events.
The aim of The Development of Camus's Concern for Social and Political Justice is to explore the reality of Camus as a man imbued with the ideal of justice, as exemplified in the whole range of his non-fictional writings that relate to the subject, against the background of the historico-political and moral challenges of the mid-twentieth century. Chronological, the book evaluates the evolution of Camus' lifelong preoccupation with sociopolitical justice, as expressed in his essays, journalism, articles, speeches, notebooks, and personal correspondence, where the writer's own concerns come directly to the fore.
Three main phases of Camus' consideration of the concept are examined by
Mark Orme, Principal Lecturer in Languages and International Studies at the
The Development of Camus's Concern for Social and Political Justice is the first in-depth account in English of the development of Camus' concern for justice as a moral problematic. It will be of interest to students, researchers, and lecturers of French studies, politics, social history, and philosophy, who require an understanding of how contemporary leading French intellectuals responded to the moral and political challenges in the mid-twentieth century. The work is also intended as a core text for both undergraduate and postgraduate levels exploring French Existentialism from literary, philosophical, and sociopolitical perspectives.
Literature & Fiction / World Literature / British
Shakespeare and Co.: Christopher Marlowe,
Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher and the Other Players
in His Story by
From one of our most distinguished Shakespeare scholars,
Shakespeare and Co. is an anecdotal work of forensic biography
that firmly places Shakespeare within the hectic, exhilarating world in which he
lived and wrote.
Theater in Shakespeare's day was a burgeoning ‘growth industry.’ Everyone knew everyone else, and they all sought to learn, borrow or steal from one another. As Stanley Wells, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the
Wells explores Elizabethan and Jacobean theater, both behind the scenes and in front of the curtain. He examines how the great actors of the time influenced Shakespeare's work. He writes about the lives and works of the other major writers of Shakespeare’s day and discusses Shakespeare’s relationships – sometimes collaborative – with each of them.
The actor of the time in general, and the great stars of Shakespeare's company in particular, occupy the second chapter, and Shakespeare's fellow dramatists occupy the succeeding six. Marlowe receives the most notice among Shakespeare's early peers, Jonson among the later ones. Chapters are organized around Dekker, Middleton, Fletcher, and Webster because each collaborated with Shakespeare.
And throughout, Wells shares his vast knowledge of the period, re-creating
and celebrating the sheer richness and variety of Shakespeare's social and
Shakespeare and Co. gives readers a new understanding of how the Bard achieved unparalleled singularity as the greatest writer in the language.
The chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, general editor of the
Fascinating… An enthralling work of popular scholarship. – Robert McCrum, The Observer
Comprehensive and colorful… This is illuminating, well-planned and suggestive work, not only for those readers who have little acquaintance with the subject, but also for those already familiar with it. One of the greatest gifts of this book… is to re-astonish readers with the simple fact of the newness of all this. – Min Wild, The Independent on Sunday
A valuable contribution to popular Shakespeare scholarship… A feat of synthesis… Each page is dense with well-chosen information and sensible, sensitive interpretation. – Peter Wentworth, The Literary Times Supplement
This collaborative Shakespeare makes a refreshing change from the autistic monarch of the stage… With its lightly worn learning and its refreshing argument, this is a rewarding and readable book. Anyone who wants to understand Shakespeare will learn from it. – Colin Burrow, Evening Standard
Eminent Shakespeare scholar Wells presents a fascinating and lively biography firmly locating Shakespeare within the world of Elizabethan England. Shakespeare and Co. gives readers a new understanding of how the Bard achieved unparalleled singularity as the greatest writer in the language.
Mysteries & Thrillers
Bangkok Haunts: A Novel by John Burdett (Knopf)
Sonchai Jitpleecheep – the devout Buddhist Royal Thai Police detective who
led readers through the best sellers
He is watching a snuff film. And the person dying before his disbelieving eyes is Damrong – a woman he once loved obsessively and, now it becomes clear, endlessly. And there is something more: something at the end of the film that leaves Sonchai both figuratively and literally haunted.
While his investigation in Bangkok Haunts will lead him through the office of the ever-scheming police captain, Vikorn (“Don’t spoil a great case with too much perfectionism,” he advises Sonchai); in and out of the influence of a perhaps psychotic wandering monk; and eventually into the gilded rooms of the most exclusive men’s club in Bangkok (whose members will do anything to protect their identities, and to explore their most secret fantasies), it also leads him to his own simple bedroom where he sleeps next to his pregnant wife while his dreams deliver him up to Damrong …
… Expertly juggling elements that in lesser hands would become confused or
hackneyed, Burdett has created a haunting, powerful story that transcends genre.
– Publishers Weekly (starred review)
… Burdett's Bangkok may be the most vibrant landscape of any in current crime fiction, and Sonchai – an improbable mix of West and East, the fact-seeking investigator meets the tranquil Buddhist, at ease with contrary realities – is certainly the genre's most intriguing sleuth. – Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)
So rich with intellect and humor, with Thai atmosphere and Buddhist philosophy, even a denizen of Planet Yin may find herself bewitched and amused . . . Sonchai’s narrative is awash in a unique combination of mysticism and irony. – Marion Winik, Newsday
First-person is a magic act most authors can’t work [but] Sonchai Jitpleecheep is, by contrast, as complex – and as conflicted – as his culture …Bangkok Haunts is a dreamy, dirty, remarkably nuanced book, a jewel half-buried in sordid earth, yet still aglitter. – David Fulmer, Paste magazine
Not for your Agatha Christie-loving maiden aunt, but good grisly fun for those who like their noir rated NC-17. . . The story, narrated in Sonchai’s urbane voice is filled with intriguing nuggets of Buddhist wisdom and custom and graced by brief but telling appearances of recurring characters . . . Burdett holds our attention throughout a breezy tale reminiscent of the late, great Ross Thomas’s Byzantine Asian-inflected capers. – Kirkus Reviews
Ferociously smart and funny, furiously fast-paced, and laced through with an erotic ghost story that gives a new dark twist to the life of our hero, Bangkok Haunts does exactly that from first page to last. This is a blistering new novel.
Mysteries & Thrillers
Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan (Del Rey)
From Richard K. Morgan – award-winning author of Altered Carbon, Market Forces, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies – comes a new stand-alone, near-future thriller in the tradition of William Gibson and Philip K. Dick.
In Thirteen, Morgan gives readers a new and unforgettable antihero in Carl Marsalis: hybrid, hired gun, and a man without a country ... or a planet.
