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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

March 2008, Issue #107

Contents:

The Fundamentals of Digital Art by Richard Colson

Drawing Conclusions: An Artist Discovers His America by Tracy Sugarman

God and the Brain: The Physiology of Spiritual Experience by Andrew Newberg

The Perfect Scent: A Year inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York by Chandler Burr

Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning by Peter Busch

The Salem Witch Trials by Kekla Magoon

Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses (Book and CD) by Mary Engelbreit

From Good Schools to Great Schools: What Their Principals Do Well by Susan Penny Gray & William A. Streshly

The Kite Runner: A Portrait of the Epic Film screenplay by David Benioff, with a foreword by the novel’s writer Khaled Hosseini

The Book of Games: Strategy, Tactics & History by Jack Botermans, translated from the Spanish by Edgar Loy Fankbonner

Bursting With Energy: The Breakthrough Method to Renew Youthful Energy and Restore Health by Frank Shallenberger, with a foreword by Jonathan Wright

Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation by Charles Barber

Current Directions in Adulthood and Aging: Readings from the Association for Psychological Science edited by Susan T. Charles

Key Studies in Psychology, fourth edition by Richard Gross

Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to Be Separate and Connected by Anné Linden

The Birth Order Book of Love: How the #1 Personality Predictor Can Help You Find "The One" by William Cane

Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1981 by Katherine G. Aiken

Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion: Moorman's and Hart's Batteries by Robert J. Trout

Life of a Soldier on the Western Frontier by Jeremy Agnew

Creating Outdoor Rooms by Leeda Marting

Germaine De Staël, Daughter of the Enlightenment: The Writer and Her Turbulent Era by Sergine Dixon

Fangland: A Novel by John Marks

Shakespeare's Language: A Glossary of Unfamiliar Words in His Plays and Poems, second edition by Eugene F. Shewmaker

Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works by Newt Gingrich

The Gender of Globalization: Women Navigating Cultural and Economic Marginalities edited by Nandini Gunewardena & Ann Kingsolver

Facts & Comparisons 4.0 Singer-User Annual 2008 CD-ROM

Great Perfection: The Outer and Inner Preliminaries by Dzogchen Rinpoche, with an introduction by Dzogchen Ponlop, translated by Cortland Dahl

Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews: A Social Identity Approach by Matthew J. Marohl

A Popular Survey of the New Testament by Norman L. Geisler

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, 2nd edition by Craig L. Blomberg

Scientific Freedom: The Elixir of Civilization by Donald W. Braben

Autonomy and Paternalism: Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Health Care edited by Thomas Nys, Yvonne Denier & Toon Vandevelde

North American Railroad Bridges by Brian Solomon

Traveler's Companion Costa Rica, 3rd edition by Maribeth Mellin, revised & updated by Christopher Baker


Arts & Photography / Graphic Design / Reference

The Fundamentals of Digital Art by Richard Colson (Academia: AVA Publishing)

When looking at an artist's work, it is sometimes difficult to see where it fits within a broader scheme, but The Fundamentals of Digital Art provides some basic tools to allow readers to do this with its comprehensive overview to the discipline of digital art. An up-to-the-minute look at digital art, The Fundamentals of Digital Art offers complete explanations of physical computing, using data sources, programming, networks for artists, and experimental practices in digital media.

The book also uses extensive illustrations, ranging from work by established digital artists to recent student work, to make every point. Written by Richard Colson, senior lecturer in digital arts at Thames Valley University, the book has a portable format. The inspirational examples are accompanied by practical workshop diagrams that are designed to help students develop the confidence to work with the approaches covered in the book.

This book explores six major themes in digital art: its history, using responses, data, coding, networking and digital hybrids. These areas have been formulated on the basis of a study of the working methods and practice of individual artists, from both the past and present. The six themes draw out the key practices and debates that govern the present forms of digital art. For example, some artists want to give the computer almost full control of their final piece whereas others prefer a more limited or partial contribution from the technology. Readers might think of each of these themes in digital art as individual islands within an archipelago – each island has its own idiosyncrasies, but still maintains a place within the larger system.

Major developments in digital art have often come as a result of cooperation between artists. In the same way that climbers have to tackle a sheer rock face as a team roped together, individual artists have created networks built around their own special interests. They have found that this does in fact work to their advantage because other artists use these discoveries as a basis for their own work and research and, in doing so, reach their own unexpected outcomes, which in turn are made available to the other members of the group. The Fundamentals of Digital Art follows in this same pattern, and while providing essential information, it also creates the necessary channels to allow for feedback and further discussion.

The Fundamentals of Digital Art provides an overview; it draws together the key historical events that have had an influence on the way artists have worked, the thinking that has served to underpin their approaches and the complexity of the technologies that they have used. Thus it provides a quick scan across a broad area of practice in digital art and lays down some key markers so that readers can navigate their way within the subject with a growing sense of assurance and knowledge.

The Fundamentals of Digital Art is a resource tool for students studying digital art and design, and students of the visual arts with an interest in digital media. Ideal for students or working designers, the book provides complete explanations. Practical, clear workshop diagrams let readers self-study key topics, and the handy, portable size makes this the take-along guide to the emerging world of electronic arts.

Arts & Photography / Illustration / Social History

Drawing Conclusions: An Artist Discovers His America by Tracy Sugarman (Syracuse University Press)

For sixty years as a reportorial artist I have been struggling against the thievery of time. … But always, half a step from my elbow, has been my voracious fellow traveler, time. He has whistled the tune and I have danced. So my joy as an artist and writer has come in time-encapsulated chunks, disparate in their challenges but total in their demands.

Often I have been like a sprinter, clutching sketchpads and notebooks, racing to a finish line at a Rikers Island holding pen … And sometimes I have been like a middle-distance runner, pacing myself through the minefields of the D-day invasion in Normandy, or sweating out the perilous days and nights in the Mississippi Delta as an archivist for the civil rights move­ment. But I have never, until now, regarded myself as a long-distance runner. …

What has intervened in my hopscotched career has been the arrival of a benign and smiling advocate, the U.S. Library of Congress. … The library has chosen to acquire my collection of images on paper as a significant body of work, a reflection of my time and place.

I am deeply grateful for this honor and its breathtaking nod to posterity. But at such a moment I feel compelled to look inward rather than forward. As my life's most significant work is being trundled into the library's august archives, I have to make a reckoning. What indeed do all those drawings, paintings, and words add up to? What conclusions have I drawn? – from the Preface

At the apex of World War II, Tracy Sugarman documented naval life before, during, and after D-Day. In an age often dependent on photography and motion pictures, the artist, a well-know illustrator, used paints, ink, and pencil to forge his own distinctive brand of artistic journalism.

After the war, Sugarman continued to record the triumphs and contradictions of the American experience in vivid pictures and words. The result is a pictorial trove of historic, cultural, and societal events of his time: from the civil rights challenge and transformation in the south to labor demonstrations in the north; from Alvin Ailey dancers to NASA space exploration.

As told in Drawing Conclusions, Sugarman's art was first seen by a na­tional audience in the pages of Fortune, the Saturday Evening Post, and Colliers. Publishers who commissioned him to illustrate their books include Simon and Schuster, Doubleday, Random House, and Time-Life Books. In an age of photography, Sugarman has continued to capture the disparate images of America with his pen and his watercolors. His reportage in words and drawings on the Seventh Avenue garment-center world of New York, his searing reportage for the New York Times on the Rikers Island prison, his documenting of the fasci­nating diversity of American corporate life, and his capturing of the lyrical world of the Tanglewood music culture and of the excite­ment of the Alvin Ailey Dance Group have all been preserved in his documentation. His paintings of the first rollout of the space shut­tle Columbia are now a permanent part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Smithsonian Collection at the Kennedy Space Center, and now his entire collec­tion of art from World War II has been acquired by the U.S. Library of Congress.

Most significant for Sugarman has been his exploration of many of the areas in America where the struggles for change and growth are still being waged. As shown in Drawing Conclusions, his drawings of Appalachian life for VISTA, his dramatic drawings of the Malcolm X murder trial for the Saturday Evening Post, and his poignant coverage of mar­ginal Hispanic American life in Texas for the Housing Investment Trust of American Federa­tion of Labor and Congress of Industrial Orga­nizations (AFL-CIO) have all contributed to ongoing dialogues in our society. But his record­ing of the civil rights movement in Mississippi in his book Stranger at the Gates: A Summer in Mississippi, marked the beginning of a searching fascination with a state that continues to chal­lenge and intrigue him. The entire portfolio of his drawings of the ‘long, hot summer’ in Mississippi is now a permanent archive at Tougaloo College. His most recent book, We Had Sneak­ers – They Had Guns, is a sympathetic journey into the past of the civil rights struggle in Mississippi with blacks and whites with whom he worked in 1964 and 1965.

In 1970, Sugarman partnered with filmmaker Bill Buckley to create Rediscovery Productions, Inc. In the intervening years their documentary film company has produced nearly forty educational films about social, political, and cultural challenges to American society. He continues to serve as artist, scriptwriter, and coproducer for Rediscovery.

Tellingly, Sugarman refers to himself as an illustrator as much as an artist, in a time when few artists leave their studios to draw from life, let alone think to directly engage the political events of their day. All the more important, then, to have artists like Sugarman present their work as an example, not just to the public, but to other artists as a new model for what art can aspire to. – Steve Mumford, author of Baghdad Journal: An Artist in Occupied Iraq

Drawing Conclusions portrays an artist's unique view of great historical events, told through words and drawings. Filled with wisdom and humor yet punctuated with outrage over injustice, Sugarman's powerful, singular artistry and thoughtful prose provide insights into the American psyche and into the artist's life. Drawing Conclusions shows that an artist's personal imagery can eclipse the graphic potency of a camera in telling a human story.
Audio / Religion & Spirituality / New Age

God and the Brain: The Physiology of Spiritual Experience (AUDIOBOOK: 3 CDs, running time 3 ¾ hours) by Andrew Newberg (Sounds True)

Andrew Newberg, associate professor of radiology and psychiatry, and co-director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind, asks listeners in this audio program, “You know what you believe – but do you know why?”

Are we hard-wired for spiritual experience? And if so, why? Is it human biological destiny to seek the divine? Is faith in a higher power a survival trait? On God and the Brain, Newberg believes that the human brain is a ‘believing machine’ – and that the capacity for self-transcendence and spirituality helps drive evolution as a species.

Newberg describes evidence that the human capacity for transcendent consciousness may have been a critical factor in survival. No matter what readers believe – or don't believe – about God, the parts of their brains that manifest spiritual experience have a profound impact on the entire identity. This pioneer of brain studies and co-author of Why God Won't Go Away presents the first audio course on his groundbreaking research into the links between spirituality, biology, and the evolution of the brain. With material from Newberg's research available nowhere else, this 3-CD program features:

  • How the world's spiritual paths uniquely shape the brain and mind.
  • How prayer and meditation alter and enhance the physiology of the brain – tips for tailoring a spiritual regimen that suits individual needs.
  • ‘Neurotheology’: how brain chemistry shapes the sense of morality, meaning, and divine connection.
  • Inside the heads of the optimist and the pessimist – the survival value of positive thinking.
  • Why this emerging science enriches both the faithful and the skeptical.
  • The ‘myth-making brain’ – the survival value of storytelling and human imagination.
  • The biology of forgiveness – why this spiritual act boosts the health of the nervous system.

The audiobook includes a guided exercise for enhancing listeners’ neurological capacity for balance and peace.
Newberg is a leader in exploring the uncharted territory where the human body overlaps with experience of the sacred. In God and the Brain he presents a lucid exploration of the uncharted regions of the mind. Newberg, with his balanced approach of spiritual wonder and scientific rigor, shares insights that will deepen listeners’ understanding of the most human gift – the experience of the divine.

Business & Investing / Industries & Professions / Science / Chemistry

The Perfect Scent: A Year inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York by Chandler Burr (Henry Holt & Co.)

No journalist has ever been allowed into the ultra-secretive, highly pressured process of originating a perfume. But Chandler Burr, the New York Times perfume critic, spent a year behind the scenes observing the creation of two major fragrances. Now, in The Perfect Scent he juxtaposes the stories of the perfumes – one created by a Frenchman in Paris for an exclusive luxury-goods house, the other made in New York by actress Sarah Jessica Parker and Coty, Inc., a three billion dollar, international corporation. Readers follow Coty's mating of star power to the marketing of perfume, watching Sex and the City's Parker heading a hugely expensive campaign to launch a scent into the overcrowded celebrity market. Seeking to con­tinue its huge commercial success with celebrity perfumes, Coty enlisted Parker to lend her star power to a fragrance. Unlike that of many celebrities, though, Parker's role will be much more than a name licensing arrangement. She is, as one insider says, ‘obsessed with scent.’ When Parker's Lovely arrives in stores, every aspect of it – from the fragrance to the package – will bear her artistic imprint. But does she have the international fan base to drive worldwide sales?

In Paris at the elegant Hermès, readers see Jean Claude Ellena, his company's new head perfumer, given a challenge: he must create a scent to resuscitate Hermès's perfume business and challenge le monstre of the industry, bestselling Chanel No. 5 – the perfume that has, for ninety years, dominated sales around the globe. Will his pilgrimage to a garden on the Nile supply the inspiration he needs?

The answers lie in Burr's portrait in The Perfect Scent of some of the extraordinary personalities who envision, design, create, and launch the perfumes that drive their billion-dollar industry. And the result is a remarkable work of long-form reporting on both art and business, a journey through a mysterious industry, and a nuanced portrait of two entirely dissimilar people, Ellena and Parker, who had one thing in common: their quest to create the perfect scent.

In a kind of travelogue through the international perfume industry … Burr illuminates perfumery's clash of cultures and values – French artistic purity versus American commercialism.... [His] is a thorough and often hilarious account of perfumery's colorful characters. The science and art of fragrance creation, and the human experience of scent itself. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Exhilarating . . . Burr sharply evokes the intoxicating, often infuriating mix of precise science and artistic vision necessary to create a perfume, aided by his impressively calibrated BS detector and ability to unearth the industry's many dirty little secrets. – Kirkus Reviews

The Perfect Scent is a stylish, fascinating, unprecedented insider's view of an industry and its charismatic characters. Written with wit and elegance, the book is informative and often mesmerizing.

Business & Investing / Organizational Behavior / Education / Technology

Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning by Peter Busch (IGI Publishing)

Data consists of raw facts ... Information is a collection of facts organised in such a way that they have additional value beyond the value of the facts themselves ... Knowledge is the body of rules, guidelines, and procedures used to select, organise and manipulate data to make it suitable for a specific task ... – Stair & Reynolds

Knowledge management is now being seen as one of the major challenges in developing strategies for competitive advantage. Businesses continually collect and assess knowledge to decide on the kinds of products and services and processes to deliver them to remain competitive. Many businesses approach knowledge management by collecting explicit knowledge and storing it for easy retrieval. However, such stored knowledge must be interpreted using people's expertise and knowledge of context to result in innovative outcomes.

Understanding the complexity of tactic knowledge has become increasingly important to the enhancement of organizational flow. Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning by Peter Busch, Macquarie University, Australia, advocates the need for human factor consideration from a tactic knowledge capital point of view. The book provides answers on ways to find and utilize tacit knowledge. It presents the results of a long term study on tacit knowledge by the author. The book begins by introducing tacit knowledge with wide references to earlier work. It continues with a more systematic and measured way to identify knowledge flows using tools such a social networks and the tested methodologies applying these tools. It considers aspects of organizational culture and its influence on tacit knowledge flows and diffusion through the organization, making distinctions between small and large companies. Not focusing simply on improving socialization or team structures, it also introduces ways to integrate it into organizational processes and looks at ways to identify and measure the flow of tacit knowledge as well as ways to improve its utilization. Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning concludes with a description with recommendations for ways that organizations can utilize their knowledge to improve their organizational performance.

According to Busch, in order to achieve greater competitiveness, organizations need to pay greater attention to managing their soft knowledge such as tacit knowledge, judgment, and intuitive abilities. These parameters could be said to fall under the purview of a discipline referred to today as Knowledge Management (KM). Tacit knowledge management is important because of the overall economic benefit it brings. Whereas codified knowledge is usually available either freely or through direct pay­ment for patents or intellectual property settlements, tacit knowledge tends to be withheld from direct transfer. The ultimate value of any new knowledge, including tacit knowledge, is that codification leads to a greater return on investment, increased workplace efficiency, and overall lower organizational costs. For all of these reasons, tacit knowledge often tends to be a resource that employees tend to keep to themselves, for loss of it can represent a loss of power.

One good example of organizational knowledge transfer is knowledge mapping, where the firm seeks to determine bottlenecks or alternatively, particu­larly rich depots of knowledge. The advantage of conducting such an exercise is that new staff is more easily acclimatized to the culture of the organization, but more importantly all staff is more easily able to understand what intellectual capital exists in various parts of the company. Management also benefits as it gains a picture of the health of the organization through studying the interactions of staff and areas where they may be avoiding one another and so not passing on their knowledge. Alternatively particular groupings or cliques of personnel may represent areas where a great deal of tacit knowledge may be being transferred.

This empirical study seeks to define tacit knowledge and to measure the tacit knowledge in ICT personnel in a number of organizations. Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning examines the relationships among personnel to see whether there are likely to be factors that would enhance or decrease the likely tacit knowledge flows between them. As a means of increasing rigor associated with this research it Busch used a triangulated approach which incorporated (a) a psychological testing instrument; (b) Social Network Analysis (SNA) as a tool to track the soft knowledge dissipation cycle, and (c) Formal Concept Analysis (FCA) as a means to balance results with those achieved by way the psychological method, and the dissipation (through personnel) of tacit knowledge viewed by way of SNA. FCA is a mathematical lattice based means of interpreting or visualizing data. SNA is also graphical and maps the relationships between individuals.

Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning examines knowledge flows among individuals. There are many parameters that can affect knowledge flows in organizations, but at the level of the individual these are limited logistically with regard to how measure of flows can take place. SNA permits a viable means of measuring such flows. It is the ties between individuals that constitute a fundamental principle in SNA. Eventually, through using such tools, researchers build up a knowledge map. These knowledge maps may represent staff at the level of the whole organization, or at the level of the individual. This research focused more at the organizational level as a whole.

Given that the research is conducted in organizations, it is useful to use some categorization of company type. Busch conducted the research in three organizations, referred to as X, Y, and Z. Organization X is a very large nationally based diversified company; however, the IT branch within that firm, which is the section under study, operates as a combination of a machine bureaucracy and a professional bureaucracy. Organization Y, a small specialized firm, is either an operating adhocracy or a professional bureaucracy. Such a classification disparity depends on the type of work being undertaken by the firm. The IT group in organization Z is in fact similar to the IT group in organization X, except on a much smaller scale, such that it too comprises a machine or professional bureaucracy.

