SirReadaLot.org

SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

September 2008, Issue #113

Contents:

Arts & Photography / Mixed Media
Urban Walls: A Generation of Collage in Europe and America by Brandon Taylor (Hudson Hills Press)
After the Second World War, conditions arose that gave new vigor to the art of collage and decollage. Hains, Villegle, and Dufrene were active in French and Italian affichisme, while in America Robert Rauschenberg in his ‘combine’ paintings, mounted objects and images in loosely structured grids. While part of the same generation, Burhan Dogancay's wall collages contribute independently to the movement that evolved. As art historian Brandon Taylor writes, "Dogancay differs [from his contemporaries] somewhat as his art is an . . . anthropological reflection that celebrates the urban surface as an already pictorial structure ... the poetry he perceives at the level of the street is that of anonymity organizing itself as art."
Looking at the history of collage and decollage, Urban Walls examines the movement through the work of some of its pivotal participants, artists such as Rauschenberg, Mimmo Rotella, Wolf Vostell, Jacques Villegle. Within this context Taylor, Professor Emeritus of History of Art at University of Southampton, and Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at Southampton Solent University, frames the work of the New York-based, Turkish-born artist, Dogancay.
Having discovered urban walls as an inspiration when he first came to New York in the early 1960s, they re­mained the central motif of Dogancay's art for nearly fifty years. His collage paintings, created by bringing together layers of colorful posters, objects, graffiti and other materials, communicate messages about contemporary life while also being studies in texture, shadow, color, and light. Pulling materials from his many travels – a poster from Sartre's play Huis Clos found in Paris in the 1950s to fragments of graffiti from New York's Soho neighborhood – Dogancay's work expresses the many moods of particular moments in time. His painted walls are an in­tegral part of a cultural dialogue that occurred both in America and in post-War Europe.
The mid-1960s was the crucial point for Burhan's declaration of independence, his liberation from an Impressionist and Post-Impressionist heritage in favor of an adoption of up-to-date sensibilities that went hand-in-hand with the use of contemporary techniques. His compo­sitions reflect changing modes of the zeitgeist, of ethnic characteristics, and of much else that remains undefined, thereby leaving to the viewer a measure of freedom in the ultimate interpretation of intimated meanings.
… I was recently present at the opening of the Dogancay Museum in Istanbul – an institution created for the display of work by two generations of Dogancays: that of Burhan's father Adil, followed by Burhan's own cre­ations. … Dogancay's forms have become simplified, his volumes have gained in amplitude, and his expressive power has intensified. So endowed, Burhan Dogancay … is not only the preeminent painter on the Turkish art scene but also a fully qualified participant in the shaping of contemporary sensibilities on an international level. – Thomas M. Messer, Director Emeritus, Guggenheim Foundation
Urban Walls provides an extensive and visually stimulating look at the history of collage and its dialogue with the art of decollage in the 20th century with particular emphasis on Rauschenberg and Dogancay.


Arts & Photography / Politics / Biographies & Memoirs
The Rise of Barack Obama by Pete Souza (Triumph Books)
In no other country on earth, is my story even possible. – Barack Obama
Rarely has a politician burst upon the national scene with such a meteoric rise to prominence as Barack Obama. In 2004 at the Democratic National Convention, Obama, at the time still just an Illinois state legislator representing a district in Chicago, electrified the crowd and a national viewing audience with a stirring keynote address. Five months later, he arrived in Washington as a newly minted U.S. Senator from Illinois, and four years later he became the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for the office of president of the United States.
On assignment for the Chicago Tribune, veteran photojournalist Pete Souza began documenting Obama's ascendancy with photographs of the senator's first year in office. Souza's coverage continued for the next two years, encompassing trips to seven countries including Russia, Azerbaijan, South Africa and Kenya. When Senator Obama began his long-shot campaign for the presidency, Souza was again backstage in early 2007 and eventually followed the senator during the early months of his campaign. His photographs of Obama have won national photojournalism awards for the past three years.
The Rise of Barack Obama by Souza, freelance photographer and assistant professor of photojournalism at Ohio University, is filled with behind-the-scenes moments of Obama, beginning with his first day in the U.S. Senate and culminating on the campaign trail prior to the spring primaries. Souza had unprecedented access to photograph private and political moments as senator and presidential candidate Obama went about his duties.
Photographs of politicians in public settings are innumerable, but the images that often become timeless are the quiet moments captured in more intimate surroundings – moments that often reveal the true character of a person. Souza opens his journey to the world through photos such as:
Obama opening Nelson Mandela's former prison cell in South Africa in 2006.
Ethel Kennedy reacting to a quip from Senator Obama prior to the Robert F. Kennedy memorial Human Rights Award ceremony in 2005.
Obama's daughters interrupting their father during a break for lunch.
Obama catching some sleep while being detained in Perm, Russia for 3 hours.
An intimate moment between Barack and his wife Michelle as they wait to be introduced at Iowa State University.
Obama jokingly showing his hip-hop moves for a group of high school students.
Obama conferring with John McCain as senators prepared to discuss the immigration bill.
The Rise of Barack Obama also includes extended captions and pull-out quotes from the speeches Obama gave during the time each photo was taken.
Mr. Souza has focused his lens on a politician who has the rare quality of grace. Yet the image that haunts me most is one in which Barack Obama does not appear. It is a list of words uttered by the senator in Kenya, reverently inked on somebody's satin skin. You have to turn the book upside down to read them, and in the process your point of view becomes that of the wielder of the pen. This is the catalyst of photography, that it enables us to see what others see, and in the process feel at least a part of what Everyman feels. – Edmund Morris, author of Theodore Rex and Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan
The Senator has a certain presence that I have not witnessed in other politicians. I have worked in Washington 25 years, covering presidents, senators, and congressmen, both in public and private settings. Barack Obama is truly one of a kind. – from the introduction by Pete Souza
Souza extensively documents Obama's rise to political stardom. The candid photographs in The Rise of Barack Obama reveal not just the political, but also the personal side of the senator, showing the charisma, passion, intellect, and mass appeal that have attracted his large and diverse following.


Arts & Photography / Travel
America at Home: A Close-Up Look at How We Live by Rick Smolan & Jennifer Erwitt (Running Press)
As one of the largest collaborative projects in Internet history, the publication of America at Home marks a major publishing event as Rick Smolan, Jennifer Erwitt and the team that have produced numerous national bestsellers, including A Day in the Life of America and America 24/7, apply their documentary approach to explore what the concept of ‘Home’ means to Americans today.
America at Home is the result of a creative collaboration between professional photographers, journalists, noted writers, information researchers and tens of thousands of amateur photographers who teamed up to document home life across America over the course of a single seven day period from September 17-23, 2007.
Through massive grassroots online outreach by IKEA, as well as Google, Snapfish, Facebook, plus scores of bloggers, tens of thousands of Americans were invited to participate by contributing their own photos of life at home via a series of daily snapshots taken across the nation throughout the week. 250,000 digital photographs were submitted to the project website by both professional and amateur photographers and these images were then reviewed by a panel of leading magazine and newspaper photo editors. The result – which included several million photos – is the most extensive record of American home life at the beginning of the 21st century.
America at Home aims to capture the emotions of home: the distinctive rituals, ceremonies, traditions, intimate moments, and all the myriad ways in which we work, play, learn, conduct our lives, and interact with friends, family members (and pets!) as we transform our houses (and apartments, trailers, etc.) into our homes. From McMansions to mobile homes, from tree houses to tenement slums, from ranches to retirement homes, the public helped document the harmonies and paradoxes of home life across America.
America at Home puts a human face on the extraordinary diversity that makes up American family life and encompasses a broad range of economic, geographic, racial, political, and socially diverse lifestyles. As readers journey through the book's five
Sections – Home as a Sanctuary, Home and Your Obsessions, Home as Your Workplace, Home and Your Companions, and Rituals and Celebrations, they will meet a cast of characters. These shots covered topics such as: morning rush, what’s for dinner, and evening family rituals. Participants received daily emails with assignment instructions and also took general photos of what makes their home special.
"The idea of ‘home’ is as universal and deeply ingrained as that of ‘mother’ or ‘father,’ says the author, Rick Smolan." Ask people to describe what the word ‘home’ means to them and their answers tap into a deep pool of emotions and memories. We're
thrilled that so many Americans helped us to create a digital time capsule that may prove to be an invaluable resource for Americans to understand the importance of home life in the new Millennium."
America at Home features an introduction by The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, as well as a series of essays by prestigious writers including author and former House & Garden Editor-in-Chief Dominique Browning, Wall Street Journal arts critic and biographer Terry Teachout, New York Times technology columnist and author David Pogue, bestselling novelist Amy Tan, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author and PBS contributor Richard Rodriguez. Detailed captions and statistics are utilized to place each of the 250 photos in context, resulting in a visual time capsule of American life at the beginning of the 21st century.
Also woven through America at Home are dozens of and ‘gee I didn't know that’ facts and statistics that place the photographs in a larger context.
This is huge! Imagine if you could pick up a book from 100 years ago and see what people's lives were like before television, before electricity. How different would their home life be from ours today? America at Home enables you to leave a message for your great grandchildren about what life at home is like for you and your family. – The Today Show, NBC
Who could argue with the premise that home is the most important place in the world? Rick Smolan, the person responsible for the Day in the Life book series, invited all of America to tell stories of what the word home means via photographs. It's being called the largest collaborative project in Internet history – a project that will enable our great grandchildren to see how we lived our lives. – The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN
About the time it seems books have been written about everything under the sun – and some of them are of little value – someone comes along with a fresh, invigorating idea. America at Home is a monumental coffee-table book that portrays Americans of almost every race, economic bracket, locale, age – the list goes on. In short, it is America in pictures. – The Oklahoman
America at Home is a glorious album of photos that captures Americans in the most important place in their lives: their home. – Time
Charming! – People
An absolutely amazing book…I can't stop looking at it! – Glam
A sensitive piece of photojournalism… deeply moving, considering the current foreclosure crisis in America. – American Photo
To quote IKEA President and sponsor of the project, Pernille Lopez, “We believe the essence of home goes beyond tables and chairs; it's the family interactions, the diversity in lifestyles, the joy and celebration that inspires us to dedicate ourselves to life at home. The America at Home project is a fascinating look of how Americans live and interact. Each image teaches us again and again, that home goes beyond the furniture; it's the people and the families that we cherish most.” The book delivers thought-provoking essays and amazing, fascinating images of America, and the way it was produced, the knowledge base, if you will, is mind blowing.


Audiobooks / Mysteries & Thrillers
Say Goodbye (11 Audio CDs, unabridged, approximate running time 13 hours) by Lisa Gardner, read by Ann Marie Lee & Lincoln Hoppe (Random House Audio)
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner (Bantam)
Lisa Gardner, the New York Times bestselling author of Hide and Gone, draws readers into the venomous mind games of a terrifying killer in Say Goodbye.
Come into my parlor …
For Kimberly Quincy, FBI Special Agent, it all starts with a pregnant hooker. The story Delilah Rose tells Kimberly about her johns is too horrifying to be true – but prostitutes are disappearing, one by one, with no explanation, and no one but Kimberly seems to care.
Said the spider to the fly . . .
As a member of the Evidence Response Team, dead hookers aren’t exactly Kimberly’s specialty in Say Goodbye. The young agent is five months pregnant – she has other things to worry about than an alleged lunatic who uses spiders to do his dirty work. But Kimberly’s own mother and sister were victims of a serial killer. And now, without any bodies and with precious few clues, it is clear that a serial killer has found the key to the perfect murder . . . or Kimberly is chasing a crime that never happened.
Kimberly is caught in a web more lethal than any spider’s, and the more she fights for answers, the more tightly she’s trapped. What she doesn’t know is that she’s close – too close – to a psychopath.
The audio version of Say Goodbye is a full-stage production featuring television actress Ann Marie Lee and stage/screen actor Lincoln Hoppe.
Just when you thought Lisa Gardner couldn't get any better ... she does. Say Goodbye is a stunning, chilling, up-all-night thriller that will leave you shaken. – Lee Child
A spider-obsessed killer is hunting Atlanta prostitutes…. He’s seriously scary and the flashbacks to his abusive past achieve a ripped-from-the-headlines authenticity. – Entertainment Weekly
Should have a warning label: ‘Read only in a well-lit room that has first been thoroughly checked for spider webs.’ Then, you can settle back and get caught up in a story that is truly a stunner of a suspense novel. – Tulsa World
Gardner continue[s] to write fascinating, dark characters…. [She] surprises you right up until the end. – Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
For all readers who likes their thrillers suspenseful, fast paced, and just a little creepy (OK, a lot creepy). – Booklist
Lock the doors before you open this book, and hope that the only web being woven around you is Lisa Gardner’s mesmerizing story. – Tess Gerritsen
Engaging if highly disturbing. – Publishers Weekly
If readers like what most people would call ‘too scary,’ Say Goodbye’s for them. How else can one say terrifying?


