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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

January 2008, Issue #105

Contents:

Architecture / History / World / Greece

Greek Sanctuaries: An Introduction by Mary Emerson (Bristol Classical Press/Duckworth)

Greek Sanctuaries offers an introduction of ancient Greek sanctuary sites and temple architecture. It introduces readers to a select number of sites and temples in some depth, explaining technical terms along the way. Author Mary Emerson, classics and art history scholar, and freelance writer, keeps in mind the needs of high school and college students, as well as general readers, and covers some of the core buildings and sanctuaries usually chosen for study owing to their social importance and aesthetic excellence.
Greek Sanctuaries explores the aesthetic concepts behind Greek architectural design, as well as looking at the buildings and their decoration. It also investigates their importance within the culture of the time. The text, which includes 78 photographs, plans and drawings, is designed to inspire visitors to Greece as well as to equip beginning students of Greek architecture for further study. Emerson says that all the translations of Greek passages are her own.

The buildings are well worth looking at in their own right, and also provide an excellent introduction to other buildings which might be studied later on. The buildings of Delphi, Olympia and the Athenian Acropolis, chosen for study in Greek Sanctuaries, are ‘classics’ of Greek architecture: they date from the sixth and fifth centuries BC (the archaic and classical periods).

Most ancient Greek architecture is in a ruined state. Even the wonderful Athenian Acropolis can seem rather daunting to visitors not provided with a clue to its meaning. There is a great deal of accident in what remains to us of ancient Greek architecture. Most buildings that remain are incomplete and sculptures are fragmentary. Some important temples have left only the scantiest traces or have disappeared completely; the unique architectural aspects of those temples may have vanished, or be traceable only by experts. To appreciate the real character of Greek temples takes some reconstruction work and some imagination.

According to Greek Sanctuaries, a complaint can be made that all Greek temples are the same. Certainly they are all composed of similar elements: steps, platforms, columns, architraves and friezes, pitched roofs and pediments. However, to the interested eye, each temple is unique. Even Doric temples, though said to conform to strict rules, all differ. As in any field of interest, what seems uniform to outsiders is – on inspection – full of nuance, innovation and individuality.

The sameness of Greek temples did not result from lack of imagination; the ancient Greeks are not known for a lack of creativity, so positive causes for sameness must be sought. A building usually declares its purpose by corresponding to a type; a response is aroused in the viewer as a result. A Gothic cathedral for example will be clearly recognizable as such, whatever personal responses a particular viewer brings to it. Another building may ‘borrow’ a response from the known type: for example, the Houses of Parliament, which were designed with Gothic features in order to ‘borrow’ the venerability associated with a medieval cathedral.

According to Emerson in Greek Sanctuaries, one element, closely bound up with the character of each temple, is less likely to have suffered destruction – its setting. Even the Acropolis in the heart of modern Athens retains much of its natural surroundings, above all, the astonishing rock on which it sits. Delphi, a sanctuary whose site was chosen entirely for the impact of the place itself, retains virtually all its effect for the visitor. Much understanding can be gained from books and photos: yet the physical experience of the place, scents of trodden herbs, sunshine and keen mountain air are unforgettable to the lucky visitor, and are an important dimension of what the designers intended in the first place. Each sanctuary is very different and in fact expresses something of the nature of the god worshipped there: the site fits the deity.

Ancient as the ancient Greeks seem to us, they did not seem so to themselves: they looked back from, say, the fifth century BC to more ancient times with nostalgia and pride in their past as we do, and liked to see it embodied and preserved in ancient monuments. They also liked to add something of their own, in the spirit of their age. Monumental build­ings represented cutting-edge art and technology, implied political and military power, and were used to transmit messages about cultural iden­tity. Designers of temples aimed for a physical perfection of beauty, which would speak of divinity and inspire the soul. Patrons wanted to impress visitors with the wealth and sophistication of the city, and to delight the citizens who owned and used the sanctuaries.

Greek Sanctuaries equips readers to use technical terms with confidence, and to confront any Greek temple with understanding and pleasure. This small, accessible, well-illustrated book inspires visitors to Greece and equips students of Greek architecture for further study. Greek Sanctuaries is particularly aimed at students who need to understand these buildings in some detail, and who need to be able to use technical language themselves in order to analyze and write about them. Students at the high school level will find it useful, as will undergraduates who are new to the study of ancient Greek architecture.

Arts & Photography / Museums & Collections / Exhibition Catalogs

Monet to Dalí: Impressionist and Modern Masterworks from the Cleveland Museum of Art by William H. Robinson, with Senior Editor Barbara Bradley, and an introduction by Laurence Channing (Hudson Hills Press & The Cleveland Museum of Art)

When the Cleveland Museum of Art embarked on an ambitious architectural expansion, one of the world's greatest collections of art was removed from view. Yet this temporary eclipse became an opportunity for lovers of art around the world when parts of the collection were organized as traveling exhibitions.

The 95 masterworks of Impressionist and modern European art in Monet to Dalí reveal one of history's most compelling stories: how masters from Claude Monet and Edgar Degas to Piet Mondrian and Pablo Picasso opened the visual arts to wider and more varied spheres of experience, first in the militant realism of Gustave Courbet, then through direct response to nature in Impressionism, the embrace of subjective experience in Symbolist art, the magisterial formal inventions of Picasso and Georges Braque, the exploration of the subconscious in Surrealism, and the expressionism of the artists of Northern Europe. The heroic figuration of Auguste Rodin is here, as well as the cool formalism of De Stijl and the passion of Vincent van Gogh and Georges Rouault.

Roped together like mountain climbers, as Braque said of Picasso and himself, the artists in this exhibition built on one another's ideas and discoveries, creating a legacy of beauty and humanity the Cleveland Museum of Art shares with the world.

Each painting is presented with descriptions detailing the artist's motifs and context of the work in the Impressionist era. Monet to Dalí, with its essays and over 100 color plates, provides a focus of the dramatic artistic development of the century between 1850 and 1950 through the remarkable pieces of this collection.

Timothy Rub, Director of the Museum, in the foreword explains how almost half the works in this exhibition – the core of the museum's collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century European art – came to the museum through the generosity of one man.

Through gifts of art and money Leonard C. Hanna Jr. turned The Cleveland Museum of Art into a collecting powerhouse, yet, paradoxically, his contributions created an institution remarkable for the lack of a personal stamp of taste or attitude, whose hallmark is active, independent professional judgment as well as the cultivation of donations. As this exhibition demonstrates, Hanna's contribution was more nuanced than the simple provision of lots of money. Although he collected widely from many cultures, his interest centered on European art from the rough century embraced by this exhibition, from the Second Empire in France to the Second World War: classical modern art and its origins. Since 1957, the professional culture he fostered has continued to strengthen the collection in this area, as in many others, and the growth of the museum he did so much to stimulate has sparked a tremendous renovation program, much more extensive than the one he supported in the 1950s.

The exhibition was conceived and organized by author William H. Robinson, Curator of Modern European Art, responding to the entrepreneurial initiative of Charles L. Venable, Deputy Director for Collections and Programs, to convert the inaccessibility of the collection during construction into an opportunity to acquaint an international audience with its riches. The catalogue Monet to Dalí was produced by Director of Publications Laurence Channing and Senior Editor Barbara Bradley.

Monet to Dalí is an elegant and affordable catalog, the first comprehensive presentation of a collection from the Cleveland Museum of Art, including paintings by Monet, Degas, Renoir, Boudin and Manet among other innovative artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist period.

The discussions of impressionist and modern art together with large prints of the artworks illuminate a compelling story of art history – the opening of the visual arts to wider realms of experience, including the exploration of subjectivity, the subconscious and the direct response to nature.

Art & Photography / Religion & Spirituality / Buddhism

The Zen Art Box by Stephen Addiss & John Daido Loori (Shambhala)

A work of Zen art is a teaching in visual form, intended to be contemplated not only for its beauty, but for the secrets it contains about being fully human, fully alive. As teaching, Zen art can be profound, perplexing, serious, humorous – sometimes all within the same piece; as art, it stands somewhere outside standard aesthetic conventions, even those of other schools of Buddhist art. Zen art is most often identified with the expressive media of calligraphy or brush painting, but whatever the mood or medium, each work is the tangible record of an unrepeatable moment in the artist's mind, an expression on paper of his or her understanding of the nature of things.

Some of the most famous of all Zen masters, like the great Hakuin Ekaku, used art as a primary mode of teaching. The Zen Art Box/span> presents Zen art for its beauty as well as for the teaching it exhibits. The box contains forty images of brush painting and calligraphy, each reproduced in fine quality on substantial card stock, and an easel stand for displaying the art, so that readers can keep one on display and change the image periodically.

The back of each card, 6-by-9 inches, includes a description and decoding of the piece by Stephen Addis, along with a Dharma commentary from John Daido Loori on the Zen wisdom contained in it. Also included is a 32-page color-illustrated booklet with essays on Zen art by both the authors.

Art historian Addiss is a Tucker-Boatwright Professor in the Humanities: Art at the University of Richmond, Virginia, as well as a world-renowned calligrapher in his own right. Monk-artist Loori is the abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, New York, and the founder and director of the Mountains and Rivers Order, an organization of associated Zen Buddhist temples, practice centers, and meditation groups from around the United States and abroad. He is also president of Dharma Communications, an enterprise devoted to making Buddhist teachings widely available through videotapes, books, meditation supplies, and a quarterly journal, Mountain Record.
As Zen becomes ever more accepted and understood as a spiritual path in the West, Zen art also becomes better known and appreciated. The vital element in these works, both new and old, in whatever medium, is the expression of Zen mind. Whether historical or contemporary, the mark of Zen art is the ability to be right here, right now.

The works presented in The Zen Art Box are powerful visual expres­sions of Dharma, beautifully reproduced in fine quality, by leading monk-artists of the past. The Zen Art Box will appeal not only to Zen students but also to anyone intrigued by the arts of Buddhism and of Japan.
Art History / Philosophy / Aesthetics / Comparative Religion

Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?:: The Traditional View of Art, Revised Edition with Previously Unpublished Author’s Notes by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, edited by William Wroth, with an introduction by Roger Lipsey (Perennial Philosophy Series: World Wisdom)

In the beginning of the twentieth century, a school of thought arose which has focused on the enunciation and explanation of the Perennial Philosophy. Deeply rooted in the sense of the sacred, the writings of its lead­ing exponents establish an indispensable foundation for understanding the timeless Truth and spiritual practices which live in the heart of all religions. Some of these titles are companion volumes to the Treasures of the World's Religions series, which allows a comparison of the writings of the great sages of the past with the perennialist authors of our time. – Ananda Coomaraswamy

Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought? is a new edition of Ananda Coomaraswamy's classic book, considered his most important work on the philosophy of art, including all of the revisions Coomaraswamy had wanted to add to the original edition. Edited by William Wroth, a specialist in the Hispanic and Native American traditional arts and cultures, the book contains, for the first time, translations of the Greek, Latin, French, German, and Italian terms and phrases used by Coomaraswamy. The book also contains an introduction by Roger Lipsey, the foremost authority on Coomaraswamy's writings.

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy (1877-1947) was one of the great art historians of the twentieth century. His books and articles deal primarily with visual art, aesthetics, literature and language, folklore, religion, and metaphysics. As editor William Wroth shows in the preface, the breadth of Coomaraswamy's knowledge, the many fields of which he had grasp, seems astonishing in today's world of narrow scholarly specialization. While primarily known among scholars as an art historian, he shed light upon many other diverse subjects, for he did not limit the study of art to descriptive or historical inquiry. He drew the broadest implications for the meaning and always-present value of the works of art under consideration, delving into aesthetics, literature and language, folklore, religion, metaphysics and many other fields. His heritage and early years uniquely prepared him for this life's work. Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy was born in 1877 in st1:place w:st="on">Colombo, Ceylon. His father was the distinguished Sri Lankan barrister Sir Mutu Coomaraswamy and his mother Elizabeth Clay Beebe, from a wealthy English family. Sir Mutu died in 1879 when Ananda Coomaraswamy was two years old. His mother had already brought the young Ananda back to England, and after his father's death, they lived in a cottage in Kent. Ananda attended Wycliffe College in Gloucestershire from 1889 to 1897. He received the B. Sc. in geology and botany from University College, London in 1900 and in 1906 his doctorate in Geology from London University. At least as early as 1896 he began to make annual visits to Ceylon, the homeland of his father, where he undertook geo­logical surveys and studies and was soon appointed the first director of the newly-established Mineralogical Survey of Ceylon.

According to Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?, in 1902 he traveled by ox cart throughout Ceylon in fulfillment of his geological research. He quickly became aware of the traditional Buddhist and Hindu culture and the arts and crafts which still flourished in the remoter regions of Ceylon, more-or-less untouched by modern European civilization. At the same time, with his English upbringing he was painfully aware of the neglect of this traditional culture by the Western-educated Sinhalese under the pressure of colonialism. His interest in the protection and revival of Sri Lankan culture led him to the founding in 1905 of the Ceylon Social Reform Society.

Following the lead of John Ruskin and William Morris, Coomaraswamy decried the medioc­rity and uniformity of machine-made products as well as the sapping effects of factory work upon laborers and the meaninglessness of an industrial culture no longer based upon spiritual traditions. Throughout his life Coomaraswamy maintained an active interest in the progress of Indian independence from British rule. Returning to England in 1907 Coomaraswamy took part in the Arts and Crafts Movement, applying more broadly the ideas concerning traditional arts he had formulated in Ceylon and India. Rajput painting in particular was virtually unknown in the West and under-appreciated in India until Coomaraswamy began collecting examples of it, which he first published in 1912 in his Indian Drawings: Second Series, Chiefly Rajput, and in 1916 in the magisterial Rajput Painting, a pioneering work.

For his principled anti-colonialist and anti-industrialist stand, he was threatened with legal proceedings in England and had some of his property confiscated by the government, but was able in 1917 to immigrate to America with some financial assets and with his invaluable collection of Indian art. Coomaraswamy was hired in April 1917 as the first Keeper (Curator) of the newly-established Section of Indian Art in the Museum's Asiatic Department. Ross also purchased for the Museum most of Coomaraswamy's Indian painting collection which formed the basis of the new Indian section.

As told in Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?, over the next decade he produced for the Museum a series of catalogues of the collection, monographs, and articles which were models of art his­torical scholarship and essentially established the basis for the modern study of Indian art. These works set the stage for his major work, History of Indian and Indonesian Art, published in 1927. Having established himself as a pre-eminent scholar in the field, Coomaraswamy gradually returned to interests of his earlier life: a renewed concern with metaphysics and religion and their application to contemporary life. In the late 1920s he began in-depth studies of the Vedas and other classics of Hindu and Buddhist spiritual thought and in 1933 published the first fruits of his labors as A New Approach to the Vedas. It was impossible, he said, to truly understand the sacred art of India without simultaneously knowing the full spiritual context in which it was created, for which these scriptures were important keys. Coomaraswamy began careful etymological and theological studies of medieval Christian texts: thinkers such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as study of the Greek classics: Plato, Aristotle, the neo-Platonists and others.

Coomaraswamy’s writings in the late 1930s and early 1940s are intended to show that the appreciation of art must involve the whole person, that true art has primarily an objective spiritual purpose and can not merely be appreciated for its aesthetic qualities. Secondly they are thoughtful and powerful critiques of the values and direction of modern life. Still a supporter of Gandhi and Indian independence, Coomaraswamy wrote trenchant indictments of the effects of modem industrial civilization on traditional peoples, not only those of India but also more ‘primitive’ peoples whose ways of life and cultures were rapidly being crushed by colonialist exploitation. And he demonstrated that these deleterious effects also and inevitably played a role in the spiritual degeneration of the modern West. Finally, all of Coomaraswamy's late work is focused on the primacy of the spirit within the human soul, the inborn truth that is inherent in our deepest nature.

According to Roger Lipsey in the introduction to Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?, everyone knows that Coomaraswamy's writings are often difficult. His footnotes can be book-length; many essays are two in one, a primary text purposefully guided across an ocean of secondary references and reflections. But even while recalling the complexity of certain of Coomaraswamy's writings and the long challenge they pose, one has to remember two quite different ele­ments. There are essays of wonderful simplicity and directness (for example, "Shaker Furniture" and "Literary Symbolism"), and even in difficult writings passages shine with the poet's gift for the perfect word or image, as if everything that came before, no matter how complex, prepares such luminous moments.

