We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

September 2007, Issue 101

Contents of Issue:

Arts & Photography / Computers & Internet / Graphic Design

Hands-On Digital Photography: A Step-by-Step Course in Camera Controls, Software Techniques, and Successful Imaging by George Schaub (Amphoto Books)

George Schaub, editorial director of Shutterbug and eDigitalPhoto magazines, says, "Digital photography can have a steep learning curve." Schaub, who has spent years teaching digital photography in universities and workshops around the country, has developed a method he feels works well for novices and more experienced photographers. Schaub puts that method into print in Hands-On Digital Photography, a guided and interactive tour to help photographers get the most from the digital photography experience whether they are using an SLR or a standard digital camera. Schaub's approach is to present projects to help readers learn as they work with their camera.

In these easy-to-follow projects, Schaub discusses how digital photography allows greater creativity; file formats and how they affect post-exposure processing; how to choose resolution and compression ratios; exposures for the best digital images; camera menus; RAW file format; in-camera exposure adjustments; and in-camera contrast adjustments. Included are complete descriptions of standard camera functions, explanations of the most common image-processing software features, and examples illustrated with before-and-after comparisons.

Hands-On Digital Photography is divided into three main sections:

  • Understanding the Digital Image explains the basics of picture elements, file formats, color, contrast, RGB channels, resolution, resizing, and resampling.
  • In-Camera Controls helps readers master camera controls, including SLRs, for shutter speed, metering, exposure, aperture and depth of field, color matching versus color mood, black-and-white mode, panoramic mode, white balance, digital filter effects, special effects, and playback diagnostics.
  • Software Controls teaches photographers how to make the most of their images by learning techniques for cropping, adding color, contrast, and saturation.

Each topic contains a lesson, a brief technical explanation, an exercise that puts the lesson into practice, and an advanced option for exploring the topic in greater depth. The lessons lend themselves to being quickly revisited and reviewed, thus facilitating comprehension and proficiency.

Hands-On Digital Photography gives readers all the information they need to make successful photographs.

With Hands-On Digital Photography photographers can get the most from their digital cameras to make every shot great. Schaub’s practical, project-based approach focuses on the camera and getting the best shot possible every time, so beginning to intermediate photographers can spend more time capturing the shot and less time manipulating it. The book will help even novice photographers unlock the full potential of every picture and then realize that potential by being involved in every state of its final creation.

Arts & Photography / History / Americas / Native American

A Northern Cheyenne Album edited by Margot Liberty, commentary by John Woodenlegs, photographed by Thomas B. Marquis (University of Oklahoma Press)

I knew John Woodenlegs personally, and as I read this book, it is as if I were hearing his slightly raspy voice. The unedited captions capture the natural, Cheyenne way of speaking the language. At the same time, Liberty's com­mentary is highly useful, especially to readers who are not familiar with the Northern Cheyenne people. For living descendents, this album goes a long way toward strength­ening their identities as Northern Cheyennes. For anyone interested in seeing a cultural transition chronicled in pictures and narratives, this book is a gold mine. – Richard E. Littlebear, President of Chief Dull Knife College

The story of the Northern Cheyennes in the late nineteenth century is one of tragedy. But as A Northern Cheyenne Album reveals, it is also one of survival.

After suffering incarceration in present-day Oklahoma, the Northern Cheyennes decided they would rather risk death by trying to return to their homeland than languish in Indian Territory. During their epic journey homeward in 1878-1879, they suffered great losses, but a small group of survivors reached its destination in southeastern Montana and eventually won the right to a reservation there. A Northern Cheyenne Album presents a series of never-before-pub­lished photographs that document the lives of tribal people on the reservation during the early twentieth century – a period of rapid change.

The story of these photographs' creation is itself fascinating. In 1922 Thomas B. Marquis came to the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Lame Deer, Montana, to work as a doctor. He became so attached to the area and its residents that he decided to stay. An expert photographer, Marquis cap­tured Northern Cheyenne life in numerous images taken between 1926 and 1935. After 1960, former tribal president John Wood­enlegs, the founder of Chief Dull Knife Memorial College, Lame Deer, and others interviewed tribal elders and, drawing on tape recordings, composed lively captions for the photos. Margot Liberty, editor of A Northern Cheyenne Album, anthropologist specializing in American Indian cultures and the American West, has preserved Woodenlegs' original captions but also added her own descriptions, filling in details of Northern Cheyenne culture and history from a scholar's viewpoint. Of particular interest to historians is the inclusion of more than twenty photographs of Northern Cheyenne veterans of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, as well as testimony about Custer's attack on the Indian encampment.

In this intriguing and extraordinary book, rare photographs document the lives of Cheyenne people during the early reservation years. A valuable record of an all-but-forgotten gen­eration, A Northern Cheyenne Album is also an inspiring tribute to the Northern Cheyenne elders whose resilience and adaptability helped ensure the future of their people.

Arts & Photography / Museums & Collections

The Call of the Mountains: The Artists of Glacier National Park by Larry Len Peterson (Settlers West Galleries/Mountain Press Publishing Company)

In these pages you will read Larry Len Peterson's description of people inspired by a landscape that has inspired many to great things. But the power of the landscape to inspire is not over. It has just begun. – David Mihalic, from the foreword

The ‘Call of the Mountains’ is a real call. For centuries humankind has been drawn to Glacier Country. Without a doubt, this land of pristine mountains, alpine lakes, and cascading waterfalls is a national treasure. From the beginning, artists have expressed its wonders in varied and effective ways. Some of America's most outstanding talents have answered the ‘Call’ capturing in print, paint, photography, and three dimensional art the beauty of the land, its animals and native people.

The Call of the Mountains celebrates some of this art. In it, for the first time, the artists of Glacier country are profiled. This volume contains over 250 images, most in full color. A large number of the illustrations presented in the book are by well known artists; while many are by unheralded ones never credited for their work in publications, and many of the images are held in private collections rarely available for public viewing.

Artists represented in The Call of the Mountains include: John Clarke, Edward Curtis, Joe De Yong, Maynard Dixon, John Fery, Norman Forsyth, Philip R. Goodwin, George Bird Grinnell, T.J. Hileman, Louis Warren Hill, Fred Kizer, Frank Bird Linderman, Lone Wolf, Ted Marble, Walter McClintock, Roland Reed, Winold Reiss, Charles M. Russell, James Willard Schultz, Jose H. Sharp, and many other noted authors, photographers, and painters.

Author and collector Larry Len Peterson writes about a landscape that is an inspiration to all that encounter it. He writes about people, but people who, in turn, try to tell the story of a place. It is a magical landscape that causes creative juices to flow. It was magical to the Indians who lived there. It inspired George Bird Grinnell to return again and again to experience and try to grasp it. He wrote of its feel and how it touched the senses and described it as the ‘Crown of the Continent.’ It is a landscape that moved two countries to designate two national parks.

And it certainly moved David Mihalic, Superintendent of Yosemite National Park, who provides the foreword for The Call of the Mountains. His first park ranger job was just for a summer, but it began a career in the National Park Service that led him to Alaska and Yellowstone, the Great Smokies and Mammoth Cave, and full circle back to Glacier. And seeing the art of Charlie Russell, John Fery, and Winold Reiss at every turn were reminders that others had done something more with their inspiration. Seeing them reminded him that he, too, had once been so inspired.

Mihalic in the foreword asks: How many Russell paintings of plains and mountains were painted in the long summer light of Bull Head Lodge? How many Glacier sunsets found their way into Fery's paintings? How much of the Chief Mountain's spirit impressed John Clarke's mind to guide his hands? While the landscape inspires creative genius in artists, the creative ability of this place has inspired nations to create not just Waterton Lakes and Glacier National Park, but the world's first international peace park.

Once one enters the Park not much has changed over the last hundred years. The magnificent lodges and the Going-to-the-Sun road are reminders of a grand past and seem like part of the natural order there now. Hiking and horse trails still lead to magnificent vistas, and the lodge lobbies are still as inviting as ever. Fortunately, Louis Hill, head of the Great Northern Railway, saw to it that the lodges and chalets enhanced the lure of the Park. It's comforting to know that the mountains, streams, lakes, and waterfalls will never be further commercially developed; thanks to George Bird Grinnell, the father of Glacier National Park, who lobbied for years for Park status.

While researching his life for Charles M. Russell, Legacy, a book Peterson wrote for the Russell Museum in Great Falls, Peterson says he came to appreciate Glacier even more through learning about the numerous authors, photographers, and painters that visited him at Bull Head Lodge. This led to studying other artists that left their mark on the Park. He says the story of Glacier is told best through their works.

Whether it was growing up next to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation or being drawn to the compelling, tragic story of the Native Americans, Peterson have always found the art of Glacier more appealing when it involves Indian subjects. Maybe, they are the connection to a passing way of life that all of us nostalgics long for. Whatever reason, the power and majesty of the Kootenai, Flathead, and especially the Blackfeet are no better demonstrated than by the artists of Glacier National Park.

All the artists answered the ‘Call’ in their own unique way. By doing so they gave the gift of art to generations to come. The artists profiled in The Call of the Mountains provide a window to the past in a way that will never be equaled again. This impressive and informative volume brings to life the early artists of Glacier National Park.

Audio / Literature & Fiction / Christian / Mysteries & Thrillers

False Witness [ABRIDGED] (8 Audio CDs, running time approximately 10 hours) by Randy D. Singer, narrated by Adam Verner (Oasis Audio)

Capitalizing on ever-growing concern with issues like identity theft, hackers, encrypted digital and electronic information, and personal security, False Witness by Randy Singer, lawyer and best-selling author of five legal thrillers, could easily come from stories behind today's media headlines.

The story starts when a bounty hunter named Clarke Shealy gets an ominous phone call – a Chinese mafioso has taken Shealy's wife hostage and if Shealy wants to see her again, he must track down a missing Chinese mathematician. The mathematician is valuable because he has discovered an extremely valuable algorithm or computer code that could change Internet technology forever as well as threaten national security. The first half of the novel follows Shealy as he tries to rescue his wife.

Then in the second half of False Witness three ambitious law students from a prestigious law school in the Southeast, working at a local legal-aid clinic, watch as their routine case representing a man named David Hoffman ignites an incendiary trail of deception and betrayal. A member of the witness protection program, Hoffman has defrauded the government and eluded the Mob's pursuit of his stunning secret – he’s got the algorithm.

Because of the intense threat posed by possession of the algorithm, federal agents want Hoffman dead or alive. But the Mob wants him alive, and they are more than willing to obtain the algorithm by whatever means necessary. And the would-be lawyers caught in the middle of this deadly triangle must overcome their differences and work together if they're to survive long enough to graduate.

In this gripping, obsessively readable legal thriller, Singer proves himself to be the Christian John Grisham. … The two halves of the novel tie together seamlessly, and Singer introduces Christian faith with a very light touch. The three students – an African-American ex-jock who aims to be the next Johnnie Cochran, a feisty woman who wants to be a prosecutor so she can avenge her mother's brutal death, and a nerdy but endearing math whiz who wants to practice patent law – are especially well-developed. Indeed, readers may want to meet them again in a sequel. – Publishers Weekly.
A gentle Chinese scientist has discovered a mathematical formula, or algorithm, that could decrypt every Internet encrypting technology. He wants to sell his formula to a responsible Internet firm, rather than to the Chinese or American government, which seem to him equally treacherous, or to a sort of Chinese mafia called the Manchurian Triad. …Great suspense; gritty, believable action; and unnerving scenes of torture make this entry Singer's best yet. – Booklist (starred review)

With a riveting plot, Singer offers up a dynamic legal thriller in a story informed by his own experience with a member of the U.S. Witness Protection Program. False Witness will engage female as well as male listeners who enjoy suspense novels with a message, and yet this novel, Singer's sixth, has more subtle spiritual themes than previous works. With page-turning suspense and heart-stopping twists, False Witness delivers on every level.

Business & Investing / Economics / Current Events / Government / Public Policy

Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards: Towards Disaster Resilient Societies edited by Jörn Birkmann (United Nations University Press)

I am very proud that the United Nations University is among the organizations that started immediately the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action. I wish to thank the authors for contributing to this book and want to invite every interested scientist, colleagues from the UN organisations and professionals from all over the world, to contribute to the work ahead of us. – Prof. Dr. Hans van Ginkel, Rector of the United Nations University, Japan Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

I am pleased to support the work of the UNU-EHS through its Expert Working Group on Measuring Vulnerability. The Hyogo Framework represents the most comprehensive action-oriented policy guidance in universal understanding of disasters induced by vulnerability to natural hazards and reflects a solid commitment to implementing an effec­tive disaster reduction agenda. In this context, the UNU-EHS Expert Working Group is a valuable contribution to the implementation of the Hyogo Framework. I look forward to an increased collaboration between UNU-EHS and the ISDR Secretariat. – Sálvano Briceño, Director, Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Switzerland

A seemingly non-stop series of disasters has shown that societies worldwide seem unprepared for the threats posed by natural hazards. The tragic impacts of these events drew short-term attention from policy makers, the media and the general public, but their response was too late to prevent serious harm. Societies need to measure their vulnerabilities in advance, and make adequate provisions. To do so, they have to understand the complex relationships between natural hazards and the related social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. Recognizing and measuring vulnerabilities is the first and perhaps most important step towards disaster resilient societies.

Edited by Jörn Birkmann, Academic Officer at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Chair of the International Expert Working Group on Measuring Vulnerability, Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards presents a broad range of current approaches to measuring vulnerability. It provides a comprehensive overview of different concepts at the global, regional, national, and local levels, and explores various schools of thought. More than 40 distinguished academics and practitioners analyze quantitative and qualitative approaches, and examine their strengths and limitations. This book contains concrete experiences and examples from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe to illustrate the theoretical analyses.

The authors provide answers to some of the key questions on how to measure vulnerability and they draw attention to issues with insufficient coverage, such as the environmental and institutional dimensions of vulnerability and methods to combine different methodologies.

According to Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards, we have to change our approach to disasters. Fre­quency analysis of hazard events, once the start of all considerations, becomes unreliable as non-stationary time series overthrow 100-year return period records every few years in a merciless pace. We do not only need to think the unthinkable, and prepare to face it should it occur, but we need to explore how to be better prepared. Saving people from the worst would require taking the assessment of human (in)security as the starting point of disaster preparedness and management.

It is important to understand that disasters deriving from hazards of natural origin are only partially determined by the physical event itself. The last decades have proven that our primarily engineering approach, controlling and conquering extreme events with infrastructural measures, is not the appropriate answer. Humanity is at the threshold of taking the step from an ill-perceived ‘security society’ into ‘risk society’, acknowledging the limit of how far we can master nature and learning to live with risks.

The World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) held in Kobe in January 2005 formulated the goal of creating societies more resilient to disasters. The development of a system of indicators of disaster risk and vulnerability that would enable the decision makers to assess the poten­tial impact of disasters and to promote the formulation of appropriate policy responses – while identifying the most threatened areas and social groups – is viewed as a key activity to accomplish this goal (Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015).

The United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) invited leading scholars and practitioners to discuss the state of the art of measuring vulnerability, to devise potential research initiatives on how to capture vulnerability at different aggregation levels of society. Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards, is the first summary of this work started just after the WCDR. It examines various methodologies from global indexing projects to local participatory self-assessment ap­proaches. It reviews retrospective studies and takes stock of the efforts to ‘predict’ vulnerability. A critical review of current methodologies of how to measure vulnerability is provided. The book leaves no doubt that there is still a long way to go from concepts and experiments to the full practical use of anticipative vulnerability measurement.

Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards includes five parts, with 24 chapters, which address various aspects and approaches of measuring vulnerability.

The first part deals with the concept of vul­nerability and especially vulnerability indicators. Birkmann introduces different definitions and conceptual frameworks to systematize vulnera­bility developed and used by different schools of thought, such as the di­saster risk community, development research and global change research. The second chapter gives an overview of theoretical aspects and require­ments of vulnerability indicators. Schneiderbauer and Ehrlich introduce a framework for determining vulnerability at different levels. They also address the question of whether vulnerability should be measured for a specific hazard or whether it should be hazard-independent. Thereafter Queste and Lauwe tackle the crucial question of what indicators are needed from a practitioner's perspective.

The second part gives insight into the relationship between vulnerabil­ity and environmental change. The environmental dimension of vulnera­bility is analyzed and outlined by Renaud; then Kok, Narain, Wonink, and Jaeger examine the linkages between human vulnerability and envi­ronmental change. The third part encompasses various approaches to measuring vulnera­bility and risk at global, national and sub-national scale. In the seventh chapter Pelling reviews the major global disaster risk index projects. Ad­ditional information regarding these approaches is presented by authors who were involved in the development of each approach. Thus, the in­tention and methodology of the Disaster Risk Index is shown by Peduzzi, the hotspots methodology by Dilley and the System of Indicators for Di­saster Risk Management in the Americas are described by Cardona. On the basis of the global index projects a European approach of multi-risk assessment is presented by Greiving, followed by a study regarding the measurement of disaster vulnerability at national scale in Tanzania by Kiunsi and Meshack. Finally, Plate proposes a methodology to capture both vulnerability and coping capacity within a single human security index.

The fourth part focuses on approaches at the local level. It encom­passes a community-based disaster risk assessment tested in Indonesia and presented by Bollin and Hidajat, as well as an overview of different methods to measure risk and vulnerability based on the experiences of the Asian Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC) as explained by Arakida. Villagran de Leon outlines a methodology to measure the vulnerability of different sectors illustrated by examples from Latin America. In con­trast to quantitative approaches, Wisner introduces more qualitative and participatory approaches to assess vulnerability and coping capacity using self-assessment tools. The first results of a study of the UNU-EHS, which uses different methods to measure vulnerability of communities to coastal hazards in Sri Lanka after the devastating tsunami event are pre­sented by Birkmann, Fernando, and Hettige.

Part five deals with specific approaches to capturing and assessing insti­tutional vulnerability, coping capacity and lessons learned. Lebel, Niki­tina, Kotov, and Manuta underline the necessity of assessing institutional capacities to reduce risk using the example of flood disaster risk. The complexities of ensuring preparedness of institutions and the public sector for hazard events are also addressed by Mechler, Hochrainer, Linner­ooth-Bayer, and Pflug who present a model to measure public sector financial vulnerability. The chapter by Billing and Madengruber focuses on the difficulties of measuring coping capacity, while Krausmann and Mushtaq introduce the approach of lessons learned as illustrated by ex­amples drawn from European experience.

Chapter 23 summarizes key aspects discussed in the preceding chapters and Birkmann, the author, draws important conclusions, which could also give some guidance for future research activities and research needs. Finally, a comparative glossary of key terms in disaster risk reduction is presented by Thywissen, who illustrates the various definitions of the same terms by different institutions and experts.

Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards is a unique compilation of state-of-the-art vulnerability assessment and is essential reading for academics, students, policy makers, practitioners, and anybody else interested in understanding the fundamentals of measuring vulnerability. It is a critical review that provides important conclusions which can serve as an orientation for future research towards more disaster resilient communities. Irrespective of the excellent contributions of so many co-authors to this book, not all issues were captured, nor all con­cerns addressed. This book focuses mainly on vulnerability to rapid onset hazard events, whereas the scope and range of vulnerability research are much broader than this.

Business & Investing / Economics / Environment / Public Policy

Labor-Environmental Coalitions: Lessons from a Louisiana Petrochemical Region by Thomas Estabrook (Work, Health, and Environment Series: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.)

In 1984, the oil, chemical and atomic workers began a five-year campaign to win back the jobs of its members locked out by the BASF Corporation in Geismar, Louisiana. The multiscale campaign involved coalitions with local environmentalists as well as international solidarity from environmental and religious organizations. The local coalition which helped break the lockout was maintained and expanded in the 1990s. This alliance is one of numerous labor-community coalitions to emerge increasingly over the past 20 years. Labor-Environmental Coalitions traces the development of the Louisiana Labor-Neighbor Project from 1985 to the present, within the context of a long history of divisions between labor and community in the U.S. The Project continued after the lockout, thriving during 1990s, expanding from one community to four counties to include 20 local member organizations, and broadening its agenda from the original jobs crisis and pollution problems to address a wide range of worker, environmental health, and economic justice issues.

Labor-Environmental Coalitions explores the dynamics of the Louisiana coalition to offer lessons for other coalition efforts. The book seeks to understand coalitions as a necessary strategy to counteract the dominant forces of capitalist development. Thomas Estabrook contends that the Labor-Neighbor Project, like labor-community coalitions generally, created a unique blend of politics shaped by the geographic nature industry's politics; by the relative openness of government; and by the class experience of labor and community members. The Louisiana Project demonstrates that for labor-community coalitions to thrive they must broaden their agenda, strengthen their leadership and coalition-building skills, and develop access to multi-scale resources. Estabrook argues that for labor-community coalitions to have longer term political impact, they should adopt an explicitly progressive approach by building a broader class and cultural leadership, and by demanding state and corporate accountability on economic, public health, and environmental justice issues.
Estabrook, adjunct professor of geography at Framingham State College, is a worker health educator with The New England Consortium, a hazardous waste worker training project based at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he also does clean production policy research. He has been active in labor-community coalitions since working as an organizer for the Louisiana Labor-Neighbor Project in the early 1990s.

Building genuine alliances between environmentalists, labor, and community-based movements is essential to improving the lives of working families in American society. In his richly detailed analysis of the Louisiana Labor-Neighbor Project, Thomas Estabrook exposes many of the challenges and opportunities confronting activists in their efforts to build such an alliance. In so doing, Estabrook provides important insights into the ways in which counter-hegemonic movements can be successfully built and expanded in the context of neoliberal capitalism. This book is an important read for all those concerned with labor rights, economic equality, and environmental protection. – Daniel Faber, Director, Green Justice Research Collaborative, Northeastern University
Labor-environmental coalitions bring together two central components of our democratic tradition and offer a powerful new social-movement synthesis that goes beyond just adding the two together. Thomas Estabrook shows us this through his excellent study of the Louisiana Labor-Neighbor Project, a milestone in inter-movement cooperation that succeeded in many aspects of factory and community health, environmental justice, tax policy, and community development. His decade of research on the Project is informed by a historical view of earlier efforts in sanitation, community public health, and occupational safety and health, as well as a glimpse at other current organizing. Labor-Environmental Coalitions is an exciting and important contribution to what increasing numbers of people will soon see as an extensive and prominent issue. – Phil Brown, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies, Brown University
Thomas Estabrook's Labor-Environmental Coalitions provides a valuable in-depth analysis of a coalition of labor, community, and environmental groups that survived and even thrived in the South for almost twenty years. These are times when labor and community must band together to fight for the health of our land, air, and families. Estabrook s story of the Louisiana Labor-Neighbor Project’s successes and ultimate demise is a must read for all who work for a better and more just future. – Susan Moir, Sc.D., Director, Labor Resource Center, University of Massachusetts Boston

Labor-Environmental Coalitions is a must read; it thoroughly explains labor-community coalitions, offering crucial lessons – valuable understandings – that coalitions are a necessary strategy to counteract the dominant forces of capitalist development. It shows how, if coalitions are to succeed, they must broaden their agenda and strengthen their coalition-building skills, thus broadening their base. The book targets public health and environmental professionals and students, labor historians and activists, political scientists, sociologists, geographers, and other social scientists and general readers.

Business & Investing / Management / Computers & Internet

PMP: Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide, 4th Edition, with CD by Kim Heldman (Sybex)

This fourth edition of the study guide for the project management exam, PMP was designed for anyone thinking of taking the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam sponsored by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This certification is grow­ing in popularity and demand – PMI has experienced explosive growth in membership, and more organizations are recognizing the importance of project management certification.

PMP, written by Kim Heldman, a well-known author and speaker, who is currently the Chief Information Officer for the Colorado Department of Transportation, provides the preparation readers need for the challenging PMP certification exam in this study guide. In addition to coverage of all exam objectives, readers will find practical advice including "How This Applies to Your Current Project" and "Real World Scenario" sidebars, as well as coverage for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam. The book provides:

  • Full coverage of all exam objectives in a systematic approach.
  • Practical hands-on exercises to reinforce critical skills.
  • Real-world scenarios that put what readers have learned in the context of actual job roles.
  • Challenging review questions in each chapter.
  • Exam Essentials, a feature in each chapter that identifies critical areas readers must become proficient in before taking the exam.
  • A tear card that maps every official exam objective to the corresponding chapter in PMP, so they can track their exam prep objective by objective.

The book comes with a CD containing:

  • Sybex Test Engine: Readers test their knowledge with advanced testing software, which includes all chapter review questions and bonus exams.
  • Electronic Flashcards to reinforce understanding with flashcards that can run on a PC, Pocket PC, or Palm handheld.
  • Audio Instruction, which allows listeners to fine-tune project management skills with more than two hours of audio instruction from Heldman.

Also on the CD, readers will find the entire book in searchable and printable.

This fourth edition of PMP has been updated to reflect the latest edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Third Edition. It assumes readers have knowledge of general project management practices, although not necessarily specific to the PMBOK Guide. It is written so that readers can skim through areas they are already familiar with, picking up the spe­cific PMBOK Guide terminology where needed to pass the exam. The project management processes and techniques discussed in PMP are defined in such a way that readers will recognize tasks they have always done and be able to identify them with the PMBOK Guide process names or methodologies.

PMI offers the most recognized certification in the field of project management, and this book deals exclusively with its procedures and methods. Heldman strongly recommends that readers learn all of the processes – their key inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. She says that if readers are serious about passing the PMP exam, they should use PMP to study for the exam. This book is unique in that it walks readers through the project processes from beginning to end, just as projects are performed in practice. Readers benefit by learning specific processes and techniques coupled with real-life scenarios that describe how project managers in different situations handle problems and the various issues all project managers are bound to encounter during their career. This study guide describes in detail the exam objective topics in each chapter and covers all of the important project management concepts.

PMP provides the coverage readers need for the PMP Exam with complete coverage of all exam objectives. This comprehensive package includes real-world scenarios, hands-on exercises, and leading-edge exam prep software featuring a custom test engine, hundreds of sample questions, including case studies, chapter review in audio format, and electronic flashcards. The entire book in PDF format, which makes it easy to study anywhere, any time, and approach the exam with confidence.

Although PMP is written primarily for those taking the PMP exam, readers can also use this book to study for the Certified Associate in Project Man­agement (CAPM) exam, which is similar in style and the information covered.

Business & Investing / Human Resources Management

Understanding Careers: The Metaphors of Working Lives by Kerr Inkson (Sage Publications, Inc.)

Written by Kerr Inkson, Professor of Management at the University of Otago, Visiting Professor of Management at Victoria University of Wellington, and Honorary Research Fellow at Massey University, New Zealand, the book provides comprehensive coverage of contemporary theory and research in career studies. Understanding Careers includes material from various viewpoints relevant to career studies, including sociology, life-span psychology, differential psychology, social psychology, education, career development, counseling, organizational behavior, and human resource management. In addition, the book covers the key theories and researchers who have shaped the study and practice of careers.

Understanding Careers examines key concepts, illustrating them with career cases, bringing together theory and ‘real life.’ The book uses a unique framework of metaphors to encapsulate the field of career studies.
By using nine archetypal metaphors, considering the career successively as an inheritance, a cycle, an action, a journey, a role, a relationship, a resource, and a story, Inkson views careers through different lenses, with each adding to the richness of the concept.

Understanding Careers presents illustrative case studies – over 50 provocative case studies – including some of well-known personalities, thus theory is illustrated through real-life examples. It also offers an ongoing student case-study project. The sequenced career case-study write-up with exercises related to each chapter, allows students to apply concepts to ongoing cases of their own. There is also an Instructor’s Manual on CD, providing PowerPoint slides, class exercises, and worked-through case studies, available on request from the publisher.

A unique framework to understand the field of career studies. – The Financial Express
Kerr Inkson has made a really valuable contribution. A powerful illustration of how metaphor influences thinking about careers. The book shows how metaphor helps us to understand our own thought-patterns and predispositions and is very effective in integrating the different branches of career studies. Very clear, and well argued. Right on the mark! – Gareth Morgan, author of Images of Organization, Distinguished Research Professor, York University, Toronto

Using an easy-to-read style, this imaginative book offers a wide perspective and an excellent bridge between theory and real life. Understanding Careers is an ideal text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in Career Development, Personal & Career Development, and Career Management in the fields of psychology, education, and business.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

The Swordless Samurai: Leadership Wisdom of Japan's Sixteenth-Century Legend –Toyotomi Hideyoshi by Kitami Masao, edited with and introduction by Tim Clark (Truman Talley Books)

In Japan, the 16th century became known as the Age of the Warring Clans as potentates endlessly fought one another with their small armies of samurai warriors. It was a time of endless chaos and bloodshed, when the only law was the law of the sword, and a peasant boy named Hideyoshi dreamed of becoming a samurai.

Lacking size and strength as well as social status in a class-ridden society, he had to rely on wits alone to realize his ambition.

As told in The Swordless Samurai, Hideyoshi, a keen judge of character, learned to outthink and outmaneuver every foe. By bonding to powerful Lord Nobunaga, and being useful to him day and night, he managed to secure a powerful patron. Much later, Hideyoshi broke all class barriers and ultimately became the most powerful man in Japan. Not only did he become a samurai, he also commanded vast armies and finally became ruler of an entire nation. Hideyoshi far surpassed his childhood ambition – this son of a penniless farmer became one of the greatest military and civic leaders Japan has ever known. Hideyoshi has been immortalized so much that, even today, every schoolboy in Japan is taught the moral that good judgment, keen intelligence, and sharp wits will win out over adversaries almost every time.

What enabled an unschooled peasant to out-negotiate and conquer ruthless samurai generals? How did he recruit and retain thousands of devoted followers?

The Swordless Samurai narrates his methods and achievements. Hideyoshi's leadership and success precepts, more than fifty of them, are embedded in the narrative as Hideyoshi wins many bloodless military victories and analyzes his rise to supreme leadership. His unerring sense of what it took – drive, shrewdness, anticipation, and determination – is readily understandable in the business world of today. The book is edited and translated by Tim Clark, who teaches entrepreneurship at Portland State University and serves as an adviser to SunBridge, a Tokyo-based venture capital firm.

A guide to sage leadership and a political thriller rolled into one, The Swordless Samurai is a must-read for anyone trying to steer their organization down the right path. The pages brim with lessons on how to inspire loyalty, mitigate weaknesses, and build trust. …
But this is also a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of hubris, the downfall of empires and corporations alike. Hideyoshi's story, with its rollicking accounts of bloody battles and ingenious subterfuge, reveals how leaders can accomplish the seemingly impossible, and how they can avoid the darker consequences of success. – Brendan I. Koerner, contributing editor, Wired
By peeling back the curtain on one of Japan's most famous leaders, Tim Clark has given English language readers insight into one of the country's most widely admired and imitated heroes. Hideyoshi is no typical business guru, but his lessons have inspired generations of executives. I spent more than a decade in Japan, and The Swordless Samurai is valuable reading for anyone doing business there or looking for a deeper understanding of timeless leadership principles. – Ken Belson of The New York Times
The wisdom of this sixteenth-century century samurai is astonishingly prescient and pertinent for twenty-first century leaders. Practical wisdom at its best. – Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, USC, and author of On Becoming a Leader

The timeless leadership secrets that Hideyoshi used to reach the pinnacle of power are now available in English for the first time. Destined to take its place beside such classics as The Book of Five Rings and The Art of War, The Swordless Samurai is required reading for all who seek effective strategies for succeeding in business, conflict, and life.

