We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

October 2007, Issue #102

Arts & Photography / Entertainment / Music / Biographies & Memoirs

The Beatles: One Night Stand in the Heartland by Bill Carlson, with an introduction by Colleen Sheehy (Cumberland House Publishing)

The Beatles is a collection of original photographs from August 21, 1965. As such it adds a new chapter to the Beatles' story. In it, Bill Carlson, accomplished photographer and cinematographer, brings to Beatles fans, photography aficionados, and history buffs more than 160 never-before-published photographs that document one day in the life of the Beatles on tour.

The Beatles brings together strands of several stories. First, there is the story of the Beatles themselves as phenomenal artists who changed music and culture forever. Second, Carlson tells his own story of how he interacted with the Beatles on that one day. Third, there is the story of the 25,000 or more screaming, shouting, cheering, swooning, clapping, crying, and singing Minnesotans who were transformed by what they experienced that day – even though most of them probably couldn't hear a single note.

While a high school student, Carlson apprenticed with the prestigious photographer Merle Morris. When the press passes for the Beatles' day in Minneapolis came through, he grabbed one, picked up his Hasselblad and Nikon cameras, and headed out to Met Stadium, where the Minnesota Twins and Vikings performed and where the Mall of America now stands. He went not so much as a Beatles fan but as a photography-hungry youth determined to seize every opportunity to learn and perfect his art.

"The press officers were blanketing the area, trying to get as much publicity as possible," Carlson recalls. "Basically, there was no interest from the other photographers at Morris. But for me, it just seemed like a cool event and I was scouting around for something interesting to shoot."

Carlson gained access not only to the concert – which occurred that evening – but also the Fab Four's arrival at the airport, and the afternoon press conference at WDGY radio. He even rubbed elbows with George Harrison, complimenting him on his new Rickenbacker 360/12 guitar that was presented by B-Sharp Music that day. Later, Carlson made a few prints for himself, and his high school newspaper ran a few shots with a short story. He then filed the negatives away for nearly 40 years.

In 2004, Carlson resuscitated the negatives from a file cabinet, and the now classic black and white photos are finally given their due in The Beatles.

As revealed in The Beatles, his images show the public faces of the Beatles at their press conference at the stadium as they pose and trade quips with reporters. They show the fans, who look so young, hardly even teenagers, putting Minnesota youth on the same footing as those in London and New York. They also show the more familiar scenes of Beatlemania, and the long shots of the concert stage recall that security was so strict that even photographers were banned from the field.

With a foreword written by noted Beatles expert Larry Kane, the book documents a day in the life of the legendary band on tour with over 140 images of the band, recollections from fans who were there, and local newspaper accounts of the magical concert. Paul, John, George and Ringo were relaxed, funny, and affable, and Carlson captures the smiling lads in candid moments during the pre-concert press conference. One shot shows Paul accepting the gift of a cigar; in another, John smilingly tweaks his ear.

Bill Carlson's wonderful images of John, Paul, George, and Ringo are an exciting new addition to Beatles photography. Their candor is endearing and so lovely to see. – Paul Saltzman, Beatles photographer and author of The Beatles in Rishikesh

1965 was a year I will never forget. A local disc jockey, Bill Diehl, introduced the Beatles by saying, ‘a funny thing happened to me on the way to the stadium today . . . THE BEATLES. I had goose bumps and my teenage heart was pumping. I remember thinking, ‘So this is how a real rock concert was supposed to feel.’ – Tom Hopp, concertgoer

The Beatles captures a day in the life of the Fab Four, adding a new chapter to the Beatles' story. In this book, Carlson brings to Beatles fans, photography aficionados, and history buffs more than 100 never-before-published photographs that document one day in the life of the Beatles on tour. There are other books by Beatles photographers, but there is no other book like this that documents one day, one concert, one place. It was a day that brought high fun and high art to the Twin Cities and changed many Beatles fans forever.

Arts & Photography / Performing Arts / Dance / Health, Mind & Body

Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology by Karen Clippinger (Human Kinetics)

All dancers are looking to achieve optimal performance – and Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology will help them do just that.

This text helps dancers learn anatomical and biomechanical principles as they apply to dance performance. It focuses on optimal dance movement and the related principles for understanding the function of body joints. By applying those principles, dancers can reduce their risk of injury and enhance their performance longevity. The book incorporates strength, stretching, and technique exercises for major regions of the body.

In addition, Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology includes special practical applications:

Concept Demonstrations provide hands-on exercises to try.

Tests and Measurements are specific to selected regions of the body.

Dance Cues help analyze cue effectiveness and promote optimal movement execution.

Study Questions and Applications help apply chapter concepts.

Attachments provide the pronunciations, attachments, and key actions of the primary muscles covered in the text.

Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology, written by Karen Clippinger, professor at California State University at Long Beach, where she teaches functional anatomy for dance, Pilates, placement for the dancer, prevention and care of dance injuries, and dance science related to teaching technique, contains eight chapters. The first two chap­ters provide a foundation for the rest of the text by presenting anatomical and kinesiological concepts and terminology that are particularly relevant for dance and that are utilized in the remaining text. Chapter 1 covers bones, joints, body orientation terminology, and joint movement terminology. Chapter 2 focuses on muscle structure, levers, types of muscle contractions and their function in human movement, and an approach to learning muscle names and actions.

Chapters 3 through 7 deal with the various regions of the body. The first of these chapters (chapter 3) focuses on the spine because of its central structural and functional role in movement. The next three chapters (chapters 4 through 6) cover the lower extremity, moving proximally to distally from the hip to the knee and then to the ankle and foot. A single chapter (chapter 7) covers the upper extremity. The lower extremity is discussed first and in more detail because of the preponderance of injury in this area, the important use of the lower extremity for weight bearing and force generation in many dance forms, and the tendency to emphasize the spine and the lower extremity in dance anatomy and kinesiology courses due to time constraints.

Each of these five chapters in Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology addresses the pri­mary bones, joints, muscles, alignment deviations, and mechanics for the given region, with special considerations for dance. Sample strength and flex­ibility exercises are also presented. These exercises

are included to help readers better understand the function and location of muscles as well as the purpose of classic strength or flexibility exercises for improving dance technique and helping prevent common injuries. In the final section of each of these chapters, common dance injuries for the given region are described. The purpose of these injury sections is not for self-diagnosis and self-treatment; they provide a better understanding of the anatomical basis of selected injuries so that teachers and danc­ers have a sound basis for evaluating risk, deciding on temporary modification, or designing sequential class progressions that will allow execution of dance repertoire with the desired aesthetic and lower injury risk. Through the material in the injury sections the dancer can be better informed when seeking treat­ment from a qualified medical professional should an injury occur.

The concluding chapter of Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology provides a schema that will help readers analyze full-body dance movements. The purpose of this chapter is to present a tool that can be used to increase understanding of strength, flexibility, and technique issues that will influence optimal execution of a dance movement. This understanding allows dancers and dance instructors to be more specific in cueing and in the use of supplemental exercises so that dance perfor­mance is enhanced.

Karen Clippinger's Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology is most likely to become the definitive textbook in dance anatomy, kinesiology, and conditioning classes in colleges and universities in the United States. … In short, few texts approach the breadth and depth of this compelling, evidence-based work. If a picture is worth 1,000 words then this must be a 200,000 page book, and thus, good value for the money. … In 20 years of reviewing dance science books, rarely have I seen one so comprehensive, accurate, detailed, and practical. I emphasize the latter because here is a book that is loaded with practical applications for dance... both science text and dance handbook. – Gigi Berardi, Journal of Dance Medicine & Science

Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology offers valuable scientific knowledge and understanding for dancers, helping them to blend anatomical and kinesiological principles with artistic expression. Such a blend of science and art will empower dancers to realize their potential and expand their artistic vision.

Audio / Health, Mind & Body / Self-Help / Psychology & Counseling / Hypnosis

Stress Free Surgery: A Self Relaxation Program to Help You Prepare for and Recover from Surgery by Linda Thomson (2 Audio CDs; running time 89 minutes) (Crown House Publishing Limited)

Forty years of research has shown that patients who are psychologically prepared for surgery have vastly improved outcomes. It has been shown that self-hypnosis, when used in addition to anesthesia, can decrease anxiety and pain and hasten healing. According to author Linda Thomson, nurse practitioner, Certified Consultant in Clinical Hypnosis (The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis), hypnotically prepared patients have shorter hospital stays, less post-operative pain and nausea, use fewer pain medications, and suffer less anxiety and blood loss than patients who receive routine care.

The techniques used in Stress Free Surgery combine imagination with building belief and expectation to create a safe, gentle and effective way to reduce stress and relieve pain. They allow patients to tap into their own inner resources so that they are in the best frame of mind for surgery. This results in less pre-operative anxiety, less post-operative discomfort and faster healing.

Stress Free Surgery contains two CDs, one to play before having surgery to reduce stress and anxiety and to sow the seeds of rapid recovery, and one to play after surgery to promote healing and recovery.

Linda Thomson’s Stress Free Surgery will make a wonderfully helpful contribution to people needing comfort and support at a most vulnerable time in their medical care. Linda Thomson's positive, supportive and gentle hypnotic encouragement to move through surgery and post-surgery with a calm and positive frame of mind, can make a big difference in how well and how quickly someone recovers. Anyone going through surgery can benefit from listening to these well-constructed sessions. – Michael D. Yapko, clinical psychologist and author of Trancework: An Introduction to the Practice of Clinical Hypnosis
Linda Thomson, PhD is a very skilled and experienced hypnotherapist. This is a valuable and powerful technique which can be used effortlessly by any individual who has to undergo surgical procedures. – V.M. Mathew, Consultant Psychiatrist
… an excellent adjunct to conventional, modern surgical treatment of patients. – Robert Novoa, Director, Cardiovascular Surgery, Aultman Hospital

Stress Free Surgery contains everything that patients need to help them prepare for the surgery they are about to undergo, and to recover from the surgery postoperatively.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Organizational Behavior / Psychology

Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life, 2nd edition by Barry Oshry (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.)

When breakdowns occur in organizational life, the tendency is to blame them on the personalities, motivations, and abilities of the individuals involved or on the specific characteristics of one's organization. In Seeing Systems, Barry Oshry demonstrates how everyday breakdowns stem from our failure to see how human systems shape our feelings about ourselves and our relationships with other individuals and groups. He shows how readers can transform ‘system blindness’ into system sight, enabling them to live and work together in productive partnership. Oshry is the founder of Power + Systems, Inc., and developer of the Power Lab and the Organization Workshop on Creating Partnership.

Based on Oshry's 30+ years of studying human interaction in social system life, Seeing Systems is profound in its implications while being accessible. The book explores the powerful and uncomfortable truths of Oshry's 25 years of experience with workshops on power. The book discusses unlocking the mysteries of organizational life.`
In it, Oshry explains why so many efforts at creating more satisfying and productive systems end in disappointment, and proposes a new framework for dealing with human behavior. Oshry shows readers how teams of top executives regularly fall into turf battles with one another; why organizational improvement efforts inevitably create tensions between the ‘good’ cooperative workers and the ‘bad’ resistant ones; how marriages seemingly ‘made in heaven’ disintegrate. Oshry demonstrates how these breakdowns in organizations result from blindness to the human systems of which we are a part. Finally, he shows how powerful, productive, and satisfying partnerships are created when we are able to recognize and stop these destructive ‘dances’, and create new ones in which people understand and are respectful of one another.

In addition to illustrative cases and solid systems theory, Seeing Systems is populated with pinballs; talking body parts; mysterious ‘swimmers’; amoebocytes, slugs, and earthworms; dances of blind reflex; and tunnels of limited options. The result is a foundation for revolutionizing readers’ understanding of system life. Oshry tells readers of the first edition, to rest assured, the old favorites are here – from Pinball to the Dance of Blind Reflex, the He/She dialogues, and the Dance of the Robust System. There is also much that is new: new cases, a new Power Lab story, a deepened exploration into the Dance of Blind Reflex, and a new section on Uncertainty and the Tunnel of Limited Options.

Oshry says this second edition has given him the opportunity to continue the exploration into the human and system costs of system blindness and the new level of humanity that comes with system sight. This new edition of Seeing Systems is revised throughout and features an extensive new section on having the wisdom and courage to face and work with the reality of uncertainty, a hopeful antidote to today's righteous battles of certainty versus certainty. This new edition features a new epilogue describing how Oshry is currently using theater, blogs, and pod casts to extend his multi-pronged revolution aimed at transforming system blindness into system sight.

Seeing Systems helps us grasp what really happens beneath the surface in organizations... regardless of whether you are an executive, executive coach, middle manager or individual contributor, Seeing Systems provides powerful insights and applications for enhancing your effectiveness. – Julian D. Kaufmann, Vice President, Leadership & Organization Development, Tyco International

Barry Oshry is the world's master teacher about power and systems, and now he has put his wisdom on the pages of this much-awaited book. Seeing Systems makes paradoxes comprehensible, dilemmas resolvable, and complexities easier to grasp. It will help people in every walk of life or ethnic group gain insights into what drives their behavior, and tools for coping with their roles in social systems at work and at home. – Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard University Business School, author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End, When Giants Learn to Dance and The Change Masters
This is an incredibly wise book about how each of us behaves in the systems of our lives. Its abundant insights can profoundly affect our perceptions of why we do what we do. And it creates hope that with greater consciousness, we can participate with more humaneness and love in a world that insists we form more and more relationships. – Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science
I have read with enormous interest your book Seeing Systems, and must say that through many years of being involved in entities dedicated to systemic thinking, this has been the most exciting reading. – Enrique G. Herrscher, Dean, Graduate School of Business Administration, ICED, Argentina

Based on more than thirty years of research and packed with illustrative cases and solid systems theory on human interaction, Seeing Systems provides a penetrating look at the dynamics of systems and a unique foundation for revolutionizing our understanding of system life. Seeing Systems is the most accessible, penetrating book available on the dynamics of systems, taking readers to a whole new level of understanding ourselves as human beings. In addition to those struggling to improve their business and community organizations, the book may also be of use to couples looking to improve the communication in their marriages.

Business & Investing / Science / Mathematics / Statistics

Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart by Ian Ayres (Bantam Books)

  • Why would a casino try and stop you from losing?
  • How can a mathematical formula find your future spouse?
  • Would you know if a statistical analysis blackballed you from a job you wanted?

Today, number crunching affect readers’ lives in ways they might never imagine. More and more, choices that have traditionally been made by experts based on experience, intuition and trial and error are now being made – much faster and much more accurately – by individuals and organizations crunching massive databases.

In Super Crunchers, Ian Ayres shows how today's best and brightest organizations are analyzing massive databases at lightening speed to provide greater insights into human behavior. From internet sites like Google and Amazon that know readers’ tastes better than they do, to a physician's diagnosis and their child's education, to boardrooms and government agencies, this new breed of decision makers are calling the shots.

According to Super Crunchers, we are in the midst of a global decision-making revolution. Ayres – an econometrician, lawyer, and William K. Townsend professor at Yale Law School – calls these people Super Crunchers and reveals how this new breed of decision makers is calling the shots that affect readers’ lives in ways that most of them don't even realize.

In Super Crunchers, Ayres shows how Super Crunching is already upon us: doctors increasingly rely on statistical analysis to diagnose an illness where they used to rely on personal intuition and expertise; schools implement curricula whose results have been tested in a 20-year, $600 million Super Crunching study; an economist actually out-predicts the world's most notable ‘wine experts’ in determining the best vintages. Ayres also describes the ways in which anyone can take advantage of the powers of Super Crunching. For example, a website can accurately determine when to buy airline tickets in order to get the best price – and they offer a guarantee. According to Ayres, the prediction is based on a ‘serious super crunch’ which analyzes a database of 50 billion prices for airline tickets and crunches those numbers based on 115 indictors that are reweighed every day for every market.

But there is a dark side to Super Crunching and Ayres introduces readers to a world where marketers and retailers use sophisticated data analysis to predict what readers want better than they can themselves, and then determine the very highest prices they are willing to pay for an item or service. Yet Ayres reveals the ways that readers as consumers can protect themselves from those insidious marketing practices – and how the solutions to these problems are found through Super Crunching.

In this brave new world of equation versus expertise, Super Crunchers shows the benefits and risks, who loses and who wins, and how super crunching can be used to help, not manipulate.

Yale Law School professor and econometrician Ayres argues in this lively and enjoyable book that the recent creation of huge data sets allows knowledgeable individuals to make previously impossible predictions. … Although Ayres presents both sides of this revolution, explaining how the corporate world tries to manipulate consumer behavior and telling consumers how to fight back, his real mission is to educate readers about the basics of statistics and hypothesis testing, spending most of his time in an edifying and entertaining discussion of the use of regression and randomization trials. He frequently asks whether statistical methods are more accurate than the more intuitive conclusions drawn by experts, and consistently concludes that they are. Ayres skillfully demonstrates the importance that statistical literacy can play in our lives, especially now that technology permits it to occur on a scale never before imagined. – Publishers Weekly
In the past, one could get by on intuition and experience. Times have changed. Today, the name of the game is data. Ian Ayres shows us how and why in this groundbreaking book Super Crunchers. Not only is it fun to read, it just may change the way you think. – Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics
Super Crunchers shows that data-driven decision-making is not just revolutionizing baseball and business; it's changing the way that education policy, health care reimbursements, even tax regulations are crafted. … Data-driven policy making forces government to ask the bottom line question of 'What works.' That's an approach we can all support. – John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress
A lively and yet rigorously careful account of the use of quantitative methods for analysis and decision-making.... Both social scientists and businessmen can profit from this book, while enjoying themselves in the process. – Dr. Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Prize winning economist, and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University
Ian Ayres [is] a law-and-economics guru. – Chronicle of Higher Education

Gone are the days of solely relying on intuition to make decisions. No businessperson, consumer, or student who wants to stay ahead of the curve should make another keystroke without reading Super Crunchers. This lively and groundbreaking new book is a fascinating exploration of this new world of equations versus expertise, its benefits and risks, who loses and who wins, and how, whether we like it or not, Super Crunching is here to stay.

Children’s / Ages 4-8 / Animals

D Is for Dinosaur: A Prehistoric Alphabet by Todd Chapman & Lita Judge, illustrated by Lita Judge (Science Alphabet Series: Sleeping Bear Press)

Mary Anning found fossils
in the cliffs by the sea.
When she was twelve years old
she made her first great discovery. – from the book

All kids seem to love dinosaurs. With D Is for Dinosaur, young readers take a trip back to the Mesozoic era. From the ferocious Giganotosaurus (the biggest meat-eater known) to the most famous dinosaur that never lived (Ultrasaurus), budding paleontologists will discover new facts and explore challenging theories in D Is for Dinosaur.

One thing young readers are sure to enjoy learning is that paleontologists aren't the only ones who have made contributions to the study of dinosaurs. Some important discoveries were found by children – one of the first discoverers of dinosaurs was a little girl.

After graduating from college with a degree in Design Arts, author Todd Chapman began his first job as a toy designer. His career has since taken him into many areas of the high tech world, including printing and publishing, film and animation, networking and the World Wide Web.

Author and illustrator Lita Judge has a degree in geology from Oregon State University. Her fascination with dinosaurs led her to work on paleontology digs with the Tyrell Museum at Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada. Judge writes and illustrates children's books in her home in the woods. D Is for Dinosaur is Judge’s second picture book.

Did dinosaurs really die out or is it possible they are still with us today? And what's bigger and scarier than the T-rex? Dino-kids can learn the answers and current theories behind these questions, along with other fascinating aspects of prehistoric life in D Is for Dinosaur. Dramatic, action-filled paintings let readers of all ages roam the prehistoric world. The book is part of the Science Alphabet series which features two levels of information: succinct, large-print messages like the one reprinted above and full color illustrations take up the main part of double pages but a side bar contains more in-depth information for older kids, making the book appropriate for a wider age range.

 Children / Ages 9-12 / Social Issues

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko (Harcourt, Inc.)

This is lame but I’m actually looking forward to school this year, because every day this summer was like crap: dog crap, cat crap – I even had a few elephant crap days. Trust me, it was bad.
For starters I hardly saw my best friend in the whole world, Rory. She was always in camp or on Maui.
They probably don’t even have crap on Maui.
Besides Rory being gone all summer, my only other friend in the whole world, Nellie, moved away and my mom and dad fought all the time. They stopped seeing my little sister, Kippy, and me, and they definitely stopped hearing what we said. We even tried a little experiment on them. Kippy said there was a colony of worms living in the laundry hamper and my mom said: “Leave your muddy shoes outside.” And I said Brad Pitt had invited me to a slumber party and my mom said: “You already had your snack.”
It was funny for a while. Then it wasn’t. – from the book

In If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, written by award-winning author Gennifer Choldenko, the worlds of two kids collide.