Biographies & Memoirs
Still Alive!: A Temporary Condition by Herbert Gold (Arcade)
“Old age is a shipwreck,” Charles de Gaulle once observed.
Not so, says Herb Gold, author of many best-selling books, including Fathers and A Girl of Forty, in Still Alive!, a memoir of his first seven and a half decades. He is clearly enjoying every moment to the fullest.
Gold was born and raised in Cleveland, but rose to national fame with his roman a clef Fathers. Both a longtime chronicler of and participant in the Beat movement, he lives in San Francisco. "This is a book about how time overtakes us," he writes, "how reminiscence, loss, hope, pain, success, failure – the lifelong accumula­tion of dreams and reality – crowd about us with every new day."
Gold's memoir takes a feisty look at the evolving times and trends of the second half of the last century and the early years of this one – from his Jewish boyhood in Lakewood, Ohio, in the 1930s to New York and Columbia in the 1940s where he got some education; at eighteen, joining the army to save the world – mission accomplished. On to the sojourn in Paris in the 1950s; in Still Alive! he describes these as mythic postwar times – he was an expatriate on the GI Bill hanging with difficult Saul Bellow. Then he sojourns to Haiti with colorful foreigners – he has had a lifelong fascination with the people and places of Haiti – his Best Nightmare on Earth is arguably the best book ever written on the subject.
Gold introduces us to his beloved brother, an adored wife and his friends. He savors the days when he ‘consented to be very young, very happy.’ He recalls the children, the divorces and the causes of yesteryear when he was middle-aged.
A working novelist well into his ninth decade, just about the last of the San Francisco Beats, offers a smart and philosophical valedictory. Gold rose to literary fame 41 years ago with the bestselling Fathers: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir, and his latest – which is pretty much a memoir in the form of a novel – still provides worthy entertainment. He does not, as an octogenarian might, lament the ubiquity of cell phones or the evident collapse of civilization as he once knew it. He writes rather of loss, love, and life, focusing on friends who are gone, fleeting encounters and those he long cherished. … As solipsistic as any memoirist must be, he's also rather repetitive, but merely for emphasis, he insists. Good, acerbic reading imbued with the writerly spirit the author has expressed for nearly half a century. – Kirkus Reviews
In this age of overheated memoirs, here’s one that will surely find its way to a grateful audience both young and young at heart. Upbeat, Still Alive! proves that those in their later years can still be going strong ... and having fun. Combining a fascinating selection of people, places, and key events from a long life, Gold has distilled gold from his uncanny ability to recall conversations, anecdotes, atmosphere, and telling detail.


Business & Investing / Economics
The Austrian School: Market Order and Entrepreneurial Creativity by Jesús Huerta de Soto (Edward Elgar Publishing)
The Austrian School provides an exposition of the main tenets of the modern Austrian School of Economics while also giving a detailed explanation of the differences between the Austrian and the neoclassical (including the Chicago School) approaches to economics. The book also includes:
Reviews of the contributions of the main Austrian economists, critical analysis of the major objections to Austrian economics and an evaluation of its likely future development.
A complete exposition on the concepts and implications of entrepreneurship and dynamic competition.
A new concept of dynamic efficiency (as an alternative to the standard Paretian criterion) and a generalized definition of socialism (as a systematic aggression against entrepreneurship).
An evaluation of the role of Spanish Scholastics of the 16th century as forerunners of the Austrian School, as well as the influence and contributions of the main Austrian Scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Austrian School outlines in detail the essential ideas of the Austrian school of economics, as well as the characteristics which most distinguish it from the paradigm thus far predominant in economic science. In addition Jesús Huerta de Soto, Professor of Political Economy, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain, analyzes the development of Austrian thought from its origins to the present, and highlight ways in which the contributions of the Austrian school may fore­seeably enrich the future development of economics.
Given that most people are unfamiliar with the central tenets of the Austrian school, Chapter 1 of The Austrian School explains the fundamental principles of the dynamic, Austrian concept of the market, and points out the main differences between the Austrian perspective and the neoclassical paradigm, which is still the one taught at most universities, despite its deficiencies. Chapter 2 examines the essence of the entrepreneurship-driven tendency toward coordination which Austrians maintain explains both the emergence of the spontaneous order of the market and the existence of the laws of tendency which constitute the object of research in economic science. Chapter 3 introduces de Soto’s study of the history of Austrian economic thought, starting with the school's official founder, Carl Menger, whose intellectual roots extend back to the remarkable theorists of the School of Salamanca in the Spanish Golden Age. Chapter 4 is devoted entirely to the figure of Bohm-Bawerk and the analysis of capital theory, the study of which represents one of the most needed elements in the economic theory programs offered at European and American universities. Chapters 5 and 6 discuss, respectively, the contribu­tions of the two most important Austrian economists of the twentieth century, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek. Finally, Chapter 7 is devoted to the resurgence of the Austrian school, a revival which has sprung from the crisis of the prevailing paradigm, and for which a large group of young researchers from a number of European and American univer­sities is responsible. The Austrian School concludes by considering the research program of the modern Austrian school and the contributions it is likely to make to the future development of economics. De Soto answers the most common criticisms of the Austrian point of view, many of which he says derive from a lack of knowledge or understanding.
De Soto says that it is impossible to present a complete, detailed view of all the characteristic features of the Austrian school, so the book is an introduction for anyone interested in the topic, and readers who wish to delve deeper into a particular facet may refer to the bibliography at the end of The Austrian School.
One of the most learned and creative of contemporary Austrian economists offers a more comprehensive and persuasive account of that school than any other known to me. Professor Huerta de Soto even finds antecedents among the scholastics of 16th-century Spain. He emphasizes the decisive role of entrepreneurs in discovering opportunities, creating knowledge, putting widely scattered knowledge to use, and promoting economic coordination. He compares Austrian economics (favorably) with contemporary mainstream work. All economists should be acquainted with these Austrian contributions, including economists who may not be entirely convinced on some points of money-macro theory. – Leland Yeager, Auburn University and University of Virginia
This volume sets out to present ‘the essential ideas of the Austrian school of economics’. However, its author, a foremost contemporary Austrian economist in his own right, has placed his own stamp on each of the themes he has covered. Few Austrians (and certainly not the writer of this comment) will agree with the author's treatment of every theme. Yet all Austrians will recognize and value the superb clarity and power of this outstanding book. And all economists, Austrian or not, will appreciate the wide erudition and profound economic understanding reflected in this luminous work. – Israel M. Kirzner, New York University
The Austrian School presents the Austrian paradigm in a clear, concise and comprehensive manner to a wide range of potential readers who will, upon reading the book, be prepared to explore in greater depth an approach they will find both novel and fascinating. The book will appeal to Austrian economists but also to other free market economists as well as researchers and academics of economic methodology, the history of economic thought, institutional economics and comparative economic systems.


Children’s / Ages 8-10 / Arts & Photography / Activity Kits
Van Gogh Art Kit by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
 Vincent van Gogh (1887-1890) was an artist who loved bright colors. He was born in the Netherlands, where the rain can make things dark and gloomy. When he grew up, he eventually moved to the south of France, where the sun is stronger and the colors brighter. Van Gogh created many paintings there, some of which now hang at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Children will want to make their own masterpieces with this art kit featuring the art of Van Gogh. With biographical details from Van Gogh’s life, as well as pastels and exercises allowing kids to make their own creations, the Van Gogh Art Kit makes learning about the artist easy. Perforated pages let kids tear out and display their artwork.
Ten of Van Gogh's most celebrated paintings provide inspiration for the instructive drawing pages. Young artists explore each of the paintings in the Van Gogh Art Kit to see how Van Gogh used color in extraordinary ways. Then they use their imaginations to give his paintings a new look. Following each work of art, there are three different pictures to complete based on the original one. After looking at his self-portrait, it’s up to readers to give Van Gogh new clothes. Van Gogh loved oleanders and painted an arrangement of them in a jug. In the book, the jug is empty. Readers fill it with their own vibrant flowers. Van Gogh painted a pair of worn brown shoes. Readers contemplate what those shoes would look like as sneakers and then draw them. Van Gogh painted a nighttime landscape with swirling stars – readers draw a new version of a night sky.
A glossary in the back introduces vocabulary, and the kit's twenty-four, child-safe oil pastels snap into place, making it easy to keep everything together wherever inspiration leads.
With this inventive kit from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, children create art alongside the master. Perfect for budding artists and great for a classroom art library to show children that art is as much fun as it is culturally enriching, Van Gogh Art Kit will instill a new appreciation for art and the work of Van Gogh.


Children’s / Ages 9-13 / Science & Nature / Activity Books
SMARTLAB: You Build It – Door Alarm by Paul Beck & Eddee Helms (Smart Lab)
Your room is your space, your stuff is your stuff, and you'd like it to stay that way. So how do you keep those pesky parents, snooping sisters, and burgling brothers out? You could stay home all day and guard the door, but you're a busy kid with places to go and things to do. You could hire a guard, but guards don't come cheap. – from the book
SMARTLAB: You Build It – Door Alarm includes everything kids need to construct a secret code door alarm and set the alarm themselves.
Award-winning author Paul Beck reveals secret codes from ancient Roman ciphers to today's computer encryption programs. The kit includes a circuit board, speaker, resistor, capacitor, LED, and plastic case so kids can build their own programmable talking door alarm. And it includes “Keep Out!” door hangers. As kids go through the book, they get instructions for putting it together. They choose a secret alarm code that only they can change. They find out about codes, secrets, passwords, and all the ways to keep private things private.
Oh, and did we say, the alarm talks.
According to Beck, secret messages have been sneaking around for ages, and long-ago spies came up with ingenious ways to hide information. Instead of carrying secrets in their heads, ancient Greek spies were famous for carrying messages ON their heads. The messenger would shave his head and the message would be tattooed onto his scalp. After the hair grew back, the messenger would go on his way. When he got to where he was going, out came the razor, and off came the hair.
One of the most famous code machines, called Enigma, was used by the Germans in World War II. The machine looked a little like an old-fashioned typewriter. It used mechanical wheels and electrical connections to encode and decode messages. The operator pressed the letter keys to put letters in, and lights lit up to show the code letters. The machine switched codes with every letter, and the settings (keys) were changed every day by the Germans.
Colossus was the world's first programmable electronic computer. Built in England during World War II, the machine filled a small room and weighed about a ton. Colossus had only one purpose – figuring out the code settings for one model of Nazi code machine. The existence of Colossus was so secret that, after the war, the machines were dismantled and the drawings and diagrams for building them were burned. For nearly 30 years, the world believed that the first programmable computer was the U.S.-built Eniac.
Back to You Build It – Door Alarm: here are some sample assembly instructions for ‘Connect the wires’:
Find a YELLOW wire on the circuit board.
Find one of the YELLOW wires on the speaker.
Twist together the metal ends of the two wires. Make sure you twist both wires around each other.
Test your connection by gently pulling the wires to make sure they will not come apart.
Take a piece of tape (about 1") and wrap it around all the exposed metal on the connection.
Use the same method to connect the other YELLOW wire on the circuit board to the remaining YELLOW wire on the speaker. Cover the bare wires with tape.
Each double set of pages is a chapter. Titles include

Private Keep Out!
Secret Codes
Make an Encoder
Code Breakers
Complicated Codes
Telegraph Code
Computer Codes
What’s the Word?
Secret Smarts
Assembly Instructions
Assembling the Alarm
Resistors / Capacitors
Testing Your Alarm
Closing Up
Positioning and Mounting Your Alarm
Your Code
Changing Your Secret Code Alarm


In the You Build It – Door Alarm kids get all the tools and information to keep snoops and sneaks of their room. Along the way they learn a lot about electronics and computers. These activity kits by SmartLab are a lot of fun for kids, especially science-oriented kids and those who learn best by being active and involved, and, who doesn’t?


Cooking, Food & Wine
Quality Venison Cookbook: Great Recipes from the Kitchen of Steve and Gale Loder (Spiral-bound) by Steve Loder & Gale Loder (Stackpole Books)
My family enjoyed an improved venison flavor the year I boned out my first deer and carefully trimmed it of all fat and tal­low, then double-wrapped each package. I took all the credit that I received from my wife and friends for the improved quality flavor, of course. In an attempt to be brief, when the hunter has the qual­ity control decisions about how or when his deer is skinned, aged, butchered, and trimmed, he can put even better tasting venison on his family's dinner table. – Steve Loder
An average-sized deer can yield up to 70 pounds of venison – and there are only so many venison steaks and burgers a person can swallow. Enter the Loder’s Quality Venison Cookbook, with options for creating a different venison meal every night of the week. For over thirty years, Gale and Steve ‘The Venison Man’ Loder have been cooking their hand-processed, nutritious, and delicious venison recipes for family and friends.
Quality Venison Cookbook contains over 400 venison recipes in a variety of styles: traditional, grilling, frying, and broiling, crockery cooking, Italian, Southern, and Loder family favorites. Recipes include crossbow venison corn casserole, deer-camp sloppy Joes, spicy venison steak and onions, venison rigatoni bake, Hawaiian marinated venison kabobs, grilled venison rosé, hunter-style stew, and Appalachian Mountain sauce. The book also includes a summary of how to process deer to produce quality venison.
According to the Loders, the tenderest cuts of venison come from the inside fillet along the backbone, the tenderloin along the outside backbone, running from the shoulders to near the deer's tail and hindquar­ters. The front shoulders can be trimmed for recipes in a crock pot or cooking bag, or ground to be used in venison sausage or veni­son burger. Venison fat always has a strong flavor and it should be removed, and all bones should be removed before freezing. Venison is very lean so, before roasting, it is often covered with bacon; oils, butter, or liquids are added to recipes to keep venison juicy while it is cooking. Fried or grilled venison is best prepared medium-rare and moist.
The recipes included in Quality Venison Cookbook are for deer camp or home cooking using a barbecue grill, oven, skillet, water smoker, or Dutch oven. The Lodes have also included electric slow cooker recipes, having learned that this cooker is ideal for those recipes requiring long, slow cooking such as venison ribs, stew, chili, and soups.
Many standard recipes can be converted to electric slow cooker or crock pot recipes, especially those created for the Dutch oven.
Innovative venison recipes that don't require much prep time or culinary skill. – Deer & Deer Hunting
A 'must' for every outdoor person's kitchen or bookshelf. – Bill Hilts, Sr., North American Bear
Quality Venison Cookbook, in a convenient spiral-bound format, presents homemade recipes complemented by fresh vegetables and seasonings; from pot-roasted venison in red wine to tasty venison corn chowder, there is a recipe to suit every palate; to satisfy deer hunters’ culinary whims.