Computers & Internet / Graphic Design / Education / Training / Business & Investing

Digital Game-Based Learning by Marc Prensky, with a foreword by Sivasailam ‘Thiagi’ Thiagarajan (Paragon House)

...systematically analyzed the contexts and events of training and has synthesized a logical framework for digital game-based learning. – ‘Thiagi’ Thiagarajan, from the Foreword

The time has come for digital game-based learning. Thanks to the Internet, video games, and increasingly accessible cutting-edge technology, new learning styles have emerged. Today's workforce is quicker, sharper, more visually oriented, and more technology-savvy than ever. Digital games are now being used to teach babies the alphabet, to help kids monitor their diabetes and overcome ADD, to teach both practical and tactical skills to the military, to teach financial derivatives to auditors and to teach CAD software to engineers. The Nintendo and MTV generation process information more rapidly than ever before, prefer graphics to text, and work on several fronts at once, making them champion multi-taskers. As a result, today's new work force is eager for new challenges. To truly benefit from the digital natives' learning power and enthusiasm, traditional training methods must adapt to the way people learn today. But so far, the traditional mainstream business world has done little to accommodate them, particularly apparent in the realm of training sessions.

The question arises: How to train today's bright young business people for the rules of corporate life in ways that will effectively tap their learning potential – and won't put them to sleep? Written by Marc Prensky, former vice president of Human Resources at Bankers Trust and present founder, CEO, and Creative Director the groundbreaking Web site, Digital Game-Based Learning

  • Defines digital game-based learning, explains its advantages and benefits far into the future, where it can be used ­­and how.
  • Presents an innovative approach to teaching and learning, both in the workplace and elsewhere: digital games.
  • Suggests that traditional training step into the 21st century by offering a robust and internally-motivating way to meet the increasing demands of employer and employee.
  • Offers examples of the implementation of these games in the workplace.

Prinsky says he wrote Digital Game-Based Learning as a hands-on guide for anyone who has ever had trouble getting people (adults or kids) to learn things.

From derivatives trading to policies on sexual harassment, here are numerous practical ideas and examples of this revolutionary approach to motivating and educating twenty-something workers. Ranging from the use of simple card games and quizzes to twitch-speed games modeled on such popular PC games as Doom and Quake, Digital Game-Based Learning melds business conventions with the ways individuals learn today.

In addition to an array of training ideas, the book contains the views of experts such as Nicholas Negroponte of MIT, Bran Ferren of Disney, J.C. Herz of the New York Times. Also included are case studies, based on on-site visits, of many companies and institutions using game-based learning tools and techniques.

A must-read for both educators interested in interactive educational technologies and for game developers looking to maximize the social impact of their work. – Will Wright, Maxis, creator of Sim City and The Sims

A 'must read' for business managers and HR directors as well. – Mark Bieler, former EVP, Human Resources, Bankers Trust Company, 1989-1999
This is a breakthrough book that looks at learning as a high activity, high engagement and high intensity process. – Elliott Masie, The MASIE Center, Editor, TRENDS e-Letter and Learning Decisions

Recognizing that people respond more effectively to speed, fun and graphics, Prensky's approach melds the engagement of fast-paced video games with serious business content to create engaging training. Digital Game-Based Learning explains what digital game-based learning is, why it is different and better, why it's not just another fad, where it can be used, and how to implement it. Brimming with case studies based on on-site visits to companies who have utilized this revolutionary training methodology, readers will discover new ways to motivate and educate. This timely and innovative book is filled with fascinating and informative examples and information aimed at educators and employers.

Cooking, Food & Wine

The Berghoff Family Cookbook: From Our Table to Yours, Celebrating a Century of Entertaining by Carlyn Berghoff & Nancy Ross Ryan (Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC)

What started as a small saloon in 1898 quickly became a Chicago dining institution when Prohibition prompted founder Herman Joseph Berghoff to start serving meals to stay in business. When Prohibition ended in 1933, the Berghoff Restaurant soon became famous for both its traditional German food and its beer.

On February 28, 2006, the Berghoff Restaurant closed its doors after 107 years of service. With The Berghoff Family Cookbook, fans of the beloved restaurant can make Berghoff classics at home, including the Creamed Spinach, German Potato Salad, Wiener Schnitzel, Sauerbraten, Apple Strudel, Black Forest Cake, and many more until now secret recipes from the Berghoff’s kitchens.

The Berghoff story is the quintessential American success story of an immigrant who built a hugely successful business that has stayed in one family for more than a century. Herman left his native Dortmund, Germany, at age 17 and landed penniless in Brooklyn in 1870. Barely 12 years later, he founded his namesake brewery in Fort Wayne, IN. The beer was well-received inspiring Herman to open a cafe in Chicago to showcase Berghoff's Dortmunder-style beer. It sold for a nickel a glass, a dime for a stein, and sandwiches were offered for free. The bar remained open even through Prohibition by selling near-beer and Bergo soda pop and became a full-service restaurant. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933 the city issued liquor license No. 1 to the Berghoff and has done so each year ever since.

The history of Chicago's Berghoff Restaurant spanned three generations; it was one of America's oldest family-owned restaurants. To commemorate its culinary history, Carlyn Berghoff and her mother, Jan Berghoff, collected 150 of the restaurant's popular recipes. They paired them up with more contemporary offerings such as the Shrimp Martini, Grilled Vegetables with Red Pepper Aïoli, and Brie and Raspberry Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to create The Berghoff Family Cookbook.

Recipes are presented alongside color photographs and sidebars that offer tips on dressing salads, serving soups, and pairing culinary flavors. The book is written by fourth-generation entrepreneur Carlyn Berghoff, who operates her own catering company and runs two restaurants out of the famous Chicago building at 17 West Adams and two restaurants out of locations at O'Hare International and Midway airports, together with writer Nancy Ross Ryan, founding culinary editor of Plate magazine and operates a consulting company in Chicago.

The Berghoff Family Cookbook offers a personal glimpse into the history of the Chicago landmark, complete with photographs of Berghoff's no-nonsense waitstaff and legendary chefs, the famous mahogany bar, and the chandeliers, as well as old menus and historical items. Jan and Carlyn not only provide mem­ories about the restaurant, but they also offer their knowledge and experience on beer and food pairings, how to host a bourbon tasting, and tips for party planning.

In December 2005 third-generation Herman and Jan Berghoff announced that after 107 years of operation the Berghoff would close in 2006. In the final days long lines snaked outside the building as customers waited for a last meal at their beloved restaurant.

Started as a humble tavern where a mug of the house brew cost a nickel and the hand-carved sandwiches were free ... [the Berghoff] is a place where the president of a bank eats next to a carpenter, where lawyers nurse beers while awaiting verdicts at the federal courthouse down the block, and suburban families on shopping sprees stop for sit-down feasts. – New York Times

It is with fondness that I reflect upon the many wonder­ful meals I have shared with friends and family at the Berghoff. Though it is the end of one era, a new one begins with Carlyn, who shares the same excitement, vision, and family-oriented spirit that made the Berghoff the institution that it was. – John J. Cullerton, state senator, Illinois

More than a collection of wonderful recipes, The Berghoff Family Cookbook is a piece of Chicago history – fans of the famous Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago have what they've been waiting for. Photos sprinkled throughout bring the restaurant's history to life, including menus through the years, its post-Prohibition liquor license, family portraits, and the Berghoff’s famed stained-glass windows and murals. Even people who have never enjoyed the schnitzel or the strudel will enjoy reading the history of the Berghoff family, a fixture in Chicago for more than 100 years.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Kissing in the Kitchen: Cooking With Passion by Kevin T. Roberts (Northland Publishing)

Give me a plate of food, a lovely conversation, a good bottle of wine, a beach or a fireplace, and I'm content. That's my idea of the ultimate date. Of course it didn't start out that way. I think at one time I would've been happy with a warm Budweiser and any warm body. Thankfully my tastes have changed a little, which basically means that I've become what I never thought I would ... mature.…

Breath ... slow down ... life is supposed to be like a good glass of wine. Drink it slowly, and make it last. …You get three chances to make an impression when you've cooked a meal for your date: when you're prepping the meal, when you're cooking, and when you're eating. Once I almost burned down my apartment while cooking a meal for a lovely lady. You think she ever forgot that date? Of course not, especially when the fire department showed up, as well as the apartment manager who was not a happy camper. We had to go out to eat the next night, but I made an impression. I just recommend you make your impression by being creative and considerate and not by cooking with smoke, sirens, and crazed managers. – from the book

Chef Kevin T. Roberts has his own Free FM radio show, The Food Dude, in southern California where he serves up a provocative menu of cooking tips and recipes each week. He is a partner and the executive chef at the East Village Tavern & Bowl in San Diego. As he believes that all men can cook, his first endeavor at publishing a cookbook was Munchies, which came to the aid of hungry men and college students with recipes that show non-cooks that they don't have to run out for greasy fast food in order to survive.

If readers have never before cooked, are novice chefs, or if they just want some new ideas, Kissing in the Kitchen will show them how to do it with style. The book advises guys: Don't plan another drone date without reading Roberts's tips on how to ciao with passion. Roberts offers a candid peek into his dating philosophy, sharing his favorite date movies and romantic songs and reminding everyone in search of love that graciously serving someone with delicious food is an important part of a relationship. For example, Roberts knows what foods are aphrodisiacs and why and shares that valuable information plus recipes for cooking them. To turn a casual date into something more he recommends the sensuous recipes Hot Dates, Hook-up Hamburger, and Sleepover Spinach plus, to keep the love life hot, the perfect combinations for ‘peaceful picnics’ and ‘social soirees’.

As he says, “Whether it is the first date and you have butterflies in your stomach, a special anniversary, or a chance to relight the fire (or you are just in trouble again) the recipes in Kissing in the Kitchen are sure to warm your companion's belly and, more importantly, heart.”

With this book, Kissing in the Kitchen, Roberts, looking to make his mark as a chef by being a role model for younger guys, shows his passion for cooking and romance. According to him, there's nothing sexier than a man who can cook, and his sexy recipes and 4-1-1 Tips provide a fun guide to creating meals for that special person. Pardon me, but if anything can get these guys into the kitchen, the prospect of getting laid will.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Two at the Table: Cooking for Couples Now That the Kids Are Gone by Cherly Fall (Sasquatch Books)

Now that there are only two at the table, leftovers seem to appear out of nowhere. This doesn't have to be the case. Cooking for two requires some planning, a new outlook, and some new recipes. While having an empty nest requires major changes in the way we prepare food, it also can yield some fabulous benefits. It leads to a more leisurely lifestyle and, best of all, having time to reconnect with your spouse or life partner. The kitchen can suddenly go from being the hub of the kid-centered home to the most romantic room in the house. – from the book

For many baby boomers, the kids are now out of the house. Family cooks are no longer cooking for a household, nor are they accommodating fussy eaters anymore. What better way to get reacquainted than over a romantic dinner or two? Cheryl Fall, host of The Creative Life on PBS, which focuses on cooking, decorating and other home and lifestyle topics, offers up 135 recipes for two in Two at the Table. Fall says that she, like so many others, has spent twenty years cooking family-sized batches of everything from entrees to desserts, which is why she has collected materials for this cookbook filled with recipes that feed just two. Two at the Table features:

  • Fun in the kitchen for couples.
  • Breakfast in bed.
  • Serving sizes that will keep readers trim.
  • Palette-pleasing tastes that put the fun back in cooking.
  • Splurging on ingredients – those who have raised a pack of kids deserve it.

The book features such exquisite ingredients as leeks, shiitake mushrooms, and fresh asparagus. With the focus on recipes that serve just two, Fall addresses quantities of ingredients and how to reorganize a pantry for newly minted empty nesters. Two at the Table features a diverse stable of dishes, from starters and salads to savory items and desserts. Some recipes include Seattle Style Broiled Scallops with Vodka Sauce, Confetti Squash and Vegetable Kabobs, Rum and Raisin Cakes, Sunday Chicken and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb.

Two at the Table is based on the romantic notion, certainly misguided in some cases, that cooking together with one’s spouse and creating new dishes is a wonderful way to connect. Targeting baby boomers, it shows readers how to rediscover both the joys of cooking and being together. The tantalizing recipes in the book are based on basic pantry items along with these few simple but unusual items, so readers can always have the ingredients on hand for a tasty, healthy gourmet meal for two.

Criminology / True Crime

The Mexican Mafia by Tony Rafael (Encounter Books)

It has been called the most dangerous gang in American history. In Los Angeles alone it is responsible for over 100 homicides per year. Although it has fewer than 300 members, it controls a 40,000-strong street army that is eager to advance its agenda. It waves the flag of the Black Hand and its business is murder. Although known on the streets for over fifty years, the Mexican Mafia has flown under the radar of public awareness and has flourished beneath a cover of secrecy. Members are forbidden even to acknowledge its existence.
But with The Mexican Mafia, the Mexican Mafia is getting the attention it has been trying to avoid. Tony Rafael looks at the birth and growth of this criminal enterprise through the eyes of the victims, the dropouts, the cops and the DAs on the front lines of the battles. As the first book ever published on the subject, The Mexican Mafia unveils the operations of this California prison gang and how it grew from a small clique into a transnational criminal enterprise. As the first prison gang to ever project its power beyond prison walls, it controls virtually every Hispanic neighborhood in Southern California and is rapidly expanding its influence into the entire Southwest, the East Coast and even into Canada. With law enforcement seemingly powerless to stop it, the Mexican Mafia is poised to become the Cosa Nostra of a demographically changing 21st century America.

Part courtroom drama, part history lesson, and part detective story, The Mexican Mafia takes a hard look at the history, operations, and structure of the Mexican Mafia. Founded in 1957 by a group of young Los Angeles street gangsters, the Mexican Mafia has grown into a powerful prison gang that for nearly fifty years has eluded public scrutiny and flown under law enforcement radar. The Mexi­can Mafia now controls almost every L.A. neighborhood that has a strong Hispanic street gang presence. Like a corporate conglomerate, the Mexican Mafia has ver­tically integrated its criminal operations. It controls wholesale and retail drug traffick­ing and collects street taxes from a vast network of drug dealers and enforcers.

According to The Mexican Mafia, in addition to its traditional business of drug dealing, murder, and extortion, the Mexican Mafia has expanded its portfolio of activities into infiltrating publicly funded drug- and gang-intervention programs, cor­rupting local politicians, and embarking on an ethnic cleansing policy to drive African-Americans out of neighborhoods it claims for itself.

Based on original research conducted over ten years, Rafael counters con­ventional wisdom and popularly held misconceptions about the nature of gang culture – and the roots of gang violence. A Los Angeles-based writer who has spent the last ten years researching street gangs, he has interviewed scores of active and retired gang members and has been granted un­precedented access to active investigations and major criminal trials. He also examines the often haphazard nature – of police investigations and how criminal prosecutions are successfully brought forward in spite of, rather than because of, the existing justice system.

Rafael's debut book – a study of the Southern California-based Mexican mafia told mainly from the perspective of veteran Los Angeles deputy district attorney Anthony Manzella – is a revealing but flawed work. … Manzella is an interesting enough figure – a dedicated workaholic throwback who doesn't use a computer, or even an electric typewriter. But Rafael gives short shrift to the sociology of the rise of the Mexican mafia. Instead, he offers a final quote from Manzella (‘We know exactly the kind of families that produce criminals. I'd like to go in there and take them out. But we can't do that.’) will leave many with a sour taste that undercuts Rafael's attempts to make the deputy DA a hero. – Publishers Weekly

The gang ‘experts’ beloved of the mainstream media claim that gangs are disorganized and eradicable with government jobs, programs and other social services. Tony Rafael knows better. He shows how entrenched and lethal a threat the Mexican Mafia and other Hispanic gangs are. – Heather Mac Donald, Manhattan Institute Fellow and contributor to The Immigration Solution

Tony Rafael's chronicle of the insidious spread of the tribal and violent Mexican Mafia from beyond the prison into the general culture of the American Southwest is frightening. Illegal immigration, the loss of confidence in assimilation, and the failure of the public to recognize the lethal nature of gang life have all led to entire enclaves under the Mexican Mafia's control. A. chilling warning of a terrible crisis on the horizon for us all. – Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, author of Mexifornia

The Mexican Mafia is a hard-nosed look at the Mexican Mafia, Hispanic street gangs, law enforce­ment, the media, and big city politics. A pioneering work, this briskly written and thoroughly researched book pro­vides sobering insights into the nature of urban crime.

Education / Social Sciences / Research

Creating Equitable Classrooms through Action Research edited by Cathy Caro-Bruce, Ryan Flessner, Mary Klehr, & Kenneth M. Zeichner (Corwin Press)

Provides teachers, principals, district administrators, and professional development specialists with compelling insight into the workings of a successful action research program, and offers ten excellent sample action research projects focused on increasing student achievement in diverse school settings. – Elizabeth Burmaster, from the foreword

Despite the best intentions of reform efforts, educational inequity continues to exist in public schools.

In schools today, raising the achievement levels of all students and clos­ing the achievement gap between students of color and economically disadvantaged students and their peers must be our highest priority. To meet this goal, we know that there is nothing more important than the quality of the teacher in the classroom.

Action research brings the voices and expertise of those closest to the classroom – our teachers – to our educational improvement efforts. Teachers who examine their practices through action research bring rele­vant, authentic information to our efforts to close the achievement gap and make schools more equitable places for all children.

For both a first-time action research endeavor or one already in progress, this practical guidebook helps practitioners formulate specific research questions, collect and analyze data, and communicate their findings.

Creating Equitable Classrooms through Action Research looks at the issue of educational equity and illustrates how action research can be used school-wide or district-wide to address this challenge. The editors include Cathy Caro-Bruce, educational consultant to school districts with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Ryan Flessner, supervisor of preservice teachers in the Professional Development School program; Mary Klehr, teacher in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and coordinator of the MMSD Classroom Action Research program; Kenneth Zeichner, Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Teacher Education and Associate Dean in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They have been involved in a highly successful and much studied action research that is used district-wide with a focus on the particular demographics and challenges of their district.

The results of the action research study have created a deep knowledge base and capacity. Creating Equitable Classrooms through Action Research provides an overview of the key conceptual and structural features for implementing a school-wide or district-wide action research program and includes ten studies on narrowing the achievement gap between racial and ethnic groups. Real stories and studies from classroom teachers serve as examples of authentic professional development and as springboards for discussion and reflection on the process of inquiry and the issues of equity.

As told in Creating Equitable Classrooms through Action Research, The action research process can take many forms, and there is no single recipe that will work for all teachers or contexts. From its inception, the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Classroom Action Research program has taken a decidedly con­structivist stance toward knowledge, and views the classroom inquiry process as cyclical and open-ended. Action research groups in Madison follow the school calendar, formulating inquiry projects that run from September through May. During that time, researchers meet monthly in practitioner-facilitated sessions to discuss progress, share ideas, and receive collegial support. The aim of these regular meetings is to actively think, talk, and learn together in ways that value and build on teacher knowl­edge and classroom experience.

In general, the action researchers whose studies are included in Creating Equitable Classrooms through Action Research have worked through a cycle of question development, data generation and analysis, reflective writing, identification of next steps, and sharing what has been learned with others.

Teachers are encouraged to study something that they feel passionate about, and to develop questions that are clearly articulated, focused on their own practices, manageable within the classroom context, will benefit students and others, and will lead to deeper questions. Finding a specific research question can take weeks or even months. Some teachers identify a research focus right away, while others start collecting data on their classrooms before finalizing their questions. A common way we start thinking about a question is through a series of ‘starting points’ ques­tions.

According to the editors, there is no one correct technique for generating data. Researchers work to collect various forms of data that repre­sent multiple perspectives at more than one point in time. Teachers typi­cally analyze their data in standard qualitative ways, such as triangulating information, sorting and coding by themes, looking for patterns in the data, and being alert to the unexpected. Ultimately, data analysis should help classroom practitioners to take productive actions on behalf of their students and to identify the next steps in their inquiry process.

Writing plays a central role in these teachers' work during and at the end of the research process, helping them to articulate their practices and to become thoughtful inquirers about themselves and their students. It also serves as a means for synthesizing learning and communicating with others. Short, end-of-year reports are published in-house, are distributed to all schools in the district, and are posted on the district's Web site. Action researchers are also supported in presenting at local and national educa­tional research conferences and in serving as consultants to other school districts. Finally, over the years a number of teachers have published their studies in academic journals.

The structure of Creating Equitable Classrooms through Action Research:

Chapters 1 and 2 set the context for the presentation of the studies. Chapter 1 situates the equity action research reported in the book within the various efforts of the MMSD to narrow educational inequalities across the district. Chapter 2 provides background information on the district Classroom Action Research professional development program within which the 10 studies were conducted. Chapters 3 through 12 report the individual action research studies of the 10 teachers. Each action research study includes an epilogue, in which the researchers reflect about the impact of their studies on their practice over time. The final chapter looks across the 10 studies and situates them in relation to what other PreK-12 and academic researchers have learned about nar­rowing educational inequalities.

Recognizing the importance of race, class, gender, culture, and ability, the authors provide a window into the difficulties that professional educators grapple with as they face the challenge of teaching all children. This text is both authentic and practical, and demystifies issues of equity that pervade today's classrooms. – Diane Yendol-Hoppey, Associate Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville
Action research of this caliber on the subject of equity is critically needed for all children to have access to the same level of rigor and high standards. This is a must-read for districts who really want to turn action research into action that affects student learning. – Terry Morganti-Fisher, Director of Professional Development, Austin Independent School District

Creating Equitable Classrooms through Action Research confronts the challenge of educational inequity head-on and shows educators how they can use action research to both raise student achievement and strengthen instructional leadership.

Invaluable for school district leaders, teachers, professional development schools, and pre-service teachers, this resource for system-wide improvement efforts helps schools provide more equitable learning environments for all children. The book is also suited for professional development schools. Both the individual studies presented and the example of a school district investing in its teachers to create new solu­tions to enduring problems of schooling will provide the basis for dialogue and stimulate the creation of other opportunities for teachers to engage in action research in school districts across the country.

Engineering / Civil / Reference

Ergonomics for Children: Designing Products and Places for Toddlers to Teens edited by Rani Lueder & Valerie J. Berg Rice (Taylor & Francis)

Ergonomics for Children is a first attempt to put the lives of children in the context of the society in which they live, to give a comprehensive analysis with explanations, reasons, and design recommendations for the betterment of their lives. Anyone who has responsibility for the welfare of children should become familiar with the contents of this book, to recognize the complexity of their task and to give themselves the background to cooperate in systematic and holistic approaches to their problems. This is not a book just for the affluent West, but for children everywhere. If we are to have a better future world, we must use our knowledge to make it better for our children. – Nigel Corlett, Emeritus Professor, University of Nottingham, from the Foreword

Children are clearly not ‘little adults,’ but how do they differ, and how do such differences affect the design of products and places that they use? How can we better help them face new and unique challenges, such as when using new technologies? The questions were simple, but the answers were not.

Combining coverage of a wide range of issues related to accommodating very young children through to adolescents, Ergonomics for Children provides an understanding of how children develop and how these developmental changes can influence the design of products and places for children. Illustrated with photos and other images, the book helps readers find answers to their questions, grasp concepts, and apply them. The content is broken into subsections, allowing readers to start reading anywhere in the book, depending on their immediate need.

The volume is edited by Rani Lueder, President of Humanics ErgoSystems, Inc., an ergonomics consulting firm in Encino, California, and a teacher of human factors and ergonomics in product design at Art Center College of Design and Valerie J. Berg Rice, certified ergonomist, who completed 25 years of active duty in the Army, chief of the Army Research Laboratory Army Medical Department Field Element at Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio. Edited by these experts with contributions from an international panel, Ergonomics for Children is both broad in coverage and international in perspective. The contributors review the ways in which children develop physically, perceptually, cognitively, and socially and then use this information to provide guidelines for the design of places and products for children.

As explained in the book, for many centuries children have been seen as an adjunct to adults, either as helpers, earners, or little people to be humanized. The last hundred years have seen a gradual change, in schools, in families, and in the environment in which children live. At last they are seen, in general, as children. They have unique requirements, problems, needs, and desires. So it is important that adults design the environment of children so that the children themselves grow, ben­efit, and enjoy their developing lives.

Research in human factors has not always matched the reality of the world we live in, however. It has tended to concentrate on adults, on military requirements, on adult workplaces, and on (male) college graduates as well as on the interface between the public and the world. In spite of the large population of children, school (the workplace of the young) has a relatively small body of ergonomics studies and the ergonomics of play even less. Yet the psychology of childhood is a large field, with huge implications for ergonomics.

Ergonomics for Children provides a user's manual about ergonomics and children for professionals who design products and places for and work and play with children. It cuts across a wide swath of disciplines such as ergonomics, psychology, medicine, rehabilitation, exercise physiology, optometry, education, architecture, urban planning, law, and others.

I am so excited to see this book in press. ... It provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the range of factors that should be considered when designing for children. – Wendy A. Rogers, PhD, Past President, Human Factors & Ergonomics Society

... describes how ergonomics principles can be applied to our most precious commodity – children.... Designers of classrooms, playgrounds, museums and products for children must read this book. Children will benefit even further if teachers and parents also read this book. – Stover Snook, PhD, CPE, Harvard School of Public Health

This groundbreaking book surveys the state of ergonomics in design for toddlers to teenagers ... belongs on the bookshelf of every designer, ergonomist and engineer who develops products and environments used by people. – Steven Casey, PhD, author of Set Phasers on Stun and The Atomic Chef and Other True Tales of Design, Technology and Human Error

... addresses every conceivable aspect of designing products and places for children ... the contents are illustrated with some of the most charming photographs of children that you will ever see. – Douglas H. Harris, PhD, Chairman & Principal Scientist, Anacapa Sciences, Inc. Past President, Human Factors & Ergonomics Society

Combining coverage of a broad range of issues, Ergonomics for Children provides a deep understanding of how children develop and how these changes can influence product and place design. Copiously illustrated with photos and other images, the book is user friendly. The breakdown of the content into subsections, makes using the book as a reference tool easy. Edited by experts, Ergonomics for Children is also international in perspective. The book is designed for ergonomists, product designers, manufacturers, technology specialists, educators, rehabilitation therapists, architects, city planners, attorneys, and even parents.

Engineering / Outdoors & Nature / Environment / Home & Garden

Design for Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment, and Alternate Water Reuse by Heather Kinkade-Levario (New Society Publishers)

Water was once abundant and cheap, but the entire world faces the reality of a decreasing supply of clean water. In an era of dwindling resources, water is poised to become the new oil.

Collecting and storing rainwater is not a new idea. For almost 4000 years, cultures throughout the world have used captured rainwater. Wars have been fought and won over ownership of water or the ability to catch rainwater. Continuing this thought today, collecting and using water more than one time can help reduce dependence on existing fresh water supplies. Much of the municipal water that has been purified to drinking water standards is used for tasks such as house cleaning, flushing toi­lets, gardening, and washing clothes or cars when drinking-water quality for these tasks is not required.

To avert a devastating shortage, we must not only look at alternate water sources for existing structures but must plan our new developments differently. Rainwater expert Heather Kinkade-Levario builds on her award-winning book Forgotten Rain with Design for Water. The book is a guide to alternate water collection, with a focus on rainwater harvesting in the urban environment. The book:

  • Outlines the process of water collection from multiple sources – landscape, residential, commercial, industrial, school, park, and municipal systems.
  • Provides numerous case studies.
  • Details the assembly and actual application of equipment.
  • Includes specific details, schematics, and references.

All aspects of rainwater harvesting are outlined, including passive and active system setup, storage, storm water reuse, distribution, purification, analysis, and filtration. There is even a section on rainwater harvesting for wildlife.

According to Kinkade-Levario, Arizona Director of Planning and the president of Forgotten Rain L.L.C., a rainwater harvesting and stormwater-reuse company, in addition to rainwater, there are several affordable and accessible alternate sources, including cooling tower bleed-off water, air conditioning condensate, gray water, and fog collection. Design for Water is geared to providing those making development decisions and guidelines with the information they need to set up passive harvesting techniques. Kinkade-Levario has made herself the leading expert in rainwater collection and its applications through a singu­lar combination of systematic observation, focused academic study, and professional design experience. Her native area is the arid Southwest, where the need for water collection is most obvious and where the art of water catchment has developed rapidly.

Numerous case studies outline the process of water collection from landscape, residential, commercial, industrial, school, park and municipal systems. According to Design for Water, two water sources that potentially need little filtration or purification are rainwater and fog condensate. However, both require specific techniques for collection. Fog collection, while it can only apply to specific elevations and geographic fog-producing features, requires large fog col­lection arrays, troughs, pipes, and water storage tanks. Similarly, the efficient collection of rainwater depends on several factors. First of all, the catch­ment area – the defined surface area upon which rainwater falls and is collected – should be carefully chosen. Pollutants introduced from a poorly chosen catchment area can affect the usability of the captured water. Second, the quantity of water to be collected, known as the rainwater harvesting potential, should be carefully evaluated. Third, the conveyance system that carries the water to storage must be designed, and an initial process of removing pollutants, known as a first-flush diversion or roof washing, must be consid­ered. The water must also be stored and then distributed by gravity or by pumping.

Stormwater catchment can be for reuse of the water or, more typically, it can be caught for infiltration purposes. Alternate water supplies such as cooling tower bleed-off water, air conditioning condensate, and greywater can and typically are reused for non-potable uses that include landscape irrigation and toilet flushing. While rainwater collec­tion is the main emphasis of Design for Water, the collection and use or reuse of all of these supplies are recommended for applicability to a new or existing project.

This new book raises available rainwater catchment, stormwater collection, and alter­nate water reuse information to the detailed technical level and broad scope of application required by professional archi­tects, landscape architects, and engineers. It gives us clear writ­ing, abundant case studies, great illustrations, and technical authority. It is organized, comprehensive, and accessible. Through it we see where and how rainwater catchment is being implemented and alternate water reused. We see at work both simple ‘passive’ systems and the technically more demanding, but hydrologically much more complete and efficient, ‘active’ systems. This new book elevates professionals' awareness and capability by providing the information they need. Immediately upon publication, it has the effect and stature of this growing technology's leading technical guideline and profes­sional information resource. – Bruce K. Ferguson, FASLA, Franklin Professor of Landscape Architecture and former Director, University of Georgia School of Environmental Design

This accessible and clearly written guide is the most up-to-date book on the market dealing with alternate water collection, with a special focus on rainwater harvesting in the urban environment. Design for Water provides the necessary guidelines to set up passive harvesting techniques to anyone making development decisions. The book will especially appeal to engineers, landscape architects, municipal decision-makers, developers, and landowners.

Engineering / Telecommunications / Electrical & Electronics

Fundamentals of Communications Systems by Michael P. Fitz (McGraw-Hill)

Fundamentals of Communications Systems provides an introduction to physical layer communications theory with modern implementations and MATLAB examples. This guide covers essential theory and current engineering practice, explaining the real-world tradeoffs necessary among performance, spectral efficiency, and complexity.

Written by an award-winning communications expert, the book first takes readers through analog communications basics, amplitude modulations, analog angle modulation, and random processes. The book then explains noise in bandpass communications systems, bandpass Gaussian random processes, digital communications basics, complexity of optimum demodulation, spectrally efficient data transmission, and more. Fundamentals of Communications Systems features a modern approach to communications theory, reflecting current engineering applications and numerous problems integrated throughout, with software available for download.

The book consists of four parts for modular classroom presentation by Michael Fitz, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles and a member of the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions on Communications. Fitz’s goal in teaching communications is to provide students with

  • An exposition of the theory required to build modern communication systems.
  • An insight into the required trade-offs between spectral efficiency of transmission, fidelity of message reconstruction, and complexity of system implementation that are required for a modern communication system design.
  • A demonstration of the utility and applicability of the theory in the homework problems and projects.
  • A logical progression in thinking about communication theory.