Marsalis is one of a new breed ... literally, the subject of a failed
government program to produce a more deadly military fighter. Genetically
engineered by the
Lucky for him, his ‘enhanced’ life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skills to bring in a fugitive. But his prey is no common criminal. He's another Thirteen… and certain government officials have a different plan for Marsalis, one that will turn his talents toward their own nefarious ends.
Can Marsalis remain sane – and alive – long enough to succeed?
This stellar new stand-alone from Morgan, known for his compelling future
noir thrillers (Altered Carbon, etc.), raises tantalizing questions about the
nature of humanity. Future governments have used genetic manipulation to create
subhumans twisted to fit specialized tasks. Normal people are intrigued as well
as repulsed, but they instinctively dread variation thirteen, an aggressive,
ruthless throwback to a time before civilization. …Morgan goes beyond the SF
cliché of the genetically enhanced superman to examine how personality is shaped
by nature and experience. Marsalis is more empathetic than the normal people
around him, but they can see him only as an untrustworthy killer. At the same
time, surveying corrupt, fractured normal society, the novel questions whether
the thirteens are just less successful at hiding their motives. Without slowing
down the headlong rush of the action, the complex, looping plot suggests that
all people may be less – or more – than they seem. – Publishers Weekly (starred
Carl Marsalis, a genetically engineered soldier (a ‘variant thirteen’), is busted out of jail to help track down a serial murderer who escaped from the Mars colony and crash-landed a spaceship into the ocean – but not before killing and eating everyone onboard. Now the psychopath is on a rampage … . Published in
Morgan brings to his work a rare combination of weighty science fiction ideas, hard-boiled yet elegant writing, and characters that leap off the page. Part of a new generation of talked-about speculative fiction writers who are reshaping and recharging science fiction, Morgan's latest is at the same time fast-paced, gritty, and elegant, and there is little doubt that Thirteen will be one of the most popular science fiction books to come out this year. Oh, and it has one of the most frightening yet compelling bad guys readers will ever encounter in a book.
Politics / Social Sciences / Reference / Journalism
Exporting Press Freedom by Craig L. LaMay (Transaction Publishers)
International media assistance is a small but important form of international
democracy-promotion aid. Media assistance boomed after the 1989 transitions in
Many media in developing countries have been or are grant-dependent. When grants are exhausted or withdrawn, media that were funded to further democratic consolidation typically wither and die. Some become mere grant chasers. Others abandon public service to the demands of market competition, or political patronage. As a result, governmental and non-governmental grant makers now emphasize the need for sustainability in considering grants in the media sector. Many grant recipients have grown frustrated, sometimes bitter, and have sought to take a much more active role in the way assistance programs are put together.
Written by Craig L. LaMay, journalist, assistant professor at
Exporting Press Freedom focuses on a problem of central significance to both governmental and non-governmental organizations active in international media and democratization projects, namely, how free and independent public affairs media are supposed to sustain themselves – servicing their editorial mission while also paying their bills – particularly in countries where they face a hostile legal or political system on the one hand and the demands of the consumer marketplace on the other. Assistance providers and recipients alike want to know what works: What kinds of projects enhance media independence and professionalism, and which are able to sustain themselves after initial funding sources are exhausted or withdrawn?
The term ‘media assistance’ covers a lot of territory. The U.S. Government
Accountability Office, for example, uses the term to include the so-called
‘public diplomacy’ programs that have traditionally been run out of the
Department of State since the end of World War II – the Voice of America, Radio
Liberty, the many Radio Free services and other, sometimes clandestine broadcast
programs. This second type of assistance is more recent and is the subject of
Exporting Press Freedom. In its official form,
Such assistance also furthers
Exporting Press Freedom is about the dilemma of sustainability
in media assistance programs. The trick is finding adequate economic support for
an editorial mission that contributes to democratic processes and to democratic
Exporting Press Freedom understands the problems of media
assistance primarily but not exclusively as economic ones. It looks at the
joined problems of economic viability and editorial quality from the point of
view of journalists in developing democracies. The economic dilemmas unique to
news production are common to all open societies, but arguably they are
especially critical in developing countries since the way in which they are
resolved there will have a great deal to say about the course and character of
democratic progress and consolidation.
Exporting Press Freedom is both descriptive – based on
first-hand reporting in Southeast and
In so far as the problems faced by media assistance are both conceptual and
operational, the chapters in the book attempt to distinguish them in that way.
Chapter 1 is a more complete discussion of the financial-editorial dilemma. To
that end, the chapter takes as its central narrative the experience of El
Periodico and Nuestro Diario, two very different newspapers founded in
Chapters 4 through 5 employ examples from developed and developing countries
to examine more closely the editorial and financial challenges faced by the
would-be media system architect. The first of these, discussed in chapter 4, is
essentially an editorial problem: What is the nature of the relationship between
media and civil society in developing democracies, and what does that
relationship suggest about media, their likely revenue sources, and their
long-term economic viability? The subject is important because both aid
providers and recipients commonly link media assistance to civil society
promotion, rhetorically and programmatically. Chapter 5 discusses at greater
length the economics of news and the unique problems associated with
information goods. It takes as its central case study the piecemeal
Finally, chapter 6 looks at several developing-country operational responses
to the financial/editorial dilemma. On the one hand it looks at media
organizations of different types: an online newspaper in
Chapter 6 also looks at two innovative media assistance providers. The first is the New York- and Prague-based Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF); the second is the Gaborone-based Southern Africa Media Development Fund (SAMDEF). Both organizations work essentially as venture capital firms that make below-market loans to quality news and public-affairs media in countries where, for whatever reason, demographic consolidation is stalled or incomplete, or where the market for independent media is severely compromised. The idea in every case is for the participating news organizations to wean themselves from grants and donations entirely and to become full and competitive participants in their markets – that is to say, financially independent. What makes these two organizations unique in the field of media assistance is their commitment to their clients; the award of a loan instead of a grant fundamentally changes the relationship between provider and recipient from one of donor/supplicant to a partnership. The funder takes a long-term interest in the financial and programmatic health of the recipient, which to pay back the loan must develop greater financial discipline and more strategic management.
The usefulness of the assistance models developed by MDLF and by SAMDEF is not universal. Without question, in many parts of the world where democratic transition has yet to take hold or is in retreat (and where, among other things, loans cannot be secured), grants, technical and material media assistance are much needed and in short supply. Elsewhere, however, the MDLF/SAMDEF model provides a good operational benchmark for linking editorial mission to financial performance. As importantly, what these organizations do in transition societies where markets are fragile and political life unstable could also be effective in established democracies where, because of media consolidation, the economic environment for editorially independent media is also hostile. According to Exporting Press Freedom, journalists everywhere who are committed to dispassionate coverage of news and public affairs increasingly find themselves working in media environments that neither encourage nor value their work. In that respect, the discussion about media sustainability, in whatever form, concerns everyone.