Education
Homeschooling: A Family's Journey by Gregory & Martine Millman (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin)
  What is it that homeschoolers do that the public schools can’t or won’t? There are at least as many answers as there are studies. But nothing captures the homeschooling experience in all its richness like the story of a real family that homeschools its children in middleclass America.
Sharing the concerns of committed parents everywhere, authors of Homeschooling Gregory and Martine Millman are practical, informed, caring, and no-nonsense in their approach. Author Gregory and writer/editor Martine homeschooled their six children (and continue to), from infancy to top colleges. Having started a family on the cusp of the 1987 stock market crash, the Millmans struggled to find a home on one increasingly unstable salary – a feat that may sound familiar to many in today's receding economy – and turned to homeschooling when a prime school district proved out of reach and parochial schools proved discouraging. Like many other homeschoolers, they struggled to find their rhythm at first, eventually eschewing the standardized curriculum for their own, including travel, trips to the library, debate teams, music, theater, Chinese lessons and fife-and-drum corps. Above all else, they discovered that authentic education takes place in the context of a personal relationship, regardless of the parent's own education or level of expertise.
Homeschooled students typically outperform public and privately schooled students on standardized achievement tests, and surveys at the college level indicate that the homeschooled continue to outperform their conventional schooled peers. Homeschooling shows why and how homeschool accomplishes what schools cannot. It's not because homeschoolers do school things better than schools, but because they do better things than schools do: making every moment, from travel to dinner, a teachable moment. Some of the teachings shared in Homeschooling are:
Serendipity and Randomness. The Millmans roll with the punches life throws, finding opportunities to teach geometry in a tree-cutting, geography and history in travel, math and mortgages in house-shopping.
Focus on the Individual. Rather than force an otherwise intelligent and curious child to read before he or she is ready, homeschooling allows time to focus on each child's strengths and needs, and to create a learning schedule based on these rather than uniform standards. Alternative ways to learn, from paleontology to simply reading out loud, can be used in the curriculum instead.
College Prep. Dismantling the widespread belief that homeschoolers struggle with college admissions, the three oldest Millman children are all now enrolled in top-tier schools. Offering preparation tips and insider information on admissions to elite, even Ivy League institutions, the chapters on the college process are invaluable to all students and parents.
Homeschooling is one of the first works of narrative journalism about this important wave in education. It gives an up-close view of how homeschooling has become the Silicon Valley of American education, emphasizing free­dom, innovation, autonomy, self-organization, and creative collaboration.
… For those just discovering the homeschool option this book will provide an eye-opening exploration of how one family charted a course through education by choosing to fully live their lives. And that has made all the difference. A richly rewarding, encouraging, empowering book! – Helen Hegener, publisher of Home Education Magazine
I can't think of anyone who homeschools who wouldn't profit from reading the Millmans' family journey in homeschooling. And I can't think of anyone who doesn't homeschool, and has no intention ever to homeschool, who wouldn't be provoked by it in the best sense of that term. The chapter on college is worth the price of the book all by itself. – John Taylor Gatto, former New York State Teacher of the Year and author of Dumbing Us Down; The Underground History of American Education; and Weapons of Mass Instruction
Having written a memoir about how education divided my working-class family, I was struck and deeply moved by the Millmans' account of how homeschooling deepened and strengthened their sense of family. – Richard Rodriguez, author of Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez
Some of the best entrepreneurs are those who do not feel confined in thought or spirit ... their imaginations and perseverance take them where they want to go. If lucky, some people are born this way. Or, they may have been nurtured and educated in a homeschool environment like that of the Millmans, where the test grade is less important than the learning experience. This book shows how homeschooling can encourage a sense of exploration and independence to turn possibility into reality. – George Gendron, founder and director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at Clark University and formerly editor in chief of Inc. magazine
This account goes far beyond one family's homeschooling story. It inspiringly weaves together the threads of daily experience and educational philosophy. It provides a valuable set of educational tools, not just for homeschooling families but for all families who agree with the authors that the purpose of education is to turn the child's potential into reality….What a fascinating read. – Cafi Cohen, author of Homeschooling: The Teen Years, Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook, and And What About College?
Here is a re­markable portrait of the magic that occurs when a home – and, in the truest sense, the world – is transformed into a living classroom. Part memoir, part journalistic reporting, part how-to guide, Homeschooling is a pertinent and insightful cradle-to-college look at education for public, private and homeschoolers alike. This intimate, eminently practical memoir of a successful homeschooled family of six children illuminates an exciting choice in education, and shows how it works.


Education / Teaching
Teaching Thinking: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom, 3rd Edition by Robert Fisher (Continuum)
All which the school can or need do for pupils, so far as their minds are concerned . . . is to develop their ability to think. – John Dewey
Teaching Thinking is a sourcebook of ideas to help teachers, students and others interested in education to understand and engage in philosophical enquiry with children. It illustrates how philosophical discussion can help to promote critical thinking as well as the moral and social values essential for citizenship in a democratic society. It shows how a community of inquiry can be created in any classroom, enriching learning across the whole curriculum.
Teaching Thinking by Robert Fisher, Professor of Education in the School of Education, Brunel University is a fully updated third edition of the highly successful guide to using discussion in the classroom to develop children's thinking, learning and literacy skills. This new edition includes material on the latest trends in teaching thinking, including dialogic teaching, creativity and personalized learning.
The challenge to improve children's thinking lies at the heart of education and has been the focus of curriculum reform in recent years. As Paul, aged 8, said: ‘It is through thinking that we make a better world.’ Teaching children how to think lies at the heart of the worldwide ‘philosophy for children’ movement, which is using philosophical enquiry to enhance the thinking, learning and language skills of pupils of all ages and abilities in more than thirty countries around the world.
Teaching Thinking is about the theory and practice of philosophy for children, illustrated with work from children and schools in the UK. It offers ways to facilitate philosophical enquiry with groups of children at home or school, encouraging children to think critically and creatively through dialogue. It is not about teaching children the subject of philosophy, but about how to engage them in a special kind of discussion – philosophical discussion, teaching them how to philosophize. It aims to shows ways in which philosophical discussion can be used to add value to speaking and listening with children at home or school. It is about what we do with children every day in talking and thinking with them, but trying to do it better through an approach called ‘philosophy for children’.
The first chapter, Thinking about Thinking, begins by exploring reasons why teaching thinking is so important, and the role philosophy can play in providing the means for developing more effective thinking, and seeks to answer such questions as: Why teach thinking? What kinds of thinking should be taught? Why philosophy for children? Philosophy is the only discipline which has as its subject matter thinking, and the improvement of thinking. The problem teachers face is: How do we introduce children to thoughtful discussion?
Chapter 2: Philosophy for Children provides an introduction to the Philosophy for Children program and the pioneering work of Matthew Lipman. It seeks to answer questions such as: What is Philosophy for Children? How is Philosophy for Children taught? What kinds of thinking does Philosophy for Children develop? An overview of the Lipman approach is illustrated with sample material and excerpts from classroom discussion showing some of the thinking skills being developed. Philosophy for Children is not only a way to develop reasoning skills, but it also provides a context for moral thinking and social education through a specific teaching strategy called ‘community of inquiry’.
Chapter 3: Community of Enquiry shows how a method for engaging children in philosophical discussion can also help foster the moral and social aims of education. It seeks to answers questions such as: How do we plan for philosophical discussion? How do we facilitate philosophical discussion? How do we assess the benefits of philosophy with children?
Later chapters in Teaching Thinking show how philosophical discussion can be applied both to extend and enrich every area of learning. Chapter 4: Stories for Thinking shows how philosophical discussion can be stimulated through the use of story to develop critical thinking and literacy (reading, writing, speaking and listening). It seeks answers to questions such as: Why stories for thinking? What stories for thinking can be used? How to use stories for thinking. The ‘stories for thinking’ approach is illustrated through teaching ideas and examples of classroom discussion. Stories are shown to be a good way to stimulate philosophical enquiry, but what are the best ways of leading dialogic discussion?
Chapter 5: Dialogic Teaching explores methods of Socratic teaching, and seeks answers to questions such as: What is dialogic teaching? How does dialogic teaching differ from traditional teaching? How do we facilitate dialogic discussion? This chapter shows how dialogic teaching can be used to help meet some of the basic social, moral and cognitive aims of education.
Chapter 6: Philosophy in the Classroom summarizes the key elements of philosophy for children and seeks answers to questions such as: How do we extend an enquiry? What makes a discussion philosophical? Does philosophy for children work?
Finally Chapter 7: Thinking across the Curriculum shows how philo­sophical discussion can feed into all areas of the curriculum. It seeks answers to the questions: How does philosophical enquiry fit into the curriculum? What cross-curricular skills does philosophical enquiry develop? How can philosophical dialogue be used in every subject?
At the end of the book are appendix materials to support the planning, teaching and assessment of philosophical discussion, a bibliography of recommended books, and an index to the key themes.
Teaching Thinking is illustrated with examples of philosophical discussion largely derived from the author's research with teachers and children in school settings. These excerpts are intended to allow the voices of children and teachers to be heard, and to illustrate ways in which philosophical enquiry can be conducted with children of different ages and abilities. A list of the themes and questions illustrated through excerpts of classroom discussion in Teaching Thinking appears in Appendix 1.
This sourcebook of ideas is essential reading for anyone seeking to develop children's minds, to build their self-esteem or to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools. The models of thinking and learning described in the book will provide an inspiration for readers’ own adventures in ideas with children, and a spur for their research.


Entertainment / Actors / Biographies & Memoirs
Short and Sweet: The Life and Times of the Lollipop Munchkin by Jerry Maren, with a foreword by Sid Krofft (Cumberland House)
For decades, Jerry Maren represented the Lollipop Guild in one of the most endearing movies of all time, The Wizard of Oz.
Short and Sweet is Maren’s memoir of a sixty-plus-year career – from The Adventures of Superman to Seinfeld – in which he carved his own niche in Hollywood. The book features candid commentary, unpublished photographs, and a tell-all attitude. Few other performers have delved into so many facets of twentieth-century popular culture. From Munchkinland to McDonaldland, he shares his perspective on working alongside Lucille Ball, the Marx Brothers, Judy Garland, George ‘Superman’ Reeves, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, and even Jerry Seinfeld.
When he came from Boston to California's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios to work as the Lollipop Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, he was just over three feet tall. From there, Maren went on to numerous career highs such as playing Little Oscar and touring in the famous Weinermobile and portraying Buster Brown on television in the 1950s.
There are not many people in Tinsel town who can count folks like Jimmy Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld as personal acquaintances but Maren is one of the lucky few. Maren writes of:
How he ended up in Hollywood to make The Wizard of Oz while still in his teens.
Life on the set with Judy Garland and 120 little people.
The truth about rumors of drunken orgies and wild parties at the Culver Hotel.
What it was like to work with the Marx Brothers and to have dinner at Groucho's home.
USO tours during World War II with the midget wrestling act.
Being hired to dress up as a baby and pee on Jimmy Stewart at the actor's bachelor party.
Working in television and radio in the Our Gang comedies and with Red Skelton, Jimmy Durante, Lucille Ball, Edgar Bergen, and Andy Williams – even Tiny Tim.
Performing at the White House dressed as Freddy the Frog.
The Wizard of Oz was one of the greatest contributions to the golden age of Hollywood and fantasy. For me, the Munchkins represent a large part of that iconic period and spectacular time in film history. – Steven Spielberg
The Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest films of all time, and it certainly wouldn't have been the same without the fun and fascinating Munchkins and the wonderful group of actors who portrayed them.... The Munchkins secured their place in Hollywood history and in the hearts of movie fans everywhere. – George Lucas
The world's favorite munchkin, Maren, gets fifteen more minutes of fame with his new autobiography, Short and Sweet. It is a lavishly illustrated treasury of old Hollywood that will entertain anyone who enjoys popular culture.