Coomaraswamy was driven to the farthest reaches of complexity in search of complete truth that could withstand every test. He was among the first global thinkers, a scholar of comparative wisdom who could not rest content with the ideas, icons, and teaching narratives (sacred history, myth, and tale) of one culture only. He shows readers Christian ideas, icons, and narratives alongside Hindu and Buddhist ideas, icons, and narratives, and these in turn alongside Platonic and Muslim ele­ments of culture – and more still. He sought and saw their underlying unity. The comment reflects both the breadth of his ecumenical vision and his awareness as an early participant in India's struggle for indepen­dence of the undercurrent of violence in imperialism.

The vast learning marshaled by Coomaraswamy in Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought? and others provides a basis for deciphering traditional works of art and the cultural conditions that needed those works and gave life to them. Coomaraswamy does not invite us to stroll past pictures at an exhibition for pleasure's sake but rather to engage in a quest for understanding. A pair of essays in this book, "The Nature of Buddhist Art" and "Samvega: Aesthetic Shock," speaks to this intensified quality of encounter with works of art.

For all readers who encounter works of traditional religious art and yearn to receive the messages placed in them long ago as if in safe-keeping, Coomaraswamy continues to be the teacher without peer. But in his last 16 years or so, from about 1932 until his passing in the fall of 1947, he tended to use his comprehensive knowledge of the his­tory of art, of languages ancient and modern, Indic and Western, and of Western and Asian scripture and commentary and philosophy, to pur­poses that often transcended and occasionally defied typical academic aims. He was gathering ancient and traditional knowledge before it was too late. He worked with a kind of desperation, not only because he was approaching his older years but because he experienced the society around him as amnesiac, willfully and grossly forgetful of the "traditional or ‘normal’ view" of life and art. He had long been a scholar. Now he was a teacher and prophet.

Coomaraswamy uncovers and puts before us the truths of a primordial tradition, reflected in the world's existing traditions and expressed by them as if in differing dialects. He asks us to join him in the effort to decipher the religiously rich arts and crafts, literatures and folklore of the world's traditions. – Roger Lipsey, from the Introduction

Coomaraswamy is an extremely precious author. – Frithjof Schuon, author of The Transcendent Unity of Religions

Coomaraswamy's essays [give] us a view of his scholarship and brilliant insight. – Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Masks of God

Ananda Coomaraswamy is in many ways to me a model: the model of one who has thoroughly and completely united in himself the spiritual tradition and attitudes of the Orient and of the Christian West.... – Thomas Merton, author of The Seven Storey Mountain and New Seeds of Contemplation

[Ananda Coomaraswamy is] that noble scholar upon whose shoulders we are still standing. – Heinrich Zimmer, author of The King and the Corpse and Philosophies of IIndia

Coomaraswamy's work is as important as that of Joseph Campbell or Carl Jung, and deserving of the same attention. – David Frawley, author of Yoga and Ayurveda

Coomaraswamy's writings are filled with light; they reflect a hierarchy of values, a quality of engagement with works of art that does not leave one cold or unchanged, continuity between spiritual experience and the experience of art. Every passage speaks to the seeker in each of us, to the one who perceives in arts long past, not just material treasures luckily preserved but signs intimately addressed to us.

How clumsy one feels in saying that Coormaraswamy is an irreplaceable teacher. The ideal curriculum would be a full year of study of his writings, but Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought? represents a superb point of entry.

Audio / Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling / Neuroscience

The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness (10 CDs, unabridged, Running Time: approximately 11 ½ hours) by Jeff Warren, narrated by Raymond Todd (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness by Jeff Warren (Random House)
A world at once familiar and unimaginably strange exists all around us – and within us. It is the world of consciousness, a protean mental landscape that each of us knows in bits and pieces, yet understands in its totality scarcely at all. Tied to the body and the brain, consciousness is beyond our ability to measure or quantify. Despite the attempts of scientists and mystics, poets and dreamers, crackpots and geniuses to map its contours and explain its secret workings, the mind remains mysterious. And the more we learn about it, the more mysterious it becomes.
But that is not to say that we know nothing about consciousness. In fact, as gonzo science journalist Jeff Warren demonstrates in The Head Trip’s synthesis of cutting-edge research and personal experience, just how much we do know is astonishing.
Warren, freelance producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, begins with the insight that consciousness is not a simple on-off proposition, with rigid demarcations separating waking awareness from the murky depths of sleep, but a round-the-clock continuum regulated by natural biorhythms. He sets out to explore and to experience for himself, the seemingly miraculous, all-but-untapped potential of the human mind.
From the full-immersion virtual realities of lucid dreaming to the esoteric disciplines of Eastern meditative practices that have reached outposts of consciousness far beyond the grasp of Western science, from techniques of hypnosis and neurofeedback to such exotic states of awareness as the Watch and the Pure Conscious Event, The Head Trip/span> takes readers on a journey through their own heads. Beginning with the mild hallucinogenic state that comes just before true sleep, Warren tries to hone his skills at lucid dreaming, subjects himself to hypnosis, and joins a Buddhist meditation retreat, among other adventures. Along the way, he begins to realize that dreaming and waking are equivalent states, and that we can learn how to induce the subtle gradations of consciousness within ourselves.

Warren, a Canadian science journalist, combines the rigorous self-experimentation of Steven Johnson's Mind Wide Open with the wacky self-experimentation of A.J. Jacobs's The Know-It-All in this entertaining field guide to the varying levels of mental awareness. … This could come off as New Age psychobabble, but Warren is well versed in the scientific literature, and he provides detailed accounts of his own research.… His self-mocking attitude toward his inability to achieve instant nirvana, along with a steady stream of cartoon illustrations, ensures that his ideas remain accessible. More important than the theories, though, may be the basic tools – and the visionary spirit – that Warren hands off to those interested in hacking their own minds. – Publishers Weekly

An audacious, enchanting, and often hilarious journey into the slippery nature of human consciousness, from deep slumber to lofty states of enlightenment. This book will blow your mind. – Sandra Blakeslee, co-author of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own

An amazing book. Jeff Warren manages to be funny while packing in tons of fascinating science. Rather than staying within conventional boundaries, Warren follows his own formidable curiosity, producing a book that is quirky, refreshing, and nothing short of groundbreaking. – Tom Stafford, co-author of Mind Hacks

Writing about any aspect of consciousness is treacherously difficult, but Jeff Warren's take on the subject is clear, original, and – amazingly – funny! – Rita Carter, author of Mapping the Mind

As readable and fun as a novel, yet accurate and up-to-date, this book is about your most precious possession – your consciousness – and the fascinating states it goes through. – Charles T. Tart, author of Altered States of Consciousness

This provocative, often hilarious, and fascinating book describes a journey conducted with the adventurous spirit and intellectual curiosity of a Darwin coupled with the sensibility of a stand-up comedian. When Warren fits the pieces together, the implications of that knowledge are … mind-blowing. Part user’s manual and part travel guide, The Head Trip will be an instant classic, a brilliant summation of consciousness studies that is also a practical guide to enhancing creativity, mental health, and the experience of what it means to be human. Many books claim that they will change their readers. This one gives readers the tools to change themselves.
The audio version is ably read by Raymond Todd, actor-director, jazz musician and documentary filmmaker.

Audio / Literature & Fiction

Gods Behaving Badly:: A Novel (Abridged audiobook, 5 Audio CDs, running time approximately 6 hours) by Marie Phillips, narrated by Tom Sellwood (Hachette Audio)

Gods Behaving Badly/span>: A Novel by Marie Phillips (Little, Brown and Company)

Being immortal is not all it once was.

Neither is being a Greek god.

According to Marie Phillips in Gods Behaving Badly, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse – and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis, goddess of hunting, as a dog-walker, Apollo, god of the sun, as a TV psychic, Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, as a phone sex operator, Dionysus, god of love, as a DJ.
Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees – a favorite pastime of Apollo's – is sapping their vital reserves of strength.
Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed – but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

Author Phillips studied anthropology at Cambridge University and worked as a researcher at the BBC before she started working as an independent bookseller while writing Gods Behaving Badly. Narrator Tom Sellwood has performed extensively on Broadway and London's West End, has appeared in Sex in the City for HBO, and has done voice-over work for film and television.

British blogger Phillips's delightful debut finds the Greek gods and goddesses living in a tumbledown house in modern-day London and facing a very serious problem: their powers are waning, and immortality does not seem guaranteed. In between looking for work and keeping house, the ancient family is still up to its oldest pursuit: crossing and double-crossing each other. Apollo[‘s] …aunt Aphrodite, a phone-sex worker, sabotages him by having her son Eros shoot him with an arrow of love, making him fall for a very ordinary mortal – a cleaning woman named Alice, who happens to be in love with Neil, another nice, retiring mortal. When Artemis … hires Alice to tidy up, the household is set to combust, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Fanciful, humorous and charming, this satire is as sweet as nectar. – Publishers Weekly

Gods Behaving Badly is that rare thing: a charming, funny, utterly original first novel that satisfies the head and the heart.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Flow in the Office:: Implementing and Sustaining Lean Improvements by Carlos Venegas (Productivity Press)

For many years, Lean initiatives have generated staggering improvements on the shop floor. Now many managers and business leaders want these Lean benefits incorporated into non-traditional environments such as service and transactions.
Flow in the Office shows readers how to:

  • Translate and transition Lean manufacturing principles into all office activities.
  • Leverage the assets that they already have, honing them and bringing them to bear in support of the business strategy.
  • Conduct an office kaizen event where office automation is a key component.

The author, Carlos Venegas, president of Straus/Forest, LLC, has helped scores of clients implement successful process-improvement initiatives in a wide range of organizations: from 1000-employee business units in a Fortune 500 company to a four-employee small business. Venegas has an M.A. in Applied Behavioral Science from The Leadership Institute of Seattle and has received extensive Lean training from Shingijutsu, Ltd., both in Japan/st1:place> and the United States.

Lean refers to the Toyota Production System (TPS), which was pioneered by Taiichi Ohno at the Toyota Motor Company. Lean is an approach to "manage customer relations, the supply chain, product devel­opment, and production operations." Ohno says that the "basis of the Toyota Production System is the absolute elimination of waste." To work toward this goal, the TPS rests on two funda­mental principles:

  1. Just-in-time (JIT) production.
  2. Autonomation, also known as jidoka, that is, automation with human intelligence.

In a just-in-time production environment, material, data, and information flow to a workstation in only the amounts needed for a particular operation at a particular time. This allows the system to minimize the amount of ‘work-in-process,’ or WIP. Reducing WIP allows for right-sized workstations and can actually increase the velocity and flexibility of a product's flow through the system.

The term Jidoka highlights the need to embed quality in the manufacturing process. If any defective process or object is discovered during the manufacturing process, the activity stops automatically, allowing the concerned people to correct the defect. Jidoka fosters high-quality parts and processes, which are a prerequisite for successful JIT.

Lean has been viewed by many as a product of the factory environment. Over the last 40 years, it has been refined and proven to be among the most effec­tive strategies to improve operational productivity. An Economist article gives Lean the credit for uncommonly rapid productivity growth in the U.S. manu­facturing sector between 2001 and 2006.

Venegas in Flow in the Office says he became involved in Lean business because he loved its simplicity and ele­gance. Eventually, the efficiencies that Lean affords became his secondary objective. The positive impact that Lean can have on people became his prime motivator. That impact has given him the ener­gy and determination to carry the Lean banner through thick and thin. For example, once during a kaizen event, a woman jogged past him, obviously on an errand for her Lean kaizen team. As she passed me, she exclaimed with a wide grin and a laugh, "I'm having fun!"

Although implementing Lean can be hard, process improvement itself is easy, at least once learners know the principles of Lean. In fact, for the initiated, Lean prin­ciples often seem like solid common sense. The hard part is people; without the active engagement of employees – and management – Lean goes nowhere.

Flow in the Office begins with establishing the business case for Lean. Chapter 1 features an overview of what others have experienced with Lean in their businesses. Learning about Lean in the office environment follows next. Chapters 2 and 3 examine the nature of flow in the office environment, how waste impedes that flow, and some of the Lean concepts that are used to combat waste. Chapter 4 looks at a type of process mapping called ‘value-stream mapping.’ The value-stream map (VSM) process visualizes the current and improved process; then identifies, prioritizes, and schedules the improvement activities. Preparation for an office kaizen and its implementation are covered in detail in Chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 7, the final and perhaps, the most important chapter, deals with sus­taining the kaizen improvements.

Venegas translates the language of Lean manufacturing into the language of Lean office flow, bringing bits, bytes, and conversations into the world of process improvement. In Flow in the Office/span>, he shows how the competitive advantage goes to those who manage information and knowledge most effectively and efficiently. Exploring a new operational strategy may not be easy, but it is exciting. Whether readers are interested in a specific topic, say kaizen, or have committed themselves to launch­ing Lean in their workplaces, they will discover useful nuggets in Flow in the Office that help them combine their current thinking with the possibilities of what Lean can do for their businesses.

Children’s / Ages 4-8

Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Harcourt, Inc. Children)

First there's a tap.
Next there's a snap.
Then itty-bitty Baby's hands
Clap-clap-clap!
Toot! Goes his family. Boom! Boom! Bop!
Even Baby’s neighbors go hip-hip-hop! – from the book

In Jazz Baby/span>, Baby and his family make some jazzy music.
WWith a simple clap of hands, a beboppin' baby gets his whole family singing and dancing. Sister's hands snap. Granny sings scat. Uncle soft-shoes – and Baby keeps the groove. Things start to wind down when Mama and Daddy sing blues so sweet. Now a perfectly drowsy baby sleeps deep, deep, deep.

Lisa Wheeler is the author of many irresistible read-aloud picture books. Wheeler, who gets most of her ideas while in motion, wrote the first stanza of Jazz Baby while doing laps in a swimming pool. She's also written stories while cutting grass, cleaning, and walking. Forward momentum may even have inspired her to write Mammoths on the Move, a book about migration.

Illustrator R. Gregory Christie is an outstanding talent in picture books and has won three Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors. Christie graduated from New York City's School of Visual Arts, and within a few years his work appeared on the covers of jazz records all over the world. He then began to illustrate children's books. Christie travels internationally to create art live at various events, and he continues to paint illustrations for album covers, books, and magazines from in his studio in Brooklyn, New York.

Wheeler and Christie pair up perfectly in Jazz Baby for a celebration of music, imagination, and big families – but they know that even a jazz baby needs to snooze. Oh yeah.

Children’s / Ages 5 and up

The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up: Based on the Books by C. S. Lewis by C. S. Lewis, pop-ups by Robert Sabuda, Matthew Armstrong, & Matthew Reinhart (Narnia Series: Harper Collins Publishers)

In The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up C. S. Lewis's classic The Chronicles of Narnia books spring to life in the hands of award-winning paper engineer Robert Sabuda. Each of the seven books in the series has its own pop-up spread rendered in detail with special effects. Readers experience a different adventure from Narnia on every spread in this addition to the Narnia library. The pop-ups highlighting the seven books in the series are:

  • From The Magicians Nephew, the Great Lion, Asian, springs.
  • From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe the snow-covered land of Narnia is revealed.
  • From The Horse and His Boy, the horse and the boy gallop across the page.
  • From Prince Caspia, the Prince fights the battle.
  • From Voyage of the Dawn Treader King Caspian sets sail.
  • From The Silver Chair Eustace and Jill fly above the tower on owls.
  • From The Last Battle all who have been loyal and true parade into Asian’s Country.

Author Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day. He was a fellow and tutor in English literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Silent Planet, The Four Loves, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity.

Lovers of Lewis’s famous series have never seen Narnia like they will in The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up. In these glorious pop-ups Narnia comes to life in spectacular detail with stunning special effects. This beautiful book is sure to enchant fans of both Lewis and Sabuda.