The profiles of news and public affairs media in Exporting Press Freedom exemplify strategic and entrepreneurial approaches to developing and supporting public service media. Such approaches may be of use not only in the developing world, but in the consolidated Western democracies as well, where concern has grown about poor journalistic performance and its consequences for democratic governance.
Nevertheless, the book will be of primary use to assistance providers and recipients, both of whom want to know what works – which projects enhance independence and professionalism and which are able to sustain themselves.
Politics / Socialism / Exposés / Biographies & Memoirs / Leaders & Notable People
Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him by Humberto Fontova (Sentinel)
Who was Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara?
MYTH: International man of the people. Humanitarian. Brave freedom fighter. Lover of literature and life. Advocate of the poor and oppressed.
REALITY: Cold-blooded murderer. Sadistic torturer. Power-hungry materialist.
Terrorist who inspired destruction and bloodshed through
Nearly four decades after his death, it’s impossible to avoid the image of
Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara everywhere from T-shirts to cartoons. Liberals consider
Guevara a revolutionary martyr who gave his life to help the poor of
The reality, according to Cuban exile Humberto Fontova in Exposing the Real Che Guevara, is that Guevara was not really a gentle soul and a selfless hero. He was a violent Communist who thought nothing of firing a gun into the stomach of a woman six months pregnant whose only crime was that her family opposed him. And he lusted after material luxuries while cultivating his image as a man of the people.
Fontova, who left
Exposing the Real Che Guevara is based on interviews with survivors of Guevara’s atrocities as well as the American CIA agent who interrogated Guevara just hours before the Bolivian government executed him. Fontova interviewed the few people still alive who interacted with Guevara and are free to tell the truth about him. For example, he relates how Guevara: promoted book burning and signed death warrants for authors who disagreed with him; made racist statements about blacks; persecuted gays, long-haired rock and roll fans, and religious people; and loved material wealth and private luxuries.
By the end of the preface, Fontova in Exposing the Real Che Guevara has pinned 14,000 executions on Guevara and credited positive portrayals of the man to the public relations work of Fidel Castro and to the laziness of biographers.
Fontova gets right to the work of debunking familiar notions of Argentinan revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. … Presenting a failed physician, an inept guerrilla and a hapless sycophant, Fontova adds insult to injury by claiming Che was ‘deathly afraid to drive a motorcycle.’ Fontova's charged language keeps things interesting, if occasionally dubious; … Though propaganda probably colors any consideration of this controversial figure, Fontova makes a convincing case that, in the words of one former political prisoner, "There was something seriously wrong with Che Guevara." – Publishers Weekly
Exposing the Real Che Guevara is a highly critical, even inflammatory, biography of the iconic communist revolutionary, and a self-described ‘expose’ of the liberals who lionize him. Does make you wonder why Angelina Jolie sports a Guevara tattoo.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / African-American / Reference
True to Our Native Land: An African-American New Testament Commentary – general editor Brian K. Blount, with associate editors Cain Hope Felder, Clarice J. Martin, & Emerson B. Powery (Fortress Press)
As the first African American commentary on the New Testament, True to Our Native Land addresses the unique historical, social, cultural, religious, and political realities that have shaped the Africa American experience of the Bible. This volume answers a call, long voiced in African American churches and the academy alike, for a resource that can facilitate and empower a more passionate and critically informed engagement with the biblical legacy.
True to Our Native Land sets biblical interpretation firmly in the context of African American experience and concern. Scholarship in tune with African American churches calls into question many of the canons of traditional biblical research and highlights the role of the Bible in African American history, accenting themes of ethnicity, class, slavery, and African heritage as these play a role in Christian scripture and the Christian odyssey of an emancipated people.
The Editors include Brian K. Blount, President of Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond; Cain Hope Felder, Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at the School of Divinity, Howard University; Clarice J. Martin, Jean Picker Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Colgate University; and Emerson B. Powery, Associate Professor of New Testament at Lee University, Cleveland, Tenn. Contributors include the volume editors and Brad R. Braxton, Michael Joseph Brown, Gay L. Byron, Allen Dwight Callahan, Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Larry George, Thomas L. Hoyt Jr., Cleophus J. LaRue, Lloyd A. Lewis, James Earl Massey, Guy Nave, James A. Noel, Rodney S. Sadler Jr., Boykin Sanders, Thomas B. Slater, Abraham Smith, Mitzi J. Smith, Raquel St. Clair, Monya A. Stubbs, Demetrius K. Williams, and Vincent L. Wimbush.
True to Our Native Land includes full-color galleries that
offer windows into African American art and
According to the editors of True to Our Native Land, there is no single African American perspective, particularly now in the twenty-first century, when African Americans are located everywhere on the U.S. economic, social, political, and religious landscape. Yet there are consistent and unique historical, social, cultural, religious, and political realities that influence the ways African Americans approach the biblical text. The authors of True to Our Native Land drawn from those realities as they have done their interpretive work and theologically thought through historical and cultural lenses often received skeptically by mainstream theologians. The editors explain that all communities read from their space, interpret text in ways that are meaningful for their space, and hear sermons preached and lessons taught listening for themes that will be applicable to their space. Any church, and the scholars and clergy who lead it, that does not operate biblically from its own context – its own space – is not a church that operates in an objective, historical manner; it is a church that adopts the contextual perspective of some other interpretive community. In so doing, such a church privileges that other community as though that other community were the gatekeeper to accurate biblical interpretation. True to Our Native Land listens for New Testament themes that speak to African American space.
True to Our Native Land is about more than raising a critical,
intellectual and interpretive challenge. It is also about filling a void. The
black church remains one of the most spiritually vital, politically successful,
economically powerful, and socially transformative institutions in the African
American community. And it is, as it has always been, most profoundly biblically
based. The weekly church attendance rates of African Americans stands at 43
percent. Clearly, African Americans who make up 12.8 percent of the total
It is most intriguing, then, that in the many centuries from that ‘red letter’ year of 1619, when the first African slave was officially driven onto American soil at Jamestown, to 2006, not a single one-volume commentary on the entire New Testament from the African American perspective has ever been produced. As readers of True to Our Native Land will see, African American interpreters now bring questions from the African American space that shape new and provocative meanings from all the ancient texts. This commentary, like all one-volume commentaries, provides reflections on each of the separate New Testament books in canonical order.