Entertainment / Movies / Ethnic Studies
Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance edited by Sangita Gopal & Sujata Moorti (University of Minnesota Press)
Bollywood movies and their signature song-and-dance spectacles are an aesthetic familiar to people around the world, and Bollywood music now provides the rhythm for ads marketing goods such as computers and a beat for remixes and underground bands. According to the editors, Sangita Gopal, assistant professor of English at the University of Oregon, and Sujata Moorti, professor of women’s and gender studies at Middlebury College, these musical numbers have inspired scenes in Western films such as Vanity Fair and Moulin Rouge.
Global Bollywood shows how this currency in popular culture and among diasporic communities marks only the latest phase of the genre’s world travels. This interdisciplinary collection describes the many roots and routes of the Bollywood song-and-dance spectacle. Examining the reception of Bollywood music in places as diverse as Indonesia and Israel, the essays offer a redefinition of globalization, highlighting the cultural influence of Hindi film music from its origins early in the twentieth century to today. Contents of Global Bollywood include:
Introduction: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance – Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti
Part I. Home Terrains
Tapping the Mass Market: The Commercial Life of Hindi Film Songs – Anna Morcom, Royal Holloway College
The Sounds of Modernity: The Evolution of Bollywood Film Song – Biswarup Sen, University of Oregon
From Bombay to Bollywood: Tracking Cinematic and Musical Tours – Nilanjana Bhattacharjya, Colorado College and Monika Mehta, Binghamton University
Bollywood and Beyond: The Transnational Economy of Film Production in Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad – Shanti Kumar, University of Texas, Austin
The Music of Intolerable Love: Political Conjugality in Mani Ratnam's Dil Se – Anustup Basu, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Part II Eccentric Orbits
Intimate Neighbors: Bollywood, Dangdut Music, and Globalizing Modernities in Indonesia – Bettina David, Hamburg University
The Ubiquitous Nonpresence of India: Peripheral Visions from Egyptian Popular Culture – Walter Armbrust, Oxford University
Appropriating the Uncodable: Hindi Song and Dance Sequences in Israeli State Promotional Commercials – Ronie Parciack, Tel Aviv University
Part III. Planetary Consciousness
Dancing to an Indian Beat: ‘Dola’ Goes My Diasporic Heart – Sangita Shrestova
Food and Cassettes: Encounters with Indian Filmsong – Edward K. Chan, Kennesaw State University
Queer as Desis: Secret Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Bollywood Films in Diasporic Urban Ethnoscapes – Ronie Parciack, Tel Aviv University and Rajinder Dudrah, University of Manchester
Bollywood Gets Funky: American Hip-Hop, Basement Bhangra, and the Racial Politics of Music – Richard Zumkhawala-Cook, Shippensburg University.
A sophisticated and altogether groundbreaking study within the rapidly developing area of Indian film studies, Global Bollywood offers exactly what this emerging field needs and deserves. – Corey K. Creekmur, University of Iowa
The essays in Global Bollywood offer a stimulating redefinition of globalization with a surprising interdisciplinary collection of authors from around the globe, a major contribution to the field.


Health, Mind & Body / Death & Grief / Religion & Spirituality / Buddhism
Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Joan Halifax, with a foreword by Ira Byock (Shambhala)
Zen teacher Joan Halifax’s Project on Being with Dying has been helping both the dying and their caregivers to face death with courage and compassion since 1994, but her work with the contemplative approach to the dying process goes back much further than that. In Being with Dying, Halifax offers the fruits of her three decades of work with the dying, providing comfort, inspiration, and practical skills for all those who are in the process of dying or who are charged with a dying person’s care.
Her teaching, based on Buddhist principles, emphasizes that we have the ability to open up to and rely on our inner strength, and we can help others who are suffering to do the same. She notes that all of us will ultimately have to deal with the loss of parents and loved ones and that most of us are largely unprepared emotionally for their deaths. She says that the process of dying is a rite of passage, and can be viewed as natural and not something to be denied.
Halifax offers stories from her personal experience as well as guided exercises and contemplations to help readers meditate on death without fear, develop a commitment to helping others, and transform suffering and resistance into courage. In Being with Dying she says, “Why wait until we are actually dying to explore what it may mean to die with awareness?”
Joan Halifax, PhD, is a Zen priest and anthropologist who has served on the faculty of Columbia University and the University of Miami School of Medicine. In 1990, she founded Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist study and social action center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In many spiritual teachings, the great divide between life and death collapses into an integrated energy that cannot be fragmented. In this view, to deny death is to deny life. According to Halifax in Being with Dying, the beautiful, difficult work of offering spiritual care to dying people has arisen in response to the fear-bound American version of ‘the good death’ – a death that is too often life-denying, antiseptic, drugged-up, tube-entangled, institutionalized. And our glaring absence of meaning­ful ritual, manuals, and materials for a conscious death has generated a plethora of literature. Although techniques for compassionate care have been developed specifically for dying people and caregivers, many of these teachings on death can address healthy adventurers as well – acolytes eager not only to explore the full range of life's possibilities but also to focus pragmatically on the one and only certainty of our lives.
Halifax has not made much distinction in Being with Dying between living and dying; in reality there is no separation between them, only interpen­etration and unity. The meditations and practices offered in the book can be, with a few minor changes, done for oneself if ill or dying, for one's dying loved one, for oneself if one is a caregiver, for all beings, or simply because they make our living more vivid and tender.
After each chapter in the book she offers suggestions for meditations readers can do on their own, so that they can have some practical experience of what it is like to begin looking life and death in this integrated, concentrated way – upaya, translated from Sanskrit as ‘skillful means’ – the techniques and technologies we can use to be more skillful and effective in our living and our dying.
Drawing on her 30 years of experience in the contemplative care of the dying, Halifax honestly enumerates the challenges of being with the dying while exalting it as a school for unlearning the patterns of resistance.… her supremely readable book will attract readers of all faiths who will appreciate her clarity and compassion and the poignancy of these stories of ordinary people facing their final hours with quiet courage. – Publishers Weekly
This book is a gift of wisdom and practical guidance for living. – Ira Byock, MD, author of Dying Well and The Four Things That Matter Most
This compelling, brave, and wise book draws from a lifetime of remarkable work with people at the end of life and will be most helpful to those who serve the dying. The clarity of Dr. Halifax's vision illuminates this profound guide to being with dying. – Andrew Weil, MD
Joan Halifax has a knack for straight talk and sublime insight – a no holds barred approach to life's greatest challenge, dying well. This book beckons to those who dare, and those who care; it's a profound and practical guidebook to the inevitable final dance. – Daniel Coleman, author of Emotional Intelligence           
Joan Halifax has taken the great matter of death and dying and woven a tapestry of stories, wisdom, and practical advice for care of the dying all against a background of compassion. – Charles R. Lewis, M D, Medical Director, Inpatient Care Center, San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care
This book picks up where many books about palliative care end, by giving us a sense of the possibilities offered by an encounter with a dying person. Joan Halifax gives us a map of territory not usually mentioned in medical discussions about dying. Her book deserves to be read by clinicians who take care of people with life-threatening illnesses, from the beginning of their journey through the last moments of life and beyond. – Anthony Back, MD, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Joan Halifax guides us in receiving the grace and healing of abiding in the present moment as the balm for our fears, anger, grief, and sadness. She is a masterful teacher, wise sage, and mentor for dying people, their families, and professional caregivers. – Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, Johns Hopkins University and Children's Center
This beautiful book is both a gentle comfort and a fierce guide to the experience of living, of which death is simply a part. Joan Halifax poignantly and generously offers the wisdom and practices she embodies. A gift beyond measure. – Margaret J. Wheatley, PhD, author of Leadership and the New Science
Being with Dying reflects the forty years of work Halifax have done in the field of care of the dying, showing readers the unexpected and extraordinary possibilities that can open for us in life as we encounter death.


Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling
American Dreamers: What Dreams Tell Us about the Political Psychology of Conservatives, Liberals, and Everyone Else by Kelly Bulkeley (Beacon Press)
Politicians in the United States today face a country whose people seem to be losing faith in the promise of the American Dream. Most people continue to share a basic belief in what that dream means – the freedom to create one's own life, the oppor­tunity to succeed through initiative and hard work, the hope that tomorrow will be better than today. But they're increasingly un­certain about the dream's future survival, and they worry their children will grow up to face a world of worsening prospects.
At a time of bitter partisan conflict and governmental paralysis, American Dreamers calls the country back to its visionary origins, arguing that dreams can serve as a royal road to the creation of new political solutions that integrate the best of conservative and liberal ideals.
Bulkeley, visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union and a faculty member in the dream studies program at John F. Kennedy University, builds on sixteen years of scientific research involving thousands of dream reports to show how the fancies of our dreaming imaginations can be interpreted as expressions of our hopes and fears about issues as varied as the environment, religion, family values, and the war in Iraq.
In American Dreamers Bulkeley tries to persuade readers that people's sleep and dream experiences provide surprisingly accurate insights into the psychological underpinnings of their political beliefs and attitudes, whether they're conservative, liberal, or some combination of the two. Examining in particular detail the dreaming tendencies of conservatives and liberals, the book centers on ten people of different political perspectives – a dreamers' focus group – who kept year-long sleep and dream journals. The dreaming and waking stories of these ‘ordinary’ Americans (among them a cancer survivor, a lesbian horse rancher, a former Catholic priest, a young waitress engaged to be married, and a soldier preparing for his third tour to Iraq) provide raw psychological material and a window into their deepest beliefs, darkest fears, and most inspiring ideals.
To frame the analysis, Bulkeley begins by outlining the statistical results of survey research on dreaming and politics, including an opinion poll (conducted by the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research) of seven hundred demographically representative Americans who were asked several questions about their sleep and dream experiences. The information from the dream journals is deep but narrow. The findings of the surveys are broad but shallow. The best picture of where the real psychological connections lie emerges by putting these different methods together and seeing what patterns emerge.
Without question, the lives of ten people can never be a per­fect mirror of a nation of 300 million. Any research project that's based on data from journals, interviews, and surveys runs the danger of overgeneralization. Although Bulkeley tried to cast as wide a recruiting net as possible, these ten dream-journaling volunteers included no Hispanics or African Americans, no one from the Midwest or Deep South, no high-income professionals, no evan­gelical Christians, no Jews or Muslims. Any claims made in American Dreamers must be qualified by those limitations.
Bulkeley tells their waking and dreaming stories in relation to five politically charged issues in contemporary American society: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the role of religion in private life and public policy, threats to the natural environment, people's struggles with work and financial security, and cultural issues involving sexuality, gender, and child rearing, collectively referred to under the heading ‘family values.’ The data presented in American Dreamers for the most part agree with the findings of his earlier studies. Americans are far more psy­chologically complex and multifaceted than is usually recog­nized. Finally, Bulkeley asks: Is it too fantastic to suggest that Americans might benefit from trying to incorporate the best elements of each political perspec­tive? Sleeping well like the conservatives and creatively dreaming like the liberals? Bulkeley says he dreams of a time when Americans develop the psychological capacity to unite the opposites of the political culture – enacting progressive social change without los­ing traditional wisdom, safeguarding time-honored values while remaining open to new ways of living.
A beautifully written reminder of the depth of differences, and a dream of how difference might be understood. Bulkeley understands something profound about us; we would benefit enormously if we could even just glimpse that understanding. – Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
… the results are filled with insights that will delight, amuse, and infuriate his readers. American Dreamers provides its readers with insight into the country's future, insight that is available from no other (or better) source. – Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Co-author, Haunted by Combat: Understanding PTSD in War Veterans
Any political pundit who wants to speak with intelligence and genuine insight about the psychological motivations of American voters across the political spectrum would be well advised to read Kelly Bulkeley's American Dreamers. … Over twenty-five years of writing and research is deployed in this urgently relevant, non-partisan, and broadly sympathetic analysis of the underlying psychological and spiritual concerns that unconsciously organize the political views of ordinary Americans today. – John McDargh, Associate Professor of the Psychology of Religion, Boston College
… With an exemplary grasp of dream science built upon thousands of dream accounts, Bulkeley presents a multifaceted and nuanced portrait of the ways our deeply seeded ideas, values, virtues, and fears become apparent within our dreams. American Dreamers challenges us to develop a greater understanding of and respect for all people across the political spectrum. – Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, author of In the Midst of Chaos and Let the Children Come
American Dreamers shows a new way of thinking about political views. Readers reach the end of the book with a deeper understanding of the unconscious dynamics of political ideals and partisan conflicts in present-day America. Looking at politics through this prism enables readers to see not just what people believe but why they believe it – why it makes intuitive sense for them to support certain political causes and not others, why they feel attracted to some candidates and not others, why they fear particular threats and dangers, why they hope for certain visions of future prosperity.