Children’s / Young Adult / Historical Fiction

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (Readers Circle Series: Delacorte Books for Young Readers)

After Kirby Larson heard a snippet of a story about her great-grandmother homesteading in eastern Montana, she spent three years working on the story, reading dozens of homesteaders' journals, and she based scenes in the book on real events. Now being issued in paperback, Hattie Big Sky earned two starred reviews upon its publication and a Newberry Honor. Set on a homestead in rural Montana, Larson's tale captures the sentiments of those left at home during World War I.

For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one distant relative to another. Fed up with being Hattie Here-and-There, she longs for a home of her own. So when she hears the news that she has inherited her uncle's claim in Montana, Hattie courageously decides to leave Iowa behind – she will prove up on her late uncle's homestead to establish the home of her dreams.

Under the big sky, Hattie braves hard weather, hard times, a cantankerous cow, and her own hopeless hand at the cook stove. Despite countless hardships, Hattie forges ahead. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, she faces frost, drought and blizzards. Hattie's daily struggles to survive are balanced by the loving family relationship she develops with her German neighbors, the Muellers. For the first time in her life, Hattie feels part of a family, finding the strength to stand up against Traft Martin's schemes to buy her out. Then, as the war rages in Europe, anti-German sentiment travels west to Montana, forcing Hattie to decide what being a ‘loyal’ American really means. In spite of all the obstacles and forces working against her, Hattie is determined to work the land until a tragedy causes her to discover the true meaning of home and family.

Along the way, Hattie chronicles her adventures in a series of articles for the hometown Iowa newspaper, as well as in letters to her dear friend, Charlie, a possible suitor, who is fighting in France. Each chapter opens with one of those short articles for the paper or one of her lively letters to Charlie.

Hattie Big Sky also contains a reading group discussion guide.

A marvelous story about courage, loyalty, perseverance, and the meaning of home. I gave my heart to the brave and determined Hattie, and I think you will, too. – Karen Cushman, author of The Midwife's Apprentice, and Catherine, Called Birdy

Larson creates a masterful picture of the homesteading experience and the people who persevered. – School Library Journal (starred review)

Readers will connect with this strong, resourceful character. – The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

This is a great read for anyone who appreciates history or learning what life was like for teens in years past. – Detroit Free Press

In this engaging historical novel set in 1918 …The authentic first-person narrative, full of hope and anxiety, effectively portrays Hattie's struggles as a young woman with limited options, a homesteader facing terrible odds … Writing in figurative language that draws on nature and domestic detail to infuse her story with the sounds, smells, and sights of the prairie, she creates a richly textured novel full of memorable characters. – Kathleen Odean, Booklist (starred review)

In the grand tradition of great American historical novels such as Oh Pioneers! and Little House on the Prairie, Larson's Hattie Big Sky shares an emotionally rich story that celebrates pioneer women and their indomitable spirit. Lovingly stitched together from Larson's own family his­tory and the sights, sounds, and scents of homesteading life, the story also poignantly captures the sentiments of those left at home during World War I with powerful insight and grace.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family by Judy Bart Kancigor (Workman Publishing)

Got kugel? Got Kugel with Toffee Walnuts?

When Judy Bart Kancigor was excitedly expecting her first grandchild, she suddenly realized – how would this coming generation ever know her family's history, hear the wonderful stories – and, more importantly, taste its wonderful food?

Blending the recipes with over 160 stories from the Rabinowitz family and illustrated throughout with more than 500 photographs reaching back to the 19th century, Cooking Jewish invites readers not just into the kitchen, but into a vibrant world of family and friends. Written and recipe-tested by Kancigor, a food journalist with the Orange County Register, who self-published her first family cookbook as a gift and then went on to sell 11,000 copies, Cooking Jewish contains 532 recipes from her extended family of outstanding cooks, including the best chicken soup ever – really! – from her mother, Lillian. (Or as the author says, "When you write your cookbook, you can say your mother's is the best.")

The real homemade Gefilte Fish – and also Salmon en Papillote. Grandma Sera Fritkin’s Russian Brisket and Hazelnut-Crusted Rack of Lamb. Aunt Irene's traditional matzoh balls and Judy's contemporary version with shiitake mushrooms. Layered Hummus and Eggplant with Roasted Garlic and Pine Nuts, Moroccan Spicy Apricot Lamb Shanks, and, essential for any holiday, Gramma Sera Fritkin's Russian Brisket.

And befitting the work of passionate cooks who will use any excuse to get together for coffee and ‘a little something,’ readers will find FOUR chapters on sweets – dozens and dozens of desserts: pies, cakes, cookies, bars, and a multitude of cheesecakes; Rugelach and Hamantaschen, Mandelbrot and Sufganyot (Hanukkah jelly doughnuts). Not to mention Tanta Esther Gittel’s Husband’s Second Wife Lena’s Nut Cake.

Cooking Jewish blends the old with the new, the sweet with the savory, the recipes with the stories behind them, and by the end of the book, readers get to know the whole wacky Rabinowitz clan. How did Aunt Sally's Red, White and Blue Cake get its name, for example? "When Harold was courting Marilyn, Aunt Sally offered him an assortment of her cakes. He took one look at her chocolate, vanilla, and cherry marble cake and said, ‘Do I eat it or salute it?’ They've been calling it Red, White, and Blue Cake ever since!"

But all is not without controversy. There are the matzoh ball floater-lovers versus the sinker-lovers. The Litvaks versus the Galitzianers (the Jewish version of the Hatfields and McCoys). And in an essay called "The Kugel Wars," Kancigor reveals the heart-wrenching dilemma she faced in whittling down the myriad kugel recipes submitted to a mere dozen. "’Take mine!’ ‘No, mine!’ they all pleaded. It got ugly. Otherwise perfectly agreeable cousins came practically to blows extolling the virtues of ... what? We're talking a noodle concoction here!" Rita's Special Kugel, layered with pears and peaches, wins out as ‘the king of kugels.’

Readers will find Old World comfort food like Pirogen (Cheese and Potato), and Kancigor's signature hors d'oeuvre, Potato Knishes ("I'll go to my grave believing that if my daughter-in-law Shelly hesitated for one minute about marrying Stu, it was my knishes that pushed her over the edge"), new versions of old favorites like Malaysian Potato Latkes, with ginger, jalapeños and cashews ("a latke with pizzazz!"), and a whole chapter for Passover.

Feasting and family lore in equal measure – a savory labor of love. Buy it – you look thin! – Bryan Miller, food critic and writer
Just delightful! Judy has given us a delectable family reunion recipe feast, with lively photos throughout. – Sheila Lukins, coauthor of The Silver Palate Cookbook
The adventurous cooks in the Rabinowitz family have come up with dishes in a wide range of flavors – I’m eager to try her son's Not Exactly Russian Piroshki, her grandma's cholent with red wine, her Passover banana sponge cake, and, of course, Mama Hinda's Challah. Judy's enthusiasm and sense of humor shine through. – Faye Levy, 1,000 Jewish Recipes

Cooking Jewish gathers recipes from five generations of a food-obsessed family into a celebratory saga of cousins and kasha, Passover feasts and crossover dishes. It speaks to the Jewish food lover in anyone who recalls standing on a chair to help Mom cut out butter cookies. It is cooking from the heart, a memory in every bite.

With its lively anecdotes and eccentric characters, the book invites readers not just into the kitchen, but into a whole vibrant world of family and friends. Mixing stories of the author's family with the treasure of five generations of recipes, Cooking Jewish is home cooking at its best.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Travel

Flavors of Slovenia: Food And Wine from Central Europe's Hidden Gem by Heike Milhench (Hippocrene Books, Inc.)

Tucked between the foothills of the Alps, the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and the beginning of the Panonian plains to the East, Slovenia is a beautiful land in Central Europe. Among the popular draws are its peaceful Mediterranean climate, scenic aspect, and increased accessibility and affordability. Newly independent from Yugoslavia at the end of the 20th century, Slovenia emerged fairly recently with a resilient culture and rich arts scene that has caused tourism to flourish. In Flavors of Slovenia, Heike Milhench presents a comprehensive guide to the country's cuisine.

Slovenian fare is both hearty and wholesome. According to Flavors of Slovenia, Sunday afternoon lunch in Slovenia is a family affair that can last for hours. Several courses are ordered, sometimes accompanied by several bottles of wine. Especially during the winter months, the chance to sit together in a warm and cozy atmosphere to catch up on the week’s events is appreciated by all.

The book ranges from such perennial favorites as Friko (Hearty Potato Pancake), Źlinkrofi (Meat Dumplings), Bakala (Dried Salt Cod Paté) and Kostanjeva Juba (Chestnut Soup) to more unusual preparations like Črni Rižoto (Black Risotto with Squid, ink included) and Mežerli (Baked Encrusted Pig or Veal Lung – a version of Haggis),

Flavors of Slovenia includes delicacies like the popular Nadevana Svinjska Ribiea s Suhimi Figarni (Leg of Pork Stuffed with Dried Figs) and Kranjske Klobase (Carniolan Sausages), not to mention a local favorite, Pehtranova Terra (Tarragon Cake with Sour Cream). A wide and eclectic selection of appetizers, salads, soups and meats are featured here, as well as a variety of baked goods – Poticas (rolled yeast breads with varied fillings), Strudels, Tortes, Crepes and Strukijis (traditional rolled dumplings) abound.

One of the greatest attributes of Slovenian cuisine is its use of local and fresh ingredients. In the early summer, for example, one will see many asparagus dishes on local menus; in the fall, pumpkin soup and venison; in the spring, dandelion salad.

The regional dishes are strongly influenced by the surrounding geography, be it the mountainous region of Gorenjska in the northwest, or the seaside region of Primorska on the Adriatic Coast. Local tastes also mirror the cultures of neighboring countries. For example, the northeast region of Prekrnurje prefers spicy soups and stews, typical of Hungarian cuisine, whereas the Koroska region along the border of Aus­tria enjoys foods with more of an Austrian or Germanic influence. The Primorska region, along the western border of Slovenia, shows its appreciation of Italian cuisine.

Although Flavors of Slovenia includes many tradi­tional recipes, such as Brown Soup and Strudel, there are also some modern twists on old favorites, such as Zucchini Fritters. Milhench says her selections reflect the Slovenia of today. Many Slovenian restaurants feature traditional dishes; however, creative gourmet chefs also like to make their mark on the menu. For example, there are wonderful new restaurants in Ljubljana, as well as in the mountains, which feature ‘Slovenian Slow Food’ menus. These contrast with the Slovenian version of ‘fast food,’ eevapiei, a spiced meat served on the streets of Ljubljana that has roots in the cuisine of the southern Balkans.

Dining in Slovenia is pleasantly accom­panied by the local wines, beers, and other beverages. The country has a long history of wine production, and hundreds of small vineyards produce high-quality wines. Depending on which region readers may visit, they will drink one of three local beers brewed from the well-known Stajerska hops: Union Pivo brewed in Ljubljana; Lagko Pivo from Lagko; or beer from the smaller Gambrinus brewery in Maribor. Traditional brandies, such as blueberry, pear, and walnut, are produced on farms, in monasteries, or in kitchens. Sloveni­ans also enjoy the local cola, juices, and iced tea, proudly bottled at home.

According to Flavors of Slovenia, when travelers go to Slovenia, they will be amazed by how much there is to do within its modest borders. There is skiing, golf, hik­ing and rock climbing, sailing, fishing, and whitewater rafting. They can visit the Lipiz­zaner horses, thermal baths, wine vineyards, and crystal factories, as well as a World War I museum, beautiful medieval castles, and art nouveau architecture. Everywhere they go, they will find wonderful restaurants, pubs, and cafes, and will be greeted by open and friendly Slovenians, interested to know where they came from and how they came to visit Slovenia.

Hippocrene – a fount of ethnic cookbooks. – Publisher's Weekly

Perhaps the only comprehensive guide to this country’s cuisine, Flavors of Slovenia invites readers to enjoy its sampling of a diverse culinary heritage and culture, replete with 200 delicious recipes, a section on well-known Slovenian beers and wines, and stories of a fascinating past. Not only do readers discover these tasty dishes, but also ruminations on golf, the capital city of Ljubljana, and the art of Slovenian beekeeping, Tales of such legendary locals as the ‘sunshine salesman’ and a Slovenian Robin Hood along with ghosts and fairytale castles also bring the culture alive in this unique volume. Readers will enjoy the recipes and stories in the book and they may well be inspired to make the trip.

Engineering / Aerospace / Propulsion Technology / Biographies & Memoirs

Rocketman: My Rocket-Propelled Life and High-Octane Creations by Ky Michaelson (Motorbooks)

An unlikely combination of Hollywood stuntman, mechanical wizard, loving family man and friend, record-setting rocketeer, inspirational speaker, and humble genius, Ky Michaelson seems to have literally done and seen it all. Even so, his life is as busy as ever and there’s no stopping him, as readers will learn in the pages of Rocketman – Michaelson’s story, the tale of a rocket-powered man.

Since the 1960s, Michaelson’s rocket-powered vehicles have set 72 state, national, and international speed records. A penchant for the unknown and passion for speed have driven Michaelson since childhood, when he built his first rocket-powered motorcycle. After earning his first world record – for a rocket-powered snowmobile – Michaelson decided to go after every acceleration record in the world.
Michaelson tells the story of how he began and where he’s gone, including his behind-the-scenes work on hundreds of film and television programs, his home-built rocket-powered toys, and his service as program director of Space Shot 2004 – the grand effort of the Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT) to build and launch the first amateur rocket into space. And he describes accomplishing the impossible dream to license and successfully launch the Go Fast rocket into space, reaching an altitude of 72 miles and setting a new speed record of 3,420 miles per hour.

Michaelson’s penchant for the unknown began in childhood. In 1964, he built his first rocket-powered motorcycle, powered by two Turbonique T-16A rocket motors. While at a local racetrack, the track announcer said, “Here comes the Rocketman.” The nickname stuck. In 1969, Michaelson formed Rocketman Enterprises Inc. and built a rocket-powered snowmobile that made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Michaelson was instrumental in gaining license for the first NHRA-sanctioned hydrogen peroxide rocket-powered dragsters in the 1970s. Later in life, he aimed his rocket dreams skyward, building and launching several rockets toward space. He has worked on over 200 films, television programs, and commercials, as well as the majority of stunt specials that have been seen on TV over the past 30 years. Literally hundreds of feature articles have been written about Michaelson and his adventures. He continues to build rockets and rocket-powered vehicles in his home workshop in Bloomington, Minnesota.

He’s the real thing and more than inspiring … Ky should be the poster boy for everything related to space for any nation’s space program! – Dr. David Livingston, host, The Space Show

Through the pages of Rocketman, Michaelson engagingly shares his inspiring story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges to achieve a life-long dream. His stories are remarkable. His zest for life is unmatched. His inventions are real-life sci-fi. An entrancing tour of the rocketing devices Michaelson devised, Rocketman also brings to life the brilliant, determined, eccentric man whose will was enough to launch him into space, stardom, and history. Readers will have to read it to believe it.

Entertainment / Movies / Literature & Fiction / Social Sciences

Monsters In and Among Us: Toward a Gothic Criminology edited by Caroline Joan (Kay) Picart & Cecil Greek (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press)

The complex range of reactions we exhibit toward monsters – from horror to awe – cries out for examina­tion. Thus, it is important to track the most gripping and recurrent visualizations of the ‘monstrous’ in film and the media in order to lay bare the tensions that underlie the contemporary construc­tion of the monstrous, which ranges in the twilight realm where divisions separating fact, fiction, and myth are porous.

The anthology Monsters In and Among Us was prompted by the explosion of books and films that link violence, images of ‘monstrosity,’ and Gothic modes of narration and visualization in American popular culture, academia, and even public policy. The ongoing fascination with evil, as simultaneously repel­lant and irresistibly attractive, in the Hollywood film, criminological case studies, popular cul­ture, and even public policy points to the emer­gence of a ‘Gothic criminology’ with its focus on themes such as blood lust, compulsion, godlike vengeance, and power and domination. In spite of this explosion, there have been few critical anthologies aimed at an interdisciplinary approach focusing on the complex continuum of fact and fiction, moving across the humanities (film criticism, cultural studies, rhetoric) and the social sciences (communica­tion, criminology, sociology) in exploring this phenomenon.