True to Our Native Land begins, however, by first considering several broad thematic issues sparked by questions generated from the African American space. Certainly, for an African American, the matter of slavery is one of utmost historical importance. The biblical story not only fostered the hopes of the famous heroes of the tradition like Harriet Tubman, but generated the apocalyptic fervor of preachers like Nat Turner, and sustained the physical as well as spiritual being of millions of unnamed Africans enslaved on American soil. How could a volume envisioned by those who live in their courageous wake not ask questions about the matter of slavery in the early Christian church? Mitzi J. Smith offers the historical observation that slavery in the early church, as reflected through the New Testament writings, must be understood against the backdrop of Greco-Roman slavery in general. She concludes that "ancient Roman slavery ideology that required absolute submission and unyielding loyalty from slaves and freed persons is reflected in the New Testament." Reading through their own historical lens, African American interpreters have either directly challenged such texts and the thinking behind them, or reinterpreted such texts through the lens of more liberating New Testament materials.
Thinking even more broadly, but still about the first-century period in which Christianity found its genesis, Rodney Sadler considers the place and role of Africa and African imagery in the New Testament, introducing readers to a significant African presence that has previously been invisible to many African American churchgoers.
Knowing that the history between the writings of Paul and the sensibilities of the African American community has often been strained, Abraham Smith explains why and offers a rich introduction into the ‘enigma’ of Paul and his place in African American text interpretation. In the end, he suggests, the ‘outsider’ apostle has much to offer a people too often relegated to the American margins.
Vincent L. Wimbush begins his article on alternative hermeneutical approaches by critiquing commentary projects like True to Our Native Land because the very form limits how readers can approach the topics. By definition, he notes, commentaries force interpreters to read not from their own context, but from the reconstructed context of the text itself. He challenges readers "to think differently about and orient ourselves differently around interpretation." This is a task the authors of the commentary sections of True to Our Native Land have gladly undertaken. Though the editors maintain the form of commentary, they attempt to break through the limits established by that form in just the way Wimbush exhorts – by orienting their interpretations around their own African American selves.
Raquel St. Clair narrates how race, class, and gender have intersected in the context in which womanist scholars engage the New Testament materials. Cleophus J. LaRue surveys the work of African American preachers and finds that when they are at their imaginative best, they recognize that it is not only their own context, but also that of those who hear the word that is important. And finally, James A. Noel recognizes that a cultural investigation of the New Testament is not limited to the written word. He explores, with the aid of fine examples of African American art, how African American folk culture has operated through artistic inspiration to bring rich, new meanings to the biblical story.
The commentary sections in True to Our Native Land follow a similar, though not uniform structure. Each chapter reflects on the designated text with the affirmation that African American space matters, presenting the special theological and ethical emphases that the biblical book receives from an African American perspective. These emphases play a significant role in influencing the questions the authors ask of the text and, therefore, the answers the authors receive. The bulk of each chapter is commentary on the biblical book. Short bibliographies for further study are also provided.
Because African American space matters in the work of biblical
True to Our Native Land pays tribute to the highly trained
African American interpreters of the New Testament who are now working in
universities, seminaries, and churches across the
From the intellectual heart of the African American churches comes this path-breaking commentary, True to Our Native Land, that provides bold interpretation and cutting-edge scholarship from the African American space, scholarship calling into question many of the canons of traditional biblical research and highlighting the role of the Bible in African American history.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity
Brand Jesus: Christianity in a Consumerist Age by Tyler Wigg Stevenson (Seabury Books)
When Christ becomes a commodity, who suffers?
Will the church remain faithful or allow a society consumed with consumerism to package their Savior like just another brand?
Brand Jesus, the author argues that American Christianity,
especially evangelicalism, has been corrupted by the dominance of consumerism in
modern life. The church's mostly uncritical adoption of this secular condition
has resulted in an idolatrous morphing of the message of Christ into just
another brand. With
Brand Jesus, Tyler Wigg Stevenson, a preacher and writer who
has served in the chapel at Yale and as Associate Minister at
Using Paul's letter to the Romans as a starting point, Stevenson 'reads' the
letter to today's church, speaking to our consumerist situation through the
parallels with Paul's
"The body of the American church has been seized by Brand Jesus, which seeks to kill us." Wigg Stevenson challenges. "And this evil spirit will not be expelled by our continuing to do church business as usual. Our trusted methods, the old stand-bys – they will fail. It is business as usual that has opened us to such peril. No, this kind can come out only by prayer and fasting."
"I hope [Brand Jesus] can serve as a wake-up call for the American church," writes Stevenson. "We have turned the lifelong activity of faith into the commodity of belief. And in the marketplaces of our churches, from the humble roadside stands to the gleaming ‘Christian lifestyle center’ shopping malls, we hock [sic] our product: that best-selling, inexpensive, factory-made, lifestyle-enhancing, identity-defining, eternal-lifegiving, easy-to-use, soul-stain remover – Brand Jesus."
With passion and uncommon insight,
Brand Jesus exposes the death grip of consumerism, which
pollutes our society and compromises our faith. This is a welcome and timely
book. – Randall Balmer, author of Thy, Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right
Distorts the Faith and Threatens
Brand Jesus is a wonderfully nuanced, thoughtful and
compassionate epistle to the
Based on the biblical book of Romans, Brand Jesus helps contemporary Christians live faithfully within an irretrievably consumerist society. I for one want to submit my life to the challenge this book offers: the challenge of conforming our lives to Christ rather than culture. – Bruxy Cavey, Teaching Pastor, The Meeting House, and author of The End of Religion
In this remarkable and compellingly readable book, Tyler Wigg Stevenson tears the mask off the god of consumerism. This book will make you look at your world and at your Bible with different eyes, with realism and yet also with hope and courage. – Christopher J. H. Wright, author of The Mission of God and International Director Langham Partnership International
Tyler Wigg Stevenson’s skillful biblical exegesis and astute cultural
observation delivers a critical message to the Christian church, exposing an
insidious virus that drains authentic faith of its significance – namely
consumerism wrapped in the name of Jesus. – Bruce D. Main, author of Spotting
the Sacred, and President of UrbanPromise Ministries,
Brand Jesus issues a provocative challenge for Christians to read Paul's letter to the Romans in light of current American society, stop to consider the issues, and return to a faith of integrity.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / History /
The Expansion of Evangelicalism: The Age of Wilberforce, More, Chalmers and Finney by John Wolffe (A History of Evangelicalism Series, Vol. 2: Intervarsity Press)
The Expansion of Evangelicalism provides an account of
evangelicalism from the 1790s through the 1840s in British and American
An account of the impact of revivalism is followed by discussion of
spirituality and worship, and the place of evangelicalism in the lives of women,
men and the family. Written by John Wolffe, professor of religious history at
The Open University in
As Wolffe tells it in
The Expansion of Evangelicalism, in the beginning of the
nineteenth century the
Meanwhile, evangelicalism had also taken root in much harsher social and
geographical landscapes, where it was witness to more rough-edged expressions of
Christian conviction. In the bleak industrial valleys of northern
The Expansion of Evangelicalism Wolffe gives particular
attention to the question of slavery. The concluding coverage of the 1846
This is a superb social history of the evangelical movement in the
English-speaking world from 1790 to 1850. It offers a panoramic overview of the
movement as a whole, as well as a series of focused snapshots of its leading
personalities, institutions, spiritual qualities, corporate worship practices
and social outreach efforts. Wolffe's sure hand and multiple lenses have
produced an attractive album, which is both critical and compelling, of the
Anglophone family of evangelicals. – Douglas A. Sweeney,
The Expansion of Evangelicalism shows how a protean network of movements for conversion and renewal moved from the margins of English-speaking societies toward their centers. Evangelicals took on new burdens, culminating in campaigns for the abolition of the slave trade and then slavery itself. John Wolffe makes deft use of the profuse historical scholarship on evangelicalism to tell a very complex story with grace and wit. – Joel Carpenter,
The Expansion of Evangelicalism provides an authoritative account of evangelicalism from the 1790s to the 1840s, making extensive use of primary sources. Wolffe skillfully balances British and American developments with other parts of the world. A clear, compelling narrative, rich with detail that never loses sight of the main plot, it will excite history buffs, students and professors, and readers interested in the development of evangelicalism.