History / Ancient
In Search of the Greeks by James Renshaw (Bristol Classical Press, Duckworth)
We are all Greeks: our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts, have their roots in Greece. – P.B. Shelley, in his preface to Hellas, 1820
The legacy of the Greeks is everywhere. More than any other ancient people, they have shaped how we in western society think about our world and how we think about ourselves. Indeed, the very idea of ‘western civilization’ is itself largely founded upon the philosophy, art, literature and history of the people we call the ancient Greeks. By learning about them, we come to know ourselves more deeply.
In Search of the Greeks, by James Renshaw, Head of Classics at Colet Court and teacher of Classics at St Paul’s School, London, is an introduction to the societies of Classical Greece. The book is illustrated with over 100 photographs, maps and plans. Review questions challenge students to read further and reflect on some of the most important social, political and cultural issues of classical Greece.
In Search of the Greeks was born out of teaching notes which Renshaw produced for his Classical Civilization students at St Paul's School. The book focuses on six of the most important areas of ancient Greek life. The first chapter examines Greek religion, which permeated every level of society. The next two chapters describe religious festivals – the ancient Olympic Games, which formed the model for the modern Olympic movement, and the City Dionysia at Athens, where plays were performed for the first time in European history. In Search of the Greeks then moves on to explore Greek social and political life, focusing first on Athenian society and then on that city's invention of democracy as a political system. Finally, it looks at the unique society which developed in Sparta, Athens' greatest rival.
The six chapters are designed to be independent but inter-related and so there are numerous cross-references between them. They need not be read in sequence, since each investigates one aspect of the same era in Greek history. There are Appendixes on Attica and Athens, Greek currency values, Greek musical instruments, and the Greek calendar.
In truth, the term ‘ancient Greeks’ could apply to numerous Greek-speaking peoples who lived in many places around the Mediterranean and Black Seas from the 3rd millennium BCE until the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century CE (even then, a Greek-speaking empire – the Byzantine Empire – lived on in the east until its capital, Constantinople, was sacked by the Ottomans in 1453). As a result of this very long passage of time, historians have tended to divide up ancient Greek history into a number of successive ‘ages’. These can be summarized as:
Prehistoric Greece.
The Dark Age (11th-9th centuries BCE).
The Archaic Age (8th-6th centuries BCE).
The Classical Age (510-323 BCE).
The Hellenistic Age (323-30 BCE).
The Roman Empire (30 BCE-410 CE).
The topics in In Search of the Greeks are primarily concerned with the Classical Age, the period in which some of Greece's greatest thinkers and writers emerged – philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, playwrights such as Sophocles and Aristophanes, historians such as Herodotus and Thucydides, and artists such as Pheidias and Praxiteles. The cultural and intellectual development during these centuries was to define Greek civilization during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
According to Renshaw, since Greece did not become a single country with a central government until the second half of the 4th century BCE, it is more apt to talk of the ‘Greek world’ before this time. In Mycenaean times some Greeks had also moved beyond the mainland to establish communities on the islands of the Aegean Sea and along the west coast of Asia Minor.
However, the period of greatest emigration was between 750 and 600 BCE, when many Greek cities founded new settlements all over the Mediterranean and Black Seas. People moved to these ‘colonies’, which often retained close ties to their ‘mother-cities’, in search of more prosperous lives. In particular, Sicily and Southern Italy became Greek strongholds, so much so that the region became known as ‘Magna Graecia’ – ‘Great(er) Greece’. During this period cities were founded in places as far apart as the modern countries of Spain and Russia; some of these cities, such as Istanbul (known as Byzantium in ancient times), Marseilles and Naples grew into important centers of civilization.
By the 4th century, Plato's Socrates was able to speak of the Greek peoples spread out around the two seas ‘like frogs around a pond’. The idea of Greekness, therefore, was one of cultural identity rather than of geographical location – one did not have to come from Greece to be a Greek; for example, one of the most famous of all ancient Greeks was the brilliant scientist Archimedes (c. 287-c. 212), who came from the Sicilian city of Syracuse.
According to In Search of the Greeks, there were three key elements which united all Greeks in their shared identity – language, literature and religion (thus in some ways the concept of the ‘Greek world’ could be compared to the ‘Hispanic world’ today). All Greeks spoke the same language, albeit with a variety of dialects, and from this language arose superb literature; in particular, Homer was revered by all Greeks as the first and greatest poet in their language. Greek identity was further defined by the worship of common gods and goddesses. This religion had also given rise to the numerous stories of Greek mythology, which were as popular then as they remain today.
Their common identity did not necessarily mean that the Greek cities always had good relations with one another. In fact, they were often at war with one another and sometimes it took a great threat from a foreign power, such as the menace of the Persian Empire in the 5th century, to remind them of their shared values. They knew these foreigners as barbaroi (barbarians), a word which applied to any non-Greek speaking people. The term was often used contemptuously – many Greeks would surely have agreed with Aristotle, who argued that barbarians were more naturally suited to slavery than Greeks.
The ancient Greeks continue to fascinate us today. In spite of the great differences between their world and ours, they resonate with us because we can see our own reflections in them. It is easy to recognize a society where sporting champions are hero-worshipped, where plays mercilessly satirize political leaders and where people enshrine the right to freedom of speech.
While writing In Search of the Greeks, Renshaw says he was startled to see how many ancient issues are reflected in our world today. These pages raise issues such as forced marriage, theory of education, slavery, and the role and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. On this latter issue, it is particularly remarkable that, in 415, Athens embarked upon a controversial (and ultimately disastrous) foreign campaign in Sicily, when some citizens felt that their leaders had overplayed the case for war. On issues such as this, it is fascinating to compare and contrast ancient and modern approaches.
If there is one quality that marks out the Greeks it is their willingness to engage so deeply with life and to explore its complexity. Their civilization encouraged people to go beyond easy or traditional answers to life's deepest questions; as a result, they have left us with art, literature, history and philosophy which is profound, entertaining and provocative, and which has defined modern society. In this sense, we are indeed all Greeks.
Lively and informative, essential reading for teachers and students of Classical Civilization, In Search of the Greeks will also be of considerable interest to those teaching and taking drama courses and citizenship classes. There has been a lack of a suitable course book on Greek Civilization for secondary school students (in England), and this book will go some way to filling that gap.


History / World / Ancient / Drug Use
The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization by D.C.A. Hillman (Thomas Dunne Books)
… I sat in the only suit I could afford, awaiting the verdict on my dissertation exam. The five professors [University of Wisconsin, Classics Department] who made up my committee had grilled me for more than two hours, without a single compliment or even a hint of en­couragement. They seemed to be preoccupied with just one partic­ular chapter of my 250-page thesis. I shouldn't have been surprised; my paper's larger topic, the use of medicinal drugs in the Roman Republic, was accepted, but what they disliked was the chapter in which I wrote about the Roman penchant for recreational drugs and the prevalent use of psychotropics by just about everyone in an­tiquity, farmers and aristocrats alike.…
The choice was simple. Take out the chapter on the ancient world's recreational drug use, and any references to narcotics in the rest of the dissertation, or fail the exam.
… So I did the only thing I could; I tucked my scholarly tail be­tween my legs and deleted the sections in my dissertation on nar­cotics, stimulants, and psychedelics. … Within two or three days they had all signed my degree warrant, and presto, I became a Ph.D.
Several months later I decided that the facts I had learned as a grad student were too important to remain hidden by overly con­servative academics. – from the Introduction
Citing examples in myths, medicine, and literature, D. C. A. Hillman in The Chemical Muse shows how drugs have influenced and inspired the artists, philosophers, and even politicians whose ideas have formed the basis for civilization as we know it. Many of these ancient texts may seem well known, but Hillman shows how timid, prudish translations have left scholars and readers in the dark about the reality of drug use in the Classical world. Hillman’s argument is not simply ‘pro-drug.’ Instead, he appeals for an intellectual honesty that acknowledges the use of drugs in ancient societies despite today’s conflicting social mores.
Thousands of years before ‘Just Say No’ ancient peoples  could alleviate the mental anguish of everyday stress – and just have a little fun – by drinking mixed wine, that is, mixed with opium, the nectar of the ubiquitous poppy plant. People also indulged in a number of other mind-altering botanicals and fungi to produce euphoria and hallucinations, much like the modem use of substances like heroin and mushrooms.
Some of their ancient methods for taking drugs are familiar to us today, like
snorting, mixing with drinks, and inhaling fumes.
Hillman shows extensive evidence of these drugs in mythology, medical texts, and the works of Homer, Ovid, and Virgil, some of the greatest writers of the Western world. Drugs were so prevalent in Greek and Roman civilizations that they influenced the literature, philosophy, science, politics that shape our world today. In writing The Chemical Muse, Hillman wants to show that recre­ational drugs were an integral aspect of the same societies that gave us valuable concepts like democracy and the scientific method. He wants the modern West to see that its founding fathers were drug users, plain and simple; they grew the stuff, they sold the stuff, and, most important, they used the stuff.
In order to understand the demand for narcotics and the prevalence of psychotropic drugs in antiquity, it's important also to understand the harsh reality of life several thousand years in the past. The first chapter of The Chemical Muse is all about the risks, injuries, and disappointments that dominated life in ancient Greece and Rome and offers some examples of the great minds produced in this ancient crucible. Plagues, natural disasters, poor sanitation, and wars kept pressure on the biological struggle for survival. Life was truly difficult, and the likelihood of your making it to your seventh, eighth, or ninth decades was dramatically lower than it is today. Their killers were the elements of their harsh environment, not poor diet and lack of exercise. Yet despite such harsh circumstances, Classical civilization gave birth to ideas that would guide the cultural development of at least three continents for almost two thousand years after its decline.
As a result of rampant disease and endless variations of phys­ical suffering, the ancient world turned to drugs for the treatment of specific ailments and many forms of pain relief. Ancient medi­cine, championed by such figures as Hippocrates and Galen, relied heavily on botanicals in the treatment of disease. Ancient medical texts, many of which have never been translated from the original Greek and Latin, are full of descriptions of potions, salves, oint­ments, purgatives, plasters, and all sorts of other complex medications. When the Greeks and Romans got sick, they inevitably turned to drugs, as described in The Chemical Muse's second chapter. Antiquity's drug knowledge was the result of hundreds – if not thousands – of years of trial and, no doubt, error with local plants and vegetation. Like other cultures, the Greeks and Romans found out that some botanical species could treat wounds, some could ease pain, others could even prevent pregnancy – and they used them without reservation.
The Greeks and Romans understood that plants could be used as curatives, but they also discovered that drugs could drive you out of your senses. They had experience with a number of plants and fungi – things like opium poppies, ergot, mushrooms, and belladonna – that contained strong, mind-altering chemicals. The third chapter of the book examines the most prevalent recre­ational plants and the potent narcotic and psychotropic drugs they contained. The fourth and fifth chapters of The Chemical Muse begin a cursory in­vestigation of some of the most prominent effects of recreational drug use on the development of ancient culture. In these chapters Hillman looks at the peculiar narco-mythology of the Greeks and Romans and the existence of drug-wielding sorcerers in antiquity.
Stories of mythic witches tell much about the practices of actual sorcerers and soothsayers. After looking at the impact of drugs on the myths we all know, he turns to ancient magicians, a real group of people who were notorious for their command of powerful drugs. Ancient authors immortalized these wonder workers, just as they did the famous warriors, philosophers, and statesmen of their era. In chapter 6 Hillman examines the subject of ‘inspiration,’ as it ap­plies to writing, and highlights several ancient authors who used the image of drugs and drug users to create their own peculiar genre of drug-inspired literature. These authors not only spoke of psychotrop­ics, but actively appealed to drug-using audiences who could fully appreciate the image of intoxication. He uses the works of three story-telling artists, namely, Homer, Virgil, and Ovid, to show that the Classical world's greatest writers clearly accepted recreational drugs as a foundational element of their culture.
Chapters 7 and 8 of The Chemical Muse address the effects that drug use had had on the philosophy of Western society and the democratic form of gov­ernance the ancient world produced. Hillman looks at the develop­ment of early Greek philosophy under the influence of psychotropic and narcotic substances. In chapter 7 he answers some of the more important questions presented by an awareness of the ubiq­uity of mind-altering substances in Greece and Rome. For example, how did drug use affect the development of Greek ideas about humanity's place in the universe? In chapter 8 he looks at the fruit of the drug-influenced psyche – which is none other than democracy itself.
The role of psychoactive drugs has been airbrushed out of the conventional picture of Western civilization. The academics who have created this drug-free Greco-Roman world have found their nemesis in Dr. Hillman’s The Chemical Muse. With clarity and directness the author gives us back a lost chapter of our Classical heritage and by doing so restores our understanding of this past. – Richard Rudgley, author of Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age 
In addition to demonstrating the importance of medicinal botanicals and chemicals in alleviating the sufferings of humanity in the ancient Greco-Roman world, Dr. Hillman unveils the role that many of them played as recreational drugs, not for the lunatic fringes of society, but as sources of knowledge and religious sacraments by the leading artists, thinkers, and politicians, central to the very formation of what we admire and enshrine as the Classical tradition. …  – Carl A. P. Ruck, author of Sacred Mushrooms: The Secrets of Eleusis
David Hillman has given us a penetrating insight into our permanent romance with altered consciousness.  This important work is a myth-buster. – Mike Gray, author of Drug Crazy and The China Syndrome
The last wild frontier of classical studies.  – The Times (UK)
The Chemical Muse uncovers decades of misdirection and obfuscation to reveal the history of widespread drug use in Ancient Rome and Greece. The first book to tackle a long-standing taboo, it illuminates the sordid side of Classical society and scholarship, as well as modern ideas of drug use and freedom of thought. In the modern world, where academia and university life are often politically charged, the book offers a unique and long overdue perspective on the contentious topic of drug use and the freedom of thought.
In reading this book, readers may come to the conclusion that the West would not have survived without so-called junkies and drug dealers; and readers, as beneficiaries of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, would not be an heir to the freedom for which the Western world has been known for centuries.
For some, the book may cast a shadow on the great statesmen, poets, and philosophers that we have held up as paragons of virtue over the centuries, and it may make us think twice about some of our modern assumptions about the ancient world, but it is a story that needs to be told.