Kirsten McKenna's world is crumbling. Her parents are barely speaking to each other, and her best friend has fallen under the spell of the school's queen bee, Brianna. It seems like only Kirsten's younger science-geek sister is on her side.

Walker Jones's goal is to survive at the new white private school his mom has sent him to because she thinks he's going to screw up like his cousin. But Walk is a good kid. So is his friend Matteo, though no one knows why he’ll do absolutely anything that hot blond Brianna asks of him.
But all of this feels almost trivial when Kirsten and Walker discover a secret that shakes them both to the core.

You knew all along," Walk says.

"No I didn't."

"You're lying....You found out and then you told the whole world."

The issues raised are spot-on for this age group. . . . (an) under-the-microscope examination of the often cruel, always dramatic dynamics of junior high. – Publishers Weekly

Choldenko convincingly covers the middle school scene . . . sparkling characterization and touches of humor . . . tumultuous twists that ultimately convince Kirsten that, indeed, she does matter. – School Library Journal

Choldenko’s talent for characters and conversation brings the two voices instantly to life in alternating points of view...This will appeal to a wide range of middle-school readers and would make a great book-club or classroom discussion. – Kirkus Reviews

Two kids’ lives intersect to create one compelling story. Fast paced, marvelously funny, and brutally honest, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period touches on universal truths about human nature.

Cooking, Food & Wine

The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan, with photography by France Ruffenach (Chronicle Books)

 Why is the country cooking of France so compelling, and why does it exert such fascination and evoke so much respect? The answer lies in the terroir of its pays (regions), the fresh produce and specialty foods that are unique to each area and are then transformed into such traditional favorites as Soupe au Pistou and Choucroute Alsacienne.

Anne Willan combines her years of experience writing about French cuisine with extensive research, hands-on experience, and a deep appreciation of the current culinary trends in France to create The Country Cooking of France. Willan is well known for her highly respected cooking school in France, La Varenne, founded thirty years ago, as well as her many best-selling cookbooks. She operates La Varenne, her cooking school, at Chateau du Fey in Burgundy, France. Willan was honored as Grande Dame of Les Dames d'Escoffier International. The International Association of Culinary Professionals recognized her with their prestigious Lifetime Achievement award, and in Australia at the World Food Media ceremonies she was inducted into their Hall of Fame. At the American Food and Entertainment Awards, Bon Appetit magazine named Willan ‘Cooking Teacher of the Year.’

More than 235 recipes range from the time-honored La Truffade with its crispy potatoes and melted cheese to the Languedoc specialty Cassoulet de Toulouse, a bean casserole of duck confit, sausage, and lamb. And it wouldn't be a French cookbook without desserts: Crepes au Caramel et Beurre sale (crepes with a caramel filling), Pets de Nonne (deep-fried cream puffs), and Galette Landaise (a rustic apple tart) are beyond delicious.

Dishes with a quintessentially French touch are organized into chapters that focus on each specialty: Fish stews such as Bouillabaisse; rustic sauces that convey a strong sense of place including Sauce Bordelaise au Vin Rouge from Bordeaux and Sauce Vin Jaune et Morilles from the Jura; savory tarts, from an Alsatian Zewelwai (onion quiche) to Pissaladiere from the Pays Nicois, bordering Italy, which reveals it close relationship to Neapolitan pizza; not to mention game birds, frogs, and snails.

Using ingredients readers can find at just about any supermarket and farmer's market, Willan offers healthy, imaginative recipes. Sprinkled throughout The Country Cooking of France are historical tidbits about individual regions and the French people. More than 275 photos of the food markets, villages, harbors, fields, and homes make this a beautiful book. Willan provides instructions on growing, storing, and, most of all, cooking the dishes and demystifying the art of cooking authentic French faire.

Anne Willan is the perfect tour guide for this fascinating journey into the heart of French culture and cuisine. She writes with such clarity, passion, and authority that one can't help but feel drawn in and transported to the French countryside. Every dish and culinary term is explained and put into historical context, provid­ing the reader with so much more than just wonderful recipes. This book will stimulate your mind as well as your appetite. – Patrick O'Connell, Chef/Proprietor, The Inn at Little Washington

This very complex, extensive, and beautiful book with well-known recipes and stunning photography is proof that there is always something more to learn about the cuisine of France, even for a French-trained professional chef. – Jacques Pepin, Chef, Cookbook Author, and PBS-TV Cooking Series Host

Readers will be enchanted by the delights of The Country Cooking of France. More than 250 recipes including magnificent desserts capture the vitality of French cooking in a large and stunning volume. Willan combines years of hands-on experience with extensive research to create a new classic. The mouthwatering, healthy and easy-to-follow recipes use the freshest of ingredients, and the enchanting photos by France Ruffenacher, a San Francisco-based photographer, make this large volume is a celebration of French culinary culture.
Cooking, Food & Wine

Tassajara Cookbook: Lunches, Picnics & Appetizers by Karla Oliveira, with photography by Patrick Tregenza (Gibbs Smith, Publisher)

Eat modestly, widely, don't take seconds, and enjoy yourself. – Julia Child

What's for lunch? We all need to eat. And we have lunch in various ways: bag lunch, cafete­ria, diner, burger place, deli or restaurant.

The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a legendary Buddhist monastery set deep in California's Ventana Wilderness, is famous for its healthy gourmet vegetarian cuisine. Tassajara is owned by the San Francisco Zen Center, which also started Green's Restaurant, a popular vegetarian restaurant (and cookbook) in the San Francisco area. Tassajara hosts guests and retreats from April to September, offering beautiful and peaceful surroundings complete with hot springs, creek, Japanese bath houses and food.

Guests rave about one particular Tassajara tradition: the Bag Lunch. The Bag Lunch provides as many as twenty different color­ful spreads, several roasted vegetables, salads, marinated tofu, cheeses, fresh baked bread, olives, pickles, chutneys and delicious desserts to name a few. Now the Tassajara Cookbook by professional chef Karla Oliveira, with photographs by Patrick Tregenza, shares these never-before-published recipes for savory spreads, pates and loaves, sandwich fillings, granolas, salads, chutneys, sauces, and marinades, as well as baked goods and sweet treats. For picnics, snacks, appetizers and small plates, Tassajara Cookbook is filled with recipes that can be prepared in advance. From a delectable Persian Olive, Walnut, and Pomegranate Tapenade to the sweet and sour vegetables of Antipasto Agrodolce, to the addicting Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, this is gourmet vegetarian cuisine for the new age of culinary consciousness.

Tassajara Cookbook was created in response to Tassajara guests who have requested the Bag Lunch recipes over the years. These recipes have been adapted from other cookbooks by the Guest Cooks and Bag Lunch Crew at Tassajara. The Guest Cooks and Bag Lunch Crew are Zen residents and students who usually have no formal cooking experience or training, but work in the kitchen as a part of their Zen practice. The recipes are simple but they are prepared with care. The Zen stu­dents bring their zazen practice (meditation) into their work, taking the leap out of the con­ditioned small mind, into the freedom and generosity of the mind that is accepting, fresh, and full of possibility. It is the unfettered mind of a beginner, otherwise known as ‘Beginner's Mind.’

So, it being said that if the Zen students cook with a Beginner's Mind, then we all can. As with any cookbook, the recipes are meant as guidelines. One needs to taste for his or her own and decide whether or not a recipe needs more of this or less of that or if it needs an ingredient at all.

Food is, in fact, one reason people keep returning to Tassajara. – The New York Times

Tassajara Cookbook is perfect for vegans and vegetarians on the go, or anyone who wants to add healthy, tasty snacks to his or her diet. Readers will find an array of finger foods that are easy to put together when there is little time to cook a meal. The cookbook is a valuable resource for recipes to use when camping or when traveling. And it provides ideas for alternatives for those suffering from allergies, whether dairy, wheat, or soy, and for those desiring to eat fewer carbohydrates or animal products.


Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns by Michael Stephen Schiro (Sage Publications, Inc.)

I first encountered the four curriculum ideologies described in this book when I was teaching in public schools in the 1960s. I taught first in a high school, then in a mid­dle school, and finally in an elementary school. I was under constant pressure in these schools to believe in and teach in accordance with several conflicting philosophical viewpoints. In addition, during the 1960s I saw curriculum developers create very different types of curricula and argue about which curriculum ideology should be the dominant one in schools.

Later, as a faculty member at Boston College during the 1970s, I witnessed faculty members' vigorous debate over whether we should orient our teacher education programs around the Scholar Academic or the Social Efficiency perspective. During the 1980s, the faculty argued over whether the Social Efficiency or the Learner Centered ideology should provide the underpinnings for our programs. During the 1990s, the debate was over whether the Learner Centered or the Social Reconstruction perspec­tive should be our guiding light. Now, during the first years of the 21st century, we have ‘social justice’ as our overarching educational theme at Boston College.

… Over the last 30 years I have attempted to help educators deal with these issues. This book is my attempt to help a larger audience struggle with philosophical issues I have seen many educators deal with on a daily basis. – from the book

As told in Curriculum Theory, for almost a hundred years, educators have been at war with each other over what the nature of the American school curriculum should be. Underlying this war are four visions of what the school curriculum should look like. These visions are based on four curriculum ideologies – or curriculum philosophies – that advocate very different purposes for schooling and very different methods of achieving those respec­tive purposes. The competition between the four visions of education has stimulated advocates of each to develop increasingly powerful curricula, instructional methods, and research bases. The result is improved instruction for children.

The competition between the four visions of education has also made it difficult for educators and the general public to reach a consensus on the nature and purposes of the American school curriculum. Seemingly irresolvable disagreements include the reading controversies over whether it is more important to teach decoding (phonics) or comprehension (whole language), the mathematics disputes over whether it is more important to teach mathematical understanding or mathematics skills, and the history conflicts over whether it is more important to teach knowledge of the past or to build strategies for critically analyzing and reconstructing society in the future. These dis­putes have recently become so fierce that they have become known as the reading wars, the math wars, and the history wars. Each of the four visions of curriculum embodies distinct beliefs about the type of knowledge that should be taught in schools, the inherent nature of children, what school learning consists of, how teachers should instruct children, and how children should be assessed. Each vision has its own value system, its own purposes of education, its own meanings for words, its own heroes whose beliefs it repeats, and its own villains whose beliefs it rails against.

A description of the major curriculum philosophies that have influenced educators and schooling over the last century, Curriculum Theory analyzes four educational visions – Scholar Academic, Social Efficiency, Learner Centered, and Social Reconstruction – to enable readers to reflect on their own educational beliefs and allow them to more productively interact with educators who might hold different beliefs. Author Michael Stephen Schiro, former chair of the Department of Teacher Education and School Administration at Boston College, describes the effects that these competing visions can have on the professional lives of educators over the span of their careers. Schiro was born in the slums of Washington, DC. He specializes in mathematics education, and has taught courses in mathematics education, curriculum theory, computer education, literacy, and multicultural education at Boston College since 1974.

Key features of the book include:

  • Provides a historical perspective on the origins of curriculum ideologies.
  • Offers a model of how educational movements can be critically analyzed.
  • Highlights the complexities of curriculum work in a social context.
  • Pays careful attention to the way educators use language to give meaning to frequently unspoken assumptions.

Curriculum Theory is organized into an introductory chapter, four main chapters that examine each of the major curriculum ideologies, a chapter that compares the four ideologies, and a chapter that examines the ways in which debate over the ideologies influences the personal lives of individ­ual educators over their life span.

Each of the four main chapters that examine a curriculum ideology is structured in the same way. Each chapter (1) opens with a brief overview of the ideology; (2) contin­ues with a description of curricula that illustrate the ideology under discussion; (3) examines the ideology's educational vision, global assumptions, and conceptual framework while referencing descriptions of the curricula; (4) describes the historical evolution of the ideology over approximately the last hundred years; (5) examines in detail the ideology's aims, view of children, perspective on learning, concept of teach­ing, conception of knowledge, and beliefs about assessment; and (6) presents conclud­ing perspectives on the ideology.

Each of the four main chapters provides readers with an understanding of an ideology from the perspective of educators who advocate that ideology, without refer­ence to other ideologies. However, each ideology's underlying myths and assumptions are made clear, and the hidden meanings in its use of words such as learning and knowledge are closely examined – using critical analysis in the spirit of poststructural­ism and postmodernism. The four ideologies are compared in a separate chapter designed to highlight their similarities and differences.

The book also attempts to help educators understand how their own personal educational philosophies have been shaped during their lives and how their beliefs might evolve during the future span of their careers. The book includes a short inventory to help readers place themselves on a graph of their own curriculum beliefs.

Curriculum Theory is intended to help both experienced and pre-service educators understand the educational philosophies (or ideologies) they are likely to encounter in their everyday lives. The book provides readers with a clear, sympathetic and unbiased understanding of the four conflicting visions of curriculum that will enable them to more productively interact with educators who might hold different beliefs. The book stimulates readers to better understand their own beliefs and also provide them with an understanding of alternate ways of thinking about the fundamental goals of education.

The model employed in the book demonstrates how to analyze and question one's thoughts and those of one's colleagues, official policies and agendas, and new curriculum fads promoted by politicians, textbook salesmen, school boards, curriculum consultants, and others attempting to influence schools. This enables readers to more effectively contribute to the public debate about educational issues.

The book highlights in a rigorous way the complexities of curriculum work in a social context in which ideolog­ical struggles dominate current educational discourse and in which educators are constantly pressured to act in accordance with a variety of conflicting ideological perspectives. Having a clear understanding of the ideological pressures exerted by others helps readers put pressures into perspective and maintain their own values, beliefs, and practices.

Entertainment / Gambling

Championship Hold'em Satellite Strategy by Tom McEvoy & Brad Daugherty (The Championship Series: Cardoza Publishing)

Chris Moneymaker did it when he parlayed a $39 satellite win into a world championship title and $2.5 million, as did Grey Raymer in 2004 when he turned $150 into $5 million.

The first satellite in history was a one-table satellite for the World Series of Poker at Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas in the late 1970s. Eric Drache, the tournament director of the WSOP in the early days, was continually encouraging players to sign up for the $10,000 championship event because he always wanted to top the previous year's figures by at least one player. Drache had been having trouble getting people to enter the tournament when he noticed a pot-limit hold'em cash game with $5-$10 blinds going strong.

All of the players at the table, mostly Texas road gamblers, had about $1,000 each, making around $10,000 total on the table – the cost of a buy-in for the championship event. "Why don't you gentlemen put up $1,000 apiece and play a freezeout for a seat in the Big One?" he suggested. They did, and the first tournament satellite was born. – from the book

Two world champions show players how to win their way into big tournaments offering millions of dollars in prize money for a fraction of the cost by playing in small-entry-fee tournaments. These exciting mini-tournaments, called satellites, made the authors millions of dollars and now they share their secrets with their audience.

In Championship Hold'em Satellite Strategy, authors Tom McEvoy and Brad Daugherty show readers how to win their way into big money tournaments that have turned amateurs into multi-millionaires almost overnight. In the past ten years, six amateurs – Noel Furlong (1999), Robert Varkonyi (2002), Chris Moneymaker (2003), Greg Raymer (2004), Joe Hachem (2005), and Jamie Gold (2006) – have parlayed nominal investments into winnings totaling more than $30 million and world championship titles. And lots of other players have won tens of thousands, hun­dreds of thousands and millions of dollars playing satellite tournaments.

Eleven major sections in Championship Hold'em Satellite Strategy give readers specific strategies for winning no-limit and limit hold'em satellites and earning entry into any tournament they want to play. Step-by-step, readers learn insider strategies for beating limit and no-limit hold'em satellites, as well as one-table, multi-table, online, and super satellites. And since readers will use many of the same strategies to win satellites and tournaments, they will also improve their chances of winning the big events.

McEvoy, 1983 World Champion of Poker, and Daugherty, 1991 World Champion of Poker, have earned millions of dollars by master­ing the art of satellite play, and in the book they share their secrets with readers. Even if readers have never played a satellite before, the authors say, have no fear. They explain where to find them, which ones to enter, how to play, and then how to beat these mini-tour­naments.

According to McEnvoy and Daugherty, as satellites have become increasingly popular among players, so has their level of competence. Players are studying poker books, discussing with friends what works and what doesn't, and practicing on the Internet. Playing Internet satellites is particularly valuable because players can access hand histories, which can assist them in getting a line on how their opponents play, as well as allow them to study their own statistics. For example, players can download the last 150 hands they have played. Using this information, they can determine which types of hands they have won with and which they have lost with. And they can get a full account of what has gone on in the pots that they have played, which will help them determine whether they have been playing too many hands or too few, too loose or too tight.

If you want to turn a toothpick into a lum­beryard like I did in 2003, read this book. – Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Champion of Poker

Nobody knows how to win poker tourna­ments better than McEvoy. – Russ Hamilton, 1994 World Champion of Poker

Brad Daugherty knows how to win satel­lites. Nobody has a better record in the one-tables or supers. Brad and Tom share valu­able information that would take a lifetime to learn on your own. – Vince Burgio, World-Class Tournament Champion

McEvoy and Daugherty are two of the win­ningest satellite players in World Series of Poker history. If you want to join them at the championship table, read this book. You'll be glad you did. – T. J. Cloutier, Tournament Player of the Year, 1998 and 2002

Championship Hold'em Satellite Strategy can be a step to earning a shot at fame and fortune; written for readers who want a chance at big money for just a small investment, this indispensable book will show them how it's done.

Entertainment / Humor / Comics & Graphic Novels

Blondie: The Bumstead Family History by Dean Young & Melena Ryzik (Thomas Nelson)

Over the years I have often wondered what my father, Chic Young, would have to say about the amazing durability of the characters that he created almost eight decades ago. I'm sure he would be thrilled to know that the world is still enjoying a daily dose of his wacky creation.

And every day, I thank my lucky stars for this magical menagerie of zany comic strip characters that became my responsibility to protect, honor, and keep funny. What a thrill it is to work with characters that literally explode like chemicals when they come in contact with one another. Sometimes I just turn them loose and let them do whatever they want. It's almost like the strip could write itself. With this cast of characters, even a monkey could do it! – from the book

Blondie – the comic strip – was born on September 8, 1930. Dagwood was the rich but awkward son of millionaire industrialist J. Bolling Bumstead, while Blondie was a poor and beautiful nobody. Dagwood's parents were opposed to the marriage, but love won out even though Dagwood had to give up his inheritance to marry Blondie in February, 1933.

For more than 75 years Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead have been one of America's favorite couples. Through war and peace, through boom and bust, through sexual revolution and social upheaval, Blondie has become the most widely read comic strip in syndication – in 35 languages and in 47 countries.

As told in Blondie, over the years, the particulars of the Blondie comic strip have changed. Traveling salesmen have been replaced by telephone salesmen. Dagwood no longer takes the bus to work; he now rides in a car pool. But the themes have remained the same – eating, sleeping, making a living, and raising children – all tied together by Blondie and Dagwood's undying devotion to each other.

Here in Blondie are stories of the lives of Blondie and Dagwood and their interactions with their children Alexander and Cookie, their neighbors Herb and Tootsie Woodley, the family dog Daisy, Dagwood's boss Mr. Dithers, the mailman Mr. Beasley, and the neighborhood kid Elmo Tuttle. The book includes early history: Blondie and Dagwood's courtship, their early beaus, their wedding, Dagwood at work, Blondie starting her catering business. Then there are the cartoonist's favorite strips and the story of Chic and Dean Young, the father and son, creators of Blondie. Co-author with Dean is Melena Ryzik, a New York writer.

Young says that the strips on the pages of Blondie are some of his personal favorites. He hopes readers enjoy them as much as he has enjoyed creating them.

Blondie: The Bumstead Family Album is a celebration of family at its most genuine. This enduring domestic comedy continues to make an impression in the hearts and minds of Blondie fans who connect with the Bumsteads' ability to cope, without losing sight of the things that count. People recognize and relate to the Bumstead family because they see themselves and their loved ones reflected inside the paneled walls of the comic strip. It’s all here in Blondie, the definitive book for the Blondie fan.