Accessible to a wide range of readers, the volumes in this series provide not only factual details but also fascinating interpretations of a movement that is still influential today. The five-volume series, A History of Evangelicalism, seeks to integrate the social and intellectual history of a diverse yet cohesive Christian movement over the last three hundred years. The associations, books, practices, beliefs networks of influence and prominent individuals which descended from the eighteenth-century British and North American revivals all come into view. Projected and published volumes in the series include:
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology
The Priority of Christ: Toward a Postliberal Catholicism by Robert Barron, with a foreword by Francis Cardinal George (Brazos Press)
For a long time, Christians have tried to bridge the divide between
Christianity and secular liberalism with philosophizing and theologizing. In
The Priority of Christ, Father Robert Barron shows that the
answer to this debate – and the way to move forward – lies in Jesus.
According to Barron, (STD, Institut Catholique de Paris), professor of systematic theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, the argument of The Priority of Christ begins, in line with postliberal instincts, not with general religious experience, nor with the supposed universal truths of reason, but with Jesus Christ in all his specificity. Whereas most of the major liberal theologies of the past two hundred years – Friedrich Schleiermacher's, Ernst Troeltsch's, Rudolf Otto's, Paul Tillich's, Karl Rahner's – commenced with some grounding experience deemed to be trans-cultural, this postliberal theology commences with what Hans Urs von Balthasar referred to as the concretissimus, the stubbornly particular Christ. Unlike most modern Christologists, Barron neither searches for the religious experience of which Jesus supposedly gives privileged expression nor seeks to uncover the ‘historical’ Jesus underneath the Gospel portraits. Rather, he presents an ‘iconic’ Christology, one that takes seriously the dense particularity and spiritual complexity of the picture of Jesus as it emerges in the New Testament narratives. Barron shares Balthasar's intuition that one must approach Jesus in an attitude of contemplative love, allowing the object of one's contemplation to control the gaze of the mind. Accordingly, he explores nine ‘icons’ or sacred scenes from the Gospels, organizing them under the headings of Jesus as Gatherer, Jesus as Warrior, and Jesus as Lord.
Next he develops a christo-centric epistemology. He argues that Christians know and seek knowledge in a distinctive way, precisely because they take the narratives concerning Jesus Christ as epistemically basic. If all things hold together in Christ, then the deepest truth of things must become fully intelligible only through Christ. He sets this understanding against both great forms of modern epistemological foundationalism: John Locke's brand of empiricism and Rene Descartes' subjectivism.
In the fourth major section of The Priority of Christ, Barron develops the themes he has already given: God's Trinitarian nature and the unique mode of divine existence vis-à-vis what is other than God. He places special focus on the issue of primary causality and secondary causality in relation to both nature and the will, arguing for the non-interruptive co-inherence of God and the world. He also examines the metaphysics of the gift as it applies to God's rapport with creation. Precisely because God does not need the world, God is capable of an utterly selfless gift on behalf of the other, breaking the rhythm of economic exchange that effectively undermines ordinary gift giving. The sheer graciousness of God's presence to the world becomes the ground for our participation through love in the divine life. Throughout this section, his concern is to demonstrate the uniquely noncontrastive transcendence of the God disclosed in Jesus Christ.
In the final section of
The Priority of Christ, Barron shows the ethical implications
of this christo-centric metaphysics. Departing from both Kantian deontologism
and a too abstract and rationalistic construal of the natural law, he develops a
densely christological ethic, one that flows from the biblical portrayal of the
way of being characteristic of Jesus. He paints icons of four saints who, in
various ways, participated in the new life made available in Christ: Therese of
Lisieux, Katharine Drexel, Edith Stein, and Mother Teresa of
Just as Flannery O'Connor saw the struggle between the Misfit and the grandmother as both tragic and an occasion of grace, so Barron sees the battle between liberal modernity and nominalist Christianity as, at the same time, frustrating and hopeful – frustrating because both combatants are exhausted, worn out, and wounded from the struggle, and hopeful because in the very fruitlessness of the fight, both sides have come to appreciate their common need for a savior. In The Priority of Christ Barron presents this savior, the God-human Jesus Christ, and explores the ramifications of his coming for both the grandmother and the Misfit, for both a decadent Christianity and a reactive modernity.