To gather data, a tacit knowledge inventory questionnaire was programmed, which incorporated a biographical, SNA and tacit knowledge inventory component. This was the research instrument that permitted the gathering of data. When statistical testing was applied to the results, the results did not reveal significant differences between experts and others. The use of FCA did however allow the identifica­tion of individuals whose answers were consistently like those of experts. It was found experts did tend to answer the IT tacit knowledge inventory items differently from those of novices. At the same time, a whole group of expert-novices were identified who were not officially identified by their peers as being experts but whose results did place them in an expert category.

Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning is organized into five sections and 15 chapters, followed by appendices. The content of the chapters includes:

Section 1: Background

  1. Identifies the existing areas of concern with regard to the domain of tacit knowledge. Difficulties inherent in undertaking tacit knowledge research are explored as well as why researchers and scholars would wish to do so.
  2. Provides a background of knowledge management and tacit knowledge.
  3. Focuses on tacit knowledge specifically using ground theory.

Section 2: Methodological Foundations

  1. Describes the issues that currently exist with regard to testing for tacit knowl­edge.
  2. Discusses the concept of organizations. Introduces the organizations under study.
  3. Introduces the concept of knowledge flows for learning and knowl­edge transfer.
  4. Establishes arguably the major means of illustrating knowledge flows is through relationships between individuals. Introduces SNA.

Section 3: Methodology

  1. Outlines the methodology used as a technique to eliciting tacit knowledge. Explores the data analysis necessary for interpretation of results.

Section 4: Results

  1. Provides initial results, introducing the test instru­ment used in the research process. Presents results of a statistical test (Wilcoxon).
  2. Presents results through a different technique, namely FCA to visually interpret data that would otherwise be lost in numerical obscurity.
  3. Examines the results from the first of three organizations, Organization X.
  4. Continues the results presentation and discussion with Organization Y.
  5. Concludes the presentation of results with Organization Z.

Section 5: Discussion, Conclusion, and Recommendations

  1. Provides a summary of the work.
  2. Makes brief recommendations for organizations.

Perhaps one of the more obvious findings uncovered in Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning is that there are a number of parameters that are going to affect tacit knowledge utilization and transfer. Starting externally, the classification type of the organization is going to have some affect. Certain organizations are by their very mission going to be tacit knowledge rich and others far more heavily reli­ant on a codified knowledge base. Within the organization itself, the number of employees and number of departments of work teams affects how reliant the company is on codifying their knowledge and trying where possible to codify their tacit knowledge. At the level of the employees themselves, there also are a number of parameters that will affect how well the tacit knowledge is going to flow. Ethnic differences, how well a common language such as English is utilized by the employees, their gender, and their age group – for example along generational lines – all have a bearing.

Busch found in Organization X that the soft knowledge of ICT contractors was not being transferred in the Organization as well as it could. In addition, certain key personnel were akin to gatekeepers in their ability to either transfer or withhold tacit knowledge. Also there were quite a number of groupings or cliques in this firm, where some of these cliques were comprised of very tacit knowledge rich individuals, where other cliques were quite knowledge poor with regard to limited access to experts. In Organization Y, the cottage industry size of the firm meant that higher densities of communication were taking place between the far lower numbers of personnel. Electronic communication which can act as a tacit knowledge barrier was also minimal, for much face-to-face interaction was taking place instead. The CIO seemed to play a more prominent role in knowledge transferal in Organization Z. In many ways the parameters affecting Organization Z were similar to those of X, except on a smaller scale. Their staff complements were similar in composition and skill levels proportionately speaking. It would be easy to say that Organization Y provided the best opportunity for tacit knowledge utilization and transferal; however, by itself this would be simplistic. What is certain is that organizations and their employees need to be more aware of their current knowledge assets and focused on their future opportunities.

Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning illustrates the importance of tacit knowledge to an organization, presenting a means to measure and track tacit knowledge in individuals. The description of the application of social networking methods in analyzing the flow of tacit knowledge is unique in the field. The research incorporates a triangulated approach to analyzing tacit knowledge diffusion within an IT domain. This research actually examines aspects of diffusion of soft knowledge in IT organizational settings.

The research presented in Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning is unique in that as it makes novel use of FCA as a means of interpreting tacit knowledge related workplace scenarios – the identification of expert non-experts was only possible through the use of this technique. An original contribution of this research is the creation of an IT specific tacit knowledge inventory. This questionnaire with its IT workplace scenarios represents a research and industry tool that has practical applications in the knowledge man­agement domain.

The book also provides valuable recommendations on firm attributes and their ideal utilization of the tacit knowledge resource.

The book will be useful for business organizations, aca­demic and research libraries, and those benefiting from the quantifying of tacit knowledge. It will also be of interest to those involved in knowledge management, business, or management information systems and technology, and the human aspects of technology and will assist those interested in developing greater agility in their enterprises through the ability to use their expertise to respond quickly to opportunities and improve their competitive position.

Children’s / History / Occult / Middle School

The Salem Witch Trials by Kekla Magoon (Essential Events Set 2: ABDO Publishing Company)

Aimed at middle-schoolers, The Salem Witch Trials is part of the Essential Events Set 2, which explores historic happenings around the globe and how those events have sculpted societies, the sciences and politics. Each volume in the Essential Library Set offers numerous research tools: primary research and sources, maps, color images,  historic documents, timelines, essential facts including an overview of the topic, selected bibliography, further reading, web sites to expand research, places to visit, a glossary, source notes by chapter, an index, and an author biography.

As told in The Salem Witch Trials, in the year 1692, in Salem Village, Massachusetts, strange events started to occur. Written by Kekla Magoon, historical fiction & nonfiction writer, who has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College, the book tells how young girls began having disturbing ‘fits.’ They would fall on the floor, shaking and trembling in seizures, or sit and stare off into space, unaware of the world around them. They would cry uncontrollably, shout curses and scream if anyone touched them. The villagers grew terrified as more and more girls fell victim to these fits. The Puritan villagers began to believe that the girls had been possessed by the devil.

Betty Parris and her cousin Abigail Williams were the first to fall ill in January 1692. Betty was just nine years old. Her father, the Reverend Samuel Parris, was the preacher at the village church. Eleven-year-­old Abigail lived with the Parris family. The girls may have played around with fortune-telling and folk magic in the months before the fits began, so the idea of witchcraft was not new to them.

Betty's and Abigail's illnesses deeply upset people. Soon after, other girls began to have similar symptoms. The villagers wanted to know what was causing these afflictions. Doctors could not determine the cause, but the villagers believed it must be the work of witches. As the illness spread, Reverend Parris preached fiery sermons condemning the devil and anyone who worked on the devil's behalf. Puritans were a religious community and they believed the devil could influence people's behavior. They believed the devil could exercise control over the weak. Parris led the community in prayer vigils, and people fasted and worshipped in the hope that God would lift the curse off the girls. Nothing worked.

Soon, the girls began naming names. They shouted some names during their fits and whispered others calmly afterward. Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne were the first named. Sarah Good was a beggar woman living in Salem, and Sarah Osborne was a feisty widow. Since both women were social outcasts, no one was surprised to think that they might be witches. The same was true for the slave, Tituba, whose West Indian ancestry made the villagers suspect her of practicing a form of voodoo, a Haitian religion. Determined to put a stop to the witchcraft, the villagers arrested the three accused women.

On March 1, 1692, court officers interviewed Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne. Both women denied the charges. They claimed not to have done anything to the girls. That same day, Tituba confessed that the devil had asked her to hurt the girls. She said she had resisted his advances, but she knew witchcraft did occur in the village. She hinted that several other people in the community were practicing witchcraft and conspiring against the children.

The villagers might have been satisfied with those first three arrests, if not for Tituba's testimony. Instead of ending the problem, her words stirred up more trouble. A witch hunt began in full force. The terrified community desperately wanted the crisis to end. They set up a special court to put the accused on trial. According to the Bible, anyone found guilty of practicing witchcraft would be put to death: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

A horrific series of events occurred over the next several months. As many as 144 people were identified as witches and jailed. Of these, 19 were found guilty and hanged, and several others died in prison. When the hysteria calmed down, the people of Salem had to face the possibility that it had all been a mistake.

The Salem witch trials continue to fascinate people, even today, more than 300 years later. How and why did an event like this happen? And, what really caused the girls' fits?

According to The Salem Witch Trials, historians and scholars continue to speculate on the Salem witch crisis of 1692. These speculations have resulted in a variety of theories about the girls' illnesses and the reasons for the community's rash and vicious reaction.

It is generally acknowledged that witchcraft was not to blame for the illness. Scholars provide various explanations for the initial fits that overtook the girls including a game gone awry, a strange illness, a mental breakdown, or a village on edge of crisis.

The book elaborates each of these possibilities and then explores what the events in Salem mean to readers today. It helps readers see how the idea of a witch hunt can also apply to situations where the person being attacked is not presumed to be an actual witch. A witch hunt describes any situation where a community decides that certain types of people are dangerous and goes to great lengths to find and stop those people. The American justice system is based on a system of innocent until proven guilty, but in a witch hunt, those rules change. People assume guilt based on little proof and seek out those they fear for punishment. The Salem Witch Trials elaborates on both on the McCarthy era and America’s war on terror as two cases which have elements similar to a witch hunt.

According to the book, the Salem witch trials offer a lesson for future generations. When fear of certain actions drives a community to place blame on individuals, there is a risk of the process turning into a witch hunt. Fear inspires people to rush to judgment. People want the problem solved as soon as possible and are willing to accept an imperfect result. This attitude, however, often results in innocent people being punished.

Studying the history of events such as the Salem witch trials can help societies understand why and how witch hunts happen and prevent them from occurring in the future.

Books of biographies, historic events, and current debates are all essential parts of the school curriculum and the Essential Library volumes help fill this need. The Essential Library is a well-researched, well written, and beautifully designed imprint created for middle school readers. The Salem Witch Trials offers tremendous research tools and is a representative example of the series.

Children’s / Literature / Classics

Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses (Book and CD) by Mary Engelbreit (Harper Collins Children)

From the colorful imagination of Mary Engelbreit springs a Mother Goose world bursting with warmth and humor. The favorite time-honored char­acters are included in Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose – Little Bo-Peep, Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, Jack and Jill, and more, along with a mouse running up the clock, pig­gies going to market, and children dancing round the mulberry bush.

Engelbreit grew up studying the illustrations in her mother's vintage storybooks, and she developed a unique style that reflects those simpler times. Engelbreit's distinctive images have made her a celebrity. Engelbreit's dearest wish has always been to illustrate for children. Her edition of The Night before Christmas glows with the sense of wonder, wit, and nostalgic warmth that is her signature.

For children, pictures as appealing as these come as a special kind of invitation. They serve as a gateway to the enjoyment of words on the page. And they usher children into a world worth knowing: the round, ripe Mother Goose world of pure possibility. – Leonard S. Marcus, author, critic, and children’s literature historian

As complete as can be with one hundred rhymes in all, Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose is a book to treasure. It is a masterful collection of the adorable, the zany, and the beautiful. This one is likely to become a classic.

Education / Educational Theory / School Management

From Good Schools to Great Schools: What Their Principals Do Well by Susan Penny Gray & William A. Streshly (Corwin Press)

"What can I do to make a difference and lift my school to excellence?"

From Good Schools to Great Schools answers this question for principals and considers other critical issues in a detailed examination of school leadership.

Based on the concepts from the national bestseller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins (2001), this guidebook identifies nine characteristics of high-performing "Level 5" school leaders through:

  • In-depth discussions and detailed case studies of six ‘star’ school principals.
  • A comparison of principals and corporate leaders, including qualities exclusive to school leadership.
  • Reflection questions for more effective application of leadership principles.
  • Templates, implementation tips, and additional resources.

Authors are William A. Streshly, with 25 years of experience in public school administration and Professor of Educational Administration at San Diego State University and Susan Penny Gray, with more than 40 years as an educator in Indiana, now teaching and coordinating the advanced administrator credentialing program at SDSU – as members of the faculty at San Diego State University in Southern California, Gray and Streshly prepare school administrators. They present in From Good Schools to Great Schools evidence that supports a new paradigm for apprenticing school administrators – one that differs from the traditional model of unresearched best practices and standards. Grounding the concepts in a research format similar to the one Collins used, the authors have made it their business to become informed about the best ideas and theories of leadership in schools. In this researched model, school site leaders can learn to look closely at their lead­ership through the experiences of superstar models and reflect on their own behaviors to move schools toward a more excellent school experience for their students.

Gray and Streshly maintain that the authors of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium standards have not gathered sufficient empir­ical evidence to support their standards, and that the standards too often amount to little more than craft knowledge. This is disturbing to those involved with professional development, since the standards being widely adopted by states across the country are based at least in part on that consortium's standards.

In using the Collins research model, the authors suggest a new paradigm for school leadership training. They observed common­alities of leadership with the CEOs Collins studied, as well as an additional concept – the ability to work well with groups.

Gray and Streshly in From Good Schools to Great Schools say they knew from Collins' research on leadership that there is a gap between the Level 4 and the Level 5 of the five-level hierarchy of leadership ability, and found that difference to be the maintenance of gains over a sustained period. This major shift from today's view of excellence is a key difference that is often overlooked and nearly neglected in society's rush to judge schools from the current high-stakes testing frenzy. Inspired by Collins' research they embarked on a similar investigation of the qualities of outstanding principals. They compared their findings with Collins' to see what they could learn from this prominent private sector research.

While Gray and Streshly were conducting their research, they were struck by the idea that the behaviors and characteristics of these stars could be learned. They could equip most administrative candidates with interpersonal skills and approaches to human problems that could help them succeed in doing what they set out to do. At the same time, they are also realistic about the weight of their findings. This was a small study, and although the findings raise important questions, they must be viewed as clues, not as conclusions. Their research has led them to suspect that highly successful principals possess certain characteristics and behave in specific ways that cause their schools to be very successful. However, their research, like the recent research of Collins and of Peters and Waterman 19 years before only provides strong inference – not irrefutable truth. Collins studied only 11 companies; Peters and Waterman, 75 companies.

Chapters 1 through 10 attempt to answer the question, "We know what to do, so why do we fail?" Gray and Streshly look deeply in From Good Schools to Great Schools at specific qualities of the highly successful school principal. In Chapter 11, they consider the commonalities and differences between school principals and business leaders. In addition to a discussion of the disparities, they look at observable leadership attributes universally applied to both public schools and the private sector.

Finally, Chapter 12 provides insights into the potential of people to become successful school leaders.

Gray and Streshly invite readers to see how the in-depth discussion of the interviews with each of the highly successful principals gives a priceless intimate acquaintance with the hearts and minds of star-quality school leaders. These powerful people represent a wide range of personalities, and at the same time exhibit a solid core of leadership qualities and characteris­tics that coalesce to create startling success in their schools. Readers can see through the eyes of these leaders in the trenches, and they will experience, through their words, what it takes to produce great schools.

Lots of food for thought. The ideas and strategies will nudge people in the right direction and help administrators be brave enough to either bring about change or resist change. This would be a good book for a principal study group. – Mary Johnstone, Principal

These successful principals move beyond platitudes and optimistic denial and learn to face the facts of what is necessary to improve schools, then they do it. These star principals learn to work with teachers and their union rather than around them. – Charles Taylor Kerchner, Hollis P. Allen Professor, Claremont Graduate University

Links Collins's work to success in the school setting. The examples of school leaders who were able to lead effective, systemic change are powerful. – Brenda Dean, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Hamblen County Department of Education, TN

Gray and Streshly give readers insights through conversations with great principals so that readers may model them and improve their own operations. They even make a case for a new paradigm for administrative preparation programs that will do more to promote success for school leaders in the work of twenty-first-century schools.

From Good Schools to Great Schools is a valuable preservice book for administrators, as well as a book to be read by all site leaders. School leaders can use this book to inspire activities that transform their schools and reframe their professional behaviors. Correlated with ISLLC standards, this comprehensive resource is valuable for aspiring and practicing school administrators, and supervisors. The book is also appropriate for those responsible for the design and delivery of principal preparation programs as well as every educator who seeks excellence in school leadership.

Entertainment / Movies

The Kite Runner: A Portrait of the Epic Film screenplay by David Benioff, with a foreword by the novel’s writer Khaled Hosseini (Newmarket Pictorial Moviebooks Series: Newmarket Press)

With more than 120 photos in full color and the complete screenplay, The Kite Runner is the story behind the making of the movie based on the beloved bestselling novel directed by Marc Forster. This pictorial book includes behind-the-scenes stories about the production, the locations, the casting of the globally diverse cast and crew, and commentaries by novelist Khaled Hosseini and director Forster.
Based on one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, The Kite Runner is a profoundly emotional tale of friendship, family, devastating mistakes, and redeeming love. In a divided country on the verge of war, two childhood friends, Amir and Hassan, are about to be torn apart. It's a glorious afternoon in Kabul and the skies are bursting with the exhilarating joy of an innocent kite-fighting tournament. But in the aftermath of the day's victory, one boy's fearful act of betrayal will set in motion a catastrophe ... and an epic quest for redemption. Now, after 20 years of living in America, Amir returns to a perilous Afghanistan under the Taliban's iron-fisted rule to face the secrets that still haunt him and take one last daring chance to set things right.

Forster is the Golden Globe-nominated director of Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland, and Stranger Than Fiction. Hosseini is the author of the bestselling novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, the son of a diplomat whose family received political asylum in the United States in 1980, he lives in northern California, where he is a physician.

In his foreword to The Kite Runner, Hosseini describes his own personal connections to the novel, as well as his experience seeing the birth of his story on the screen: "Watching Khalid Abdalla/Amir peeking sadly through the gates at the house where he was raised in the 1970s echoed with me in strange and almost disorienting ways. Like Amir, I too was born in Kabul in the mid 1960s, lived there in the 1970s, and came to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1980s to begin a new life as an immigrant. I too was away while Afghanistan was destroyed. And like Amir, I too went back to Kabul as a grown man to revisit the land of my childhood."

Executive producer E. Bennett Walsh spent months exploring some 20 potential countries to re-create the worlds depicted in the novel, but the surprise answer ultimately turned out to be in far-flung Central Asia, in the vast, sparsely populated Xinjiang Province of Western China. Walsh's location photographs revealed a majestic and haunting desert landscape between the ancient cities of Kashgar and Tashkurgan, starkly reminiscent of Afghanistan, which not coincidentally, it borders. Today, this remote section of the fabled Silk Road is a vibrant Islamic center within Chinese society, where Indian and Persian influences abound.