Entertainment / Movies / Biographies & Memoirs

King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema by Anupama Chopra (Warner Books)

Shah Rukh Khan is a modem-day god. On streets in India, his posters are sold alongside those of religious deities. Shrines have been erected in his name. For Indians and the varied non-Indian lovers of popular Hindi cinema, Shah Rukh is bigger than Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt combined. Over fifteen years and fifty films he has straddled Bollywood like a colossus. In the paan-stained studios of Mumbai, Shah Rukh's story, how a middle-class Muslim boy from Delhi became one of the biggest movie stars in the biggest film industry in the world, is legend. So when he flicks away cigarette butts people pick them up as souvenirs. – from the book

King of Bollywood is the true story of Bollywood, a portrait of a country finding its identity, a movie industry that changed the face of India, and one man's struggle to become a star. Shah Rukh Khan is the superstar of the Bollywood industry and the face of a glittering new India. An international phenomenon, he generates Beatlemania-like hysteria around the world, at appearances and performances across the U.S., throughout Europe, and beyond. Shah Rukh's larger than life tale takes readers through the colorful and idiosyncratic Bollywood movie industry, where fantastic dreams and outrageous obsessions share the spotlight with extortion, murder, and corruption.

After graduating from high school, Shah Rukh moved from theater to television to movie acting, gradually finding his niche with brooding antihero roles, the sort that other actors rejected for fear of spoiling their leading-man image. Shah Rukh broke into this $1.5 billion business despite the fact that it has always been controlled by a handful of legendary film families and sometimes funded by black market money. As Shah Rukh has become a bigger star, playing a variety of roles, he also helped the industry expand. His films range from traditional themes (Asoka) to remakes of classics (Devdas), song-and-dance romances and even Mission Impossible-type films. As a Muslim in a Hindu majority nation, exulting in classic Indian cultural values, Shah Rukh has come to embody the aspirations and contradictions of a complicated culture tumbling headlong into American-style capitalism. His story is also the mirror to view the underbelly of the culture of Bollywood.
Author of King of Bollywood, Anupama Chopra, renowned film critic and journalist, combines her knowledge of Bollywood with firsthand interviews and exclusive photographs for an insider's look at Shah Rukh, a country finding its identity, and an industry that helped to change the face of India.

Although he's not a household name in America, Shah Rukh Khan, sometimes called the Tom Cruise of Hindi film, is a world-famous superstar, the kind who generates Elvis-level hysteria wherever he goes. … Chopra, a Mumbai-based freelance journalist who comes from a filmmaking family herself, offers readers both the life story of Shah Rukh and a condensed history of the Indian film industry. Even if you know nothing about Indian cinema, her prose style (Bollywood now recoiled from the mafia like a man shrinking from a sore-covered leper on the street) makes this a bizarrely fun read. – Publishers Weekly
A bounty for cinema lovers everywhere. – Mira Nair, Director, The Namesake and Monsoon Wedding
King of Bollywood is the all-singing, all-dancing back stage pass to Bollywood. Anupama Chopra chronicles the political and cultural story of India with finesse and insight, through fly-on-wall access to one of its biggest, most charming and charismatic stars. – Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend it Like Beckham
The ‘Easy Rider Raging Bull’ of the Bollywood industry and essential reading for any Shah Rukh Khan fan. – Emma Thompson, actress
Anu Chopra infuses the pivotal moments of Shah Rukh Khan's life with an edge-of-your-seat tension worthy of the best Bollywood blockbusters. – Kirkus

The legendary success story of Shah Rukh Khan is brought to life in King of Bollywood, a fascinating look at Bollywood, told through the story of its iconic star. The first comprehensive narrative account of Bollywood published in the U.S., this story serves as a scintillating introduction to India’s billion-dollar movie industry.

Foreign Languages / Linguistics / Psychology & Counseling

A Language in Space: The Story of Israeli Sign Language by Irit Meir & Wendy Sandler (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates)

This English version of A Language in Space, which received the Bahat Award for most outstanding book for a general audience in its Hebrew edition, is an introduction to sign language using Israeli Sign Language (ISL) as a model. Authors Irit Meir and Wendy Sandler offer a glimpse into a number of descriptions of the ISL community to which linguists and other researchers may not have access. An underlying premise of the book is that language is a mental system with universal properties, and that language lives through people.
A Language in Space addresses relevant aspects of sign language, including the most abstract questions and matters related to society and community. Divided into three parts, the book covers the linguistic structure of ISL; the language and its community; and a broad depiction of ISL and the contribution of sign language research to linguistic theory. 

The book, which assumes no prior knowledge of linguistics or sign language, offers a detailed description of this young, relatively unknown sign language, accompanied by 250 illustrations. Alongside the linguistic analysis, Meir and Sandler present the human side of the story: The development of the Deaf community in Israel, from its earliest days in the 1930s to the present, including personal narratives by three of its members. The authors also show how research on sign languages in general and on ISL in particular can help to answer one of the most compelling questions in modern linguistics: What are the basic properties that characterize all human language?

Meir, lecturer in the Department of Communication Disorders and the Department of Hebrew Language at The University of Haifa and a researcher in the Sign Language Research Laboratory; and Sandler, professor of linguistics in the Department of English Language and Literature at The University of Haifa and director of the Sign Language Research Laboratory say it has been their privilege to study ISL for more than fif­teen years. They have investigated and analyzed this language in the context of research on other sign languages and of spoken languages as well. By studying sign languages, linguists have learned much more about the human language faculty than they ever could have done by studying spoken languages alone.

It is commonly known that spoken languages have different levels of struc­ture. They have sounds that go together to make words, and meaningful word bits that go together to make more complex words; they have syntactic rules for combining those words into sentences; and semantic principles for inter­preting the whole thing. The fundamental question that has driven their research and that of like-minded linguists has been: How do sign languages do all that? They ask: Do sign languages have the equivalent of sounds? Are there complex words in sign lan­guage? Complex sentences? Can a language without sound have intonation? How much of language is shared uni­versally by all languages?

A major goal of A Language in Space is to provide an up-to-date introduction to the nature and structure of sign languages in general by focusing on ISL. They do so by examining this language in detail, but in non-technical language that any interested reader – linguist, school teacher, or interpreter; parent or other family member of a deaf child; firefighter or movie director – can understand and appreciate.

A lot can be learned about sign language in general by the careful study of any one sign language. The first sign language to be studied extensively was ASL. In A Language in Space, Meir and Sandler point out both similarities and differences between ISL and ASL in particular, and include information about other sign languages as well. In this way, they show specific parameters along which the grammatical structure of sign languages converge and diverge from one another.

In Part I, Describing the Language, which constitutes the core of A Language in Space, Meir and Sandler unfold the answers that they have found to questions about ISL in particular, about sign languages in general, and about how these languages encode the same kinds of information that spo­ken languages do, often using similar types of structure. Using traditional tools of linguistic investigation, they take the language apart, and describe the way words are built up from meaningless elements, how more complicated words can be constructed from meaningful parts, the way in which sentences are put together, and how the whole system is given more meaning and expressiveness through the intonation expressed on the face of the signer.

Part II, The Language and Its Community, explores the idea that even if all languages have certain organizing principles in common, each lan­guage is refined and expanded by its community of users. Just as a community defines its language, so does a language define its community. This bond between language and community is doubly clear in the case of the lan­guage of Deaf people. In Part II of A Language in Space, Meir and Sandler take a closer look at the language in its social context. They describe the history of the Deaf community in Israel and the birth and development of ISL. Their interest in the history of this community was sparked by a presentation given by one of the Deaf sign language consultants associated with their lab, an architect by profession, Meir Etedgi. Together with Etedgi, they set about trying to learn more about that community by interviewing its oldest members and by reading its annals in the archives of the National Association of the Deaf in Israel. In Chapter 11 they report the story that unfolded: when and under what conditions Deaf people discovered each other and began to congregate, how the idea arose to form an association – how a community originated. As the Israeli Deaf community is relatively young, they have the advantage of learning firsthand about its forma­tion from its founders and their families. But it is likely that Deaf communities the world over have experienced some of the same growing pains and achieve­ments, and they hope that their local account will be of more general interest, and will also encourage similar documentation elsewhere.

In the years in which the country was forming, Deaf people brought with them whatever signing they had used in their country of origin, and Israeli Sign Language was born. They have managed to learn something about that process and about earlier forms of the language, which they report in Chapter 12 of A Language in Space.

But the human side of ISL cannot be told fully by lin­guists or chroniclers. It must be told also by the people whose language it is. In Chapter 13 they bring to readers four narratives. Three were first presented in ISL at a symposium conducted at The University of Haifa in 1996, called ‘Seeing Voices’, and have been translated to English in the book. One was written more re­cently. Each presents the point of view of a different Deaf person; collectively they convey something of the essence of ISL in the lives of Israeli Deaf people – and of the place of sign language in the lives of Deaf people everywhere.

Part III, The Big Picture, discusses more theoretical issues. In the past 30 years or so, the study of sign language has left the realm of the arcane, and entered the mainstream of theoretical linguistic research. The realization that language exists in two modalities, spoken and signed, means that researchers must commit themselves to the serious study of both. Languages in the two modalities share certain defining properties, properties which Meir and Sandler deduce must be the essential universals of human language. Sign languages, like spoken languages, have word structure, syntactic structure, and even phonology, the equivalent of a sound system. But other properties distin­guish the two. In this part they ask, What have we learned about language through cross-sign-linguistic research, and What is the relevance of sign lan­guage research for linguistic theory in general? They conclude that it is only by comparing language in the two modalities in which it naturally manifests itself that we can fully understand this remarkable human capacity.

A Language in Space is based on an earlier version written in Hebrew for an Israeli audience. They have revised, cut, and added to that version considerably, with the goal of making it interesting and relevant for an international audience. They are aiming at a wide audience, and they take it for granted that different readers may be interested in different parts or chapters of A Language in Space.

One difference from the earlier version is the inclusion in Chapter 15 of a synopsis of their more recent work on a new sign language that developed among a community of Bedouins in the Israeli Negev, conducted with colleagues Carol Padden and Mark Aronoff. This language, Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL), is one of a number of distinct sign languages used by small groups of Deaf people in Arab, Druze, and Bedouin towns and villages in Israel. This language has a lot to teach readers about the most basic elements of human language.

A superb book from every point of view. A Language in Space offers the reader a view of sign language in general, and of Israeli Sign Language in particular. The book is clear, extremely readable, and fascinating....It touches on every topic relevant to sign language, from the most abstract theoretical issues to matters of society and community. All this it does with charm, simplicity, and clarity, from a perspective that is well developed, theoretically deep, and informed by the most up to date research in the field. The figures and illustrations are wisely selected and tastefully presented. – Yosef Grodzinskv, McGill University

This original and timely book will definitely be an important addition to LEA's growing list in signing and deaf studies. – Dan Slobin, Berkeley

Fascinating, A Language in Space is clear and engaging read, appealing and accessible to a wide variety of readers. The personal narratives are illuminating and moving and the illustrations are lively. The book is intended for linguists, psychologists, educators, sociologists of all stripes, students, and also for anyone interested in finding out more about the essence of human language.

HHealth, Mind & Body / Biographies & Memoirs

Face to Face by Audrey Kishline & Sheryl Maloy (Meredith Books)

What would you say to the drunk driver who killed your child?/p>

After her 12-year-old daughter and ex-husband were killed in a head-on crash, Sheryl Maloy came to a startling decision: Her path to healing would lead her to an incredible meeting – to prison, to the driver of the lethal vehicle, to say "I forgive you.”

Brought together by unspeakable tragedy, Face to Face is the true story of two women whose lives connected in a way neither could have imagined. It is a story of hope, faith and what the power of forgiveness can accomplish even in dark times.

On the night of March 25, 2000, 911 operators began answering calls from worried motorists on Washington's Interstate 90, who reported a pickup truck headed west in the eastbound lanes. Within minutes, the calls changed to reports of a violent crash.

The driver of the pickup, Audrey Kishline, was on the road with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit. In a wide-awake blackout, she slammed into a car, killing a young girl and her father.

The tragedy of the crash was compounded by the fact that Kishline, who recovered from serious injuries, was the founder of Moderation Management, a controversial program that suggested steps to moderate drinking for people who were concerned about controlling their alcohol consumption.

For Sheryl Maloy, the tragedy landed full force on the already wearying struggles of a single parent and on her hopes to restore her marriage to her ex-husband. As she struggled to recover from the loss of her daughter and ex-husband and searched for a new future, she realized the key to her healing lay in an incredible step. Compelled by her Christian faith, Maloy visited Kishline in prison, not to angrily confront the woman who had killed her loved ones, but to hold her in her arms and offer forgiveness.

In Face to Face, they tell their stories in alternating chapters: Kishline shares her battle with alcohol, injuries, and prison, while Maloy attempts to overcome the loss of her family and the deep scars of her past.

The relative of the victims of a drunk-driving accident extends forgiveness to the criminal driver in this stark, improbable memoir of tragedy. In alternating chapters reflecting the points of view of the two authors (streamlined by the writer Laura Morton), the woeful tale unfolds. … The aftermath was bittersweet: although Maloy was supportive, Kishline continually faltered before she could put her life back together. The stories of these women are wrenching and real, and now they plan to travel and speak publicly together. – Publishers Weekly

Face to Face is the gripping and unforgettable account of two women struggling to rebuild their lives. Maloy's ability to forgive will inspire anyone who is struggling to move forward with life after tragedy or hardship.

Health, Mind & Body / Science / Medicine / Research

The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research by Kenton Kroker (University of Toronto Press)

We tend to think of sleep as a private concern, a nighttime retreat from the physical world into the realm of the subconscious. Yet sleep also has a public side; it has been the focal point of religious ritual, philosophic speculation, political debate, psychological research, and more recently, euroscientific investigation and medical practice.

In The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research, the first ever history of sleep research, Kenton Kroker draws on a wide range of material to present the story of how an investigative field – at one time dominated by the study of dreams – slowly morphed into a laboratory-based discipline. The result of this transformation, Kroker, assistant professor in the Science and Technology Studies Program at York University, Toronto, argues, has changed the very meaning of sleep from its earlier conception to an issue for public health and biomedical intervention.

Examining a vast historical period of 2500 years, Kroker separates the problems associated with the history of dreaming from those associated with sleep itself and charts sleep-related diseases such as narcolepsy, insomnia, and sleep apnea. He describes the discovery of rapid eye movement – REM – during the 1950s, and shows how this discovery initiated the creation of ‘dream laboratories’ that later emerged as centers for sleep research during the 1960s and 1970s.

Sleep research began to coalesce only around 1900, once investi­gators began to describe sleep as a positive, rhythmic process that served a biological function. According to the book, it seems counter-intuitive to suggest that anyone could ever have imagined that sleep did not serve a function, but sleep was generally framed in terms of individual psychology before 1900. Sleep, so the reasoning went, is little more than nothingness, and how can nothingness have a function? Of course, most people dream, and on this basis psychologists suspected sleep is not the simple elimination of consciousness.

The dynamic interaction of dreaming and sleep as scientific objects has not, however, been at all straightforward, so The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research shows how the intimacy of their relationship has oscillated over the past twenty-five hundred years. When sleep emerged as an object of modern biomedical analysis over the past century, dreams were effectively set outside the investigative domain. They were reunited, briefly, in mid-century by virtue of the discovery and dissemina­tion of REMs around 1953. But, by the mid-1970s, they had begun to separate again, as the sleep clinic began to take shape and biomedical interest in establishing sleep as a public-health problem trumped engagement with the idea of using laborato­ries to comprehend dreaming.

The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research tries to incorporate aspects of all approaches by concentrating on the diversity and dynamism of the ways in which sleep has been made into an object of scientific knowledge. Both dreaming and sleeping were found, in different configurations, within the spheres of the personal and the public, of the visible and the invisible, of the animal and the human, of the clinical and the experimental, and even of the sacred and the profane. Kroker offers an overview of how those different configura­tions ultimately generated a new view of sleep that transformed it from an intimate experience to an impersonal and public object.

Sleep had, of course, been part of medical practice since antiquity. As the first chapter indicates, ancient medical interests in sleep were encapsulated by the role dreams played in the Asclepian cults. Galen acknowledged the value of such dreams for medical diagnosis, but it was his emphasis on sleep as a ‘non-natural’ that was ultimately formalized by the medieval medical schools, as dreaming was separated from medi­cal practice and became part of philosophical psychology.

Chapter 2 introduces some nineteenth-century aspects of the scien­tific study of sleep. There were two dominant approaches to the prob­lem of sleep in this period: one from the clinical point of view, and one from the perspective of physiological psychology. The most prominent clinical problem concerning sleep was insomnia. Many investigators were enthusiastic about using hypnosis as a tool that could probe the unconscious mind. By the time war broke out in Europe in 1914, hypnotism had fallen from grace, and its status as a form of ‘artificial sleep’ was thor­oughly rejected.

The study of fatigue, on the other hand, was just getting started. Etienne Jules Marey's ‘graphical method’ offered a means of describing physiological phenomena without disturbing the organism's natural state, regardless of whether it was an ani­mal, a patient, or a laborer. The graphical method allowed the construction of an image of sleep from the perspective of the body, rather than the mind.

But, if sleep was becoming more and more grounded in the body in the early twentieth century, psychoanalysis, which took dreaming as a model of mental activity, seemed headed in the opposite direction. The third chapter of The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research deals with two distinctive approaches to dreaming in the early twentieth century: those of Sigmund Freud and Henri Bergson. Both produced important contributions to the study of dreaming around 1900, although only Freud has attracted much attention from historians. For Kroker’s purposes, his original significance lies in the fact that he turned dream­ing into a vital function, linking it to health rather than to a pathological alteration of consciousness. Bergson, on the other hand, took dreams to be a primitive experience of time as duration, which he con­trasted to the mechanized, scientific vision of time as a succession of instants that could be represented by space. The fate of sleep as a function is charted in chapter 3 through the early career of Henri Pieron, a psychologist who had studied under Pierre Janet and Theodule Ribot. Pieron's study of sleep revolved around his method of ‘experimental insomnia,’ a technique that involved depriving his animal subjects of sleep until they slipped into a coma and died. Such research reinforced the belief that sleep should be studied through the observation of comportement, or ‘behavior,’ rather than through the methods of introspec­tive psychology.

At this point, the story shifts, in part, to the New World. Chapter 4 discusses the epidemic of ‘sleeping sickness’ that spread through North America in the wake of the influenza pandemic of 1918-19. Ameri­can neurologists began to focus on this mysterious disease that often left its victims in varying states of dementia. Their interest in sleep brought the topic out of the doldrums of hygiene and into the world of organic brain disease. Constantin von Economo, the Viennese clinician who first described ‘encephalitis lethargica’ in 1917, visited the United States in 1929. Drawing on Pav­lov's description of sleep as inhibition, Economo argued that natural sleep was the product of a regulatory ‘sleep centre’ in the brain, which was somehow damaged over the course of the disease.

Chapter 5 examines the very local conditions of early sleep research at the University of Chicago during the interwar period. According to The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research, when Pavlov visited the A.J. Carlson's Physiology Department in 1923, a young stu­dent named Nathaniel Kleitman was just publishing the first of a series of papers on the physiology of sleep. Kleitman, who would eventually establish himself as the first physiologist to dedicate his entire career to sleep, had adapted Pieron's method of ‘experimental insomnia’ to the unique conditions of physiological research at Chicago. He used human subjects for many of his experiments, preferring to rely on innovative physiological recording techniques rather than post-mortems to frame his questions about sleep.

The electroencephalograph (EEG), the topic of chapter 6, was first discovered by a German psychiatrist named Hans Berger in 1925. But it did not receive much sci­entific attention in the United States until 1934. Alfred Lee Loomis, who had a long-standing passion for precision instruments and timekeeping, used his extensive financial resources to construct an enormous kymograph that was able to record eight hours' worth of sleep at a time. By late 1935, his work had established a standardized set of five ‘sleep stages’ based on distinctive EEG tracings, through which the brain ‘cycled’ throughout the night. This image of sleep as a phenomenon of brain-regulated timekeeping was to dominate sleep research for the remainder of the century. Chapter 6 also examines the conditions under which REM finally appeared to scientific perception in the year that led up to Eugene Aser­insky and Kleitman's publication of their discovery in 1953. Once the province of an elite group of neurologists and ambi­tious psychiatrists, psychoanalysis had assumed a dominant role in the sciences of mind and brain by the early 1950s, and the systematic study of dreams outside the clinic was high on the agenda. William Dement, a young medical student with a keen interest in psychiatry, recognized the potential of REM to bridge the gaps between the physiological laboratory and the psychiatric clinic. By the mid-1960s, his experiments with psychiatric patients and his theories about ‘dream deprivation’ had brought sleep research out of the backwaters of physi­ology and onto the center stage of the neurosciences.