History / World / Asia
The Chinese State at the Borders edited by Diana Lary (Contemporary Chinese Studies Series: UBC Press)
The People's Republic of China claims to have 22,000 kilometers of land borders and 18,000 kilometers of coast line. How did this vast country come into being? The state credo describes an ancient process of cultural expansion, where border peoples gratefully accepted Chinese high culture en route to becoming inalienable parts of the country. And yet, the ‘center’ also fights against manifestations of discontent in the border regions, not only to maintain control over the regions themselves, but also to prevent a loss of power at the edges of the state from triggering a general process of regional devolution in the Han Chinese provinces. These contradictions take away from the elegance and simplicity of the official credo. The essays in The Chinese State at the Borders, edited by Diana Lary, professor emerita of history at the University of British Columbia, look at this relationship over a long time span, questioning whether the process of expansion was a benevolent civilizing mission.
The interdisciplinary list of contributors includes Timothy Brook, Nicola Di Cosmo, Benjamin Elman, Stevan Harrell, Van Nguyen-Marshall, Pitman Potter, Peter Perdue, André Schmid, Leo Shin, Wang Ning, Alexander Woodside, and Victor Zatsepine.
The reach of the Chinese state has expanded and contracted over the two millennia since its foundation. From the Qin campaigns in the eighth cen­tury BCE to the present-day campaign to develop the West (Xibu kaifa), successive central governments have never been free of pressure regarding the borderlands, either through their own expansionist visions or from fear of external encroachment. The state, its bureaucracy, and its financial sys­tem were all deeply concerned with the borderlands, and all were involved in a process whereby the borders often had as much influence on the center as the center did on the periphery.
The original versions of the chapters in The Chinese State at the Borders were presented at a conference held at the Univer­sity of British Columbia in February 2004 to mark the retirement of Alexander Woodside, Canada's leading Sinologist and the West's leading expert on Vietnam, professor at the University of British Columbia. Most of the people who came to the conference were either his colleagues or his former students – in many cases both.
This state credo of China is not as straightforward or as linear as it seems: it contains fundamental contradictions and is quite obscure. A major area of obscurity is the actual location of many of the borders. The communiqué issued at the signing ceremony for the Sino-Russian border agree­ment points up another contradiction: the way in which control of the borders has normally been established. Bland, confident assertions obscure the actual nature of much of China's physical expansion – a heavy dependence on the force of arms. Another area of contradiction is the assumption that, since time immemor­ial, China has existed in a state of unity. Unity is not a natural state of affairs but, rather, a condition that the center goes to great lengths to ensure. The present center is assiduous in putting down threats to national unity. The most obvious form that this takes is the putting down of any manifesta­tions of discontent in the border regions.
The chapters in The Chinese State at the Borders look at the relationship between the state and the borderlands over a long period of time, and they cover most of the borderlands. Alexander Woodside's overview, "The Center and the Borderlands in Chinese Political Theory," looks at the continuities between the distant past and the present as well as at how the center's ambition to control a vast country have influenced capital politics and state administration.
Control of the borderlands demands a large and creative repertoire of tactical devices. Map-making is a key element of border demarcation and is the basis of claims to sovereignty. Benjamin Elman's chapter, "Ming-Qing Border Defence, the Inward Turn of Chinese Cartography, and Qing Expan­sion in the Eighteenth Century" looks at Chinese cartography. Nicola Di Cosmo, in his chapter, "Marital Politics on the Manchu-Mongol Frontier in the Early Seventeenth Century," looks at how border stability was peacefully maintained. The borders were always major topics of policy debate and factional fighting at court. Timothy Brook's chapter on the great phi­losopher official Wang Yangming – "What Happens When Wang Yangming Crosses the Border?" looks at how border issues were manipulated at the center. Leo Shin's chapter, "Ming China and Its Border with Annam," dis­cusses the creative and multiple solutions the Ming court found to deal with the southern border regions.
According to The Chinese State at the Borders, the most ambitious expansionists were the Manchu emperors of the mid-Qing dynasty. Their dynasty was a conquest dynasty, and military might continued to be its raison d'etre under the first four emperors. Their cam­paigns into the western borderlands were successful and consolidated Chi­na's expansion; others, to the southwest, were less successful. In his chapter, "Embracing Victory, Effacing Defeat: Rewriting the Qing Frontier Cam­paigns," Peter Perdue shows how the impression of successful expansion was constructed and promoted.
Nothing was ever quite settled in the borderlands. The Qing had to deal with borders that were never permanently stabilized (e.g., the border with Korea). Andre Schmid's chapter, "Tributary Relations and the Qing-Choson Frontier on Mount Paektu," looks at a border where tributary relations gov­erned interstate relations, yet the border had a life of its own. Other border regions were beyond anyone's control. One of the wildest was the northeastern border. In the late Qing it became a focus of Russian interest, a place where Chinese and Russian worlds met. Victor Zatsepine's chapter, "The Amur: As River, as Border," looks at the vast, remote, cold border region of the Amur River Basin. Another kind of interaction, a metissage, where Chinese values were transformed through acculturation to accommodate local sys­tems, is described in Van Nguyen-Marshall's chapter, "The Ethics of Benevo­lence in French Colonial Vietnam: A Sino-Franco-Vietnamese Cultural Borderland."
After the fall of the Qing, and the loss of central power for several decades during the Republic, China's control over the borderlands was drastically reduced. Border relations became the preserve of regional governments rather than of the state. Diana Lary's chapter, "A Zone of Nebulous Menace: The Guangxi/Indochina Border in the Republican Period," shows the relationship between a single province and its neighbor. In the period after its conquest of China in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government restored Chinese control over many of the border regions and started a campaign (that continues today) to settle Han Chinese in the borderlands. One method of doing this involved forced migration and the use of the borderlands as places of punishment. Wang Ning's chapter, "Border Banishment: Political Exile in the Army Farms of Beidahuang," looks at banishment and exile. Banishment was a traditional practice, as was using borderland leaders as proxies for the center. Stevan Harrell looks at this issue within a contemporary context in his chapter "L'etat, c'est nous, or We Have Met the Oppressor and He Is Us: The Predicament of Minority Cadres in the PRC." Finally, in his chapter, "Theoretical and Conceptual Perspec­tives on the Periphery in Contemporary China," Pitman Potter looks at how the periphery and the center continue to have great importance for each other.
The chapters in The Chinese State at the Borders cover a millennium. Though the parallels from one period to another are often striking, the chapters show how, over time, the richness and diversity of the interactions between the central state and the borderlands evolved. This is a field of research that offers great possibili­ties to better understand not only China but also the borderlands of other large states.
In China, all history is official, constructed to provide proof of the state's right to rule. The state has often been successful in getting non-Chinese to follow its interpretations, and this success is reflected in many academic and popular writings on China. The Chinese State at the Borders breaks with the dominant view in political and academic discourses on the Chinese state, in which center/borderlands relations have been seen as de haut en has, with the borderlands being inferior, benighted places, their darkness lit by the distant rays of the brilliant center. Versions of this view have been prominent in several fields of study: ethnicity, state economic development, China's relations with neighboring states, and cultural absorption. All have put the center on a higher level than the borderlands. These views have also been widely accepted by national governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In academic circles this ac­ceptance is becoming less standard as lessons have been learned from the transformation in our views of indigenous peoples in North America, once referred to as ‘Indians’ but now known to themselves and others as First Nations peoples.
In China, this change has not occurred. Though the term ‘barbarian’ has quite disappeared, and the use of disparaging written characters with the dog radical is gone, the center describes China's border peoples as ethnic minorities (shaoshu minzu). They are made up of fifty-five officially desig­nated peoples who live mainly in the border regions and who account for about 8 percent of the population. The rest of the Chinese population is Han. This description stresses the word ‘minority.’ The border peoples are numerical minorities, and they are also minorities in the sense of being different, strange, exotic, at a lower level of cultural evolution than the Han. They have picturesque cultures, well suited to attracting tourists and to providing color (unlike the rather dour Han). The exotic depiction of minorities finds its ultimate statement in the ‘minority theme parks’ now found in many parts of China, the largest one being the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park in Beijing, where all the minorities are lumped together in a saccharine display of unthreatening cuteness.'
According to The Chinese State at the Borders, the issues that confront the state in the borderlands often recur, but these recurrences are offset by continuous evolution. The ebb and flow of Chi­nese influence that characterized the early dynasties has given way to a much more permanent, concentrated Chinese presence. Changes within the borderlands and beyond them have altered the nature of the relations between the center and the borderlands. The rise of nationalism has made the peoples of the borderlands more aware of their own identities at the same time that their incorporation into China has become an integral part of Chinese national identity.
Center-border relations are never static. In many ways, the current rela­tionships between the border regions and the center are different than they were in the past. The center is acutely aware of the importance of the bor­derlands and their inhabitants to its vision of China's future, for traditional but also for new reasons, particularly resource extraction:
Resources: the borderlands contain large quantities of untapped mineral deposits, most of the forest land, and over 80 percent of the country's animal products. These resources are very important for China's economic development.
Geography: though small in number, non-Han groups occupy 63.7 percent of the land area of China. The less densely populated minority regions may provide an avenue for relief from China's overpopulation problem.
Strategic: non-Han inhabit over 90 percent of China's border regions, making minority issues vital to national security.
In The Chinese State at the Borders, readers see the border regions as places in their own right, as places that have given the center great problems and have sometimes dominated state policies because of the center's self-imposed need to dominate them. The authors’ approaches tend to share the following ideas:
That the present extent of China, and the consolidation of the state, dates from the eighteenth century rather than from time immemorial.
That there was an ebb and flow to Chinese control in the border regions rather than a long, continuous process of expansion and absorption.
That the borderlands were brought into China by military conquest rather than cultural conquest (i.e., by a benevolent ‘civilizing’ mission).
That permanent Han settlement in the borderlands, so far from bringing high culture often brought people who were convicts, demobilized soldiers, and famine victims.
That the peoples of the borderlands were and are closely connected – by ethnicity, history, religion, and economic ties – to peoples beyond China rather than constituting the ends of the Chinese world.
The current center goes to great pains to present China as a stable, multi-cultural, multiethnic state – a model of harmony, equality, and unity for other states. In tandem with these upbeat views goes an intolerance of those who do not accept Han rule – ‘religious zealots,’ ‘feudal thinkers,’ ‘splitists,’ ‘terrorists.’ This toughness appears to contradict the form of government that exists in many of the borderlands. Until the present, in practice ‘autonomous’ seems to mean its opposite – that is, a high degree of direct control. This notion of autonomy has no room to accommodate the persistent desire of many of the peoples of the border regions for real autonomy or actual detachment. The chal­enge for the near future is to see whether there can be some evolution, whether the center can recognize that there may be means of governing the borderlands that are less painful than force, and less demanding of its time and attention. According to Lary, in meeting this challenge China might look to Canada, which has one of the world's most stable political systems. Canada balances fed­eral and provincial powers, and, although the threat of separation is a con­stant concern, no one contemplates resolving the problem through force.
Essential in my personal library, this book is of great importance in helping to reshape our conceptions of `China' as a spatial entity. Contributors address ideas about frontiers (and centres) and border practices, treating China very much as an empire, and often taking a perspective from the non-Chinese side of the relationship. The Chinese State at the Borders makes a highly significant contribution to the surprisingly scanty literature on China's borders, and extends its reach beyond that through comparative examples. – Naomi Standen, co-editor of Frontiers in Question: Eurasian Borderlands, 700-1700
The Chinese State at the Borders is well-researched, thought-provoking, and highly literate – the contributors are first-rate scholars. Any reader interested in the history of Chinese frontiers or the nature of the Chinese state, past and present, will benefit from this multidisciplinary volume. – Bernard Luk, York University and The Hong Kong Institute of Education
A fascinating, in-depth view into the current scholarship, The Chinese State at the Borders takes issue with the rosy Chinese state credo of cultural expansion to reveal the truth. With an interdisciplinary list of contributors, the book reveals the current view of sinologists that the tables may be turning in China and tolerance of minority differences may be in China’s future.


Home & Garden / Professional & Technical / Engineering
Understanding Historic Building Conservation edited by Michael Forsyth (Blackwell Publishing)
Understanding Historic Building Conservation is the first in a series of volumes that combine conservation philosophy in the built environment with knowledge of traditional materials, and structural and constructional conservation techniques and technology. While substantial publications exist on each of the subject areas – many by the present authors – few individuals and practices have ready access to all of these or the time to read them in detail. The next two volumes are:
Materials & Skills in Historic Building Conservation
Structures & Construction in Historic Building Conservation
The series aims to introduce each aspect of conservation and to provide concise, basic and up-to-date knowledge for architects, surveyors and engineers as well as for commissioning client bodies, managers and advisors.
In each book, Michael Forsyth, Architect and director of the postgraduate degree course in the Conservation of Historic Buildings, University of Bath, draws together chapters by leading architects, structural engineers and related professionals to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of conservation work. The books are structured to be of direct practical application, taking readers through the process of historic building conservation and emphasizing throughout the integrative teamwork involved.
This present volume – Understanding Historic Building Conservation – discusses conservation philosophy and the importance of understanding the history of a building before making strategic decisions. It details the role of each conservation team member and sets out the challenges of conservation at the planning level in urban, industrial and rural contexts and in the conservation of designed landscapes. The framework of legislation and charters within which these operate is described and the book also provides guidance on writing conservation plans, explains the fundamental issues of costing and contracts for conservation and highlights the importance of maintenance.
Eighteen chapters written by the experts present today’s key issues in historic building conservation: Timothy Cantell, Martin Cherry, Nigel Dann, Peter Davenport, Geoff Evans, Keith Falconer, Colin Johns, Jeremy Lake, Jonathan Lovie, Duncan McCallum, James Maitland Gardner, Martin Robertson, Adrian Stenning, David H. Tomback, Giles Waterfield, Philip Whitbourn, and John Winter.
Understanding Historic Building Conservation describes the challenges of conservation at the planning level in urban, rural and brownfield contexts, and the framework of legislation and charters within which these operate. It then discusses conservation philosophy and the importance of understanding the history of a building before making strategic decisions, and examines the vital role of each conservation team member. The book provides guidance on creating a conservation plan, and explains the basic issues of costings and contracts for conservation.
This book is a very interesting read. It is strongly recommended for anyone who is a historic building professional or who simply has interests in learning more about the subject. – Construction History Society Newsletter
Overall this book is useful to engineers, and contains other articles of use to engineers and building owners. – SPAB Magazines
The chapters in Understanding Historic Building Conservation are written by leading architects, structural engineers and related professionals and practitioners, who together reflect the interdisciplinary nature of conservation work.
The whole series is aimed at construction professionals – architects, surveyors, engineers – as well as postgraduate building conservation students and undergraduate architects and surveyors, as specialist or optional course reading. The series is also of value to other professional groups such as commissioning client bodies, managers and advisers, and interested individuals involved in house refurbishment or setting up a building preservation trust. While there is a focus on UK practice, most of the content is of relevance overseas, just as UK conservation courses attract many overseas students, for example from India, Greece, Australia and the US.