The universal human story told in The Kite Runner speaks to anyone who has every yearned for a second chance to make a change and find forgiveness. The exquisite full-color photos taken during the film's production complement the novel and the film. From the intricacies of the production to its result on the big screen, the process is captured as a celebration of the film and its cast and crew.

Entertainment / Puzzles & Games / Reference

The Book of Games: Strategy, Tactics & History by Jack Botermans, translated from the Spanish by Edgar Loy Fankbonner (Sterling Publishing)

This lavishly illustrated 736-page reference provides a lifetime of entertainment. The Book of Games traces the history of sixty-five of the most fascinating and popular games from across the globe and teaches readers how to play them.

Originally available in the Netherlands, written by Jack Botermans and translated from the Spanish, The Book of Games contains complete rules, playing tips, and instructive move-by-move examples. They range from Senat, a pastime enjoyed by King Tut, to Hex, invented by a 20th-century mathematician; from strategy games like Siege of Paris to dice games like Chuck-a-Luck to chase games like Pachisi; from Asian Shogi to African Wari; and from traditional Chess and Go to modern creations like Mastermind and Othello. This reference volume also includes classics like Backgammon and Poker. Colorful illustrations show old-time and modern players, game boards, and equipment alongside anecdotes and facts about games throughout history and illuminate rules, tactics, and key moves.

The Book of Games describes in detail the rules, strategies, and origins of sixty-five engrossing and challenging games from around the world. All the essential information readers need to know before making an opening move is included, such as number of players, average game durations, necessary supplies like chips, and categories, from logic to chance. Anecdotes and facts about the games lend insight into a variety of cultures and eras.

Readers will also find hundreds of illustrations that clarify rules, tactics, and scenarios they may face. Many of the pictures show an entire game or several matches between experienced competitors so that readers can gain knowledge and maintain an edge on their opponents. Additional archival images provide historical context. Some of the games put readers’ concentration and ingenuity to the test, others require a great deal of planning and analysis. They include:

  • Backgammon
  • Snakes and Ladders: Ups and Downs
  • Salta
  • White Horse
  • Windmill
  • Dominoes including Bergen, Fools, Forty-Two, Solo Dominoes, Tien Gow, Chinese Dominoes
  • Shogi
  • Goose
  • English Checkers
  • Senat
  • Poker including Dice Poker
  • Pachisi
  • Alquerque
  • Chinese Chess
  • Assault
  • Horse Races
  • Jungle
  • Agon
  • Duodecim Scripta
  • Go
  • Dice Games including Bidou
  • Mancala including Wari
  • Siege of Paris
  • Polish Checkers
  • The Chimera of Gold
  • Mikado
  • Renju
  • Jinx
  • Sun and Anchor
  • Hex
  • Shut the Box
  • Chinese Checkers
  • Saxon Hnefatafl
  • Planks
  • Hasami Shogi plus Version 2
  • Othello
  • Craps
  • Tabula
  • Shashki including Checkers in Russia and Bashne
  • Rithmomachia
  • Ming Mang
  • Tangram
  • Yut
  • Dablot Prejjesne
  • Tsung Shap
  • Coan Ki
  • Nardshir
  • Mastermind
  • The Royal Game of Ur
  • Thaayam

The Book of Games is a beautifully illustrated survey of games, from origins to strategies. Fascinating anecdotes and intriguing facts about the games lend insight into a variety of cultures and eras. While the book is well written and contains collectible illustrations, it lacks any overview or history of gaming, except within each game. This encyclopedic guide contains a plethora of entertainment, and game enthusiasts and collectors alike will appreciate it. The reviewer was hard-pressed to discern why no games of bowling were included. The Book of Games is especially recommended for its view into leisure activities across the ages.

Health, Mind & Body

Bursting With Energy: The Breakthrough Method to Renew Youthful Energy and Restore Health by Frank Shallenberger, with a foreword by Jonathan Wright (Basic Health Publications)
Ronald Klatz, M.D., president of The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, predicted in 1999 that a full "50 percent of all baby boomers alive and well today will cele­brate their 100th birthday with physical and mental faculties intact." The question Frank Shallenberger directs at readers is, “If you are a boomer, will you be among them? And if you are, how will you feel?” According to Shallenberger, anti-aging research has demonstrated that the human equivalent of living a fully functional life for a hundred and fifty years can be achieved in ani­mals. Not surprisingly, the secret is energy production. In one particular study, those animals with the highest levels of energy production lived 46 percent longer than those with the lowest levels. Even more important than living longer, the quality of their lives was much better. They were free of disease, and of course, had much more energy.

In this updated revision of his acclaimed book, Bursting With Energy Shallenberger makes a connection between the amount of energy readers have and the amount of aging they do, pointing out that, in medical terms, aging refers to a loss of function, not chronology. According to Shallenberger, board-certified physician in anti-aging medicine, founder and medical director of The Nevada Center of Alternative and Anti-Aging Medicine in Carson City, the loss of functions that result from aging are themselves the result of energy loss: more energy, less aging; less energy, more aging. His work with patients over the years has proven that an energy deficit is the root cause of every disease and symptom, from cancer, to fatigue, to obesity. Shallenberger believes that knowledge is power. Energy is the key, he says. As readers learn to eliminate the bad habits that impair the production of energy and come to embrace the proven benefits outlined in Bursting With Energy, they discover firsthand the power of having maximum energy.

However, says the doctor, readers can't buy the energy they need, they have to make it, and they do that by converting oxygen to carbon dioxide. In Bursting With Energy, he explains the process and how the body uses it to harness the sun's energy. He then shows how energy relates to aging, disease, weight, and toxic elements. He elaborates on his unique breakthrough technol­ogy, the Bio-Energy Testing System, for determining energy levels, and shows how to overcome any personal energy crisis and banish the degenerative prob­lems that deteriorate and age the body. His reinvigorating secrets include get­ting proper amounts of water, rest, sunlight, supplements, food, and exercise, in addition to breathing properly, replacing needed hormones bio-identically, and losing weight permanently.

In Part One, Shallenberger shares the target values with readers, so they will have a set of physiological references for their E.Q. With the Bio-Energy Testing method, outlined in Chapter 7, he quantifies and confirms the effects of all the age-defying, energy-enhancing secrets in Bursting With Energy. Then he discusses toxicity – what it is, how it can compro­mise the energy-producing mechanisms, and what readers can do about it.

In Part Two, he reveals eight clinical secrets, which involve lifestyle changes, some very simple, some involving effort, all rewarding. These secrets have the potential to raise readers’ energy to a level they may have experienced only in their younger days, or in many cases, to a height they never imagined possible. The goal is to be bursting with energy for a long, long time.

Dr. Shallenberger's book is bursting with compelling new insights into health and longevity. – Wendy Whitworth, Executive Producer, Larry King Live!
Well-written, and thorough, this innovative book provides very practical methods for increasing your energy production at any age. – Hyla Cass, M.D., author of All about Herbs

Bursting With Energy is also bursting with practical information for the lay person and for the busy practitioner. With mathematical precision, this book adds up to a true set of rules for health and healthy living. Some books you buy and never read; this one you will read and reread for the easy flow of ideas, the proven guidelines for staying young, and the clear answers about how and why they work. – Richard Kunin, M.D., author of Mega-Nutrition

This book provides dramatic information on stuffing yourself with oxygen, the single greatest preventer of chronic and degenerative disease. – Robert Rowen, M.D., Editor-In-Chief, Second Opinion Newsletter

Bursting With Energy offers a meas­urement of health and aging, making the connection clear. The book is full of insights and contains many practical ideas for increasing one’s energy level.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychiatry / Pharmacology / Culture

Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation by Charles Barber (Pantheon)

Comfortably Numb is an unprecedented account of the impact of psychiatric medications on American culture and on Americans themselves.

Public perceptions of mental health issues have changed dramatically over the last fifteen years and nowhere is this more apparent than in the rampant medication of ordinary Americans. In 2006, 227 million antidepressant prescriptions were dispensed in the United States, more than any other class of medication; in that same year, the United States accounted for 66 percent of the global antidepressant market. In Comfortably Numb, Charles Barber provides a context for this phenomenon.
Comfortably Numb examines our fascination with quick-fix drugs. Barber, lecturer in psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, worked for ten years in New York City shelters for the homeless mentally ill. He argues that without an industry to promote them, non-pharmaceutical approaches that could have the potential to help millions are overlooked by a nation that sees drugs as an instant cure for all emotional difficulties.

Barber reveals the startling facts behind the pharmacological curtain:

  • Americans – about 6% of the world's population – buy at least two-thirds of the world's psychiatric and neurological drugs.
  • 227 million antidepressant prescriptions were dispensed to Americans in 2006 – more than any other class of medication.
  • Only about a third of patients taking antidepressants improved dramatically after a first trial. Results were not much better than the outcomes of placebo studies.
  • Big Pharma has the largest lobbying contingent in the country – there are more drug lobbyists than members of Congress.
  • Drug companies spend almost double on marketing what they do on research. There is an army of 100,000 drug sales representatives whose job it is to push product directly to MDs.
  • In Japan, no selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants were sold until 1999. After the drug companies went into Japan, sales of antidepressants increased 500%.
  • Only 15% of the people with serious mental illness are getting the care they need.

Barber's work illustrates how the proliferation of these drugs has resulted in them being given unnecessarily and dangerously to millions of adults, not to mention children and even pets, as well as showing up in our water supply. He explores the ways in which pharmaceutical companies first create the need for a drug and then rush to fill it, and he reveals the increasing pressure Americans are under to medicate themselves. From the bombardment of direct-to-consumer drug advertising (illegal in every other developed country, save New Zealand), to the lack of health insurance covering other options – such as psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioral therapy and new approaches including Motivational Interviewing – Barber reveals how America's belief that drugs are the ultimate answer to their emotional difficulties is misguided and ignores those who are in desperate need of effective treatment options.

A sharply critical look at the way antidepressants are marketed and prescribed in the United States. While the mentally ill aren't receiving the treatment they need, Americans with ordinary life problems are being overmedicated.... Barber articulately and persuasively counsels that it's time to abandon the quick-fix, pop-a-pill approach. – Kirkus Reviews

A fine, informed writer on cultural history as well as neuroscience, psychotherapy, and economics, Barber convincingly argues against the over-prescription of psychiatric drugs in the United States and sums up the history of U.S. psychiatry from the asylum to the community to glitzy but still elementary neuroscience. A blockbuster essential for all libraries. – Library Journal (starred review)

Comfortably Numb chronicles the extraordinary psycho-pharmaceuticalization of everyday life that has arisen in recent years and appears to be growing apace. Charles Barber marks out the inconvenient truths on our path to emotional climate change but also offers alternatives to readers who wish to avoid pharmageddon. – David Healy, author of Let Them Eat Prozac
In this passionate yet fair-minded book, Barber explores the disturbing medicalization and medication of unhappiness in America today. The author understands that while medication has an important role to play in the treatment of severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, Big Pharma has seduced Americans into believing they need drugs for the normal sorrows of life. Almost 70 percent of antidepressants worldwide are sold in the United States. Barber asks the critical question of whether Americans are crazier than the rest of the world or whether we have simply developed a crazy dependency on legal drugs. – Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason

Comfortably Numb is a powerful indictment of the abuse of psychiatric medicine in America today. With the healthcare policy debates heating up in the presidential election, Barber's critique of mental health issues in this country opens up an essential conversation. Barber argues convincingly that other approaches are overlooked while drugs are seen as an instant cure to all emotional issues, thanks to their promotion by drug companies.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling / Aging

Current Directions in Adulthood and Aging: Readings from the Association for Psychological Science) edited by Susan T. Charles (Current Directions in Psychology Reader Series: Allyn & Bacon)

Current Directions in Adulthood and Aging is a compilation of Current Directions articles, focused exclusively on issues of adulthood, reflecting the growing importance of studying adult development for gaining a comprehensive understanding of human behavior.

Compiled by Susan Turk Charles, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, the papers in Current Directions in Adulthood and Aging are divided into five sections. Readers will notice several common themes running through many of the read­ings. The first theme focuses on how cognitive processing changes throughout adulthood. The study of cognitive aging is important in its own right, but also when viewing changes in other psychological processes as well, such as emotional experiences and physical functioning. Another theme that pervades these articles is the importance of the environmental context when interpreting developmental findings. Research in adult development often relies on cross-sectional methodology (that is, when age differences are examined among a group, or cross-section, of people who vary in age). Interpreting cross-sectional findings necessarily involves teasing apart maturational effects from cohort effects. Cohort effects refer to the social and cultural mores and events that vary across groups of people born at different times in history. Adult developmental processes always occur in context, and researchers have grown sophisticated in their understanding of how these social contexts influence psy­chological processes. Additionally, researchers have illustrated how social attitudes of aging have resulted in the creation of different cultural contexts for people at different points along the life-span. Expectations of the self and others often change according to age. These 26 articles are designed to augment courses in life-span development that focus less on the first twenty years and more on the last eighty years of the human life span.

The Current Directions in Psychology Reader Series is published in partnership with the Association for Psychological Science. The Association for Psychological Science is dedicated to advancing psychology as a science-based discipline.  APS members include the field’s most respected researchers and educators representing the full range of topics within psychological science. 

Current Directions in Adulthood and Aging, like other volumes in the series, includes articles selected for the undergraduate audience and taken from the accessible Current Directions in Psychological Science journal. Allowing instructors to bring their students real-world perspectives from a reliable source, the timely articles in Current Directions in Adulthood and Aging discuss today’s most current and pressing issues as they apply to specific areas of psychology.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling

Key Studies in Psychology, fourth edition by Richard Gross (Hodder Arnold)

Written by long-time psychology teacher and best-selling textbook author Richard Gross, Key Studies in Psychology, fourth edition offers students summaries of thirty-three research reports drawn from all major areas of psychology. Designed to be accessible and reader-friendly, the book covers all twenty studies from the new OCR specifications, and it also includes two new studies. Before each summary, the study is put into a theoretical, practical and/or socio-historical context, and details of its aims, hypotheses, method and design are presented. Following each summary, an evaluation of the study is provided, focusing on major theoretical and methodological issues, subsequent research, and applications and implications. 

Key Studies in Psychology, fourth edition provides students full and detailed summaries of these research reports and studies, which are drawn from cognitive, social, developmental, abnormal, biopsychology, comparative, and culture, identity and individual differences. Each is also followed by exercise questions which require readers to think critically about methodological, statistical and ethical as well as theoretical features of the study. Answers to these questions are given at the back of the book.

As with the three previous editions, the major aim of Key Studies in Psychology is to do what cannot be done in a general, introductory textbook, namely to discuss a number of individual studies in depth. Students often want to know more about a particular study than can be provided in a general textbook, or by a lecturer in a teaching situation. This means that students either has to search for, and wade through, the original journal article, which can be difficult and time-consuming, or simply get by with what can be extracted from lecture and textbook.

While it's very important that students at all levels get used to reading original sources, it may not be so obvious how to make effective use of that material. The Background and Context and Aim and Nature of the Study sections that precede each Study, and the Evaluation section that follows it, are designed to provide students with a framework for reading any original material, so as to make the best use of reading time.

The articles, with the exception of Chapters 2 and 12, are not reprints of the original, but highly detailed summaries. The aim is to retain the substantial character of the original, but at the same time to reduce unnecessary bulk. Gross retains all the section headings as they appear in the original. Most tables, figures etc. have been retained, but not all. He uses a combination of paraphrasing and reproduction of the original. But nothing appears in quotation marks, as this would disturb the continuity and flow of the text. He also replaces difficult or obscure language with simpler or more familiar language.

Key Studies in Psychology gives students excellent first-hand experience in reading journal articles and the chosen key studies will be of value in practical work, essay-writing, and preparation of seminar papers. Although a hundred different authors would choose a hundred different combinations of thirty three ‘key studies’, Gross has made a selection which will satisfy most readers. The book is suitable for Psychology undergraduates and interested general readers.

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

Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to Be Separate and Connected by Anné Linden (Crown House Publishing Limited)

In Boundaries in Human Relationships, I draw upon over 25 years of work as a teacher and therapist. I have observed and interacted with many students and clients, most of whom are adult professionals from business, the arts, education, and the helping professions, and many in the midst of either personal or professional transitions. All were motivated to improve themselves, their relationships, and their ability to commu­nicate. This book is also the result of becoming aware of myself, my ‘stuck’ places, traps, strengths, and my relationships with lovers, family, children, colleagues, friends, students, and clients. – from the Introduction

The most important distinction anyone can ever make in their life is between who they are as an individual and their connection with others. Can one truly love another and be a whole, complete and unique person? How can human beings remain individuals and yet can empathize and identify with others? How does one know the difference between fear and the partner's, or between past anger and here-and­-now anger? The answer lies with boundaries – and Boundaries in Human Relationships is a guide to unlocking these mysteries. The book teaches readers what boundaries are, how to recognize them and how to create and maintain them. It is an exploration of the many facets of individuality and togetherness, and it analyzes the most essential element that either supports or destroys self-esteem and relationships: boundaries, or the ability to be separate and connected.

After 18 years as a professional actor Anné Linden went back to college and trained to be a psychotherapist. Linden founded the New York Training Institute for Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and the NLP Center for Psychotherapy – the first of their kind in the world. She introduced NLP to Europe, undertaking the first NLP Practitioner Training in the Netherlands in 1982 and certifying the first European Trainers in 1985. Linden teaches human communication and change using NLP, Ericksonian Hypnosis, the Linden Parts Model, and the Linden Boundaries Model. To explain these models, she draws on years of experience and research into what makes for a successful relationship and a functioning, whole, and happy human being. She defines ‘happy’ not as deliriously gay, joyful, or ecstatic – but content yet yearning, satisfied but challenged, and moving toward as-yet-unrealized dreams while savoring the present moment with all one's senses.

She tells the story that at the time when she stumbled on the concept of boundaries, she was lucky enough to have a small group of profes­sionals in her Assistant Trainers Program, people with whom she had met four times a month for two years. They were intelligent, highly trained, and motivated professionals who enthusiastically participated in her research into boundaries. With their help over several years, she began to map out the basic structure of the Linden Boundaries Model.

The first five chapters of Boundaries in Human Relationships explore the structure of boundaries, what they are, and the patterns upon which they depend. Chapter 1 defines boundaries, loss of boundaries, and walls. There are three levels of boundaries, and Chapters 2, 3, and 4 describe these lev­els in depth. Chapter 5 lays out the five developmental, psychological patterns that form the foundation of boundaries. Chapter 6 explains the process of boundaries; it provides an in-depth study of how exactly the human being ‘does’ boundaries. It also offers a step-by-step explanation of the three skills (perceptual, physiologi­cal, and cognitive) that we use to create and maintain boundaries. Exercises to increase awareness of and strengthen each skill are included at the end of Chapter 6. The last four chapters describe her own and others' personal experiences to deepen read­ers’ understanding and recognition of the practical implications of boundaries in the important areas of our lives. They examine how the lack of boundaries or the exaggeration of them into walls influences relationships, identity, and self-esteem.