Edited by Caroline Joan (Kay) Picart, Associate Professor of English and Cour­tesy Associate Professor of Law at Florida State University and Cecil Greek, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University, Monsters In and Among Us is a collection of essays critically interrogating contemporary visualizations of the Gothic and the monstrous in film and media. Rather than assuming that film and the media tell us little about the reality of criminological phenomena, ‘Gothic criminology,’ as presented in this collection of essays, recognizes the complementarity of critical academic and aesthetic accounts of deviant behavior as intersecting with the public policy in complex, non-reductive ways. Gothic criminology ges­tures toward an account that moves between the realms of Gothic fiction and film that entertain its horrified and fascinated audi­ence with unreal horrors attendant upon a realistically/cogently imagined fictional world, and factual cases (e.g., stalkers, serial murderers, terrorists, and rogue cops) framed in Gothic terms that are essential to plotting the social construction of where evil resides within modernity.

The contemporary monsters Picart and Green examine in Monsters In and Among Us include the pedophilic homosexual priest (Ingebretsen's essay); the hyper­masculinized rogue cop (Houck's and Greek's essays); the mascu­linized mother (Benson's essay); the drug addict (McKahan's essay); the white-collar criminal (Gill's essay); the serial killer (Picart and Greek's essay); and the terrorist (Picart and Greek's essay). Other instances of the Gothic in popular culture include police departments nurtured by monstrously corrupt practices (Greek's essay), unbridled capitalism as vampiric (Gill's essay), and even the proliferation of Gothic images and metaphors in pop­ular culture spawning paranoid and useless public policy (Suret­te's essay).

Picart and Greek in Monsters In and Among Us first offer a matrix for understanding Gothic crimi­nology as a theoretical perspective by tracing its root components within strands of postmodern criminology and Gothic literary and film theory. Where Gothic fiction instructs its horrified readers in the unreal horrors attendant upon a realistically imagined fictional world, Gothic criminology teaches its readers about the actual horrors that produce and prevail in the social construction of modernity. Where Gothic literature offers "scientifically objective terminology and clearly empirical obser­vation as a means of establishing intensely private, subjective ex­perience," Gothic criminology employs otherworldly "imagery and occult fantasy to evoke in the reader an intellectual understanding of the actual world and to inspire a praxiological re­sponse to it."

The development of a Gothic criminology can be seen as a po­tential strand of contemporary postmodern criminological theory. The introduction offers a characterization of this theoretical position, postmodern criminology, by examining its genealogy. While the phrase ‘Gothic criminology’ may be new, the crimi­nological elements of it can be gleaned from the writings of sociol­ogists, criminologists, and social philosophers trying to come to grips with the ever present problem of human evil and describing it in ways that can be interpreted as Gothic. Gothic criminology cannot be reduced to a monolithic defini­tion, as it comprises the critical examination of themes and con­cepts apparent in both the Gothic literary tradition and key qualitative social science texts, against the sociopolitical and tex­tual contexts that endlessly reproduce the manifold embodiments of the Gothic.

The term Gothic has it original roots in the development of an architectural style popular in Europe between 1150 and 1400. More important for Monsters In and Among Us is the development of Gothic literature. This now widely recognized genre was devel­oped in works like Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764); Matthew Lewis's The Monk (1796); Ann Radcliffe's The Italian; or, The Confessional of the Black Penitents (1797); Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818); and Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). These are con­stantly cited as defining the Gothic genre, though the discussion of these particular works as canonical happened much later. Sociologically, these tales represented a reaction to the age of reason, order, and politics of eigh­teenth-century England.

According to Monsters In and Among Us, the primary effort of criminology has been to demystify con­cepts through the use of the scientific method and rational experimentation and explanation, as part of the overall secularization of understanding of human behavior. However, the continued and in fact expanded potential for evil, such as the mass genocides carried out in the twentieth century, appears to undermine the reduction of evil to biological, psychological, and sociological explanations. Just as Gothic literature pointed to the limits of rational thought as envi­sioned by the Enlightenment, a Gothic criminology asks whether additional ways of thinking about evil might remain a useful en­deavor to consider.

Monsters In and Among Us begins with an essay by Edward J. Ingebretsen. Ingebretsen's "Bodies under Scandal, Bodies under Law: Priests and Tainted Sex – The Pleasures of Public Sex" focusing on the complex conjunction between the Gothic narrative and its impli­cations and Catholic religion and morality. The chapter explores how scandal functions as a mode of public disci­pline. Ingebretsen takes as an example recent media in the United States in which a complicated ‘scene’ of public shaming and misplaced guilt is being staged upon the sexed bodies of priests and children. Ultimately, this chapter argues that an inappropriate Gothic framing significantly burdens the ‘facts.’

If it is the monstrous body of the homosexual priest as pedophile that haunts the first chapter, then it is the equally monstrous hyp­ermasculinized body of that quintessential good-bad rogue cop, ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan that inhabits the second. In Victorian Gothic, the exotic castles and abbeys of the eigh­teenth century are replaced by the all too familiar labyrinthine streets, sinister rookeries, claustrophobic and dark opium dens, and filth and stench of the squalid slums. To Davis Houck, Dirty Harry (1971) is not simply a popular and enduring film about a .44 Magnum-wielding homi­cide cop and his extralegal pursuit of a crazed murderer. He argues that Dirty Harry can be productively read against the backdrop of what he calls the ‘urban monstrous.’ Set amid the Haight-Ashbury-addled late 1960s, the film functions rhetorically to cri­tique and ultimately dominate the freaks, pimps, swingers, queers, blacks, Hispanics, and other minority groups made to appear mon­strous within the cinematic cartography of San Francisco. In as­serting his dominance over the urban monstrous, the middle-class, heteronormative white male represented by Harry Callahan is re­masculinized.

Continuing the analysis of gender in relation to themes of the Gothic, a new ‘monster’ emerges in Thomas Benson's chapter, "Hitchcock's Anti-Gothic: The Rhetorical Structure of The Man Who Knew Too Much": the monstrous mother. Benson's chapter focuses on Alfred Hitchcock's 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. That version invokes standard motifs of the Gothic tale in a complex and symmetrical series of doublings. The rhetoric of the Gothic, with its sentiment, horror, helpless silence, and loneliness, is represented by the villains, who are foreign kidnappers and assassins, physically marked by recognizable facial deformities. Thus, Hitchcock's film appropriates the ‘Orientalist’ and Lombrosian elements characteristic of Gothic literary and criminological accounts. In The Man Who Knew Too Much, these Gothic elements are pitted against sturdy, cheerful, inquisitive but unimaginative protago­nists. The protagonists ultimately overcome the villains through the invocation of a countering monstrosity – a mother with a deadly rifle – who restores her world and ours to normality.

As told in Monsters In and Among Us, another feature of the Victorian literary Gothic is its combina­tion of the domestic and the exotic through its demonization of urban drug use, symbolized by the opium den. In line with this theme, Jason G. McKahan's "Substance Abuse and the Gothic in Narrative Motion Pictures" exam­ines depictions of substance abuse in relation to the construction of monstrous ‘others’ within the American cinematic imaginary. This chapter shows that the history of ‘drug films’ reveals much about the fluctuating and shifting of constructions of ‘substance abuse’ in state laws and the typology of the ‘drug dealer’ in the motion picture industry. Ultimately, the Gothic typology of the drug abuser/dealer as othered demon correlates to the ways in which foreigners and nonwhite Americans have been positioned as evil types, despite the compelling recog­nition that substance abuse occurs across race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality.

The vampire is one of the stock figures of Gothic literature and Gothic-inspired film. Pat Gill's "Making a Killing in the Marketplace: Incorporation as a Monstrous Process" points out that a defining feature of vampires is their innate for­eignness, marked by unstable gender identity, sexual and eco­nomic parasitism, gender slippage, and degeneracy. However, many of the recent vampires, mutants, clones, and aliens of television, as opposed to film, no longer possess the characteristics or function of the ‘traditional’ monsters. The operation and effects of ‘othering’ have become much more complicated and uncertain in contemporary television, while traditional standards are subtly, persistently, and often humorously called into question. Monstros­ity metamorphoses as the non- and less-than-humans unite with scientists, businessmen, and politicians in greed for power and wealth. This chapter examines the reworking of the Gothic and its alignment with commercial vampirism in the two television series mentioned, as well as in Farscape, Lexx, Strange World, Witchblade, and Mutant X.

Continuing the examination of the complex ways in which fact and fiction intersect in Gothic discourses, Cecil Greek's "The Big City Rogue Cop as Monster: Images of NYPD and LAPD" traces the trajectory of rogue cops in Hollywood films, arguing that each film generation of rogue cops becomes envisaged as an increas­ingly greater threat, using the mythic figure of the Golem running amok. This chapter compares NYPD rogue cops in the films of Sidney Lumet to the pre- and post-Rampart LAPD officers as de­picted in films like Training Day and television shows like The Shield. In addition, the films are discussed in context of the actual corruption scandals upon which the films are more or less loosely based. The chapter builds upon the Victorian literary depiction of the landscape of the city as Gothic. Here, it is not principally the criminal underworld or the poor that are implicated as a source of horror in the modern urban metropolis, but the social control mechanisms within these communities.

One of the most ambitious chapters in this anthology, Raymond Surette's "Gothic Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy," tracks intersections between recurrent Gothic visualizations of the ‘monstrous’ in the media and film and contemporary mon­ster-targeted criminal justice policy. The chapter takes an unusual turn: the author argues that the popularity of the evil predator icon, a media myth, is psychologi­cally tied to our species' historic fear of strangers as infants. Sur­ette claims that the characterizations of film monsters strikingly resemble the profile of a real prehistoric threat to infants – stranger, nonrelated, adult predatory males who move across human and primate groups and are the main theorized perpetra­tors of infanticide. A well-known recent example is the mythic figure of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs; Lecter, a popular fictional icon, was successfully uti­lized in the 1990s to garner support for "Three Strikes and You're Out" legislation and the generation and funding of the new Fed­eral Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Behavioral Science Unit.

Closing Monsters In and Among Us are two connected essays. The first, "The Compulsions of Reel/Real Serial Killers and Vampires: Toward a Gothic Criminology," coauthored by Picart and Greek, demonstrates the overlap of vampiric themes in serial murder films. It shows how ‘primordial evil,’ becomes recognizable as an essential narrative fea­ture of the dread that ‘senseless murderers,’ such as serial killers, seek to inspire, eliciting the same type of response as a vengeful deity. Such narrative patterns are discernible in the films that Picart and Greek examine. The serial killer, the most compelling monster that dominates the last part of the twentieth century. In docudramas such as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) and Ed Gein (2000), the serial killer as an abused abuser emerges; in horror films such as Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Immortality (1991), vampiric aristocrat­icism and Byronic sex appeal become key features of the mythic serial killer. Often viewed as merely symptomatic of an increas­ingly violent and alienated society, the serial killer might seem to call for the most emphatic reassertion of social norms and the strongest reaffirmation of conservative values, as occurred in the creation of the new FBI Behavioral Science Unit, as Surette points out. This is, however, rarely the case in fictional narratives, at least for male serial killers. As Picart notes in an article, when serial killers are female and lesbian (and poor), it is not the glamorous vampire, but the ambivalently fearful and piti­ful Frankensteinian monster that becomes the monstrous meta­phor, as shown in the fictional and documentary depictions of Aileen Wuornos. Rather than being established as the demonic other that must be exorcised from mainstream society, the male serial killer is explic­itly identified as that society's logical and inevitable product: soci­ety, rather than the individual, thus emerges as a primary site of horror. The killer may ultimately be caught and punished, but this is often brought about by the profiler's overidentification with the killer, as in Clarice Starling's pursuit of Buffalo Bill under the mentorship of Hannibal Lecter.

The final chapter of Monsters In and Among Us, also written by Picart and Greek, segues into corollary areas of inquiry. Specifically, the proliferation of Gothic discourses regarding the most feared contemporary monster: the terrorist, characterized as an exotic religious fanatic with affinities to the male serial killer, but one motivated by a clear death drive, unlike the domestic male serial killer, who seems to want to escape, though he does leave clues behind for his pursuers to find and interpret. In comparison, the suicidal terrorist appears to be seeking recognition and reward beyond the grave, while leav­ing behind only shards of his explosive rage.

Monsters In and Among Us demonstrates the fruitfulness and relevance of a Gothic criminology. The book, in offering the gothic criminological approach, begins the identification of a rich panoply of tools for getting at complex stories of how evil monsters – within and without, individual or communal – are generated. Even if the postmodern underpinnings of Gothic criminology are rejected by more traditional criminologists as themselves lack­ing scientific support, this approach still has heuristic value, par­ticularly for both criminology and film criticism as described in this book. Both criminology and film criticism can draw upon the insights that a Gothic criminological perspective can offer on the pervasive image of the world now emerging from the work of Hollywood writers and directors.

Health, Mind & Body / Diets

The All-New Atkins Advantage: The 12-Week Low-Carb Program to Lose Weight, Achieve Peak Fitness and Health, and Maximize Your Willpower to Reach Life Goals by Stuart L. Trager, with Colette Heimowitz (St. Martin’s Press)

A March 2007 study conducted at Stanford University and published in JAMA,
reveals that not only is the Atkins diet more effective than other diets, it can also
make people healthier than other diets.

A startling 89% of all United States adults who have ever tried to lose weight or eat healthier foods find that making these lifestyle changes is extremely challenging according to a 2007 Harris Interactive Poll. There are huge hurdles for any dieter, and that is why The All-New Atkins Advantage takes an effective weight loss system and develops it into a 12-week program to empower anyone wanting to embrace a healthier life. This is more than a diet; by pairing the best sports medicine and exercise physiology techniques with a nutritional program, the book provides the tools to make life-long changes.

The All-New Atkins Advantage is sort of like having a personal trainer, a nutritionist, and a life coach on call for three months – it is the first book with a week-by-week program that explains how to combine exercise with the Atkins low-carb eating plan. It also allows each person to individualize a plan to their own needs and tastes. The 12 weeks readers spend with the book will take them from induction to lifetime maintenance as each week builds on the one before it. Written by Stuart L. Trager, M.D., eight time Ironman and top ten finisher at the Ultraman World Championship competition, and a board certified practicing orthopedic surgeon and fitness expert, the book gives dieters an edge by replacing deprivation with motivation, and allows them to harness the advantage that comes from working with, rather than against, their bodies.

The five basic principles of the diet are:

  • Higher protein
  • Good fat
  • Low sugar
  • High fiber
  • Vitamins & minerals

What happens when readers follow the plan? According to The All-New Atkins Advantage, the body burns fat instead of storing it, dieters no longer crave unhealthy foods because their blood sugar is stabilized, and when they are no longer controlled by food, they are free to pursue their dreams.

The step-by-step program is designed to allow readers to move at their own pace.

  • Part I introduces readers to the basics of the Atkins program, from a list of foods they will want to have on hand to mental exercises to get motivated.
  • Part II features the 12-week Atkins Advantage Program, including a fit­ness component that allows readers to design their own workout, no matter what their level of fitness.
  • Part III includes 12 weeks' worth of daily meal plans at varying carbohydrate levels.

Each week builds on the one before it to raise readers’ levels of competence and confidence. At the end of the twelve weeks, the book asserts readers will have changed the way they eat and become healthier, slimmer, and happier.

Not just a diet but a complete step-by-step plan with motivators built into it, The All-New Atkins Advantage challenges readers to turn their lives around and give themselves a dietary, exercise, and lifestyle makeover. With The All-New Atkins Advantage by their side, if they can stick with the program, readers can look forward to a date 12 weeks from the day they start and know that is the day they will be happy, healthier, and fitter.

History / Americas / Constitutional Law

Redeeming American Democracy: Lessons from the Confederate Constitution by Marshall L. DeRosa (Pelican Publishing Company)

The quintessential question regarding gov­ernment's role in America has always been: will decisions be made in the communi­ties where people live or in Washington, D.C.?

These warring ideas of centralization and decentralization form the core of modern political debates about the national economy, U.S. foreign policy, and citizens' cultural values – just as they did with the founding fathers.