Chapter 7 discusses the gradual shift toward more clinically oriented research brought about by the formation of a social organization to promote it. When it emerged in the early 1960s, members of the Association for the Psychophysiological Study of Sleep (APSS) took seri­ously the idea that laboratories would reveal the truth about dreaming. Many of them also felt that the ‘dream laboratory’ would finally bring psychoanalytic concepts and practices into the domain of the biomedi­cal sciences, precisely because they took REM to be an unproblematic and objective index of dreaming that could be effectively detached from its instrumental and cognitive context. Dement became instrumental in shifting the trajectory of the laboratory towards clinical problems. Narcolepsy, in particular, became a pivotal disease that was remade by laboratory-based sleep research. The ‘laboratory test’ for narcolepsy ultimately redefined it as a state-specific pathology that could be accurately diagnosed only through identification of its victims' aberrant REM periods. With this development, sleep research began to shift towards the biomedical field and away from neuroscien­tific investigation. In the process, the APSS was itself transformed, as an ever-greater proportion of its members identified themselves as clini­cians, not psychophysiologists.

Narcolepsy, however, had always been understood to be a relatively rare disorder. It was not until insomnia was brought within the purview of the sleep laboratory that sleep medicine began to emerge as a medi­cal specialty and sleep itself came to be depicted as a public-health issue. This process, described in chapter 8, was by no means a linear progression from laboratory-based knowledge to its application in clinical practice. As consumers of a vast amount of pharmaceuticals to treat their condition with a minimum of medical supervision, insomniacs were perceived to be at risk for addic­tion and even death by accidental or intentional overdose. While narcolepsy had justified the sleep laboratory's entry into the clinic, the evolution of insomnia as a public-health issue presented the prospect of an entirely different scale of expansion.

The final chapter evaluates the rise of sleep apnea following sleep medicine's first forays into public health through the problem of insom­nia. The latter disorder was cursed, as it had always been, by indetermi­nacy. Insomnia was both mental and physical, and such a position was difficult to negotiate during the 1980s, when the American psychiatric establishment began a full-scale purge of psychoanalytic ideas from its diagnostic canon. Insomnia also fell victim to a recriminalization of drug addiction in the United States. Instead, biomedical interest turned towards sleep apnea. Practically unknown before the 1980s, the problem of sleep apnea had blossomed into a major public-health debate ten years later.

This is the best systematic account of how people have tried to understand sleep. The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research presents not only the memorable innovations such as Freud on dreams, REM, and sleep apnea, but also the strange byways, some well forgotten, and others in need of another look. Kenton Kroker offers a deep analysis of how measuring devices, crude electrodes placed on the head, and a new institution, the sleep laboratory, completely changed what had been the most private, solitary, and perhaps non-existent time in our lives – when we are asleep. – Ian Hacking, Chair of Philosophy and History of Scientific Concepts, College de France
In The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research, the history of scientific investigations into sleep and sleep-related problems unfolds as a rich and complex territory. Incorporating a vast amount of material, in terms of periods covered as well as in the numbers of evaluated printed and archival sources, Kenton Kroker offers a fascinating account of research into sleep. – Cornelius Borck, Department of Social Studies of Medicine, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy and Language of Medicine, McGill University

The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research is an extended essay in cultural history, written from the perspective of a his­tory of knowledge. A fascinating study, it covers a wide range of material, telling of the metamorphosis over time of the psychological study of dreams into the biomedical discipline of sleep research. Kroker’s work is unique in subject and scope and will be enormously useful for sleep researchers, medical historians, and anybody who’s ever lost a night’s sleep.

History / Americas / West

Let' er Buck:: A Story of the Passing of the Old West by Charles Wellington Furlong, with a new introduction by W.K. Stratton (The Overlook Press)

Long before the popular participatory journalism of George Plimpton and Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Wellington Furlong wrote about his experience in the bull-riding competition at the 1914 Pendleton, Oregon Round-Up in Let' er Buck. He broke his wrist, but won the competition seated aboard a notorious bucking-bull called Sharkey – ‘a ton of living dynamite.’

First published in 1921, Furlong's classic account of the Pendleton Round-Up was a bestseller that extolled the virtues of the Old West. Out of print for over eighty years, Let' er Buck brings the book back to life with a new edition, faithful to Furlong's original volume, with more than 50 authentic black-and-white photographs.

Furlong's monumental bestseller was first published in 1921 to educate the ‘blasé, effete, lily-livered youths’ of America about the values of an ‘honorable physical contest’ – the rodeo.

Each fall in Pendleton, Oregon, there is great carnival that epitomizes the most dramatic phases of the pioneer days of the West. The epitome of the great human virtues with which the West was replete – courage, daring, belief in work, love of play, optimism, and, above all, that balance-wheel of life – humor. There the real, practical work of the trail, cow camp and range is shown through the sports of the pioneer.

Let' er Buck is the story of the passing of the Old West, illustrated from photographs of bucking horses, cow-pony races, bulldogging Texas longhorns, Indians, cowboys, fancy ropers, and old time scouts as seen as the annual cowboy carnival, the Round-Up, held in Pendleton, Oregon, each September.

Charles Wellington Furlong (1871-1967) was an explorer, painter, explorer, writer, university professor, lecturer, publicist, soldier, and the author of numerous books and magazine articles. In 1966, at age 91, Furlong returned to the Round-Up to lead the annual Westward Ho! Parade, billed as the largest parade in the world without any motorized entries.

Furlong spent years studying and participating in the life and culture of the American West, including four Pendleton Round-Ups where cowboy contests epitomized the most dramatic phases of the pioneer days of the West and its spirit. "In all the world there is no more thrilling and impressive spectacle," wrote Furlong. "It nurtures the wonderful heritage our forefathers created for us, it puts a glow into the minds of youth; it strikes you squarely behind the eyes, and reveals the great living, painting the West before you."

Let' er Buck is the classic account of the famous Pendleton round-up and rodeo, back in print for the first time in eighty years. Both a call to action and a cowboy's lament, Furlong's lively classic is an unforgettable piece of the story of the American past. Recalling a phase of Americana that has all but passed, here is the work and life of the Old West, eternally engraved upon history. Beautifully and remarkably photographed, this reproduction is faithful to the original.

History / Ancient / World

Books on Fire:: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History by Lucien X. Polastron (Inner Traditions)

Hebrew, Hindu, Nordic, and Islamic traditions share the belief of a vast library existing before the creation of the world. The Vedas say that this library predated the creator’s creation of himself. Yet, almost as old as the idea of the library is the urge to destroy it. The reasons cited for this are many: educated people are much harder to govern, and some proclaim that only the illiterate can save the world. There are also great destructions brought about by weather, worms, and even the paranoia of the library’s owner. br /> Books on Fire traces the history of this perpetual destruction, from the burning of the great library of Alexandria on three separate occasions and the libraries of the Chinese Qing Dynasty to more modern catastrophic losses such as those witnessed in Nazi-occupied Europe and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The author, ancient historian Lucien X. Polastron, examines the causes for these disasters, the treasures that have been lost, and where the surviving books, if any, have ended up. His investigation also reveals a new danger facing libraries today with the digitalization of books threatening both the existence of the physical paper book and the very idea of reading for free. According to Books on Fire, the promise of an absolute library offered by the computer may well turn out to equal the worst nightmares of Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell.
Lucien X. Polastron is a historian specializing in Chinese and Arab studies and has written several books on calligraphy as well as a monumental study of paper, Le Papier: 2000 ans d’histoire [Paper: 2000 Years of History].

In his acclaimed Double Fold (2001), Nicholson Baker expressed outrage over newspapers and books turned into landfill by librarians who chose microfilm over paper. French historian Polastron picks up where Baker left off, writing with equal passion yet punctuating his pages with wit. A specialist in Chinese and Arab studies, Polastron surveys the annihilation of libraries from ancient Mesopotamia and China to potential problems looming with the cyber contents of today's virtual books. Although Polastron learned of lost libraries while writing a history of paper, it was the 1992 destruction of the National Library in Sarajevo that triggered his desire to explore all nooks and crannies of history in the attic of every civilization. … Lamenting the loss of the ancient Alexandria library, the author covers books that perished during the Inquisition, the French Revolution and in Nazi Germany. Polastron's exhaustive research and vast scope make this detailed, authoritative study a revelatory read. – Publishers Weekly
This book contributes to a new understanding of the devastation caused by book burning. Every reader's worst nightmare is recorded with horrid fascination. – Fernando Báez, author of A Universal History of the Destruction of Books

The exhaustively researched Books on Fire is a comprehensive and authoritative historical survey of the destruction of knowledge from ancient Babylon and China to modern times. Books on Fire received the 2004 Société des Gens de Lettres Prize for Nonfiction/History in Paris.

History / Europe / Biographies & Memoirs

Henry VIII:: Court, Church and Conflict by David Loades (The National Archives)

Henry VIII's reign changed the lives of nobles and commoners, priests and laymen, and sent shock waves well beyond England's shores. Yet this clever and charismatic monarch survived rebellion, religious turmoil and the enmity of Catholic Europe, manipulating the most powerful and ambitious personalities of the age. From Renaissance prince to bloated monarch, Henry VIII dominated his country and court for almost 40 years. Destined for the centre stage of Europe, united with the royal line of Aragon, Henry's dramatic break with the Church of Rome led his kingdom into years of turmoil. Yet the headstrong monarch was also a shrewd operator who managed the powerful personalities around him to build one of the most momentous – and controversial – of English reigns./p>

Henry VIII focuses on the fluctuating, often fraught relationships between the king and his court, his Church and his people – and with the other powers of continental Europe, relations who were thrown into turmoil by Henry's successive marriages. The book explores Henry's policies and strategies and his manipulation of key players such as Wolsey, Cromwell, Fisher and More. It also probes the intriguing nature of the man behind the monarch, especially his complex religious beliefs that changed the direction of England's history.

David Loades, an authoritative historian of Tudor England, begins by explaining how historians have treated Henry and the expectations contemporaries had of the renaissance prince who ascended the throne. He describes the England that the young king inherited and explores his rich and varied reign in detail. Henry VIII considers the king's role in the wars, law enforcement, the succession question, the court, the rebellions and the problem of Ireland, illustrating the narrative with original National Archives documents and full color portraits of those involved. Finally Loades, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Wales and Research Professor of History at the University of Sheffield, unravels the ambiguous but still tangible legacy that this most high-profile of monarchs has left.

The book shows how the larger-than-life ruler wielded his power – at court, in wars, in government, over his nobles and in his turbulent, politically driven quest for an heir.

Henry VIII reveals the strategies that bol­stered Henry's power, from the shaping of his royal image, to navigating the shifting alliances of continental Europe. The narrative charts the king's struggles – against northern rebels, the religious establishment, the ‘wild Irish’ and, vitally, to secure the survival of his Tudor dynasty. Loades also probes the nature of the man behind the monarch, and dashes some modern miscon­ceptions about Henry the tyrant, or Henry the gullible, or Henry the feckless slave to sexual appetite.

Henry VIII is a fascinating and compelling portrayal of an iconic king in his realm.

As intriguing as its subject, Henry VIII examines articulately and in detail the king's volatile relations. Historian Loades draws on a wealth of knowledge of the Tudor period to reveal the man behind the monarch and the lasting legacy of England's most celebrated king.

History / Military / Religion & Spirituality

MMaking War in the Name of God by Christopher Catherwood (Citadel Press)

Christian versus /> Sunni verses Shiite.
Catholic versus Protestant.

You cannot reason with people who believe God is on their side. – Vince Flynn, author of Consent To Kill

As religious zeal and sectarian strife set the opening years of the new millennium ablaze, they ushered in the latest chapter of a story that began centuries ago. From Bali to Beirut, humanity has inherited an idea that is as old as religion itself: killing in the name of God.

In Making War in the Name of God, renowned historian Christopher Catherwood, recounts a saga of passion, prejudice, and imperialism that laid the foundation for this troubled age. Beginning in the year 632, Muhammad – as much political leader and general as prophet – commenced the breathtaking spread of Islam that, under his successors, eventually conquered an empire larger than Rome's at its height. Even as this realm broke apart into Sunni and Shiite factions, the Christian retaliation – ruthlessly and unscrupulously unleashed in 1095 with the First Crusade – sparked a clash between East and West that continues to this day.

According to Catherwood, history professor at Cambridge University and at the University of Richmond, the pattern would repeat itself again and again. Catherwood goes back almost two millennia, researching the impetus behind religious warfare, from the first Jihads of the seventh century and the Crusades of the Middle Ages, to the wars of the Reformation and the sectarian terrorism of today. Episodes include the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans, in which the same Islamic faith that had once been an institution for tolerance in places like Spain became an instrument of expansion; the wars of the Reformation, when Catholics and Protestants slaughtered each other in the name of the Prince of Peace; and the endless conflicts of the modern Middle East, savagely fought over by three faiths that all worship the same God.

Making War in the Name of God is a look at the past altercations that have forged our violent present and the long history behind the powder keg of Islamic extremism. The book exposes a history of dissent and distortion that is seemly doomed to continue to repeat itself. Based on exhaustive research and written with an eye toward revealing the often painful truth, the book unveils humanity's habit of sanctifying bloodshed – and exposes a past that we forget at our peril. Catherwood traces the history of holy war, revealing complexities and subtleties that are vital to understanding a subject that continues to divide us. As the war in Iraq, the war on terror and the endless battles in the Middle East rage on, Making War in the Name of God offers a sobering look at the strange and terrifying connection between war and religion. Catherwood vividly reexamines these devastating struggles, answering questions that are timeless, vital, and unsettling.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Knitting / Children

Essential Baby:: Over 20 Handknits to Take Your Baby from First Days to First Steps by Debbie Bliss (Trafalgar Square Publishing)

The period immediately before the arrival of a baby is a unique time for nesting, perfect for creating special hand knits to welcome a newborn infant home. With this in mind, in Essential Baby, Debbie Bliss, one of the foremost designers of hand knits, has designed a capsule collection to take babies through from their first few days to their first few steps. This knitwear collection includes 20 designs for babies ranging in age from zero to 18 months. Divided into three sections – Coming Home, At Home, and On the Go – this book provides parents with the key knitted pieces needed for baby's first eighteen months.

Coming Home includes a snuggle-into shawl, a hooded carrying bag in a cashmere mix, and a simple crossover top, pants, and coat to provide a contemporary feel to the classic layette. In addition to those items to wrap up little ones and keep them cozy, this section also contains projects such as a knitted house picture and a cuddly toy lamb for baby's first room.

At Home is for downtime, with a cozy cotton bathrobe – a wraparound for after the bath – and slip-on felted slippers. Soft vintage-style, knee-length shorts and romper panties are for crawlers, while for playtime there is a squashy beanbag for baby to kick back on and a heart mobile to hang over the crib.

On the Go includes outdoor basics to keep baby snug on trips out and about: a changing mat that doubles as a carrying bag, a double-sided patchwork and striped blanket to tuck around baby in the stroller, a reversible hat, chunky cable-knit socks, and a double-breasted duffle coat.

According to Bliss, all the yarns used in Essential Baby have been chosen for comfort and practicality. There are cashmere mixes, extra-fine merino wools, and classic cottons, which are all machine washable but at the same time soft against young skin. She has designed the projects to cover a range of knitting skills, but most are simple, reflecting a new life balance when nurturing may take over from knitting.

Essential Baby is a complete knitwear collection for new babies, featuring, practical must-have items in Bliss' softest yarns to keep newborns pampered and peaceful from first days, to first steps. Photographs throughout illustrate color, texture, and fit.

With step-by-step instructions, and helpful charts and templates, Essential Baby is the perfect project book for anyone preparing for a new arrival, from moms and dads to grandmas. And by the way, the pictures of babies are so cute that it is almost reason enough to check out the book!

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Models / Engineering / Design

Forbidden LEGO:: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against! by Ulrik Pilegaard & Mike Dooley (No Starch Press)

It can be dangerous to have candy shot into your eye or to have your head pummeled with ping-pang balls. Similarly, a speeding paper airplane could cause untold injuries. Take appropriate cautions when following the directions in this book and don't call us if you're injured by a piece of LEGO. In fact, don't tell anyone. We wouldn't want you to embarrass yourself. – Pilegaard and Dooley, from the book

It just may be impossible to exhaust the creative potential of LEGO bricks. With an active imagination as a guide, there are endless possibilities – provided readers follow the LEGO Company's official [and sensible] rules. This means no cutting or tampering with bricks, creating models that shoot unapproved projectiles, or using non-standard parts with any LEGO product. After all, those little precision-molded ABS bricks can be dangerous in the wrong hands!/p>

Well, toss those rules out the window.

Written by former master LEGO designers, Forbidden LEGO is a full color book containing projects that break the LEGO Company's rules for building with LEGO bricks – rules against building projects that fire projectiles, cutting or gluing bricks, and using non-standard parts. These are backroom projects that LEGO's master designers build under the LEGO radar, just to have fun. Using LEGO bricks in combination with common household materials (from rubber bands and glue to plastic spoons and ping-pong balls) along with some unorthodox building techniques, readers learn to create working models that LEGO would never endorse.

Readers learn how to build catapults, launchers, vehicles, and other useless but fun inventions. Tips and tricks give readers ideas for inventing their own creative model designs. According to authors Ulrik Pilegaard, former senior designer and studio manager at LEGO, and Mike Dooley, former senior product manager and director of development at LEGO, once readers get into the spirit, they will want to try inventing their own rule-breaking models. Projects covered in the book include:

Paper Plane Launcher (PPL)

Candy Coated Catapult (CCC)

Ping-Pong Cannon (PPC)

All-Terrain LEGO (ATL)

High Velocity Automatic LEGO Plate Dispenser (HVALPD)

Pilegaard and Dooley say they wrote Forbidden LEGO to share the raw energy and inventiveness they experienced at LEGO but that they could never fully express in their products. The book is about taking advantage of the creative freedom available outside the company. It encourages readers to unleash an extra bit of creative energy to build great and wonderful things. Forbidden LEGO helps readers learn how the LEGO designers create, so they may begin to think of ways to master, bend, and break the rules themselves, making the most of LEGO and their own imaginations.

Home & Garden / Landscape Design

Hacienda Courtyards by Karen Witynski & Joe P. Carr (Gibbs Smith, Publisher)

Hacienda Courtyards/span> was born in the secluded courtyards of Mexico’s haciendas and colonial homes, visited while we conducted book research and antiques-buying trips for our design business. Our passion to build and live in a hacienda-style home with a central courtyard germinated in large part from these early design pilgrimages to Mexico. Even though our hacienda courtyard home is rooted in Texas, we delight in the feeling of being in Mexico, thanks to the architectural design, paint colors, and our collection of Mexican antique furniture, old pottery, and once-utilitarian objects that blend together to create our outdoor living room. – from the book

Towering walls covered in flowering vines, carved stone columns, graceful arcades, tranquil water fountains and seductive palm-lined pools create the serene oasis that is the hacienda courtyard. Today, architects and designers are drawing inspiration from hacienda architecture and its age-old water heritage to create imaginative, secluded spaces: tiled wall fountains spill agua from old hacienda rainspouts into aquatic gardens with papyrus-filled stone feeding troughs. Swimming spaces include hacienda water tanks-turned-pools and a dramatic contemporary water space that flows beneath grand portal arches – allowing swimmers to encircle stone columns.

Hacienda Courtyards takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of gracious outdoor living areas, from the Yucatan's colonial estates to the centuries-old homes and haciendas of Morelia, Alamos and Oaxaca. Cobbled courtyards boast sculptural stone spheres and breezy, hammock-strung portales reveal old stone pavers, handmade clay bricks and wooden beams.
Based in Austin, authors Karen Witynski and Joe P. Carr have designed and renovated homes and haciendas throughout the United States and Mexico and have collaborated on numerous commercial design projects, including boutique hotels and restaurants. Award-winning authors of the popular Mexican design book series – Mexican Country Style, The New Hacienda, Casa Adobe, Adobe Details, Casa Yucatan, Mexican Details, and Hacienda Home –Witynski and Carr were awarded La Pluma de Plata (The Silver Pen) from Mexico's Ministry of Tourism for The New Hacienda. As designers and antiques dealers, they have been at the forefront of the Mexican design movement for twenty-five years. Individually, Witynski photographs homes and gardens for national publications and Carr is a hacienda consultant and furniture designer.