Literature & Fiction / History & Criticism / Religion & Spirituality
Refiguring the Sacred Feminine: The Poems of John Donne, Aemilia Lanyer, and John Milton by Theresa M. Dipasquale (Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies Series: Duquesne University Press)
Theresa M. DiPasquale's study of John Donne, Ae­milia Langer, and John Milton, Refiguring the Sacred Feminine, demonstrates how each of these seventeenth century English poets revised, reformed, and renewed the Judeo-Chris­tian tradition of the sacred feminine. The central figures of this tradition – divine Wisdom, created Wisdom, the Bride, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Ecclesia – are essential to the works of Donne, Langer, and Milton. All three poets are deeply invested in the ancient, scripturally authorized belief that the relationship between God and humankind is gendered: God is father, bridegroom, king; the human soul and the Church as corporate entity are daughter, bride, and consort.
Yet for each of these three poets, the essential femininity of the human vis-à-vis the divine is com­plicated by the fact of an individual person's biologi­cal sex; a soul's encounter with God and his or her place in the economy of redemption are indelibly stamped by the sex of the body in which that soul is housed. All three poets, DiPasquale demonstrates, thus engage in literary projects that modify, expand upon, challenge, or rethink the natures of men and women, the duties and privileges of the female sex, and the essential role played by feminine powers and influences in healing the sin-forged rift between God and humanity.
As discussed in the Introduction to Refiguring the Sacred Feminine, each author resists and modifies the strict Cal­vinist belief that fallen Nature is radically depraved; each counters Reformed theology's tendency to diminish the role of the Blessed Virgin and of the sacred feminine more broadly; each portrays the feminine gender as a reflection of the divine, and Woman herself, at her best, as an agent of redemp­tion or conduit of grace.
While Dipasquale, associate professor of English at Whitman College, says she has read with a sense of historical context throughout, her objective in doing so has always been primarily and finally to explore each poem discussed not as a simple product of or response to its context, but as a rich and enduring verbal artifact that rises from and redefines that context on the poet's own terms.
The chapters are organized by author and work, not by themes, genres, or particular images of the sacred feminine. Dipasquale begins with Donne, though Lanyer was approxi­mately three years his senior, since Donne wrote the earliest of the poems she discusses, a 1608 meditation on "The Annuntiation and Passion." His masculine response to the Jacobean milieu in which he wrote provides an excellent point of reference for reading Lanyer's proto-feminist response to that same milieu, while his relatively conservative ecclesiology and sacramental theology act as sounding boards for the study of Milton's more radical vision.
Donne is perhaps best known to twentieth and twenty-first century readers for his fusion of sexuality and spirituality. Like King Solomon as Donne describes him in a sermon, the poet brought an amorous disposition to bear upon his encounter with the sacred. A man who loves a woman, the poet laments in a sonnet on the death of his wife, can find that love to be both a means of grace and an impediment to it; and a good woman, that same poem makes painfully clear, has a weighty load of semi­otic, spiritual, and physical significance to bear before she can be ‘into heauen rauished’; she is – by her very nature as Donne understands it – a human sacrament. But the meaning of sacrament was a highly charged issue in the early seventeenth century, and questions about gender were, for Donne, inti­mately entwined with the denominational issues at play in Eng­land during King James's reign. Section 1 of her opening chapter thus surveys Donne's shift, in the first two decades of the sev­enteenth century, away from the satirical, anti-Petrarchan and often misogynous themes of the elegies and epigrams he wrote during the final years of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Section 2 of the chapter turns to one of Donne's devotional works from this period, "The Annuntiation and Passion," a poem that envisions a cooperative threesome consisting of the speaker's soul, the Virgin Mary, and the church: an earthly feminine trinity through whom the masculine Trin­ity of heaven is revealed. The first of these, Dipasquale argues in sec­tion 3 of the chapter, is a literary receptacle into which the poet channels the ambivalent sexual and spiritual longing he feels in the absence of his much-desired spouse. In section 4 of chapter 1, she argues that the sonnet's notorious concluding lines, in which the speaker imagines Christ sharing his spouse with any man who truly desires her, rely upon Donne's darkly ambivalent revi­sion of a joyful image from the writings of his favorite exegete, Saint Augustine. The unresolved tensions of the sonnet reflect Donne's ongoing struggle with ecclesiastical and spiritual ques­tions that are, for him, always gender questions as well.
The remaining three sections of chapter 1 deal with Donne's monumental tribute to the sacred feminine, the Anniversaries. Chapter 1 as a whole argues that, in the poetry Donne was writing during the reign of King James, his images of the sacred femi­nine – the good wife ravished by God and the nearly anonymous ‘shee’ whose virtue is the ‘matter and the stuffe’ of others' redeemed existence, the mourning Madonna beneath the cross and the apotheosized ‘Mother-maid’ who takes "Joy in not being that, which men haue said", the feminine soul gazing intently upon what Christ's ‘imitating spouse’ reveals to her, and the open-armed Ecclesia who is the object of the masculine poet's desire – all emerge from his gen­dered response to Jacobean theological and ecclesiastical con­flict. But rather than providing clear or definitive answers to the poet's questions about sexuality, religion, or spirituality, each of these images instead animates a poem that is itself ambiguous, open-ended, and committed to engaging readers in the produc­tion of meaning.
Like Donne's First Anniversarie, Aemilia Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum was published in 1611, the year in which the King James Bible was first printed. Section 1 of chapter 2 thus positions Lanyer as another poet who responds assertively and creatively to the Jacobean politico-religious milieu. Lanyer's vision of womanhood and of ministry, and her vigorous com­mentary on marriage, social class, and sexual desire apparently found no audience in her own time. But Lanyer, whose poetry is now an established feature of the literary landscape in Renais­sance studies – having become the focus of a growing number of critical and scholarly essays and books, and having been granted a place in the Norton Anthology of English Literature – brings real theological sophistication to bear upon her poetic treatment of matters divine and devotional, sexual and textual. Her vocab­ulary and her prosodic skills are limited, but her language is nevertheless wittily resourceful, sensuously textured, and fiercely insistent upon the poet's self-consciously female perspective. Section 2 of chapter 2 surveys the poetics of the Salve Deus, arguing that Lanyer positions herself as both prophet and priest.
In this section, Dipasquale in Refiguring the Sacred Feminine extends and develops the work of previous Lanyer scholars in demonstrating the poet's reliance upon the model provided her by Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke. The poetry emerging from that model bears witness to Lanyer's conviction that redeemed Nature is perfectly reconciled with grace and that the Incarnation of Jesus in the womb of Mary is both source and summit of that reconciliation.
In sections 3 and 4 of chapter 2, Dipasquale focuses on one of the central themes springing from Lanyer's incarnational poetics, explor­ing how she reinterprets and vivifies the allegory of Ecclesia. Asserting that every female Christian has a vocation to live as the church incarnate, Lanyer describes that church's female ministry as more true to Christ and more spiritually efficacious than the apostolic priesthood of men. But Lanyer's ecclesiology is only one aspect of her belief in the radical implications of Christ's incarnation. Dipasquale thus turns, in sections 5, 6, and 7 of the chapter, to the portrayal of marriage and sexuality in Salve Deus. Lanyer, she argues in section 5, not only defines woman's relationship with the divine in erotic terms, but envisions redeemed female eros as authorizing women's desire for worthy men. As she goes on to demonstrate in section 6, however, Lanyer presents her vision of heterosexual eros as rendering obsolete the institution of Christian marriage celebrated in Ephesians. And as section 7 of the chapter argues, reading Lanyer's longing portraits of other women in light of Donne's ‘Sapho to Philnis,’ Salve Deus also opens up new possibilities for sanctified homoeroticism. Chapter 2 as a whole demonstrates, then, that for Aemilia Lanyer, the virtuous woman is not a sacrament, as in Donne's poetry; she is instead a priestly minister of Christ's Eucharistic presence and an embodiment of Ecclesia doing God's work in the sinful world of Adam's sons. In the redeemed woman's experience as Lanyer portrays it, all contraries are reconciled; her relationship with God, which is no less erotic than it is spiritual, sets her free to take pleasure in the human objects of her desire, be they wise and comely men or beautiful and virtuous women.
In moving from Aemilia Lanyer in chapter 2 to John Milton in chapter 3 of Refiguring the Sacred Feminine, Dipasquale makes a historical leap of some 21 years, shifting from 1611, when Salve Deus was published, to 1632, the prob­able date of Milton's Arcades. Two turbulent decades separate Lanyer's praise of Margaret Clifford from the young Milton's tribute to the Dowager Countess of Derby, and a significant gap also separates the earlier writer's anti-intellectual stance and her sometimes unwieldy versification from the learned classicism and rich verbal craftsmanship of the young Milton. But that gap does not obscure the very real similarities that link Milton's aristocratic entertainment to Lanyer's book; each celebrates the goodness of a venerable noblewoman who has separated herself from the decadence of Stuart court culture in order to live as a virtuous embodiment of Christ's spouse, the church. But while Lanyer argues for the sacerdotal vocation of that woman and focuses on her status as the spouse of Christ, Milton – in Arcades and in later works – is particularly interested in the luminosity of her virtue, which establishes her as an avatar of Wisdom. Every encounter with the sacred feminine in his poetry is in one way or another suffused with that sagacious light. In section 1 of chapter 3, Dipasquale argues that Milton presents a Reformed alternative to the pastoral entertainments being staged at court by King Charles and his Catholic queen by portraying Alice Spencer Stanley Egerton as a type of Ecclesia endowed with the qualities of the scriptural Sapientia. Section 2 of chapter 3 con­tinues her discussion of the young Milton's ecclesiology and fur­ther explores his interest in female personifications of Wisdom, arguing that the Lady of A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle embodies his evolving notion of the church and the regenerate soul as a wise but fallible virgin-errant.
Section 3 of chapter 3 turns from analyzing the virginal arche­type of Milton's Mask to explore the epic portrait of a marriage in his Paradise Lost, which goes about justifying ‘the ways of God to men’ not only by exploring the freedom that God grants all rational creatures and the obedience that can flow only from such freedom, but also by imagining – at the very center of prelapsarian life – a human relationship that is biblically tied to questions of freedom and obedience: marriage.
Moving from the Eden of Paradise Lost to the desert land­scape of Paradise Regained, section 4 of chapter 3 focuses on Milton's Jesus and on his status as the son of Mary, exploring how the Savior portrayed in Milton's brief epic puts into practice the sapientia creata God affords all men and women. In doing so, Jesus reveals that he is not only his Father's valiant son, but also his wise mother's dutiful child and attentive pupil. Chapter 3 in its entirety thus demonstrates that Milton returns again and again to the scriptural figure of divine Wisdom as his inspiration for female figures whose created human wisdom both mirrors and nurtures the divine Sapientia.
The coda that follows chapter 3 returns to a theme touched upon in each of the preceding three chapters: Marian poetics. Donne, Lanyer, and Milton all look to the Virgin Mother of the Redeemer as a model of sacred creativity; Mary's maternal work provides each writer with inspiration for his or her own poetic work. All three thus have in common a deep affection for and commitment to that most exalted human embodiment of the sacred feminine: Mary, full of grace.
Refiguring the Sacred Feminine is an important study not only casting new light on the poetry of Donne, Lanyer, and Milton and on the history of Christian doctrine and belief, but also making enormous contributions to our understanding of the feminine more broadly. It will be of interest to scholars who study the literature, religion, and culture of early modern England, to feminist theo­logians, and to readers grappling seriously with gender issues in Christian theology and spirituality.