A book for anyone who wants a better understanding about this often-ignored aspect of human relationships and provides valuable information for therapists and coaches who work with clients having boundary issues. – Judith E. Pearson, PhD, Licensed Professional Counsellor, Certified Hypnotherapist, and Certified NLP Trainer

This wonderful book by Anne Linden addresses a crucial aspect of human relationships. The writing is very clear, helpful, and meaningful. I believe many people can benefit from reading it. – Stephen Gilligan, PhD, author of The Courage to Love

A must for teachers, NLP trainers, and Therapists as well as lovers and parents, it will become your user's guide to successful relationships. – Dr. Susi Strang Wood, NLP Master Trainer and Psychotherapist

Boundaries in Human Relationships is for readers who are open to considering relationships and self-esteem from a different perspective. A practical guide, the book increases readers’ awareness of human boundaries and how we actually ‘do’ them. While Linden includes some exercises to increase readers’ skills, her primary intention is to provoke thought and questions.

Health, Mind & Body / Self-Help / Relationships

The Birth Order Book of Love: How the #1 Personality Predictor Can Help You Find "The One" by William Cane (Da Capo Lifelong Books)

Who's got potential as a soul mate – and who's likely to be a dating disaster? And who will readers be happy with for the long run? The surprising factor could be in birth order.

If readers have been trying to find the right match but haven't had luck, they may simply have been dating the wrong people. Studies show the most reliable scientific predictor of personality is one’s place among their siblings.

Now, with The Birth Order Book of Love, bestselling author and former Boston College professor William Cane says it is possible to predict the best romantic match with remarkable precision. From the older brother of brothers to the younger sister of sisters, Cane explains the twelve birth order types, revealing why certain pairs are more compatible than others.

In The Birth Order Book of Love readers discover:

  • What birth order says about personality and potential relationships.
  • How sibling gender and age gaps between siblings affect romantic compatibility with others.
  • Secrets of best and worst love matches.
  • How to overcome common problems, like rank conflict, sex conflict, and mismatched values.
  • How to improve one’s relationship with any birth order.

Why do firstborns often find romance with lastborns? Who's the worst match for an only child? Cane examines the 12 personality/birth order types, revealing why certain birth orders are more compatible and which ones can present communication challenges (and how to overcome them). Cane explains why certain pairs, for example Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, are more compatible than others and common rank conflicts that certain birth orders can experience when matched together, such as firstborns Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Cane includes celebrity case studies throughout the book, analyzing the birth orders of Cameron Diaz, Prince Charles, J. D. Salinger, Hillary Clinton, Robert Downey Jr., Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and others. Based on readers’ birth order, he also tells which celebrity they are most like, which one they would be the most compatible with, and who is their overall best celebrity match.

The Birth Order Book of Love is an entertaining and informative guide to relationship compatibility based on the twelve birth order types. Filled with insights and advice, the book shows that it is possible to predict readers’ best romantic matches and demonstrates why many people never should have dated in the first place. Whether readers are trying to win the heart of a firstborn, lastborn, middle child, only child, or twin, The Birth Order Book of Love will help.

History / Americas / Business & Investing / Engineering

Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1981 by Katherine G. Aiken (University of Oklahoma Press)

Seeking to underscore the economic and social impact of mining on American life, T. A. Rickard, the dean of mining historians, once wrote that a mine is "much more than a hole in the ground." Rickard's maxim certainly applies to Kellogg, Idaho's Bunker Hill Company – one of America's great mining properties. This company and community, located in an isolated and sparsely populated region, became preeminent in the annals of American mining and remained so for nearly a century. Located in Kellogg, Idaho, in the remote Coeur d'Alene region, Bunker Hill played a key role in the nation's industrial development. But at the same time it was the catalyst for unprecedented labor strife and environmental desecration. And today it is of one of the EPA's largest Superfund sites. In Idaho's Bunker Hill, Katherine G. Aiken, Professor and Chair in the Department of History, University of Idaho, Moscow, traces Bunker Hill's evolution from the discovery of the mine in 1885 to the company's closure in 1981.

Throughout the company's long history, Bunker Hill management was relentless in its pursuit of profit. But success came at a price. Each time managers sought production increases, workers became restless and dissatisfied. The resulting labor-management conflicts were nothing short of legendary. The history of Bunker Hill is also very much the story of the people who lived in Idaho's Silver Valley and worked for the company. Oftentimes a tale of strife, Bunker Hill's history is at the same time a story of cooperation, dedication, and ingenuity. Following closure of Bunker Hill, the company records were placed in the University of Idaho Library Special Collections. Rarely has such a complete corporate record been available for research. Taking full advantage of this resource, Aiken offers a detailed profile that illustrates major trends in American corporate culture.

According to Idaho's Bunker Hill, from its origins as two small mining claims, to its place as one of the country's largest producers of lead and zinc, Bunker Hill Company underwent a large-scale evolution in management style and policy. Although early managers operated with a hands-on mentality, the very nature of mining soon made this type of management far less viable. From the beginning, college-educated engineers brought the tenets of their discipline to bear on Bunker Hill operations. The need for more capital required Bunker Hill people to seek outside investors, thereby complicating the managerial process. Both of these developments alienated workers, who found themselves cogs in an industrial machine.

While they struggled to maintain some semblance of control over their work lives, Bunker Hill employees lived in a community where the company dominated the local economy. Although Kellogg was never a company town in the formal sense, the mine and surface plants had pro­vided the impetus for the town's founding, and the company continued to wield considerable influence. Company managers believed they had a responsibility to offer leadership, though this leadership was often exercised in a patronizing way. At the same time, the community relied upon Bunker Hill financial investments to provide services and sponsor growth. During the post World War II period, Kellogg residents sometimes referred to the company as ‘Uncle Bunker,’ in recognition of the role that the corporation played in their lives – a constant and inescapable presence and an often generous, if perhaps also a paternalistic and domineering, relative.

According to Idaho's Bunker Hill, class, ethnic, and gender tensions were evident in the community and inside Bunker Hill gates. These conflicts often surfaced in classic battles between workers and company officials. Labor-management relations at the company spilled over into Kellogg and the rest of the Silver Valley on a regular basis. Various labor organizations provided an institutional framework for anxieties that stemmed from the complicated nature of the industrial process in terms of workers and their families.

There are many intersections among these themes – management practices and policies; class, ethnic, and gender tensions; labor relations; community development; and environmental considerations – a series of interlocking pieces that are central to Idaho's Bunker Hill. Both workers and managers were members of the Kellogg community, often making even the concept of the ‘Kellogg community’ a contested one. It is safe to say that throughout its history, Bunker Hill management was committed to making as large a profit as was possible – the primary goal of any enterprise in a capitalist system. In an often relentless pursuit of earnings, company officials urged workers to increase production, which led to worker unrest and dissatisfaction. As Bunker Hill officials chased profits, greater production often translated into progressively more dangerous conditions that jeopardized workers' health and safety. Company expansion simultaneously meant higher wages and secure employment, which contributed to the health and vitality of the local community.

Bunker Hill workers established roots in the area, and several gener­ations of many families found lifetime employment with the company. The children of workers and those of managers attended the same schools, participated on the same sports teams, and shared community pride.

Connections among Kellogg-area residents existed on many levels, although class, ethnic, and gender differences did not disappear. Over time the Bunker Hill Company became synonymous with the Kellogg community. The ‘Uncle Bunker’ relationship meant that while workers were often critical of the company and its policies, even to the point of developing a decidedly adversarial relationship, both workers and managers took pride in their community and tended to close ranks when outsiders threatened. The overall insularity of the Kellogg com­munity remains a noteworthy phenomenon. The community as a whole has shared the considerable social and economic dislocation accompanying the decline of the mining industry, an oft-repeated scenario in western mining communities. Silver Valley res­idents remain divided when it comes to interpreting Bunker Hill's legacy.

The course of Bunker Hill corporate development illustrates major trends in American corporate culture. Workers struggled to maintain their autonomy in the face of growing company power. Environmental issues at Bunker Hill had and continue to have national significance.

Not only is this book beautifully written, but the author deftly weaves together strands of business, labor, and environmental history to create a satisfying whole. – Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes, author of The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History

A solid contribution to the industrial history of the American West ... a
rewarding read to both newcomers and old hands alike. – Journal of the West

Idaho's Bunker Hill presents the first ever history of the Bunker Hill Company from the period of the lode’s discovery in 1885 to the closing of the complex in 1981. This is a richly detailed history, providing an in-depth profile, which takes full advantage of the complete corporate record.

History / Americas / Civil War

Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion: Moorman's and Hart's Batteries by Robert J. Trout (The University of Tennessee Press)

In Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion, Robert J. Trout, retired school teacher, provides readers with complete versions of three important primary docu­ments written by soldiers of the battalion. Lt. Lewis T. Nunnelee's history of Moorman's Battery is based on a seven-volume diary that Nunnelee kept during the war and features near daily entries of the battery's actions. His extraordinary attention to detail offers readers an opportunity to follow the move­ments of the battery virtually hoofstep by hoofstep through the campaigns in which he participated.

The "History of Hart's Battery," as told by Maj. James F. Hart, Dr. Levi C. Stephens, Louis Sherfesee, and Charles H. Schwing, is, as Trout puts it, "a cannon of a differ­ent caliber." It recounts in broader terms the battery's history from its inception before the war to its surrender as the last horse artillery in the field. The authors offer rare glimpses into the development of tactics learned from the ‘school of the battlefield.’

Finally, Louis Sherfesee's "Reminiscences of a Color-Bearer" fleshes out many of the stories in the history that Sherfesee co-wrote with Hart and his fellow soldiers. Filled with short vignettes, it offers a behind-the-scenes look at the battery in action.

In his speech given at the unveiling of Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart's statue in Richmond on May 30, 1907, Theodore S. Garnett, an aide-de-camp on Stuart's staff, stated that the Stuart Horse Artillery probably fired the most shot and shell of any artillery during the war. With such a record, the story of the men and the batteries that made up the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion should have been among the most celebrated in the annals of the war. But according to Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion, despite such a vast number of enemy encounters, the story of the battalion remained little known because the scarcity of primary source material posed a major obstacle to historians and writers. With the 2002 publication of Trout’s book Galloping Thunder: The Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion, some of that difficulty disappeared. The dozens of letters, diary excerpts, and extracts from reminiscences and histories included in the book revealed the thoughts and emotions of their authors and provided a firm base for the telling of the battalion's story. Galloping Thunder contained a significant amount of primary source mate­rial, but a large amount failed to find its way into the book because of a lack of space. Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion is an attempt to bring together a number of these primary resources for historians, writers, and readers to evaluate, use, and enjoy. Some background on the documents as well as an estimation of their overall accuracy is necessary.

Of the three documents included in Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion, military historians will find Lt. Lewis T. Nunnelee's "History of a Famous Company of the War of the Rebellion (So Called) Between the States Viz. Lynchburg Beauregard Rifles Viz. Beauregard Artillery Moorman's Battery Viz. Stuart Horse Artillery Viz. Shoemaker's Battery Stuart Horse Artillery" of great value because of its accuracy and attention to detail. Based on a seven-volume diary kept almost daily during the war, Nunnelee compiled his history from the diaries about thirty years after the war's close. He supplied rich detail that often is lacking in the other accounts. So meticulous was Nunnelee that he listed the majority of the roads on which the battery marched and recorded the names of most of the farmers on whose land his battery encamped. Such rare attention to detail offers readers an opportunity to follow the movements of the battery virtually hoofstep by hoofstep through the various campaigns in which Nunnelee participated. For reasons revealed in his account, Nunnelee was absent from the battery during some of the crucial campaigns of the war, and readers are left to ponder what details of these operations Nunnelee might have recorded. Despite these drawbacks, Nunnelee's recollection of the ser­vice of the Moorman-Shoemaker Battery remains a valuable addition to the history of the battalion, offering material unavailable from any other source.

The second primary document in Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion is the "History of Hart's Battery," as told by Maj. James F. Hart, Dr. Levi C. Stephens, Louis Sherfesee, and Charles H. Schwing, a cannon of a different caliber. Before collaborating on this history, Hart had written a much shorter account, which was published in the Charleston Weekly News in 1875. This work would appear to have guided the four men in their endeavor. Hart was the logical choice to head the committee since he captained the distinguished battery through much of the war. Originally an outgrowth of the Washington Artillery of Charleston, South Carolina, the battery became a part of the famed Hampton Legion and was mustered into service on June 13, 1861. Along with what became Capt. William K. Bachman's Battery, it received training under Capt. Stephen D. Lee. Following the promotion of Lee, Lt. James F. Hart succeeded to command. The history covers the battery from its inception before the war to its surrender as the last horse artillery in the field. It contrasts with Nunnelee's in that it lacks the same kind of detail, although it does provide more than adequate documentation of what the battery accomplished. The history also contains much more than just facts. The four authors touched on many of the areas Nunnelee chose to omit, and readers are rewarded with such insights as the development of tactics learned from the school of the battlefield and com­ments about the preferential treatment of Virginia units. Unlike Nunnelee, the authors began their history with the premise that their battery was the best and then set out to prove it. The writers' embellishments and altering of facts, such as claiming that their guns held the Potomac River crossing while Stuart's cavalry escaped at the end of the Chambersburg Raid or that their battery was with Stuart when he was surrounded at Auburn, are blatant attempts to enhance the battery's reputation. Such assertions detract from what could have been an excellent narrative. Despite this and the fact that a few campaigns receive insufficient attention, the history contains much untarnished material and proves a welcome addition to the little that has been written about the horse artillery batteries.

The third primary document in Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion is Louis Sherfesee's "Reminiscences of a Color-Bearer", which was never intended to be a complete history of Hart's Battery. Rather, its writer presented highlights of his experiences during the war. Filled with short vignettes, Sherfesee's reminiscence offers a behind-the-scenes look at a battery in camp and on the field of battle. Sometimes susceptible to the same pride that overcame him when he teamed with Hart, Stephens, and Schwing, Sherfesee does manage to avoid his prejudice in most instances and especially during his recollections of inci­dents involving individual members of the battery. His lively description of his “one boot on – one boot off” dash into danger at Brandy Station places readers practically next to the guns, and his revealing portrait of the battery's final surrender is poignant beyond words. Sherfesee's colorful recollections are important to the history of the battalion. At some time, an unknown editor added several pages to the beginning and end of Sherfesee's reminiscence. They in no way detract from what Sherfesee wrote and, in fact, contribute important insights and information. With these exceptions and possibly a few others not so easily identified, the reminiscence comes from the pen of Sherfesee.

The types of details in this impressive work, in many cases unavailable anywhere else, will be invaluable to cavalry aficionados and schol­ars researching cavalry battles in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War. – Keith S. Bohannon, University of West Georgia

Until recently, it has been difficult for anyone with an interest in the Army of Northern Virginia's horse artillery, which served under legendary cavalry commander J. E. B. Stuart, to envision what the men of the battalion endured. With the publication in 2002 of Trout's seminal book, Galloping Thunder, the endeavors of the unit were res­cued from obscurity. Together, the rich documents in Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion provide wel­come insights into the day-to-day experi­ences of the often overlooked Confederate horse artillery, which played an important role in cementing Stuart's reputation as one of the most outstanding cavalry command­ers in the Civil War.

History / Americas / Indian Wars / Reference

Life of a Soldier on the Western Frontier by Jeremy Agnew (Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Their heads filled with images of glory and battle, most young men joined the frontier army only to endure a life of tedious drills, bad meals, contaminated water, uncomfortable quarters, and ill-fitting uniforms. Working hard seven days a week and in all weather, soldiers frequently found themselves lonely and bored, with little opportunity for advancement but many ways to be punished, all for $13 a month. Yet, as author Jeremy Agnew observes, "...there is little doubt that the United States, particularly the West, was forever transformed by these men and their actions."

Focusing on the Indian Wars period of the 1840s through the 1890s, Life of a Soldier on the Western Frontier captures the daily challenges faced by the typical enlisted man and explores the role soldiers played in the conquering of the American frontier. In addition to describing the nitty-gritty details of a soldier’s daily life, this study approaches the Indian Wars from the perspective of both the military and the Indians and examines all aspects of the post Civil War army, including its organization, its weapons, and its personnel. The book not only explores simple matters such as food, clothing, and shelter; it also examines soldiers' work responsibilities, recreation and social life, and the brutality of frontier battles. The book places this information in a historical context by examining the forts in which the soldiers lived, the army as a whole, and the U.S. government's war against the American Indians.

The book also contains two appendices, one summarizing significant battles and the other listing selected western forts. Both include site locations and information for visitors. Dozens of photos and several maps add to readers’ understanding and enjoyment.
Author Agnew, born in England, moved to Colorado to attend college and has essentially lived there ever since. Eventually earning a PhD in engineering, he currently works as a consultant in the medical electronics field. Agnew is the author of three previous books and numerous articles.

Life of a Soldier on the Western Frontier is more than a convenient reference book, it is also a gripping and affecting story. The book paints a fascinating portrait of what life on the frontier was really like. With dozens of photographs, several maps, and useful appendices with information on important fort sites and Indian battles, the book is a wealth of information for the modern western history aficionado.

Home & Garden

Creating Outdoor Rooms by Leeda Marting (Gibb Smith, Publisher)

Today's garden lifestyle has its roots in one of our nation's oldest cities, Charleston, South Carolina. Here is a city where the houses blend seamlessly with their gardens, affording an enviable outdoor lifestyle. Charlestonians have long used their verandas and gardens as outdoor rooms where they relax, join others for meals and special occasions, or work in a peaceful setting. Family and guests gather outdoors where there are natural light, unlimited ceilings, and gardens that delight the senses. Creating Outdoor Rooms shares ideas for creating comfortable, yet elegant, Southern-influenced garden rooms anywhere. Leeda Marting, garden furniture and furnishing business owner in Charleston, shows how to use today's broad range of durable outdoor furniture and accessories to create garden rooms, verandas, and piazzas.
Creating Outdoor Rooms provides inspiration and practical advice for designing beautiful outdoor rooms. Chapters are devoted to extending the home to the outdoors, selecting furniture, choosing accessories, using architectural elements and fountains, and bringing the outdoor room alive through entertaining. 

According to Marting, modeled after European cities, where houses were built close together, Charleston's city plan called for long and narrow lots that resulted in rectangular houses with the gable facing the street. The Charleston single house, as it is known, has its porch, or ‘piazza,’ constructed perpendicular to the street, along the length of the south or west side of the house. The piazza – an outdoor room – is just a door opening away from the interior of the house and extends family and social life outside.