According to author Marshall L. DeRosa, professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University, distinguished scholar and expert on the Confederate constitution, there are lessons to be learned from the failed Southern cause as the new world order takes shape. Redeeming American Democracy addresses the extent to which the American rule of law can be structured to inhibit or promote governmental centralization. Southern Confederates were aware that the U.S. Constitution was somewhat deficient in constraining political centralization, so they constructed their own constitution.

DeRosa's examination of the rise and fall of the Confederacy; his suggestion for current-day secession, now championed by libertarians as a solution for states to regain their individual power; and his call for Americans to become self-govern­ing in order to restore the original democ­racy offer a radical opportunity for citizens to participate in the nation's redemption.

… Professor DeRosa goes boldly into territory where no one has ventured before and few have even known existed. Like an intrepid explorer of lands forgotten by time, he comes back with fresh knowledge – knowledge that Americans can use to save liberty and the rule of law under constitutional government – if they only will. – Clyde Wilson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, University of South Carolina, editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun and The Writings of John Taylor of Caroline

… It was the Confederate Constitution that was the ‘last best hope’ of we the people to control our government by reaffirming the original American design of federalism, States' rights, and citizen control of government. Read this book and learn why the ‘Principles of ‘61’ may be our last chance to save America. – Thomas DiLorenzo, author of The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked

DeRosa shows that the federal government's massive intrusion into the reserved powers of the States … would have been very difficult under the Confederate Constitution. We are left to ponder what a loss it was that Americans did not have the opportunity to choose between two competing American constitutions. – Donald Livingston, Professor of Philosophy, Emory University

In Redeeming American Democracy, DeRosa, an expert on the Confederate Constitution, describes why and how the democratic principles of the Confederate States of America are relevant and applicable today.

History / Military / Europe

The Royal Navy 1793-1815 by Gregory Fremont-Barnes (Battle Orders Series: Osprey Publishing)

By the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 Britain was the undisputed master of the seas owing to the power and strength of the Royal Navy. Its fleets, comprising ships of the line, frigates, and gunboats, had doubled in size since the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793, totaling almost a thousand capital vessels.
During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, fought over the course of two decades, the Royal Navy established its reputation as one of the most effective fighting institutions in history. The Navy's primary objective was to achieve and maintain naval dominance – that is to say, control of the sea – an aim secured as a consequence of its superiority in leadership, morale, seamanship and gunnery. Not only did the Navy play a fundamental part in the defeat of France, it periodically opposed, usually with remarkable success, her allies, Holland, Spain and Denmark, so establishing a maritime supremacy which would remain unchallenged for the next hundred years.

Operating throughout the oceans of the world, from the Channel, the North and Baltic Seas, to the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the West Indies and beyond, the Navy defended Britain's trade routes and contributed to the expansion and defense of her empire; prevented the enemy from making use of its colonial resources and raw materials; made possible the dispatch of expeditionary forces (as well as fleets) wherever Britain chose, especially to seize enemy colonies; and enabled Britain to protect and pursue her own interests, and those of her allies. Above all, the Navy provided the nation's first line of defense against invasion.

The Royal Navy 1793-1815 examines the commanders, men, and ships of the Royal Navy during the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars, and discusses the Navy's command structure and its organization at sea. The tactics employed in action by a fleet, a squadron, and individual ships are also discussed, together with training and gunnery, as are the medical services available. Further, the book also covers command, deployment, organization and evolution of forces in battle, describing elements of doctrine, training, tactics and equipment.

The Royal Navy 1793-1815 examines the government apparatus in London which managed the Royal Navy, its dockyards and bases, the organization of its crews, the manner in which their responsibilities were divided, the hierarchy of command aboard the vessels and the tasks performed by a ship's company from ordinary seaman to admiral. The ships themselves are described in terms of their ratings and armament, providing insight into the capabilities of the vessels together with the tactics employed in battle. The success of the Royal Navy during this period rested on a combination of factors, not least the efficient manner in which it was organized and led. These features, together with advances in ship design, gunnery, discipline and seamanship, were the products of generations of change that enabled the Navy to reach maturity by the beginning of the 19th century.

The Royal Navy 1793-1815 provides fascinating insight into the navy that ruled the waves. The book was written by Gregory Fremont-Barnes, who is currently editing a four-volume Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and co-editing a five-volume Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War.

Home & Garden / Garden Design

Outside the Not So Big House: Creating the Landscape of Home by Julie Moir Messervy & Sarah Susanka (The Taunton Press)

Who doesn't yearn for a landscape that is as well designed as the interior of their home?
Outside the Not So Big House extends the principles from bestselling author Sarah Susanka’s The Not So Big House to offer a unified source of design advice about making the indoors and outdoors work together. In this book, noted landscape designer and award-winning writer Julie Moir Messervy and Susanka reveal how to bring house and garden into harmony. Through the unique pairing of residential architect Susanka and landscape designer Messervy, two highly qualified experts teach readers how to think about designing outdoor spaces – so they are in keeping with the interior ones.
Outside the Not So Big House gives language to design concepts that unify home and landscape. Two major concepts – make building decisions in the context of the land and make landscape decisions that draw the inside toward the outside – help homeowners to attune their homes and property to fit the way we live today. Using twenty examples of diverse, ‘Not So Big’ homes set in landscapes of varying sizes from around the United States, Messervy and Susanka teach readers how to remove traditional design barriers between the home and surroundings to produce a unified design for living.

According to Messervy, a home is more than mere shelter – it is one’s own special realm upon the earth. Outside the Not So Big House is about inhabiting the broader landscape of home rather than simply existing in a house. Messervy, author of several books including The Inward Garden, is a proponent for composing personalized gardens based on outdoor archetypes, imagination and aesthetic impulses. In Outside the Not So Big House, the resonant images and concepts from her previous work coalesce with Susanka's ‘Not So Big’ approach to home design that favors quality over quantity and turns mere habitation into the art of living.

Messervy and Susanka are concerned with giving readers the ability to ‘listen’ to their environment from a spatial point of view. Their voices create a rolling dialogue throughout the book that explains through images and words the ‘how’ and ‘why’ good design allows homeowners to attune their properties to better fit their needs and fulfill an inherent longing for beauty. In Outside the Not So Big House, these ideas are organized into four categories:

  • Site: Embracing the Habitat of Home.
  • Flow: Composing Journeys.
  • Frames: Linking the Inside with the Out.
  • Details: Crafting the Elements of Nature.

Within each category, the authors describe how ‘Not So Big’ concepts such as ‘variations on a theme,’ ‘spatial layering’ and ‘shelter around activity’ are echoed inside and outside a home. Messervy and Susanka explain how space and its elements impact the way an area feels. For example, people are often drawn from dark places to areas of light and ‘psychological breathing spaces,’ such as wrap-around porches, offer an area for homeowners to transition from outdoors in and the indoors out. Special sidebars reveal how features such as water, curved lines and pools of space impact landscape aesthetics. ‘Outside Up-Close’ features at the end of each chapter illustrate practical ideas such as planting and hardscape design.

Sarah Susanka and Julie Moir Messervy's clearly written text offers practical advice for designing indoor-outdoor spaces that respond to modern lifestyles. They reveal secrets for achieving the ideal combination of architecture and nature in the home and in the garden! – James A. van Sweden, author, Architecture in the Garden

There are gardening books that tell us what to plant and where. And there are architectural design books that tell us how our homes should look. But never the twain seem to meet. At least not until recently, when the two spaces – home and garden – wed harmoniously in the new book, Outside the Not So Big House. – The Chicago Tribune
This beautiful book combines the best qualities of coffee table attractiveness and excellent advice. – Christian Science Monitor

On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding new book rates a solid 10. – Miami Herald
This perfect collaboration between the talented and articulate Julie Moir Messervy and Sarah Susarika proves what a huge pleasure the landscape of a ‘not so big’ house can be. A must read... – Tom Christopher, columnist, House & Garden Magazine

In Outside the Not So Big House the inspired vision of landscape designer Messervy combines with author-architect Susanka's ‘Not So Big’ approach to create a landmark book that will change the way homeowners and professionals view the home and its surroundings. This lushly photographed and exquisitely written book revolutionizes by integrating home and landscape design. Twenty homes from across the country aptly illustrate these easy-to-grasp design ideas. Fans of Susanka's previous Not So Big books will be pleased to discover not only Messervy's clear, concise prose but also a new vision for creating home.

Home & Garden / Interior Design

The New French Décor: Living with Timeless Objects by Michèle Lalande, with photography by Gilles Trillard (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.)

Objects play an indispensable role in any home; they create an atmosphere and express a state of mind. The arrangement of objects – from beloved mementoes to works of master craftsmanship – is an art in itself, an exercise in composition. The only requirements are flair for improvisation and a little bit of daring. The art of setting, compiling, or combining disparate objects is difficult, yet it has become the chic new decorating style in France, and is now spreading throughout the world.

Using their own passions as inspiration, stylists, decorators, and antiquarians are expressing themselves in a wide variety of styles, especially ones featuring secondhand objects in new settings that enhance their vintage charm. After the success of The New Eighteenth-Century Style, journalist and interior decorator Michèle Lalande and photographer Gilles Trillard team up again to showcase the most combinations of treasured heirlooms and contemporary design. From precious mundane objects like seashells and glass bottles to priceless works of master craftsmanship like candelabras and carved wooden chests, The New French Décor provides insight into the blend of sophistication, symmetry, confusion, and minimalism that makes each of these rooms successful.

As Michele Lalande discusses in the preface, "This book brings together an array of ideas and settings and suggests a variety of decorative styles. . . . There are abundant sources of inspiration for these combinations of both old and contemporary objects – with or without a theme, they are always accompanied by a poetic note, whether inside the house or outside in the garden."

In The New French Décor one experienced decorator admits: "I have a passion for objects, but I don't become attached to them. I fall in love with them and buy them, they come into my home, and then one day I set them free again, so that they can continue their lives with other people in a different context. That enables me to fall for new things, change settings, get enthusiastic about another type of decor, and live in a home that is always evolving."

And a stylist adds: "When I am attracted by an object, I don't ask myself where I am going to put it, but what ‘partners’ I am going to find for it so that it forms part of a harmonious, coherent overall picture. That way it will find its place, its dimension, and its real decorative value by enhancing other objects with its color or its spirit. It's an enjoyable exercise that can be repeated as often as you like." This epitomizes the spirit of collecting: the pleasure of creating a setting and invent­ing a still life, but one which, paradoxically, is alive.

The New French Décor reveals a series of ‘arranged mar­riages’ that all end happily. They unfold like a patchwork of ideas linked together by charm, color, and style, and they provide a glimpse through the doors of some inspired houses.. Captions provide insight into the blend of sophistication and whimsy that makes each still life come alive. Each page reveals a bold experiment in taste resulting in a patchwork of old and new. Beautifully photographed by Trillard, these rich designs, conceived and executed by top stylists, decorators, and antiquarians, delights the eye with an array of unique compositions.
Law / Criminal Law / Law Enforcement

Police & Society, 3rd edition by Roy Roberg, Kenneth Novak & Gary Cordner (Roxbury Publishing Company)

From the war in Iraq to the war on terror, police have become both more important and less visible. This paradox is unfortunate, since visibility of the police role helps to attract the brightest minds and most committed hearts to the police profession: peacemaking. No other profession does more good with less thanks in the task of preventing violence rather than creating it.

Police and society are one and the same, two parts of a whole. Unlike a military invasion that is blind to the society it invades, policing can only succeed by winning hearts and minds. No society was ever won over to the cause of lawful peace by a police force that failed to understand the values, morals, hopes, and fears of the people being policed. Police may rule by force in a dictatorship, but not in the name of freedom and democracy.

The Third Edition of Police & Society offers an introduction to policing in the United States. This revised text is both descriptive and analytical in nature – covering the process of policing, police behavior, organization, operations, and historical perspectives.

To adequately explain the complex nature of police operations in a democracy, the authors have integrated the most important theoretical foundations, research findings, and contemporary practices in a comprehensible, yet analytical, manner. Contemporary issues and future prospects of policing are addressed. Police & Society features an emphasis on the relationship between the police and the community – as well as how this relationship has evolved over time. The impact of this evolution on current police practices, especially with respect to community policing and policing in the post-9/11 era, is explored.

According to the book, Since September 11, 2001, federal funding for policing – and police research – has been drastically reduced. Both criticism and praise of police has receded into the back pages and small sound bites of the news. The need for police to detect terrorist plots at home, and build democracy abroad, has become greater than ever in the world after 9-11. But the public attention to this need is in steep decline.

In the Third Edition of Police & Society, the three authors; Roy Roberg, professor of justice studies at San Jose State University, who also served as a police officer in a large county department of public safety in Washington State; Kenneth Novak, faculty member at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Gary Cordner, Professor of Police Studies, Director of the Regional Community Policing Institute, and Director of the International Justice & Safety Institute at Eastern Kentucky University; provide an antidote to the dangerous neglect of policing issues. By keeping police research in the forefront of a generation of college students, they maintain the chance that policing will continue to attract the best and the brightest.

The new edition has been substantially updated and revised, with four new or significantly revised chapters: ‘Community Policing,’ ‘Legal Issues,’ ‘Higher Education,’ and ‘Contemporary and Emerging Issues.’ Importantly, new ‘Voices from the Field’ boxes have been added to each chapter. Here, nationally known police officials provide their insights into contemporary police practices and problems in a thought-provoking format.

Topics new to the Third Edition of Police & Society include: police auditor systems, early warning systems, new forms of police stressors, officer safety and fatality reduction, terrorism and post-9/11 policing, globalization’ policing and the mentally ill, search and seizure, legal issues in interrogations, civil liability, contemporary performance measures, and racially biased policing/racial profiling.

Topics significantly expanded from the last edition include: the role of the police in history, broken windows, community policing today, police ethics and deviant behavior use of force, brutality, and oversight mechanisms, women in policing, police suicide, responses to stress, officer culture, officer discretion, police paramilitary units (PPUS), compstat and quality of life policing, Chicago and Madison updates, job satisfaction and community policing, directed patrols/crackdowns, higher education, satisfaction, and discipline, demographic changes in American society, and police technology.

Police & Society also offers "Inside Policing" themed boxes which feature important research findings and brief descriptions of exemplary police programs and operations.

The book also features an expanded glossary, with key terms at the beginning of each chapter. Ancillaries to enhance instruction include an interactive Student Study Guide on CD included with each copy of the book; a revised, dedicated Website; a revised and expanded Instructor's Manual/Testing Program available in PDF and Word formats from Roxbury's website; and all figures and tables in the text available in PowerPoint on CD.

There is certainly an added bonus with the ‘Inside Policing’ and ‘Voices from the Field’ inserts peppered throughout the chapter. There material for these inserts is well chosen, well placed, and provides added impact to the content. – Elaine Bartgis, Fairmont State College

For any new police manager or police officer, this invaluable book is an excellent place to view the police role in broader context. For citizens or taxpayers who want to know whether their own police department is using the best practices available based on research, Police & Society is also an indispensable tool. From patrol to investigations to personnel and politics, the text provides a wide-ranging review.

For students of criminal justice and criminology, Police & Society will generate reflection on the implications of research for a free society. Just because we know things that ‘work’ to reduce crime does not automatically mean we should do those things. The self-imposed limit to research is values-moral judgments that we as citi­zens must make about the kind of society they want. Here again, Police & Society does an admirable job of laying out the key issues. No matter where it may lead readers, the book should get them off to an excellent start.

Literature & Fiction / History & Criticism / Women’s Studies

A Vocabulary of Thinking: Gertrude Stein and Contemporary North American Women's Innovative Writing by Deborah M. Mix (University of Iowa Press)

Reject rejoice rejuvenate rejuvenate rejoice reject rejoice rejuvenate reject rejuvenate reject rejoice. Not as if it was tried. How kindly they receive the the then there this at all.

In change.