Fundamentals of Communications Systems is more mathematical than most and does not discuss examples of communication systems except as a way to illustrate how important communication theory concepts solve real engineering problems. Fitz’s experience has been that his approach works well in an elective class where students are interested in communication careers or as a self-study guide to communications. His approach does not work as well when the class is a required course for all electrical engineering students as students are less likely to see the advantage of developing tools they will not be using in their career. MATLAB is used to illustrate the concepts of communication theory as it is a great visualization tool and probably the most prevalent system engineering tool used in practice today. Fitz says that the beauty of communication theory is the logical flow of ideas. He has tried to capture this progression in Fundamentals of Communications Systems.

The course objectives for an undergraduate communication course that can be taught from the text are (along with their ABET criteria)

  • Students learn the bandpass representation for carrier modulated signals. (Criterion 3(a)).
  • Students engage in engineering design of communications system compo­nents. (Criteria 3(c), (k)).
  • Students learn to analyze the performance, spectral efficiency and complexity of the various options for transmitting analog and digital message signals. (Criteria 3(e), (k)).
  • Students learn to characterize noise in communication systems. (Criterion 3(a)).

Fundamentals of Communications Systems takes a stylistic approach that is different than the typical commu­nication text. One stylistic technique that Fitz adopts in many of the sections, especially where tools for communication theory are developed, is the use of a property state­ment followed by a proof. His approach is to teach general concepts and then follow up with specific ex­amples. To Fitz the most important result from a class taught from this book is the learning of fundamental tools.

Fundamentals of Communications Systems contains two types of homework problems: (1) direct application problems and (2) extension problems. The application problems try to define a problem that is a straightforward application of the material developed in the text. The extension problem requires the student to think ‘outside the box’ and extend the theory learned in class to cover other important topics or practical applications.

Both for himself and the students he has taught, learning is consummated in ‘doing.’ Fitz includes ‘Miniprojects’ in the text to give the students a chance to implement the theory. The project solutions are appropriate for oral presenta­tion and this gives the students experience that is a valuable part of an engineering career. To aid students who are not familiar with MATLAB pro­gramming Fitz includes the code for all the MATLAB generated figures in the text on the book web page.

Readers can rely on Fundamentals of Communications Systems for a solid introduction to physical layer communications theory, filled with modern implementations and examples. This state-of-the-art guide covers essential theory and current engineering practice, carefully explaining the real-world tradeoffs. The book is written to fit the modern communications curriculum. Prerequisites to this course are probability and random variables and a signal and systems course.

Health, Mind & Body / Alternative Medicine

The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine: The Ultimate Multidisciplinary Reference to the Amazing Realm of Healing Plants, in a Quick-Study, One-Stop Guide by Brigitte Mars (Basic Health Publications, Inc.)

Agrimony, for example, is from the rose family; its common names are cocklebur and sticklewort. It can be made into an apricot-scented tea.

It can be used for asthma, bladder treatment, bronchitis, coughs, cystitis, incontinence, kidney stones, sore throats, and more. As a topical wash, it treats bruises, sore muscles, and hives. Gargling with it helps soothe sore throats. As a flower essence it helps those who appear cheerful but conceal mental anguish behind their humor, and it helps them find inner peace. – from the book

Herbal medicine has been with us since the beginning, one of the many aspects of humankind's symbiotic relationship with the natural world. It is the most time-tested healing tradition in the world, having evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in disparate regions and diverse cultures. In The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine renowned herbalist Brigitte Mars offers a guide to the vast array of medicinal herbs that are now commonly available in North America. The book is a ‘one-stop guide’ to herbal medicine with a glossary of physiological effects, an index of botanical names, and an index of alternative common names of herbs.

Drawing on healing traditions from around the world, Mars, who teaches herbal medicine through Esalen, the Boulder College of Massage Therapy and the Naropa Institute, presents detailed monographs of more than 180 herbs, from the commonplace tea and raspberry to the weedy dandelion and goldenrod to the more exotic ho shou wu and zeodary. The monographs provide a broad range of information about each herb, including their physiological effects, constituents, energetics, historical and current medicinal uses, other common uses, edible properties, natural range, and contraindications. Mars focuses on guiding readers toward the safe, effective, and confident use of plants as healing and preventive medicine.

Mars has been a practitioner of herbal healing for more than thirty-five years. Herbal medicine is not a ‘diagnose and treat’ program, she emphasizes. "It is a holistic approach to maintaining a vibrant, energetic, balanced state of being that is best practiced every day." Weaving herbal medicine with Western medicine enables us to have unparalleled treatment possibilities, she says.

Herbs may be purchased in stores, grown at home, and found in the wild. Mars in The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine offers specific guidelines as to what to look for and what to avoid, how to shop for herbs, how to harvest them, and how to dry them. She encourages people to make their own herbal formulations. She offers suggestions for using single herbs, mixing herbs, or mingling dry and fresh herbs, to make compresses for healing wounds, inflammation, rashes, and skin infections; and herbal blends for baths, eyewashes, facial steams, massage oils, and teas.

The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine is an invaluable companion in the study and use of herbs to achieve health, mitigate illness, and correct physiological imbalances.

Mars has created an authoritative, comprehensive multidisciplinary reference to healing plants available in North America. Mars’ forthright tone, pragmatic advice, and gentle humor shine here, inviting readers to use The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine as a study aid, a reference, and a wide-ranging exploration of the plant realm. Students and experienced practitioners of herbal medicine will find this concise, reference an invaluable companion in the study and use of herbs to achieve health, mitigate illness, and correct physiological imbalances.

Health, Mind & Body / Alternative Medicine / Asia

Traditional Thai Medicine: Buddhism, Animism, Ayurveda by C. Pierce Salguero (Hohm Press)

Traditional Thai medicine is an officially recognized healing system alongside modern Western biomedicine and traditional Chinese medicine in Thailand today. Traditional doctors (mo boran or mo phaen boran), as defined by the government, are those "practicing the healing arts by means of knowledge gained from traditional texts or study which is not based on science." This definition stands in contra-distinction to biomedical doctors, whose training is based on science.

Traditional Thai Medicine is an overview of Thai medical traditions, including origins and modern practice – a broad-brush history from the 3rd millennium BC to the present day, including contemporary practice. The culmination of eight years of field study and academic research on traditional Thai medicine, Traditional Thai Medicine traces a rich cultural heritage from its origins in Buddhism, animism and Ayurveda to the formation of a unique syncretic healing tradition which continues to be practiced today in both rural and urban Thailand. The book shows how Thai medicine has been influenced by Vedic India, Khmer mysticism, Chinese medical theory and the indigenous beliefs in spirits and ghosts, a time capsule of practices and beliefs from many historical eras.

According to Pierce Salguero, director of the Tao Mountain School of Traditional Thai Massage and Herbal Medicine, an overview like this has never before been undertaken in print. It is currently being used as part of the training curriculum at Thai massage schools throughout North America.

As told in the book, every formally-trained Traditional Thai Medicine (TTM) practitioner is required by the government to study a standardized curriculum, which typically includes one year of classes to become a traditional pharmacist and another two years to become a full physician. The arts of therapeutic massage (nuad boran or nuad phaen boran) or traditional midwifery (pradung kahn) can be taken during a fourth, optional, year. Students graduating from these programs are examined by the Ministry of Public Health, and are licensed and regulated by the national government through a process parallel to that which regulates medical doctors, nurses, and other practitioners of Western medicine.

A study in Thailand in 2005 counted 37,157 practitioners in various branches of TTM, and reported that 83.3 percent of hospitals, 67.8 percent of community centers, and 22.4 percent of health centers incorporated TTM to some degree. Despite a high level of official support and popularity in modern times, however, tra­ditional medicine in Thailand has never received much Western academic attention. Several scholars, particularly Brun and Schumacher, have characterized this split as a dichotomy between ‘royal’ medicine, or a literate form of medicine practiced at the court among learned doctors, and ‘rural’ medicine, or the eclectic prac­tices of the village. However, other scholars have demonstrated that so-called ‘rural’ practices are just as popular in the modern cities, and therefore reject the notion of an urban-rural bifurcation. Heinze's work has instead referred to a split between ‘elite’ and ‘folk’ medicine, but this convention still promotes the view that there are two separate traditions of healing.

For organizational purpose Salguero utilizes these terms in a limited way. Salguero’s approach in Traditional Thai Medicine looks into the historical context for medicine in Thailand in Part I; the literate ‘elite’ tradition of TTM in Part II; and ‘folk’ or non-literate medicine in Part III. In this way he presents a balanced approach to both the history and the modern practice of Thai medicine while acknowledging both its roots and its diversity.

Parts II and III approach seemingly different bodies of medical knowledge. ‘Elite’ Thai medicine includes practices heav­ily influenced by India, which Salguero refers to in Traditional Thai Medicine as Thai Ayurveda (for herbal practices) and Thai Yoga (for physical regi­men). Although there are some differences, much of the theory of textually-based Thai herbal prescription is in fact based on the Indian Ayurvedic Caraka and Sushruta Samhitas. As he shows, the written material from the Bangkok period is largely derived of Ayurvedic origin. Traditional Thai massage and physical exercises likewise are closely related to Indian hatha-yoga. These practices together form the basis of the system that is taught at the authoritative schools and that is regulated by the government today. Thus ‘elite’ Thai medicine self-consciously looks to the Indian medical classics as its foundational literature and incor­porates much of this theoretical background.

However, any analysis of Thai medicine must not only focus on the Ayurvedic and yogic influences, but must also discuss the ways in which non-Indian ideas are implemented in daily prac­tice by Thai healers. These diverse prac­tices are mentioned throughout the text, but are discussed in detail in Part III.

Though Salguero apportions Traditional Thai Medicine in this way, he is of the opinion that there are very few traditional heal­ers (or patients) who can be pigeonholed into one or another category. In practice the Thai government and practitioners themselves utilize this ‘two-medicines’ model when elite phy­sicians or official ministries differentiate between licensed and unlicensed healers. The analysis of Thai ‘folk’ medicine has usually been undertaken by anthropologists, who spend long periods of time in field study with practitioners, usually in remote villages. On the other hand, the analysis of written texts and other artifacts has usually been the purview of the historian. Thai medical texts tend to belong squarely to the ‘elite’ tradition, and for the most part prioritize Thailand's Indian heritage over the various other practices. Salguero bridges these two approaches by incorporating the work of both historians and anthropologists.

In Traditional Thai Medicine, Salguero looks at sources that reflect many of these various viewpoints. Chief among the ancient sources is the Pali canon, the foundational texts of the Theravada Buddhist tradition (committed to writing in Sri Lanka in the first cen­tury B.C.E., but for the most part composed in previous centu­ries in India and transmitted orally). He also brings in indigenous Thai texts, most notably the Thai Book of Genesis, which has been translated by Mulholland and is the only complete canonical medical text he knows of available in English. The main modern written source for Traditional Thai Medicine is the stu­dent manual in use in 1997 by the Shivagakomarpaj Traditional Medicine Hospital. This is a traditional clinic and medical school in northern Thailand which is in many ways at the center of the ‘elite-folk’ debate, as it is both a government-licensed medical school and a community clinic offering free traditional healthcare to the surrounding villages, self-consciously incorporating local medical knowledge into the national curriculum. In order to give a more balanced overview of Thai medi­cine, and to incorporate the non-literate practices, he con­textualizes these written sources by looking at various so-called folk practices and their implementation in the modern day. For the most part, he relies on his own ethnographic observations made during the periods he apprenticed in traditional Thai heal­ing while living in Chiang Mai for twenty-six months between 1997 and 2001, supplemented by secondary sources from the field of anthropology.

In this book Salguero summarizes the existing English-language scholarship on Thai medicine, and to point the way for future research. Not a comprehensive overview of the history or anthropology of Thailand, for practitioners and students of Thai massage, yoga, Ayurveda, and Buddhism, Traditional Thai Medicine is an invaluable resource. In addition, it may inspire practitioners of Thai healing arts as well as future scholars to look at the fascinating art of Thai medi­cine more seriously as a field of study.

Health, Mind & Body / Disorders & Diseases / Parenting & Families / Medicine

The Family Guide to Surviving Stroke and Communications Disorders, 2nd Edition by Dennis C. Tanner (Jones and Bartlett Publishers)

Although stroke remains the third leading cause of death in the United States, the vast majority of strokes are preventable. Research has shown that persons who do not smoke, or who quit the habit, are less likely to suffer a stroke. Drinking al­coholic beverages in moderation is an important stroke prevention measure. Regu­lar exercise, so important to an overall healthy life, also prevents strokes. There are new generations of medications to treat high blood pressure and to reduce the amount of negative blood cholesterol. New surgeries and improvements on old ones are available to open narrowed arteries to the brain.

As told in The Family Guide to Surviving Stroke and Communications Disorders, knowing the warning signs of stroke is even more important today because when medical treatment is initiated early, the effects of stroke can be minimized. The warning signs include numbness or weakness in the face, leg, or arm; confu­sion; blindness, blurriness, or other vision problems; and sudden dizziness and headache. One of the most important danger signs is a problem communicating. Slurred speech, problems remembering names of people and objects, difficulty stringing words together to make sentences, and an inability to understand what others are saying are all warning signs of stroke and require immediate medical attention. New medications and other treatments are reducing the severity of strokes, especially when they are given early. Advances in physical and occupa­tional therapies are helping stroke survivors deal with problems walking and other activities of daily living.

Author Dennis C. Tanner, Professor of Health Sciences, Northern Arizona University says he began writing the first edition of The Family Guide to Surviving Stroke and Communications Disorders in 1997. This second edition is, like the first, a guide for families and patients as well as rehabilitation specialists and speech pathologists to stroke. It describes the ‘big three’ stroke-related communication disorders – aphasia, apraxia, and dysarthrias. Through nontechnical terms, two short stories, case studies, questions and answers, and examples, The Family Guide to Surviving Stroke and Communications Disorders engages readers in persevering after a stroke.

Tanner says that while it may seem that therapies and other treatments for stroke-related communication disorders improve at a snail's pace, scientific and clinical understanding of these communication disorders marches on. New therapies are dis­covered, and there are refinements of existing ones. Each day, as thousands of speech-language pathologists provide therapies to tens of thousands of stroke survivors, collective clinical understanding of these disorders increases. Scien­tists conduct research on evaluation and treatment procedures and reach scientific conclusions about the merits of clinical procedures. During the past 10 years, scientists and clinicians have concluded that while speech and language therapies are beneficial in the treatment of stroke-related communication disor­ders, the psychological support provided by friends, family members, and thera­pists is of the utmost value.

There have been several additions, corrections, and changes to this edition of The Family Guide to Surviving Stroke and Communications Disorders. The Second Edition has been updated to include examples of the courage, determination, and resourcefulness of actual stroke survivors and their families when meeting the challenges of this major life-altering event. The Second Edition includes:

  • Murphy's Inner World of Aphasia: Beth's Story.
  • A new chapter: Profiles in Recovery.
  • Updated information about aphasia, apraxia of speech, and the dysarthias.
  • A poem: "The Silent Tongue (aphasia)" by Kathleen Gerety.
  • Updated resource section with current information and resources for the United States, Canada, and other countries.
  • The Aphasic Patient's Bill of Rights.

Some illustrations have been changed to better show the brain and its parts; these are now more detailed and informative. The new chapter Profiles in Recovery profiles several stroke survivors and their families and details their suc­cesses in dealing with one or more aspects of the communication disorder. These are inspiring success stories showing these remarkable individuals' courage, determination, and resourcefulness in coping with stroke and the loss of the ability to communicate normally.

The Family Guide to Surviving Stroke and Communications Disorders, second edition is a comprehensive guide for families of stroke survivors, for speech pathologists and rehabilitation specialists, and for counselors who respond to the needs of stroke survivors and their families. The book engages all readers on a journey toward understanding, healing, and persevering, providing an invaluable guide to survival for all family members, caregivers, and loved ones who have been affected by stroke.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling

Mastering the World of Psychology (2nd Edition) by Samuel E. Wood, Ellen Green Wood, Denise Boyd (MyPsychLab Series: Allyn & Bacon)

Today's college students are vastly different from students who filled classrooms just a few years ago – they are more diverse, more mobile, and more technologically astute than ever before. A good psychology textbook must communicate clearly to this diverse audience.

This second edition of Mastering the World of Psychology will appeal to students of all educational backgrounds. This book recognizes that different students have different learning preferences and studying and success strategies. It addresses these challenges by offering a wide vari­ety of pedagogical support tools to students master the principles of psychology.

Author Denise Boyd of Houston Community College resumes her co-author role alongside veteran authors Samuel Wood and Ellen Green Wood in bringing extensive experience in teaching thousands of students from varied ages, economic, educational, and cultural backgrounds to the new edition of Mastering the World of Psychology.

The authors believe that students must be actively involved. Various tools in this book guide students to success. The text has these objectives:

  • Maintain a clear understandable writing style. This text is filled with everyday examples pertinent to students' lives.
  • Provide an accurate, current, and thoroughly researched textbook featuring original sources. The authors have gone back to original sources and have read and reread the basic works of the major fig­ures in psychology and the classic studies in the field.
  • Encourage students to become active participants in the learning process. Reading about psychology is not enough. Students should be able to practice what they have learned. The Try It activities personalize psychology, making it simple for students to actively relate psychology to their everyday lives.
  • Show the practical applications of psychology. The Apply It section near the end of every chapter shows a practical application of psychology and demonstrates the role of psychology in daily life.
  • Help students understand and appreciate human diversity. Diversity is integrated throughout Mastering the World of Psychology. In addition, every chapter has at least one section that discusses psychological principles as they relate to cultures outside the United States.

Mastering the World of Psychology’s commitment to learning begins with the learning method the authors call SQ3R. Made up of five steps – Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review – this method is designed to aid in student success. Introduced in Chapter 1 in both description and in an annotated walkthrough, the SQ3R method is integrated throughout the text make the connection between psychology and life, while promoting a more efficient way to approach reading, studying, and test taking.

Among the key learning features in the Second Edition are the following:

  • Chapter-Opening Vignettes. These stories, based on real-life events and people, offer an accessible introduction to the chapter material.
  • Margin Learning Questions. Margin learning questions form the chapter outlines and appear throughout the chapter to challenge and test comprehension of the chapter coverage and help identify key concepts. These questions have been revised to get students to think more critically about their answers.
  • Review and Reflect Tables. These comprehensive summary tables help consolidate major concepts, their components, and their relationships to one another. The tables offer informa­tion in a visual form that provides a unique study tool.
  • Looking Back. End-of-chapter recaps provide a final word on the major concepts of the chapter and make connec­tions within and between chapter topics.
  • Summary and Key Terms Sections. Organized around the margin learning questions, each summary provides a comprehensive study tool as well as a quick reference to the chapter's key terms, listed alphabetically.
  • In-text Study Guide. Found at the end of every chapter, each Study Guide contains five sections. Four of the sections are the same in every chapter: Chapter Review, Fill In the Blank, Comprehensive Practice Test, and Critical Thinking. However, the second section in each Study Guide is different, providing an exercise that is tailored to help students review the material in that particular chapter; examples include Identify the Con­cept, Important Psychologists, and Complete the Diagrams. An answer key is provided at the end of the book.
  • Practice Tests. Two Practice Tests per chapter can be found at the end of Mastering the World of Psychology. Consisting of 20 multiple-choice questions, 10 true/false questions and a few short-answer questions, each Practice Test gives students the opportunity to learn whether or not they've truly grasped the material in the chapter. Answers can be found in the Solutions Manual.

The authors recognize that success lies not only in a strong learning pedagogy but in the ability to relate key psychological principles to life and career choices. The Second Edition of Mastering the World of Psychology pro­vides a variety of opportunities for learners to make hands-on use of their studies.

  • Try It. This feature provides brief applied experi­ments, self-assessments, and hands-on activities, which help personalize psychology, making it simple for students to actively relate psychological principles to everyday life. In this edition, the authors have included ‘Tips’ for selected boxes to where, and how to conduct activities.
  • Apply It. At the end of each chapter, an application box com­bines scientific research with practical advice to show students how to handle difficult or challenging situations that may occur in their personal, academic, or professional life.
  • How Did You Find Psychology? This new feature profiles key people in each sub-discipline of the field and explains (in their words) how they came to be a psychologist. Highlighting diverse candidates from all walks of life, this feature helps students still deciding on career paths see that people find their way to psychology from many different avenues.

MyPsychLab is packaged with the book. Some features of MyPsychLab are:

  • Learning in context. With MyPsychLab students use an actual e-book, in the same layout as the printed version, to launch multimedia resources such as animations, video and audio clips, activities and simulations.
  • Individualized Study Plans. MyPsychLab gives students multiple testing and quizzing opportunities in each chapter. Results from these assessments generate an Individualized Study Plan that allows students to pinpoint exactly where additional review is needed.
  • The Tutor Center. MyPsychLab offers students free access to the Tutor Center – a one-on-one service during the hours when they need help most. They also get unlimited access to Research Navigator, an online database of academic journals, with help in writing papers and navigating resources.
  • An easy-to-use solution. Instructors can spend as much or as little time as they'd like customizing their course. Content is pre-loaded and ready to use. With a click of the mouse, instructors have access to the test item file, class grade book, PowerPoint slides, and lecture outlines.

Before, I was seldom able to use multimedia in my classroom because our department has a small budget. Due to this exciting new tool, I now have access to every imaginable resource needed to teach and administer a psychology course! – Teresa R. Stalvey, Behavioral Science Instructor, North Florida Community College

The fact that the student names are automatically entered into the grade book is a relief. Being able to check when a student logged in eliminates a few arguments. No more copying syllabi! It's all there for them. I've easily posted class notes, reminders of tests and dates for assignments. – Mary-Ellen O'Sullivan, Psychology Department, Southern Connecticut State University

You have finally organized all the materials that have been stand-alone items for many years. – Fred Whitford, Montana State University

This has been the best decision I've made on a textbook. Thanks again for introducing me to this concept. – Kathy Manuel, Psychology Department, Bossier Parish Community College

No book on the market does more to help students get better grades than Mastering the World of Psychology. Highly interactive and engaging, the book encourages students to think for themselves as they learn about, relate to, and apply the psychological principles that affect their lives. MyPsychLab is an exciting learning and teaching tool, gives instructors easy access to every resource needed to teach and administer an introductory psychology course. In addition, Mastering the World of Psychology is one of the most carefully researched, up-to-date, accurate, and extensively referenced of all introductory psychology textbooks.

The book is appropriate for anyone interested in the introduction to psychology, but its emphasis on pedagogy makes it ideal for selection by those faculty members teaching large-scale introductory psychology courses.
History / Americas / Biographies & Memoirs / Travel

Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill: 1864-1894 edited by K. Douglas Munro (The University of Alberta Press)

I take great care of your letters…so they will be ready some day to be made use of…to make a volume of them or portion of them – for what you now write of those unknown regions cannot but prove valuable information in the future – so I regard your letters as Historical documents of no little value in the time to come and in my own eyes very precious for the loving heart that dictates them… – Catharine Parr Traill to her son Willie Traill, April 1890

Imagine a member of your family hunting buf­falo in the closing era of the great hunts, snowshoeing fifty miles or more a day, single-handedly nursing an entire fort through a smallpox epidemic, and you have some idea of why the Traill and McKay ancestors are an endless source of pride and admiration for all of us! Not only are the stories exciting, but the courage, resourcefulness, and decency of our relatives provides us with exemplary role models for our younger generations. – K. Douglas Munro, from the Introduction

Son of Catharine Parr Traill, The Backwoods of Canada (1836), and nephew of Susanna Moodie, Roughing It in the Bush (1852), William Edward Traill, better known as Willie, came by his literary talent naturally.
Traill (1844-1917) left Upper Canada to join the Hudson’s Bay Company in what was to become the Canadian West. For some thirty years, he worked his way up from clerk to Chief Trader. He also met and married Harriet McKay and together they had twelve children. His letters home between 1864 and 1893 convey detailed portrait of domestic life in the service of the fur trade of the Northwest.
K. Douglas Munro, editor of Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill, is the great-grandson of Willie Traill. Encouraged by family and by Pat McCloy, the discoverer of these letters and fellow Traill descendent, to publish the Willie Traill letters, he has spent the last decade pursuing this task.

As Michael Peterman writes in the Foreword, Willie Traill went west in 1864 and devoted his entire working life to the Hudson's Bay Com­pany. His career took him westward from the Manitoba territory to Fort Ellice and many other posts before he completed his tenure at Fort St. James in British Columbia. He and Harriet, daughter of Chief Factor William MacKay, had twelve children, nine of whom survived. Echo­ing his mother's commitment to letter-writing and the importance of the written word, Willie, like his brother Walter, left a rich record of observations and experiences in his letters home.

According to Peterman, it has taken family commitment, first from Willie's grandson, T.R. (Pat) McCloy, and then from another descendant, Doug Munro, to bring these important letters to the public. It was Pat who opened the territory in the 1950s by gathering and organizing the papers, which became the Traill Family Collection. The physical preservation of the Traill family documents became Pat McCloy's vocation and avocation. He sorted, deciphered, cata­logued, and indeed rescued this historic treasure.

Most of the original material upon which Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill is based is available solely because of his efforts.

There are more than 250 of William Traill's personal letters extant, and 177 are represented in Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill. These letters, written to family and close friends, trace Willie Traill's entire twenty-nine-year career with the Hudson's Bay Company, from his days as a raw recruit to his retirement from the Company as a seasoned veteran. These letters invite readers into Willie's life as it unfolds – giving them an intimate view of the daily challenges faced by an HBC trader and his family.

Little is known of Willie's formative years, although it is evident that his parents imbued him with the finest attributes of a proper Victorian gentleman. He was courteous, devout, kindly, industrious, well-mannered, honest, decent, and had a solid grounding in the English language – qualities that he epitomized until his death in 1917.

A vignette from the family's oral history underscores the ongo­ing poverty the family experienced. Willie, approximately age five and concerned about the family's financial plight, buried the Traill family's heirloom sterling silver spoons in their garden. When ques­tioned about the disappearance of the spoons, he explained that he had planted them so they would reproduce. A diligent search ensued, but the spoons were never recovered.

Willie's education, while sporadic, was as comprehensive as pos­sible considering the paucity of trained teachers and formal schools, and the lack of the financial means to provide a broad, well-balanced education. Fortunately, Willie came under the tutelage and guidance of William Tully, a schoolmaster who contributed significantly to Willie's formal education and later assisted him financially when he joined the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC).

Job opportunities in the Peterborough area were limited. However, Catharine was well connected and was determined to find suitable employment for Willie. With the assistance of James Hargrave, a for­mer senior executive of the Hudson Bay Company (HBC), and George Traill, a distant relative of Thomas's, Willie was hired as an apprentice clerk with the HBC.

As told in Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill, in 1864, Willie Traill left his family and friends in Upper Canada and journeyed to Rupert's Land. He could not have foreseen the events he would witness and participate in over the next thirty years. Willie would see Mother Nature at her worst: frosts, droughts, floods, hailstorms, famines, fires, and hordes of grasshoppers that totally destroyed crops and gardens. He would witness the dreadful smallpox, scarlet fever, and whooping cough epidemics that decimated the Plains Indians and white populations alike. He would be affected by the Red River and North West Rebellions, Confederation, the completion of the Trans Canada Railroad, and the virtual annihilation of the buffalo – which irreversibly destroyed the way of life of the Plains Indians.

Willie began his HBC career as Apprentice Clerk at Fort Ellice and concluded it, twenty-nine years later, at Fort St James as Chief Trader in charge of the New Caledonia District of British Columbia. He served the company with diligence and great dedication. His remuneration, while commensurate with HBC guidelines, was at best minimal. His duties were frequently onerous and thankless, especially in later years with the decline of fur yields and rapid escalation of costs. He resigned from the HBC in 1893.

His marriage in 1869 to Harriet, the eldest daughter of Chief Factor William McKay and his wife Mary (Cook), was a seminal event in his life. The McKays were giants in the history of the HBC and western development. William and Mary were a Hudson's Bay Company family to the bone. They were without peer in creating a fair, rational, intelligent, workable, and mutually respectful rela­tionship with the Plains Indian tribes. The McKays' dedication to the HBC had a fundamental and positive impact on Willie and his family. Their influence on Willie is evident in his youthful enthusiasm for the West, in his skill as an HBC trader, and in the place he ultimately held as a respected elder in his community.

Willie's personal letters are the heart and raison d'etre of Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill. They confirm and expand on his family's rich oral history. These let­ters were his social lifeline and his sole link to his beloved kin. His letters were treasured, read, reread, savored, and saved by his fam­ily. One hundred and seventy-seven of his personal letters are presented in this book, in whole or in part. They chronicle his twenty-nine years with the HBC, from his journey west to his final years at Fort St. James.

This collection of letters is unique and to my knowledge there is nothing like it in print. It represents a new, interesting and very valuable window on fur trade domesticity and family life. – Gerhard Ens

I salute Doug Munro for his effort and vision in bringing forward the life, times, and observations of Willie Traill, HBC man to the core and, at heart, his mother’s good and loyal son. – Michael Peterman, from the Foreword

At turns gritty, then deeply touching, the Willie Traill letters are a fascinating and informative, unguarded portrait of the joys and heartbreaking challenges of raising a family in the fur trade. The letters reveal the substantial contributions made by the Traill and McKay families to the development of Western Canada. As Catharine Parr Traill foresaw, Willie's letters make an important contribution to the historical record of Canada. Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill will be of interest to students of Cana­dian history.

History / Americas / Civil War / Biographies & Memoirs

Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe's America by Andrew Ferguson (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Abraham Lincoln was, arguably, our greatest president and perhaps the most influ­ential American who ever lived. But what is his place in our country today?

In Land of Lincoln Andrew Ferguson goes searching for Lincoln in homes, museums, national parks, roadside motels, and elsewhere from Rhode Island to Beverly Hills. What he finds is a man whose spirit, mythology, and philosophy continue to shape our national identity in serious and surprising ways.

Before he grew up and became one of Washington’s most respected reporters and editors, Ferguson was, of all things, a Lincoln buff – with the photos hung on his bedroom wall to prove it. Decades later, says Ferguson, his latent buffdom is reignited.

In Land of Lincoln, Ferguson embarks on a curiosity-fueled, coast-to-coast journey through contemporary Lincoln Nation, encountering everything from hatred to adoration to opportunism and all manner of reaction in between. In a nutshell, he attends a conference of Lincoln impersonators; attends a leadership conference based on Lincoln’s ‘management style’; drags his family across the Lincoln Heritage Trail; and even manages to hold in his hands a very special piece of American history.

The slightly longer version: In Land of Lincoln, Ferguson packs his bags and embarks on a journey where he encounters a world as funny as it is poignant, and a population as devoted as it is colorful. In a small town in Indiana, Ferguson drops in on the national conference of Lincoln presenters, 175 grown men who make their living (sort of) by impersonating their hero. He crisscrosses the country – to meet the premier Lincoln memora­bilia collectors, whose prized items include Lincoln's chamber pot, locks of his hair, and pages from a boyhood schoolbook. In a motel outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he attends a leadership conference that teaches business-people how to run their companies more effectively by appropriating Lincoln's ‘management style.’ And in one of the book's most amusing sections, Ferguson takes his wife and children on a trip across the three-state-long, now long-defunct Lincoln Heritage Trail, a driving tour of landmarks from Lincoln's life that wound through three states in the 1960s. At one point, Ferguson even manages to hold in his hands one of five original copies of the Gettysburg Address.