The popularity of outdoor rooms today is based on a number of factors, including our love of the outdoor lifestyle. The baby boomers invested in better housing, which included outdoor rooms equipped with fireplaces, kitchens, pools and other amenities. Home as sanctuary – in the post-9/11 era – has also played a role in the homeowners' desire for beautiful gardens and places within them for outdoor living.

Outdoor rooms in Charleston, and their growth elsewhere, share these characteristics:

Outdoor rooms are not defined by space alone. Inside the home, four walls define a room. In historic Charleston, stucco or brick walls were constructed around the garden for privacy and protection. Walls, gates, hedges and other devices defined the boundaries of an outdoor room while providing sanctuary from the outside world and a relatively worry-free oasis for children and pets.

Today, an outdoor room is as much a state of mind as it is a space. It can be defined by a simple row of boxwoods or the curve of a planting bed. It may be a porch, a poolside conversation area, or a terrace twenty stories high in an urban setting. It is anyplace that allows us to connect to the restorative power of nature.

Outdoor rooms are intimate. Charleston's courtyard gardens are often small with lower maintenance requirements. The limited space, however, is utilized to its maximum. Even where larger parcels of land exist, the space is broken down into smaller and more intimate areas. Today's condominium and town house homeowners have elected a lifestyle that encompasses downsized space characterized by maximized use. In brief, outdoor rooms are in; colossal land­scapes are out.

Free movement exists between the home and outside, with the garden room as essential as the rooms inside. Charlestonians personalize their outdoor space in the same manner and with as much care as any interior room. They cook and dine indoors and outside. Seating arrangements for conversation are important indoors as well as on the piazza or in the garden. An afternoon snooze may be taken on a chaise longue near the pool or on the living room sofa. Movement natu­rally takes place between inside and outside, limited by only one factor: inclement weather.

Beautifully illustrated with over 150 color photographs taken in Charleston's historic homes and gardens, Creating Outdoor Rooms is a guide for the celebration of life outdoors, and it will help readers develop a vision for their outdoor rooms that is individualistic and achievable. With an eye for good design, Marting presents inspirational ideas for creating outdoor rooms that truly extend the home into the outdoors.

Literature & Fiction / History & Criticism / Philosophy / Biographies & Memoirs

Germaine De Staël, Daughter of the Enlightenment: The Writer and Her Turbulent Era by Sergine Dixon (Humanity Books)

One of the most fascinating and influential women in French history was Germaine de Staël (1766-1817). Raised in a stimulating intellectual environment by parents connected to the court of Louis XVI, she became an internationally known writer, intellectual, and political activist. As the engaging, intelligent host of a popular salon in Paris and through frequent travels, she met some of the leading Enlightenment figures of the day, many of whom became her friends and confidants. Later in life she gained much notoriety and had to flee the country because of her outspoken opposition to the tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte.

In Germaine De Staël, Daughter of the Enlightenment Sergine Dixon traces both the personal and public life of this very accomplished woman. She recounts her early years in the waning years of the French royal court, the turbulent period of the French Revolution, her exiles to Switzerland and England, and her unwavering defense of republicanism during the reign of Napoleon. Analyzing her novels, correspondence, and writings on politics and the intellectual trends of the time, Dixon, former French teacher, presents an appealing portrait of the woman whose life and career bridged the end of the Enlightenment and the beginning of Romanticism.
As an intellectually gifted and politically minded daughter of the Enlightenment, Germanie de Staël was more than a witness to her era. She participated actively in all three periods of her tumultuous times: the Revolution, the Napoleonic Empire, and the Bourbon Restauration. She did so while constantly exercising qualities of excellent authorship: perceptivity, sensitivity, and intelligence.

According to Germaine De Staël, Daughter of the Enlightenment, Staël was unquestionably one of the most important women in history. She did not exercise the power of Queen Eliz­abeth, nor achieve the saintly stature of Joan of Arc, but she was the first woman intellectual, or ‘mandarin’ as the French would say. There had been women in politics before, of course; there had been noted women novelists, or travel writers, or histo­rians, even philoso­phers, but Staël was the first woman to be all these things. Moreover she played an eminent role in all these activities. Napoleon is reported to have stated in exile on Saint Helena that in politics he had had only two enemies: England and Staël. For her stance in their epic struggle, as well as for positions taken in her writ­ings, she must be considered a founder of the liberal tradition. Forced by Napoleon into near-perpetual exile, she gathered around her what has become known as the Coppet group, a set of thinkers from various nations whom she nurtured into productivity: Benjamin Constant, an important theoretician of liberalism and a pioneer in the comparative study of reli­gions; Bonstetten, with his work on philosophy and esthetics; Sismondi, who demonstrated the fallacy of ‘trickle down’ economics already in the early nineteenth century; Humboldt, with his theories on language and on biology; the Schlegels (Auguste was the tutor of her children) with their revolutionary theories in esthetics; Mathieu de Montmorency and Julie de Krudener with their investigations of mysticism.

However, Germaine de Staël cannot be seen merely as someone who encouraged others to write and think. She herself contributed materially to the evolution of western thought and culture. To par­aphrase Simone Balaye, the leading Staël scholar of our age, she combined much of what was best about the Enlightenment with what was best in Romanticism, as she lived through the transition from the one age to the other. While her literary career opened with an essay on Rousseau's works (1788), it culminated in On Germany (De l'Allemagne) (1810), which was to figure as a sort of bible of Romanticism on the European continent in the first half of the nineteenth century. Paramount in her political thought was her thoroughly French revolutionary cult of liberty, her opposition to tyranny and oppression, be it from individuals such as Napoleon or from institutions. She much admired English constitutional monarchy, encour­aged nationalist aspirations, and hated the Revolution's Terror as much as she did Napoleon. However, on the subject of slander, of which as an active participant in political life she had often been the object, her cult of liberty became decidedly clearer. In that context, it was the responsibility of the press she advocated above all.

According to Dixon in Germaine De Staël, Daughter of the Enlightenment, intellectually as well as politically, Staël was a cosmopolitan, unlike many of her countrymen, open to foreign cultures for what they had to teach France. She wrote extensively about Italy in her novel travelogue Corinne (1807), and even more so about Germany, but also about Russia and England. She thought of fleeing to the United States after the Terror and corresponded with Jefferson. She held that each age and culture produced its own literature and ideas, and in a wholly original fashion, applied Montesquieu to esthetics and with her incessant contrasts among the literatures of France, England, Italy, and Germany, she created com­parative literature. Perhaps even more important, she drew from classical esthetics. For Staël, there was not one ancient model to be imitated by all throughout the ages, whence her appreciation for Shakespeare, for Dante, for Goethe and Schiller. In ethics, the trials of the Revolution convinced her that enlightened self-interest was not a sufficient guarantee of moral conduct; rather, as Kant had predicated, man must turn to his innate conscience, to his transcendent sense of right, and of duty. This insight led her finally to her cult of enthusiasm, to the sense of the spirit within us, which could provide not only moral guidance but also the inspiration for true poetry and the creation of beauty.

Not only did Germaine de Staël address universal issues: she did not flinch before embodying the complexities of her experience as a woman while attempting to represent them in the fictions and plays she com­posed throughout her lifetime. Her novels, Delphine (1804) and Corinne (1807), eagerly read and exploited or deplored by women authors like Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, George Sand, George Eliot, Harriet Beecher, and Margaret Fuller, achieved a kind of cult status among women readers throughout the nineteenth-century. But not only women admired Staël: the nineteenth-century male cultivation of the genre of the Kunstlerroman that she employed so fruitfully in her Corinne owed much to her example.

Into and through her forties, Madame de Staël bore emperor Napoleon's order of exile and his police surveillance. Napoleon could not bear her so-called ideology, her ebullience, and her influence on others. For many of those difficult years, her courageous resilience main­tained the intellectual outflow buoyed by her emotional personality. Hence the characteristic intimacy of her writing: political but literary, all in one.

What is the ideal society? What is the ideal relationship between men and women? Her questions fill her work during thirty years. She appealed to her readers to develop independence of mind. She went from this to a cosmopolitanism reaching from individuals to other nations. As in Voltaire's Ferney at the time of de Staël's birth, a steady group of literary and political friends gathered at her home in Coppet or came to her Paris salon. For most of her friends, Staël's emotional agitation, brilliance of mind, sensitivity and vivacity defined her personality. But over and above everything else they admired and respected her for her authorship. They considered her writings insightful, innovative, and focused. They defended her before her critics. She too published essays in self-defense. Staël's relationships also developed through her correspondence and during her travels in France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, during jour­neys in England, Russia, then Scandinavia and England again before the final return to France.

[A] tour de force. It literally flows and it captures the eye as well as the ear. In her study she has maintained the openness and the complexity of the personalities of each of the characters all the while tracing the critical, political and social movements within which they evolve and she has managed to depict a vast array of historical characters in a forceful and economical way. This well researched study on Madame de Staël brings to life one of the most extraordinary writers and influential political women at a most critical moment in European history. – Paul Perron, Member of the Royal Society of Canada, Professor and former Chair of the department of French and former Principal of University College, University of Toronto

[A] riveting account of her passionate life as a woman, an intellectual, a lover of freedom, and most important of all as a writer whose works live on as a testament to her genius. Impeccably researched and documented, clearly organized and effectively written, Dixon's book covers the intellectual, cultural, and political milieu of the times juxtaposed against the essential details of her life, along with a perspective and rigorous examination of the intellectual and psychological underpinnings of her complete canon.... – Lee Newman, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

In view of her remarkable career, it is astonishing that Germaine de Staël should still be little known in English speaking countries. Hopefully Germaine De Staël, Daughter of the Enlightenment will renew interest in her and lead new admirers to her side. The present study profits from the Staël scholarship which has fluctuated in the last half-century, and particularly from the work done by Beatrice Jasinski in making available the rich correspondence of Mme de Staël. This allows Dixon as biographer to envisage Staël's life from within her own perspective. Dixon also admirably performs the task of tracing the whole of Staël's career and analyzing her multiple writings through the unfurling of context. Here, readers will learn much about Germaine de Staël, and, hopefully, will demand to know even more.

Literature & Fiction / Horror

Fangland: A Novel by John Marks (Paperback: Penguin Books)

Fangland: A Novel by John Marks (Hardcover: The Penguin Press)

The news industry has a reputation for being brutal. But in former 60 Minutes producer John Marks's novel Fangland – now available for the first time in paperback – the blood spilt isn't figurative. When Evangeline Harker, an associate producer of the popular television newsmagazine The Hour, is sent to Transylvania to scout out a possible story on Ion Torgu, a notorious Eastern European crime boss, she vanishes into a world darker and more hideous than anything her young journalist's mind could have imagined.

Back in New York, Evangeline's disappearance causes an uproar at the office and a wave of guilt and recrimination.

Suddenly, several months later, Evangeline is found: miraculously, she's convalescing in a Transylvania monastery, her memory seemingly erased. But then who was sending e-mails to coworkers through her account? And what are those enormous crates delivered to the office from Romania? And why does the show's sound system appear to be infected with some strange virus that coats all recordings in a faint background hiss? And what about the rumors that another correspondent has scored an interview with Torgu, who has journeyed to New York, after all?

As a mysterious and malevolent atmosphere deepens in the halls of one of America's most trusted television programs, its employees are forced to confront a threat beyond their worst fears. Instead of luring the gangster on-screen, the interview serves as a vehicle that gives Dracula himself access to a post-9/11 New York City.

Former 60 Minutes producer Marks (The Wall) puts his experience on the legendary TV news magazine to good use in this highly inventive reimagining of Bram Stoker's Dracula. His naïve protagonist, Evangeline Harker, a young producer for the TV news show The Hour, reluctantly accepts an assignment into the wilds of Romania to explore doing a segment on a legendary criminal figure, Ion Torgu. … Marks manages to make the familiar fresh, so that even devotees of the original will find themselves rapidly turning pages and being drawn into Evangeline's fate and the stories of her friends and colleagues at The Hour. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

… Marks' sense of place (a horse and wagon in front of a Coke sign symbolizes the transition from communism) and tone-setting emphasis on blood and bloodlines kick in early as Evangeline mulls over blending her Italian Irish heritage and Robert's mix of Creek Indian and the U.S. marshals who fought them, a union represented for her by the engagement ring she insists on wearing to meet the small, pale Torgu, who proves a kind of terrorist, and who infects her ‘like a virus’ when she is abducted. … A scary twenty-first-century take on the stuff of Dracula, worthy of its rightful place among others. – Whitney Scott, American Library Association
One of the most unforgettable retellings of Dracula one could ever imagine. It takes a rare talent to make a seductive, perhaps even murderous female protagonist into a symbol of a strong modern woman, but John Marks has done just that. Ambitious, career-minded, yet vulnerable, Evangeline Harker is the anchor to an equally ambitious and powerful novel. – Mitch Cullin, author of Tideland and A Slight Trick of the Mind

Fangland is the rare real thing. . . . It’ll grab you and not let go. – Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife

John Marks has written the best vampire novel since . . . Interview with the Vampire. – The Buffalo News
Love and death, sex and violence, satiric wit and genuine horror: Fangland has it all. – Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child

There’s always an audience bloodthirsty for quality, page-turning horror. In this marvelously horrifying turn, Marks sinks his satirical teeth into twenty-first-century media. First published to rave reviews from critics and readers alike, Fangland is a triumphant reinvention of the Dracula epic that serves up biting satire and chills in equal measure. The tale will appeal to vampire and horror aficionados as well as anyone who’s fed up with what passes for ‘news’ today.
Literature & Fiction / World Literature / Linguistics / Reference

Shakespeare's Language: A Glossary of Unfamiliar Words in His Plays and Poems, second edition by Eugene F. Shewmaker (Facts on File Library of World Literature Series: Facts on File)

It is said that England and America are two nations separated by a common language, and nowhere is that more true than in our dealings with the Bard. Rife with arcane references, unfamiliar expressions, and even made-up words, Shakespeare's texts can intimidate even the most learned readers. Here in one volume, Shakespeare's ornate and sometimes bewildering language is explained.

The entries comprising Shakespeare's Language feature:

  • Definitions of words as they are used in the texts.
  • Geographical references, historical and mythological figures, and foreign-language expressions.
  • Shakespearean quotes placing each defined word or phrase in context.
  • Parts of speech.
  • Variant usages.

From the adjective ‘acerb’ in Othello to the verb ‘zwaggered’ in King Lear, this revised and updated edition, written by Eugene F. Shewmaker, retired editor of dictionaries and other reference books, contains approximately 17,000 definitions, more than 2,000 of which are new. It also features a new introductory chapter "Introduction to Shakespeare and His Language," which provides essential background informa­tion on Shakespeare's life and an in-depth discussion of how modern readers can approach his works in order best to understand and enjoy them.

Since the first edition of Shakespeare's Language appeared 12 years ago, there has been an increased acceptance of three more plays into the Shakespeare canon: The Two Noble Kinsmen, King Edward III, and (with somewhat less enthusiasm) Sir Thomas More. Many of the newer editions of the com­plete works now include these three plays, and they have also been issued in separate editions under Shakespeare's name. Kinsmen, written around 1613, was probably Shakespeare's last play and was almost certainly done in collaboration, most likely with John Fletcher. Edward and More, both early plays, are thought to be the products of several collaborators, though some scholars are willing to give Shakespeare most (or even all) of the credit for Edward. The manuscript of More has miraculously survived and resides in the British Library. A portion of the play (some 147 lines) is believed by a number of scholars to be in Shakespeare's hand. For the most part the play is undistinguished, and there is no record of its ever being produced in Shakespeare's day (the subject matter was highly inflammatory), but if generally accepted this would be the only fragment of a Shakespeare manuscript known to exist. This would bring the present canon to 40 plays, including, of course, Pericles, not added to the first compilation of Shakespeare's works in 1623 (the First Folio) but added in the Third Folio of 1664. In this edition Shewmaker has added words from these recent additions.

As Shewmaker stressed in the first edition, the main obstacle in assembling an adequate glossary/dic­tionary of Shakespeare's language is that no two editions of his works entirely agree. First, none of Shakespeare's manuscripts survive to authenticate or corroborate the text of the plays that have come down to us. We know them only through the printed editions of his day and the first collection of his works, familiar to us as the First Folio, published in 1623, seven years after his death. Since then, generations of editors have revised, emended, and theorized an endless number of editions into print, each with newfound confidence that this one corrects previous errors and misconceptions and presents Shake­speare as he would have had it.

Many of the problems were set right with the publication of the First Folio, which brought together 36 of Shakespeare's plays, 18 of them appearing in print for the first time. The importance of the First Folio's contribu­tion to world literature can hardly be overesti­mated. Were it not for this compilation in 1623 we might well have lost half of Shakespeare's plays (including The Tempest, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra) and would have only inferior versions of at least five others (including Othello and King Lear).

As Shakespeare's Language explains, in the Elizabethan Age, the spelling of English had not yet been standardized. ‘Fadom’ was just as acceptable as ‘fathom;’ ‘extract’ was often written as ‘extraught,’ ‘music’ as ‘musicke;’ ‘sheriff’ as ‘shrieve;’ etc. Add to this the fact that Shake­speare frequently worked under pressure and was not particularly concerned about spelling, indi­cating who was speaking, or being precise about exits and entrances, etc., secure in the knowledge that the other members of the company would know what he had in mind or that he would be there to answer their questions.

As a further complication, Shakespeare coined many words (expressure, dishabited, circum­mured, vastidity, etc.), which may have confused the copyists as well as subsequent typesetters. Typesetters, of varying degrees of competence and working under pressure, made errors in the printing of the plays and most likely ‘corrected’ an occasional word or passage that appeared wrong to them. Later editors have reconstructed (or ‘improved upon’) Shakespeare's original in­tentions in a variety of ways.

Aside from the many Elizabethan words that have disappeared from the language, other words that have acquired fairly precise meanings in our own age (e.g., pregnant, still, deceive, presently) often meant something quite different to an Eliza­bethan. In certain passages, the wordplay can be murky, if not incomprehensible, for a modern au­dience, as in Merry Wives, I, i, 16-21, when ‘coat’ is misunderstood by another character as ‘cod’ and ‘luce’ (pike) is subsequently misunderstood as ‘louse;’ with the confusion resulting in a con­siderable amount of cross-punning. Later in the same scene, ‘words’ is misunderstood as ‘worts’ (cabbages), causing even more confusion. Eliza­bethan audiences loved puns, and Shakespeare happily obliged, often throwing in a bawdy sense as another possible interpretation (such as cod, understood as codpiece, understood as penis). The "Unfamiliar Words" of Shakespeare's Language’s subtitle, then, refers as well to familiar words used in un­familiar ways.