By displaying how an imaginative human spirit can be illuminated by the
manifold sense of scripture, as well as activating tradition to dissolve
lingering philosophical distractions, this stunning summa for a 'postliberal
Catholicism' will at once subvert any tendency among the faithful to demand a
facile 'fix' as well as offer lucid direction for anyone daring to undertake a
pilgrimage of understanding – in and with the Christ. – David Burrell, C.S.C.,
Catholic theology stands at a foundational moment, and in this extended
meditation on the figure of Christ. Robert Barron boldly argues for a
Catholicism that rethinks the controversy between modern and postmodern thought
through such classic theological formulations as the controversy between Aquinas
and Duns Scotus on the being of God. Broad in reference and informed by the
The Priority of Christ will be an important contribution to a
conversation the Church must have. – Richard A. Rosengarten,
Drawing deftly on Aquinas, Newman, Lonergan, Balthasar, and many others,
Barron convincingly explains what a postliberal Catholic theology might be. But
the great merit of this book is that he not only talks about what theology
should be, he actually does it – above all in his lucid mystagogy on a series of
Gospel stories, and in striking meditations on the mind of Christ embodied in
four great women saints of our time. – Bruce Marshall, Southern
The Priority of Christ reintroduces the pure and unadulterated savior to a weary and needy humanity. Barron transcends the usual liberal/conservative or Protestant/Catholic divides with a postliberal Catholicism that brings the focus back on Jesus as revealed in the New Testament narratives. Barron’s classical Catholic post-liberalism will be of interest to a broad audience including not only the academic community but also preachers and general readers interested in entering the dialogue between Catholicism and postliberalism.
Religion & Spirituality / Hinduism
What is Hinduism?: Modern Adventures into a
Profound Global Faith from the Editors of Hinduism Today (
In the Western world a personal spiritual life is different than religion. Religion is practiced on Sunday mornings, or weekend masses. Even more ambiguous is Hinduism's diversity; it envelops any and all other religions. It is a conglomeration, a family, of many different faiths and practices that share essential characteristics. It does not focus on any single god such as Christ or Buddha, or a single system of beliefs or doctrine; it is a complexity unified under one umbrella called Hinduism.
The editors of Hinduism Today magazine have gathered articles from more than
twenty years of publication and harmonized them into
What is Hinduism?. Guided by the founder, Satguru Sivaya
Subramuniyaswami, the magazine's editors, who are initiated monks of the
The ‘Educational Insight’ features were conceived to dispel myths and illumine key aspects of Hindu wisdom, esoteric knowledge, teachings, culture and practices. They quickly became popular, appreciated for their concise explanations that and for their rich visual designs.
The best of those works, 46 of these features, a treasury on all aspects of
Sanatana Dharma, are assembled in
What is Hinduism? for Hindus and non-Hindus alike to discover
the culture, beliefs, worship and mysticism that is
… Its expected audience is those who are Hindu already, with articles
including "How to Win an Argument with a Meat-Eater," "Raising Children as Good
Hindus" and "Hinduism, the Greatest Religion in the World." … The back of the
book features a brief glossary of Sanskrit and English terms, and a very funny
assembly of cartoons about Hinduism. Although the guide will best be appreciated
by readers with some knowledge of Hinduism, all will enjoy the personal stories
and lavish illustrations sprinkled throughout. – Publishers Weekly
The editors of Hinduism Today magazine have gathered articles from more than ten years of publication and harmonized them into this book. It is an entertaining mix of hip, modern, and traditional information about the world of Hinduism. … What is Hinduism? is a lush repository; it will appeal to all ages and especially those looking for clarity and insight. – Foreward Magazine
What is Hinduism? brings readers the heart and soul of Hinduism in colorful pages with abundant cultural photographs and rich artwork framing the pages. The result is a colorful, smart, enlightening and reader-friendly resource. The articles contain clear, concise explanations. Bringing these features (now chapters) into one volume extends the insights and provides answers to the question, what is Hinduism? The material will appeal to a variety of seekers, especially to those interested in yoga, meditation, mysticism, ecology, alternative medicine, vegetarianism, non-violence, the New Age, philosophy and sociology.
Science / Biology
Spiders: Biology, Ecology, Natural History, and Behaviour by Fred Punzo (Brill Academic Publishing)
If you wish to live and thrive,
Let a spider run alive.
In mythology, folktales, and nursery rhymes the spider is portrayed in
various ways, from an entity that receives the souls of man after death, to an
omen of sinister future events. According to Frank Punzo in
Spiders, in some cultures it was believed that spiders could
tell us what the weather would be like or provide us with medical potions.
Arachnophobia seems to be present to some degree throughout the
Spiders covers many aspects of the biology of spiders, including morphology, physiology, neurobiology, ecology, evolution, classification, natural history and behavior. The physiology of all major systems is covered (integument, digestion, excretion and osmoregulation, neurophysiology, respiration and metabolism, circulation and hemolymph), as well as the biochemistry of spider silk and venom. Behavioral topics include foraging, dispersal, anti-predator tactics, nest and web construction, learning, communication and social interactions, including cooperative behavior. Topics on physiological ecology, habitat selection, diet composition and community ecology are also addressed. Additional topics include spider systematics and evolution, as well as the role of spiders in mythology and literature.
Author Punzo, Dana Professor of Biology at the
Punzo says his fascination with spiders started in early childhood and has never abated. He became interested in animal life at an early age and, with sweep net in hand, spent many hours collecting insects. His net presented him with a wide variety of shrub and grass-dwelling spiders, many of which wound up in glass jars in his basement. Later, one of his junior high school science teachers placed a large wolf spider in a respirometer and showed the class how its rate of oxygen consumption was related to the ambient temperature.
As a graduate student Punzo says he had his first opportunity to participate
in field trips to the deserts of the southwestern
His experiences with arthropods in their natural habitats was supplemented with a wealth of information provided by many scientific papers and books written by naturalists, ecologists, taxonomists, physiologists, and ethologists, that dealt with many aspects of spider biology.
Because of the amount of research that has occurred over the last decade Punzo felt that the time had come to incorporate new findings into book form. Chapters in Spiders include:
The book also includes appendices on families of spiders and clutch sizes, a glossary, a bibliography, and 28 full-color plates.
In Spiders Punzo has written a book that covers most aspects of spider biology, as well as various aspects of behavior. It is never an easy task on a subject such as this, given the limitations imposed by the size of a book, to decide what topics to discuss and the depth to be given to each topic, but Punzo has risen to the challenge to cover the broad body of literature that exists on spiders. Spiders will be of use to professional biologists and students, as well as to general readers who have an interest in spiders.
Science / Physics / Cosmology / History & Philosophy
The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe by Michael Frayn (Metropolitan Books)
What do we really know? What are we in relation to the world around us? In The Human Touch, the acclaimed playwright and novelist Michael Frayn takes on the great questions of his career – and of our lives.
Frayn is the author of ten novels, including the bestselling Headlong, a New
York Times Editor’s Choice selection and a Booker Prize finalist, and Spies,
Frayn in The Human Touch sets out to make sense of our place in the scheme of things. Our contact with the world around us, Frayn demonstrates, is always fleeting and indeterminate, yet we have nevertheless had to fashion a comprehensible universe in which action is possible. But how do we distinguish our subjective experience from what is objectively true and knowable? Surveying the spectrum of philosophical concerns from the existence of space and time to relativity and language, Frayn attempts to resolve what he calls ‘the oldest mystery’: the world is what we make of it. In which case, though, what are we?