The question that animates this original, insightful, disarmingly funny book is: how do Americans commemorate Lincoln, and what do our memories of him reveal about our visions of the good life? … Ferguson is occasionally and unnecessarily snide, and a deeper examination of the changing place of Lincoln in mainstream historical scholarship would have added a great deal to the book. Still, Ferguson's conclusions are stirring. He finds Lincoln's meaning best articulated by Robert Moton, an educator whose parents were slaves. With great simplicity, Moton explained Lincoln's greatness: " a time of doubt and distrust... he spoke the word that gave freedom to a race and vindicated the honor of a Nation conceived in liberty...." – Publishers Weekly

Land of Lincoln is, as its title suggests, LOL, which is to say laugh-out-loud funny. It's also a wonderful and serious book about the enduring impact of our greatest president, by one of your best and wittiest writers. – Christopher Buckley

Wow! This is a fascinating book. With his usual humor and insight, but also with real poignancy, Ferguson looks at how we see ourselves as a nation by exploring the way we choose to see Lincoln. The result is brilliant and amusing, but also deeply moving. – Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Writing with humor, insight, imagination, and warmth. Andy Ferguson has accomplished a most unusual feat, he gives us a fresh look at Abraham Lincoln and his impact on our country. – Doris Kearns Goodwin. author of Team of Rivals

Land of Lincoln is like its subject: wise, funny, melancholic, virtuous, complex, tragic, undefeated, kind, stern, and possessed of a fund of wonderful stories. If you don't read this book you are on the wrong side of the twenty-first-century American Civil War, casting your lot with those who would secede from the union of good sense, good principles, and good humor. – P. J. O'Rourke, author of Peace Kills and On The Wealth of Nations

What a funny and warm-hearted and wonderful book this Land of Lincoln, part sociology, part journalism, part history, Andy Ferguson’s superb reporting bursts forth on each page. This book belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff! – Jay Winik, author of April 1865: The Month That Saved America

Told with an irresistible blend of humor and pathos, and propelled by a boyish enthusiasm, Land of Lincoln is an entertaining, unexpected, and big-hearted celebration of our sixteenth president's enduring influence on the country he helped create. The book is a travelogue, a history, a biography, and a witty commentary rolled into one highly entertaining look at our greatest president. Ferguson weaves in enough history to hook readers of presidential biographies and popular histories while providing the engaging voice and style of the best narrative journalism. What Ferguson learns in his sojourn is that Americans made Lincoln an icon because they needed someone to believe and this larger-than-life man has a statute made to order. Ferguson's fresh look is a welcome addition to Lincoln literature and one that is sure to inspire trips to the Midwest this summer.

History / Americas / Health, Mind & Body

Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul by Karen Abbott (Random House)
Two enterprising sisters, a corrupt and turbulent city, and a time in America's history when anxiety over urbanization and the changing roles of women caused uproar throughout the country is the setting for Karen Abbott's new book Sin in the Second City.

The perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in American history, were the catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation. Operating in Chicago’s notorious Levee district, the near South Side, at the dawn of the last century, the Club’s proprietors, two aristocratic sisters named Minna and Ada Everleigh, who fled Omaha in 1899, welcomed moguls and actors, senators and athletes, foreign dignitaries and literary icons, into their stately double mansion. The bordello – which boasted three stringed orchestras and a room of 1,000 mirrors – attracted such patrons as John Barrymore. Courtesans named Doll, Suzy Poon Tang, and Brick Top devoured raw meat to the delight of Prince Henry of Prussia and recited poetry for Theodore Dreiser. While lesser whorehouses specialized in deflowering virgins, beatings and bondage, the Everleighs spoiled their whores with couture gowns, gourmet meals and extraordinary salaries. Lesser madams pocketed most of a harlot’s earnings and kept a ‘whipper’ on staff to mete out discipline; the Everleighs made sure their girls were examined by an honest physician, and even tutored in the literature of Balzac and the poetry of Longfellow.
Abbot, former journalist on the staffs of Philadelphia magazine and Philadelphia Weekly, tells how not everyone appreciated the sisters’ attempts to elevate the industry. Rival Levee madams hatched numerous schemes to ruin the Everleighs, including an attempt to frame them for the death of department store heir Marshall Field, Jr. But the sisters’ most daunting foes were the Progressive Era reformers, who sent the entire country into a frenzy with lurid tales of ‘white slavery’ – the allegedly rampant practice of kidnapping young girls and forcing them into brothels. This furor shaped America’s sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House, including the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
With a cast of characters that includes Jack Johnson, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., William Howard Taft, ‘Hinky Dink’ Kenna, and Al Capone, Sin in the Second City is Abbott’s portrait of the iconic Everleigh sisters, their world-famous Club, and the perennial clash between our nation’s hedonistic impulses and Puritanical roots. Culminating in a dramatic last stand between brothel keepers and crusading reformers, Sin in the Second City offers a snapshot of America’s journey from Victorian-era propriety to twentieth-century modernity.

Freelance journalist Abbott's vibrant first book probes the titillating milieu of the posh, world-famous Everleigh Club brothel that operated from 1900 to 1911 on Chicago's Near South Side. … Rev. Ernest Bell preached nightly outside the club and ambitious Chicago state's attorney Clifford Roe built his career on the promise of obliterating white slavery. With colorful characters, this is an entertaining, well-researched slice of Windy City history. – Publishers Weekly

A detailed and intimate portrait of the Ritz of brothels. – Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City
A rollicking tale from a more vibrant time: history to a ragtime beat. – Kirkus Reviews

A lush South Side bordello in the early 1900s is the setting for much titillation and surprising anecdotes. Karen Abbott does a magnificent job writing about a colorful yet often-forgotten bit of Chicago history. – Chicago Tribune

With gleaming prose and authoritative knowledge Abbott elucidates one of the most colorful periods in American history, and the result reads like the very best fiction. Sex, opulence, murder – What's not to love? – Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
…isn’t Minna’s advice to her resident prostitutes worthy advice for us all: ‘Give, but give interestingly and with mystery.’ – Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City
Karen Abbott has combined bodice-ripping salaciousness with top-notch scholarship to produce a work more vivid than a Hollywood movie. – Melissa Fay Greene, author of There is No Me Without You
 This is a story of debauchery and corruption, but it is also a story of sisterhood, and unerring devotion. Meticulously researched, and beautifully crafted, Sin in the Second City is an utterly captivating piece of history. – Julian Rubinstein, author of Ballad of the Whiskey Robber

Provocative, entertaining, and thoroughly researched, Sin in the Second City is the story of two remarkable women and the life they built for themselves in one of America's most vibrant cities. The book is colorful and nuanced, dramatic and vibrant. More broadly, Abbott's research serves as an important snapshot of America's shift from Victorian-era propriety to twentieth-century modernity and foreshadows the ongoing culture clash in America between religious fundamentalism and more secular viewpoints.

History / Americas / Health, Mind & Body / Politics / Social Policy / Law

Censoring Sex: A Historical Journey Through American Media by John Semonche (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.)

[A] sizable portion of the American public accepts censorship as an imagined ‘quick fix’ solution to moral drift and other social ills.... Fears of unbridled ... sexuality, of a world without clear moral compass, and of the impact that a gigantic multimedia universe is having on our children, have contributed to the continued scapegoating of speech in America. – Marjorie Heins, 1998

The activity of censoring not only permits but moralizes and glorifies the preoc­cupation with sex. – Horace M. Kallen, 1930

Censorship, whether undertaken to ward off government regulation, to help preserve the social order, or to protect the weak and vulnerable, proceeds on the assumption that the censor knows best and that limiting the choices of media consumers is justified. Censorship occurs because important values are perceived to be under attack. Moral guardians assume that individuals cannot be trusted to make the right choices. In the commercial marketplace, companies that produce products that do not sell are weeded out; the same holds true in the mar­ketplace of ideas. Censors knew that there was a market for sexual expres­sion; they wanted to prevent it from being stocked, confident in the belief that they knew what was best for others.

In Censoring Sex, John Semonche surveys censorship for reasons of sex from the nineteenth century up until the present. He covers the various forms of American media – books and periodicals, pictorial art, motion pictures, music and dance, and radio, television, and the Internet. Despite the varieties of censorship, running from self-censorship to government bans, a common story is told. In each of the areas, Semonche, professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, explains via abundant examples how and why censorship took place. He also details how the cultural territory contested by those advocating and opposing censorship diminished over the course of the last two centuries. In an era in which sexual images are pervasive and the need for reliable information about sex and sexuality is growing, he questions the remaining rationales for censorship and the justification for placing obscenity outside the protection of the U.S. Constitution.

In a very real sense, Semonche says in Censoring Sex, we are all censors, sometimes discriminating ones, sometimes not. We decide what we find objectionable or disgusting and what we wish to avoid. Furthermore, we seek in various ways to persuade others to share our tastes, to follow our lead. Problems arise when we seek to impose our tastes upon others, not by argument or example, but by re­stricting their freedom of choice. When we seek to deny to others the op­portunity to choose for themselves, we become censors in the sense that the term is used in the book.

Censorship occurs at the very start of the creative process, when creators limit or self-censor what they produce. Societal limits on sexual speech clearly can have a chilling effect on the creative process. Once something is created, however, that, in itself, does not assure any public visibility. The work has to be exhibited, published, or made available in some way. So, the artist may create but not find an outlet for the work – no publisher, ex­hibit space, airtime, etc. This need to rely upon middlemen to reach the public is what has made the development of the Internet, with its di­rect communication between the creator and the public, a revolutionary development in communications. Such ready communication also explains why the Internet so quickly attracted the attention of government regulators. When the hurdle of publication or exhibition is cleared, however the product is not necessarily free to circulate. It may then have to survive legal examination, pressure applied by various groups, the decisions of timid administrators, etc.

According to Censoring Sex, today those persons and groups who seek to limit the availability of or accessibility to certain material deny that they are acting as censors. They are protecting children; they are seeking to create a welcoming environment in which sensitive persons are not made uncomfortable; or they are simply opposed to using public funds to support that which offends many in society. The stories told in the book largely begin in the latter decades of the nineteenth century when capitalism has accelerated and messages have become commodities. Censorship for reasons of religious and political orthodoxy, though hardly absent in modern times, tends to be supplanted in periods of relative calm by a search for moral or­thodoxy. This search is coupled with a perceived need to protect the mentally weak, the less than well-regulated persons in the community.

Today, sex censorship, except for the proscription against obscenity that continues to limit what adults may obtain as well, is justified almost exclu­sively in terms of protecting children. How and why this is so and how it has reconfigured the battleground between supporters and opponents of censorship is explained in Censoring Sex. No matter how different the progression to the present has been with various media, how and why this battlefield has been confined and the implications of such confinement constitute much of what is to be found in the book.

Censoring Sex is organized around popular culture and the way in which concerns about sex have led to censorship. Four chapters on books, pictorial art, movies, and music and dance are followed by a final chapter on electronic media. Each chapter traces censorship over time and is complete in itself. Although each story is different from the others because censorship has come in different ways and at different stages in the creative process, the concerns that led to censorship and the resulting bat­tles are strikingly similar.

Books and other printed material constituted the first medium to attract the attention of censors of sexual speech in the modern age. It is the arena within which the law of obscenity would be developed. Book cen­sorship on sexual grounds evolved from proof of obscenity by assertion and common sense to the development of a legal test that sought to pro­tect speech about sex in American society. The censorship involved was often that of the heavy hand of government, something that bookends the treatment of censorship found in Censoring Sex. Presently censorship in this area tends to be localized and to center on what children are reading or have access to in public schools and libraries. The chapter also introduces Anthony Comstock, the intrepid censor of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

A move to pictorial art again encounters Comstock and his successor at the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. The chapter considers the role of the federal government as censor both in regard to its authority over the mails and over the admittance of goods into the country. Yet many of the incidents in the chapter deal with local efforts to censor art, efforts that continue to the present. The censorship of art tends to be more local and isolated than censorship in the other areas simply because images are not generally widely reproduced. When photography was used to reproduce images of nude pictorial art, it became a target of censors. Only later was photography itself recognized as an art form.

In no medium was self-censorship institutionalized as it was in the mo­tion picture industry. Censors were convinced that motion pictures, even before sound, constituted the greatest threat to the moral well-being of so­ciety. Beginning with the earliest and most primitive moving pictures, cru­saders against the industry were active. To limit protests, local and state leg­islation, and threats of federal action, the industry created the Production Code. From the early 1930s until the late 1960s, its rigorous enforcement sexually sanitized American movies, creating a substantial disconnect be­tween what viewers knew and what they saw on the screen. Not until the Production Code was scrapped and a ratings system instituted was the American cinema released from this form of bondage. The new system did not end all movie censorship, but it gave producers room to refine an art that had languished and fallen behind its European competitors.

In dealing with popular music, one deals with lyrics, which have been an ongoing target of censors. The bawdy lyrics of the colonial period have sur­vived to this day. Only recently, however, have they been collected and pub­lished. Present-day lyrics make the earlier earthiness look somewhat quaint. More is involved than words, for censors targeted both music and dance. Ragtime and jazz were seen as detrimental influences on the young long before rock and roll became the agency of youth rebellion. Beginning with the scandalous waltz, social dancing moved from the animal varieties of the 1920s through those that accompanied the beats of the rock-and-roll and post-rock-and-roll years.

The final chapter of Censoring Sex covers electronic media: radio, television, and the Internet. The scarcity of the bandwidth led to federal governmental regulation of both radio and television, but with the proviso that such regulation was not to become censorship. Despite this attempted bar, censorship in the area of radio and television was present from the very start. Station licenses had to be renewed periodically, and the federal agency had to make a determination as to whether the license holder was serving the public interest and not filling the airwaves with objectionable matter. Furthermore, license holders, sensitive to the need to satisfy the controlling agency, engaged in self-censorship. How else was renewal to be assured and further governmental regulation to be avoided? In regard to the Internet, the federal gov­ernment has been an eager censor seeking to regulate the sexual content cy­berspace makes available.

In the eighty-plus years that free expression claims have received serious judicial attention, Americans have won the right to discuss almost everything without restriction. The exception has been sex. Legal and social bar­riers have been lowered but never removed, as incursions into that innermost sanctum of human existence continue to meet resistance. Sexual speech may, in fact, constitute the last frontier for freedom of expression to conquer. Censoring Sex shows just how difficult and elusive that quest has been.

Fascinating and eminently readable, Censoring Sex traces the paradoxical history of America's simultaneous obsession with, and fear of, that `great and mysterious motive force in human life' – human sexuality. – Marjorie Heins, author of Not in Front of the Children: ‘Indecency,’ Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth

Moral concerns over representations of sexuality and gender shaped the evolution of American media, and Censoring Sex traces them with both care and flair. – Joseph W. Slade, director of graduate studies, University of Ohio-Athens, and author of Pornography in America: A Reference Handbook

As John E. Semonche so clearly shows, the terms of the debate over sexual representation persist almost unchanged. For readers who think that it is perhaps time for a fresh view, Censoring Sex will be an informative read. – Svetlana Mintcheva, director of the arts program at the National Coalition Against Censorship

Covering the history of censorship of sexual ideas and images is one way of telling the story of modern America, and Semonche tells that tale with insight and style. Censoring Sex is a gracefully written, accessible and entertaining book.

History / Americas / Latin American Studies / Gender Studies / Law / Anthropology

Decoding Gender: Law and Practice in Contemporary Mexico edited by Helga Baitenmann, Victoria Chenau & Ann Varley (Rutgers University Press)

Gender discrimination pervades nearly all legal institutions and practices in Latin America. The deeper question is how this shapes broader relations of power. By examining the relationship between law and gender as it manifests itself in the Mexican legal system, the thirteen essays in Decoding Gender show how law is produced by, but also perpetuates, unequal power relations. At the same time, however, the authors show how law is often malleable and can provide spaces for negotiation and redress. The contributors, including political scientists, sociologists, geographers, anthropologists, and economists, explore these issues – not only in courts, police stations, and prisons, but also in rural organizations, indigenous communities, and families.

Decoding Gender brings together a collection of studies spanning more than one hundred years of Mexican history with coverage of issues of contemporary scholarly debate. Editors of the volume are Helga Baitenmann, associate fellow of the Institute of the Study of the Americas, University of London; Victoria Chenaut, research professor at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologí­a Social, Mexico; and Ann Varley, reader in Geography, University College, London.

Mexico is in many respects an ideal case study for exploring the intricate associations between law and gender in Latin America. Today Mexico is a country with a population of over one hundred million people, more than half of whom are of indigenous or mestizo descent. Mexican society is rife with deep inequalities along class, gen­der, and ethnic lines, with these divisions refracted across social and cultural forms unevenly incorporated into the market economy.

If the modern history of law and gender in Mexico is that of state formation and re-formation, it is also a history of national and local discontinu­ities and of a complex articulation of state and customary modes of social regu­lation. Despite the apparently unifying instance of law in the institutions and codes of the state, there is no singular account of law and gender, and even today in some regions of Mexico legal regulation is conducted through a plural­ity of parallel and overlapping systems.

Mexican modernity, whether in its liberal, revolutionary, or corporatist moments, incorporated women selectively, on far from equal terms, and with a surprising degree of inconsistency. Mexico led the way in Latin America when it in 1870 established the principle of separation of marital property and in 1884 allowed testamentary freedom. But for much of the twentieth century, citizens' rights rested on deeply rooted notions of gender difference that accorded with an idealized view of the asymmetric social roles occupied by the sexes. In this ordering, men were naturally assumed to be the primary breadwinners, while women's duties lay in the home. The influence of the Catholic Church, although diminished in the revolutionary years, remained a powerful moralizing force, particularly in matters pertaining to the family and to women's sexual and repro­ductive roles. Even today, some of the most restrictive and punitive abortion laws can be found in Mexico.

The Constitution of 1917 and the Civil Code of 1928 accorded women legal equality and gave them some new rights, notably through removing potestad marital, yet denied them full civil and political rights. Women's right to contract remained limited, and married women, charged with legal responsibility for domestic matters, could only work outside the home with their husband's permission. Most surprisingly, perhaps, universal female franchise was not granted until 1953 – later than in most Latin American states.

This unevenness in women's acquisition of citizenship rights was particu­larly evident in judicial rulings that assumed male prerogatives and sexual rights over women's bodies. The old division between public and private mat­ters of legal jurisdiction allowed the ‘private’ sphere of the family to be left ‘outside justice,’ as in the case of marital rape and domestic violence, which were often treated as a private matter, with lenient sentencing of husbands even for serious cases of assault. Only gradually did the law place limits on men's authority over their wives, with women remaining subject to what has been called a ‘fraternal sexual contract,’ through which they acquired some rights in the public sphere but were denied others in the private sphere and by virtue of their ‘difference.’

Campaigns for gender justice across the last century or more have been directed in three areas; first they have sought to remove patriarchal and masculine privilege in the legal codes regulating the public and private spheres. Second, equal-rights campaigners have also challenged the assimilation of women to the masculine norm where this is clearly at variance with justice. Thirdly, reform efforts have also been directed at the judicial process itself, to make it more responsive to criticisms of its practice and more accountable to the prin­ciple of equal treatment. It is through exploring the multiple interactions between law and gender that the chapters in Decoding Gender cast light on this question of the limits of law.

The essays fall into four thematic groups. The first set of essays, based on court records, current ethnographic work, and legal discourse analysis, explores the relationship between law and sexuality. In Ana Alonso's chapter, for instance, law becomes the site of discursive struggle when judges, plaintiffs, and the accused negotiate constructions of love, gender, and sexuality in the early twentieth-century Chihuahua courts. Readers learn from Ivonne Szasz's analysis of Mexican penal codes how sexual acts that are physio­logically similar may have different social and subjective meanings, depending on the historical and cultural context and on the social relations involved. And Rosio Cordova Plaza's ethnographic study of transvestite prostitutes in the city of Xalapa shows how these individuals fall outside the dichotomized vision of society found in most Veracruz state laws, while the lack of up-to-date legislation regulating the trade leaves sex workers unprotected with regard to their rights and obligations as workers.

The second set of essays makes innovative, gendered contributions to the already booming field of ‘interlegality’ (the relationship between national and indigenous law). Here, indigenous women become visible not only as the victims (as they often are) of a gendered legal system, but also as dynamic actors who increasingly influence the legal systems under which they live. Lynn Stephen focuses on land rights in Chiapas, arguing that indigenous women's best chance of obtaining land is through emerging popular legal systems that are a hybrid of national, indigenous, and revolutionary laws. Maria Teresa Sierra's derailed case study of the multi-tiered court system available to indigenous women illustrates how gender ideologies at the intersection of hegemonic legal discourse and indigenous laws do not necessarily contradict each other. Victoria Chenaut's chapter demonstrates, in turn, how the gendered construction of criminality in a Veracruz jail affects indigenous women, whose poverty, monolingualism, and illiteracy make them exceptionally vulnerable to criminal charges that can end in years of imprisonment.

In the third section, authors analyze from different angles the role law and legal processes play in the construction of family and marital rights and respon­sibilities. Ann Varley's study of legislation from the revolutionary era finds con­tradictions between revolutionary laws that decreed equality within the home and subsequent legislation that made women legally responsible for domestic labor. We learn from Soledad Gonzalez Montes's essay that women in rural Mexico frequently abandon their home and seek assistance from local judges in renegotiating their marital contract in the hope of improving their daily life. Finally, Helga Baitenmann's analysis of recent agrarian court records from the state of Veracruz shows how judges and plaintiffs have internalized the con­struction of the ‘agrarian family’ (nuclear, monogamous, and male-headed), which has underpinned Mexican agrarian property rights for almost a century.

The fourth and final section of Decoding Gender problematizes questions about whether a nation's legal system is comparatively progressive with regard to gen­der justice. Carmen Diana Deere's analysis of women's property rights shows how legal change is a long-term process, its outcome often difficult to charac­terize. Although Mexico has been a pioneer in Latin America with respect to married women's property rights, the jury is still out concerning such questions as how far innovations in family law have promoted greater gender justice. Finally, Adriana Ortiz-Ortega's historical study of the treatment of abortion rights in Mexico's penal code demonstrates how the content of the law can reflect feminist demands, but its implementation be controlled by more conservative groups.

Framing Decoding Gender are a foreword and an afterword by two prominent figures in, respectively, the fields of gender studies and legal anthropology. Maxine Molyneux's foreword adopts a broadly comparative perspective, from which she makes pointed observations about the specificity of the intersection between law and gender in contemporary Mexico. In turn, Jane Collier's afterword reflects meaningfully on why the relationship between law and gender in contemporary Mexico must be understood within the context of eighteenth-century liberal law and in terms of the constraints and possibilities that this legal legacy offers.

The essays in Decoding Gender clearly show that the connection between law and gender in contemporary Mexico is more complex, contradictory, and indeter­minate than one might have assumed. The chapters show that discourses of law and gender are often regionally and historically specific. However, such considerations are not suffi­cient to understand the complexity of law with regard to gender relations. The contributions illustrate that, in spite of important changes in legislation and in the use of the legal system, discrimination, exclusion, and disempowerment on the basis of gender persist. Many naturalized gender ide­ologies prove remarkably resilient in the face of legal reform, and the chapters in this book illustrate the many dimensions of this phenomenon. The essays also show, in different ways, that a number of double standards and naturalized concepts seem constantly to reappear in laws and legal processes.

A principal message that emerges from Decoding Gender is the importance of fully grasping the content and application of the law. First, laws can have unintended gendered consequences, such that the outcome cannot be read directly from the letter of the law. Second, the chapters in Decoding Gender collectively confirm that there is much variation in the roles that individuals can and do play in the Mexican legal sys­tem. Whereas laws are made by men (and, more and more, by men and women), there are plenty of men and women eager to have their say in state and federal legislatures. In some cases, Mexican state legislatures are changing the civil and penal codes with remarkable frequency, in order to stamp their party imprint on sensitive social issues such as abortion rights.

This volume provides a unique interdisciplinary collection of theoretically grounded analyses and empirically based accounts revealing how law is shaped by, and also shapes, gendered relations of power. – Sarah Hamilton, author of The Two-Headed Household: Gender and Rural Development in the Ecuadorean Andes

This splendid collection of essays breaks new ground by showing the complex, contradictory, and shifting intersection between law and gender in modern Mexico. Focusing on such topics as sexuality, family, marriage, agrarian rights, and the indigenous court system, it convincingly illustrates how this relationship has always been contentious and now is increasingly becoming affected by agency, negotiation, and redress. – Heather Fowler-Salamini, coeditor of Women of the Mexican Countryside, 1850-1990

Decoding Gender brings together a number of significant studies on law and gender in twentieth-century Mexico that begin to bridge the sub-disciplinary divides. By bringing new interdisciplinary perspectives to issues such as the quality of citizenship and the rule of law in present-day Mexico, Decoding Gender raises important issues for research on the relationship between law and gender more widely.
History / Americas / Mexico / Archaeology

The First American: The Suppressed Story of the People Who Discovered the New World by Christopher Hardaker, with an introduction by Charles Naeser (New Page Books)

The only thing new is the history you don’t know. – President Harry Truman

As a scientist I am embarrassed that it has taken over 30 years for archaeologists and geologists to revisit the bone and artifact deposits of Valsequillo Reservoir. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, data were presented that suggested Early Man had been in the New World much earlier than anyone had previously thought. Rather than further investigate the discoveries, which is what should have been done, they were buried under the sands of time, in the hope that they would be forgotten.
Now we have at least five independent geological age estimates that all indicate an old, pre-Clovis age for the Valsequillo site. We have the choice of accepting the results as correct and concluding that the artifacts are greater than 200,000 years old or arguing that there is something significantly wrong with each of the geological age estimates. – from the Foreword by Charles Naeser, geochemist, United States Geological Survey

Forty years ago, an amateur prehistorian discovered an engraved mastodon bone near Mexico City, showing a virtual bestiary from the Ice Age. Harvard University took notice and excavated nearby sites around the Valsequillo Reservoir. They found perfectly buried kill sites with the oldest spearheads in the world. Some archaeologists postulated their age at 40,000 years, three times older than the official 12,000-year-old date for the first Americans. Then the shocker – United States Geology Survey (USGS) geologists came up with the date of 250,000 years old!
Even though these dates were published in peer-reviewed geological journals, archaeologists wrote off the geologists, saying they were mistaken and that their dates were too ridiculously old. Archaeologists never returned to the site and curiosity died out. Soon after, this once world-class archaeology region became off-limits for official research, a ‘professional forbidden zone.’
The Valsequillo discoveries were legendary, but regarded as ‘fringe’ by professional archaeologists. Why this radical turn-about? What was found that was so unspeakable, so impossible? What happened to these artifacts – America's earliest art and spearheads, and why don't archaeologists seem to care?

In The First American, Christopher Hardaker, a field archaeologist for 30 years, tries to unearth the mystery. The book details the events of the discovery and its subsequent dismissal, as well as the attempt in 2001 by a wealthy outsider to find the truth about the Valsequillo discoveries. Included in The First American are photos of the original artifacts, and excerpts from reports, letters, and memos from the site participants themselves.

Hardaker divides his research between the nature of stone tools and using simple geometry to explore architectural traditions ranging from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, to Washington, D.C. He first learned of the ‘professionally forbidden’ older horizons of New World prehistory in 1977 on a visit to the Mojave Desert's Calico Early Man site established by the legendary Louis S. B. Leakey. It was there that he first heard the name Valsequillo. He is currently analyzing the astonishing 60,000-plus artifacts from Calico.

Read Christopher Hardaker's shocking and enlightening book and you will realize that what we are taught about prehistory is often not the truth but a story fashioned by archaeologists to serve their own worldviews, careers, ego and interests. Hardaker does us all a service by exposing the facts and fictions behind conventional wisdom about the peopling of the Americas. – Graham Hancock, best-selling author of Fingerprints of the Gods

Famed British archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler once said, ‘Archaeology is not a science; it is a vendetta.’ Chris Hardaker gives a perfect example in his stunning blow-by-blow account of the attempts by the archeological establishment to dismiss and suppress the amazing date of 250,000 years obtained by geologists for the Valsequillo sites in Mexico. – Michael A. Cremo, best-selling author of Forbidden Archeology

The book is full of detail – findings, contradictory facts and evidence, maps, facsimiles of letters, photographs, sketches of bones. The book is both a mystery and an expose. Through The First American, archaeologists may once again be forced to ask the same question their mentors asked: Are we too in love with our own theories to ignore the evidence of science yet again? And readers will hear the incredible story of the great Valsequillo discoveries, the greatest story of early American man never told.

History / Americas / Military

Sniper: A History of the U.S. Marksman by Martin Pegler (Osprey Publishing)

Much is known about the work of snipers in the 20th and 21st centuries, but few know that the history of military marksmanship in America dates back to the Revolutionary War.

In Sniper, armaments expert Martin Pegler examines how the Continental Army was the first ever to employ riflemen as scouts and skirmishers against an enemy. He writes, "The twelve companies of riflemen initially employed were quickly singled out to act as light infantrymen whose purpose revolved around their ability to observe, harass, and confuse the enemy, often from the relative protection of the woodland and thick brush to which they were inured."

Following on from the success of Out of Nowhere – A History of the Military Sniper, Pegler, former Senior Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, gives readers an in-depth study of not only the development of the rifle, but also the parallel emergence of the American rifleman, sharpshooter and sniper. Sniper examines the gradual evolution of the rifle in America from the earliest firearms introduced in the 15th century, to the most recent and highly accurate sniping rifles of the 21st century.
He takes a look at the technological development of the weapons, sighting systems and ammunition as well as the unique part played by the U.S. firearms industry in pioneering mass-production. Considerable use is made of contemporary accounts in describing how the use of the rifle during the Revolutionary War, Civil War and the more recent conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries have impacted American military history.
In chronicling this 200+ year history of the sniper, Pegler also delves into the history of the rifle and how it evolved from the earliest muzzle-loaded devices through the semi-automatic long-range weapons in use today. He reveals how the impetus for developing the rifle came from the civil sector – hunters' demand for a long-range weapon – rather than from the military, which at first resisted it. He also demonstrates how military snipers have usually been drawn from among those who had civil training in weapons handling. Says Pegler, "It is only within the past 25 years that there has been a standing sniper corps. Throughout their history, even in Vietnam, snipers were assembled ad hoc and usually trained in-theater. At the same time, the history of snipers is replete with

soldiers going into battle with the same weapons they used to hunt with back home on the farm."

Pegler objects strongly to those who see snipers as nothing more than paid assassins, which, he says, was a motivation for writing the book. "In the end," says Pegler, "deployment of snipers in battle is about protection. The skilled marksman, sent on special missions or used to cover front-line movements of fellow soldiers, has as his only job the safeguarding of his squad." Sniper concludes with a study of the American sniper in modern warfare, including Afghanistan and the ongoing Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Accurate and informative, a must-read to understand the evolution of the modern sniper. – Carey L. Fabian, Master Sergeant, Anti-Terrorism, Raining Branch, USMC

The best book of its type to be published so far ... a remarkable, well-illustrated book that is recommended for those interested in military history or military arms. – Mark A. Keefe IV, Editor-in-Chief, American Rifleman
The best overall book on snipers I have ever read. – Surplus Rifle

While many previous historians have observed that guerrilla warfare tactics practiced by the Colonial American army proved decisive against British columns, Sniper sets this development within the wider story of the role marksmen have played in nearly every conflict this country has faced. This sweeping history ultimately gives a fascinating and detailed overview of the relentless march of weapons technology, as well as an unusual insight into the lives and the motives of the men who used them.

History / Americas / Political Science

New Deal/New South: An Anthony J. Badger Reader by Anthony J. Badger (The University of Arkansas Press)

The twelve essays in New Deal/New South, several published here for the first time, represent some of Tony Badger's best work in his ongoing examination of how white liberal southern politicians who came to prominence in the New Deal and World War II handled the race issue when it became central to politics in the 1950s and 1960s.

Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s thought a new generation of southerners would wrestle Congress back from the conservatives. The Supreme Court thought that responsible southern leaders would lead their communities to general school desegregation after the Brown decision. John F. Kennedy believed that moderate southern leaders would, with government support, facilitate peaceful racial change. Badger's writings demonstrate how all of these hopes were misplaced.