With the beautifully photographed Hacienda Courtyards, readers explore the architectural elements, private water havens, furniture and garden vessels that can help readers create a courtyard paradise in their own home.

Law / Politics / International Law

Terrorism:: The Bottom Line by Nathan I. Yungher (Pearson Prentice Hall)

I am petrified of flying. … I felt as if I had a monopoly over the dread of airports and flying. [But] What a contrast a few years make! Terrorism is on the minds of many, and so many articles on terrorism appear daily that I have stopped reading or collecting them all. Terrorism is no longer the obscure subject it once was and textbooks on the subject abound. – ungher, from the book

One could hardly find a more timely and relevant topic that is also of great importance to learn about than terrorism. Preoccupation with the subject is pervasive, almost inescapable: from the corridors of power in Washington and other world capitols through the news media to the realm of ordinary people's conversations and everyday concerns.

Terrorism is thematic in structure and, on occasion, explores the nature of the phenomena under investigation according to a historical timeline. In addition to a discussion of numerous relevant topics, this book elaborates on significant theoretical global and historical aspects behind the practice of terrorism. Terrorism offers objective explanations of the nature of terrorism and of the motives of those practicing or supporting its use.

This work moves away from the encyclopedic approach to engage readers in the subject of terrorism. It is written in practical language and uses common terms, anecdotes, thought-provoking questions and case studies to help readers understand terrorism and its impact on society. Terrorism offers 17 chapters, which educate and provoke thinking rather than purport to render definitive answers to complicated existential issues of our times. The six sections cover topics such as a brief history of terrorism; foundations of terrorism; terrorism as a universal plague; weapons of mass destruction; counterterrorism on the domestic front; and terrorism in our future. The book, written by Nathan I. Yungher who teaches courses on terrorism and international relations at Rutgers University, is built on his lectures.

To make this textbook suitable to the academic calendar, it is structured in a way that offers enough material to cover all of the meetings planned for the semester. Thus, if a class meets twice a week, each meeting during the semester is covered by a chapter, or parts thereof. (Some chapters, such as those on Islam and weapons of mass destruction, require more than one meeting.) In cases where the course features approximately weekly meetings, Terrorism offers professors the flexibility to skip a couple of chapters according to their preference.

Yungher says that scholars and experts bestow advice on how to manage future policy in the era of terrorism. A few seem ready to give up in exasperation at the forgiving attitude Western elites exhibit toward terrorism. Other writers, such as terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman, observed even before 9/11 that "until recently people underestimated the magnitude of the problem [of terrorism]." Today, the enormity of the terrorism challenge dictates "nothing less than a sea change in our thinking about terrorism and the policies required to counter it." However, even with the best of intentions, what is to be done?

The final chapter of Terrorism offers a review of five perspectives on the future, a summary that Yungher says hardly does justice to the voluminous body of work generated on the subject.

The "Grand Strategy" – Audrey Kurth Cronin, a specialist on terrorism, advocates a ‘grand strategy’, a counterterrorism policy that mixes a ‘negative’ strategy of arrests and killing of terrorists with a ‘positive’ strategy of foreign aid and promotion of human rights – to separate the terrorists from their audiences.

The Changing Face of International Conflict – Professor Steve Smith offers the following observations: States are no longer the main ‘actors’ in international relations; ‘identity’ politics has become more important than the traditional organizing principles of international relations. Future conflict will be one of asymmetrical warfare; ‘virtual war’ will gain in importance. It will become increasingly difficult to use mil­itary force to attain political objectives; the meaning of ‘victory’ will become vaguer and more difficult to define. Globalization and liberal democracy are not a universal inevitability; negotiating with non-Westerners is likely to be more complicated. ‘You are either with me or against me’ thinking will not work well in a future dominated by a need to forge alliances with non-Western cultures.

Nuclear Terrorism as First Priority – Professor Graham Allison, of the Kennedy School of Government warns that preventing nuclear terrorism must be an ‘absolute national priority.’ He suggests fighting a strategically focused war on terrorism, complementing that with ‘a humble foreign policy’ because “America's … international standing has fallen to the lowest point in modem history." Allison recommends building elaborate alliances against nuclear terrorism, improving intelligence, and applying a multilayered defense.

Multipronged Approach – Paul Pillar, former deputy director for intelligence at the CIA, offers a list of rec­ommendations for fighting terrorists that includes: (1) Policy makers should always take the counterterrorism implications of their decisions into account; (2) they must develop a greater awareness of the entire gamut of terrorism threats; (3) terrorist infrastructures worldwide must be disrupted; (4) all methods possible must be used to counter terrorism; (5) policy makers must devise a variety of policies to meet different terrorist threats; (6) they must maintain proper, updated, and fair lists of suspects; (7) the United States must work with its allies; and (8) it must ‘give peace a chance.’

Protect the Home Front – Yungher ends Terrorism with a sample of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission in its report. The report calls for better screening at the bor­ders; tightening immigration laws and enforcing them better; focusing attention on aviation and transportation security without impacting civil liber­ties; and not neglecting the private sector.

According to Yungher in Terrorism, there is no historical precedent to the type of conflict should terrorists obtain weapons of mass destruction; the result could be catastrophic. Avoiding this requires responsible men and women of foresight and goodwill to come together to stop the threat before it is too late. Instead, today, empty declarations are routinely recycled by world leaders, and the elites in the West seem more occupied with squabbling and finger-pointing than with leading the campaign to unify the West to prevent the potential for a future calamity.

Military historian Martin van Creveld foresees a future in which states will crumble, and instead of conventional militaries, gangs and other small-scale formations motivated mainly by fanatic ideologies, greed, and survival will be fighting under the leadership of charismatic leaders. This process will lead to the blurring of the difference between combatants and civilians, ‘front’ and ‘rear,’ and the distinction between war and crime. Battles will become increas­ingly barbarous. Classic ‘strategy’ will become an anachronism and ‘bases’ will be replaced by hideouts and shelters. Sophisticated weapon systems and uniforms will disappear and warfare will become a mixture of gang warfare and SWAT teams. This vision has begun to manifest itself throughout some swaths of the globe, as in western Africa and northern Pakistan. It is quite possible that terrorism is well on its way to morphing again, becoming the new mainstream strategy for conflict in certain areas of the world.

Properly told, the subject of terrorism should be riveting, and this book, designed specifically for undergraduate students, is. Yungher does not attempt to have all the answers. Terrorism uses common terms and includes anecdotes, case studies, and thought provoking questions aimed at enticing readers to think for themselves. Based on his popular lectures, the book is written in a reader-friendly fashion. Easy-to-read and entertaining, an educational guide for learning about terrorism, the book will motivate students to want to learn more about the subject.

Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers

Interred with Their Bones:: A Novel by Jennifer Lee Carrell (Dutton)
Interred with Their Bones/span> is a debut literary thriller written by Jennifer Lee Carrell, a former teacher in the history and literature program at Harvard and former director of Shakespeare for Harvard’s Hyperion Theatre Company.

A long-lost work of Shakespeare, newly found.

A killer who stages the Bard’s extravagant murders as flesh-and-blood realities.

A desperate race to find literary gold, and just to stay alive. . . .

In Interred with Their Bones, on the eve of the Globe’s production of Hamlet, Shakespeare scholar and theater director Kate Stanley’s eccentric mentor Rosalind Howard gives her a mysterious box, claiming to have made a groundbreaking discovery. But before she can reveal it to Kate, the Globe burns to the ground and Roz is found dead . . . murdered precisely in the manner of Hamlet’s father. Inside the box Kate finds the first piece in a Shakespearean puzzle, setting her on a deadly, high-stakes treasure hunt.
An expert in occult Shakespeare, Kate knows better than anyone the secrets, curses, and folklore surrounding his life and work, none greater than the mystery of who Shakespeare really was. Kate discovers how the story of his collected works didn't end 400 years ago, but came to involve Jesuit spies, Miguel de Cervantes, copper mines in Arizona, ciphered Biblical texts, a first edition of the famous First Folio, and a madwoman who would do anything to expose Shakespeare's true identity.

From London to Harvard to the American West, Kate races to evade a killer and decipher a tantalizing string of clues, hidden in the words of Shakespeare, which may unlock literary history’s greatest secret.

But in Interred with Their Bones Kate is not alone in this hunt, and the buried truth threatens to come at the ultimate cost....

Carrell, the author of the much-praised nonfiction book The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox, has proven that she knows how to write a fast-paced, highly entertaining novel. Erudite and complex, Interred with Their Bones draws readers into an allusive labyrinth embellished with the words and plots from the plays of the ‘upstart Crow,’ as one contemporary dubbed the Bard. Here is a novel that will appeal to mystery-thriller fans as well as Shakespeare aficionados. – Bookpage

Carrell, a Harvard Ph.D. and Shakespeare specialist, crafts an exciting debut literary thriller. Kate Shelton left academe to direct Shakespeare plays …Can she find the manuscript of the lost play Cardenio, and will it reveal whether Shakespeare really wrote Shakespeare? Kate's use of her academic skills to decode letters and other historical artifacts will appeal to Da Vinci Code fans, the fast-paced globe-trotting action to Robert Ludlum readers, and the exploration of the Shakespeare mysteries to English majors everywhere. Highly recommended for all popular fiction collections. – Library Journal

Plot twists worthy of The Da Vinci Code dominate this agile first novel from Carrell, a thriller involving a lost Shakespeare play, The History of Cardenio. On a June day in 2004, at London's rebuilt Globe theater, Rosalind Howard, ‘flamboyantly eccentric Harvard Professor of Shakespeare,’ gives her friend Katharine Stanley, who's directing a production of Hamlet at the Globe, a small gold-wrapped box. …Roz's mysterious gift, which contains a Victorian mourning brooch decorated with flowers associated with Ophelia, propels Kate on a wild and wide-ranging quest that takes her to Utah; Arizona; Washington, D.C.; and back to London. Every step of the way, as the bodies pile up, Kate narrowly escapes becoming the next murder victim. From Shakespeare conferences to desert mines, from the present to the past, this spirited and action-packed novel delivers constant excitement. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

At once suspenseful and elegantly written, Interred with Their Bones is poised to become the next bestselling literary adventure in the tradition of The Thirteenth Tale and The Historian; the publicity material says rights have already been sold in 20 countries. Bard lovers will revel in the sumptuous prose, swift-moving plot and Shakespearean clues that pepper this debut novel.

Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers

The Reincarnationist:: A Novel of Suspense by M. J. Rose (MIRA)

Internationally bestselling author M.J. Rose offers up her ninth novel, a psychological thriller of history and secrets: The Reincarnationist,

A bomb in Rome, a flash of bluish-white light, and photojournalist Josh Ryder's world exploded. From that instant nothing would ever be the same.

As Josh recovers, his mind is increasingly invaded with thoughts that have the emotion and the intimacy of memories, but they are not his memories. They are ancient – and violent. A battery of medical and psychological tests can't explain Josh's baffling symptoms. And the memories have an urgency he can't ignore – pulling him to save a woman named Sabina – and the treasures she is protecting.

But who is Sabina?

Determined to find the cause of the episodes, Josh turns to the New York-based Phoenix Foundation, a scientific group dedicated to the possibilities of reincarnation, specializing in past-life memories in children. Memories of his past lives in ancient Rome as Julius, a pagan priest in a desperate mission to save his love, and in Victorian New York as Percy Talmage, son of the Phoenix Foundation founder, haunt Josh as he tries to bring his episodes under control.

Josh teams with the Phoenix Foundation on an expedition to Rome to explore a newly excavated fourth-century tomb. The tomb may contain pagan memory stones that incite past-life regressions and will, by proving the existence of reincarnation, challenge the church. But at the tomb, the Memory Stones are stolen, flinging Josh and archaeology professor Gabriella Chase into a race to find the stones. The stakes rise after it becomes clear that dangerous outside forces are also seeking the stones.

The Reincarnationist author Rose, also on the board of directors of the International Thriller Writers, is the author of eight previous novels, including Lip Service and three titles in the Butterfield Institute series: The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex and The Venus Fix.

Best known as an author of erotic thrillers, Rose (Lip Service) delves into religious myth and past-life discovery in her well-paced ninth novel. In present-day Rome, a terrorist bomb explosion triggers flashbacks of pre-Christian Italy in photographer Josh Ryder. …In a series of memory lurches, the narratives of Josh and Julius slowly wind together to reveal a Da Vinci Code-esque tale of intrigue that's more believably plotted and better meets its ambitions than Dan Brown's ubiquitous book. – Publishers Weekly, starred review
One of the most original and exciting novels I've read in a long time, with a premise so delicious I'm sick with envy I didn't think of it myself. It will open your mind to some of the incredible mysteries of the past and the greatest secrets of existence. The Reincarnationist is more than a page-turner – it's a page-burner. Don't miss it. – Douglas Preston, author of The Book of the Dead

A breakneck chase across the centuries. Fascinating and fabulous. – David Morrell, author of Creepers
A compelling, ferocious read, an intelligent thrill ride, intricately plotted, with enough twists to keep the reader firmly in M.J. Rose's grasp. – Robert Ferrigno, author of Prayers for the Assassin
Packed with unforgettable characters, breath-taking drama, and fascinating research, The Reincarnationist cements M.J. Rose's reputation as a master storyteller. Pick your millennium, folks. You're in for a timeless ride. – Gayle Lynds, author of The Last Spymaster
The exploding bomb in Rome that nearly took news photographer Josh Ryder's life triggered in him a series of wildly strange historical flashbacks…. Rose's engrossing thriller effortlessly leaps to and fro through the centuries. Dramatic suspense and intriguing characters expertly set the stage for this first in a series. Strongly recommended for all popular fiction collections. – Library Journal, starred review

International bestselling author Rose in The Reincarnationist offers a spellbinding, psychologically riveting epic thriller of secrets, history and murder that will challenge the way we think about who we are and who we were.

Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers

Speaking of Love:: A Novel by Angela Young (Beautiful Books)

You must take care of love; if not it goes bad. – a six-year-old girl, recorded in my grandmother's commonplace book /p>

When you know that love exists but it isn't spoken about, she said, ‘it can be very hard to bear. It's worse, I sometimes think, than a complete absence of love because it's so confusing. You sense it, but if it is never talked about you doubt what you sense.’ – from the book

If you are born into a family that never talks about love, how do you learn to say the words?

Speaking of Love is a five-part novel about what happens when people who love each other don’t say so. It deals with human breakdown. And it tells of our need for stories and how stories can help make sense of the random nature of life.

If a mother had told her daughter that she loved her, they might not have spent years apart. If a man had found the courage to tell a woman that he loved her she might never have married another man. And if a father had told his daughter that he loved her when her mother died, she might not have suffered the breakdown that caused the rift with her own daughter.

Author Angela Young says she always wanted to be a writer; she worked as secretary to a couple of screenplay writers before joining The Economist where she worked for 10 years. In 1994 she was commissioned by BBC Books to finish Edith Wharton's unfinished novel The Buccaneers which was published in 1995. In 2002, Angela graduated from Middlesex University with an MA in Creative Writing, and in May 2003 was the first unpublished writer to be awarded a grant by Arts Council England to begin researching her second novel. Speaking of Love is her first novel.

Speaking of Love is a book of intriguing, interwoven stories about love and mental illness. Passionately and honestly it deals with human breakdown.

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures:: Stories by Vincent Lam (Weinstein Books)

A #1 bestseller in Canada, this literary Grey’s Anatomy follows the careers and relationships that develop among a group of young doctors. Written by thirty-two-year-old Vincent Lam, the youngest recipient of the iller Prize, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures is the first debut short story collection in the award's history. Lam, a native of London, Ontario, whose family is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam, is an emergency physician at Toronto East General Hospital.

Twelve interwoven stories follow the young doctors as they move from the challenges of medical school to the intense world of emergency rooms, evacuation missions, and terrifying new viruses. Fitz, Ming, Chen, and Sri are the four ambitious protagonists of Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures. They fall in love as they study for their exams, face moral dilemmas as they split open cadavers, confront police who rough up their patients, and treat schizophrenics with pathologies similar to their own.

Through the eyes of Fitz, Ming, Chen, and Sri, Lam finds conflict – and humanity - in the most surprising moments. Together these doctors test the boundaries of intimacy. Lam explains the first-hand inspiration behind the book: "I wanted to write about the way in which a person changes as they become a physician – how their world view shifts, and how they become a slightly different version of themselves in the process of becoming a doctor. I wanted to write about the reality that doing good and trying to help others is not simple. It is ethically complicated and sometimes involves a reality that can only be expressed by telling a story."

From the very first page, Lam brings to life the disparate but interdependent worlds of school and home, heartbreaking young love and life-altering fear, In "How to Get into Medical School," the impulsive Fitz and the ultra-rational Ming explore the possibilities of a relationship that is tested, first by the vigilance of a disapproving family and then by the extraordinary commitment demanded of medical students. In "Take All of Murphy," three students face the challenge of their first dissection of a corpse – and the unusual quandary of deciding whether following the anatomy textbook or keeping a tattoo intact is more important. And in "Contact Tracing," a harrowing story, Lam draws from his own firsthand experience during the 2003 Toronto SARS crisis, when 375 people were infected with the respiratory virus and 44 died. In it, two of these doctors suddenly become the patients.

Winner of Canada's Giller Prize, Lam puts all the sex and death and sleep deprivation crucial to any hospital drama in his debut story collection about doctors in the making. Thankfully Lam, an emergency room physician, looks beyond blood and guts to examine the conflicted hearts and minds of the four medical students sleepwalking their way through the required tests, dissections and all-night emergency room shifts. … The stories' quiet strength lies not in the doctors' education but in Lam's portrayal of the flawed humans behind the surgical masks. This collection made a big splash in Canada, and, as Weinstein Books' first title, is poised to do the same in the U.S. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A searing, perfectly paced set of linked stories that explores the careers and relationships of four Toronto doctors. Ming, Chen, Fitzgerald and Sri are young physicians whose lives intertwine both casually and intimately as they navigate the painstaking (and often painful) road to becoming physicians. … The stories culminate in a health crisis of a much larger scale, when Fitzgerald contracts the SARS virus from a patient, and then passes it to Chen, who examines him. … Tender insight into the fascinating emotional and social implications of a career that is, inherently, so much more than a job. – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Direct in style, unsparing though compassionate in observation, subtle in emotion, and occasionally gruesome in humor, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures follows four medical students from widely different backgrounds as their stories intertwine, as their illusions shatter, and as the meanings of many lives expand around them. The good news is that doctors are human beings. The bad news is that doctors are human beings. The other good news is that this book marks a stunning debut. – Margaret Atwood, upon introducing Vincent Lam at the Giller Prize ceremony
Vincent Lam illuminates where strength and resilience reside when body and soul are tested by illness. This artfully crafted, deeply moving, and profoundly intelligent book is a remarkable debut of a new voice in medical literature. – Jerome Groopman, New York Times bestselling author of How Doctors Think and Recanati Professor of Medicine at Harvard University
Vincent Lam's book is amazing, beautiful, and painful. I cannot believe that a writer can emerge, so fully-formed and incisive, with his first book. This guy is a star. – Sherman Alexie, bestselling author of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Flight
...examines modern life with Chekhovian grace. – Vogue

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures invites readers into a world where the ordinary becomes the critical in a matter of seconds. As a practicing ER physician, Lam delivers a precise and intimate portrait of the medical profession in his fiction debut. The book is a profound and unforgettable depiction of today’s doctors, patients, and hospitals. It looks with rigorous honesty at the lives of doctors and their patients and illuminates a deeper understanding of the fears, choices, and tempta­tion that face us all. Provocative, heartbreaking, and darkly humorous, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures introduces readers to a masterful new voice in fiction. The book marks the arrival of a deeply humane and preternaturally gifted writer.