Frayn has a surprising grasp of science, mathematics, philosophy, psychology and linguistics. As he shows, humankind, scientists agree, is a tiny and insignificant local anomaly in the impersonal vastness of the universe. But, essentially, he exposes the human scaffolding propping up what we like to think of as a detached, neatly ordered universe.
What would that universe be like if we were not here to say something about it? Without human beings, there would be no words or language. Would there still be numbers, if there were no one to count them? Or scientific laws, if there were no words or numbers in which to express them? Would the universe even be vast, without the very fact of our smallness and insignificance to give it scale? All of Frayn’s novels and plays have grappled with these essential questions; in The Human Touch he confronts them head-on.
British playwright and novelist Frayn has nursed a serious interest in
philosophy since studying it at
Michael Frayn, renowned playwright and novelist, has written a long and ambitious book on the relationship between the objective world and the human mind. … The book begins, ominously, with quantum theory, and Frayn reiterates the popular, but misguided, view that this branch of physics demonstrates the dependence of the material world on the consciousness of the observer. … although measurement can change the state of what is measured, it simply does not follow that the state has no reality independent of the act of measuring.
Frayn also claims that the selectivity of attention shows that what we
perceive depends on us, as when you focus on a bird in flight and ignore the sky
behind it. But this rests on confusing the world as it appears to us with the
world as it is in itself, a confusion that runs through the entire book.…
Frayn's subjectivism is also self-refuting. If everything depends on the
observer, what about the observer herself? Isn't she at least a determinate
reality? We can't confer form and substance on the world, resolving its inherent
indeterminacy, unless we have it to begin with. … – Colin McGinn, The
… Readers looking for tidy answers will find none. But those looking for exciting intellectual vistas will find them here. In a science that spans galaxies and eons, Frayn finally discerns the remarkable magic of the human imagination here and now. A rare work illuminating both the syntheses of art and the rigor of science. – Bryce Christensen, Booklist (starred review)
Frayn is always an engaging writer, and here he excels at bringing his reader along... An exhilarating intellectual journey. – Lisa Jardine, The Times (London)
As a primer in where we are up to, these days, vis-a-vis the universe... could hardly be bettered. – The Observer (
Relaxed but lucid, profuse but engrossing. You couldn't hope for a more elegant foray into the fundamental questions of philosophy. – Evening Standard (
Frayn the philosopher proves just as enlightening and entertaining as Frayn the playwright and novelist in The Human Touch. Shimmering with wit, charm, and brilliance, this work of philosophy sets out to make sense of our place in the scheme of things. Essential questions of human understanding and behavior have been a driving force behind Frayn's novels and plays; in The Human Touch he turns his attention directly on them with impressive results.
Social Sciences / Archaeology / Anthropology
The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent edited by Colin Haselgrove & Rachel Pope (Oxbow Books Limited, distributed in the U.S. by The David Brown Books Company)
The Earlier Iron Age (c. 800-400/300 BC) has often eluded attention in
British Iron Age studies. Traditionally, researchers have been enticed by the
wealth of material from the later part of the millennium and by developments in
Edited by Colin Haselgrove, School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester and Rachel Pope, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, the twenty-six papers in The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent seek to establish what is now known (and not known) about Earlier Iron Age communities in Britain and their neighbors on the Continent. The contributors engage with a variety of current research themes, seeking to characterize the Earlier Iron Age via the topics of landscape, environment, and agriculture; material culture and everyday life; architecture, settlement, and social organization; and with the issue of transition – looking at how communities of the Late Bronze Age transform into those of the Earlier Iron Age, and how we understand the social changes of the later first millennium BC. Geographically, The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent brings together recent research from regional studies covering the full length of Britain, as well as Ireland, across the Channel to France, and then over the North Sea to Denmark, the Low Countries, and beyond. Chapters and their authors include:
According to Haselgrove and Pope in
The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent, recent
adjustments in absolute dating – ending the Ewart Park phase of the British Late
Bronze Age metalwork industries in the ninth century BC and starting Hallstatt C
in mainland Europe around c. 800 BC – only serve to emphasize the archaeological
void created in many areas of north-west Europe by the cessation of large-scale
bronze hoarding and abandonment of certain other long-lived practices and site
types. At the same time, the explosion of developer-funded archaeology in
The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent has its
origins in a seminar held in December 2001, at the University of Durham, to
review the Earlier Iron Age in Britain in the light of these developments – and
at the same time to set the insular evidence for the period c. 800-300 BC in a
wider chronological and geographical perspective by inviting papers on the Late
Bronze Age and from scholars working on mainland Europe and the Atlantic
fringes. A number of contributions have since been added to address other topics
and especially to enhance coverage of northern
According to the editors in the introduction to The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent, a major shift in Iron Age studies in the last ten years – and one that works against the application of structuralist theory – has been towards increased theoretical understanding of the complexity of human action. In most post-processual accounts, the ‘everyday’ has been seen as being dominated by agricultural and domestic tasks and routines, matters traditionally overlooked by the grand narratives of trade, settlement hierarchy and Celtic society, but the time has come to widen the approach. This also means rethinking the use of datasets and, in particular, putting more emphasis on material culture studies. Analyzing changes in ceramic assemblages, for example, can provide insights into the cooking of food, diet and site function, which in turn may lead us to an understanding of other social practices, such as feasting. At the same time, researchers are beginning to realize the potential of approaches integrating artifacts, ecofacts and settlement evidence – so often the domains of different specialists – in a landscape perspective. Serjeantson, for example, notes how residues on pottery in various assemblages are supplying evidence for dairying strategies, which can also be linked to on-site facilities for keeping animals and storing food. Important too are traditions of deposition, both ritual and more normative; these small-scale events provide an increasingly rich picture of past human action.
As well as a heightened appreciation of the real fluidity both of settlement and landscape, the turn toward social theory has seen a move away from static models of behavior. A simple left/right division of Iron Age domestic space has been found wanting when tested against other, more detailed evidence, while boundaries are treated not as static components of the landscape, but rather as multi-phase monuments with evidence for turf lines and individual dumping episodes. Following the seminal work of Hill, a more sophisticated understanding of ritual practice is being incorporated into studies of the everyday, and is now influencing research design in the field. Several papers in The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent comment on the need for a more thorough approach to the archaeological record; Pope stresses the need for more critical use of analogy. Important, too, is Giles' work on identity and practice, which hopefully heralds an increasingly sensitive approach to the material.