Shewmaker, a retired editor of reference books with a background in drama, aims here to define succinctly and in a basic way over 15,000 words found in Shakespeare's plays and poetry. Every entry includes an in-context quotation showing how the word or phrase was used by Shakespeare. Though many of the work's entries are also found in such standard reference sets as the Oxford English Dictionary and/or C.T. Onion's A Shakespeare Glossary (Oxford University Press, 1986. rev. ed.), it is unique enough in its coverage that libraries supporting Shakespeare studies will want to consider it. …This set is more accessible than the other two because its intended audience is the general reader rather than the specialist. Students will prefer it over Onion's sometimes arcane work and the large, heavy, often fairly technical, and multivolumed OED. – Peter A. Dollard, Alma College Library, Mt. Pleasant, Mich., Library Journal

Shakespeare's Language penetrates and recreates the im­mediacy of Shakespeare's language. In most passages, Shewmaker has opted for the literal, or most obvious, interpretation and tried to indicate when puns and equivocations seem to be at work. When inescapable, he has not shied away from the bawdy, since it was a vital part of the Elizabethan's theatergoing experience and pleasure. This second edition is an invaluable desktop resource for anyone interested in making sense of one of the world's greatest playwrights. The book is a comprehensive, straightforward, and easy-to-understand guide.

Political Science / Public Policy

Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works by Newt Gingrich (Regnery Publishing, Inc.)

Are you fed up with bickering politicians, self-satisfied bureaucrats, and a government that never seems to address the real problems facing the country? Can we create a government that is small, efficient, and responsive – from the state house to the White House?

We have a government of the bureaucrats, by the consultants, and for the special interests. We have a system that is designed to bypass us, the American people. We need to take action. If our leaders won't give us the real change we need, they are unworthy of our votes. – Newt Gingrich

Gingrich, architect of the Contract with America, says in Real Change it is time for citizens to demand results from elected officials. In this book he shows how America can achieve transformational change – from a government of bureaucratic failure to a government that can meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. As a first step, Gingrich seeks to overturn the myth that America is divided between conservative red states and liberal blue states. He points out that the American people are united on almost every important issue facing the country – including immigration, taxes, defending America, and freedom of religion. They believe terrorism is a serious threat, immigration and Social Security are broken, and every family needs more efficient healthcare. The real division is between red-white-and-blue America and a fringe on the left. Red-white-and-blue America believes overwhelmingly – by majorities of 70 percent or more – that we need a change in course.

But politicians aren't listening.

Gingrich then reveals why the Democratic Party can't deliver real change and why the Republican Party won't. He provides a step-by-step, issue-by-issue toolkit for building a better America – a safe, innovative, and dynamic America.
Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, led the Republican Party to victory in 1994. From 1995 to 1999, he served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Gingrich is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, founder of the Center for Health Transformation, a FOX political analyst, and general chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future.

In Real Change Gingrich argues convincingly that America is at a crossroads – transformational change will mean prosperity, safety, and freedom but government will drag the country further into decline. He shows readers how to make real change a reality, sparing no one in his analysis, lambasting both parties for failing to offer real solutions to the serious problems that face the country.

Politics / Globalization / Social Science / Women’s Studies

The Gender of Globalization: Women Navigating Cultural and Economic Marginalities edited by Nandini Gunewardena & Ann Kingsolver (School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series: School for Advanced Research Press)

As ‘globalization’ moves rapidly from buzzword to cliché, evaluating the claims of neoliberal capitalism to empower and enrich remains urgently important. The contributors to The Gender of Globalization employ feminist, ethnographic methods to examine what free trade and export processing zones, economic liberalization, and currency reform mean to women in Argentina, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Ghana, the United States, India, Jamaica, and many other places.

According to The Gender of Globalization, heralded as agents of prosperity and liberation, neoliberal economic policies have too often refigured and redoubled the burdens of gender, race, caste, class, and regional subordination that women bear. Traders, garment factory operatives, hotel managers and maids, small farmers and agricultural laborers, garbage pickers, domestic caregivers, daughters, wives, and mothers; women around the world are struggling to challenge the tendency of globalization talk to veil their marginalization.

The book is edited by Nandini Gunewardena, practitioner anthropologist and faculty member in the human services program at Western Washington University and Ann Kingsolver, associate professor of anthropology at the University of South Carolina and general editor of the Anthropology of Work Review. They say that the gender of globalization has been obscured by ‘neutral’ analytical lenses that overlook the incongruity between women's key roles in the global labor force and their social and economic marginalization, as well as their persistent efforts to navigate the processes that produce this incongruity. Gunewardena and Kingsolver’s main concern in The Gender of Globalization is to understand, via the lenses of gender and cultural analysis, the ways in which women participate in, become drawn and incorporated into, are affected by, and negotiate their encounters with contemporary forms of global economic restructur­ing commonly referred to as globalization. They bring together ethnographic case studies from diverse locations in the global South and the global North, analyzing economic globalization as a gendered process. They move beyond the naturalization of gender in their analysis of globalization; they illustrate how local and global constructions of gender are employed in the operations of transnational capital to exacerbate women's economic and social vulnerabilities. Collectively, the ethnographic case studies in The Gender of Globalization analyze globalization not merely as an innocuous and inevitable historical phenomenon, but also as a set of processes with distinct, gender-specific implications. These ethnographic essays ‘pivot the center’ by focusing on the ‘subjective,’ agentive perspectives of those who are most marginalized by capitalist and women's experiences in analyses of gender and globalization.

Many feminist anthropologists, as well as schol­ars in related fields, have documented how the current wave of economic globalization (with its neoliberal governance) has had disproportionately negative impacts on women in terms of aggravating women's social and economic marginality. Contrary to predictions, particularly those related to the now highly contested ‘trickle-down’ economic theory, economic globalization has deep­ened rather than narrowed the social and economic divides between the global North and South, as documented even by leading economists such as the former chief economist for the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz. Less well documented are the particularly damning gendered consequences of globalization – a lacuna The Gender of Globalization attempts to fill. The literature amply documents how economic policies have reduced local purchasing power parity and subsistence security and led women to adopt compensation strategies at the expense of their self-exploitation to ensure household and family survival. A World Bank document on revenue generated by transnational immigrants (predominantly a female workforce) reveals a staggering figure of $230 billion in global remittances. The chapters in this book add to the body of literature, analyzing how these processes are distinctly gendered. The richly textured descriptions of the lived realities of women experiencing these forces illustrate how women of diverse ethnic, racial, caste, class, and other identities (as well as intersec­tional social locations) encounter and respond to the forces of globaliza­tion in unique and differentiated ways.

According to Gunewardena and Kingsolver, The Gender of Globalization may be read and used in a number of ways, but they have clustered chapters according to thematic concerns that encourage readers to take up the discussions begun by the authors. The first cluster, for example, focuses on production, distribution, and con­sumption – in this case, of cloth and clothing – as central to current and historical analyses of globalization. In the section "Producing Threads, Consuming Garb: Women Traversing Global Clothing Markets," Gunewardena's chapter focuses on women workers in a garment factory in Sri Lanka; Akosua Darkwah discusses women trading cloth in the transna­tional market between Europe and Ghana; and Mary Moran considers the shifting meanings of cloth and its consumption in Liberia from the colo­nial period. This cluster facilitates discussion of the gendering of global­izations through a focus on commodity chains and the lives connected through those chains.

The second cluster of chapters, "Racialized Policies, Scarred Bodies: Women Transposing Neoliberal Violence," documents the dichotomous categories that have fostered the hierarchical racialization, subordination, and paternalistic marginalization of groups of people through capitalist economic and cultural relations. This cluster also allows readers to look critically at the ways in which historical, development, and neoliberal dis­courses are used to promote and mask active marginalization, including physical violence. The chapters in this section are Ulrika Dahl's discussion of marginality related to nationality and gender in rural Sweden, William Conwill's analysis of domestic violence and economic marginality in the United States, and Barbara Sutton's documentation of the embodied effects of neoliberal policies on women facing harsher working conditions and less access to food and health care.

The third section, "Servicing Leisure, Serving Class: Women Trans­gressing Global Circuits of Care," focuses on service work as a lens to study women's marginalities, and their contestation of these, in global circuits. Lynn Bolles discusses women workers and entrepreneurs in the tourist sector in Jamaica; Rhacel Parreñas focuses on domestic workers from the Philippines who navigate urban spaces in the United States and Italy; and Sandy Smith-Nonini writes about the union activism of workers from many nations who service San Francisco's hotel and restaurant industry, which hosts groups such as the American Anthropological Association.

The last cluster of ethnographic essays, "Contesting Marginalities, Imagining Alternatives: Women Transforming Global Coalitions," focuses on something that all the chapters in The Gender of Globalization address – agency in rela­tion to conditions associated with economic globalization. Kingsolver's chapter includes a discussion of the conceptual contributions of women's plurinational organizing to broader alliances against neoliberal free trade policies in Latin America. Annapurna Pandey looks at the use of the con­cept swadeshi by women in India to resist negative aspects of globalization in their regions.

The foreword, chapter 2, and the concluding chapters introduce other ways of reading across and beyond the collected ethnographic essays, tak­ing up the themes of structure and agency, the role of states, the paradoxes of globalization, processes of differentiation, patriarchal capitalist and other power relations, and ethnographic and coalitional approaches to understanding gendered globalizations and how women navigate eco­nomic and cultural marginalities.

The book [makes] an important contribution in the growing field of gender and globalization... [by analyzing] sites that are not commonly addressed [or] women who are not represented in the literature.... – Maisha Desai, University of Connecticut

A landmark volume, The Gender of Globalization fills a gap in the literature documenting the gendered consequences of globalization. The richly textured descriptions show how diverse women respond to the forces of globalization in unique ways.

The authors engage theories of cultural and economic marginalization that bridge political economic, feminist, critical race theory, and other approaches to discuss individual and collective experiences of power that distinguish among agency, autonomy, and hegemony. Gunewardena and Kingsolver thoroughly examine expressions of agentive, oppositional discourse and strategies for alternative knowledge practices and political mobilization to contribute to theoretical analyses of marginalization, vulnerability, and social exclusion in relation to economic globalization.

Professional & Technical / Medical / Pharmacology / Reference

Facts & Comparisons 4.0 Singer-User Annual 2008 CD-ROM by Facts & Comparisons (Drug Facts & Comparisons Series: Wolters Kluwer Health)

Facts and Comparisons has been the health care professional's choice for authoritative, comprehensive and timely drug information for over half a century.

With the Facts & Comparisons 4.0 single-user annual CD-ROM, readers gain access to an electronic version of the most comprehensive drug information available. This resource contains information on more than 22,000 Prescription (Rx) and 6,000 over-the-counter (OTC) products. Rx and OTC product information, drug-herb-food interactions, natural product information, and patient information can be accessed and searched in this compilation of Facts & Comparisons' most popular reference products and tools.

Facts & Comparisons 4.0 offers advanced features to serve the needs of health care professionals. With this CD-ROM, readers can

  • Check drug/food/herbal interactions.
  • Review therapeutic groups using over 3,000 comparative tables.
  • Print selected monograph sections or tables.
  • Access Black Box Warnings and Pregnancy/Lactation Warnings.
  • Identify products with Drug Identifier.
  • Access natural product information.
  • Access audio drug pronunciation.
  • Access more than 70 clinical calculators.

The CD-ROM contains comprehensive monographs detailing actions, indications, administration and dosage, interactions, adverse reactions, and warnings.

Facts & Comparisons 4.0 is supported by over 60 years of experience, assuring editorial consistency and reliability. The CD-ROM includes data from these resources:

  • Drug Facts and Comparisons.
  • Drug Interaction Facts.
  • The Review of Natural Products.
  • Drug Interaction Facts: Herbal Supplements and Food.
  • Drug Identifier.
  • Off-Label Drug Facts.
  • Nonprescription Drug Therapy.
  • A to Z Drug Facts.
  • MedFacts patient information in English and Spanish.

For ease of use, drugs are divided into logical, related therapeutic or pharmacological groups, categorized so that similar drugs can be easily compared. The CD-ROM is Windows Compatible.

Facts & Comparisons 4.0 provides drug information that is authoritative, comprehensive and evaluative, with comparative tables that support and aid therapeutic decision-making at the point of care. This trusted resource, available in the easily searchable format, provides immediate information where it is needed.

Religion & Spirituality / Buddhism

Great Perfection: The Outer and Inner Preliminaries by Dzogchen Rinpoche, with an introduction by Dzogchen Ponlop, translated by Cortland Dahl (Heart Essence Series: Snow Lion)

In the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, the Great Perfection is consid­ered the most profound and direct path to enlightenment. The instructions of this tradition present a spiritual shortcut – a direct approach that cuts through confusion and lays bare the mind's true nature of luminous purity. For centuries, these teachings have been taught and practiced in secret by the great adepts of the Buddhist tradition.

Great Perfection contains detailed instructions on the founda­tional practices of this tradition from The Excellent Chariot, a practice manual compiled by the Third Dzogchen Rinpoche. Distilling the teachings of the Heart Essence of the Dakinis, The Excellent Chariot leads readers through the entire Buddhist path, starting with basic Buddhist contemplations that work to dislodge ingrained patterns of thinking and behaving, and continuing on to the most advanced and secret meditative practices of the Great Perfection.

The Third Dzogchen Rinpoche (1759-1792) was the abbot of Dzogchen Monas­tery, one of the largest monastic centers in eastern Tibet. He was known particularly for his mastery of the Great Perfection teachings and his clear and accessible works on this topic. The book is translated by Cortland Dahl, who graduated from Naropa University with a master's degree in Buddhist Studies and Tibetan language and currently works as director of both the Rime Foundation and Tergar Institute.

In addition to the translation, Great Perfection contains an introduction by the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, a contemporary Great Perfection master, and an extensive glossary of key Great Perfection terminology.

Great Perfection is part of the Heart Essence Series, which presents translations of seminal writings on the Great Perfection. The series aims to provide scholars, teachers, and practitioners of these profound teachings with accurate and readable translations of the most important Great Perfection texts.

For centuries, the Heart Essence of the Dakinis has been treasured as one of the most profound and direct paths to enlightenment in the Tibetan tradition. The teachings contained in this volume illuminate the preliminary practices of this sacred path. Drawing upon many of the greatest sages of India and Tibet, its lucid explanations are sure to inspire beginners and seasoned meditators alike. – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, author of The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

The aim of the preliminary practices is to establish a foundation for all spiritual progress. To dispense with these foundations in order to practice teachings one supposes to be more profound is like building a palace on the surface of a frozen lake. If one's practice of the preliminaries is profound, the main practice will be profound as well. One can therefore be grateful to Cortland Dahl for having given us a clear and insightful translation of the Third Dzogchen Rinpoche's magnificent teachings on the preliminary practices of the Khandro Nyingtik. When it comes to the meaning of the Great Perfection, the birth of understanding depends entirely upon these preliminaries. – Matthieu Ricard, author of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill

This amazing volume enshrines the Buddhist teachings for beginners, teaching how to deal with everyday life, how to apply one's mind to the pure teachings of the Buddha, and especially the extraordinary physical, vocal, and mental exercises that awaken the enlightened nature of the mind. This wonderful volume is rich in blessings and filled with practical advice. – Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, author of The Healing Power of Mind

Great Perfection contains a complete description of the traditional preliminary practices to be completed before initiation into advanced practice. This beautifully written guide puts the essential teachings in an accessible, easy to practice format. This translation of the foundational practices will be of great use to Westerners wishing to step onto the Buddhist path of enlightenment.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / New Testament / Reference

Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews: A Social Identity Approach by Matthew J. Marohl (Princeton Theological Monograph Series: Pickwick Publications)

Why was Hebrews written? What was the purpose of the text? The discussion of the purpose of Hebrews is traditionally connected to the discussion of the identity and social context of the addressees. In other words, it is often assumed that to answer why Hebrews was written, it must first be established to whom Hebrews was written. Herein lies a problem for modern readers of the text. There is little, if any, consensus regarding the identity of the addressees. And there is little, if any, consensus re­garding the purpose of Hebrews. While most still hold to the ‘traditional view,’ that the addressees were ‘Jewish Christians’ in danger of falling back into ‘Judaism,’ a growing number of interpreters have concluded that nothing can be known regarding the identity of the addressees.

The aim of Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews is to provide answers to these questions by employing that branch of social psychology known as social identity theory.

Matthew J. Marohl, teacher of New Testament at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, begins Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews with a description of the social categorization process, created by Henri Tajfel, to categorize the identity of the addressees of Hebrews. Who were the addressees, were they ‘Jewish’ or ‘Gentile Christians?’ Perhaps they were former Essenes, Samaritans, or Ebionites? What were the various groups of the first-century Mediterranean world? What were the unique characteristics of these groups? Does the text point to any of these unique characteristics? While both the question and the method of inquiry may appear simple, the multiplicity of answers and a commonly voiced frustra­tion point to a deeper, problematic level to this question. Why has it been so difficult to answer the question: Who were the addressees?

Indeed, it has become almost commonplace to refer to the ‘mystery’ of Hebrews, to speak of Hebrews as an ‘enigma.’ It is not only the question of the identity of the addressees that has proven problematic for historical critics, the identity of the au­thor, the date of the text, its literary genre, its place of writing, its destina­tion, the social context in which it was written, its structure, and its very purpose have all been widely debated and difficult to discern. For many, these problems may all be traced to the text's lack of specific historical data. Therefore, while some continue to attempt to answer the question, "Who where the addressees of Hebrews?," others voice frustration at the impossibility of the task.

According to Marohl, frustration is justified. There is an incompatibility of the historical-critical method to the data available in Hebrews. However, this may only be a symptom of a much more signifi­cant problem associated with a traditional historical-critical investigation. The larger issue concerns the categories commonly used by historical critics. The inadequacies of such modern categories include both the use of problematic terminology and problematic con­ceptions of the nature of the various first-century groups. For example, a modern reader might envision the first-century addressees as having been ‘Jewish.’ Further, ‘Judaism’ might be understood to be a ‘religion.’ For some, the ‘religion’ of ‘Judaism’ is understood to have been in direct con­flict or competition with the ‘religion’ of ‘Christianity.’ Attempting to place the addressees into one of the categories with which we are familiar, is, after all, a natural part of our social categorization process. But what categories did the addressees use to simplify and systematize their environment? Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews utilizes social identity theory to identify and interpret the social categories employed by the author and the addressees of Hebrews and to identify and interpret the purpose of the text itself.

In chapter 1, Marohl outlines the historical critical process for examining identity. He presents a description of each of the eight common proposals concerning the identity of the addressees of Hebrews. Finally, he engages in a critical examination of the categorization process of historical criticism. At the end of the chapter, he proposes the problem of understanding the identity of the addressees is not rooted in a lack of information within the text but with an inadequate conceptual framework for understanding identity.