Literature & Fiction / World Literature / Americas / Classics

Jack Kerouac:: Road Novels 1957-1960: On the Road / The Dharma Bums / The Subterraneans / Tristessa / Lonesome Traveler / Journal Selections by Jack Kerouac, edited by Douglas Brinkley (Library of America)
Jack Kerouac's On the Road was a landmark event in American fiction when it was published in 1957, a counter-culture credo that made Kerouac the reluctant figurehead of a generation that saw itself mirrored in his cast of restless seekers, "mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time." /p>

The Library of America celebrates the 50th anniversary of On the Road with a deluxe collector's edition of the writer who defined the Beat Generation: Jack Kerouac.

In Jack Kerouac, for the first time in one volume, Kerouac's masterpiece is joined with four other autobiographical works of the late 1050s and early 1960s about his life on the road – The Dharma Bums, The Subterraneans, Tristessa, and Lonesome Traveler published during a remarkable four-year period.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road instantly defined a generation upon its publication: it was, in the words of a New York Times reviewer, "the clearest and most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat.’" Written in the mode of ecstatic improvisation that Allen Ginsberg described as ‘spontaneous bop prosody,’ Kerouac's novel remains electrifying in its thirst for experience and its defiant rebuke of American conformity.
In his portrayal of the fervent relationship between the writer Sal Paradise and his outrageous, exasperating, and inimitable friend Dean Moriarty, Kerouac created one of the great friendships in American literature; and his rendering of the cities and highways and wildernesses that his characters restlessly explore are a hallucinatory travelogue of a nation he both mourns and celebrates.
The Dharma Bums (1958), at once an exploration of Buddhist spirituality and an account of the Bay Area poetry scene, is notable for its thinly veiled portraits of Kerouac's acquaintances, including Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Kenneth Rexroth. The Subterraneans (1958) recounts a love affair set amid the bars and bohemian haunts of San Francisco. Tristessa (1960) is a melancholy novella describing a relationship with a prostitute in Mexico City. Lonesome Traveler (1960) collects travel essays that evoke journeys in Mexico and Europe, and concludes with an elegiac lament for the lost world of the American hobo. Also included in Jack Kerouac are selections from Kerouac's journal, which provide a perspective on his early impressions of material eventually incorporated into On the Road.

Hard to believe, but this year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the celebrated Mr. K's Beat bible, On the Road, a book that came out of nowhere and knocked everyone on their butts. … Road's anniversary will lure new readers as well as old ones looking for another fix, and this collection is a wonderful bargain. Happy anniversary, Jack." – Library Journal, July 15, 2007

On the Road, an offbeat travelogue, remains raucous, exuberant, and often wildly funny. Assembled by the noted historian and Kerouac scholar Douglas Brinkley, the collection Jack Kerouac illuminates Kerouac’s unique and meteoric career. It affords a timely opportunity to discover anew one of America's most important and influential writers.

Politics / U.S.

Follow the Money:: How George W. Bush and the Texas Republicans Hog-Tied America by John Anderson (Scribner)
Getting George W. Bush elected, was just the tip of the iceberg....

With its barbecues, new Cadillacs, and $4,000 snakeskin cowboy boots, Texas is all about power and money – and the power that money buys. This detailed and wide-scope account shows how a group of wealthy Texas Republicans quietly hijacked American politics for their own gain.

In Follow the Money, award-winning journalist and sixth-generation Texan John Anderson demonstrates how power in Texas has long been vested in the interconnected worlds of Houston's global energy companies, banks, and law firms – not least among them Baker Botts, the firm controlled by James A. Baker III, the Bush family consigliere. Anderson, former deputy editor of American Lawyer, explains how the Texas political system came to be controlled by a sophisticated, well-funded group of conservative Republicans who, after elevating George W. Bush to the American presidency, went about applying their hardball, high-dollar politicking to Washington, D.C.

When George Bush reached the White House, he brought with him not only members of the Texas legal establishment (among them former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales) but empowered swarms of Republican lobbyists who saw in Bush's arrival a way to make both common cause and big money.

According to Anderson, another important Beltway Texan was Congressman Tom DeLay, the famous ‘Exterminator’ of Houston's Twenty-second District, who became majority leader in 2003 and controlled which bills made it through Congress and which did not. DeLay, in turn, was linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who used his relationships with both DeLay and Karl Rove on behalf of his clients, creating a flow of millions of dollars among Republican lobby groups and political action committees. Washington soon became infected by Texas-style politics. Influence-peddling, deal-making, and money-laundering followed – much of it accomplished in the capital's toniest restaurants or on the fairways and beaches of luxurious resorts, away from the public eye.

The damaging fallout has, one way or another, touched nearly all Americans, Democrat and Republican alike. Follow the Money reveals the hidden web of influence that links Bush, Dick Cheney, and the Texas Republicans to the 2000 recount in Florida; the national tort-reform movement; the controversial late-hour, one-vote passage of the Medicare Reform Act; congressional redistricting schemes; scandals in the energy sector; the destruction of basic constitutional protections; the financial machinery of the Christian right; the manipulation of American-Indian tribe casinos; the Iraq War torture scandals; and the crooked management of the Department of the Interior.

According to Follow the Money, some of the actors are in federal prison, others are on their way there, and many more have successfully eluded a day of reckoning.

In the book's epilogue, Anderson touches on the administration's success in packing the Supreme Court, the latest revelations about the Rove-inspired efforts to remove Democratic office holders and curtail the votes of the elderly and the poor, along with those of African Americans and Latinos; and the politicization of the Justice Department. Most troubling of all, the author poses a question that arose out of the recent firing of eight sitting U.S. attorneys – including one who had been the force behind the prosecution and guilty plea of a senior member of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee which oversees some $300 billion in annual appropriations. Anderson asks, "What if the global war on terror had, at least in part, been the public face used to conceal millions – perhaps even billions – of dollars in corrupt appropriations being siphoned into top-secret contracts? What if a small coterie of Appropriations, Homeland Security, and Intelligence committee members were, in fact, on the take and engaged in a massive giveaway of federal funds?"

John Anderson's Follow the Money shows that when George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, and others arrived in Washington, D.C., in 2000, they brought with them the Texan Republican way of getting things done. While Americans were fixated on terrorism and the war in Iraq, the corruption never stopped in Washington. Combining the curiosity of a journalist with the perspective of a historian, John Anderson brilliantly lays it all out for the reader, whose jaw will drop when seeing what – even today – passes for political leadership and representation of the people in our nation's capital. – Craig Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud and the forthcoming The Fall of the House of Bush

Follow the Money is a harrowing, behind-the-scenes account of how a group of powerful, connected, Texas Republicans hijacked American politics for their own gain. It is the first book to connect the dots and provide historical context to the numerous scandals that continue to ripple through Washington, and the moral collapse of the Bush administration. It contains the first full exposé of the hidden web of influence that links Bush and the Texas Republicans to the 2000 recount in Florida and a full account of the Abramoff lobbying scandals. Told with verve, style, and a not-so-occasional raised eyebrow, Anderson's account arcs into tomorrow's headlines. Startling in its revelations, groundbreaking and provocative, Follow the Money is guaranteed to spark controversy and much-needed debate concerning which direction this county goes next.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Discrimination & Racism / History / Reference

African Americans and the Christian Churches 1619-1860 by Lawrence Neal Jones (The Pilgrim Press)

Based on a lifetime of study and research, Lawrence Neal Jones has written a challenging discourse on the emergence of African American Christianity in America from 1619-1860. African Americans and the Christian Churches 1619-1860 is a history of the introduction of enslaved and free African Americans to the Christian faith. The book explores the strategies white church people devised to accommodate Jesus' mandate to spread the Gospel while preserving structures that contin­ued their dominance and power. It also explores the solutions discovered by Africans in the gospel and institutions they created that affirmed them and contradicted the prejudices of the dominant culture and the responses African religious institutions made to the gospel in a society not of their own making.

Traditions discussed in African Americans and the Christian Churches 1619-1860 include Anglican/Episcopal, Baptist, Catholic, Congregational, Methodist, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Puritan, Quaker/Friends and Wesleyan. Historically black traditions discussed are African Baptists, African Presbyterians, and African Methodists.

Jones is dean emeritus of Howard University Divinity School; former dean of students, dean of faculty, and acting president of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York; and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

African Americans and the Christian Churches 1619-1860 recounts the early efforts of white Christians and their reli­gious institutions to ‘instruct the slaves’ in the fundamentals of the faith while at the same time affirming the institution of slavery. At the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, many young militants contended that Christianization of enslaved Africans and the subsequent growth of Christianity among African Americans was part of a ‘racist strategy’ calculated to make them compliant in their oppression. Black Christians were maligned and mocked for their faith, and religious institutions were accused of being irrelevant if not detrimental to the whole struggle for civil and social justice. This criticism had little impact among black Christians because the whole movement led by Martin Luther King was rooted in black churches and much of its leadership was made up of clergy and laity. The civil rights revolution made African American congregations and individual believers conscious of their African past and of the contin­uing struggle to achieve full freedom in America. The recovery of ‘black’ music, hymnody, and religious history was pursued in a va­riety of sectors. Equally important, the assertion of the right to be different was affirmed. Moreover, the focus upon ‘Black Theology’ in academic settings and within local churches was an outgrowth both of the social ferment and the concomitant perception that there was no necessary correlation between truth and white skin color. Of equal importance was the growing consciousness among African Americans that celebration of their history and culture was both de­sirable and right.

By whichever term, African, African American, Negro, black, or colored, used to designate them as an ethnic group, persons of African lineage have been a ‘problem’ for European American religious in­stitutions and for the larger culture. African Americans and the Christian Churches 1619-1860 delineates how religious institutions sought to respond to the command of the gospel to ‘spread the gospel’ throughout the world, and at the same time to retain positions of dominance for the white community. According to Jones, the problem was compounded by the dilemma of how to incorporate African members into the organized bodies of believers. The Christian religion was not a ‘problem’ for the Africans and their descendants. They overheard the accounts of Jewish freedom highlighted in the Old Testament along with their exposure to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As they became increasingly aware of the full import of the biblical text, it became divine affirmation of their innate sense of value, a basis upon which to contend for justice and fairness, and a guarantor that the God of the universe was not in league with their oppressors. Jones in African Americans and the Christian Churches 1619-1860 shows how appropriation of the faith enabled them to establish their own independent institutions and provided a means by which to address the pressing social problems in their communities, to extend a benevolent hand to ‘the least among them,’ to establish educational institutions, and to exercise their leadership abilities.

Jones has written an excellent history of African American churches. His most important con­tribution is related to the spirited debate among African American leaders such as Frederick Douglass and Richard Allen about the value of creating independent black churches and denominations. Jones wisely concludes the work by raising important questions about their future – Lawrence H. Mamiya, Paschall-Davis Professor of Religion and African Studies, Vassar College, and co-author of The Black Church in the African American Experience

Jones' eloquent historical voice invites us to appreciate anew the adaptive and innovative genius of African American Christians from 1619 to the start of the Civil War. Scholars and pastors should read and discuss this important book. – Robert M. Franklin, former president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, and Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics

There is now a definitive, racially inclusive documentation of those significant contributions and contours that African American Christians etched out on the landscape of American religion. A highly readable survey of African American religious history. Page after page of engaging narra­tives that at once captivate and cause a number of us to pause and reconsider that vital aspects of religion in America, especially in our nation's formative years, have risen above mere civil reli­gion to protect the status quo. – Cain Hope Felder, professor of New Testament Language and Literature, and editor of The Journal of Religious Thought, Howard University Divinity School

African Americans and the Christian Churches 1619-1860 is a valuable resource for persons interested in American Christianity, especially for classes in American religious history. It is also an accessible reference for historians of Africans in America and will be valuable to church men and women who are interested in the early histories of denominations. It is also a vital resource for persons interested in the persistence of separate religious institutions in a time when racial segregation has officially ended. Comprehensive, compelling and challenging, the book answers the recurrent question of how Africans, enslaved and free, interpreted the Christian faith and found their salvation in it.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Science & Religion

The Evolution Controversy:: A Survey of Competing Theories by Thomas B. Fowler & Daniel Kuebler (Baker Academic)

Most people are aware that there is some type of controversy surround­ing evolution. However, given the complex and expansive nature of the subject matter and the emotional nature of the discussion, it can be difficult to pinpoint what the main issues are or what exactly is at stake. Compounding this problem is the fact that most of the literature on the subject is written by partisans who have a vested interest in the outcome. br /> Therefore, it is often difficult to cut through the competing agendas to gain an unbiased understanding of the scientific issues involved.

According to authors Thomas B. Fowler, senior principal engineer at the Center for Information Technology and Telecommunications at Noblis, and adjunct instructor at George Mason University and Christendom College; and Daniel Kuebler, assistant professor of biology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, most books on the topic are one dimensional, attempting to sway readers to join a particular camp. They, however, take a different approach to the subject in The Evolution Controversy.

Instead of advocating a particular position, the authors present various sides in the debate, leaving aside the profound philosophical and religious issues involved in the controversy in favor of a balanced and critical examination. Not only do they trace evolution’s development from the ancient Greeks to the present but they also summarize and critique four leading schools of thought: Neo-Darwinism, Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Meta-Darwinism. Numerous diagrams, tables, and comparison charts are included to help readers master the content. In addition, a technical glossary covers terms from abiogenesis to vestigial structures, and a helpful bibliography includes books, articles, web sites, and organizations for further research.

The Evolution Controversy focuses on an objective evaluation of the scientific merits of each school, as well as an examination of areas of agreement and disagreement among the schools. Because the evolution controversy is so multifaceted, and the literature on it is so voluminous, no single book, including this one, can do justice to every important question. With this in mind, The Evolution Controversy provides an objective look at (1) the relevant scientific facts regarding evolution and (2) the scientific merits of the major schools of thought regarding evolution. Other issues such as the theological and cultural aspects of the controversy are discussed only insofar as they impact the scientific arguments.

The Evolution Controversy is structured around the following topics:

  • The historical development of the theory of evolution, up to the present time.
  • The observable facts that need to be explained.
  • The principal points in dispute.
  • The kind of reasoning employed in discussing the subjects, and common errors.
  • The major schools of thought and their positions.
  • The evidence and principal arguments for and against each school.
  • The public policy implications of the evolution controversy.

Fowler and Kuebler assert that The Evolution Controversy/span> is more objective than any other book they know of on the subject. To buttress their claim, they offer their definition of objectivity in the context of the evolution controversy:

None of the schools of thought regarding evolution are assumed, a priori, to have a ‘corner’ on the truth.

All arguments are considered on an equal basis, regardless of religious or philosophical persuasion of the authors.

Arguments are evaluated strictly on their scientific merits and stand on their own.

There is no presumption that one of the schools of thought must emerge as the winner. All may be found defective.

There is no presumption that science can explain all observed phe­nomena associated with evolution and the history of flora and fauna. However, it is permitted as a working hypothesis, one that may or may not be verified.

They have received no funding in any form to write The Evolution Controversy. They are not answerable to any of the schools of thought, nor are they vulnerable to any pressure from them as regards em­ployment, grants, tenure, or any other venue.

Much of the discussion in The Evolution Controversy, including much of the criticism and many of the examples, concerns the dominant school of thought, Neo-Darwinism, but that is inevitable.

The book is intended for those who are aware of the scientific controversies swirling about the theory of evolution and who seek an objective reference that will help them critically evaluate the myriad articles and books on the subject that appear every year.

The book equips readers, whether they are students, church leaders, or the general public, with the background necessary to read and analyze other books and articles and come to their own informed conclusions. The broad range of infor­mation presented is of value in helping readers discern which schools have made a viable scientific base for their position. Fowler and Kuebler fully explore the subject, putting all important issues on the table. They ask some questions that certain schools would prefer to leave unasked, explore issues from which others shy away, and prod readers to think about the subject in ways that some schools may find uncomfortable.

Science / Biology

Culture of Human Stem Cells edited by R. Ian Freshney, Glyn N. Stacey & Jonathan M. Auerbach (Culture of Specialized Cells Series: Wiley-Interscience)

The explosion of interest in human stem cells over the past few years has created a discipline able to explore the regulation of cellular differentiation from the most prim­itive cell to fully functional differentiated cells such as neurons, ardiomyocytes, and hard tissue cells such as bone and cartilage. Not only has this provided models for the investigation of regulatory mechanisms, but it has also created significant opportunities for engineering suitable grafts for tissue repair. Embryonal stem cells, stem cells from umbilical cord and tooth germs, and adult stem cells from bone marrow and other locations all offer potential sources of allograft or autograft tissue.

Much has been written about characterization of stem cells, the exploitation of markers to identify them, and the control of changes in marker expression accompanying the expression of the differentiated phenotype in normal stem cells and in embryonal carcinoma. The objective of Culture of Human Stem Cells, however, is directed toward the methodology of the culture and characterization of stem cells. Although many of these techniques are still at a developmental stage, there is now a widening repertoire of established techniques that need to be made more generally available to the large influx of workers into the field.

The book follows the tradition of previous books in the Culture of Specialized Cells series in that it describes a limited number of representative techniques across a wide spectrum of stem cells from embryonic, newborn, and adult tissue. The emphasis is on practical guidance, and it should be possible to follow all of the protocols without recourse to the primary literature or other publications, other than for background. Hence Culture of Human Stem Cells is an introductory text designed to allow incomers to the field, including students and established researchers, both from basic science and a clinical background, to become familiar with some of the techniques in current use, to increase their knowledge of the discipline, or to develop their own research program.

Culture of Human Stem Cells collects and focuses on commonly used and cutting-edge methods and protocols for deriving and culturing human embryonic and adult stem cells. Each methods and protocols chapter is laid out exactly like the next, with stepwise protocols, preceded by specific requirements for that protocol, and a concise discussion of methods illustrated by data. The book also includes three general chapters on quality control, legal and ethical issues, and cryopreservation.

The first book to collect the most effective and cutting-edge methods and protocols for deriving and culturing human embryonic and adult stem cells – in one resource

Culture of Human Stem Cells includes a comprehensive list of suppliers for equipment used in the protocols presented, with Web sites available in an appendix. Additionally, there is a chapter on quality control, and other chapters covering legal and ethical issues, cryopreservation, and feeder layer culture.

Editors of the volume are R. Ian Freshney, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Oncology and Applied Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow; Glyn N. Stacey, Director of the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank, and Head of the Cell Biology and Imaging Division at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control; and Jonathan M. Auerbach, former director of the Stem Cell Center, American Type Culture Collection, in Manassas, Virginia, now a Project Leader with GlobalStem, Inc., in Rockville, Maryland.

Culture of Human Stem Cells progresses from basic quality control issues in the first chapter by Glyn Stacey and Jonathan Auerbach, to deal with the derivation of human embryonal stem (hES) cell lines from the early embryo by Jessica Cooke and Stephen Minger, their differentiation (and that of embryonal carcinoma) into neural cells by Jamie Jackson, Peter Tonge, and Peter Andrews and into cardiomyocytes by Christine Mummery, and then on to primary culture and characterization of primitive germ cells by Lee Turnpenny and Neil Hanley and of embryonal carcinoma by Stefan Przyborski. These six chapters cover the characterization and differentiation and the cryopreservation of these lines. A new and exciting source of stem cells has been found in the newborn, and two chapters describe examples, one from umbilical cord by Young-Jin Kim and another from tooth germ by Wataru Sonoyama, Takayoshi Yamaza, Stan Gronthos, and Songtao Shi. The last five chapters deal with adult mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow stroma by Carl Gregory and Darwin Prockop, cartilage by Charles Archer, Sarah Oldfield, Samantha Redman, Laura Haughton, Gary Dowthwaite, Ilyas Khan, and Jim Ralphs, cornea by Yiqin Du and James L. Funderburgh, mammary stem cells by Mark Labarge, Ole Petersen, and Mina Bissell, and stem cells from adipose tissue by Kristine Safford and Henry Rice.

Culture of Human Stem Cells is a concise text, an introduction to the field of stem cell biology and culture, and a one-stop resource for researchers, clinical scientists with interests in tissue replacement therapies and students involved in this crucial area. It presents clear information that is immediately useful and applicable.

The book contains a good cross section of topics. The editors describe a limited number of representative techniques across a wide spectrum of stem cells from embryonic, newborn, and adult tissue, yielding a versatile guide to the field of stem cell biology and culture. The style, format, and coverage of Culture of Human Stem Cells will prove valuable to those entering the field from a wide spectrum of disciplines as well as those who already have some prior experience. It is also an essential textbook for teachers and students who are involved with the therapeutic potential of stem cell research.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Radio Freefall by Matthew Jarpe (Tor Books)

Matthew arpe launches his SF career with a bang.