Might it be while it is not as it is undid undone to be theirs awhile yet. Not in their mistake which is why it is not after or not further in at all to their cause. Patriarchal poetry partly. In an as much to be in exactly their measure. Patriarchal poetry partly. – Gertrude Stein, "Patriarchal Poetry"

In A Vocabulary of Thinking Deborah Mix, assistant professor of English at Ball State University, places Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) at the center of a feminist and multicultural account of twentieth-century innovative writing. She does this using experimental style as a framework for close readings of writings produced by late twentieth-century North American women. Her work maps literary affiliations that connect Stein to the work of Harryette Mullen, Daphne Marlatt, Betsy Warland, Lyn Hejinian, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. By distinguishing a vocabulary – which is flexible, evolving, and simultaneously individual and communal – from a lexicon – which is recorded, fixed, and carries the burden of masculine authority – Mix argues that Stein's experimentalism both enables and demands the complex responses of these authors.
Arguing that these authors have received relatively little attention because of the difficulty in categorizing them, Mix brings the writing of women of color, lesbians, and collaborative writers into the discussion of experimental writing. Thus, rather than exploring conventional lines of influence, she departs from earlier scholarship by using Stein and her work as a lens through which to read the ways these authors have renegotiated tradition, authority, and innovation.

Mix in the epilogue says that Gertrude Stein's "Patriarchal Poetry," pub­lished in the 1927 collection Bee Time Vine, bears all the hallmarks of her most hermetic and difficult poetry. The near-constant repetition, always with ‘a little changing,’ of specific words and phrases is not, however, as some readers may believe, a paean to nothing. As numerous critics have demonstrated, the poem offers more than simple wordplay and nonsense. Rather, it is Stein's way of striking at the heart of patriarchal tradition and culture, dependent as it is on order and rigidity. As she writes, "Patriarchal poetry needs rectification. . . . / Come to a distance and it still bears their name".

Mix argues throughout A Vocabulary of Thinking that Stein, Mullen, Marlatt and Warland, Hejinian, and Cha are deliberately repeating elements of generic conventions, deploying "[p]atriarchal poetry once in a while" but also refiguring "[p]atriarchal poetry out of pink once in a while". But they are not parroting those generic forms. Rather, they are in various ways invoking (and perhaps provoking) them in order to "[r]eject rejoice rejuvenate" them, allowing them "to be theirs awhile yet." These acts of revision are difficult. "She says I must be careful and I will," Stein writes. But she goes on to say, "If in in crossing there is an opportunity not only but also and in in looking in looking in regarding ... there is an opportunity to verify verify sometimes as more sometimes as more sometimes as more".

For all of these authors, there are opportunities in these generic forms. The language of domesticity as reworked by Stein and Mullen offers the chance to reveal the limits and possibilities of ‘pink and white’ feminin­ity. Mullen's engagement with Stein's work helps not only to illuminate the problematics of Stein's point of view but also the problematics of (and possible alternatives to) contemporary constructions of race and racialized femininity. Through her illumination of the languages of ‘objects’ and ‘food,’ Mullen also engages with the marketing and commodification of black bodies, women's bodies, and innovative writing.

According to Mix, when Stein and Marlatt and Warland approach the love lyric, part of what they effect is a deconstruction of the limitations of the genre – its hostility to women's voices and women's desire – to dismantle the lyric ‘I’ and all its attendant assumptions. But they also seek a venue through which to express lesbian desire, a desire figured as mobile and powerful, a means to dismantling patriarchy and logocentrism. By reconstructing the love lyric in this way, they are also able to construct an alternative sense of identity, mobile and unfixed, yet engaged in the world around itself.

The act of writing an autobiography is tied to self-assertion, and for Stein and Hejinian, it is connected explicitly to placing the (gendered) self in a landscape in which women's lives and writing are too often read as ‘transparent,’ transfiguring that mistake in ways that return readers to their own assumptions about voice, authority, and narrative. Stein's experiments with the form allow her to talk about herself without, she hopes, commodifying that self and selling it to strangers. Hejinian, by contrast, takes up the genre not simply as a means to assert a self, but, more important, as a means to effect a communal relationship with her readers as strangers.

For Stein and Cha, the epic becomes a form for articulating those unheard stories – immigrant voices, stories lost in translation, experiences that are simply untranslatable. But after deconstructing language through an examination of translations, Cha works to build a language that stresses its own partiality and inad­equacy even as it expresses disturbing, moving, and powerful ideas.

For all these authors, evoking but also remaking these forms of patri­archal poetry allows both the authors and the genres to be ‘reheard,’ as Stein puts it. As Mix discusses throughout A Vocabulary of Thinking, ‘patriarchal poetry’ has constructed a narrative of innovative American poetry that has "estimat[ed] the value" of its practitioners, elevating some to prominence while relegating others to obscurity. Stein is in motion right now, moving from obscurity to sig­nificance. And in participating in that movement, Mix seeks to bring contemporary experimental poets with her. By replacing Stein in a position of prominence in North American poetry, we can reevaluate her influence, seeing her not only as significant to certain male authors, as critics have acknowledged for decades, but also as significant to women writers.

At the same time, this replacement allows us to reevaluate our understanding of the function of experimental writing. No longer a movement rendered obsolete by the coming of postmodernism or a radicalism inter­ested only in artistic innovation, experimentalism is linked here to feminist, lesbian, multicultural, and postcolonial activism. By revealing the ways in which habits of language and genre are tied to ‘patriarchal habits’ through relentless parroting of those conventions, these authors have prepared the ground for material intervention. By reforming readers' relationships to their texts, all of these writers have sought to reimagine the writer's role as collaborative, as tender, and as loving. In contrast to patriarchal poetry, which is invested in the "renewing of an intermediate rectification of the initial boundary between cows and fishes", the forms Stein imagines, the genres that she sets in motion, refuse the distinctions of patriarchy in favor of intermingling and play "in consideration of the preparation of the change which is their chance inestimably". This refusal, this beautiful and nourishing vision, links all the authors in A Vocabulary of Thinking to Stein.

Mix argues freshly and usefully that Stein provides crucial resources for understanding the innovations of later women writers. In this accomplished work, she provides subtle, lucid, and convincing close readings of difficult but interesting works. – Lesley Wheeler, Washington and Lee University

I believe this book will add significantly to the burgeoning scholarship on modern and contemporary experimental writing by women. There are some wonderful readings here. – Elisabeth A. Frost, Fordham University

Building on the tradition of experimental or avant-garde writing in the United States, Mix in A Vocabulary of Thinking questions the politics of the canon and literary influence, offers close readings of previously neglected contemporary writers whose work doesn't fit within conventional categories, and by linking genres not typically associated with experimentalism – lyric, epic, and autobiography – challenges ongoing reevaluations of innovative writing. By bringing little known female writers to the fore, by showing the parallels, and by placing them alongside Steiner, Mix, with her meticulously reasoned arguments, rescues these little-known writers from obscurity.

Parenting & Families / Directories / Reference

Peterson's Summer Programs for Kids & Teenagers 2008 (Summer Programs for Kids & Teenagers) by Peterson's (Peterson’s)

You could windsurf on a cool, clear New England lake. Perfect your backhand or golf swing. Horseback ride along breathtak­ing mountain trails. Trek through spectacular canyonlands or live with a family in Costa Rica, Spain, Switzerland, or Japan. Get a jump on next year's classes. Explore college majors or maybe even careers. Help out on an archeological dig or com­munity service project. And along the way, meet some wonderful people, maybe even make a few lifelong friends.

Interested? Get ready to pack your bags and join the other 5 million kids and teens who'll be having the summer of a life-time. – from the book

Peterson's Summer Programs for Kids & Teenagers 2008 is a guide to summer programs worldwide – in its pages readers can explore summer camps, arts programs, sports clinics, academic courses, travel tours and wilderness adventures. The book includes:

  • Program details – dates, program focus, deadlines, contact information.
  • Insight and advice from program directors.
  • Specialized indexes to help readers pinpoint the right program.
  • Quick-Reference Chart with state-by-state and country-by-country listings.

Now in its twenty-fifth edition, the mission of Peterson's Summer Programs for Kids & Teenagers 2008 is to uncover a mind-boggling array of things to do on the next summer vacation. The book clues readers in on exciting camps, academic options, travel adventures, community service projects, sports clinics, and arts programs throughout the U.S. and around the world.

First comes out The Inside Scoop. Readers un­cover all they need to know about finding the summer program that's right for them, questions to ask before they sign on the dotted line, and how to cope with homesickness. Next is the Quick-Reference Chart with the fast facts, at-a-glance rundown on who offers what. This chart gives readers important information about all the programs listed in the guide, so they can narrow their search to a manageable size. Readers will also be able to zero in on programs around the U.S. and the globe, find out who attends, what activities are offered, session dates, costs, financial aid offered, where to go for more information, program history and accreditations, and job opportunities at tons of summer programs. The In-Depth Descriptions give readers an up close and personal look at select academic programs, camps, and travel adventures.

There are programs in Peterson's Summer Programs for Kids & Teenagers 2008 with costs and fees to meet every budget, from $50 workshops to $4500 world treks, with sessions varying in length from a couple of days to a couple of months. The programs come in many different flavors, but most fit into one of the following categories: traditional, sports, arts, or special-interest camps; academic programs; travel and wilderness adventures; internships; and community service opportunities. Here's a run-down on the types of programs and what they offer.

  • Classic Camping. Next summer, when 5 million kids enroll in a summer program, most will choose a traditional summer camp. At a camp, campers can learn to skipper a sailboat, ride a horse, master rock-climbing techniques, de­velop wilderness survival skills, build a campfire, tell stories, put on a play, and even brush up on computer skills. Readers will find camps in some of America's most spectacular natural settings – from the rugged Atlantic coastline of Maine to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the canyons of Arizona and the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Summer on Campus. Whether students are looking for reme­dial help or a chance to move ahead, the academic programs in the guide offer learning with a difference. When they are studying un­der the shady trees of a prep school or college campus, attending small classes, and getting individual at­tention in the company of kids from different parts of the country or around the world, learning takes on a different meaning.
  • Extra Credit? Readers can take another stab at course work that they found difficult dur­ing the school year or get a challeng­ing course out of the way at a time when they can focus on it. They may want to get a preview of what college life will be like – many programs specialize in col­lege preparation. There are programs that can help improve college entrance test scores and study skills and work with them to build confidence for the coming school year. Others offer older teens a chance to try college on for size for a few days, a week, or longer.
  • For the Sports Fan. There's a camp for just about ev­ery sport imaginable. There are programs for baseball, basketball, biking, golf, gymnastics, hockey, horseback riding, kayaking, sail­ing, soccer, tennis, and volley­ball – to name just a few.
  • Feeling Adventurous? Readers can hike, bike, sail, paddle, or climb their way through summer? There are adventure programs that will take them trekking through moun­tain wilderness, down whitewater rapids, and over rugged canyons. Others will have them hiking from village to village. Still others will have them traveling by canoe, raft, or sailboat, meeting people and soaking in scenery and culture along the way.
  • Exploring the Artistic Side. Camps may specialize in ad­vanced, pre-professional studies or may open their doors to kids just beginning to explore the vi­sual or performing arts – arts centers, arts camps, or schools provide the set­ting, often with professional-quality equipment, facilities, and instruction.
  • Career Interests. Summer can be a time to check out possible career paths before starting to think about choosing colleges or majors. The guide lists internships and volunteer opportunities that let them see what it's like to write for a local newspaper, conduct field studies in a marine science center, work in government or a Wall Street investment firm, or teach children, to name a few options.
  • International Experiences. If languages are the focus, a world of choices awaits. Readers can sharpen Spanish skills in Mexico City or Barcelona, learn Japanese in Tokyo, and study French in Geneva or Paris. If cultural immersion is what they are after, they can check out the international study and travel programs.

Peterson's Summer Programs for Kids & Teenagers 2008 lists camps, academic programs, sports clinics, arts work-shops, internships, volunteer opportunities, and travel adven­tures throughout North America and abroad. With the guide, readers can plan to have the summer of a lifetime. No other reference guide gives families such a variety of fun, exciting, and enriching programs. The hardest job may be deciding which one of the summer programs listed in this guide to sign up for.

Political Science / International / Law / Criminal Law

Essentials of Terrorism: Concepts and Controversies by Gus Martin (Sage Publications)

Essentials of Terrorism is a comprehensive yet compact resource that provides a thorough introduction to many facets of the world of modern terrorism. This briefer, version of Gus Martin’s popular text Understanding Terrorism, Second Edition is a stand-alone textbook for undergraduate classes. It can also be used in conjunction with other resources, such as Martin’s collection of readings The New Era of Terrorism, or with other supplemental books or journal articles for an upper-level undergraduate or master’s level audience.

Essentials of Terrorism, written by Gus Martin, assistant vice president for faculty affairs in the Division of Academic Affairs at California State University, Dominguez Hills, provides a foundation for understanding terrorism: extensive coverage in Chapter 1 helps readers grasp and define the concept of terrorism, and each chapter includes extensive historical background. It presents pedagogical aids to bolster learning. It offers coverage of cutting-edge issues: The author addresses contemporary topics, including gender-selective terrorism, media coverage of terrorism issues and related ethical issues, the Internet and terrorism, and religious terrorism. Martin provides additional coverage of the conflict in Iraq to illustrate its impact on international terrorism. The book also includes illustrative aids: maps and dramatic photos help show the locations of terrorist activity and the devastation caused by terrorist activity, and tables and figures allow readers to conduct valuable comparison research and analysis.

A student study site provides introductions to journal articles, recommended Web sites, full-text journal articles tied to each chapter, e-flashcards, Web exercises, and more. Instructors’ resources on CD-ROM provide professors with a test bank, maps, PowerPoint presentations, activity and lecture suggestions, and more.

Essentials of Terrorism introduces readers to terrorism in the contemporary era, focusing on the post-Second World War period as its primary emphasis. It is a review of nations, movements, and individuals who have engaged in what many people would define as terrorist violence. It is also a review of the many kinds of terrorism that have existed in the postwar era. A serious explo­ration is made of the underlying causes of terrorism – for example, extremist ide­ologies, religious intolerance, and traumatic episodes in the lives of nations and people.

The pedagogical approach of Essentials of Terrorism is designed to stimulate critical thinking in readers. Students, professionals, and instructors will find that each chapter follows a sequence of instruction that builds on previ­ous chapters and thus incrementally enhances the reader's knowledge of each topic. Chapters incorporate the following features:

  • Each chapter is introduced by an overview of the subject under investigation. This provides the perspective to incorporate each chapter's topic into the broader themes of the textbook.
  • Chapters incorporate focused presentations of perspectives that explore people, events, organizations, and movements relevant to the subject matter of each chapter.
  • A concluding discussion recapitulates the main themes of each chapter and introduce the subject matter of the chapter that follows.
  • Discussion Boxes present provocative information and pose challeng­ing questions to stimulate critical thinking and further debate.
  • Important terms and ideas introduced in each chapter are listed for review and discussion. These are further explored and defined in the book's Glossary.
  • Terrorism on the Web.
  • Internet exercises at the ends of chapters have been designed for students, professionals, and instructors to explore and discuss information found on the Internet.
  • Suggested readings listed at the end of each chapter provide either further information on or avenues of research into each topic.

Essentials of Terrorism is a stimulating and engaging text, either alone or with readings or other materials, for undergraduate and graduate courses in Terrorism, Homeland Security, International Security, Criminal Justice Administration, Political Conflict, Armed Conflict, and Social Movements in departments of criminal justice, sociology, and political science. Essentials of Terrorism is an ideal anchor textbook for investigating the many aspects of terrorism, political violence, and homeland security. That it is easily adapted to these subjects means that instructors will be able to design a variety of instructional packages around it. In this way, the text is a versatile resource.

Extensive coverage in Chapter 1 helps readers grasp and define the concept of terrorism; each chapter includes extensive historical background. Chapter introductions, chapter perspectives, chapter summaries, discussion boxes, and a glossary bring key concepts to life for students. The book is also suitable for professionals who require instruction in understanding terrorism.