The discussion of the identity of the addressees is inherently connected with the discussion of the purpose of the text. Chapter 2 follows the basic structure of chapter 1. Marohl outlines the historical critical pro­cess for analyzing the purpose of a text. He provides a description of each of the four common proposals concerning the purpose of Hebrews. Finally, he engages in an examination of the historical-critical process for analyzing the purpose of Hebrews. At the end of the second chapter, he proposes that the multiplicity of proposals regarding the purpose of the text reflects the multiplicity of proposals regarding the identity of the addressees.

Since an appropriate conceptual framework for understanding iden­tity is needed in order to move forward in the discussion of the addressees of Hebrews, Marohl offers an overview of social identity theory, the theo­retical framework with which he comes at the problem in a new way. Social identity theory not only offers insight into the social categorization process, but more im­portantly, helps to describe how social groups form and maintain identity. Chapter 3 in Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews describes not only the social categorization process, but also defines social identity, the role of social comparison in identity formation and maintenance, and the function of time within social identity. In addition, and of particular importance to the study of Hebrews, Marohl discusses the nature of outgroups according to social identity theory. He considers, for example, whether an outgroup must be a real group, and whether an ingroup might compare itself to a symbolic outgroup.

In chapter 4, Marohl considers the cultural context of the first-century Mediterranean world, including in the discussion the dynamic of temporal orientation. The chapter's main thesis is that unlike the future temporal orientation of most twenty-first century North Atlantic interpreters, the addressees of Hebrews were likely to have had a present temporal orientation. He proposes that social identity theory integrated with a working model of present temporal orientation serves as an appropriate conceptual framework within which to examine the identity of the addressees of Hebrews.

The first step in reading Hebrews within the framework of social identity theory involves the consideration of whether the addressees understand themselves to be a distinct group, an ‘us’? Rather than rely upon the categories of ‘Jewish Christian’ or ‘Gentile Christian,’ chapter 5 argues that the addressees of Hebrews understood their own identity in terms of faithfulness.

The addressees of Hebrews understood themselves to be ‘the faith­ful.’ Repeatedly, the faithfulness of Jesus is understood through comparison. The faithfulness of Jesus is compared to that of Moses (Heb 3:1-6). Likewise, his faithfulness is compared to that of the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ (Heb 12:1-2). In chapter 6, Marohl employs two relevant areas of social identity theory – the theory of shared life stories and the theory of prototypicality – in order to understand the author's use of comparison and his emphasis on the faithfulness of Jesus.

Throughout Hebrews, the author thoroughly integrates issues of identity, faithfulness, and time. Therefore, to more fully understand social identity in Hebrews, it is necessary to consider the role of time within the text. Specifically, chapter 7 of Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews addresses four questions regarding temporality. First, what was the role of the antecedent in Hebrews? Second, what was the role of the forthcoming? Third, what was the role of foresight? Fourth, is there evidence of imaginary time in Hebrews? In addition, this chapter includes a description of the meaning of the promised ‘rest.’ We find that the addressees are encouraged to "look forward by looking back."

In chapter 8, Marohl broadens the discussion from the identity of the addressees of Hebrews to the purpose of the text. The discussion of the purpose of Hebrews has traditionally been connected to the discussion of the identity and social context of the addressees of Hebrews. If we take seriously the conclusions made in chapters 5-7 regarding the identity of the addressees, it is possible to present a new proposal regarding the purpose of the text. The proposal of chapter 8, based upon the culturally appropriate conceptual framework of social identity theory and present temporal orientation, can serve as a helpful tool for the interpreta­tion of Hebrews.

Marohl's welcome study represents an accomplished application of social identity theory to the text of Hebrews. His methodological attentiveness is mature and responsible, resulting in an articulate analysis that recognises the faithfulness of Jesus to be the theological centre that informs the socio-religious program advocated by the author of Hebrews. – Bruce Longenecker, University of St. Andrews

Henri Tajfel could have had no concept of the far-reaching influence of social identity theory he first developed in the 1970s. In Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews, that theory and a model of present temporal orien­tation provide the conceptual framework within which to understand the identity of the addressees of Hebrews and the purpose of the text. But projects such as this can be informative beyond the boundaries and limitations of both New Testament interpretation and social identity theory.

Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews offers fresh answers to several unresolved questions. The study concludes that the author of Hebrews provides internal constraints that are meant to prevent social mobility. Marohl utilizes social creativity (an aspect of social change) to provide a positive social identity for the addressees.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / New Testament / Reference

A Popular Survey of the New Testament by Norman L. Geisler (Baker Books)

Besides the Gospels, which are more familiar to most Christians, the New Testament can seem like a strange collection of letters to people who are very different from ourselves.
Understanding the New Testament is a daunting but exciting task. Today’s world is so different from that of the first century. The dress, travel, vocation, and custom of biblical characters are all foreign to readers. Yet it is important to understand the context and content of the New Testament. A Popular Survey of the New Testament is designed to help ordinary people enrich their understanding of New Testament people and events. Written by Norman L. Geisler, cofounder and former dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary and Bible College in Charlotte, North Carolina, the book addresses many questions that readers of the Bible may have, such as:

  • Who wrote the books of the New Testament and to whom were they writing?
  • When were these books written and why?
  • What can today's believers get out of a letter about a slave returning to his master?
  • How can a warning about first-century Gnostics help Christians today?
  • How can we tell if what is written in the New Testament is true history or just mythology?

A Popular Survey of the New Testament is illustrated throughout with color photos, charts, and maps, and written in an informal style. Each chapter includes study questions. The book also contains several appendices: Early Church Fathers and Sources, Early Citations of the New Testament, Key Words and Phrases in the New Testament, and Miracles in the Gospels; and a Bibliography.

Of the making of New Testament studies there is no end, so readers may rightly wonder why yet another manual is needed. Does this volume offer insights not easily available elsewhere? Geisler, dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary and Bible College, and author of more than 70 books dealing with the Bible and Christianity, gathers decades of findings of New Testament scholars into a truly accessible and readable overview, aimed at readers at all levels. Beginning with a fine explanation of the various critical methodologies used in analyzing the scriptural record, he then treats each book in the New Testament, addressing questions about authorship, the date of writing and the book's intended audience, and a clear explanation of the content of each book. … Numerous charts and full-color photos enhance the presentation, making the book an excellent choice for course adoption. Geisler thinks even beginning students can appreciate and understand the canon and demonstrates beautifully the simplicity and consistency of these writings. This is a book worth owning. – Publishers Weekly

Illustrated throughout with color photos, charts, and maps, and written in an easy, informal style, A Popular Survey of the New Testament is accessible and enjoyable to anyone who wants to understand the New Testament better.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Reference

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, 2nd edition by Craig L. Blomberg (IVP Academic)

Dr. Blomberg is a member of a team of scholars who have for a number of years been engaged on a ‘Gospels Project’, designed to explore the main critical issues in the study of the Gospels in our time. The findings of this team have been published in a series of six volumes entitled Gospel Perspectives. But these volumes are written by scholars for scholars. What Dr. Blomberg has done is to digest their contents and present them, in the light of his own study and understanding of the subject, to a wider public. His book calls for careful thought on the part of its readers, but does not require technical knowledge. Here is an answer to the questions: Is it possible for intelligent people nowa­days to approach the Gospels as trustworthy accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus? Must they be read with skepticism until their detailed information is confirmed? Or can we, in the light of present knowledge, take it for granted that their authors intend to record things that really happened? The answer Dr. Blomberg gives to these questions is positive and satisfying, because he gives ample evidence of accurate and up-to-date acquaintance with the subject of his work and the relevant literature. I am happy to commend it warmly to readers who are interested in this question, and especially to theological students. – F. F. Bruce, from the Foreword to the first edition

For over twenty years, Craig Blomberg's first edition of The Historical Reliability of the Gospels has provided an antidote to many of the toxic effects of skeptical criticism of the Gospels. Offering a balanced overview of the history of Gospel criticism, especially that of the late twentieth century, Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, introduces readers to the methods employed by New Testament scholars and shows both the values and limits of those methods. After an assessment of noncanonical Jesus tradition, he addresses issues of historical method directly.

Many people continue to believe that only a small percentage of the New Testament accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth reflect what he really said and did. The reasons for skepticism may vary over the years, but some arguments have proved remarkably persistent – for example, the Gospels were not written by people in a position to know what Jesus was like, primitive cultures believed in miracles that we know are impossible, theological interest precludes historical accuracy, non-canonical texts disprove the stories in the Gospels, and so on. According to Blomberg, such claims are in fact weakly supported, or have actually been disproved. However, various issues contribute to the complexity of the question of the Gospels' trustworthiness, and disagreements remain. Furthermore, confusion has been compounded by fiction promoted in popular culture, or by eccentric, unrepresentative scholarship.

Since its first appearance in 1987, Blomberg’s response to skepticism in The Historical Reliability of the Gospels has been widely appreciated. Fully revised and updated, this new edition takes account of the vast amount of relevant scholarship that has appeared over the last two decades. This new edition of The Historical Reliability of the Gospels contains numerous additions to the footnotes and two added appendixes. Readers will find that over the past twenty years, the case for the historical trustworthiness of the Gospels has grown stronger.

The book offers an overview and history of contemporary Gospel study methods, explores the problem of miracles from scientific, philosophical and historical perspectives, critically examines the issue of supposed contradictions among the Synoptics, investigates alleged historical discrepancies between the Synoptics and John's Gospel, and surveys canonical and non-canonical Jesus tradition outside the Gospels.

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels is a solid analytic study providing answers to the questions of historicity which stand up to serious academic scrutiny as well as providing some help for those who are perplexed by scholarly disagreement. Ranging over a wide field – differences between parallel accounts of the same event, the theological interests of the Evangelists, the miracles of Jesus, the testimony of extra-biblical sources, and critical assessment of historical methods – Blomberg presents a thorough, informed engagement with the main issues in the ongoing debates. Deliberately refusing to appeal to the inspiration of the Bible or to church tradition, he convincingly demonstrates the overall historical reliability of the Gospels. This valuable and accessible study will appeal to non-specialists and ministers as well as to theological scholars and students.

Science / History / Philosophy

Scientific Freedom: The Elixir of Civilization by Donald W. Braben (Wiley-Interscience)

Scientific progress comes in a vast number of ways, ranging from the apparently spontaneous comprehension of a new way of looking at the universe as typified by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, to the prolonged and often agonizing study of a perplexing phenomenon as typified by Max Planck's work that led to the discovery of energy quantization. Until about 1970, such scientists were free – and endorsed by the scientific community – to discover the breakthroughs that have shaped the modern world. But subsequent policy changes are making it almost impossible for others to follow in their footsteps. Consequently, economic growth and future prosperity are now in jeopardy.

In Scientific Freedom Donald W. Braben outlines what needs to be done to restore the freedom that can transform scientific understanding. He argues that creativity and the freedom to discover is hindered by lumbering bureaucracies that threaten the very future of civilization. He discusses in detail what Transformative Research (Venture Research) actually is, how it relates to other research programmers, how an initiative might be designed and implemented, how it might be supported on the national scale, and why it is important to everyone.
In Scientific Freedom Braben:

  • Discusses the revolutionary concept of low-risk, high-reward research.
  • Explains the wider significance of instability, and introduces the formidable Damocles Zone.
  • Explores threats to the university as an institution.
  • Describes how a Transformative Research initiative might work in practice.

Braben created and ran the Venture Research initiative, a ten-year experiment sponsored by British Petroleum in the 1980s. Its mission was to identify and support radical, exploratory, and basic research in any field with the sole objective of increasing understanding. Braben has been a visiting professor at University College London's Department of Earth Sciences for more than ten years. Earlier, following 16 years as a researcher, first in nuclear structure and later in high-energy physics research, Braben held senior positions at the Cabinet Office in Whitehall, the Science Research Council in London, and the Bank of England.

Braben outlines the intellectual obstacles facing today's researchers and discusses what needs to be done to restore the freedom that can transform scientific understanding and enrich our lives. Introducing the concept of transformative research, he explains how an initiative can be designed and implemented, how it could be supported on a national scale, and the importance of launching such initiatives. Scientific Freedom provides insight into the essential steps need to avoid stagnation, including the emergence of altruistic sponsors to help fund research, the establishment of an extensive network of universities that will encourage and foster scientific freedom, and the emergence of industrialists who will convince shareholders that a small proportion of activities should be free of short-term assessment.

Scientific Freedom is structured as follows. Chapter 1 introduces the formidable Damocles Zone, and outlines how we can avoid it. Virtually every process on which life is based and indeed every dynamic process in the air, earth, oceans, or the universe itself is ultimately finely balanced. Collapse and instability are never far away. However, for most of us, and for most of the time, that is not what we actually observe. The world is generally a pleasant and predictable place only because of the feedback mechanisms that usually tame the instabilities. Braben’s conjecture is that at the highest social levels creativity provides the vital feedback that keeps societies and civilizations healthy. Crushing it, as was done during the Dark Ages, for example, makes us highly vul­nerable. Today, our current obsession with efficiency and accountability is hardly consistent with promoting creativity, but in contrast to the Dark Ages we have expanding populations with increasing expectations. We must take more care or suffer the consequences.

Chapter 2 describes transformative research, the term now used in the United States to describe the research that has a reasonable chance of radi­cally changing our understanding of important concepts or creating new fields of science. Braben avoids a more precise definition, however, because the main objec­tive of any transformative research initiative should be to rectify the serious flaws in current funding arrangements and thereby stimulate the creation of a twenty-first century Planck Club. The major snag is that every discovery made by their twentieth-century predecessors was unexpected. According to Braben, the most we can do is to restore the freedom that leads to them.

Chapter 3 discusses why we should be concerned about our current predica­ment. Before 1970, scientific dis­covery was intensely personal. Nowadays, however, research tends to follow the fashions of consensus. Large numbers of developments are attributed impersonally to anonymous ‘researchers’ rather than to highly individualistic Olympians such as Planck, and most of these are likely to be superseded by the next development before too long. Braben attributes the apparent fall in scientific productivity to the loss of freedom in research, but the loss is not irrevocable. We are in dire need of a few determined individuals who can mount effec­tive challenges to the new policies.

Chapter 4 of Scientific Freedom discusses how we might go about finding Planck's successors. The essential point is that such initiatives must pass the ‘Planck test’ if they are to stand a chance of succeeding. Thus, search parties must genuinely believe that their procedures would probably have led to the support of Planck et al. when they were starting out. Unfortunately, the funding agencies seem preoccupied with so-called high-risk research. They do not seem to have realized that they have hijacked the management of risk – that should normally be the researcher's responsibility, at least for academics.

Chapter 5 describes how a transformative research initiative might work in practice. The ultimate objective is to create a twenty-first century Planck Club, of course, but likely members of such an august club will probably be very careful when sharing their ideas. There must be mutual trust, and that must be won. Indeed, the staff of a transformative research initiative has a very special role to play.

Chapter 6 discusses the university as an institution, the very home of the intellectual dimension. This most successful of our institutions has served society well over the centuries. In the twentieth century, it provided an encour­aging environment for most members of the Planck Club and many others who made vital contributions during World War II. This extraordinary reservoir of talent is now under serious threat. The objective of offering higher education to 40–50% of the student cohort may be desirable, but unless we take steps to preserve, for example, the freedom of research, the university as we have known it will disappear, having drowned in a sea of mundanity. Possible solutions are discussed, but they would seem to require a revolution – a proposed Fifth Revolution – the natural successor to the generally accepted four that have dominated our lives for the past 300 years or so.

Chapter 7 gives an accounting of the 26 programs being funded by the Venture Research initiative at its close in 1990, and of their eventual prog­ress. Braben shows that Venture Researchers were phenomenally successful. At least 14 groups or individuals made transforma­tive discoveries, but their proposals had all been rejected by the usual funding agencies. These high success levels would seem to indicate that Venture Research (transformative research, by another name) is not high-risk, and could be a viable alternative, at least for radical researchers, to the environ­ment prior to the 1970s or so that generally allowed freedom for all. It is also remarkably cheap.

Humanity's future seems precariously balanced. We are facing a daunting catalog of problems of which perhaps the most intractable is that the majority of the world's population are now demanding the higher standards of living long enjoyed by the industrial nations. Growth depends on technical change, but management by objectives and other instruments of bureaucracy are stran­gling scientific research, and our universities are struggling to cope with their rising demands. On the other hand, if we strive to ensure that the most original of our elite scientists and universi­ties are completely free to tackle these and other problems, we could synthesize the elixir that perpetuates civilization indefinitely.

Scientific Freedom is a timely, eye-opening book on the current state of scientific research. Complete with scientific proposals and commentaries, Scientific Freedom extends the debate to anyone who has a serious interest in global affairs – industrialists, academics, legislators, and consumers – and offers an inspiring analysis of how scientific freedom affects and preserves the very foundations of our civilization. The book also contains the first full, and fascinating, account of the programs funded by the Venture Research initiative.

Social Sciences / Health, Mind & Body / Ethics

Autonomy and Paternalism: Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Health Care edited by Thomas Nys, Yvonne Denier & Toon Vandevelde (Ethical Perspectives Monograph Series: Peeters-Leuven)

In recent years, the triumph of autonomy has made paternalist interventions increasingly problematic. The value of a patient's right to self-determination and the practice of informed consent are considered supremely important in present-day health care ethics. In general, the idea of ‘doctor knows best’ has become more and more suspicious. This has left us with a situation in which paternalist medicine seems difficult to reconcile with respect for patient autonomy.

Autonomy and Paternalism offers a reflection on the relationship between autonomy and paternalism, and argues that, from both theoretical and practical angles, the tension between these concepts is not as acute as it might seem. In long-term care, psychiatry, and care for the severely handicapped, the principle of respect for autonomy is particularly ill-suited. This, however, does not mean that such respect is totally irrelevant, but that it should take a different shape. Good care in those cases requires us to transcend the scarp dichotomy between autonomy and paternalism.

Editors of Autonomy and Paternalism include Thomas Nys, post-doctoral researcher in moral philosophy at the Centre for Ethics; Yvonne Denier, Research Fund K.U. Leuven post-doctoral researcher in moral philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy and the Faculty of Eco­nomics; and Toon Vandevelde, Professor of Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy and at the Faculty of Economics, all of the Catholic University of Leuven, Bel­gium. In addition to the editors, contributors include George Agich, professor at the Department of Philosophy of Bowling Green State University in Ohio and Director of the BGeXperience Program; David Archard, Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Environment, Philosophy & Public Policy at Lancaster University; Eva Kittay, Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; Eric Matthews, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Honorary Research Professor of Medical and Psychiatric Ethics in the University of Aberdeen, Scotland; and Heike Schmidt-Felzmann, Lecturer in Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and Co-Director of the Centre of Bioethical Research and Analysis.