In the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress but with a strong dose of cyberpunk, Radio Freefall is about a plot to take over the Earth by a power-mad, sociopathic, computer-geek billionaire. It's up to a strange cast of rock stars and oddballs to stop him.

Set in the 2030's, Radio Freefall’s Walter Cheeseman wants to rule the world; that is his dream; and, so far, getting there hasn’t been much of a challenge. As the CEO of WebCense, the biggest and best tech company on the planet, he's practically drowning in wealth, fame, and admiration. More importantly, several juicy government contracts have made him the de facto head of international web security and the foremost information czar in a world where information is the blood of life. Sure, he has problems: a disgruntled employee has declared a vendetta against him and a rogue virus that has evolved into some form of wild A.I. is stalking the nets, embedding itself in every computer produced almost as soon as it is built. None of those problems pose more than a temporary distraction, however. The government is still effectively under his control, and as the promised Unification of the world's peoples approaches, more and more former nations are slipping under the wings of that government. Of course, some people are making a fuss about Unification, but there's no such thing as bad PR – not when you have total control over every media channel in the world, anyway.

WebCense and geopolitics don't mean much to Aqualung. The aging guitarist is busy engineering the comeback of Feedback music, a genre that pretty much dropped off the map twenty years ago when its pioneers all got into trouble with the law, or flamed out and died young. Feedback musicians chart their audiences' emotions with face-reading software and adjust their songs in realtime, giving every concert a unique sound tailor-made to match what the fans are feeling. With his new Machine, Aqualung can even manipulate a crowd's emotions, creating light shows of joy and sadness and excitement that ripple through stadiums in patterns to match the music. With the help of tricks like these, Aqualung's Snake Vendors are rocketing toward the top of the charts, and he's too busy enjoying the ride to think much about Unification – or anything else outside the world of rock and roll.

Unfortunately for Aqualung, the people on the outside are thinking about him. Before he shed his name and his past and became Aqualung, the guitarist witnessed the birth of the rogue A.I. virus plaguing Walter Cheeseman, an entity known as the Digital Carnivore. The Carnivore can't stand blocked channels of data transfer: whenever it finds a hyperlink stagnating, it overrides all conceivable security and reroutes the link somewhere, to the devilment of anyone who wants to keep information private. Control over such a powerful entity would mean a lot to Walter Cheeseman, and he has come to suspect that Aqualung might hold the key to that control. Luckily, there are ways of getting the information he needs out of Aqualung's head. Not all of those ways require the presence of Aqualung's body.

Tipped off by an unknown ally, Aqualung goes into hiding on the space station Freefall, one of the few places out of WebCense's long reach. While he's there, he finds himself drawn into the anti-Unification movement, which battles for human diversity and free choice among nations. Aqualung's no freedom fighter, but it's been his life's work to give voice to the thoughts and passions of those who cannot express them themselves. The anti-Unificationists are being silenced by WebCense on the Earth, the Moon, and Freefall alike, and it's up to Aqualung and his friends to give them their minute on the airwaves, no matter what desperate measures it takes to get them there.

Jarpe has written original lyrics to two songs from Radio Freefall, put to music and recorded by Rajnar Vajra.

The novel is an odd mix of hard science and cyberpunk, space opera and dystopia, melodramatic with a touch of humor. It's the kind of seductive mix that has the potential to spread outside the field like the early works of William Gibson... like Chester Anderson's The Butterfly Kid, it's likely to have a very devoted group of fans. – Critical Mass SF Reviews

If you can't quite believe that Californian rock 'n' roll, space cowboys, and liberated AIs can save the world from the fascist mediocrity of Unification, this book explains how it might be done, in a blithe spirit of which Noel Coward would surely have been proud, and with enough technical detail to gladden the heart of the most hardened technofetishist. – Brian Stableford

The writing held me.... It depicts the bleak prospect of world government, some believable near-future technology, and characters I cared about. What can I say? I enjoyed this and think that those whose obsessions are SF and music will rave about it. – Neal Asher

Rock and roll and old-school hard SF go together like peanut butter and jelly in Jarpe's debut novel... fans of Nirvana, Buddy Holly and Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress will gladly soak up the Spandex and Doc Martens atmosphere. – Publishers Weekly

Jarpe's masterfully crafted debut fires on all cylinders, offering a winning combination of Heinleinesque wit and mind-bending technological speculation that should garner major attention during the next awards season. – Booklist

Jarpe has mixed Stephenson's knack for creating unusual yet accessible settings with Vinge's rigid extrapolation of technology and topped it off with an interesting protagonist... If you like near future Earth stories, Radio Freefall should be on your reading list. – SF Signal

Jarpe has made an explosive debut with Radio Freefall, a deeply resonant, thought-provoking and often hilarious cyberpunk rock opera. With wild riffs off of Heinlein, this is a novel not only of cyberpunk but also of rock and roll, of technology, and of artificial intelligence. The book is an old-school rock epic in a new-tech world, and it will leave its chords and drumbeats ringing in readers' ears long after they've turned the final page.

Social Sciences / Anthropology / Archaeology / History / Americas

Slavery in the Age of Reason:: Archaeology at a New England Farm by Alexandra Chan (University of Tennessee Press)

In 1783 an angry, illiterate, and elderly African woman, known simply as Belinda, dramatically entered Boston's historical stage when she recalled for her tran­scriber, thought to be Prince Hall, how she had been kidnapped at age 12 from her home on the banks of the Rio de Volta, by men ‘whose faces were like the moon’. She is of interest not just because she belonged to the Isaac Royall family and would have spent nearly 50 years of her life on its Medford, Massachusetts, estate, which is the topic of Slavery in the Age of Reason, and not just because her story, as recounted in the petition, is dramatic, tragic, and consummately human. She is also of interest because she managed to break the bonds of anonymity that held the vast majority of her comrades in suffering – the thousands of African and Creole slaves who lived and labored and died in colonial New England – and causes readers to focus their intellectual curiosity and academic inquiry on the African and African American experience in bondage there. But Belinda's plight can do little more than pique readers’ curiosity. The details of her life are painted in a single document in broad brush strokes, and her ultimate fate is completely unknown. Even less can be said about her fellow slaves who had labored beside her for the Royalls during their tenure in Medford from 1737 to 1775.

Offering a rare look into the lives of enslaved peoples and slave masters in early New England, Slavery in the Age of Reason analyzes the results of extensive archaeological exca­vations at the Isaac Royall House and Slave Quarters, a National Historic Landmark and museum in Medford.

Isaac Royal (1677-1739) was the largest slave owner in Massachusetts in the mid-eighteenth century, and in Slavery in the Age of Reason the Royall family and their slaves become the central characters in a cultural-historical narrative. The family's ties to both Massachusetts and Antigua provide a comparative perspective on the transcontinental development of modern ideologies of in­dividualism, colonialism, slavery, and race. Alexandra A. Chan examines the critical role of material culture in the construction, mediation, and maintenance of social identities and relationships between slaves and masters at the farm. Chan, archaeological consultant and principal investigator, formerly assistant professor of anthro­pology at Vassar College, project director of the excavations at the Isaac Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, explores landscapes and artifacts discovered at the site not just as inanimate objects or ‘cultural leftovers,’ but rather as physical embodiments of the assumptions, attitudes, and values of the people who built, shaped, or used them.

Using traditional archaeological techniques and analysis, as well as theoretical perspectives and representational styles of post­processualist schools of thought, Slavery in the Age of Reason portrays the Royall family and the people they enslaved ‘from the inside out.’ Objects, architecture, or landscapes can in many ways be seen as physical embodiments of the assumptions, attitudes, and values of the people who built, shaped, or used them. They can communicate messages – both among the actors in the past who used them and between them and us. Quite simply artifacts open a portal into the mindset of people long gone.

According to Slavery in the Age of Reason, The Royalls' estate was first known as Ten Hills Farm and was part of the origi­nal land grant from the Crown to Governor John Winthrop in 1637. The Royall House, as it stands today, has been owned and managed as a historic house museum by the Royall House Association since 1908. Adjacent to this property, to the northeast, is Royall House Park, now owned by the City of Medford, but originally part of the Royall mansion's frontage on the main highway to Medford Square. Here archaeologists actively probed the earth with remote sensing and subsurface test excavations during the summers of 1999, 2000, and 2001. The features, artifacts, ecofacts, and evidence for land­scaping activities discovered in the park and in the yards surrounding the man­sion and slave quarters provide the physical data for this venture.

The Royall House and its slave quarters are one of the last relicts of slavery in New England. In some ways, then, the most obvious contribution of archaeology to our understanding of this site might be seen to lie in what it can reveal about the daily lives of what has come colloquially to be known as the ‘historically invisible.’ At the Royall House, these ‘his­torically invisible’ people represent the majority of the inhabitants at the site: at the very least, some 64 black men, women, and children who lived, labored, and died to support a lavish lifestyle for the Royalls, who owned them.

Slavery in the Age of Reason is not just a book about the cruelties of enslavement; nor is it even just about black people. The Royalls and the people they held as slaves led vastly different lives, occupying the very highest and the very lowest strata of the social spectrum. And yet they were inextricably linked, partners in the same dance. By studying them together readers come to the richest understanding of who they were on their own, as well as how they all contributed – black and white – to the forging of a new nation, as indebted to the drama and tragedy, triumphs and individual human episodes, of their lives as to those of any other.

According to Chan, without criticizing or dismissing the importance and value of the pioneering work done on plantations, one can maintain that archae­ology has inadvertently reinforced stereotypes in public consciousness that link African Americans only with plantations and slavery, and systems of forced servi­tude only with the American South or the Caribbean. Though the slave populations in New England were never as numerous as in plantation America, slaves and free blacks have been a significant part of the population, economy, and society of the North as well, and that since the end of the 17th century. Massachusetts was the first colony legally to sanction the institution of slavery, incorporating it into its Body of Liberties of 1641, and the slave trade was one of the foundations of the colonial economy. Africans had been present in the colony at least since 1638 and were found in all walks of life. There was entrenchment of slavery and the slave trade in the New England economy and the profitability of the labor and products of slaves. Their importance in relieving the generalized labor shortage in New England – working in everything from domestic service, to industry, to agricultural production – made it inevi­table that they would leave a large mark on the ‘economic, political, social and religious institutions of their masters’. Enslaved people often followed their masters' calling and even assumed high-level positions from time to time under their masters' tutelage. Indeed enslaved people in colonial New England were likely to be highly skilled, either in a particular craft or in carrying out a variety of tasks – as jacks-of-all-trades – that were critical to the running of a business, farm, or household. These were not "extenuating" cir­cumstances of slavery, but alternative incarnations of it. Bondage was a bitter fate whatever the circumstances or setting of its existence. One cannot understand the process of colonization and ethnogenesis in the Americas without taking into consideration the profound impact that Africans, imported as slaves, had on the emergence of a uniquely American culture.

Slavery in the Age of Reason is the result of three seasons of archaeological investigation at the Royall House and its slave quarters in Medford, Massachusetts. It was a multi-disciplinary, multistage project aimed at interpreting the daily existence and modes of cultural creation and expression among enslaved African Americans on the Royall estate, as well as the nature of their interactions with the Royall family who owned them. It is about discourses of colonialism in the Age of Empires. It examines how social action transformed material objects into dynamic and creative expressions of self and group belonging and how that self was continually reinvented in response to the Other, within a particular social and historical context of exploration, colonization, secularization, and burgeoning capitalism.

It is also concerned with the process by which racial boundaries arose between African and European Americans. Orser has called this process ‘racialization,’ and the term refers to the way in which ‘whiteness’ and ‘blackness’ were constructed in a particular time and place. Race, of course, has no biological or sci­entific validity, but it remains an appropriate framework for understanding social phenomena and can in fact be engaged archaeologically, because even though race is not real, racism is. On consideration of the various lines of evidence available at the Royall House too – documentary, material, and otherwise – it does seem that race and discourses of colonialism are the proper interpretive frameworks for making sense of the data at this site.

According to Slavery in the Age of Reason, this is an issue with which all scholars of slavery must continually struggle: how to simultaneously – and explicitly – recognize the creativity and resilience of the enslaved, without disregarding or downplaying the dehumaniz­ing social and economic impositions of slavery and American racialization within which such creativity was negotiated. The African American expressions of identity at the Royall House cannot be understood simply as a cultural phenomenon – even a dynamic one – but must take into consideration the social and economic roles and relationships that slavery, emergent notions of race, and poverty imposed. Thus the material culture at this site should be read in terms of what it can tell us about the respective roles of African heritage, American resources, social relationships of slavery, and real-world consequences of racialization in the forms of self-expression present there. In some ways, then, the ideology of race is at the very beating heart and soul of a capitalist society, and at its broadest level archaeology at the Royall House offers us an opportunity to see how these categories of black and white, laborer and gentry, were originally constructed. It also reveals them as constructions in the first place.

Chan, while being as objective as possible, reminds readers that the truths presented in Slavery in the Age of Reason are grounded in evidence but are still interpretations of an author, a person – incomplete, open to criticism, debate, and reinterpretation. The stories Chan tells in Slavery in the Age of Reason strive to bring the Royalls and their slaves more to life, but by establishing her presence as an author and a narrator, Chan diffuses criticisms of simply putting herself in another's place. The stories are all tied in some way to hard data recovered from or pertaining to the site (that is, the Royalls did have a New Year's Eve Party in 1737; handmade artifacts of leisure were recovered from the grounds; and there would have been one or more boatmen to take produce from Ten Hills Farm to Boston), but they are not supposed to be a true representation of real events. While recognizing that Isaac, Sr., Isaac, Jr., Jemmy, and the boatman were unique as individuals, she has also abstracted them, within a contextualized historical ethnographic framework, into figures whose particular stories, speculative though they may be, are grounded enough to shed light on the wider human experience of master and slave in the colonial era. As such they are intended to provide some small clue as to what it was like to live as master or slave at Ten Hills Farm but certainly do not purport to tell what happened there.

Slavery in the Age of Reason uses a historical archaeological perspective and an accessible style to focus on the experiences of master and slave at a large 18th-century estate in eastern Massachusetts – far distant from the cane and cotton fields of popular imagery of American slavery. Using traditional archaeological techniques and analysis, as well as theoretical perspectives and representational styles of post­-processualist schools of thought, Slavery in the Age of Reason is an innovative volume that portrays the Royall family and the people they enslaved ‘from the inside out.’ This compelling cultural-historical narrative gives readers a rare look into the lives of slaves and their masters. It should put to rest any lingering myth that the peculiar institution of slavery was any less harsh or complex when found in the North.

Social Sciences / Biographies & Memoirs

A Place to Call Home:: The Amazing Success Story of Modern Orphanages by Martha Randolph Carr (Prometheus Books)

Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Angelina Jolie: These are just a few of the famous faces who have gotten involved in the world crisis of homeless children. What is in the best interests of the child is once again a hot topic. /p>

‘Orphanage’ conjures up dark, often sinister images from the pages of Charles Dickens and Little Orphan Annie. In A Place to Call Home, Martha Randolph Carr, journalist, creator and executive director of the Shared Abundance Foundation and the Family Tree Project, discovers that residential education facilities are not facilities at all – they are homes to children and young men and women who grow up in safe and loving environments. Carr reveals that most residents have been and are ‘social’ orphans – children of single parents who for economic or personal reasons cannot take care of them.

In this first study of orphanages in over sixty years, Carr talks with the young residents, teachers, counselors, house parents, and ad­ministrators about how the schools, many of which have existed for well over a century, have adapted to modern needs.

In her opening chapter, Carr introduces herself as a divorced mother with a troubled son, before segueing into a brief history of American orphanages. Then Carr tells the story of five residential education facilities (REFs) from the heart of urban America to the plains of Texas. Carr opens the doors of REFs and shows the cottages, resident couples, dining halls, gyms, flute lessons, bowling trips, hayrides, karate lessons, graduations, and other glimpses into the lives of the thousands of children who now live and thrive in these places and call them home. Readers learn how the tools for successful reinvention used in these academies can be adapted by anyone who is facing great changes such as divorce or career shifts.

Former residents from each of the featured homes tell their stories of the journey from troubled youth to successful adult in A Place to Call Home. And they are not alone. Carr reports that those who live in residential education facilities are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college than children in foster homes – and at less cost to the public. And per capita, REFs have succeeded in sending more children to colleges and trade schools than the general population has.

In light of the demonstrable successes of REFs in helping homeless children, Carr questions why there should be any controversy about them, especially considering the decline in the number of available foster families. She argues that REFs are a less-expensive option for public money, providing wrap-around care and structure to the world’s most vulnerable population. With nearly 600,000 children in foster care in need of stable and loving homes, residential education facilities are needed now more than ever.

The number of facilities is growing: Carr writes about a unique facility in San Diego that was part of a success­ful effort to reduce the youth crime rate, about a new public charter school in Washington, DC, that has begun to board students, and about the much publicized new facility for girls in South Africa sponsored and funded by Oprah Winfrey. As she visits a handful of REFs to admire their successes, she interweaves accounts of her own son's deepening problems. In fact, the last REF she visits, the Mercy Home in Chicago, becomes her son's home when she can no longer parent him herself.

Finally, in A Place to Call Home Carr describes her own foundation, the Shared Abundance Foundation, a national college scholarship fund for children who have grown up in US residential education facilities, plus the Family Tree Project, which works to reunite the thousands of alumni of orphanages who cannot find each other.

For all who face life changes – Martha Randolph Carr has ‘roadmapped’ a guide to get readers to the ‘other side’ and know that change and challenge is worth embracing. She invites the reader to that journey through the engaging mechanism of the 'change stories' in those facilities once known as orphanages. You will see the parallels in your own life-change victories. – Bob Danzig, former CEO, Hearst Newspapers
Martha Randolph Carr captures the story of a mother's journey to save herself and her son by letting go and finding miracles in America's orphanages. Children's homes are a success story that have been hidden away for too long and Carr's message is inspirational for us all. – Lillian Vernon, founder of Lillian Vernon Corporation

The American public needs light shed on the important and reemerging option of boarding schools and children's homes for children and youth whose families cannot care for them! Martha Randolph Carr has the will, the skills, and the passion to do this. She will share both the overall struggles of individuals and communities to help these young people, and the individual success stories. With people looking at alternative schools, charter schools, and new ways of learning, let us reconsider the former ‘orphanage’ as a valuable solution for at-risk youth. – Heidi Goldsmith, Founder, Executive Director, CORE: Coalition for Residential Education

A Place to Call Home is a moving story of the dedicated people who are succeeding in providing a better life and a hopeful future for more and more homeless children. Part study of modern-day orphanages and part memoir, Carr takes readers on her journey through America's hidden and successful residential education facilities and to a new relationship with her son. Carr works to show readers this effective solution for America's troubled families, shattering the myths that surround what are now called residential edu­cation facilities.

Social Sciences / Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Shaking the System:: What I Learned from the Great American Reform Movements by Tim Stafford (IVP Books)

Saving the environment. Helping the poor. Stopping abortion. Feeding the hungry. Eliminating pornography. Increasing fair trade. Housing the homeless. Ending racism./p>

Thousands are active today seeking to make the world a better place. It is a great American tradition that goes back hundreds of years. Sometimes such reform movements were very effective and sometimes they weren't. What made the difference? How come some grand ideals were fulfilled and others faded away?

In Shaking the System, Tim Stafford explores the patterns of successful and failed reform movements to highlight what activists today can learn. How can activists keep from burning out? How can they avoid the lure of violence? What are ways to engage politics that are at once practical and ethical?

The great American reform movements of the last two centuries have an abundance of down-to-earth guidance to offer on these and other vital questions. Stafford, senior writer for Christianity Today and author of a trilogy of historical novels centering on many of the reform movements considered in this book, weaves the stories of the abolitionist movement, the temperance movement, the suffrage movement and the civil rights movement into this practical study with application to those today who are motivated by the gospel to make a difference in the world.

Shaking the System provides

  • Key principles to guide Christian activists today.
  • The opportunity to learn from history rather than repeat its mistakes.
  • An overview of some of the key reform movements in American history.

Stafford thinks activists of the past, and their experiences, have a lot of lessons for our time. The book offers both an inspiration – because reform movements have made a powerful difference in America – and a warning. Take ‘slavery is sin,’ which revolutionized the discussion of slavery in nineteenth-century America. It is inspiring to learn how such a great and fundamental truth went to work on American society. But while abolitionist activists took in that truth so that it changed their lives, the rest of American society was powerfully resistant, and that resistance caused the abolitionists great discouragement, even despair.