Badger, Paul Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge University and Master of Clare College, examines twentieth-century American South politics in New Deal/New South, showing time and time again that moderates were not in control. Southern liberal politicians for the most part were paralyzed by their fear that ordinary southerners were all too aroused by the threat of integration and were reluctant to offer a coherent alternative to the conservative strategy of resistance.

No commentator on twentieth century America, especially the American South, writes more perceptively, or more engagingly, than Tony Badger. Viewing the United States from a British perspective, he matches his extraordinary command of sources and a vivid style to a transatlantic angle of vision. – William E. Leuchtenburg, author of The White House Looks South
This admirable volume, containing not only Tony Badger's many deeply researched articles and talks about Southern political history but also a fascinating and lively autobiographical essay, is a wonderful and welcome publication. – James Patterson, author of Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974
Tony Badger is the leading political historian of the South between 1930 and 1970. Tony is a master essayist, capable of grand synthesis while at the same time proving that political history requires a precision craftsmanship. – Jane Daily, author of The Politics of Race in Post-Emancipation Virginia
This is a very important subject, especially as scholars try to compose a multiple and comprehensive account of the civil rights movement and how it affected both blacks and whites. – Steven Lawson, author of To Secure These Rights: President Harry S. Truman's Committee on Civil Rights

New Deal/New South enlightens in a multitude of ways, not the least of them being the insights it offers into the progression of an exceptionally talented historian’s interests and awareness as Badger shares his own odyssey from New Deal historian to southern historian. The essays provide a thoughtful consideration of the short- and long-term impact of the New Deal on the South. New Deal/New South explains the difficulties of winning biracial political support in the South – this is historical analysis done right.

History / Americas / Political Science / Women / Biographies & Memoirs

Madame Chair: A Political Autobiography of an Unintentional Pioneer by Richard Miles Westwood, edited by Linda Sillitoe (Utah State University Press)

Jean Miles Westwood (1923-1997) called herself an unintentional pioneer. Although she worked hard to achieve what she did, she did not actively seek or expect to reach what was arguably the most powerful political position any American woman had ever held, chair of the national Democratic Party.
Westwood, in this autobiography Madame Chair, brought to press by her husband, Richard and edited by Linda Sillitoe, provides an inside account of a period that reshaped national politics. Second-wave feminism – ‘women’s liberation’ – and the civil rights and antiwar movements opened the way. As a major player in political reform, Westwood both helped build that road and traveled it.

She was the first American woman to chair a national political party. Nineteen seventy-two may be remembered best as the year Nixon's plumbers burglarized Democratic national headquarters at the Watergate. It was also a year of inclusive political reform, in which civil rights, antiwar, and women's rights activists achieved unprecedented power in the Democratic Party. George McGovern was their candidate, and Westwood was his choice to run his campaign and then chair the Democratic National Committee. Although she had achieved that position due to her ability to organize and campaign effectively, largely by outworking the opposition, neither she nor anyone else could overcome the barriers McGovern's campaign faced and created for itself. In Madame Chair, Westwood tells a political insider's story of that fateful year in America and recounts how a Mormon woman from small-town Utah rose to the apex of liberal politics, becoming a visible symbol in an era of feminist struggle and achievement.

Westwood was young during the Depression and World War II, and that changed her life. Growing up in Carbon County, Utah, a coal mining region that is one of the most politically liberal areas in the western United States, she, too, was of that political persuasion. Cursed with a body that had numerous health problems, she in her youth experienced more medical crises than most people experience in their entire lives, and they dogged her as she aged.

She also married a unique man, Richard Westwood. Dick and Jean were a mixed couple in terms of religion – she Mormon; he a non-Mormon in Utah. He joined that church before they married at her parents' request. It was in West Jordan, Utah, that Jean Westwood became active in politics – first in the schools, but moving from them into the Democratic Party. Jean insisted that many things in our lives could be improved, and all who lived in Salt Lake County found themselves with a fellow citizen who asked many questions, on a variety of topics, and who was an active, deliberate agent of change.

She rose rapidly through the Democratic Party and gained a national rep­utation. Her husband supported her without stint as she rose from Utah to the national stage. Succeeding Larry O'Brien as chair of the Democratic National Committee, she joined him in suing Nixon's reelection campaign over the offices burgled in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C., in 1972.

Jean Westwood kept good records of what had happened to her. By helping lead McGovern’s campaign, she gained experience and a wide network of contacts in and out of Washington, and then by being elected the first woman to head the national Democratic Party, or any major national political party, Westwood became a powerful figure. By building roles for women in politics, Weston advanced feminism. More involvement of women in powerful political positions gave women as a whole more power and a greater voice in national decisions. She accomplished this while maintaining the rest of her life as a wife, a mother, and a businesswoman in a most competitive arena.

Weston overcame the limits of gender politics out of a deep belief in the ethical responsibilities of government and will be a lasting figure in the histories of twentieth-century Utah and the United States.

A powerful memoir of a remarkable and unique woman. She was independent, she was gutsy, she was driven and hard working, yet she was also eminently human.
An insider’s look at national politics and the individuals who made a mark during very interesting times. – Martha Sonntag Bradley-Evans, author of Pedestals and Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority, and Equal Rights

Madame Chair is the history of one pioneer woman who succeeded in the political world by overcoming the limits of gender politics. Weston’s autobiography was a notable accomplishment completed late in her life. Based on a large set of interviews comprising forty hours of conversation, it is a remarkable oral his­tory.

History / Middle East / Biographies & Memoirs / Travel

Does the Land Remember Me?: A Memoir of Palestine by Aziz Shihab, with a foreword by Persis M. Karim (Arab American Writing Series: Syracuse University Press)

What we know of Palestine, its people and culture, in the United States is so very limited. So much of what we see and hear is based on a kind of singular image of a nationless nation mired in conflict, fraught with the desperation of occupation and war. Those images are the caricatures of cynical politics, sound bites, and headlines conveniently produced in the U.S. media. Those images have little to say about what Palestini­ans feel and think and have suffered. And what of the everyday challenges of those Palestinians who struggle to maintain their relationship to their land, culture, communities, and to some sem­blance of human dignity – the first casualty of power and occupa­tion? In the latter half of the twentieth century, especially in the United States, Palestinians have been denied one of the most important elements of civic participation: they have not been granted the right of self-determination and self-representation – something we as Americans hold at once as the foundation and the pinnacle of true democratic freedom. – from the Foreword by Persis M. Karim

Summoned by his dying mother, Palestinian-born Aziz Shihab, who has lived, studied and worked in the U.S. since he was in his teens, returns to the homeland he and his family fled as refugees decades earlier: to a Palestine reclaimed by Israelis and to a country no longer that of his youth in a nation whose estate has been challenged by history. Does the Land Remember Me? chronicles that month-long journey.

Part memoir, part travelogue, it reveals the complexities of leaving behind the past and coming to grips with its abandonment. Shihab, known for his independent newspaper, The Arab Star, records and considers, sometimes with fond humor, the Palestinian psyche. Family meetings brim with time-honored ritual and cultural blindness. Pungent street anecdotes resonate with themes like human rights, land dislocation, and poverty.

Shihab's story, Does the Land Remember Me?, tells of countless departures and returns and of ever-present longing to return to pre-mandate Palestine, when there existed a deep con­nection to the physical land and to the humanity that evolved there over centuries, millennia. The book provides a window into Shihab's realization that his future held little hope if he were to remain in the country of his birth, followed by his struggles to maintain a connection to Palestine after leaving it. At the age of seventeen, Shihab witnessed the Israeli Stern Gang (identified then by the British as a ‘terrorist’ organization) driving Palestinians from their homes in villages on the West Bank. After the initial shock and dismay of the Nakba (what the Palestinians call the ‘catastrophe’), Shihab, recently graduated from high school, sought a way out of his status as a refugee by pursuing an education. He left Palestine in October 1950 on a Turkish ship from Beirut bound for the United States, where he had sought admission to several universities, including Harvard, and was accepted by all of them. He eventually moved to Kansas at the suggestion of a friend who thought he would navigate life and a new language better at a smaller school.

He had under his belt a few experiences writing and with radio and two undergraduate degrees from the British Council and The Tutorial Institute, where he majored in journalism and political science. His studies led him to Washburn University (where he met and married his wife, Miriam). He moved to his wife's home in St. Louis to do graduate work at Washington University, and he began working in journalism, first as a reporter and eventually as chief editor of the Univer­sal Desk and editor-in-chief of Special Sections at the Dallas Morning News and as a correspondent for the New York Times in Texas.

During his career as an American journalist, Shihab returned to Palestine several times, including for several years when he resided with his wife and his two American-born children in Jerusalem and worked for the Arabic Al-Quds newspaper. But things had changed considerably since then, and as an older man, he longed to return again. With the signing of the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the climate had shifted. Shihab in Does the Land Remember Me? tells the story of his attempt to reckon with the passage of time and with changes that to most of us are inconceivable over any stretch of time. It is also the story of how Palestinian people see themselves connected to a land from which they have been dispossessed. In his return to the land, and in Does the Land Remember Me?, Shihab charts the story of a people who live with the memory of a land that haunts them. On these pages, we see one man's struggle to come to terms with one of the tragedies of the twentieth century. Until we allow space for the stories of all of history's victims, we will not be able to recognize the story that binds us all, the story of resilience and of unwavering desire to be free.

We are moved by Shihab's honesty, truths rarely told in American literature or news, because this water, this story, is fresh. – Gregory Orfalea, author of Arab Americans: A Novel

The central character of this memoir is Palestine, the brutally transformed place that Aziz Shihab returns to briefly to remember his past life. The land pursues him for thirty years in his exile in the United States. …It implants the village in the urban man and binds him to a community, in spite of his individualistic con­stitution. Until it finally grabs him by the heart, squeezes the tears out of his eyes, waters itself, and remembers him – If it does remember. Here, this quintessentially Palestinian narrative approaches the archetype. – Sharif Elmusa, The American University in Cairo

Does the Land Remember Me? is a vivid and beautifully crafted chronicle of an exile's return. The story is gripping, and the author has a sharp ear for dialogue and a journalist’s eye. It is a story that, ironically, has much more in common with the story of the Jewish Diaspora than any other. It is a story of exile and loss and erosion, a wrong for which no one and no state has been held accountable.

Does the Land Remember Me? adds notably to the handful of Palestinian narratives that are available to Western readers. Shihab's story, while not altogether uncommon, distinguishes itself because he is interested not only in the story of Palestine but also in the story of his own evolution as an immigrant to the U.S. Shihab's poignant narrative of his life as a Palestinian American also reminds readers of how easily we can forget the past, and sadly, how readily we can repeat it.

History / Science & Religion / Religion & Spirituality / World / Islam

An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam by Taner Edis (Prometheus Books)

Current discussions in the West on the relation of science and religion focus mainly on science’s uneasy relationship with the traditional Judeo-Christian view of life. But a parallel controversy exists in the Muslim world regarding ways to integrate science with Islam. Though modern Muslims have become painfully aware of falling behind in economic and military power, leaving Islamic nations vulnerable to colonialism, and though they have long identified science and technology as keys to Western ascendancy, they have thus far achieved little success in their efforts to import science and appropriate it to achieve Muslim ends. As Taner Edis shows in An Illusion of Harmony, a glimpse into contemporary Muslim culture, a good deal of popular writing in Muslim societies attempts to address such questions as:

  • Is Islam a ‘scientific religion’?
  • Were the discoveries of modern science foreshadowed in the Qur’an?
  • Are intelligent design conjectures more appealing to the Muslim perspective than Darwinian explanations?

Edis, a noted physicist, born and raised in Turkey, associate professor of physics at Truman State University, examines the range of Muslim thinking about science and Islam, from blatantly pseudoscientific fantasies to comparatively sophisticated efforts to ‘Islamize science.’ From the world’s strongest creationist movements to bizarre science-in-the-Qur’an apologetics, popular Muslim approaches promote a view of natural science as a mere fact-collecting activity that coexists in near-perfect harmony with literal-minded faith. Since Muslims are keenly aware that science and technology have been the keys to Western success, they are eager to harness technology to achieve a Muslim version of modernity. Yet at the same time, they are reluctant to allow science to become independent of religion and are suspicious of Western secularization.

An Illusion of Harmony examines all of these conflicting trends, revealing the difficulties facing Muslim societies trying to adapt to the modern technological world.

With careful attention to the multilayered complexities of the interaction between science and religion and between East and West, Edis takes stock of early Muslim responses to Aris­totelian natural philosophy; nineteenth- and twentieth-century encounters with European modernism; present-day Islamic creationism, and efforts to ‘Islamize’ scientific inquiry; and future prospects for rapprochement with the sciences, which, if they are to flourish, require a cultural context capable of tolerating doubt and dissent.

One of the few recent books that truly illuminates the troubled relationship between science and religion... a rich mix of intellectual history, philosophical reasoning and personal insight. – New Scientist

Edis makes a compelling case that classical Islamic thought cannot accommodate a modern scientific culture whose basis is experimentation, quantification, and prediction. He exposes the vacuity of faith-based science using a range of examples. But Edis does not rule out an eventual reinterpretation of Muslim theology that will, as in other world religions, eventually allow science and Islam to go their own separate ways. – Pervez Hoodbhoy, author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality; and professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

In a cultural arena dominated by polemics, Taner Edis, a historically sensitive Turkish-American physicist, stands out as a voice of reason. I don't know of a better introduction to science and religion in Islam than An Illusion of Harmony. – Ronald L. Numbers, author of The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design

In An Illusion of Harmony, Edis presents an intriguing study of the scientific enterprise as it is conceptualized within the Muslim cultural framework. Sym­pathetic and yet critical of Islam in the context of modern science, the book is refreshing and utterly unique. Edis’ discussions of both the parallels and the differences between Western and Muslim attempts to harmonize science and religion make for an intriguing contribution to this continuing debate about the role of science in Islamic countries. Drawing on multiple disciplines and written in an accessible style, the book is sure to attract not only those interested in the interaction of science and religion but also those with a broader interest in the global impact of Islam in the twenty-first century.

History / World / Caribbean & West Indies / Politics / Activism

An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President by Randall Robinson (Basic Civitas Books)
On February 29th, 2004 the president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was forced to leave his country. He was kidnapped, along with his Haitian-American wife, by American soldiers and flown, against his will, to the isolated Central African Republic. Although Washington claimed the American government did not oust Aristide, it appears clear that the Haitian people's most recent attempt at self-determination had not been crushed by Haitian paramilitaries. Aristide and his wife remained in the Central African Republic until Randall Robinson, the author of this book, and two American journalists rescued him in April of that same year.

In An Unbroken Agony, bestselling author and social justice advocate Robinson explores the tragic history of Haiti. Robinson chronicles the convulsive history of this island nation – from Columbus's arrival to the slave revolutionaries who defeated the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804, wresting it from France; from the ideals of the young republic, to the foreign backed dictators who corrupted those ideals, culminating in the operation to removing from power Haiti's first democratically elected president and his government in 2004.

According to activist Robinson, for the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, forced regime change is not out-of-step with Haiti's long, tortured history. As Robinson tells it, the Haitian people have courage, a courage that makes them seek their own freedom despite centuries of reprisals. An Unbroken Agony tells that story.

A passionate and controversial look at continuing U.S. involvement in Haiti; recommended for all libraries. – Library Journal

Fiery...Robinson eloquently urges the white world to accord the constitutions and laws of black countries the same sanctity it accords its own. – Kirkus

The title promises a history of Haiti, but Robinson (The Debt, etc.) delivers a brief for former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and an excoriation of American policies and actions related to his exile. The portrait of Aristide borders on hagiography … . Robinson's righteous outrage often turns to rant, and his passionate, partisan account veers into repetition, without providing adequate context for his ire. … For the uninitiated, Haiti must appear to be a bewildering stew of obscure and violent events, Robinson writes. How sad that he did not use these pages to clarify the broth. – Publishers Weekly

Randall Robinson is a towering freedom fighter in the world of ideas and action. This poignant history of his beloved Haiti reminds us of his indispensable voice for our turbulent times. – Cornel West, Princeton University

There are few voices that consistently rise above the din of punditry to speak up for those who are powerless. Randall Robinson is one such voice. With unimpeachable dignity and steadfast determination, Robinson's eloquent prose brings attention to the plight of Haitians over the centuries …. Robinson gives new life to heroes from Haiti's revolutionary past and takes to task present day villains still patrolling the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. – Michael Eric Dyson, author of Debating Race and Come Hell or High Water

With each new book Randall Robinson further cements his reputation as one of this world's foremost advocates for freedom and justice. In An Unbroken Agony, Robinson charts the heroic and tragic history of Haiti and exposes the truth about those international power brokers who would take away two of our most precious resources: knowledge of our past and the ability to determine our future. – Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University

An Unbroken Agony shows Robinson, one of the greatest opponents of South African apartheid through his Free South Africa movement and humanitarian work, in a unique position to tell Aristide's and Haiti's story. As a close friend to the deposed president, Robinson recounts a minute-by-minute narrative of 2004, as it happened. Robinson's story is fast-paced and detailed, providing an extraordinary account of events. With his passionate prose, Robinson brings alive the memory of the Haitian revolution and shows the desire of Haitians to chart their own destiny – free of foreign interference.

Law / Constitutional / Civil Rights

Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement by Michael J. Klarman (Oxford University Press)
In 2005, Michael J. Klarman won the Bancroft Prize for History for his book From Jim Crow to Civil Rights. Earning rave reviews, that book was a splendid account of the Supreme Court's rulings on race in the first half of the twentieth century. Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement is the abridged, paperback edition. Klarman, the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History at the University of Virginia, has compressed his study of the Supreme Court's rulings on race into a tight focus around one major case – Brown v. Board of Education. Klarman goes behind the scenes to examine the justices' deliberations and recaps his famous backlash thesis, arguing that Brown was more important for mobilizing southern white opposition to change than for encouraging civil rights protest and that it was the resulting violence that transformed northern opinion and led to the landmark legislation of the 1960s. Klarman also sheds light on broader questions such as how racial attitudes change over time, how much judicial decisions depend on legal, political, and personal considerations; and the relationship between Supreme Court decisions and social change.

As told in Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement, Brown influenced the path of America's racial transformation, shaped our understanding of the Supreme Court's role in American society, and altered our conception of the relationship between law and social reform. However, according to Klarman, many of the conventional notions regarding this landmark decision are flawed. The unanimity of the justices in Brown has given rise to the misconception that the case was easy for them, and this is emphatically not so; the justices were initially deeply divided.

In 1952-1953, there was no clear majority to invalidate public school segregation. In addition, Brown is typically viewed as a classic example of the Court's safeguarding the rights of a minority group from majoritarian oppression. Yet, paradoxically, opinion polls make clear that a majority of the country endorsed Brown from the day it was decided. Brown would have better fit the paradigm of the Court as savior of oppressed minorities had it been decided ten or twenty years earlier. Finally, Brown is often portrayed as the origin of the modern civil rights movement. Yet the justices who decided the case repeatedly expressed their astonishment at how much American racial attitudes and practices had already changed. Moreover, Brown's most immediate effect in the South was to stymie progressive racial change and bolster the political standing of racial extremists. Brown did make important contributions to the 1960s civil rights movement, but they were mostly counterintuitive and, occasionally, almost perverse.

Klarman in Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement says that both polar positions in the scholarly debate should be rejected. Brown did not "change ... the whole course of race relations in the United States," nor did it create the civil rights movement. The Court's ruling plainly raised the salience of school segre­gation, encouraged blacks to litigate against it, changed the order in which racial practices would otherwise have been contested, mobilized extraor­dinary resistance to racial change among southern whites, and created concrete occasions for street confrontations and violence.

But political, social, and legal conditions ensured that Brown would be difficult to enforce. Most power holders in an entire region thought the decision was wrong and were intensely mobilized against it; this included the actors who were initially responsible for its enforcement. Given these constraints on enforcement, it is ironic that southern whites, who had eschewed open confrontation with the Court over black jury service and black suffrage while completely sabotaging those rights through administrative discrimination, chose to openly defy Brown. Rather than follow North Carolina's lead and use fraudulent mechanisms to circumvent school desegregation, the white South declared war on the Court, nullified Brown, deployed state troops and encouraged vigilante mobs to block the enforcement of desegregation orders. Such open defiance forced President Eisenhower's hand, alienated national opinion, radicalized southern politics, fostered violence, and irritated the justices.

According to Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement, one cannot know how long token school desegregation might have persisted had white southerners played their hand differently, but in retro­spect, massive resistance almost certainly proved to be a mistake from their perspective. The nature of southern politics may have impelled that mis­take. Southern politicians reaped rewards for adopting extremist positions. Brown also forced southern politicians to take a position on the issue of school segregation, which many of them would have preferred to avoid doing. By shifting the racial debate from other issues to school segregation, Brown clearly had an effect. Brown directly inspired southern blacks to file petitions and lawsuits seeking school desegregation – something that almost certainly would not have happened in the mid-1950s, at least not in places such as Mississippi or South Carolina, had it not been for Brown. This agenda-setting effect mattered, because southern whites were much more resistant to school desegregation than to many of these other reforms.

Brown's educational effect, as distinguished from its motivational consequences, is probably overstated. As southern blacks, inspired by the Court's ruling, filed school desegregation petitions and lawsuits, southern whites mobilized extraordinary resistance in response. Politics moved dramatically to the right, moderates collapsed, and extremists prospered. Yet backlashes themselves sometimes have unpredictable ramifica­tions. The violence ignited by Brown, especially when directed at peace­ful protestors and broadcast on television, produced a counter-backlash.

To judge the success or failure of a litigation campaign based solely on the concrete consequences of Court decisions is mistaken, given the capacity of litigation itself to mobilize social protest. The NAACP's lawyers educated blacks about their constitutional rights and instilled hope that racial conditions were malleable. Many branches formed around litigation, which also proved to be an excellent fundraising tool. Black lawyers served as role models to black audiences in courtrooms, as they jousted with whites in the only southern forum that permitted racial interactions on a footing of near-equality, and they demonstrated forensic skills that belied conventional white stereotypes of black inferi­ority.

Though litigation had performed valuable service in mobilizing racial protest and securing Court victories, it could not fulfill all of the functions of direct action. Sit-ins, Freedom Rides, and street demon­strations fostered black agency much better than did litigation, which encouraged blacks to place their faith in elite black lawyers and white judges rather than in themselves. In addition, direct-action protest more reliably created conflict and incited opponents' violence, which ultimately proved to be critical to transforming national opinion on race.

Brown played a role both in generating direct action and in shaping the responses it received from white southerners. Any social protest movement must overcome a formidable hurdle in convincing potential participants that change is feasible, and Brown made Jim Crow seem to be more vulnerable. Brown raised the hopes and expectations of black Americans, which were then largely dashed by massive resistance; this demonstrated that litigation alone could not produce meaningful social change. Brown inspired southern whites to try to destroy the NAACP, with some temporary success in the Deep South, and this unintention­ally forced blacks to support alternative protest organizations, which embraced philosophies more sympathetic to direct action. Finally, the southern white backlash that was ignited by Brown increased the chances that once civil rights demonstrators appeared on the streets, they would be greeted with violence rather than with gradualist concessions.

As told in Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement, court decisions do matter, though often in unpredictable ways. But they cannot fundamentally transform a nation. The justices are too much products of their time and place to launch social revolutions. And, even if they had the inclination to do so, their capacity to coerce change is too heavily constrained. The justices were not tempted to invalidate school segregation until a time when half the nation supported such a ruling. They declined to aggressively enforce the Brown decision until a civil rights movement had made northern whites as keen to eliminate Jim Crow as southern whites were to preserve it. And while Brown did play a role in shaping both the civil rights movement and the violent response it received from southern whites, Klarman says that deep background forces ensured that the United States would experience a racial reform movement regardless of what the Supreme Court did or did not do.

Klarman's study is a stunning achievement, a work of enormous ambition that sheds new light on much discussed topics. This abridgement will prove indispensable for courses in American constitutional history, constitutional law, and the history of American race relations. – Clayborne Carson, Director, Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, Stanford University
Michael Klarman's magisterial From Jim Crow to Civil Rights was a brilliant work of both legal interpretation and social and political history. This abridged version will be especially suitable for undergraduate history classes and for a more popular audience. – James Patterson, Ford Foundation Professor of History, Brown University
From Jim Crow to Civil Rights is the first great and indispensable work of American constitutional history in the twenty-first century. This abridged version makes this important work available for use in undergraduate classes on the Supreme Court, judicial politics, American politics, civil rights, and political change. Highly recommended. – Howard Gillman, Professor of Political Science, History and Law, UCLA

A major achievement. It bestows upon its fortunate readers prodigious research, nuanced judgment, and intellectual independence. – Randall Kennedy, The New Republic

A sweeping, erudite, and powerfully argued book ... unfailingly interesting. – Wilson Quarterly

Magisterial. – The New York Review of Books

Klarman's brilliant analysis of this landmark case illuminates the course of American race relations as it highlights the relationship between law and social reform. Klarman in Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement gives a rich and complex understanding of this pivotal decision. It goes behind the scenes to examine the justices' internal deliberations in Brown and to reconstruct why they found the case so difficult to decide. It seeks to explain the justices' con­troversial choice after Brown to vacate the field of school desegregation for nearly a decade. It explores how and why white southerners were so successful in the short term at defying the Court's mandate to end racial segregation in public education. And it considers the various ways in which Brown influenced the subsequent course of American race rela­tions – raising the salience of race issues, convincing blacks that transformative racial change was possible, encouraging blacks to litigate rather than use alternative methods of social protest, impelling white southerners to try to destroy the NAACP, creating concrete occasions for violent conflict over school desegregation, radicalizing southern politics, and creating a cli­mate ripe for violence once direct-action protest finally erupted in the early 1960s.

Though Brown v. Board of Education is the principal focus, Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement also sheds light on broader questions of legal history. Finally, the book makes the path-breaking arguments of Klarman’s original work accessible to a broader audience of general readers and students.

Law / Human Rights / Women’s Studies

Women's Rights by Natasha Thomsen, with a foreword by Kathryn Cullen-DuPont (Global Issues Series: Facts on File)

At the dawn of the 21st century, women still have as many difficult and complex issues to deal with as ever before. From affirmative action and service in active combat, to educational rights and reproductive rights, to sexual harassment and religious leadership roles, women continue to face challenges on a daily basis.
Women's Rights, written by professional writer and editor Natasha Thomsen, examines this history and the current status of women’s rights in the United States and abroad, namely Denmark, China, Afghanistan, and Kenya. This volume highlights the means by which women challenge their respective situations and cause change within their countries. With access to global communication means such as the Internet, many of these movements can now look to each other as a source for what to do or avoid to implement positive change. Among other things, Women's Rights brings together relevant primary-source documents.

Women's Rights is part of the Global Issues series, which is designed as a first-stop resource for research on the key challenges facing the world today. Each volume contains three sections, beginning with an introduction that defines the issue, followed by detailed case studies of the issue's impact in the United States and several other countries or regions. The second section draws together significant U.S. and international primary source documents, and the third section gathers research tools such as brief biographies, facts and figures, an annotated bibliography, and more.

According to the author of the Foreword, Kathryn Cullen-DuPont, award-winning author of a number of books on women's history, the global significance of women's rights has never been clearer than at the beginning of the 21st century. Female genital mutilation, once considered a private matter, has been debated in legislative halls worldwide; currently outlawed in many developed and developing countries, it has been grounds for refugee status in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States. The United Nations' eight Millennium Development Goals, dedi­cated to eradicating the worst ravages of poverty throughout the world by 2015, lists the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women as central to achieving that goal. At a time when the global significance and impact of women's issues have never been clearer, however, the issues them­selves – and especially the way these issues are viewed by women through the prism of their own countries' histories and cultures – are not always clearly understood.

Women's Rights addresses global issues – it presents a global overview of the struggle for women's rights, an overview that clarifies not only the significance of this struggle but its long history and international character. It then examines how that struggle has been experienced in the United States, Denmark, China, Afghanistan, and Kenya. These five case studies illuminate the different contexts in which women have sought recognition of their rights and their varying, culturally informed views of what those rights might entail.

The global overview begins with a discussion of the issues understood to be involved in women's rights: women's suffrage and their right to stand for election; civil rights, including property ownership and inheritance rights; access to education; social, employment, and economic rights; enrollment in the military; family health and sexuality; atypical gender roles; traditional practices such as female genital mutilation; violence against women; and religion and spiritual­ity. A narrative history of the interna­tional struggle for women's rights concludes this global overview. Beginning with British feminist Mary Astell's suggestion for a women's college in her Serious Proposal to the Ladies and concluding with the United Nations' four world conferences on women and the 1990s spread of women's studies programs into countries as diverse as Vietnam and the Czech Republic, the narrative places the women's rights movement's most important figures and achievements in a truly global context.

The United States is then individually examined in Women's Rights. The strategies and victories of the American women's suf­frage movement and the women who led the 72-year campaign for the vote are presented, as are American women's initiatives and progress in the areas of employment rights, education, reproductive rights, and other crucial areas. These areas are presented against a backdrop of cultural history, allowing for understanding of the interplay between such events, for example, Anita Hill's 1991 charge of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nomi­nee Clarence Thomas and the subsequent increase in the number of women willing to come forward with sexual harassment claims.

Denmark's case study begins with an account of the translation into Danish of the British writer Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), the 1850 publication of Mathilde Fibiger's novel Clara Raphael, and the 1869 translation into Danish of John Stuart Mill's On the Subjection of Women, all of which served to stir public discussion of women's rights. The case study examines the Danish suffrage movement and women's initiatives and progress in such areas as education, employment, family life, gay rights, and religion. Issues particular to Denmark – such as those that arise in a country where adult prostitution and pornography are legal and where a formerly socialized medical system is adopting free-market features – are also discussed.

The discussion of the women's rights movement in China begins with an account of that country's women's suffrage movement and a consideration of women's property rights, educational access, and employment opportunities. It contains an objective discussion of how, as the author puts it, "cul­tural interpretation of the concept of rights differ[s] greatly from its meaning in the United States." The Communist Party's limitation of media discussion of topics such as lesbian rights and female trafficking is examined, as is China's 1979 one-child policy and the questions it raises regarding women's autonomy and an increase in female infant abandonment. There have been indisputable improvements for women as well, and they, too, are presented. China's role as host for the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 is highlighted, as are important improve­ments in legislation, including laws against domestic vio­lence and the sale of women into marriage. Chinese women's participation in the fruits of country-wide advances – China's move from a country with a 90 percent illiteracy rate in 1949 to one that now has an almost 90 percent literacy rate – is outlined as well.

Likewise, the consideration of women's rights in Afghanistan is set against the pertinent cultural background. It begins with Afghanistan win­ning independence from Britain in 1921 and its first constitution, which granted equal rights to men and women but withheld suffrage from women. Moving to the adoption of a reformed constitution that granted women's suffrage, educational access, and equal wage protection in 1963, Women's Rights then traces the empowerment of Afghan women. The 1979 invasion by the Soviet Union and the Taliban rule from 1994 to 2002 – which sharply curtailed women's rights – are also examined. In describing women's rights and the environment for women's rights in Afghanistan since international forces ousted the Taliban, the book looks at nuances: Some Muslim feminists argue that it is the Western display of female bodies and not the privacy accorded it by the burqa that is objectify­ing, for example.