As the editors point out in the introduction to Autonomy and Paternalism, the book starts from the assumption that there is a tension between the value of autonomy and the praxis of paternalism. The fact that we perceive both concepts as enemy notions is due to historical processes. The way in which we are familiar with the term ‘auton­omy’ was strongly influenced by a discourse of anti-paternalism. As such, the recent emphasis on autonomy is a product of the 1960s and 1970s, the offspring of turbulent times. Women, racial minorities, homosexuals, children, patients, etc., they were all treated paternalistically, that is, as if they were not capable of living their own lives. Sometimes this implied that people were kept out of harm's way at the cost of belittlement or even disgrace. At other times however, the ‘paternalistic’ intervention even seemed to go against the general and laudable goal of protecting a person's well-being. The claims of var­ious groups were often formulated in terms of individual rights – that individuals should have the right to self-determination; people should be allowed a ‘space of their own’ in which they could determine and pursue their own conception of the good. They should be permitted to live their own life, and they should be respected in their autonomy conceived as the capacity for independence, personal reflection and critical deci­sion-making. Whenever this capacity is seriously denied or ignored, the person is not treated with appropriate respect, and instances of paternalism are obvious cases where such respect is want­ing.

Although these historical processes which have contributed to the importance of autonomy have deeply pervaded the whole of society, the editors focus in Autonomy and Paternalism on the context of biomedical ethics. In this context, one often refers to the ‘triumph of autonomy’ – within the set of ethical considerations that should be taken into account in medical decision-making, the principle of respect for autonomy has become dominant.

The various chapters of Autonomy and Paternalism shed a light on different aspects of the relationship between autonomy and paternalism. Moreover, they try to conceive of how a crude tension between both concepts can be avoided.

George Agich proposes to re-conceptualize autonomy in order to meet the demands of long-term care. Agich emphasizes the importance of actual autonomy which signi­fies the tacit, beneath-the-surface dimension of autonomy. Respect for actual autonomy means that we recognize the individual as a socially-embedded person with a specific personality that deserves to be respected. This implies that the relation between the caretaker and the recipient of care should be dialogical and that care should be tailored to the specifics of the individual's life. Respect for actual autonomy means that caretakers should be sensitive to what the recipients deem meaningful in life. They need to focus on the day-to-day activities which are important to an individual.

Eva Kittay makes a similar point. She argues that the demands which are posited by popular conceptions of autonomy are often too demanding. In that respect: "it seems odd that autonomy has come to command centre stage in biomedical ethics, that is, in an ethics developed for a context where individuals are especially vulnerable and unusually dependent on others for the care and expertise that can determine their continued existence and well-being". Kit­tay seeks to dissolve the sharp dichotomy and conflict between auton­omy and paternalism. The dichotomy hinges upon a distinction between the autonomous and the non-autonomous: on a divide between the competent and the incompe­tent. As an alternative to this myopic vision on autonomy (and paternalism) Kittay defends what she calls the caring transparent self "a self accommodating to the wants of another; that is, a self that defers or brackets its own needs in order to provide for another's". Such a caring self is able to respect the agency that is left in those who fail to meet the present day requirements of autonomy.

Eric Matthews also has reservations with regard to the principle of autonomy – he is doubtful whether the principle is of any use in the context of psychiatry. He agrees with Kittay that a large subset of the people who are in need of medical attention seem to lack autonomy, and hence, that it cannot be respected. The bottom line of Matthews' paper is that respect for human dignity sometimes requires that we go against a person's expressed wishes or preferences (i.e. that we should go against their autonomy). As such, Matthews puts strong emphasis on rationality and its relation to human dignity. Yet, at the same time, he warns us that we should be extremely cautious because some seemingly irrational decisions may turn out to be reasonable after all. This calls for a ‘sensitive explo­ration’ of the reasons which support a patient's decisions.

David Archard focuses on the practice of informed consent as it is regarded "a specification of the principle of respect for individual autonomy". Archard interprets autonomy as "the capacity of individuals to govern themselves, [i.e.] to determine the direction of their lives". Therefore, he concludes that this capacity is not vitiated by the mere absence of informed consent in cases when the intervention does not preclude the individual's ability to live his life according to his own lights. Archard then considers privacy and self-own­ership as possible arguments in favor of informed consent and he argues that neither of these values can be reduced to a more primi­tive principle of autonomy.

Yvonne Denier addresses the connection between autonomy, physical well-being, and the ‘good life’ within the context of medical decisionmaking. According to Denier, physical well-being and consider­ations about ‘the good’ are different aspects of autonomy. She proposes a model of solidarity in which the physician is the expert concerning the objective well-being of the patient, while at the same time, the patient is the best judge regarding what is in his best inter­ests and properly serves his own conception of the good. Like Kittay, she underscores the fact that people are essentially dependent beings, yet she also emphasizes that autonomy – i.e., independence – is something we highly value. In order to do justice to these ‘ambigui­ties of care’ we need to develop what Denier calls careful solidarity, that is, ‘the art of caring without humiliating’.

Thomas Nys reconsiders the dichotomy between autonomy and paternalism. Whereas both concepts are frequently regarded as enemy notions, he argues that instances of paternalism often only make sense if they are interpreted as expressions of autonomy. The paternalist acts upon a concern for the other person's well-being and this motive often depends upon the fact that there is also something at stake for him: he is personally invested in the well-being of the cared-about object. Autonomy is then expressed outwardly, that is, in desires which involve the things he cares about. The paradoxical result is that respect for autonomy could imply that we should respect instances of paternalism. If we value individual autonomy, then we should respect it on both sides: i.e. on that of the cared-about individual (the patient) as well as on that of the caretaker (the doc­tor). Hence, the principle of respect for autonomy is insufficient to deal with ethical problems in medical decision-making. Instead we should move to a discussion on what constitutes the good life.

Heike Smidt-Felzmann points our attention to the problem of pater­nalism within the setting of psychotherapy. Although early psycho-analysis was already aware of the danger of a therapist imposing his values upon the patient, this awareness proves to be insufficient to safeguard psychotherapy from the pitfalls of paternalism. However, the instruments with which we analyze the problem in ordinary health care (e.g., informed consent, coercion, deception) are too blunt and need to become more attuned to the specific context of psychotherapy. In order to attenuate the potential danger of paternalism, therapists need to make their values transparent; they need to make clear when their author­ity shifts from descriptive expertise to moral counseling.

In Autonomy and Paternalism various acclaimed authors present their views on the interesting and relevant debate between autonomy and paternalism. Together the contributors cover the topic thoroughly and insightfully, shedding light on the different aspects of the relationship between the two concepts and making a case for transcending the sharp dichotomy between them.

Transportation / Railroads / Engineering / History

North American Railroad Bridges by Brian Solomon (Voyageur Press)

In the Solomon family photo archives exists an image of myself in New Hampshire studying a disused, covered wooden railroad bridge along the old Boston & Maine. I was age two or three at the time. While I do not recall the details gleaned from that early interest, I do recall, about the same time, a photo excursion with my father, Richard Jay Solomon, on the New York subway system's Flushing Line, much of which rides an elevated structure across Queens. – from the Preface and Acknowledgements

Few railroading scenes are as enduring as those that depict a freight or passenger train traversing river or roadway, creek or canyon, atop a sturdy structure specially engineered for the situation. North American Railroad Bridges is a photographic history paying tribute to the railroad bridge as both an icon of Americana and a marvel of engineering. Author Brian Solomon discusses the major types of construction: viaducts, cantilever, suspension, and truss bridges, and explains why certain types of construction suit different situations. He describes iconic structures as well as lesser known railroad bridges.
Solomon, author of over 30 books and one of today's most accomplished railway historians, examines trusses, trestles, both stone arches and steel construction viaducts, suspension bridges, and movable spans – as well as many of the men responsible for pioneering them. In addition to explaining in layperson’s terms the principles behind each type of construction and why they are used in given situations, Solomon offers histories detailing the origins, construction, and use of iconic structures such as Hell Gate, Starrucca Viaduct, and Suisun Bay Bridge, among others, as well as lesser known but nonetheless important and interesting spans.
The book is illustrated throughout with landmark patent drawings, period postcards, specially commissioned diagrams, and modern color photography from some of today’s top rail photographers, capturing railroads large and small hauling traffic across bridges throughout the United States and Canada.

In researching this text Solomon visited many bridges in the United States and abroad. He also consulted dozens of books and hundreds of documents, com­municated with a great many people. The bibliography lists the majority of the written sources tapped for the project.

The text is but half of North American Railroad Bridges; illustrations are the other half. Solomon has been making photographs for more than three decades and some of his earliest attempts were of railroad bridges. Reviewing photographs from many other sources and inspecting tens of thousands of images, Solomon has found the most evocative and informative images.

In this marvelously illustrated work, sure to appeal to modelers and rail fans alike, Solomon presents the only completely illustrated book to tackle the development and evolution of North American railroad bridges. North American Railroad Bridges is a fitting tribute to the structures that are as essential to the continent’s railroading landscape as locomotives and rolling stock.

Travel / Latin America

Traveler's Companion Costa Rica, 3rd edition by Maribeth Mellin, revised & updated by Christopher Baker (Traveler's Companion Series: Globe Pequot Press)

Overwhelmingly green and moist, smelling of hibiscus, fresh rainfall, and the salty sea, Costa Rica is Mother Earth at her tropical finest. Irresistibly beautiful, and as sparkling and variegated as an emerald of radiant green. Take your pick: Swiss-like alpine meadows. Lowland rain forests as humid as a wet shawl. Mist-shrouded montane forest. Steaming volcanoes with thermal pools at their base. Rugged Pacific shorelines pummeled by surf. Golden beaches dissolving into turquoise Caribbean waters of Maxfield Parrish hues. It's quite remarkable that tiny Costa Rica of­fers all this, and more, in a nation barely the size of the Netherlands, West Virginia, or Nova Scotia. – from the book

A tiny slip of a nation wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica boasts some of the planet’s most precious natural resources and an amazing variety of one-of-a-kind adventures. Explorers discover the best trails to the peaks of Cerro Chirripo; birders learn where to spot quetzals and bellbirds; botanists seek out rare orchids and bromeliads; and surfers find the best waves. In Traveler's Companion Costa Rica, readers find up-to-date information on everything from zip-lining and jungle night walks to surfing and spelunking, from fine dining and high-end shopping to coffee tours and regional crafts. The book features: 

  • Expert travel advice and essential planning information on what to bring, local etiquette, safety considerations, useful words and phrases.
  • In-depth discussions of the various regions, their unique characteristics, and the best attractions and accommodations that each has to offer.
  • Thorough descriptions of specific animal and bird species.

Originally written by Maribeth Mellin, award-winning journalist and the author of travel guides on California, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, this third edition of Traveler's Companion Costa Rica has been revised by Christopher P. Baker, award-winning travel writer and the author of best-selling guidebooks to Cuba, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and the Bahamas. New in this edition are at-a-glance ‘best-of’ lists for quick reference, a detailed review of the country's spectacular flora and fauna, and key parks, wildlife refuges, and other protected zones available to the public.

Wild and rugged, the country is like a giant zoo. Mammal, bird, reptile, and insect species are so nu­merous and the individual creatures so ubiquitous that visitors will swear Mother Nature has ordered up a theatrical show especially timed for their visit. In fact, Costa Rica ranks right up there with the savan­nas of Africa or the Galapagos Islands as one of the world's top destinations for wildlife viewing.

Costa Rica lies south of Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador, and north of Panama and the still violently tortured land of Colombia. Surrounded by a region that for much of the past few decades has been embroiled in revolutions, wars, and human cruelties, Costa Rica stands out. The country of some three million residents has been internally peaceful and neutral since 1949 – the year the nation's military was disbanded forever.

According to Traveler's Companion Costa Rica, the abundance of natural beauty, the serenity of the people, the healthy political, economical, and physical environment – these attributes combined together – attract foreigners in droves. Today, the level of sophistication of Costa Rica’s hotels simply staggers. And not just its boutique hotels steeped in contemporary chic. Wilderness lodges range from isolated yet comfortable safari-tent operations to jungle lodges where the Hollywood set like to meet. There is no end of comfy budget cabinas, and barely a month goes by without another well-thought-out backpackers' or surfers' lodging opening its doors. Then there's the dining, which is absolutely first-class. Plus, the range of attractions could fill a guidebook: Butterfly farms. Snake exhibits. Pre-Columbian museums. Wildlife rescue centers. The list is endless.

But as developed as Costa Rica has become on many levels, the thrill of discovery remains very real. Whatever readers’ interests or reasons for travel, Traveler's Companion Costa Rica gives them the ‘best of’ Costa Rica. The authors don't give exhaustive lists of every place to visit, eat, or sleep – there are other guidebooks on the market that do that already. What they do give are carefully selected recommendations for the best places to create an authentic Costa Rican experience. Their recommendations are based upon the au­thors' extensive knowledge of Costa Rica, including hidden gems that have yet to be discovered. Some of the recommended sites, restaurants, and hotels are already popular; others are off the beaten track places that remain unsung in other guidebooks.

Traveler's Companion Costa Rica is arranged to make it easy to find information. The guidebook begins with Travelers' Tips, which is jam-packed with practical information covering everything readers need to know to plan the visit – from how to get there and lists of consulates and embassies to banking, health, and security. There is a section called "Tips for Travelers with Special Considerations," which has useful information for gays and lesbians, those who are differently abled, and women travel­ing alone. A comprehensive "Costa Rican Spanish for Travelers" section includes a glossary of many words and phrases it pays to know.

The Best of Costa Rica chapter is filled with practical travelers' tips, but organized around special interests. Bird-watching, surf­ing, or white-water rafting – numerous activities are represented to appeal to different tastes. Travelers who thrill to scenic drives will learn where to go, as well as what to beware – such as southern Nicoya's notorious river fordings. A section called "Cultural Kicks" will guide readers to places and activities that provide a fulfilling and lasting esteem for the nation's underappreciated indigenous cultures. Each section also lists bulleted at-a-glance information identifying the best experi­ences, venues, or places to eat or stay.

Traveler's Companion Costa Rica also caters to every budget. The Best of Costa Rica's "Backpacking on a Shoestring" section identifies how to travel around the country without breaking the bank. The "Classy Digs and Dining" sec­tion guides travelers to the very finest restaurants and hotels. There are also sections geared toward families traveling with children. Wildlife lovers will find much to pique their interests in the "Wildlife Sanctuaries" and "Tiptoe to the Turtles" sections. The chapter's sidebars can prepare readers for studying Spanish in Costa Rica, getting their ‘coffee high,’ and selecting a natural history cruise. The Country and Its People chapter provides a thorough background to Costa Rica, including information about its history, culture, and natural beauty.

The detailed "Wildlife Wonders" section provides a comprehensive overview of the nation's astound­ing profundity of flora and fauna, and thorough descriptions of specific animal and bird species. The "National Parks and Reserves" section includes a rounded profile on the key parks, wildlife refuges, and other protected zones accessible to the public where readers can most easily view specific species. And the "Food and Cuisine" section offers a mouthwatering profile on the most delicious dishes, including fruits, desserts, and drinks.

The regional chapters break the country up into logical geographic units, beginning with the capital city, San Jose. Each chapter is organized by major venues, presented sequentially according to geographic location, and includes practical infor­mation on getting there and getting around, what to see and do, shopping, where to stay and eat, and entertainment and nightlife. Sidebars enliven each chapter with lighthearted information about specific regional themes, as well as practical at­a-glance tourist information and tips on the best attractions, accommodations, and restaurants each region has to offer.

Traveler's Companion Costa Rica is the perfect companion for the authentic Costa Rican experience. With full-color photos, maps, and insider recommendations, the book immerses readers in the splendor of Costa Rica, inspiring them in the planning stages and guiding them throughout their exploration of this incredible Central American paradise.

 

Contents this Issue

The Fundamentals of Digital Art by Richard Colson

Drawing Conclusions: An Artist Discovers His America by Tracy Sugarman

God and the Brain: The Physiology of Spiritual Experience by Andrew Newberg

The Perfect Scent: A Year inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York by Chandler Burr

Tacit Knowledge in Organizational Learning by Peter Busch

The Salem Witch Trials by Kekla Magoon

Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses (Book and CD) by Mary Engelbreit

From Good Schools to Great Schools: What Their Principals Do Well by Susan Penny Gray & William A. Streshly

The Kite Runner: A Portrait of the Epic Film screenplay by David Benioff, with a foreword by the novel’s writer Khaled Hosseini

The Book of Games: Strategy, Tactics & History by Jack Botermans, translated from the Spanish by Edgar Loy Fankbonner

Bursting With Energy: The Breakthrough Method to Renew Youthful Energy and Restore Health by Frank Shallenberger, with a foreword by Jonathan Wright

Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation by Charles Barber

Current Directions in Adulthood and Aging: Readings from the Association for Psychological Science edited by Susan T. Charles

Key Studies in Psychology, fourth edition by Richard Gross

Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to Be Separate and Connected by Anné Linden

The Birth Order Book of Love: How the #1 Personality Predictor Can Help You Find "The One" by William Cane

Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1981 by Katherine G. Aiken

Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion: Moorman's and Hart's Batteries by Robert J. Trout

Life of a Soldier on the Western Frontier by Jeremy Agnew

Creating Outdoor Rooms by Leeda Marting

Germaine De Staël, Daughter of the Enlightenment: The Writer and Her Turbulent Era by Sergine Dixon

Fangland: A Novel by John Marks

Shakespeare's Language: A Glossary of Unfamiliar Words in His Plays and Poems, second edition by Eugene F. Shewmaker

Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works by Newt Gingrich

The Gender of Globalization: Women Navigating Cultural and Economic Marginalities edited by Nandini Gunewardena & Ann Kingsolver

Facts & Comparisons 4.0 Singer-User Annual 2008 CD-ROM

Great Perfection: The Outer and Inner Preliminaries by Dzogchen Rinpoche, with an introduction by Dzogchen Ponlop, translated by Cortland Dahl

Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews: A Social Identity Approach by Matthew J. Marohl

A Popular Survey of the New Testament by Norman L. Geisler

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, 2nd edition by Craig L. Blomberg

Scientific Freedom: The Elixir of Civilization by Donald W. Braben

Autonomy and Paternalism: Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Health Care edited by Thomas Nys, Yvonne Denier & Toon Vandevelde

North American Railroad Bridges by Brian Solomon

Traveler's Companion Costa Rica, 3rd edition by Maribeth Mellin, revised & updated by Christopher Baker