Stafford says that significant change rarely happens in a day, or a year, or even a decade. Activists need to have staying power, because what they are hoping to accomplish may take many years. Activist movements need to be more intentional about creating an environment that sustains people, spiritually and physically. The saddest part of the great reform movements is the number of idealistic people who drop out and break down in the process.

Another key point according to Shaking the System is the temptation of violence. Most American reform movements start out committed to nonviolent means, and it never crosses their minds in the beginning that any of them might be drawn into violence. Anti-slavery is a potent example. They started out absolutely committed to persuading and pleading with slaveholders to repent. They ended up supporting (or ignoring) John Brown's murderous campaigns, and buying rifles for Kansas settlers who were ready to fight. A similar process happened in the civil rights movement. Violence creeps in, as it has in the anti-abortion movement, the animal rights movement and the ecology movement.

Stafford, author of Never Mind the Joneses, presents another book of great clarity and insight – this time for the socially conscious Christian. With easy-to-follow analysis, … Stafford is nuanced and therefore persuasive – he does not entirely rule out violence and politics, but uses compelling stories to warn about their limitations. … This is required reading for every evangelical Christian with a social conscience. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Many of America's great social movements – abolition, temperance, women's suffrage, civil rights – had their roots in the Christian faith. In his thoughtful and eminently practical analysis of these movements, Tim Stafford counsels would-be Christian activists in how to be 'as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.' – Russell Jeung, associate professor of Asian American studies, San Francisco State University

Insightful, probing reflection on Christian activist struggles to change America. Wisely cau­tionary, firmly encouraging. A must-read for all activists who want to change the world. – Ronald J. Sider, president, Evangelicals for Social Action

Shaking the System is a brilliant analysis of Christian attempts at needed social reforms, heavily focused on the abolitionist and civil rights movements. This is not a romantic or idealistic analysis, but it is brutally realistic about the pitfalls and problems as well as the limited successes of these movements. Very few white evangelicals write with the insight and wisdom of Stafford. – John Perkins, John Perkins Foundation

Shaking the System contains great stories of people who have given their lives to bring about change because, as Stafford says, American activism is full of fascinating characters and events – real people who are like us. Stafford pulls out intriguing details that readers won't have learned in civics class to illustrate the pros and cons of pressure tactics, the inevitable temptation to violence and the dangers of political compromise. The audience for this highly readable volume includes culture-watchers, history buffs, mission and evangelism organizations, and missionaries.

Transportation / Railroads

Railroads across North America:: An Illustrated History by Claude Wiatrowski (Voyageur Press)

From the first steam-powered locomotives of the early nineteenth century to the high-speed commuter trains of today, the American railroad has been a great engine powering the nation’s growth and industry. Railroads across North America celebrates the glory and grandeur of that legacy with a tour of the history of the American railroad and the culture surrounding it. Illustrated with vintage photographs, modern images, maps, timetables, tickets, brochures, and all manner of memorabilia, this volume offers a look at the rail industry’s beginnings and development, as well as its place in American history.

Beginning with a few tentative steps in the 1820s and continuing through the robber barons, the depression, prosperity and merger, right up to today’s rail renaissance, the railroad remains essential to North American industry and our everyday lives. In Railroads across North America author Claude Wiatrowski examines the development of the industry with nearly 90 features covering more than three dozen railroads past and present, including railroads in film and music, specialty railroads, and life and travel on the rails.

Although the rich tapestry of iconic rail lines that once crisscrossed the continent has been merged, contracted, and otherwise cut down to more appropriate proportions, today’s rail industry continues the spirit of technological innovation that has been its hallmark, supported by seven robust ‘Class 1’ railways, a host of thriving regional short lines, and renewed public interest in passenger transport.
Wiatrowski, a rail author and award-winning video producer, illustrates Railroads across North America with an array of material, including vintage black-and-white and modern color photographs, period advertisements, maps, brochures, timetables, postcards, posters, menus, and other collectibles – nearly 600 pieces in all, many of them rarely seen. Also included are a list of Web resources, contact information for museums, preserved railways and historic sites throughout the United States and Canada.

From the might of yesteryear’s rail empires to the railroad’s current roles, the book is the fabulously colorful story of the industry that moved nations and stirs imaginations. In this authoritative volume, Wiatrowski offers a celebration befitting that legacy. Railroads across North America is an entertaining account of railroading in the United States and Canada, lavishly illustrated. Wiatrowski leaves no stone unturned, presenting the railroad’s beginnings, its evolving role in daily life, the technological marvels, and its intersections with popular culture.

Travel / Asia

Central Asia:: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan by Bradley Mayhew, Greg Bloom, John Noble, & Dean Starnes (Lonely Planet Travel Guides: Lonely Planet Publications)

For decades, even centuries, Central Asia has been out of focus, a blank on the map. Even today, to those not in the know, the center of Asia is synonymous with the middle of nowhere./p>

Yet for two millennia, known variously as Transoxiana, Turkestan or Tartary, these lands were a major thoroughfare for Silk Road traders, nomadic empires and migrating invaders, tying together Europe and Asia on the Eurasian steppes. The backdrop to this drama is a vast arena of desert, steppe and knotted mountain ranges that stretches from the Caspian to China, Siberia south to the Hindu Kush.

As told in Central Asia, Central Asia's storybook history, from Alexander the Great to the khans of Khiva, litters the land at every turn. Travelers get more than a whiff of the Silk Road when standing downwind of an Uzbek kebab seller and glimpse more than a hint of a nomadic past in the eyes of a Kazakh moneychanger. At times the caravan stops of Samarkand and Bukhara, with their exotic skyline of minarets, mosques and medressas, seem lifted directly from the days of Timur (Tamerlane).

Further east the snowcapped Pamirs and Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan host fantastic trekking and mountain adventures. Community-based tourism projects bring travelers face to face with semi-nomadic Kyrgyz herders, meeting them in their yurts and on their terms. The region's little-visited oddities, namely Turkmenistan and parts of Kazakhstan, offer an offbeat interest all their own.

Central Asia describes how travelers to central Asia can

Lose themselves among the blue domes and mosaics of the Registan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Play Marco Polo, exploring Silk Road forts while bathed in the light of the snowcapped Hindu Kush in the Wakhan Valley, Tajikistan.

Watch a Kyrgyz eagle hunter in action and taste the delights of fermented mare's milk in Kyrgyzstan.

Follow in the footsteps of British spies, Chinese pilgrims and Russian explorers and embark on their own Great Game.

In Central Asia five authors (one of the anonymous) tell the story of five 'stans, 27 visa stamps (78 visa checks), 182 pots of green tea, and one (short) detention by the KGB. The book entices readers to trek into remote alpine valleys and to follow herders on horseback or ride camels with a newly added Activities chapter. Whether readers want to explore the architectural gems of Bukhara or horse trek across the high Pamirs, Central Asia offers something for every taste. And everywhere they will be greeted with instinctive local hospitality, offering a shared meal, a helping hand or a place to stay.

Authors include Bradley Mayhew, Tajikistan, who has coordinated the last three editions of Central Asia; Greg Bloom, Uzbekistan; John Noble, Kazakhstan; and Dean Starnes, Kyrgyzstan.

Central Asia isn't the easiest place to travel through. Travelers will need to invest some serious time tracking down visas, permits and the latest travel informa­tion, preferably months before they depart. Readers won't meet many travelers on the road and there are certainly no video cafes serving banana muesli, but this is part of the attraction of a land that has been largely off-limits to travelers for the last 2000 years. According to Central Asia, travel today is getting easier every year, with new accommodation options, vastly improved food and a network of shared taxis that will shuttle travelers around cheaply and in relative comfort. Some highlights include:

Kazakhstan – One of the last great blanks in the map, with interesting and quirky sites separated by vast amounts of nothing. Good hiking in the southeast and increasingly popular ecotourism options. Sub-Siberian Russian cities in the north.

Kyrgyzstan – Vowel-challenged republic of Alpine mountains, yurts and high pastures. The best place in Central Asia for hiking and horse riding. Community tourism programs and a wide network of homestays give travelers a grassroots adventure on the cheap.

Tajikistan – The region's most outlandish high-altitude scenery, home to Central Asia's best road trip, the stunning Pamir Highway – this is the cutting edge of adventure travel. Obtaining permits requires some preparation. Fabulous trekking and the region's most humbling hospitality.

Turkmenistan – The 'North Korea of Central Asia'. Hard to get into (tourist visas require travelers to hire a guide) but fascinating once they are there, not least for the bizarre personality cult of Turkmenbashi. An uncertain future follows the death of President Niyazov in December 2006 and the election of Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow on 11 February 2007, though reforms are promised.

Uzbekistan – Home to historic Silk Road cities, epic Islamic architecture and the region's most stylish private guesthouses – the heart of Central Asia.

Central Asia provides details on costs and money. By traveling with a friend, staying in homestays, eating in chaikhana (tea-houses) and hiring the odd taxi when there is no public transport, travelers can get around Central Asia for around US$15 to US$20 per person per day (more like US$20 to US$40 in Kazakhstan). Readers can shave down costs further by self-catering in shops and bazaars, staying in private homes and the occasional bottom-end place, sharing hotel rooms with other travelers, getting around town by local bus instead of taxi, riding overnight trains to save hotel costs, and spending less time in (expensive) cities.

As told in Central Asia in general Central Asia is a pretty safe place to travel despite the media's presentation of the region as a hot spot of environmental disaster, human rights violations and Islamic insurgency. Most travelers eventually come face to face with crooked officials, particularly policemen, as checks are endemic throughout the region. But travelers shouldn't have any problems as long as their documents are in good shape.

Readers can count on Lonely Planet to provide everything they need to know about visas, travel permits and crossing Asia's remotest borders. Travel information is provided by independent authors who are dedicated travelers. They travel widely and off the beaten track. The authors of Central Asia, who have visited their regions since the last edition, offer travelers rich travel advice. They personally visit thousands of hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, galleries, palaces, and museums. They find the special, the unique and the different for travelers wherever they are – and they take pride in getting all the details right.
Travel / Middle East / Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Religion & Spirituality

The New Jerusalem:: A Millennium Poetic/Prophetic Travel Diary 1959-1962 by Robert Eisenman (North Atlantic Books)

In Deuteronomy 18:14-22, when speaking of ‘the True Prophet,’ the believer or adept is cau­tioned not to pre judge the individual in question but rather to listen to and see which of his words come to pass. In the case of The New Jerusalem, it is hoped the reader will take this admonition to heart and in the end judge for him or herself which have or whether they have. – from the book

In the tradition of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Robert Eisenman's The New Jerusalem is a unique literary document – a backpacker's journal in free verse. A poetic quest for spiritual and political enlightenment which tells a story and can actually be looked upon as ‘an Anti-Beat Manifesto,’ it is sometimes ‘quasi-prophetic.’ This poetic diary documents Eisenman’s life-changing backpacking journey through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in the early 1960s. Eisenman’s search for meaning took him to San Francisco and its Beat culture, to Paris, to Lebanon, Israel, and beyond. The author's eye catches it all: pre-hippie hotels, midnight encounters with beautiful women, ‘India’s ceaseless fever,’ the lure of distant cities and landscapes.
Eisenman is the author of several books on the Dead Sea Scrolls and early Christian history. Currently Professor of Middle East Religions and Archaeology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins at California State University, Long Beach, a Visiting Senior Member of Linacre College, Oxford, England, Eisenman was a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies and a U.S. Endowment for the Humanities Fellow-in-Residence at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, where the Dead Sea Scrolls first came in. He was the leader of the 1987-1992 worldwide campaign to break the academic monopoly over the Dead Sea Scrolls, freeing them for research by all interested persons, regardless of affiliation or credentials.

In The New Jerusalem, beginning in San Francisco, the protagonist – after throwing his registration cards away while on line at U.C. Berkeley – hitchhikes across America to return to Paris. After staying at the legendary ‘Beat Hotel’ when people like William Burroughs were in residence there (but not sharing their lifestyle or views), he sets off for Israel where, working on kibbutzim in Northern Galilee, he discovers his connection to the land, its people, and encounters his own hitherto unknown family. Returning to follow a lost love, then working on the Kennedy campaign and being chosen for the first Peace Corps group in the field, he demurs to continue his travels through Persia on to India and be a witness to issues concerning Jewish identity, Jerusalem, and the relation between Arabs and the Holy Land.

Details of bus rides and late night conversations with fellow travelers are interspersed with revelations about the formation of a Zionist Holy Land, stays in Christian monasteries where he encounters a nascent Jewish Christian Movement, and a climactic fight with the future Israeli ‘Peace Pilot’-to-be at the cafe he owns in Tel Aviv. More personal poems evoke a mind filled with political fervor, youthful uncertainty, and nostalgic memories of a lost love.

From disillusioned to hopeful, despondent to ecstatic, these poems not only provide an intimate portrait of a young traveler, but also a view of the psyche at a politically turbulent time in the world (including a Walt Whitman-like greeting of John Kennedy). A detailed photo section gives glimpses into the author's personal journal and personages and images encountered in his travels. The book concludes off Sinai on the Red Sea on the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis and with an Afterword on the Six-Day War which is both prescient and prophetic, since the publication of The New Jerusalem coincides with its 40th anniversary – as well as interesting for readers wondering: what comes next?

The poems in The New Jerusalem were written from 1959-62 just as they appear; they have not been altered or improved. They represent, at once, a travel diario in free verse and a bildungsroman depicting a young man's passage from boyhood to manhood. They also represent a spiritual journey or quest and, in parts, are even what some might call ‘prophetic.’

The New Jerusalem is meant to be read as an answer to those who thought all intellectual and artistic endeavor in the late Fifties and early Sixties began and ended with ‘the Beats’ and for those who did not agree with the ideological orientation of their approach or of that ‘Generation’ – a movement the author considers to have contributed much to the intellectual malaise and artistic decline of the country. According to Eisenman, it is also meant to be read for whatever uplift and spiritual and religious insight and exhilaration it might provide. In particular, those who are either monotheistically-inspired or immersed in or enamored of the Bible and its prophetical approach may find something that will be congenial or moving in it. Also as he states, the voice in the free verse/poetry or prophecy is not that of the writer today but his of some forty or more years ago – ‘forty years in the wilderness’ as it were. Eisenman also says he hopes that readers from whatever denomi­nation or political/religious orientation will be able to participate in the biblically-inspired and sometimes even intoxicated mindset herein expressed, taking it in the spirit in which it was intended – that of fellowship and communion and not of confrontation.

The style is sometimes poetic and sometimes prophetic, a style that has particular relevance for the present day lack of new and vital religio-poetic expression. The New Jerusalem is at once a unique collection of poetry from a writer better known for his blockbuster works of early Biblical history as well as an unexpected and intimate portrait of a young man at a turning point in his spiritual development as reflected through his travels in tumultuous religious and political terrain. Eisenman also reveals an unexpectedly lyrical voice, written on the overland trail to India via Paris, Greece, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Iran, Beleuchistan, and Pakistan. Alternately hopeful and critical, these poems vividly etch the pleasures and perils of a bygone era and their profound effect on one young poet.

True Accounts / Law

Until Proven Innocent:: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case by Stuart Taylor Jr. & KC Johnson (Scribner)

What began that night shocked Duke University and Durham, North Carolina, and it continues to captivate the nation: the Duke Lacrosse team members’ alleged rape of an African-American stripper and the unraveling of the case against /> For 47 members of the Duke University men's Lacrosse team, March 13, 2006 became their personal Day of Infamy. Former New York Times, and Pulitzer-nominated, reporter Stuart Taylor Jr., and legal expert KC Johnson, lay out the facts in the betrayal of the American legal system in their new book on this case, Until Proven Innocent.

Taylor, columnist for National Journal and nonresident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution; and Johnson, distinguished history professor at Brooklyn College and CUNY, argue that law enforcement, a campaigning prosecutor, biased journalists, and left-leaning academics repeatedly refused to pursue the truth while scapegoats were made of these young men, tarnishing their lives. Until Proven Innocent harbors multiple dramas, including the actions of a DA running for office; inappropriate charges that should have been apparent to academics at Duke many months earlier; the local and national media, who were slow to take account of the publicly available evidence; and the appalling reactions of law enforcement, academia, and many black leaders.
Until Proven Innocent covers all five aspects of the case – personal, legal, academic, political, and media. According to Taylor and Johnson, the events of that evening at an off-campus house in Durham made national headlines – a party hosted by the members of the Lacrosse team hired two young strippers for their evening's entertainment. The dancers, Kim Roberts and Crystal Gail Mangum, arrived late in the evening. At or around midnight, when the two women began their dance routine, Mangum was stumbling and falling. Twenty-plus time-stamped photos attested to this fact as well as to the embarrassment of the players there. The players felt cheated and the women stormed out of the house amidst a brief moment of back-and-forth racial slurs.

What happened that night at the house on North Buchanan? What the analysis shows is that no rape occurred and that Mangum has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was on several prescription drugs at the time. She had also made a previous unproven claim of being gang-raped. Taylor and Johnson say it is also now known that former Duke University Lacrosse players Reade Seligmann, Dave Evans, and Colin Finnerty, ran the gamut of emotions from that night in March 2006 until late spring 2007 when the case was dismissed.

The public has now come to learn the details of the case, but many questions remain. What were District Attorney, now disbarred, Mike Nifong's motives for behaving so irresponsibly? Why were the Durham police as much to blame for this whole sordid mess as the District Attorney's office? Taylor and Johnson had access to the Durham police involved, particularly Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the prosecutors and the trainee sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), Tara Levicy, whose conduct at the Duke Medical Center while examining Mangum has come under great scrutiny. The authors had access to all three Duke players, their families, and their defense teams' presentations to the court in complete legal narrative as well as to all documents exposing misconduct of the police, prosecutors, and Duke Hospital nurse (who gave no interviews). The authors go into detail on the radical ‘Group of 88’ Duke University professors who tried to railroad the accused players.

A chilling, gripping account of how our judicial system can go terribly wrong. This is an important book that brings the Duke story to life and exposes troubling facts about our justice system and our citadels of higher learning. You may think you know the Duke story – but you don’t until you read this book. – Jan Crawford Greenberg, ABC News legal correspondent and author of Supreme Conflictbr /> Guilty until proven innocent was a concept expressed by Duke University's president Richard Brodhead, among others, betraying a stunning misapprehension of America's justice system in the case of the Duke lacrosse players wrongfully indicted for raping a black stripper in 2006. … the facts of the case speak for themselves … But these facts are embedded in repetitiously hammering home the basic points, sarcasm and ranting against the political correctness (i.e., obsession with the race-class-gender triad) of academia and the media. … In total contrast, the closing chapters offer balanced, tautly argued discussions of, and remedies for, the central problems: prosecutorial abuse, the frequency of false rape accusations and academic groupthink. – Publishers Weekly
Brutally honest, unflinching, exhaustively researched, and compulsively readable, Until Proven Innocent excoriates those who led the stampede – the prosecutor, the cops, the media – but it also exposes the cowardice of Duke’s administration and faculty. Until Proven Innocent smothers any lingering doubts that in this country the presumption of innocence is dead, dead, dead. – John Grisham
In what surely is this year’s most revealing, scalding and disturbing book on America’s civic culture, the authors demonstrate that the Duke case was symptomatic of the dangerous decay of important institutions – legal, academic, and journalistic. . . . With this meticulous report, the guilty have at last been indicted and convicted. – George F. Will 
A gripping, meticulous, blow-by-blow account of the whole grotesque affair. It is beautifully written, dramatic, and full of insights, exposing how vulnerable the prosecutorial system is to abuse and how ready the liberal media and PC academics are to serve as leaders of the lynch mob. A must read for anyone who cares about individual rights and justice. – William P. Barr, former attorney general of the United States

The context of the Duke case has vast import and contains likable heroes, unfortunate victims, and memorable villains – and in its full telling, it is captivating nonfiction with broad political, racial, and cultural relevance to our times. Until Proven Innocent stands out as the complete source account for readers who want to know exactly what happened. Taylor and Johnson‘s coverage of the Duke case, if somewhat sensationalist, was the earliest, most honest, and most comprehensive in the country. In the book they take the idiocies and dishonesty of right- and left-wingers alike head on, shedding new light on the dangers of rogue prosecutors and police and a cultural tendency toward media-fueled travesties of justice. If you like your facts over the top, this is the book to read. 

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