Kenya, home to the United Nations' Third World Conference on Women in 1985, is the final country considered. Granted suffrage in 1963 soon after Kenya won independence from Britain, Kenya's women struggle for their rights in a traditional environment that includes unequal inheritance practices (out­lawed by the Law of Succession Act of 1981 but rarely challenged in court) and female genital mutilation (performed on an estimated 38 to 50 percent of Kenya's women). Kenya's women have nonetheless created a broad-based network of women's rights organizations to work for improvement in wom­en's health, property rights, employment opportunities, and other issues long recognized as central to women's empowerment. To date, Kenya's Ministry of Culture and Social Services lists more than 24,000 women's rights groups and relevant NGOs, including the League of Kenyan Women Voters, the Women's Political Caucus, and the National Council of Women of Kenya. Issues particular to Kenya, such as the existence of five different marriage systems (African, Civil, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu) and the interpretation of those systems in the courts, are also discussed.

Women's Rights provides readers with useful research tools including biographies of each country's key women's rights figures, the relevant facts and figures, a thorough and well-annotated bibliography, a list of orga­nizations and agencies, a chronology of the women's rights movement worldwide, and a glossary of the relevant terms.

In summary, Women's Rights presents a thorough, global overview of the struggle for women's rights, an overview that makes clear not only the significance of this struggle but its long history and international character. This intriguing volume highlights the means by which women challenge their respective situations and cause change within their countries. Discussions of the situations in five countries are carefully detailed. Women's Rights is a perfect choice for any high school or col­lege student ready to begin research on the important subject of women's rights.

Law / Politics

Less Safe, Less Free: The Failure of Pre-Emption in the War on Terror by David Cole & Jules Lobel (New Press)

If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long. – President George W. Bush, defending the National Security Strategy doctrine ‘preemptive war,’ Commencement Speech at West Point, June 1, 2002

But has the administration's ‘war on terror’ actually made us safer?

According to the July 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, al Qaeda has fully reconstituted itself in Pakistan's border region. Worldwide terrorist attacks have grown dramatically since 2001. And many experts agree that independent terrorist groups, from al Qaeda in Iraq to the individuals who bombed subways and buses in London and Madrid, have multiplied since 9/11. Meanwhile, despite its boasts, the total number of individuals the Bush administration has convicted of engaging or attempting to engage in a terrorist act is one (Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber). Less Safe, Less Free argues that the great irony is that these sacrifices in the rule of law, adopted in the name of prevention, have in fact made us more susceptible to future terrorist attacks.
Less Safe, Less Free’s authors, constitutional scholars David Cole, professor of law at Georgetown University, and Jules Lobel, professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh, argue that the problem lies in the particularly aggressive ‘preventive paradigm’ that the Bush administration adopted in the wake of 9/11. In this review of the administration's record, Cole and Lobel show how preemptive coercion has not only compromised our most basic values, but has little to show for itself in terms of captured terrorists, disrupted terrorist plots, or increased security.

Cole and Lobel calculate, for example, that the administration's record in its anti-terrorism immigration initiatives unearthed not a single convicted terrorist. The administration's record in criminal ‘terrorism’ cases is not much better, as it has lost far more cases than it has won, and has brought almost no actual terrorists to justice. Similarly, by the government's own account, only about 5 percent of those held at Guantanamo were fighters for al Qaeda or the Taliban. (Over half of those the government once called ‘the worst of the worst’ have been released.) And the administration's preventive war in Iraq has also made the United States more vulnerable to terrorism, not less, as it has prompted the creation of suicidal organizations that did not even exist prior to 9/11 in response to American tactics.

While the ‘preventive paradigm’ can point to few gains in security, it has come at great cost to our ideals. In the name of preemptive security, the administration has undertaken torture; indefinite detention without trial; extraordinary renditions; disappearances into CIA ‘black sites’; warrantless wiretapping of American citizens; and an illegal and disastrous war in Iraq. Cole and Lobel show that these measures, which constitute the core of the ‘preventive paradigm,’ have undermined our commitment to the rule of law. And by doing so they have impeded our efforts to bring known terrorists to trial, limited our long-term options for security, sparked anti-American resentment and terrorist recruitment, and undermined relations with our closest allies. In short, Less Safe, Less Free documents a record of profound failure on all fronts.

Cole and Lobel do not stop at critique, but offer an alternative vision for keeping America safe and free: prevention that favors noncoercive measures and multilateral cooperation, relies on the ‘soft power’ of foreign relations rather than military might, and recognizes that where coercion is necessary and appropriate, it must adhere to basic legal rules, treating the rule of law as an asset, not an obstacle, in the struggle to stay safe and free.

A resounding argument contra administration policy. – Kirkus Reviews

A compelling and lucid case that human rights and the rule of law are not only fundamental to democracy but are its strongest weapons. Everyone who cares about democracy after 9/11 should read this book. – Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights

This compelling, necessary volume demolishes the doctrine of preemptive self-defense as a dangerous oxymoron, whose acceptance will surely render us less safe, less free, less American, and less able to lead globally through the rule of law. – Harold Hongju Koh, Dean of Yale Law School and former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Human Rights

A timely and unsparing exposure of the disastrous consequences of the ‘war on terror’ demagogy of the Bush administration. The authors demonstrate convincingly how that strategy has rendered America more vulnerable at home and more isolated abroad. – Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter

Both intensely practical and genuinely inspiring, Less Safe, Less Free brilliantly combines critique with proposal and should be required reading for any serious citizen. – Dr. Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice emeritus, Princeton University

A powerful and systematic analysis of all the ways in which the administration's rejection of the rule of law has betrayed American values and weakened American power and standing in the world. Better yet, Cole and Lobel offer a positive strategy for making the nation safer from terrorist attacks. – Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University

Less Safe, Less Free is a brilliantly conceived critique of the new ‘preventive paradigm’ in counterterrorism policy by leading legal scholars. In this first comprehensive assessment of the Bush administration’s strategy to disrupt terrorist plots, Cole and Lobel show that war on terror has backfired, as they conclusively debunk the administration's claim that it is winning the war on terror. The strategy they offer, in which the rule of law is an asset, not an obstacle, is a welcomed alternative to the current one.

Linguistics / Neuropsychology / Reference

Speaking of Colors and Odors edited by Martina Plümacher & Peter Holz (Converging Evidence in Language & Communication Research Series, Volume 8: John Benjamins Publishing Company)

How to speak of colors and odors? In many cases, we have to think about an adequate description of a perceived odor or shade of color. Words are not fluently available. The contributions to Speaking of Colors and Odors discuss color and odor perception and its linguistic representation from different disciplinary angles: from neurobiology, neuropsychology, psycholinguistics, cognitive linguistics and philosophy. They show that linguistic representation of colors and odors depends highly on cultures of communication.

Experts are skilled in discerning finer differences between their sense impressions and have at their disposal a special language which non-experts do not have. The color and odor vocabulary is rare, if there is no cultural habit to communicate the sense impression. In cases where individuals have to speak of their sensory experiences more precisely, they often turn to metaphors. The contributors, predominately linguists, but also a philosopher, a psychologist and a psycholinguist, discuss the lack of inter-individual conventions of naming and describing odors – compared to the more expanded linguistic representation of colors.

Language is involved in the processes of categorization. What exactly is its part? – This is the central question of Speaking of Colors and Odors. The articles in Speaking of Colors and Odors originate from an international and interdisciplinary conference dealing with the question "How can language cope with color and smell?" ‘Color’ and ‘smell’ were chosen as subjects to compare the extensively studied field of color perception and color categorization with the less investi­gated fields of perception and categorization of odors. Within the large fields of industrial production of perfume, scents of cosmetics and flavor of food, the interest is immense, and a huge amount of money is spent on research, evaluation and advertising. Editors Martina Plümacher, philosophy, Technical University Berlin, and Peter Holz, linguistics, University of Bremen, supposed that comparing these differently investigated fields of sensory systems and linguis­tic representation of sensory impressions could broaden the view on the issue. It might help to clear up controversies, especially as to the prevailing theses that colors can be considered a quasi-continuous spectrum of hues that is completely represented in languages, although in different ways, whereas the manifold of odors cannot be conceived in a systematic arrangement and is not linguistically represented. As the contributions of Speaking of Colors and Odors show, this opposition does not grasp the semiotic reality. Unless there is no need to communicate linguistically about a particular type of odor, specific lexemes do not have to be established. Language seems to be involved when non-linguistic activities become subject to reflection. This reflection, however, applies to particular aspects with regard to tasks or problems of activities or to special purposes of communication. It is an intrinsically perspectival activity. Those contributions to Speaking of Colors and Odors which deal with descriptions of odors and colors in advertising focus on a specific power of language, namely its power to compose complex images of multiple sensory experience in connection with ideals of what count as beautiful or desirable.

The sections of Speaking of Colors and Odors include:

  • Wolfgang Wildgen (linguistics) inquires into the "architecture of sensibility and sense" in the interaction of perception and thought. He opposes the historical idea of progress which begins with psychophysical inputs to the senses and their cognitive processing, including their multisensory integration into a unifying ex­perience of objects or events in space and time as well as formation of memory and imagination, and finally reaches the level of linguistic articulation. Wildgen points out that humans react to odors and are able to distinguish a large set of odors but, nevertheless, are unable to communicate those perceptions. The problem of a proper categorization and characteriza­tion of odors occurs if there is the need to communicate about them when they are not present as objects of reference. With respect to color, he takes up the well known fact that experts, such as painters, and non-experts perceive colors differently. He agrees with Fahle (Speaking of Colors and Odors) that differences in the individu­als' color perception, even physiological differences, are hidden and overridden by language. Finally, stages in the evolution of cognitive and symbolic capacities are considered.
  • Manfred Fahle (neurobiology) describes mechanisms in the neurophysiolog­ical processing of visual stimuli, i.e., light of different wavelengths and intensities. Strictly speaking, language labels particular cortical ac­tivation patterns. Fable gives several reasons why we have to consider that even in the case of color perception, the patterns vary from individual to individual just as patterns of emotions do. Fahle explicates various physiological mechanisms from which we have to reason discrepancies between ‘objective’ properties of external objects and ‘subjective’ impressions. To a certain extent, we can say that due to cere­bral processing of visual information, images of the colored world are created or constructed.
  • Martina Plümacher (philosophy) discusses conditions of referential functions of color names and color descriptions in case reference objects are not present. In the first part of her paper, she analyzes the linguistic possibilities of denomi­nating single hues, and points out two strategies that are particularly successful. The second part of Plümacher's paper deals with descriptions of effects of color interaction in artistic color compositions. Plümacher shows that metaphorical expressions were used to develop a tech­nical language that does not work on a metaphorical basis but on knowledge about psychological insights into regularities of visual perception as well as about system­atic effects of color compositions.
  • Volker Heeschen (linguistics) shows the challenge to linguistics by studies of non-European languages. He reports on his studies of Papuan languages, Eipo and Yale in particular. In view of these linguistic cultures, it becomes clear that language has to be considered as a particular part within a broader cultural semiotic system. Heeschen brings into question the specific social role of language. According to him, there is especially one point where linguistic terms have to be specific, namely when dangerous peculiari­ties must be denominated. He points out that Papuan languages have many words and collocations of decay and rottenness including information about different degrees of edibility. Since also many color terms are used to indicate degrees of ripeness and decay, Heeschen assumes that the contrast between unripe and ripe, on the one hand, and young and old, on the other hand, is a reference system that partly underlies the terms of color and smell. According to Heeschen, languages should be analyzed in relation to cultural practices and their specific semiotic circles, and regarded a purposeful addition to them rather than a complete representation.
  • Siegfried Wyler (linguistics) analyzes the verbalization of color in connection with textiles and cosmetics, as it can be found in particular in Great Britain today. In the first place, he expounds forms of linguistic color representation: the grammatical representation of colors as properties of objects as well as deviations from pure color designation, such as radicalized color names used to distinguish objects or degrees of ripeness and unripeness. Like Wildgen, Wyler emphasizes the culture-dependent application of color terms. In the case of products, such as textiles or cosmetics, the distinguishing capacity of color names is essential. In contrast to color names for textiles, color names of cosmetics are less accu­rate regarding the actual color of the product in question. More fancy names are used. They only intend to be af­fective, emotional or merely easy to remember. It is a peculiarity of cosmetics that many color names appeal to synesthetic or multi-sensory associations by referring to objects of a pleasant aroma. Wyler further indicates differences between color names used in sales talks and in magazines, and thereby confirms Heeschen's thesis that language use is part of complex semiotic systems.
  • Andrea Graumann (linguistics) inquires into cognitive and psychological functions of color terms. She explicates how knowledge about these functions is used in advertisements, in particular in connection with the automobile in­dustry. With reference to the concept of semantic frames, which has been es­tablished in cognitive semantics, Graumann shows that color terms do not only designate colors, but also arouse further connotations dependent on lexical and empirical background knowledge of addressees. In addition, specific connotations emerge in the context of personal, often emotional experiences. Color names also have connotations that stem from the psycho-physiological effects of colors, that have been proven by color psychology. Graumann explicates how complex color terms, cryptic at first glance, appeal to specific life style images.
  • Susanne Niemeier (linguistics) concentrates on metonymies and thereby shows that playing with language is an important factor in expansions of mean­ing. Her analysis of metonymies is an example of how to draw up the semantic network of meaning that is connected with a single term. In her case, this term is the word blue in British English. In the first place, she explains metonymy as it is considered in cognitive linguistics. In this view, metonymy is one of the strate­gies of meaning extension that makes lexemes polysemous. According to Niemeier, the core meaning of blue refers to the natural blue of the sky or the blue sea. The meaning extensions of ‘blue’ presented in Niemeier's paper make clear that translation as a one-to-one meaning is not pos­sible in most cases. Therefore, discussions of radial networks of meaning appear to be a motivating instrument of foreign language teaching.
  • Gesualdo Zucco (psychology) explains the unique nature of the olfactory memory system. He considers following phenomena as in­dicative: odors are poorly remembered initially, but well retained over time. Zucco explains the low initial ac­quisition level of odor memory by the specific perceptual character of odors. Other characteristics of odor memory are that it is resistant to retroactive inter­ference and seems to be unaffected by the conditions of learning as well as by subjective factors, such as the familiarity or the pleasantness of odor substances. Another characteristic seems to be the weak relationship between language and odor memory. Zucco sees evidence to support this thesis from experiments that prove the people's difficulties to identify, i.e., to label, presented odors adequately. He concludes that odor memory seems to be mainly perceptual in nature and resistant to manipulations, for instance to language.
  • Daniele Dubois (psycholinguistics) reports on studies of categorization of odors, sounds and noises, research that was conducted within an interdisciplinary program of cognitive science. Dubois opposes the prevailing assumption in identification tasks that there are ‘correct odor names’, i.e., odorants. Instead, odors should be considered as psychological entities. Any linguistic response to an odorant can then be regarded as the speaker's attempt to communicate something about his/her odor memory and identification of the presented odorant. Dubois emphasizes that analyzing the diversity of linguistic representations of sensory impressions pro­vides a foundation to clarify the relation between two oppositions – on the one hand, subjective and individual representations versus collective or shared lexical meanings, and on the other hand, natural sciences versus cultural sciences.
  • Peter Holz (linguistics) analyzes descriptions of perfumes in advertising. In contrast to the meager forms of odor communication in everyday life, perfume advertising displays a highly elaborated way of speaking about odors. Like Dubois, he considers the linguistic form of odor representation to be indica­tive of odor conceptualizing and the organization of odor memory. Holz shows that perfume advertising carefully uses metaphoric descriptions to develop poetic dimensions of language. He is able to prove that in texts of advertising this form of language is prevalent. Holz emphasizes that the language usage in perfume advertisements demonstrates the important role of linguistic cross-modality-references with re­spect to the complexity of odor perception.
  • Yoshikata Shibuya, Hajime Nozawa and Toshiyuki Kanamaru (linguistics) discuss synesthetic expressions of language, which are not considered as metaphors but rather as linguistic representations of cross-modal sensory associations that stem from a multi-sensory experience of the world. The authors assume that lin­guistic expressions, the word apple for example, arouse associations of different sensory modalities connected with apples. `Meaning' is identified with the activa­tion of memorized multi-sensory experiences, i.e., associations, in the strict sense. The ‘physiological-psychological model’ presupposes that all the cortical areas involved in processing sensory information play a part in processes of language production and language reception. The au­thors consider the question of why only particular synesthetic collocations occur but not every theoretically possible word combination. Word combinations, such as smelly taste or reddish warmth, should be as common as sweet smell or warm red.
  • Tatiana Chernigovskaya and Viktor Arshaysky (psycholinguistics) report on their experiments on the importance of cerebral right hemispheric activity to the type of human behavior towards odors. The authors argue for more differentiated psychological research methods that take into account cultural differences and dif­ferent personal cognitive styles, since there is evidence that the development of right or left hemispheric functions is different, depending on cultural styles of life, especially on the role that is given to language or non-verbal communication and orientation in space. The authors emphasize the synesthetic nature of odor perception that is never sepa­rated from the accompanying sensory signals and more general contexts. Their experi­mental results support their hypotheses concerning the important role of the right hemisphere with respect to odor perception. According to their data, most right hemispheric personalities demonstrate a specific odor memory and the ability to speak about odors.

The contributions of Speaking of Colors and Odors are approaches to the topic from different dis­ciplinary angles. They stress diverse aspects of the relation between perception, cultural activity and linguistic representation. Many contributions bring into focus the different forms and functions of linguis­tic representation of color and odor experience. The contributions are pioneering in the sense that they show important factors that should be addressed in further research. Despite the problems concerning the linguistic representation of odor perception, descriptions of odors found in everyday language as well as advertisement and technical language of perfumers should be analyzed with respect to systematic principles that might underlie the linguistic structures. As the contributions to Speaking of Colors and Odors show, there are rewarding avenues of research that still need to be explored.

Literature & Fiction / History & Criticism

Sustaining Literature: Essays on Literature, History, and Culture, 1500-1800, Commemorating the Life and Work of Simon Varey edited by Greg Clingham (Bucknell University Press)

The death of a friend is almost always unexpected: we do not love to think of it, and therefore are not prepared for its coming. – Samuel Johnson, 1783

Critical fashions come and go, and literary history is subject to the prevalence of changing paradigms that often distance scholars from the subjects to which they devote their energies. But when Simon Varey died in 2002 at the age of fifty-one, many people responded spontaneously to recognize his contribution to the scholarship of the Renaissance and eighteenth century, and to commemorate the remarkable person he was. Sustaining Literature is a product of that response.

Simon Varey (1951-2002) received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1976. He taught at Cambridge, the University of Utrecht, and UCLA before becoming director of special projects at UCLA's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and, subsequently, Director of Grant Development at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. In books and essays on the fiction, culture and politics of the eighteenth century, and on Renaissance ethnography and the Spanish naturalist, Francisco Hernandez, Varey distinguished himself as a scholar of wit, learning, and seriousness. He also wrote on food, and was himself a master cook and a man of inexhaustible humor.

Edited by Greg Clingham, Professor of English and Director of the University Press at Bucknell University, Sustaining Literature is a collection of essays by leading scholars on texts, writers, and cultural issues that represent Varey's interests. Many of the essays examine questions of textual, historical, and cultural evidence in the study of eighteenth-century literature. They address such writers as Dryden, Swift, Defoe, Fielding, and Haywood, and such issues as Restoration satire, anti-Walpole journalism, economics and fiction, historiography, rhetoric, anatomy, food, the Cock Lane Ghost, and the Enlightenment exploration of caves and volcanoes. Sustaining Literature concludes with a list of the works of Simon Varey.

Contributors include: Jerry Beasley, Kevin J. Berland, J. Douglas Canfield, Rafael Chabran, Greg Clingham, Kevin L. Cope, Katharine E. Donahue, Howard Erskine-Hill, Carl Fisher, Anne Barbeau Gardiner, Bertrand A. Goldgar, Anita Guerrini, Brean Hammond, Jane Elizabeth Lewis, C. P. Macgregor, Maximillian E. Novak, Alexander Pettit, Mona Scheuermann, and Dora B. Weiner.

All of the essays in Sustaining Literature are by people who knew and engaged with Simon Varey in ways that have enriched their own work and helped make Varey's what it was. These essays address authors, themes, and issues in literature, history, and culture about which Varey wrote. In different ways, they all investigate the nature of literary evidence, one of the critical issues running throughout Varey's work, which he saw as central to the scholarly enterprise, and which – even in a post-postmodern age – continues to claim the attention of anyone who aims to speak truth about the past and about human experience.

The essays in Sustaining Literature stand – contiguous yet independently informative crit­ical, historical, and cultural considerations – as a testimony by Varey's professional colleagues.

According to Clingham in the first essay in Sustaining Literature, it is impossible fully to describe Simon Varey's presence to anyone who did not experience that pleasure personally. He was a man of in­tellect, energy, wit, and learning, but of a relatively small and sham­bolic physical stature, whimsical and even odd in its contrast with his bright personality and eloquent conversation. He was a strange yet compelling mixture of the ordinary and the exceptional. Part of his great popularity arose from his good humor; it came from – to paraphrase Johnson – his willingness to please those with whom he was in com­pany and to be pleased by them, rather than always to be asserting self as a manner of courting admiration and superiority.

As Clingham tells it, pathos and comedy were inextricably mingled in Simon Varey. He was a man of deep feeling. Yet despite his open and generous nature, he did not wear his heart on his sleeve, and though he moved easily and socially among people and had many friends, he did not eas­ily unburden himself to others. But he had tenacious loyalties, and to be once his friend was to be always thus.

Having been educated at an English public school and Cambridge, and embodying the urbane, civilized, cosmopolitan confidence of a suc­cessful commercial upper-middle-class English family, Varey's approach to literature had about it a certain no-nonsense practicality. He had a respect for language and intention, for the historical event and the lit­erary artifact, and for a broad humanistic and scientific reading that he himself commanded with ease and expertise. He seemed to know an enormous amount – not only about books but also about the life, food, and cultures of the world in which he lived, whether that was London, Cambridge, Utrecht, or Los Angeles. For that which he didn't know, he knew where to go to inform himself – and others. He believed that literature was, like good food, capable of sustaining people, that it had a use, and that this use was to make life more pleasurable and more endurable. He was very enlightened, and his approach to things was more that of the rational thinkers – a Hume, Bolingbroke, or Fielding rather than a Johnson – who piqued his critical interest, though his love of pleasures, both intellectual and emotional, grew as he got older and seemed to constitute a point of appreciation for Johnson's largeness of character. Yet the enduringly urbane and skeptical, rather than ideo­logical, nature of Varey's scholarship – notwithstanding his continuing historical interest and expertise in politics, class, and privilege – might have been one of the reasons why his early professional promise did not blossom fully after coming to the U.S. from Holland in the 1980s, and why UCLA did not fully promote his peculiar excellence.

Believing in the decency of others and the fundamental fairness of life, Varey had an admirable innocence but also a certain naiveté in handling the institutional impersonality of the American academy. He never quite got over his rejection by UCLA and the subsequent difficulty of finding an academic post. Yet while this saddened him for a couple of years, it occasioned an extraordinary new burst of creativity in the 1990s. He undertook challenging edito­rial and fund-raising responsibilities – for the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCLA, for the College of Letters and Science at UCLA, and for the California Science Center – and produced some of his most impressive intellectual work. He wrote on the history of food and culture, he reviewed for and edited the Scriblerian with Roy Wolper, and (in collaboration with Rafael Chabran, Dora B. Weiner, and Cyn­thia L. Chamberlin) he edited and translated the writings of Francisco Hernandez, one of Spain's leading physicians, naturalists, and ethnographers. Com­ing on top of his earlier books on The Craftsman, on Bolingbroke, on Fielding, and on space and the eighteenth-century English novel, Varey's work on Hernandez and early-modern ethnography, medicine, and natural history amounts to a lasting and impressive contribution to humanistic scholarship – all of this without holding a tenure-track position in the U.S.

Bringing together various scholarly approaches, Sustaining Literature reflects eloquently on the contribution of a remarkable individual while also offering new critical insights and readings of a wide range of literary texts and cultural issues between 1500 and 1800.

Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers

Evil, Inc. by Glenn Kaplan (A Forge Book)

A new novel by a Madison Avenue insider, Evil, Inc. is fiction woven from the facts of the hot issues in the business world today. Set against that backdrop, where mega-mergers slash thousands of jobs and yield million-dollar executive payouts, Evil, Inc. is a tale of one man’s fight against the backstabbing politics of the corporation. The book is written by Glenn Kaplan, the author of two previous books set in the world of big business, a creative director in New York City.

In Evil, Inc., Ken Olson thought he had it all – a loving wife, a beautiful baby, and a career on the fast track. But soon after his big promotion, his whole world is shattered by a monstrous crime, a crime committed by the CEO of his own company, a crime his company will cover up at any cost.

Stripped of everything but his passion to bring the CEO to justice, Olson uncovers the dark world behind the corporate jets and executive mansions – the private armies of mercenary killers who do the corporation’s dirtiest work under the guise of ‘plausible deniability,’ the offshore banking havens with their clandestine black-hole accounts, and the relentless greed of the lucky few at the top. Olson's struggle pits him against a host of deadly rivals – the most brutal killer in the international private military underworld, the network anchorwoman with a beautiful face and not a hint of conscience, the aristocrat who pulls the strings of power and never dirties his hands, the hot young actress who makes sex a tool of deception, and, of course, his own chief executive, a bloodthirsty psychopath who has hijacked the corner office.

"Evil, Inc. is a fast-paced thriller that entertains," says author Kaplan in an interview, "but it also serves as a cautionary tale about how Corporate America is becoming indifferent to the human consequences of its business decisions. Luckily, most executives don't perceive it as cost-effective to literally kill off the employees they want to layoff. But you wonder if one day it could come to that." "Perhaps the employee handbook should come with a copy of the penal code," he suggests.

Kaplan (All for Money) takes kill-or-be-killed business ideologies to psychopathic new levels in this deftly plotted corporate thriller. … It's Donald Trump meets Hannibal Lecter, with highly engaging results. – Publishers Weekly

Glenn Kaplan’s Evil, Inc. does what the best thrillers do – it’s half a step ahead of tomorrow’s headlines. – James Patterson
Evil, Inc. is a terrific, irresistible read. Don’t start it if you have something to do the next day. – Steven Brill, author of After and founder of Court TV and The American Lawyer
A gripping tale of battle for corporate control fought not with tender offers or proxies, but with murder and sabotage. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. – Martin Lipton, founding partner of Wachtel, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Readers will find the Evil, Inc. message outrageous, unthinkable – but, upon reflection, frighteningly possible. This paranoid thriller will leave readers wondering: How far will some executives go to seize the corner office? Do they work for a real-life Evil, Inc.?

Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers / Historical

White Flag Down by Joel N. Ross (Doubleday)
In White Flag Down Joel Ross takes readers back to one of the most dangerous and pivotal moments of World War II. In June of 1941, two years after signing a non-Aggression Pact, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Within six months, the Russians lost a thousand miles and three million men – and in 1942, the German Wehrmacht swept into Stalingrad. Combat seethed in the city streets, ten thousand Soviet soldiers died in one day fighting for a single hill.
Now, in mid-September 1942, Hitler orders a final offensive’ to capture Stalingrad. Yet on October 7th, the German army pauses. As General von Richthofen, commander of the Luftwaffe, writes in his diary: “Absolute quiet at Stalingrad.”
After months of combat, a sudden silence rises on the eastern front.
But why?
White Flag Down involves an American airman, a Russian major, and a Swiss journalist in a crucial race against time during this eerie quiet on the battlefield. In an unlikely alliance they have united to track down the one document that could stop negotiations between Germany and Russia for another Non-Aggression Pact – a truce that would open the floodgates for German domination of the Western world.

Based on newly declassified documents, White Flag Down is the story of American Lieutenant Hans Grant, whose plane is shot down over Switzerland by a German fighter patrol. Before they crash, Grant and his crew snap photos of a startling new kind of aircraft, one that seems to fly without propellers. The Swiss authorities send him to a prison camp along with his navigator. Grant must escape from the prison camp to find his old Swiss friend Anna, who is working as a journalist, trying to prove the clandestine relationship between Nazi Germany and supposedly neutral Switzerland. She claims that a memorandum exists that proves Swiss funding of German munitions. A Russian woman named Magdalena Loeffert is thought to have this document. At the heart of this controversy is the possibility that Russia and Germany are secretly negotiating a truce that will leave the whole of the Western World under Nazi control.

They must find the documents. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones aware of the document’s importance, and time is running out.

Switzerland during WWII proves an unexpectedly rich setting in Ross's suspenseful second thriller (after 2005's Double Cross Blind). In September 1942, a U.S. Army Air Force pilot, Lieutenant Grant, crash-lands his photo reconnaissance plane in Swiss territory after catching a glimpse of a previously unknown Nazi secret weapon, a jet aircraft. …Much time and energy is spent on the search for an obscure…document, but there's plenty of action as Grant rips through one seemingly impossible mission after another. Thriller readers who enjoy looking at WWII from a fresh perspective will be particularly rewarded. – Publishers Weekly
… In the universe of WWII thrillers, this one ranks around the upper middle: not as accomplished as the novels of Frederick Forsyth or Jack Higgins, but quite nicely written, with engaging characters, a plot that's hard to tear yourself away from, and the kind of sharp historical detail that makes the setting feel real. Ross is on the verge of jumping near the top of the pile. – David Pitt, Booklist

Ross makes good use of unfamiliar history in his second fast-moving thriller. – Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2007

In White Flag Down, Ross, acclaimed for his work on his first novel, Double Cross Blind, takes readers on a breathtaking chase through World War II Europe, where everyone’s motives are suspect and nobody is neutral. Combining skillful prose with meticulously researched World War II history, Ross does not disappoint history buffs with this complex new novel.

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Anthologies

American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics, with audio CD edited by Claudia Rankine & Lisa Sewell (Wesleyan Poetry Series: Wesleyan University Press)

What are readers to make of the lament that the field of poetry is in crisis? Or the statement that poetry as a genre no longer ‘matters’?

With the release of American Poets in the 21st Century, editors Claudia Rankine and Lisa Sewell counter such negative views and confusion by documenting the advent of a poetry that is vital and varied in both its style and subject. Understanding the current moment in poetry can be a difficult task, and they sort among the avant-garde and mainstream, the traditional and the experimental. While no particular rubric has emerged to designate and name the poetries of this new century, a generation worth recognizing is currently coming into its own, revisiting and developing established and emerging modes of poetic inquiry.

The editors, Rankine, Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College, and Sewell, professor of English at Villanova University, are among those beginning to situate the prog­ress of this current generation, focusing on thirteen poets whose work provides an introduction to the breadth and vitality of the field.

Contributing poets include: Joshua Clover, Stacy Doris, Peter Gizzi, Kenneth Goldsmith, Myung Mi Kim, Mark Levine, Tracie Morris, Mark Nowak, D.A. Powell, Juliana Spahr, Karen Volkman, Susan Wheeler, and Kevin Young. Each of the writers collected in American Poets in the 21st Century is evolving a distinct poetic that in some way revises, extends and/or counters the traditions of the previous century. Following the format of American Women Poets in the 21st Century, each chapter focuses on one poet, includes a selection of poems, a brief statement of purpose by the poet, and a critical essay from a notable scholar that provides a historical context as well as an analysis of the ways the spe­cific work alters and extends the understanding of what the new American poetries is. Thanks to the wonders of technology, a recording of each poet reading some of his or her work has also been included on CD.

The task of delineating, naming, and defining either the important move­ments in twenty-first-century American poetry or its central figures is nearly impossible. At the same time, several broad trends did emerge from the transformation in poetry that took place during the 1960s and early 1970s: the post-confessional, mainstream voice-centered lyric of introspection and revelation; the identity-based feminist and multicultural poetries that are also voice-centered but rely on the representational qualities of lan­guage to convey difference, claiming subjectivity as well as social and politi­cal authority for the marginalized and ignored; and the experimental work of Language-oriented writing, which is theoretically informed, Language-focused, and formally innovative with an eye toward critiquing and resisting social convention and ideology at the level of language – in many ways revis­iting the radical materialist experimentation of early Modernism.