There is a growing awareness of the importance of integrating published and
unpublished data, as in Champion's work in
The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent, what
has become apparent is the real shift towards a landscape perspective in
settlement studies that developer-funded archaeology has made possible. This is
especially valuable when attempting to identify presence/absence of settlement
and the varying use of upland and lowland landscapes, and because it can reveal
evidence for aspects of Earlier Iron Age behavior, which have hitherto escaped
detection. One of these is disposal of the dead. Giles has suggested that
cremations may have been added to Earlier Bronze Age barrows well into the
Earlier Iron Age. Readers should also bear in mind that burials were only a part
of more complex funerary rituals in which the performers acted out specific
practices and used objects we find today to convey particular meanings to the
participants and observers. We may lack the actual burials in
The existence of specialized ritual sites during the period – from Ballachulish to Fiskerton – is another topic that merits attention. Equally, as Bradley and Yates note, researchers have been far more successful in showing that hillforts were used for ritual purposes than in working out who lived there. While researchers now have a better perspective on the relevance of hillforts to the British Iron Age as a whole, we should not overlook the fact that, in the areas where they do exist, many of the biggest questions confronting Earlier Iron Age studies continue to revolve around the social role of hillforts.
Many papers recognize the need for a multi-scalar approach, integrating local- and regional-level studies with broader narratives of social change. As Sorensen neatly puts it: ‘life is the tension between its smallest detail and its largest expression’. She calls for different scales of analysis in Iron Age studies to address small-scale domestic routines and larger-scale trends. This is recognized by Wigley, who highlights both the general similarities between systems of earthworks and more subtle, local differences, by which we may begin to recognize specific communities. Henderson too, sees ‘regionalism and local distinctiveness occurring within an overall shared cultural milieu’, while Needham stresses the need for a broad understanding of pottery developments alongside detailed analysis of small-scale variations in ceramic form, with the wealth of social and cultural information this can provide. Sharples returns to earlier work linking variations in the Later Bronze Age pottery and metalwork record to a tiered system of exchange networks at domestic, regional, and pan-European scales.
While researchers such as those in The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent are making progress in understanding the Earlier Iron Age as a period in its own right and in its different regional manifestations across Britain and the near Continent, a last lesson to emerge from the papers is that more scholars need to be prepared to bridge the current divide between Bronze Age and Iron Age studies. Not only will this lead to a clearer understanding of the process whereby one social system was transformed into another, but, much more significantly, it will help us to develop longer-term perspectives on key topics such as anthropogenic and climatic impact on the environment, the monumentalisation of place, and structured deposition, which transcend the conventional period boundaries.
The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent, the
abandonment of bronze was but one aspect of change in the basic social value
system of people in
There was continued growth of local communities with activities such as feasting perhaps ensuring the successful integration of larger social groups. By implication, labor and resources were pooled beyond the level of the household. A key concern throughout the Earlier Iron Age was with food production and storage, with a self-sufficient mixed farming economy based on sheep-farming and arable production. It was not until the end of the period that we see signs of population growth and the beginning of a return to upland landscapes.
The transition from Earlier to Later Iron Age social forms seems to have been relatively swift. New settlement types appear in many areas by the later fourth century BC and the density of sites began to increase rapidly. There was a greater attachment to place, alongside an increasingly bounded landscape, and a process of agricultural intensification began, although not reaching its zenith for another century or two. Artifact assemblages reveal a resurgence of regional exchange and craft production. While the emphasis was still on community, there was now also more individual expression, with a rapid growth in display architecture at both enclosure and household level. Alongside this was an increasing tendency to subdivide social space – especially at communal sites – which might reveal the desire to separate off different activities or groups of people, either of which would provide a locus for the future growth of new identities in the face of continued population increase.
The papers in
The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent seek to
establish what we now know about Earlier Iron Age societies in
Arts & Literature / Biographies & Memoirs
Peeling the Onion: A Memoir by Günter Grass, translated by Michael Henry Heim (Harcourt)
Memory likes to play hide-and-seek, to crawl away. It tends to hold forth, to
dress up, often needlessly. Memory contradicts itself; pedant that it is, it
will have its way. When pestered with questions, memory is like an onion that
wishes to be peeled so we can read what is laid bare letter by letter. It is
seldom unambiguous and often in mirror-writing or otherwise disguised. …
The onion has many skins. A multitude of skins. Peeled, it renews itself; chopped, it brings tears; only during peeling does it speak the truth. What happened before and after the end of my childhood knocks at the door with facts … and demands to be told now this way, now that, and leads to tall tales. – from the book
Peeling the Onion is the story of a life. Of a childhood in
In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass
remembers his early life, from his boyhood in
At age ten, he joins the Jungvolk; at age fifteen, volunteers for the Navy, but is rejected. "A believer till the end ... with untroubled, unquestioning fervor" – that is how Grass saw himself in Peeling the Onion in his own rearview mirror. Two years later, he was drafted and assigned to the Waffen-SS, as a tank gunner. He was sent to the Eastern Front in the spring of 1945.
Taken prisoner by American forces as he was recovering from shrapnel wounds,
he spent the final weeks of the war in an American POW camp. There, he spent
time taking abstract cooking classes (no ingredients, just words) and playing
dice with a pious fellow prisoner, a Bavarian by the name of Joseph.... Could it
have been Joseph Ratzinger? And it was there that, in disbelief, he first saw
Released from camp, Grass hit the road – working deep underground in a mine
After the war, Grass resolved to become an artist and moved with his first
Grass is a daring writer, and he has always been a daring man. He remains a hero to me, both as a writer and as a moral compass. – John Irving
[A] hotly emotional and complex work . . . the best account I know of
surviving, and growing up in, chaotic, pauperized
Grass's powerfully evocative memories are spellbinding. – Publishers Weekly
Grass has written a memoir of rare literary beauty ... filled with striking poetic imagery ... [Grass's] best works – such as The Tin Drum, Cat and Mouse, Dog Years, and probably his memoir, too – will be read long after the political polemics, not to mention the current storm over his belated confession, have been forgotten. – Ian Buruma, The New Yorker
A riveting memoir. – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
If people want to judge [Grass] then let them judge. But first they should
read his book....
Peeling the Onion is one of Grass's most accessible and
engaging works. – The Times (
Peeling the Onion is the amazing story of a life and a memoir
of unsurpassed literary brilliance. Full of the bravado of youth, the rubble of