Politics / International / Relations / History / Military / Weapons

Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons by Adrian Levy & Catherine Scott-Clark (Walker & Company)

In President George W. Bush's State of the Union address in 2002, he pinpointed three nuclear hot spots as threats to the free world: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. What he did not admit was America's role in facilitating the spread of nuclear weapons to these ‘axis of evil’ powers and the critical part played by a key U.S. ally: the Pakistan military government and its front man, the nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan. Deception details America's role – over three decades and five administrations.
On December 15, 1975, A. Q. Khan – a young Pakistani scientist working in Holland – stole top-secret blueprints for a revolutionary new process to arm a nuclear bomb. His original intention, and that of his government, was purely patriotic – to provide Pakistan a counter to India’s recently unveiled nuclear device. However, as Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark relate in their investigation of Khan’s career over the past thirty years, over time that limited ambition mushroomed into the world’s largest clandestine network engaged in selling nuclear secrets – a mercenary and illicit program managed by the Pakistani military and made possible, in large part, by aid money from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, with the assistance of China.

Based on hundreds of interviews over the past decade in the United States, Pakistan, India, Israel and the Middle East, Europe, and Southeast Asia, Levy and Scott-Clark, award-winning investigative journalists who worked as staff writers and foreign correspondents for the Sunday Times of London for seven years before joining the Guardian as senior correspondents, reveal how the sales of nuclear weapons technology to Iran, North Korea, and Libya, so much in the news today, were made with the knowledge of the American government.

As Levy and Scott-Clark relate, every American administration from Jimmy Carter's to George W. Bush's has condoned Pakistan's nuclear activity – rewriting and destroying evidence provided by U.S. and Western intelligence agencies; lying to Congress and the American people about Pakistan's intentions and capability so that U.S. aid to Pakistan, prohibited to countries illicitly holding nuclear weapons, could be maintained; secretly supplying components and equipment to Pakistan in the full knowledge that they could be used in a nuclear program; even tipping off the Pakistani government about criminal probes into its nuclear program by U.S. agencies. Deception puts our current standoffs with Iran and North Korea, and the quagmire in Iraq, in a new perspective, revealing that the lies about WMD in Iraq could only succeed if the truth about Pakistan was suppressed. And it charts how Pakistan has gone from being an ally to a rogue nation at the epicenter of world instability, and how by papering over the root cause of the nuclear crises that are upon us, the United States has helped usher in a new age of nuclear terror.

[Levy and Scott-Clark] substantially support the idea that the nuclear program influenced Pakistan's internal power struggles, and that American government officials led disinformation campaigns for 30 years in order to hang onto the nation as a dubious ally against first the Soviets and then al-Qaeda.... Building on a decade's worth of interviews, the husband-and-wife investigative term serve a stunning indictment of ‘the nuclear crime of all our lifetimes,’ in which, the authors claim, the U.S. has been an active accessory. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Persuasive evidence that the United States looked the other way for years while Pakistan developed a nuclear bomb and exported weapons technology to Iran, North Korea and other enemies of the West...The ‘greatest nuclear scandal of our age’ continues, with Pakistan still buying and selling nuclear technology, heightening American vulnerability to nuclear terrorism. Simultaneously astonishing, maddening and absolutely frightening. – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
An unputdownable and explosive account of our most recent times that reveals how while our leaders in the West claimed to be securing our future they were ultimately responsible for one of the greatest deceptions of the age. – Simon Reeve, author The New Jackals – Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism

This rich and detailed book reads like a thriller. The story of how A. Q. Khan set up the Pakistani nuclear program – and thereby changed history – is a reminder that the price of our security is endless vigilance. – Robert Cooper, Director General for External Relation and Politico-Military Affairs at the Council of the European Union

Deception is a masterwork of reportage and dramatic storytelling by two of the world's most resourceful investigative journalists. The book puts our current standoffs with Iran and North Korea in a shocking new perspective, and makes clear two things: that Pakistan, far from being an ally, is a rogue nation at the center of world destabilization; and that the complicity of the United States has ushered in a new kind of nuclear age. Urgently important, it should stimulate debate and command a reexamination of our national priorities.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Reference / Commentaries

Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon by Thomas Aquinas, translated by Chrysostom Baer (St. Augustine’s Press)

The mid-1260s found St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome commenting on the epis­tles of the Apostle Paul. His overall schema of the Pauline corpus reveals a synoptic vision of the letters unified by the grace of Christ. This grace is present first and foremost in the Head of the Mystical Body, Christ Himself, and to this examination Pauline minor letters is dedicated. It also informs the whole Mystical Body: in that Body itself, in its sacraments, and in its power of effecting ecclesial unity. This accounts for Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. Third, and most apposite here, this grace is found in the principal members of this Mystical Body, both ecclesiastics and lay. Regarding the first we have I and II Timothy and Titus; for the second we have Philemon.

The commentaries on this last set of epistles, Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, are all literal expositions, only rarely if ever concerned with allegorical meaning. They come down to us in the form of the reportatio, effectively lecture notes taken by a student of St. Thomas. Rather than try to make the rhetoric of the text more interesting and less staccato, this translation has opted for fidelity to the original, realizing that doctrine shines more clearly when translators remove themselves from the foreground. The importance is to show the central structure of Pauline theology as integral to the theological architecture of St. Thomas. His devout, theological reading of the texts offers light on the deep and prayerful exegesis of these reasonably straightforward letters that do often raise serious doubts and questions in the modern faithful.

Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon also contains an outline of Sacred Scripture based on St. Thomas's own thought in the matter, outlines of the individual commentaries, and endnotes marking those places in the works of St. Thomas where he discusses the same topic he treats in particular places in these commentaries. The time-honored Douay-Rheims version of the Bible was the staple source for Scriptural passages, being closer to the Latin used by the saintly commentator.

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), without a doubt, ranks among the greatest, if not the first, of philosopher-theologians in service to holy church. A scriptural commentator, one might say by way of hobby only, but most especially, Aquinas laid the foundation for thought and theological discourse in the Catholic Church. A large man with a great mind, Thomas squeezed holiness out of early Greek thought as a ratio for a philosophy centered in the Christian myster­ies. Not just brilliant, Thomas also possessed innate spiritual qualities in the Dominican style. As a friar he conjoined humility and a quiet demeanor uncharacteristic, perhaps, of those who tower intellectually over rank and file.

Under Thomas, theology became an astute science, henceforth to be known as ‘Thomism.’ So enlightening were his offerings and enduring his legacy that scholasticism in the Thomistic school, by decree of Pope Leo XIII, was universally enjoined upon the education of clerics in the church.

We have in the lectures on the pastoral epistles of the New Testament samples of Thomas's pedagogy. These letters are called pastoral, for they express the concerns of the writer to those being addressed and because they demonstrate a concern for the orderly pastoral care of the Christian communities where these individuals are engaged, always arguing to the new Christian mindset incumbent upon all because of the Christ event, while urging a new order of relationships intra-church and a new courage in the midst of the onslaughts by the powers that be.

According to the translator of Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, Chrysostom Baer, ordered priest of the Norbertine Order at St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County, California, the Angelic Doctor laid out his schema for the Pauline epistles in the pro­logue to the lectures on Romans. Their principle of formal unity is found in the grace of Christ, which admits of a threefold division. First, in the Mystical Body, which can be considered in itself, and then we have the letter to the Romans; in the sacraments, I and II Corinthians and Galatians; then in its unifying power within the Church. This last can be divided according to the institution of eccle­sial unity, as is found in Ephesians; the strengthening of that unity, in Philippians; and the defense of that unity, as in Colossians, I and II Thessalonians.

Second, grace in the Mystical Body may be considered in the principal mem­bers of this Body, first inasmuch as they are concerned with spiritual matters, and so we have I and II Timothy, and Titus. For three things are fitting to a prelate: ruling over the people, suffering for them, and defending them against evil. But the principal members of the Mystical Body are also concerned with temporal matters, and so we have Philemon, wherein the Apostle shows how masters ought to relate to their servants, and vice versa.

Third, this grace in the Mystical Body may be considered in the Head of the Mystical Body, i.e. Christ Himself; thus, the epistle to the Hebrews. The necessity of protecting the Church from heretics constitutes the third of the pastoral epistles, this time to Titus: why it is necessary and how to resist evil teachers efficaciously.

Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon seemed incomplete, however, without including the commen­tary on the small epistle to Philemon, which certainly would not merit publication on its own otherwise. And although the treatment is directly about masters and slaves, who might seem not to have much practical application nowadays, yet is it an undeniable facet of human nature that some are in authority while others are subject to that authority. If there is to be peaceable concord between these two so often opposed parties, we must draw our paradigm of behavior from this epistle – a pattern of love, mutual respect, and subordination in all things to the mission of the Gospel.

Interest in the Angelic Doctor is unabated even in these times of modem philosophies and a certain anti-Aristotelianism, for which reasons we applaud the young cleric translators and their eagerness to engage Thomas in the Latin lan­guage from which he lectured. Indeed, these exercises afford them and the stu­dent-reader of this book a glimpse into Aquinas' classroom. – Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry Titular Bishop of Lead Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago

It serves the greater Christian good to have these Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon available for ready consultation in critical English editions.

Religion & Spirituality / Comparative Religion

The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read: *(Or Synagogue, Temple, Mosque...), 2nd edition edited by Tim C. Leedom & Maria Murdy, with an introduction by Bill Jenkins (Cambridge House Press)

Most people would rather feel comfortable than know the truth. Well I'm going to make you uncomfortable by telling you the truth. – Robert F. Kennedy

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. – John 8:32

Since 1993 the first edition of The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read has been a bestseller and has been praised by many as a ‘must read.’ Over a half a dozen print­ings later it has been used as a textbook by universities and seminaries from Northern Alabama College to Berkeley, and has even been featured at the American Booksellers Association Convention.

Extensively revised by author Tim C. Leedom and his research assistant of eight years, Maria Murdy, The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read presents a rare look perhaps the most controversial issues of all time: religion. Packed with essays from world-renowned theologians, historians, and researchers, this anthology exposes misrepresentations, challenges age old beliefs, and seeks to reveal the whole truth to anyone who has ever been told what to believe. The book discloses the origins and frail histories of the world’s major religions and answers questions readers never knew they had. But more than anything, the book urges readers to think for themselves.

The book is a reference volume that is meant to be challenging and informative. Many religious people are kind, peace-loving and good. Some are not. According to the editors, whether it is the belief system that molds them or their inherent nature, it is hard to say. Most are woefully misinformed and underexposed to material that could change them for the better. But literacy takes reading, change takes effort and enlightenment takes courage.

The book was an immediate hit when published. According to the editor in an interview, the kick-off events were book signings in California at Newport Beach's Barnes and Noble and Martha's Bookstore, with author/television talk show pioneer, Steve Allen, Leedom, and half a dozen other contributors. It had favorably reviews in a host of newspapers, biblical magazines and free thought periodicals. At the time, it was the first national book to draw attention to clergy pedophilia, the Dead Sea Scrolls cover up, the beginnings of the religious right, and the blatant misrepresentation of fiction for fact in the world churches.

When The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read was first released, there were protests and intimidating phone calls. The editors were banned from a "Banned Book Week" book signing event at a Barnes & Noble in San Diego. Recently the revised book was singled out by Amazon.com as the second most relevant banned book in the topic of Religious censorship, only behind Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo by Galileo. This fact alone makes Leedom think we haven't come too far from the 1600s.

William Edelen in Chapter one says “Hanging on the wall of my study is a remarkable map. It is about three feet wide and six feet long. It shows the history of religious evolution starting about 180,000 years ago and ending at the bottom in 1966. The title is The History Map of Religions. It is in eight colors, with each color representing the flow of mythologies, and concepts, from one religion to another. For instance, if you follow the color ‘blue,’ you can see the mythological diffusion, or continuity, from Zoroastrianism and Mithraism into Christianism. It is quite an educational experience to stand in front of the map and study the overall evolution of religions from the third (warm) interglacial period; the Lower Mousterian Culture of Neanderthal man in Europe to the religious picture of Earth today.

Readers may ask: "Where did it all begin, this behavior that we call ‘religious’?" How far back do we go to find the origins of some of our beliefs, like life after death, or the belief in supernatural beings and spirits? Anthropologists believe think that religious behavior can easily be found in the Neanderthal period of 135,000 years ago. The Neanderthal people buried their dead with great sensitivity and care. Flowers were put into the graves. Artifacts were buried with the dead. Artifacts were either to take with you into another life following death, or for an offering to the gods or goddesses.

The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read contains many interesting, unknown facts, such as there being no mention of Jesus Christ in the Dead Sea Scrolls; the oldest story in the world (predating Christianity by millennia) being that of a virgin mother bearing a newborn; God finding out about the Trinity from the Catholic Church in 325 A. D.; and Christmas being a pagan holiday with December 25th shared as a birthdate by many other crucified saviors.

Over 60% of the book is upgraded and a few mistakes have been corrected. Unlike the first edition, which was grounded in free thought, the second edition is a little more aggressive. The authors focus on the dangers of Fundamentalism. All religion is put under the microscope, examined from an archaeological, historical, scientific, and mythological basis. The editors have expanded The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read to include all major world religions, their commonalities and the reasons for their insane conflicts with each other. The examination of stellar worship, the sacred feminine, paganism and the devel­opment of Hinduism puts many current issues in the right perspective.

Another upgrade is the increase in authors of international fame and expertise. This edition includes contemporary scholars, researchers and writers such as Joseph Campbell, Judy Chicago, and Village Voice writer Rick Perlstein. The list includes former Episcopal Archbishop John Shelby Spong, Acharya S., Chris Hedges, ex-communicated Catholic Bishop Thomas Doyle, the Jesus Seminar, David Stannard, along with a collection of commentaries from the likes of Bill Moyers and Barbara Blaine of S.N.A.P. [The Survivors' Network against Molesting Priests].

Like the first edition, the second still encourages people to think for themselves and look for proof. The editors want readers not to rely on answers given by ancient texts and philoso­phies that were myths then and are absurd today. The foundation of The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read is the spirit of free inquiry, from the ancient Greeks – Protagoras, Socrates and others – through the Renaissance humanism of Erasmus and Spino­za, followed by the Enlightenment – Voltaire, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson – to the present secular culture of great scientific achieve­ments. The scholars or theologians who have contributed to the book are not naive to the point of believing that this anthology will create ‘Rapture’ in reverse. Knowing the reaction of established religion in the past to cri­tique and examination, the editors anticipate another strong response by those who won't even read it. These leaders and followers continually take the attitude of "don't bother me with facts; I've already made up my mind."

There are three major changes underway now in the affairs of all mankind. First is politics. … We are beginning to see the end of a long-established economic tyranny, which for centuries has gripped the affairs of nations, including ours. To these we add religion, the most crippling detriment of them all to the evolution of humankind. All of these changes are coming as we enter the ‘new age,’ now upon us. This work addresses itself most admirably to this vital effort. – Bill Jenkins, former ABC talk show host

…great book – Luther Warner

Consider this book as a kind of consumer protection guide to religion, a big step forward toward religious literacy. Readers will explore myths, origins, fundamentalism, television ministries, the identical stories of Stellar/Pagan/Christian beliefs, unfounded doctrines, child abuse and women’s rights. It’s entertaining and readable, with a sense of humor reflecting the absurdities of fundamental religion – while being inoffensive. The approach is one of not hitting the reader over the head with ‘you’re wrong’ but rather ‘consider this.’ – Midwest Book Review

For reference, shock, or lively debate, the book has it all. Buy it, study it and then draw your own conclusions! Fast becoming know as the textbook of free thought. – Bonnie Lange, Truth Seeker Company

A giant step toward religious literacy. If a person, being a Christian, church member or clergy, hasn't read the thoughts, evidence and point of view of The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read, they are not getting the whole story. – Reverend Richard Hill, Minister, Church of Daily Living

The hard truth about the good book. – OC Weekly

Once in a long while a book comes along that challenges tradition and shakes beliefs in the very institutions we trust most – this is that book.

Raw, honest and groundbreaking, The Book Your Church* Doesn't Want You to Read is an enlightening anthology by world-renowned theologians, historians and researchers that exposes and challenges misrepresentations and age-old beliefs. The book sets its tone with Robert Ingersoll and Thomas Paine. It does not back off from the challenge and exposure of the Bible and religion. The mere mention of pagan origins, astrotheology and mythology always brings howls of protest and denial from the church. The book makes more than mere mention: it shows religion for what it is. There are some lively disagreements among the authors; this is fitting in a book meant to challenge.