According to Sewell in the introduction, to one degree or another, the writers collected in American Poets in the 21st Century embrace what Mark Wallace has identified as a ‘free multiplicity of form’ that cannot be easily relegated into movements or schools. They bring into play whatever seems to be useful, deliberately and self-consciously engaging with the lyric tradition but also questioning that tradition through techniques of disrup­tion, diversion, and resistance, producing a "humming sphere with many different parallel poetries, relatively equal, blurring and fusing across their boundaries."

At the same time, it's worth noting the tendencies that do emerge. While many of these poets claim a space for lyric interiority and ‘emotive effect,’ almost all treat the speaking subject as provisional, expressing doubts about a lyric poetry that dramatizes the self's fixed relationship to the world. Poets like Karen Volkman and D. A. Powell provide new instances of the ‘slipperiness between reality and imagination’ that has always informed lyric utterance. Several poets in this collection situate their work in the longstanding formal traditions of the lyric, whether by reimagining the sonnet sequence (as Kevin Young does), or by overturning and interrupting traditional forms like the ballad and the rondelle (as Stacy Doris does).

Another trend American Poets in the 21st Century helps bring to light is the ongoing project of extending the poem into external social and political worlds, Poets as diverse as Susan Wheeler, Joshua Clover, and Mark Nowak are engaging with a range of ‘public worlds,’ constructing a lyric mode that is historically aware, socially generative, and overtly interested in moving toward an expansive and connective consciousness. This sense of inclusiveness, coupled to an acute awareness of history, informs the work of many the writers collected here. By sharing this sense of the poem as a document that extends into and partici­pates in history, in quite different manifestations, many of the poets in American Poets in the 21st Century insist on a poetics of community.

As Sewell suggests, this collection presents particular but repre­sentative shadings along the continuum of contemporary poetry; the order­ing of the chapters attempts to map the arc of that continuum, emphasizing formal and ideological differences at either end, but also foregrounding the ways shared concerns can be explored through the use of divergent modes and forms. One question that persists throughout is the use to which exper­imental modernist strategies are put, whether disorienting and disjunctive techniques are used merely for aesthetic purposes or for their oppositional function. Taking a closer look at the specific focus of each section in American Poets in the 21st Century can illuminate the ways these writers blur and interrogate such distinctions through sound, form, and content.

Working in forms ranging from the post-confessional lyric to documentary poetics, from the prose poem and the sonnet to sound poetry, these thirteen poets rank among the most notable and distinct of recent years. The question of subjectivity is explored by all the poets collected in American Poets in the 21st Century, whether by distributing the speaking subject among multiple pronouns or inventing characters that morph and shift into one another. Form is also of central concern: variously treating it as an untapped resource and a limiting constraint, the writers here grapple with form and its legacy.

American Poets in the 21st Century offers an intelligent map of innovative currents within the recent generation of U.S. poets. Rankine and Sewell have made a brilliant selection among poets for whom linguistic experiment, public critique, and lyric expressivity are no longer antagonists. – Michael Davidson, professor of literature, University of California, San Diego
An essential guide for travelers into the world of contemporary poetry. Rankine and Sewell present a vibrant new generation of poets who synthesize a deep language consciousness with political and lyric practice. – Elizabeth Gregory, author of Quotation and Modern American Poetry

The poems and essays collected in American Poets in the 21st Century present a sampling of the exciting work being done by a new generation of poets, poetries that cannot be neatly aligned with one camp or another or confined to a particular rubric. The publication of this collection marks one starting point for the serious consideration of these writers and their peers and an exploration of the various but connected poet­ics being invented at the start of this new century. The book is a welcome introduction to contemporary poetics and it may serve as a useful and enlightening guide for readers interested in how new American poetry can look, feel, and sound.

Medicine / Emergency Medical Services / Law Enforcement / Disaster Relief / Reference

Toxico-terrorism: Emergency Response and Clinical Approach to Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Agents by Robin B. McFee & Jerrold B. Leikin (McGraw Hill Medical)

Written for emergency room physicians, Toxico-terrorism is a clinical reference on bioterrorism and disaster preparedness. The authors, emergency room physicians themselves – Jerry Leikin, Professor of Medicine and Toxicology, Rush Medical College and Robin McFee, Department of Preventative Medicine, School of Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook – focus on specific ER strategies for preparing for a potential disaster as well as familiarizing readers with, from a practical and clinical standpoint, the manifestations of large spectrum of biologic and radiologic agents.

Features of the book include:

  • A logical, building-block organization filled with key tables and synoptic boxes.
  • Important coverage of pre-hospital and EMS issues.
  • Insights into the means of transmission, the modes of dispersal, and how secondary infection and/or contamination can occur.
  • An overview of bioterror-specific signs and symptoms.
  • A section on emergency department preparedness that reviews critical topics such as nursing triage, hospital/facility security, pharmacy preparedness, and hospital staff issues.
  • Up-to-date information on labs, microscopy, and radiology.
  • Diagnostic criteria for all agents.
  • Coverage of treatment strategies for all agents.
  • Infection control modalities.
  • A survey of prophylaxis strategies.
  • A section on public health considerations.

McFee and Leikin say that it has always been difficult expressing the premise of the sub­ject of Toxico-terrorism to health professionals in a succinct manner. The terms ‘bioterrorism’, ‘radiation incidents’ and ‘chemical agent exposure’ are frequently used and all imply a foreign substance invasion upon the human body from an environmental source, possibly intentional, that is limited to the properties of the specific substance. McFee and Leikin thus came up with the term ‘Toxico-terrorism’ to denote a comprehensive medical approach (from pre-hospital to public health organizations) of the intentional release, exposure, identification and management of chemical, bio­logic or radiological agents on a population. Realizing that the majority of terrorist events worldwide involve the use of explosives, the authors thought it was essential to provide an in-depth discussion into preparing for and responding to this important threat. Toxico-terrorism is divided into eight sections rang­ing from organ system approach of the individual patient, to emergency medical system/emergency department preparation.

As explained in Toxico-terrorism, the approach to individuals exposed to an unknown agent varies whether a chemical, biological, radiological, or explosive substance is involved. Currently, evaluation of the medically ill individual is ‘hospitalcentric’ – that is the entire evaluation process focused on one individual patient involves solely personal and equipment based at the hospital. With mass expo­sures, ‘foreign’ hospital procedures such as triage, field evaluation of nonbiological specimens, decontamination pro­cedures all play a role in the process.

Emergency medicine's first complete bioterrorism resource, Toxico-terrorism enables readers to visualize a linear and comprehensive approach to this issue while keeping the focus on individual patient care. Individual agents are discussed in detail. Written by two emergency room physicians for emergency room physicians, this valuable, authoritative reference provides the emergency medicine expertise health care providers need to prepare for and manage any type of bioterrorist attack.

Medicine / Public Health / Health Policy

Understanding Global Health edited by William H. Markle, Melanie A. Fisher & Ray A. Smego, Jr. (McGraw Hill Professional)
There are vari­ous definitions of global health. The older term, international health, brought to mind health limited by borders, with the self-interest of individual coun­tries in the forefront. Diseases were not studied until they were felt to actually be important for the coun­try in question, and the old tropical disease institutions were often started with the idea of protecting the militaries that were going from the developed coun­tries to the developing world.

Of course, today borders mean little. Diseases that one hears about in some far-off, remote corner of the world can soon be on a plane to one’s hometown. Thus, the view of health and health care today must be all encompassing, transcend borders, and truly fit to elevate the health of all people everywhere. Editors William H. Markle, Melanie A. Fisher and Ray A. Smengo, Jr. believe that global health represents the inter­ests, activities, and data that are derived from and af­fect the health of the world as a whole and all mankind. According to Markle, Department of Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Fisher and Smego, both of the Department of Internal Medicine, R.C. Byrd Health Science Center, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Understanding Global Health repre­sents the first attempt to bring together a set of data from the global health situation describing the north and south in the major domains known to influence or to be essential components of health, health care, and health systems: education, nutrition, economics, medical assistance readiness and mitigation for war and catastrophes, women and children's health, ethics, professional education, and the environmental aspects. It evaluates each of these areas from the clini­cal and public health perspectives, while presenting data from each region and numerous countries as valuable case studies. In addition to providing a rig­orous and referenced set of data for researchers and activists, it is also an innovative presentation of what is effectively a global health textbook for health professions students.

Understanding Global Health explores the current burden of disease in the world, how health is determined, and the problems faced by the people and their health care workers around the world. The basics of epidemiology are included, as well as sections on ethics for those interested in international research. Basic issues in global health such as maternal and child health, primary health care, cross-cultural health care, and environmental health are covered thoroughly. Some very important current issues, such as emerging infectious diseases, drug resistance, HIV, tuberculosis, injuries, and nutritional prob­lems, are explored in depth. More advanced topics are also included, such as the chapters on global health manpower needs, financing global health, and the communications revolution. There is special at­tention to the global demographic transition and the problems of aging, and the difficulties of people caught up in wars and disasters. Finally, there is a chapter on training and opportunities for work in the global health sector.

Understanding Global Health brings together a group of authors and contributors, each with extensive experience working globally, and each with a wealth of expertise in his or her own topic. The au­thors impart an understanding of global health through a combination of thoughtful overall organi­zation, well written individual chapters, ample illus­trations, and useful tips and resources. The book includes practical case examples with explanations, chapter-ending review questions and learning objectives and key summary points. While Understanding Global Health is written by three medical doctors, and is generally slanted toward medical students and trainees, this is by no means a medical text. Almost half the chapters are devoted to epidemiology, environment, economics, ethics, and other public health-oriented topics.

We shall continue to call for a comprehensive and strong response to this most urgent issue facing global health. This book presents a comprehensive analysis of global health and further reinforces our conviction that we cannot wait any longer to widen societal debate on the topic and propose global poli­cies for action. – Mario Tristan, Director-General, International Health Central American Institute Foundation, Cochrane Centre of Central America Branch of the Ibero-American Cochrane Centre, San Jose, Costa Rica, from the Foreword

Some future global health changes are predictable and imminent, while others may be indistinct and uncertain. Regardless, I am confident that Understanding Global Health will provide the next genera­tion of health professionals with a readable, authori­tative, and practical volume to approach these current and future problems in global health. And I am optimistic that most readers will not only become informed and educated by this well-crafted volume, but they will also be inspired by it. – Donald S. Burke, MD, Dean, Graduate School of Public Health and Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health, University of Pittsburgh, from the Foreword

Understanding Global Health is a groundbreaking primer that puts global health and its many challenges into sharp focus. The authors pursue the logic of globalization with a knowledgeable academic spirit. The book provides an invaluable foundation for addressing the challenge of global health. Unique, authoritative coverage of public health concepts and insights into infectious diseases and clinical medicine provides just what beginning health care professionals need to comprehend how global medicine is affecting today's practice of medicine and to prepare for their role in it. Although this is a multi-authored volume, the chapters fit together remarkably well, with no needless overlap and no ob­vious internal dissonance.

Written with the nonspecialist in mind, this powerful resource expertly reviews all the topics that readers must know in order to thrive in a decentralized new global health environment. Understanding Global Health will be useful to students and learners of all ages whether they are beginning their study of global health or already work­ing in this field. It will be useful to anyone wishing to expand their knowledge and gain new ideas, and to apply those ideas to the care of both pa­tients and populations. Therefore the volume will contribute to a better un­derstanding and awareness of and a greater empathy for the needs and health problems of people around the world.

Outdoors & Nature / Arts & Photography / Biological Sciences

Oceanic Wilderness by Roger Steene (A Firefly Book)

The oceans have always fascinated us. Only in recent times, however, have we been able to explore this underwater world. Oceanic Wilderness takes readers on a journey to this last earthly frontier – from a bird's-eye view from a helicopter to the deep reef, from drifting in mid ocean to tropical islands and lagoons, from kelp to coral, from the microscope to the tide pool and from day to night.

The breathtaking beauty of marine life is illustrated in this book. Five years in the making, Oceanic Wilderness by Roger Steene, one of the world's most prominent underwater photographers, visits the Earth's limits to shed light on the ocean's deepest depths. From aerial views to cavernous reefs, and from mid-ocean to tropical lagoons, this book is a photographic journey to environments around the globe, including the Caribbean; the Central, South and West Pacific; Japan; temperate and tropical Australia; Southeast Asia; the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.

Steene explores the oceans' creatures and plants. Colors are almost outrageously stunning. Some of the subjects are as small as 2 mm and have been captured with a microscopic lens. Some images show day views and night views of the same place to reveal surprises; a number of subjects were unknown to science before Steene captured them on film. With more than 600 color photographs and descriptive text, Oceanic Wilderness demystifies the planet's darkest frontier, revealing exquisite beauty. Highlights include:

  • The beauty and colors of the deep reef.
  • Views of oceanic worlds from above.
  • Life in and around tropical islands and deep reefs.
  • Life in lagoons and tide pools, and among kelp and coral.
  • Microscopic organisms inhabiting a drop of saltwater.

Through the eye of the camera, readers are treated to an illustrated journey that explores coral reefs and tide pools revealing the biodiversity found in exotic locations. For example, readers will witness the Warty Frogfish photographed off the Philippines, bright red and seemingly dusted with sugar granules. The Holothurian thrives in the Komodo region of Indonesia. At rest, the creature is a soft, brightly colored spherical sac, but when feeding, it extends a mass of feathery ‘arms’ to bring plankton to its mouth. The brown and white-striped Ornate Octopus looks like nothing so much as a chocolate confection resting on the ocean floor, the male Mantis Shrimp resembles a Tiffany-glass fantasy, the Thorny Oyster could pass for a kindergarten art project gone bad. Some of the creatures in Oceanic Wilderness are funny, some are strange, many are beautiful.

...the collection of images by Roger Steene was the finest and most exciting I had ever seen, presenting a standard of excellence in underwater photographic skills that I believe has not been equaled.

This publication features 622 photos, some species new to science and never before photographed ... [Steene's] texts are discerning, accurate and good reading. With the creation of Oceanic Wilderness he has produced a handsome, educational work of art that is a pleasure – indeed an honor – to own. – Stan Waterman, cinematographer and producer

Oceanic Wilderness is an exquisitely beautiful volume. The book might just as fittingly have been titled Pictures from Paradise, for that is what it presents in splendid profusion. Its large size perfectly showcases the vivid color photographs that so brilliantly portray the profusion and diversity of aquatic life. Readers will find that the photographs are a vibrant feast of form, color and motion. The world displayed is as strange, alien and wonderful as any that might someday be found in the reaches of space.

The oceans are Earth's last frontier and this book makes pioneers of us all. Oceanic Wilderness is an ideal book for naturalists, travelers and divers – and anyone else with a passion for marine conservation and photography.

Outdoors & Nature / Environment / Biological Sciences / Reference

Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects by Jonathan Cowie (Cambridge University Press)

In recent years climate change has become recognized as the foremost environmental problem of the twenty-first century and a subject of considerable debate. Not only will climate change potentially affect the multibillion-dollar energy strategies of countries worldwide, but it also could seriously affect many species, including our own.

There are many books on climate change but nearly all, other than the voluminous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, tend to focus on a specialist aspect of climate, be it weather, palaeo-climatology, modeling and so forth. Even books relating to biological dimensions of climate change tend to specialize, with a focus that may relate to agriculture, health or palaeo-ecology. However, the biology of climate change is so broad that life-sciences students or specialists seeking a broader context in which to view their own fields, have difficulty in finding a wide-ranging review of the biology and human ecology of climate change. Non-bioscience specialists with an interest in climate change (geologists, geographers, atmospheric chemists, etc.) face a similar problem. This also applies to policy-makers and policy analysts, or those in the energy industries, coming to grips with the relevance of climate change to our own species and its social and economic activities.

Climate Change, written by Jonathan Cowie, provides a broad review of past, present and likely future climate change from the viewpoints of biology, ecology and human ecology. Cowie has spent many years conveying the views of biological science societies to policy-makers. His earlier postgraduate studies related to energy and the environment, and he is a former Head of Science Policy and Books at the Institute of Biology (UK).

Climate Change is about biology and human ecology as they relate to climate change. The book's style is different from many textbooks. Reading it straight through from start to finish one may get the feeling that it is repetitious, but this is only partly true – it is true first in the sense that there are frequent references to other chapters and subsections. This is for those looking at a specific dimension, be they specialists putting their own work into a broader climate context, students with essays to write, or policy analysts and policy-makers looking at a special part of the human-climate interface.

There is a second sense in which the book appears repetitious, although in reality it is not. It stems from a particular problem scientists have had in persuading others that human activity really is affecting our global climate. As Cowie explains it, there is no single piece of evidence that by itself proves such a hypothesis conclusively. Therefore those arguing a contrary case have been able to cite seemingly anomalous evidence, such as that a small region of a country has been getting cooler in recent years or that the Earth has been warmer in the past, or that there have been alternating warm and cool periods. So, instead of a single, all-powerful fact to place at the heart of the climate-change argument, there is a plethora of evidence from wide-ranging sources. For instance, there is a wealth of quite separate geological evidence covering literally millions of years of the Earth's history in many locations across the globe. This ranges from ice cores and fossils to isotopic evidence of a number of elements from many types of sediment. There is also a body of biological evidence from how species react to changes in seasons to genetic evidence from when species migrated due to past climate change. Indeed, within this there is the human ecological evidence of how we have been competing with other species for resources and how this relates observed changes in both human and ecological communities with past climate change.

The central point of the book is that the vast mass of evidence all points to the same big picture of how changes in greenhouse gases and/or climate have affected life in the past. Then again there is the present and the evidence used to build up a likely picture of what could well happen in the future. Here again, the evidence seems to be very largely corroborative. Therefore, to readers of Climate Change it can seem as if the same ground is being covered when in fact it is a different perspective being pre­sented each time that leads to the same concluding picture.

Cowie says that there are similar themes running through specialist areas of climate-change science and the relating biology is in one sense comforting, but in another it is frustrating. Over the years he has spoken to a large number of scientists from disparate disciplines. The key thing is that these individual specialist, climate-related scientists all tend to say similar things, be they involved with ocean circulation, the cryosphere (ice and ice caps), tropical forests and so forth. They say the same thing their colleagues in other specialist areas say but equally do not appear to really appreciate that there is such a commonality of conclusion. For example, a common emerging theme is that matters are on the cusp. Change is either happening or clearly moving to a point where (frequently dependent on other factors) marked change could well happen. It is perhaps a little disappointing that more often than not such specialists seem to have a limited awareness of how their counterparts in other disciplines view things. That science is so compartmentalized tends to limit wide-ranging discussions, yet these, when properly informed by sound science, can be exceptionally fruitful.

According to Cowie, a question remains – whether this book will have any effect on readers’ own motivations and understanding.

Climate Change is an introduction to the biology and human ecology of climate change. A fascinating introduction to the subject, written in an accessible style, the book provides a broad review of past, present and likely future climate change from the viewpoints of biology, ecology and human ecology. It is thoroughly referenced, allowing readers, if they wish, to embark on their own more specialist studies. And the book scores with its broad biological approach, its tendency to cite the high-impact journals and its level of writing.

Climate Change will be of interest to a wide range of people, from students in the life sciences who need a brief overview of the basics of climate science, to atmospheric science, geography, and environmental science students who need to understand the biological and human ecological implications of climate change. It will also be a valuable reference for those involved in environmental monitoring, conservation, policy analysis, policymaking, and policy lobbying.
Politics / Conspiracy Theories / Audio

Sabotage: America's Enemies within the CIA by Rowan Scarborough (Regnery Publishing Inc.)

Sabotage: America's Enemies within the CIA (unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 ½ hours approximate running time) by Rowan Scarborough (Blackstone Audiobooks)

Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, intelligence collection has become the number-one weapon in the effort to defeat al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. A plot penetrated is an attack stopped. And to the outside observer, the CIA has been a key partner in the Bush administration's War on Terror. But as Rowan Scarborough relates in Sabotage, elements within the CIA are undermining both the president and national security through leaks, false allegations, and sabotage.

Using his sources in all levels of national security – from field officers to high-ranking analysts to former intelligence heads – Scarborough, a Navy veteran who covers national security for the Washington Examiner and co-author of ‘Inside the Ring,’ the most widely read weekly column for Pentagon insiders, paints a disturbing picture of partisan politics endangering the success of campaigns abroad and the lives of soldiers and agents.

In Sabotage, readers/listeners hear:

  • How CIA analysts leak details about classified intelligence programs with the dual intent of ending them and damaging the president.
  • How, on eight occasions, intelligence officials have made serious allegations of wrongdoing against the president's men – which turned out to be false.
  • Why the CIA has become predominantly liberal.
  • How a CIA turf battle prevented special operators from pursuing and capturing a notorious Taliban leader.
  • How current and former CIA officers fueled conspiracy theories that President Bush orchestrated the 9/11 attacks on America.
  • How a CIA leak to the New York Times deprived the U.S. of critical information.
  • How press leaks by the CIA have damaged relations with foreign allies.
  • How a CIA analyst worked with Democrats to sabotage the nomination of John Bolton to the UN.
  • How Clinton's downsizing of the CIA led to the closing of stations in scores of jihadist breeding grounds – including Hamburg, Germany, where the 9/11 plot was hatched.

Sabotage is a rather shocking book, in which Scarborough discusses in a partisan, even inflammatory manner, backed up by facts, how CIA bureaucrats are undermining President Bush and the War on Terror through disinformation, incompetence, and sabotage. The CIA's job is to collect facts and let the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department make national security policy, but, as Scarborough demonstrates in Sabotage, it has become increasingly political.

The audio version of the book is well read by Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist for over twenty-five years.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Literature & Fiction

Opening Hearts by Opening Minds: A Reader's Guide to the World of Christian-Based Fiction by Connie Wineland (Wipf and Stock Publishers)

There has often been a general belief among conservative Christians that fiction is indeed nothing more than a form of escapism, or that it is just so much trash. This fear of books has also been precipitated by the fear of obscenity, profanity, depravity, and perversion that many Christians suspect is lurking behind the pages of secular fiction. However, any good work of literature, even fiction, has the power to strip us naked to the point where truth can be felt and seen! It can bring us into honest confrontation with ourselves, much like a mirror. We don't have to limit our seeing and understanding to the Scriptures only, but we can look into the entire world of fiction, which at first may seem like an escape from reality, but which in all its power to reach one's heart will eventually bring a person face to face with reality! – from the book

Opening Hearts by Opening Minds is for Christian readers of fiction who might experience difficulty trying to make an informed choice beyond what is being published by evangelical presses.

With this premise at the heart of Opening Hearts by Opening Minds, Connie Wineland includes her own story of conversion to Christianity by way of reading fiction. During her late twenties and early thirties, particularly while in graduate school, Wineland, now an English teacher at Ohio University’s Southern Campus in Ironton became immersed in literary and rhetorical studies while also practicing an Eastern form of religion as well as Native American spirituality. However, despite all her training in literary theory, her readings in Romantic, Victorian, modern, and postmodern literature (which she explains), as well as her personal interest in mythology and world religions, kept her questioning the existence of God and the possible nature of God.

Then, as a relatively new convert to Christianity, she faced several challenges at a small Christian college where she taught literature and writing courses. Eventually wanting to reach beyond the academic community, Wineland began a local Christian readers' group, which she ran for four years. She includes in Opening Hearts by Opening Minds resources and materials such as sample syllabi and study-guide questions, Web addresses, and plenty of how-to information for starting and running a book club. Wineland believes that Christian-based reading groups could become popular as alternative programming for small group ministries and that a Christian reader's group can serve as evangelistic outreach as well. She also believes that a book such as this can help individuals who would like a ready-made list of good literature to read. It could also be used as a curriculum source for home schoolers or other Christian educators. Opening Hearts by Opening Minds not only answers the question "Why read fiction," but also explains more thoroughly what Christian fiction is, or rather, what it can be.

Opening Hearts by Opening Minds contains a list of annotated book titles from Wineland’s own personal library, many of which were instrumental to her growth after her conversion. There are also three nine-month sample syllabi with thirty-four discussion guides for anyone interested in starting a more liter­ary and spiritually based reader's group of their own. There is a glossary of literary terms to further aid readers' understanding of various literary terms and genres, and a list of resources useful for ordering books, and for obtaining reviews of books. Following that there is a bibliography of non-fictional works that she finds useful; she recommends the books listed there to readers who are interested in reading more deeply into this subject.

Opening Hearts by Opening Minds is written with great enthusiasm. Wineland’s quest for good books and the resources she provides may help open up to readers a world far richer than anyone might have otherwise imagined in this life.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI: An Introduction to the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger, second edition by Aidan Nichols (Burns & Oates)

The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI, written by Aidan Nichols, who entered the Dominican Order in 1970 and who has since worked in Edinburgh, Oslo, Rome and Cambridge, presents a chronological account of the development of Joseph Ratzinger's writing.

This book is a comprehensive introduction to a figure who is in his own right, quite apart from his significance in the politics of the Church, a major German Catholic theologian of the twentieth century. The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI reflects a wide range of historical and theoretical interests such as: Augustine's ecclesiology; early Franciscanism and the idea of salvation history; Christian brotherhood; the unfolding of the Second Vatican Council; comments on the Apostles' Creed; explorations of the concept of the Church; preaching, liturgy and Church music; eschatology; the foundations of dogmatic and moral theology; the Church and politics; ecumenism, and the problem of pluralism.

According to Nichols, the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI rendered desirable a republication of the book owing not only to the public interest in the new Pope and the importance of an accurate representation of his theological thinking in its historical development, but also, in major essentials, the thought of the future Pope Benedict was, by the late 1980s, already clear.

This second edition brings The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI up to date by taking into consideration the books and collections of articles Ratzinger has written in the twenty years that separated the original publication – which coincided with his successful visit to Cambridge in 1988 – from the events of 2005 when he succeeded Pope John Paul II as bishop of Rome and universal pastor of the Catholic Church. This new edition provides an amplification of the existing chapters. This update is especially important in the area of the Liturgy, where his 1999 study ‘The Spirit of the Liturgy’ takes further his critique of contemporary Western Catholic worship and his call for a new liturgical movement which would aim to ‘reform the Reform.’

If there is a single most prominent feature in the new material it would be the sharpening of his critique of relativism and constructivism in all domains. He was not the only observer of the Western scene who noted that, by the start of the new millennium, the human faculty for registering comprehensive truth (not simply supernatural but even natural) was at a discount. Nichols also includes two wholly new chapters devoted to Ratzinger's writings on Judaism, Islam and other religions, as well as secularization and the future of Europe. Changes include the addition of a compendious chapter on the writings of 1987–2005 under the title ‘The Candidate’, and a corresponding supplementation of the bibliography and some words added to the Conclusion.

The book focuses on Ratzinger’s personal theology; though including some biographical elements, the book makes no pretense to be a biography as such.

Those who want to get closer to this thinker should read The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI ... This, the first study of its kind in English, is a meticulously researched, lucid account of Ratzinger's thought. – Economist

A beautiful presentation of the theological achievement of Joseph A Ratzinger ... combines a confident grasp of the general trends of Ratzinger's thinking with almost a poet's feel for particularities of place and with a trained historian's sense of the period. – Chesterton Review

An important introduction, not only to the mind and heart of one man, but to the intellectual ferment of his times. – Expository Times

Nichols begins his book with an excellent chapter on the historical background of Ratzinger, tracing the history of Bavaria from its beginnings and giving much interesting material about the Church in Germany in the time of Hitler. – Priests and People

A highly lucid presentation of Ratzinger's theology, which reveals a complete mastery of his writings as well as the secondary literature. – Heythrop Journal

So good an introduction is this book that I am eager to read more of Ratzinger, for he has a lot to say; not least, in criticism of my own position. – Reformed Theological Review

Anyone who wants to understand where Ratzinger is coming from should read it carefully. – National Catholic Register

A timely book, considering his election as Pope, The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI is the first full-scale investigation of Ratzinger's theology in its development from the 1950s to the present day. The book, enhanced by the updates, will help Catholics get to know the leader of their faith.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology / Politics

Two Reformers: Martin Luther and Mary Daly as Political Theologians by Caryn D. Riswold (Cascade Books)

By them we have been carried away out of our own land, as into a Babylonian captivity, and despoiled of all our precious possessions. – Martin Luther, 1520

Their goal is our deracination, which is ‘detachment from one's background (as from homeland, customs, traditions).’ Thus women and other Elemental creatures on this planet are rendered homeless, cut off from knowledge of our Race's customs and traditions. – Mary Daly, 1984

What is this land, this world of which these two theologians are speak­ing? Why do the two statements above sound similar in the authors' longing for a true home? And who is this ‘them’ who carries us away and cuts us off? Could it be possible that Martin Luther and Mary Daly, different in almost every way, are saying something similar? Why do these key figures in the Christian theological tradition, who come from different times, places, and politics, engage in such a parallel task?

Two Reformers examines a series of parallels between two key reforming figures in the Christian theological tradition and suggests that the two are in fact engaged in the same task: political theology. The sixteenth-century Reformation and second wave feminism are viewed in the book through the pioneering work of Luther and Daly to further establish the political content and consequence of these theologians.

Before moving into the substance of Two Reformers, Riswold, Associate Professor of Religion and Gender and Women's Studies at Illinois College, Jacksonville, outlines some basic characteristics of political theology as found in the work of widely recognized political theologians. The term ‘political theologian’ is applied to figures familiar to those who study Christian theology: Johann Baptist Metz, Jurgen Moltmann, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Dorothee Soelle are widely considered to be political theologians in the modern sense.

A figure may be primarily a theologian, but to be a political theologian, all of their work has had political consequence and content at every step. For example, Bonhoeffer's participation in a plot to assassinate Hitler was a political act that brought the end of his life in a Nazi prison, and his theological work was a key motivator for his actions.

In the first section, these characteristics of political theology are applied to Martin Luther and Mary Daly after a detailed analysis of elements of their lives and work. Two Reformers begins with comparisons of the biographic details of the lives of Luther and Daly that support the proposal of a connection between their approaches and their work. The differences between them are obvious, but the parallels in their personal stories are striking and lead to some interest­ing inverse situations. Each comes from a modest working family, each is educated and employed at Catholic institutions, and each is immersed in religious and academic controversies that affect their professional and personal lives.

The theological content of their work which produced these con­troversies is examined around two main focal points in the middle section of Two Reformers: anthropology and authority. Riswold focuses first on what each theologian says about what it means to be human in relationship to God. Both focus on freedom, and both understand that the human being is presently being held captive and longing for community. But the bar­rier between the self and the true home remains, so Riswold then focuses on their criticisms of institutional authority. Luther's critique of the papacy and Daly's critique of patriarchy zone in on the deception, threats, and falsely constructed worlds perpetrated by each.

Their critiques rely heavily on creative and cantankerous language that Riswold also considers at length in the middle section of the book. Walter Altmann describes Luther as ‘an irascible human being,’ and Daly becomes the epitome of what Altmann calls ‘lexical creativity’ by the time she writes her Wickedary in 1987. A shared rhetorical style again indicates that the two reformers are engaged in a similarly impassioned struggle against tyranny and for freedom.

In the final section of Two Reformers, Riswold considers legacies and limita­tions of the work of these two reformers before returning to the proposal that Luther and Daly be named among the company of political theolo­gians. Why did Luther fail, according to some, to produce an effective social ethic, and what is the legacy of this seen throughout history? Why did Daly leave the church and theology altogether, and what is the legacy of that for feminism and Christianity today? Is Luther truly anti-Semitic, and is Daly truly anti-male? Examining all of these issues and the people who authored them supports the proposal that they are both engaged in political theology. Considering their exclusive utopian visions for a new world supports the proposal that such visions are themselves a final characteristic of political theologians.