Discovering the truth of the evidence of other saviors and of stories iden­tical to many in the Old and New Testaments, which appeared one thousand years before Jesus, will be unsettling, as will the exposure of modern-day abuses and policies in the name of God. To be sure, just as many will be shocked by these facts, many will be surprised by the number of intelligent, patriotic, sincere and kind men and women who do not embrace the God of the Bible.

Religion & Spirituality / Philosophy

Commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics by Thomas Aquinas, translated by Richard Berquist, with a preface by Ralph McInerny (Dumb Ox Books)

The Posterior Analytics is the summit of Aristotle's achievement in logic. It investigates the logical requirements for the most perfect of arguments, the demonstration, which proves a necessary conclusion from necessary premis­es. In his commentary on this treatise, Commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics Thomas Aquinas gives us perceptive interpretations of Aristotle's very concise and difficult text, together with illuminating explanations of the structure of the work as a whole and of the order of its parts. This new translation, based on the Leonine Commission's 1989 edition, seeks to render Aquinas's text into contemporary English. It includes a careful translation of the Latin text of Aristotle on which the com­mentary was based, with footnotes on passages where it differs from the Greek.

To make Commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics as useful as possible for contemporary readers, the translator, Richard Berquist, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, has provided an introduction and a supplementary commentary of his own. The introduction discusses three topics of fundamental importance for the study of the Posterior Analytics today: the relationship of Aristotle's logic to symbolic logic, the scope and subject matter of logic, and the status of the syllogism as an argument form. He concludes with a brief statement of the most important logical presuppositions for the study of the Posterior Analytics, intended especially for those approaching this work for the first time. The supplementary commentary invites readers to further reflection on the Posterior Analytics in the light of Aquinas's interpretation.

Aquinas's commentary is divided into readings or lessons, forty-four on Book I of the Posterior Analytics and twenty on Book H. The translator's supplementary commentary follows the same arrangement. The work includes footnotes, a brief bibliography of works cited, an index, and a preface by Ralph McInerny.

In the introduction, Richard Berquist says that the Posterior Analytics is the summit of Aristotle's achievement in logic. It investigates the logical requirements for demonstration, that is, for prov­ing a necessary conclusion from necessary premises. Since a proof of this kind holds the first place among arguments, the treatises in Aristotle's Organon which precede the Posterior Analytics – the Categories, the On Interpretation and the Prior Analytics – are ordered especially to clarifying its presuppositions. The treatises which follow it – the Topics, the On Sophistic Refutations and the Rhetoric – are concerned with arguments which are use­ful and important, but essentially less perfect than the demonstration. The work therefore, is of the greatest importance.

How should readers approach the study of this work? The subject matter is by its very nature difficult, and Aristotle's text is often very brief and diffi­cult to interpret. Hence, Commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, this new translation of Thomas Aquinas's Commentary on the Posterior Analytics, a commentary which is valuable not only for its interpretations of Aristotle's arguments, but also for its explanations of the structure of the work as a whole and of the order of its parts.

[Commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics] is a good deal more than simply a translation of the commentary, itself a large task and one Berquist has accomplished with elegant clarity. He also translated the Latin text of Aristotle on which Thomas relied in writing his commentary. Nor is that all. His introduction to his work touches on a number of neuralgic points with ease and persuasiveness. His account of the relationship between the logic Aristotle taught and symbolic logic – which are not, he suggests, two logics – casts sharp light on a vexed subject, and no one who has considered the matter can fail to find Berquist's argument worthy of reflection if not immediate assent.

The commentary that Berquist has added to his edition of the work is a little book in its own right. Armed with this commentary on the commentary and the wonderfully faithful and clear translations, even a neophyte will derive great profit from this book. … – Ralph McInerny, Notre Dame

In Commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics Thomas Aquinas gives readers perceptive interpretations of Aristotle's text, together with illuminating explanations of the structure of the work. This new translation renders Aquinas's text faithfully in contemporary English.

Science Fiction & Fantasy / Alternative History

Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove (ROC)

The maven of alternate history – The San Diego Union-Tribune

A masterful teller of tales. – SciFi Dimensions

One of alternate history's authentic modern masters. – Booklist

New York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove has intrigued readers with such thought-provoking ‘what if...’ scenarios as a conquered Elizabethan England in Ruled Britannia and a Japanese occupation of Hawaii in Days of Infamy and End of the Beginning. Turtledove, the author of numerous alternate history novels, has a Ph.D. in Byzantine history, he has been nominated for the Nebula Award, and he has won the Hugo, Sidewise, and John Esthen Cook Awards

Now, in Opening Atlantis, the first of a brand-new trilogy, he rewrites the history of the world with the existence of an eighth continent...
Atlantis lies between Europe and the East coast of Terranova. For many years, this land of opportunity lured dreamers from around the globe with its natural resources, offering a new beginning for those willing to brave the wonders of the unexplored land. It is a new world indeed, ripe for discovery, for plunder, and eventually for colonization. But will its settlers destroy the very wonders they journeyed to Atlantis to find?

Praise for Turtledove’s End of the Beginning:

Thrilling and thought-provoking in a way that not nearly enough alternative history is… supremely satisfying speculative combat fiction. – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Chilling.... A plethora of characters, each with his or her own point of view, provides experiences in miniature that combine to paint a broad canvas of the titanic struggle. – Publishers Weekly

A good mix of a war story and the tales of everyday people.... Turtledove paints an excellent, if bleak portrait of a Hawaii invaded by the Japanese. – SF Site

An able continuation of the outstanding exploration of the unpleasant WWII alternate scenario that Turtledove launched in Days of Infamy. – Booklist

Turtledove is at the top of his game as he takes readers into undiscovered territory in Opening Atlantis. Not only is the book a fantastic read, it is timely as well, addressing some crucial environmental issues.

Social Sciences / Anthropology / Race Relations

The Idea of English Ethnicity by Robert J.C. Young (Blackwell Manifestos Series: Blackwell Publishing)

The title of the book, The Idea of English Ethnicity, addresses something which many people would say doesn't exist. English ethnicity? Irish, Welsh, Scottish, yes, but English? People don't regard ‘English’ as an ethnicity. Why is that the case?

In recent years, particularly since devolution in the U.K., there have been many attempts to identify what exactly Englishness really involves.

In this major contribution to debates about English identity, leading theorist Robert J.C. Young, Julius Silver Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New York University, argues that the recent uncertainty about the nature of the English arises from more than just the challenges of devolution, or even the end of empire. Debates about English identity, Young argues, were never really about England at all. Englishness was never really about England, the place, its essence, or its national character, at all, but was a form of ethnic identity for those who were precisely not English, but rather made up the English Diaspora around the world, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and South Africans. In the nineteenth century, it was rather developed as a form of long-distance identity for the English Diaspora around the world.

Englishness was constructed as a translatable quality or identity that could be taken on or appropriated by anyone anywhere – which is why the most English Englishmen have rarely been English. According to Young, this construction was so powerful that even today the English Diaspora continues to act together at a political level around the globe. In England itself, this meant that being English was characterized through an open structure of inclusion rather than exclusion, which helps to explain why the country has been able to transform itself into one of the most successful of modern multicultural nations.

Young in The Idea of English Ethnicity offers a deliberate anachronism: through a return to the past, to the days before the concept of ‘ethnicity’ was invented. ‘Ethnicity’ was first differentiated from ‘race’ in 1941. The simple difference between race and ethnicity is that if race emphasizes nature rather than nurture, ethnicity emphasizes nurture rather than nature. Young uses the term ‘ethnicity’ primarily to emphasize the extent to which many versions of the biologistic racial science of the nine­teenth century remained decisively cultural. As ideas of nation, race and racial identity developed in the nineteenth century, it was prob­ably inevitable that the mixed peoples of the British Isles, along with the rest of Europe, began to be characterized in racial terms. When racial science was deployed in the case of the English, however, it was used to challenge the exclusive claims of Saxonism, the ideology that had made the strongest racial claims for the English.

The Idea of English Ethnicity tells that story. It is a story not of the elaboration of English racial identity as national character – but of its progressive diffusion. For the end of Saxonism led to the adoption of a new identity, in which Englishness was an attribute of the English, but no longer directly connected to England as such, rather taking the form of a global racial and cultural identity – of ‘Anglo-Saxons’. Though it is easy to assume that they mean the same thing, Anglo-Saxons were not just Saxon, that is, were not just English – they included Ameri­cans, and the English everywhere. The racial status of this new identity was deliberately left vague; certainly there were no attempts to give it the standing of hard science – in practice individuals or groups emphasized a racial component or not according to their prejudices and political needs. Most writers were fairly cavalier about the details, certainly with regard to any ‘scientific’ basis, which they tended to assume but not want to enquire into too deeply. Though often projected in racial terms, the primary identity of this international English char­acter was cultural and linguistic, and for this reason it seems not grossly illegitimate to characterize it as a form of soft racialism, or even anachronistically as an early kind of ethnicity.

According to The Idea of English Ethnicity, the global identity created for the ethnic English may account for why, with the resurgence of minor nationalism in the UK since the 1980s, there was no specific language of English identity available for the people of England. Yet the way that English ethnicity was developed, Young argues, has persisted in other ways – above all, that its development as a liberal form of ‘soft racialism’ was inclusive rather than exclusive.

Though it is anachronistic to use the term `ethnicity', therefore, the English definition of themselves in terms of an English race was so elastic as only to have a tangential relation to biological racial science. This is not to say that English ethnic or racial identity did not involve forms of racism, racist assumptions of superiority, both of which increased in the later nineteenth century. To affirm the liberal tradition does not require the denial of its residual racialism. It does help to explain, however, why, in the second half of the twentieth century, it was comparatively easy to transform it in a positive way.

Robert Young has written a compelling and thorough textual history of English ethnicity and its discursive relation to the history of racial theory. Comprehensive, carefully considered, and clearly written, this book sets the standard against which any future study of Englishness will be assessed. The bar has been lifted a couple of notches higher. – David Theo Goldberg, University of California

What is Englishness?, Robert J.C. Young asks, and in The Idea of English Ethnicity he offers an impressively well-researched and eminently readable answer… – Werner Sollors, Harvard University

A major contribution to debates about English identity, The Idea of English Ethnicity shows how potent the idea of Englishness is. Not only does it help to explain why the U.K. continues to act as if it has a ‘special relationship’ to the U.S., but also it helps to explain why the U.K. is so successfully multicultural. The book is part of the prestigious Blackwell Manifestos series.

Travel / Guidebooks

Central America on a Shoestring by Robert Reid, Jolyon Attwooll, Matthew D. Firestone, Carolyn McCarthy, Andy Symington, & Lucas Vidgen (Lonely Planet Central America: Lonely Planet)

Dig into history along the Ruta Maya, zip through the rain forest canopy or spend the day searching out that perfect hammock spot by the beach.

Easy to overlook on a map, Central America, the compact seven-country link between North and South America, is a dynamo of culture, ancient ruins, wildlife and activities – a true backpackers' paradise. Nowhere else packs in as much in so slender a frame. For starters, travelers can try climbing trembling and lava-gurgling volcanoes – many perfect cones poke above the cloud line, like something out of a kindergarten drawing. Less strenuous jungle walks lead past unforget­table, overgrown Maya pyramids or into the lairs of the puma, sloth, howler monkey and quetzal. Surfing towns are found up and down the Caribbean and Pacific shorelines, where waves slap at white- and gold-sand beaches. No excuses if travelers have never surfed; lessons are cheap. If they prefer getting underwater, diving outfits can get them certified and bellying up with nurse sharks at coral reefs for some of the world's lowest prices. In lazy-day, Spanish-colonial towns, haciendas transformed into language schools and hostels line cobbled streets where vendors in cowboy hats push squeaky-wheeled carts. Or travelers can arrange homestays in Maya or Moskito villages, where many traditions live on as if the ‘Conquest’ were a bad dream.

Adventures are born every day in Central America. Central America on a Shoestring is a comprehensive guide – with expanded Yucatan and Chiapas coverage – giving readers the tools to avoid spending an arm and a leg on the journey of a lifetime.

Some highlights of this revised edition include expanded do-it-yourself features to help travelers create their own adventure beyond the ‘Gringo Trail,’ and detailed cultural coverage, and more than 120 maps. Readers can learn how to extend their stay and, for example volunteer as a game warden or study Spanish, or just hang out. Candid local interviews reveal the true nature and spirit of the isthmus' No. 1 natural resource – its people. Central America on a Shoestring contains new:

  • Highlights and planning sections.
  • Customized itineraries.
  • Snapshot coverage.
  • Responsible travel tips.
  • Cross-referenced maps.

According to the book’s six authors, Central America's slim figure – with a curve here and there – gives just a little room for creative looping itineraries. The easiest way, time willing, is going from top to bottom (or bottom to top). There are a couple of multi-country trips with one gateway that can be taken without much backtracking. To see it all, they advise allowing at least three months. If travelers only have two or three weeks, they had best stick with a country or two.

Many visitors reach the region overland: bus or boat connections from Mexico (and the USA) are a breeze; some continue on to South America. Mexico's Yucatan (included in Central America on a Shoestring), Guatemala, Belize and Costa Rica are big-time destinations, and Nicaragua is now being billed as the next big thing. Some of the world's most rewarding, yet to be ‘discovered’ destinations await travelers, such as El Salvador's Ruta de las Flores, or the ultra-raw jungle of Honduras' La Moskitia. Highlights include:

  • Best beaches: Little Corn Island (Nicaragua), Roatan, Bay Islands (Honduras), Pavanes (Costa Rica), Bocas del Toro (Panama), Tulum (Mexico).
  • Best activities: volcano climbs, rafting and boat trips, diving and snorkeling Caribbean reefs, hiking El Salvador's Parque National El Imposible.
  • Best festivals and events: Carnaval (Panama), Semana Santa (Guatemala), Palo de Mayo (Maypole, Nicaragua), Chichicastenango market (Guatemala), Merida weekends (Mexico).
  • Best wildlife: Darien Province (Panama), barrier reefs (Belize, Mexico), Parque Nacional Tortuguero (Costa Rica), Parque Nacional Soberania (Panama), Lago de Yojoa (Honduras).
  • Best historic sites: Tikal (Guatemala)’s classic-period Maya pyramids and ceiba trees, Panama Canal (Panama), Perquin (El Salvador) ex-guerrilla headquarters, Palenque (Mexico)’s Maya world, LeOn (Nicaragua)’s colonial town.
  • Best off-the-beaten-track places: Rio Dulce boat trips (Guatemala), Rio San Juan (Nicaragua), Mountain towns (El Salvador), Darien Gap (Panama), La Moskitia (Honduras).

Wherever travelers go, travel's ultimate highlight is the local people. One recommended trip – from Belize City to Tegucigalpa – gets local on Central America's arsenal, sticking with traditional villages where long-rooted traditions live large. Travelers hang out with Garifuna in Dangriga, best dur­ing the Garifuna Settlement Day festival (November 19), then sing songs with a Maya family at a homestay outside Punta Gorda, then ferry to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala and bus to Cohan to stay in the cloud forest for a couple days with a Q'eqchi' family. Bus east into Honduras, where travelers can hang on the beach and try local coconut bread at low-key Garifuna villages such as La Ensenada then bus from Santa Rosa de Copan to see the Lenca market at cliff-hugging Belk Gualcho. It's a seven-hour bus ride to Tegucigalpa.

Peak tourist season coincides with the dry season – known as verano (sum­mer), which is roughly between Christmas and Easter's Semana Santa celebra­tions. Though hotels fill up at this time – and raise their prices – travelers will usually find a room even in big-time tourist destinations much as Antigua in Guatemala, or Cancun in Mexico. On either side of this period – mid-November or mid-April – can be the best time to visit.

Comprehensive, fully updated, Lonely Planet guides are trustworthy; a trip to Central America would be a trip of a lifetime; and Central America on a Shoestring is the guide to get travelers there. Lonely Planet offers travelers the world's richest travel advice, informed by the collective wisdom of over 350 Lonely Planet authors living in 37 countries and fluent in 70 languages. They are relentless in finding the special, the unique and the different for travelers wherever they are. When they update guidebooks, they check every listing, in person, every time.

 

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