Of Two Reformers it can be said that a daring thesis is half of an accomplishment. The reader gets the audacity already in the cover, and the other half of the accom­plishment in the pages that follow, in a remarkable journey of recovering the political meaning of theological and ecclesial protest. Caryn Riswold's book finds a way of bringing together voices of dissent in the utter dissonance of the contexts of two thinkers that theology cannot afford to ignore or read apart from the political causes they in common espoused and from their frailty in the struggles they shared. – Vitor Westhelle, author of The Scandalous God

In Two Reformers two religious reformers, considered heretical in their widely disparate days and concerns, are brought together in this unexpected and profound analysis. Applying a new label to familiar theologians enables readers to see both of them as well as their reformations in a new light.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Youth Ministry

Emerge 1.0: Developing Youth As Fully Devoted Disciples, Small Group Leader’s Guide for Older Youth by Matthew Milthaler (Emerge Series: Abingdon Press)

Emerge 1.0: Developing Youth As Fully Devoted Disciples, Small Group Leader’s Guide for Older Youth is a small booklet, one component of Emerge: Developing Youth As Fully Devoted Disciples, Volume 1.0 and is not intended as a stand-alone piece.

As a small-group leader of older youth, readers at whom this series is targeted work with students in a close, personal setting, taking what the youth have learned from the large-group teaching and going deeper through activities, discussion, and Bible study.

Emerge 1.0 gives readers lesson plans, key Scriptures, and discussion questions for thirteen 45-minute sessions with their small group. The CD enclosed with Emerge 1.0 features printable handouts for each session, as well as three audio tracks recorded by author Mat Milthaler that help readers better understand their role as a small-group leader.

Mat Milthaler is Middle School Pastor at Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati. He has over ten years of vocational ministry experience, including several years at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio, where he developed Emerge 1.0. As a youth minister, Milthaler seeks to help students experience true community and a lifestyle of service.

Readers will find at the beginning of each session plan in Emerge 1.0 these key sections: ‘The Big Idea’ (the key teaching for that session), ‘Session Texts’ (the key Scriptures for that session), and ‘Before You Teach This Lesson,’ (personal reflection as the leader prepares for the session).

Each lesson plan then includes the following:

  • Warm-up: an opening game related to the key teaching for the session.
  • Teaching: a summary of what youth should learn from that session and why it is important.
  • Handout: a worksheet that the youth complete individually or in small groups that will get them thinking about the key teaching for that session and how it applies to their lives. Printable PDFs of these handouts are found on the CD-ROM.
  • Information for discussing each question on each handout is provided in the book.
  • Look at the Book: a short Bible study that explores the key Scriptures for that session.
  • Wrap-up: a summary of what the youth should take away from the session, and a suggestion for a closing prayer.

The CD-ROM also includes tips on how to best serve the youth in the small group, playable with a CD or MP3 player. Emerge 1.0 is designed for youth ministry resources and youth workers and provides a comprehensive program for volunteer Met5hodist small-group leaders – a well-thought-out way to support young people.

Science / Biological Sciences / Paleontology / Fossils / Reference

Deep Alberta: Fossil Facts and Dinosaur Digs by John Acorn (University of Alberta Press and Royal Tyrrell Museum)

Whether talking about a species of dinosaur or a significant fossil bed, or answering questions such as how palaeontologists know where to dig, John Acorn, writer, broadcaster, and entomologist, has a tale to tell and a picture to show. Acorn showcases Alberta’s palaeontological history in 80 succinct essays in Deep Alberta.

Written with the collaboration of the curators at the world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum, Deep Alberta is a book that will appeal to anyone with an enquiring mind. Alberta is well known for its fossil treasures, and Acorn is as keen on the long-dead creatures of Alberta as he is on the living ones. In Deep Alberta, he features 80 of the most noteworthy fossils, fossil locations and fossil hunters from this most palaeontological of provinces. There's more to the story of ‘deep Alberta’ than dinosaurs, but dinosaur fans will find their favorite beasts here as well – from Albertosaurus to Tyrannosaurus rex, and everything in between. Readers encounter Barnum Brown, fossil hunter and Dromaeosaurus, a snappy little raptor. Some of the topics are famous, obvious aspects of Alberta palaeontology – things like the dinosaur nests at Devil's Coulee, or the massive extinct predator Albertosaurus. And there are surprises as well, such as the world's oldest pike, the discovery of a venomous mammal and the fossils found in such unlikely places as Edmonton and Calgary.

Based on the CKUA radio series, Deep Alberta, Deep Alberta asks, so what, exactly, is ‘Deep Alberta?’ Deep Alberta is the prehistoric heritage that places the province in context in what geologists and palaeontologists call ‘deep time.’ Acorn relates how, as the scripts for his radio series about Alberta palaeontology accumulated, it became apparent that they had the makings of a book as well. In choosing subject matter for this project, he was able to draw from Alberta's rich dinosaurian legacy, as well as tremendous riches from the geological time period following that of the Cretaceous dinosaurs, the Palaeocene. The province also preserves a record of life during the much more recent ‘Ice Age,’ as well as much older fossils and sediments that are exposed on the surface in such places as the Rocky Mountains and the far northeast corner of Alberta, on the Canadian Shield.

In choosing these subjects, Acorn has tried to reflect not only the composition of the fossil record, but also the interests and discoveries of palaeontolog­ical researchers in Alberta, not just at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, but from around the province wherever such discoveries are made. He was also keen to pay homage to the early fossil hunters and geologists who first uncovered Alberta's ancient legacies and whose names are forever associated with many of the extinct plants and animals.

Those without a formal background in palaeontology will find in Deep Alberta some interesting insights into the inner workings of this fascinating discipline. With an interesting tale to tell, Deep Alberta deserves a place on every bookshelf.

By reading the book, readers will find themselves developing a solid general understanding of the fossil heritage of Alberta, and the pieces will begin to fall together and create a meaningful whole.

Science Fiction & Fantasy / Series

Bright of the Sky: Entire and the Rose: Book 1 by Kay Kenyon (Entire and the Rose: PYR)
Noted for her science fiction world-building, Kay Kenyon, former copywriter, marketer and urban planner, nominated for the Philip K. Dick and the John W. Campbell awards, has, in her new series, created her most vivid and compelling society, the Universe Entire.

Bright of the Sky tells of a land-locked galaxy that tunnels through our own – the Entire is a bizarre and seductive mix of long-lived quasi-human and alien beings gathered under a sky of fire, called the bright. A land of wonders, the Entire is sustained by monumental storm walls and an exotic, never-ending river. Over all, the elegant and cruel Tarig rule supreme.

Bright of the Sky, the first book in the Entire and the Rose series, thrusts Titus Quinn, former star pilot into this universe, where megacorporations rule the earth. Quinn was on his way up until he piloted a Minerva corporation colony ship through a network of black holes. The ship disappeared and so did his beloved wife and daughter.

Believed dead, Quinn showed up six months later on a distant planet that no transport had visited in years, with disjointed memories of a parallel universe. Believing his wife and daughter trapped in a parallel universe – one where he himself may have been imprisoned, and hoping that the place will provide a safer alternative for interstellar travel, he returns to the Entire without resources, language, or his memories of that former life. He is assisted by Anzi, a woman of the Chalin people, a Chinese culture copied from our own universe and transformed by the kingdom of the bright. Learning of his daughter's slavery, Quinn swears to free her. To do so, he must cross the unimaginable distances of the Entire in disguise, for the Tarig are lying in wait for him. As Quinn's memories return, he discovers why. Quinn's goal is to penetrate the exotic culture of the Entire – to the heart of Tarig power, the fabulous city of the Ascendancy, to steal the key to his family's redemption. But will his daughter and wife welcome rescue? Ten years of brutality have forced compromises on everyone. What Quinn will learn to his dismay is what his own choices were, long ago, in the Universe Entire. He also discovers why a fearful multiverse destiny is converging on him and what he must sacrifice to oppose the coming storm in Bright of the Sky.

In the future conjured by the first book of the Entire and the Rose, megacorporations control Earth, and only the best and brightest get company jobs. …In a fascinating and gratifying feat of world building, Kenyon unfolds the wonders and the dangers of the Entire and an almost-Chinese culture that should remain engaging throughout what promises to be a grand epic, indeed. – Regina Schroeder, Booklist

...riveting launch of a new far-future SF series...Kenyon's deft prose, high-stakes suspense and skilled, thorough world building will have readers anxious for the next installment. – Publishers Weekly, starred review

Reminiscent of the groundbreaking novels of Philip K. Dick, Philip Jose Farmer, and Dan Simmons... – Library Journal

...a bravura concept bolstered by fine writing; lots of plausible, thrilling action; old-fashioned heroism; and strong emotional hooks...the mark of a fine writer. Grade: A. – Sci Fi Weekly

Kay Kenyon has created a dark, colorful, richly imagined world that works as both science fiction and fantasy, a classic space opera that recalls the novels of Dan Simmons. Titus Quinn bestrides Bright of the Sky in the great tradition of larger-than-life heroes, an engaging, romantic, unforgettable character. The stakes are high in this book, the characters memorable, the world complex and fascinating. A terrific story! – Louise Marley, author of Singer In The Snow

Kenyon writes beautifully, her characters are multilayered and complex, and her extrasolar worlds are real and nuanced while at the same time truly alien. – Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and nebula award-winning author of Rollback and Mindscan

Kay Kenyon takes the nuts and bolts of SF and weaves pure magic around them. The brilliance of her imagination is matched only by the beauty of her prose. You should buy Bright of the Sky immediately. It's astounding! – Sean Williams, author of The Crooked Letter and Saturn Returns

Bright of the Sky is high-concept SF written on the scale of Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld, Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles, and Dan Simmons's Hyperion. Well written, with engaging, well-developed characters, Kenyon gives readers fascinating, alternative worlds on a breathtaking scale. Mind-boggling worlds, deep plotting and characters – what more can we want from science fiction?

Social Sciences / Philosophy / War & Peace

Taking Wrongs Seriously: Acknowledgment, Reconciliation, and the Politics of Sustainable Peace by Trudy Govier (Humanity Books)

In the aftermath of violence and oppression, human beings in many parts of the world face the problem of constructing decent relationships. While a highly practical one, this problem is also theoretically profound.

How can we respond in the aftermath of serious wrongdoing? How can social trust be restored in the wake of intense political conflict? In Taking Wrongs Seriously, philosopher Trudy Govier explores central dilemmas of political reconciliation, employing illustrative material from eight different countries.

Govier, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, stresses that reconciliation is fundamentally about relationships. Whether through means of truth commissions, apologies, community processes, or criminal trials, the basic goal of reconciliation is improved social trust among alienated individuals and groups.

Govier approaches the topic using a creative practical framework for reflection. She explains that people should not to be identified with the roles they may have played, and she points out that, with reference to wrongs committed in political conflicts, individuals often play several roles. The perpetrators of some acts can be the victims of others; the victims in some circumstances may become responsive interveners in others. Rare is the political conflict in which one group commits all wrongs.

Govier in Taking Wrongs Seriously argues that, to build social trust and sustainable peace, acknowledgment of past wrongs is crucial. The need for mutuality in acknowledgment is an underappreciated aspect of the aftermath of conflicts. She further examines the themes of responsibility (individual, collective, and shared); apology; forgiveness; reparations; the rehabilitation of child soldiers; the problems of monetary compensation; and truth-telling and truth commissions.

Grovier approaches the problems of political reconciliation from a secular point of view. As she understands reconciliation, it is a theme for all human beings on earth. Neither its problems nor its solutions presuppose a theological frame of reference. The fact is that people living in the same society need to cooperate; to cooperate, they need to trust; and in the aftermath of violence and oppression, that is difficult. To say that people alienated by wrongdoing are in no position to trust and cooperate is an understatement. Efforts toward reconciliation can be understood as attempts to end alien­ation and resentment and build relationships characterized by some degree of trust. The problems of reconciliation involve many areas, including psychology, ethics, law, and politics. Attitudes and relationships are not easily explored in quantitative terms. Notions such as ‘reconciliation,’ ‘forgiveness,’ and ‘peace’ can be understood without appealing to any tradition of religious faith.

As Taking Wrongs Seriously indicates, many central questions about reconciliation are not context specific. Grovier examines the topic in the context of Australia, Canada, East Timor, Northern Ireland, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. Background information concerning each of these particular countries is provided in eight appendices.

Grovier examines central themes from a point of view informed by the study of philosophy. The philosophical aspects of the work are particularly significant with regard to discussions of retributive and restorative justice, individual and collective responsibility, acknowledgement, forgiveness, and the concept of reconciliation itself. As is characteristic of philosophical studies, her discussion includes explanations of objections and responses to those objections.

Chapters five to ten and all appendices of Taking Wrongs Seriously have not been previously published. The first four chapters incorporate elements of jointly published papers on rec­onciliation, apology, and victim/perpetrator roles.

The history of majority repression in totalitarian states, minority repression in demo­cratic states, and violence between and among communities in war-torn societies has demonstrated that reconciliation is in high demand. So is a monograph that intertwines theory and case studies while covering the spectrum of disciplinary perspectives and the various cognitive and emotive, ethical and legal, and logical and psychological dimensions of the subject. In lucid and evocative prose, Trudy Govier fills that gap while demonstrating the relevance of philosophy to the crises of our time. – Howard Adelman, Research Professor at the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia,

Trudy Govier is one of the leading scholars of forgiveness and trust as philosophical concepts and of reconciliation programs as political solutions to the problems of tran­sitional justice. In Taking Wrongs Seriously she combines these two areas of expertise into a timely and enormously rich volume. She inspires hope for our multiply fractured world. – Larry May, Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, author of Crimes Against Peace: A Normative Account and War Crimes and Just Wars

How important is acknowledgment when things go seriously wrong? How is it best achieved in the political arena? Govier makes a brilliantly lucid contribution to a debate that is generating growing global interest. This book deepens our understanding of the responsible political options available in the wake of serious wrongs. It is a must read for practitioners and scholars. – Stephanus F. Du Toit, Program Manager of Reconciliation at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa

Govier’s lucid style and willingness to explore counterarguments in Taking Wrongs Seriously make this a lively, thought-provoking and challenging work. A major strength of her approach is her creative, yet practical framework for reflection. As she says, no sober-minded writer could pretend to answer all the questions that arise concerning reconciliation, and Grovier does not claim to. Despite its ambitious scope, Taking Wrongs Seriously leaves out a number of important questions and themes including the international aspect of conflict situations and the question of reparations for slavery. Nevertheless, her examinations of reparations, redress, and responsibility will interest many of those engaged with these enormous topics.

Taking Wrongs Seriously is intended for those interested in the pursuit of sustainable peace, ordinary citizens, practitioners, students, scholars, and activists.

Social Sciences / Political Science

Democratizing Democracy: Beyond the Liberal Democratic Canon edited by Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Reinventing Social Emancipation Series: Verso)

The major conflicts between the global North and the South can be expected to result from the confrontation of alternative conceptions of democracy, mainly between liberal or representative democracy and participatory democracy. The liberal, representative model of democracy, while prevailing on a global scale, guarantees no more than a low-intensity democracy. In recent times, however, participatory democracy has exhibited a new dynamic, engaging mainly subaltern communities and social groups that fight against social exclusion and the suppression of citizenship.

Democratizing Democracy is the first volume of the acclaimed series Reinventing Social Emancipation: Towards New Manifestoes series, highly commended in hardback, and now available in paperback. The book shows the development of dual forms of participatory and representative democracy in the global South. The book is edited by Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Professor of Sociology at the University of Coimbra, Portugal and ILS Distinguished Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has been an active participant in the World Social Forum.

Democratizing Democracy is a collection of reports from the Global South – India, South Africa, Mozambique, Colombia, and Brazil – de Sousa Santos and his colleagues show how, in some cases, the deepening of democracy results from the development of dual forms of participatory and representative democracy, and points to the emergence of transnational networks of participatory democracy initiatives. Such networks pave one of the ways to the reinvention of social emancipation. Sixty-one researchers participated in this project; more than fifty-three initiatives were analyzed.

Democratizing Democracy is the first in a series of five volumes that present the main results of an international research project that de Sousa Santos. The project's core idea is that the action and thought that sustained and gave credibility to the modern ideals of social emancipation are being profoundly questioned by a phenomenon that, although not new, has reached in the past decades such an intensity that it has ended up redefining the contexts, objectives, means, and subjectivities of the social and political struggles. De Sousa Santos is talking about what is commonly called globalization – what we usually call globalization is just one of the forms of globalization, namely neoliberal globalization, un­doubtedly the dominant and hegemonic form of globalization. Neoliberal globalization corresponds to a new system of capital accumulation, a more intensely globalized system than the previous ones. It aims, on the one hand, to desocialize capital, freeing it from the social and political bonds that in the past guaranteed some social distribution; on the other hand, it works to subject society as a whole to the market law of value, under the pre-supposition that all social activity is better organized when organized under the aegis of the market. The main consequence of this double change is the extremely unequal distribution of the costs and opportunities brought about by neoliberal globalization inside the world system. Herein resides the reason for the exponential increase of the social inequalities between rich and poor countries, and between the rich and the poor inside the same country.

The project's assumption is that this form of globalization, though hege­monic, is not the only one and, in fact, has been increasingly confronted by another form of globalization.

According to Democratizing Democracy, this alternative globalization, in its confrontation with neo­liberal globalization, is paving a new way toward social emancipation. Such a confrontation, which may be metaphorically characterized as a confrontation between the North and the South, tends to be particularly intense in countries of intermediate development, or semi-peripheral countries. It is in these countries that the potentialities and limits of the re-invention of social emancipation manifest themselves more clearly. This is the reason why four of the five countries in which the project was conducted are countries of intermediate development in different continents. The five countries in question are: Brazil, Colombia, India, Mozambique, and South Africa.

De Sousa Santos says he selected the five domains or themes to be analyzed in each of the five countries included in the project: participatory democracy; alternative production systems; emancipatory multiculturalism, cultural justice and citizenship; protection of biodiversity and the recogni­tion of rival knowledges against neoliberal intellectual property rights; and new labor internationalism.

The first three volumes in the series deal with the above-mentioned five themes. To be sure, the themes are not watertight; there is intertextuality, now implicit, now explicit, among the different books. This first volume, Democratizing Democracy, is concerned with participatory democracy. The main thesis of the book is that the hegemonic model of democracy (liberal, representative democracy), while prevailing on a global scale, guarantees no more than low-intensity democracy, based on the privatization of public welfare by more or less restricted elites, on the increasing distance between representatives and the represented, and on an abstract political inclusion made of concrete social exclusion. Parallel to this hegemonic model of democracy, other models have always existed, however marginalized or discredited. Recently, participatory democracy has been gaining a new dynamic. It engages mainly subaltern communities and social groups that fight against social exclusion and the trivialization of citi­zenship and are propelled by the aspiration to more inclusive social contracts and high-intensity democracy. To de Sousa Santos, one of the major conflicts between the North and the South results from the confronta­tion between representative and participatory democracy. Such a confrontation, which derives from the fact that representative democracy has systematically denied the legitimacy of participatory democracy, will be resolved only to the extent to which such denial is replaced by the develop­ment of forms of complementarity between the two forms of democracy that may contribute to deepen one another. Such complementarity paves one of the ways to the reinvention of social emancipation.

Democratizing Democracy is divided into four parts. In the first part, entitled Social Movements and Democratic Aspiration, the potentialities of participatory democ­racy and the obstacles to its development are dealt with in the light of concrete social experiences of the last two decades.

In chapter one, D. L. Sheth contrasts, on the one hand, the discourse and practices of India's social movements fighting for forms of local participa­tory democracy capable of ‘returning democracy to the people,’ with, on the other, the discourse and practices of urban elites that consider such popular forms to be a threat to the politics of the national state and the market economy.

In chapter two, Sakhela Buhlungu shows the decisive contribution of the social movements and the structures of participatory democracy that shaped them toward the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. The author analyzes critically the way in which participatory democracy gradu­ally declined as the transition to a post-apartheid society went on becoming consolidated.

In chapter three, Rodrigo Uprimny and Mauricio Garcia Villegas explain how a state institution that is basically very far from the citizens' democratic aspirations, such as courts, may, under specific given circumstances, be artic­ulated positively with regards to progressive social movements and provide positive answers to their claims. The authors analyze the progressive judicial responses to the social claims of the indigenous and gay movements, unions, and mortgage debtors.

In the second part of Democratizing Democracy, entitled Women's Struggle for Democracy, the analysis focuses in particular on women's struggles for the recognition of their rights of democratic participation in the public space.

In chapter four, Shamim Meer studies the changes that affected the dif­ferent social movements during the period of struggle against apartheid and in the post-apartheid era, focusing, in particular, on women's movements, especially women workers' movements. Given the extremity of apartheid capitalist repression, women activists engaged in liberation organizations at the same time as they organized separately as women. The answer to this situation has materialized in recent years through new social movements and the initiatives of citizens with roots in the most poor and marginalized sectors of society, and through their struggle for survival and dignity.

In chapter five, Conceicao Osorio analyzes the theme of the participa­tion of women in the Mozambican political arena, in particular in political parties. In an approach that converges with that of Shamim Meer, Osorio shows that, in the context of the sexual discrimination that traverses the various domains of Mozambican society, the struggle by women for ‘occu­pation’ of the political field and for full participation as a collective actor is an internally diversified struggle. While some ‘occupation’ strategies contribute to challenge and weaken male dominance in the political arena, others end up reinforcing that same dominance.

In chapter six, focusing on the relation between union leadership and the Woman's Committees, Maria Jose Arthur analyzes the tension between class identity and sexual difference in the union movement in Mozambique. Tracing the various trajectories of several women union activists, the author shows how as a consequence of the reorganization of unions in the 1990s, the identity of the ‘woman worker’ was redefined in a new framework affected by the privatization process and the deterioration of the living con­ditions of the majority of the population. This is the context in which the author describes both the discourses that justify the discrimination against women on the part of union leadership and the women's strategies and prac­tices that aim at the recognition of new articulations of the identities of woman and worker.

The third part, entitled Struggling for Democracy in a Scenario of Civil War and Fragmented Despotisms: The Case of Colombia, reveals how an aspiration to a substantive, high-density democracy can arise in the most difficult of circum­stances, as is so well illustrated in the case of Colombia. In a situation that can be characterized as the degree-zero of social emancipation, the struggle for democracy, aside from its extreme difficulty, assumes surprising profiles and intriguing meanings.

In chapter seven, Francisco Gutierrez Sanin and Ana Maria Jaramillo con­centrate on the ‘pactist’ experience in Colombia. Through the detailed study of two local situations, in Medellin and Boyaca Occidental, the authors show how pacts between the national government and certain local forces allow for handling the tension between macro-institutional forms and multiple, diffuse armed conflicts. The ‘pactist’ solutions, even though desirable at the national level, may have perverse consequences at the local scale, compromising the possibility of emancipatory dynamics and maintaining the power of the armed groups and those sectors of the society that resort to violence.

In chapter eight, Maria Clemencia Ramirez analyzes the movement of the Putumayo cocaleros (peasants who grow and gather coca) in Colombian Amazonia. This is a civil movement fighting for citizenship rights vis-a-vis the state and especially the armed forces. The latter insist in doubly excluding the peasants – as drug dealers and as complicit with the guerrillas. Taking advan­tage of the participatory democratic spaces granted by the Constitution, the cocaleros' aim is to impose an alternative identity, that of a group of Putumayo citizens who are independent both of drug dealing and of the guerrillas.

In chapter nine, Mauricio Romero studies the mobilization of the banana workers in the Uraba region (Colombia), reporting the struggle waged by the union of workers in the agribusiness industry (Sintrainagro) to raise the sector's workers from the condition of subjects to the condition of citizens. Romero describes the form in which the Uraba banana workers, used to playing the role of victims, managed to reach protection, security and polit­ical participation in exchange for loyalty to a ‘political-economic order’ controlled by the army and paramilitary forces. In their struggle for better living conditions, the Uraba banana workers had the international solidarity of Danish, Finnish, and Spanish unions, as well as that of the International Union of Foodstuffs Workers.

Part four, of Democratizing Democracy entitled Participatory Democracy in Action, is devoted to experi­ments in participatory democracy that were successful and reached a certain level of consolidation, but also to lesser-known instances of democratic participation and deliberation emerging in the most unlikely contexts.

In chapter ten Maria Teresa Uribe de H presents one such instance, the dramatic experience of a small village named San Jose de Apartado, located in the region of Uraba. This village, confronted with the armed conflict in its territory – a conflict involving the army, the guerrillas, and the paramili­tary groups – decided by democratic deliberation to establish itself as a ‘community of peace.’ It organized itself accordingly underwriting a public pact, indeed a local constitution, by whose terms its members agreed not to get involved with any of the armed actors operating in the region, to demand rather their respect, and to produce their own autonomous social organiza­tion.

In chapter eleven, de Sousa Santos present a detailed analysis of the participatory budget of the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, perhaps the instance of participatory democracy that has earned the greatest recognition worldwide. He pays partic­ular attention to the impact of the participatory budget on the distribution of public resources in favor of the neediest social groups, to the mechanisms of participation, and to the complex interactions between citizens, autonomous social movements, instances of participatory budgeting, the Municipal Executive, and the Municipal Legislative Assembly.

In chapter twelve, Leonardo Avritzer compares the participatory budget of Porto Alegre with the budget of Belo Horizonte in order to show that the elitist theories of democracy, so influential in the North, particularly in North America, are indeed negated by the experiences of participatory democracy. The latter have proved to be capable of handling administrative complexity at the same time that they renovate the political agenda by intro­ducing new principles of justice in the distribution of public resources.

Chapter thirteen, by Patrick Heller and Thomas Isaac, introduces another significant experiment in participatory democracy, the decentralized planning of the state of Kerala, in India. This experiment, undertaken under the auspices of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), consisted in transferring investment decisions to local communities by means of mobi­lizing participation. The engagement of ‘civil society’ formerly viewed with some suspicion, contributed to having actors and social groups, usually mar­ginalized vis-a-vis the political process, effectively included. The articulation between democracy and social justice was thereby deepened.

Chapter fourteen, written by Emir Sader, is a general commentary on the chapters included in Democratizing Democracy. The author interpolates the texts from the standpoint of a broad political horizon in order to highlight themes and problems that may escape analyses centered on case studies.

Where this volume really scores is in its discussions of the practical Brazilian engagement with cooperatives in rural settings. – Ronaldo Munck

At last, someone is putting concrete analysis on ‘counter-hegemonic globalization from the bottom up!’ Boaventura de Sousa Santos has assembled social scientists from Latin America, Africa, and Asia to describe another kind of democracy, full of lessons for the benighted countries of the North, where it should be mandatory reading for serious people. – Immanuel Watlerstein, Yale University

In the 1980s Margaret Thatcher declared "There is no alternative." At the beginning of the 21st century the World Social Forum replied. "Another World is Possible" The project, Reinventing Social Emancipation, is a passionate and wide-ranging effort at enriching our vision of that other world. – Erik Olin Wright, University of Wisconsin

This is a report from the emerging counter-hegemonic form of globalization, the most dramatic manifestation of which occurs in the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, at which de Sousa Santos is a distinguished scholar.

Democratizing Democracy identifies the major problems of contemporary democratic theory, focusing in particular on the contribution of participatory democracy and having in mind the studies and analyses conducted in the project. It describes local initiatives in urban or rural contexts that gradually develop bonds of inter-recognition and interaction with parallel initiatives, thus giving rise to the formation, as yet embryonic, of transnational networks of participatory democracy. It discusses the potential benefits as well as the high costs, identifying questions and pointing in new directions, giving hope. The book is full of lessons and should be mandatory reading for those in international policy analysis and policymaking.

Social Sciences / Popular Culture / Biographies & Memoirs

Tabloid Prodigy: Dishing the Dirt, Getting the Gossip, and Selling My Soul in the Cutthroat World of Hollywood Reporting by Marlise Elizabeth Kast (Running Press Book Publishers)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Demi Moore, Bobby Brown, Cher, Madonna, Sharon Stone – celebrities that time and again we've read about in the tabloid papers. Ever since the first celebrity walked the red carpet, the public has hungered to learn as much as they could about them ... and that's where Marlise Elizabeth Kast entered the picture.

"Hollywood's Hottest Couple Exchange Mystery Rings!"

"The Truth Behind Screen Beauty's Pregnancy Rumors!"

"Song Diva Sneaks Past Airport Security and Lands Behind Bars!"

"TV's Favorite Childhood Star Faces Drinking and Drug Charges!"

"Teen Beauty Downplays Anorexia Rumors with Hot Dog!"

"Hollywood's Favorite Funnyman Has Secret Love Child!"

"Couple Goes Head to Head in Custody Battle!"

Who writes these stories? Kast used to. In fact, she was so good at it, at such a young age, she was considered a ‘tabloid prodigy.’

According to Tabloid Prodigy, Kast, the daughter of a minister, grew up in a loving, conservative, slightly sheltered family, and aspired to a career as a respected journalist or television news anchor. She was perhaps the least likely person to become a star reporter for the Globe. But, right out of college, with a journalism degree and few job prospects, she became a tabloid writer.

There was almost nothing Kast, a freelance journalist and extreme athlete, wouldn't do to get the story behind the celebrity facade. Dumpster diving and hiding in the bushes were child's play compared to ploys like posing as a drunk to crash one star's wedding or bluffing her way through the L.A. Police Department to confirm the DUI of another celeb's daughter. Using a combination of charm and brains, Kast convinced co-workers, waiters, bouncers and bartenders to confess the juicy secrets of Hollywood stars. On the red carpet and VIP guest lists, she assumed countless identities, including those of a florist, a tennis player, a mourner, and a bridesmaid.

Along the way, Kast says she continually wondered: was she abandoning her principles in exchange for a shot at celebrity reporting? Torn between her journalistic duties and her moral responsibilities, Kast kept telling herself this wasn't a permanent job, just a stepping stone to a more respectable career.

In Tabloid Prodigy readers learn what it takes to become a tabloid journalist. Kast's narrative details the behind-the-scenes deals, manipulations, and deceptions used to break the big stories. In an industry where turnover is high, and loyalty low, Kast survived multiple bosses, a rotating roster of photographers, professional shenanigans, terrifying situations, and comical predicaments, as well as legal threats from some of the celebrities and ‘personalities’ she wrote about. She eventually wrote over 200 articles for the tabloids.

Her biggest story, though, is the one she's never told before; how – after a dangerous high-speed chase, a corporate betrayal of her trust, and the doubts that continued to plague her – Kast came face-to-face with a story her conscience would not allow her to tell. After so many years of lying about who she really was, Kast had to discover her own truth. Tabloid Prodigy details Kast's adventures as an undercover celebrity reporter, as well as the doubts that plagued her, and the conscience she couldn't escape from.

Kast's story of her three years as a tabloid reporter is a walk on the wild, seamy side of workaday journalism in the mid-1990s. … Kast is eager to recount many of the big stories she reeled in; unfortunately, a majority of her dishes are stale leftovers – remember Tanya Harding and her brawl with boyfriend Darren Silver, or Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire romance? – and she's strangely spare with dates, perhaps silently acknowledging that a decade in tabloid-time might as well be a lifetime. While Kast's exploits are imaginative and daring, uneven writing and a pervasive feeling of distance make for a disappointing read. – Publishers Weekly

A fascinating and amusing account … as they say, you couldn’t make it up. – Andrew Morton, author of Diana: In Pursuit of Love

Tabloid Prodigy is a sometimes entertaining, sometimes riveting memoir, revealing that Kast’s redemption is more honest and personal than any celebrity news she's ever reported.

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