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Social Sciences / African-American Studies
Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Liberation: Backgrounds and Contexts by John C. Shields (University of Tennessee Press)
Among the blacks is misery enough, God knows, but no poetry. ... Religion indeed has produced a Phyllis Whately [sic], but it could not produce a poet. The compositions published under her name are below the dignity of criticism. – Thomas Jefferson, 1785 Notes on the State of Virginia
Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Liberation is a scholarly study of one of America's most important and most controversial writers, and perhaps the least understood. Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) was the first African Ameri­can to publish a book on any subject in the United States, and America's second woman to do so. There is probably no other American writer who has produced such critical con­troversy as Wheatley.
In this new volume, John C. Shields – one of the foremost scholars of Wheatley – demonstrates that much of the negative response to her writings has been based on false assumptions and myths about her and her work. Much of this criticism began more than a century ago and has been passed on without dissent by generations of readers.
Shields begins Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Liberation with an analysis of more than two hundred Then he explores Wheatley's background and the cultural context in which she wrote.
Shields, Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the Center for Classicism in American Culture at Illinois State University, also provides new and subtle readings for a great many of her poems. He shows that Wheatley's writing was deeply imbedded in several literary traditions, demonstrating that her work is the result of an African inheritance, a complex relationship with a Congregationalist religious heritage, and an intense involvement with classical literature. Read closely, Wheatley's works show she deserves credit for creating a liberationist aesthetic – the full implications of which are still to be worked out.
Wheatley's life and career are now and always have been filled with controversy. That controversy has largely, but not entirely, been pro­mulgated by the remarks of a single man, Thomas Jefferson. This man was not just any man, but one of our nation's central founding fathers, one who many think was the most important. The weight of his observa­tions regarding Wheatley and other African Americans, extended in his famous 1785 Notes on the State of Virginia, were and have remained incalculably deleterious. While Shields leaves it to others to assess the enormity of his influence upon African Americans as a whole, he endeavors in Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Liberation to esti­mate his negative effect, along with that of other factors, on the life and work of Wheatley. He does so to attempt to allay this prejudice, and others, always with the objective of freeing this poet's texts from the shackles of opinion which obfuscate fair and balanced analy­sis of her extant work.
According to Shields, the utter contempt in which the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the soon-to-be third president of the United States held Wheatley's race, her Congregational faith, her authenticity, and subsequently the products of her pen, suggests major prejudices that continue to this day to prevent balanced, fair assessment of one of Early America's best poets.
Wheatley's Boston of the 1770s celebrated Pope, great zion of the Augustan achievement in literature; many writers such as Mather Byles, probably the best-known Colonial poet prior to 1770, strove to emulate Pope and his Age. Wheatley made her own unique contribution to these efforts. Contrary to the popularly held position that her poems embody little more than exercises in slavish imitation of Pope and British literary virtues, Wheatley's poetry demonstrates her unique capacity first to grasp with speed and agility the literary mode of American classicism but then to reshape this mode in such a way that it becomes the vehicle for expression of her libera­tion poetics.
Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Liberation facilitates a fair and balanced reading of Wheatley's life and work by providing a more thorough account than has heretofore been attempted of the backgrounds and contexts out of which her work evolved. It delineates the stages of her career, explicates her liberation poetics, investigates her African origins, explores her practice of the elegy (her most frequently recurring poetic subgenre), reclaims her religious consciousness, establishes her intellectual ambience, and describes her political world. Individual chapters are devoted to Wheatley's liberation poetics, to her African origins, to her religious consciousness and to her intellectual ambience, the tenets of her political world, of her elegiac praxis, and of the stages of her career.
Shields examines in two sepa­rate chapters what are perhaps the most consequential among these commentaries, wherein the first chapter treats the first 190 years and the second analyzes the last 30 or so years. Shields makes no effort to be comprehensive; rather he selects that commentary which has most centrally made a balanced reading of Wheatley possible.
A Wheatley scholar for many years, John Shields brings a rich interdisciplinary approach to Wheatley that demonstrates the wide range of knowledge that she brought into her work. Always inventive and innovative, Wheatley was also highly conscious of the social, political, philo­sophical, and psychological ideas circulating in her time and their consequences, which she explores in her writing. This is an exacting advance in Wheatley schol­arship and a most readable study. – Emory Elliott, University Professor, University of California System
This important, indeed groundbreaking, study is certain to become the standard in the field. With his incisive analysis, Shields sets a course for Wheatley scholars that will redefine the direction of future writing about her. Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Liberation is essential for all students and scholars of American literature, African American literature, women's literature, and multicultural literature.


Medicine / Nursing / Pharmacology
Mosby's 2009 Nursing Drug Cards (Cards) by Joseph A. Albanese & Patricia A. Nutz (Mosby Elsevier)
Clinicians can have the drug information they need, available at a glance in a pocket-size format with Mosby's 2009 Nursing Drug Cards. Fully updated with the most current drug facts, the cards feature complete pharmacologic details and nursing management priorities for over 860 generic and 1,320 brand-name drugs. They provide essential drug information in a concise format.
The 488 convenient 4 x 6 drug cards are made of sturdy card stock, and feature a consistent format for quick reference: generic name, pronunciation, category, pregnancy category, brand name, manufacturer, dosage forms, use, action, pharmacokinetics, contraindications, clinical considerations, dosage, side/adverse effects, interactions, and nursing management priorities. The cards are organized alphabetically by generic name for ease of retrieving information.
The nursing management priorities following a nursing process format: Assess, Diagnose, Plan/Implement (containing geriatric, pediatric, dietary management, and lab test evaluation information when appropriate), and Evaluate. They distinguish between common and life-threatening side effects for drugs, educating students as to potential reactions and their significance.
The cards in Mosby's 2009 Nursing Drug Cards feature safety alerts highlighting important considerations for reliable drug administration; nursing management priorities for each drug that guide clinicians, step-by-step and include the latest NANDA-1 nursing diagnoses; dosage calculation formulas to help clinicians administer accurate; and a Management of Ingested Drug Overdose section helps clinicians respond to overdoses quickly and confidently.
The set includes:
A vinyl sleeve to enable users to carry a handful of cards at a time for use in clinicals.
A comprehensive index with generic and trade names, drug classes, combination products and references to information found on the web site.
Safe drug administration features such as Tall man lettering for easily confused drug names.
Clinicians can also access new drug updates online, and use the accompanying CD-ROM to view and print monographs, printable drug information, and a drug card creator, plus Fundamentals of Drug Therapy, Drug Class Quickfacts, and a Drug Review Guide.
New to this edition is drug information on 14 new drugs and over 100 new drug facts.
Mosby's 2009 Nursing Drug Cards is a convenient and portable reference for clinicians. Concise and durable, the cards are also the perfect study companion. One great thing about the cards: they are updated annually to ensure each edition includes the latest information.


Mysteries & Thrillers
Off Track by Clare Curzon (Allison & Bushby Ltd.)
In Off Track, two strangers, a research microbiologist and a commuter-line driver, both once fired by ambition and now disillusioned, encounter each other at a major crossroads in their lives. In a vicious and mistaken attack, one becomes a hapless victim of the other's desperation. The book was written by psychological crime writer Clare Curzon, who has published over 40 novels since 1960, many of them police procedurals, exploring closely-knit communities.
First readers of Off Track find out about research biologist, Piers Egerton, has been working on a top-secret project for a number of years and has finally realized it is something he wants no part of. But the people he works for think he knows too much, and soon he realizes his life is in danger.
Then comes Lee Barber, a perfectly competent train driver, whose career is seemingly ruined through one simple error. Frustrated and desperate, the two strangers are thrown into each other's paths at a pivotal moment. Bound by the strange occurrence which has brought them together, Egerton and Barber must forge a tentative friendship if either of them is to get through the ordeal alive.
As Thames Valley Serious Crimes Squad, headed by Mike Yeadings, investigates the disappearance of one of the men, grim secrets of national importance emerge. Involvement spreads beyond the men's families to a mysterious immigrant couple with a tragic past. And suspicion falls on D.S. Zyczynski's journalist lover as he is drawn in to counter the threat to a young child's life.
Curzon is a prime puzzler, wickedly adept at red herrings and misdirections – Sunday Times
Curzon is spot on for police procedural fans – Publishing News
Smooth, professional and entirely engaging... will certainly appeal to lovers of quirky British mysteries – Booklist
A sophisticated puzzler to keep you up until the wee small hours – Northern Echo
Curzon brings a deft, professional touch to a highly satisfactory combination of plot, setting and characters – Washington Times
An elegant, smoothly written piece that always diverts... An adroitly constructed puzzler – Crime Time
Absorbing from first to last – Good Book Guide
Compelling investigative drama – South Wales Argus
This influential British novelist pens Off Track, another police procedural, this time tracing the interaction of two parallel but widely different lives.


Mysteries & Thrillers / Series
Vi Agra Falls: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery by Mary Daheim (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries Series: William Morrow)
Mystery lovers who enjoy madcap mayhem will have no reservations about returning to Hillside Manor in the twenty-fourth Bed-and-Breakfast book from bestselling author Mary Daheim, Vi Agra Falls.
Tucked away in a cozy cul-de-sac on Heraldsgate Hill, Judith McMonigle Flynn hopes for smooth sailing in her longtime role as an innkeeper. But Judith's skill in dealing with guests is matched only by her knack for coming across corpses.
Judith's worst nightmare comes true when Vivian Flynn – husband Joe's first wife – moves back into the neighborhood, bringing along her newest spouse, Billy ‘Blunder’ Buss, a former minor-league baseball player who is many years younger than his shopworn bride. Still, the B&B business is going well and the newlyweds don't seem to be causing problems for the Flynns. That seemingly calm summer idyll is broken when Vivian, who has become mysteriously wealthy, announces plans to tear down her own house and the recently vacated bungalow next door so she can build a big, bad condo. Judith, along with the rest of the neighbors in the cul-de-sac, is up in arms, vowing to fight the project to the death.
Vivian's past catches up with her when Frankie Buss comes to town. Billy and Frankie's late father, elderly Oklahoma rancher Potsy Buss, was married to Vivian for nine months before dying and bequeathing her his vast wealth. Frankie Buss intends to stir the pot of gold that Potsy left his widow, and he's trying to cut a deal with Vivian. Naturally, where else would Frankie and his wife, Marva Lou, stay but at Hillside Manor?
And naturally, in Vi Agra Falls somebody checks out . . . permanently. The ‘somebody’ isn't a Buss family member, and turns out to be a ‘nobody’ because the body can't be identified. To save the B&B as well as her sanity, Judith must figure out not only who did it, but who it was who was found dead in Vivian's backyard.
Daheim is also the bestselling author of the Alpine mystery series. A former newspaper reporter and public relations consultant, she has received Pacific Northwest Writers Association's 2000 Achievement Award. Daheim's accolades are countless, she has had ten titles on the USA Today bestseller list and three titles on The New York Times extended bestseller list.
Cozy buffs who've yet to encounter Daheim's popular … series will find this entertaining 24th installment an easy entry point…. Longtime fans will smile at cousin Renie's exasperation with the prevaricating Judith (‘These lengthy preludes to your adventures drive me nuts.’) Endearingly eccentric characters are a plus. – Publishers Weekly
Here we have a long-lasting bed-and-breakfast series – Just Desserts was published in 1991, and Judith and Renie have kept readers in stitches with their mystery-solving antics for the past 16 years. Vi Agra Falls brings cousins Judith and Renie back to the quaint neighborhood. I know it’s obvious, but as with the Jessica Fletcher Murder She Wrote Series, I have trouble suspending belief – why don’t people stay away from a place where score of bodies have been accumulating over the years?


Parenting & Families / Biographies & Memoirs
Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter by Sidney Poitier (HarperOne)
I want Ayele to know me in my own words, from stories not passed down but told from my lips, stories from my mind and imagination, from my philosophies and experiences – my life, as told to her, intended expressly for her and those of her generation. – Poitier
Following on the heels of the enormous success of The Measure of a Man – which spent 33 weeks on the bestseller list in both hardcover and paperback and 13 weeks at #1 – come more personal stories and inspirational advice.
Sidney Poitier is one of the most revered actors in the history of Hollywood. He has overcome enormous obstacles in extraordinary times and is a role model for many Americans because of his convictions, bravery, and grace. Poitier reflects on his amazing life in Life Beyond Measure, offering inspirational advice and personal stories in the form of extended letters to his great-granddaughter and namesake, Sydney Ayele LaBarrie. Writing for all who admire his example and who search for wisdom only a man of great experience can offer, this American icon shares his thoughts on love, faith, courage, and the future.
Poitier draws upon the perspective and wisdom gained from his memories as a poor boy in the Bahamas, his experience of racism coming to the United States, falling in love and raising a family, breaking the race barrier in theater and film during the Civil Rights Era, achieving stardom and success in Hollywood, and being a diplomat and humanitarian. He reflects on the deepest questions and the significant passages of his life, the virtues that helped him through tough times, and the sense of purpose and history that strengthened him. He emphasizes the importance of the role of faith in a technological age, as well as our responsibility to the earth and future generations. Throughout, Poitier shares stories about the people of courage he has met along the way and the meaning of life in the face of death.
Poitier was the first black actor to win the Academy Award for best actor for his outstanding performance in Lilies of the Field in 1963. His landmark films include The Defiant Ones, A Patch of Blue, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and To Sir, With Love. He has starred in over forty films, directed nine, and written four. He is the author of two autobiographies: This Life and the "Oprah's Book Club" pick and New York Times bestseller The Measure of a Man. Among many other accolades, Poitier has been awarded the Screen Actors Guild's highest honor, the Life Achievement Award, for an outstanding career and humanitarian accomplishment. He is married, has six daughters, four grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.
In his role as father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he shares personal stories for those important passages through life, as he explains: "You will have questions after I'm gone. I hope I might be able to provide some answers herein. I promise I will give you my best judgment on what I've seen in my eighty years, and what is now my understanding. I've lived a life beyond measure, and in this book I hope to share some of what that life has taught me."
It’s typical of Poitier’s modesty that what may be his last book is not another celebration of his triumphs but a collection of lessons learned by that wise old actor, passed on to generations who might never truly understand how he changed movies. – The Los Angeles Times
Wise life lessons for everyone’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. – Ebony
Some people aren’t satisfied to be dashing, principled, talented, influential, and legendary; they have to keep giving of themselves. In Life Beyond Measure, Poitier unaffectedly muses on life’s mysteries, as compelling as ever in his ninth decade. – O Magazine
Life Beyond Measure is the perfect book to inspire readers to live the fullest life with integrity, from one of our most respected celebrities and a national treasure.


Parenting & Families / Biographies & Memoirs
The Three of Us: A Family Story by Julia Blackburn (Pantheon)
In her memoir, The Three of Us, British writer Julia Blackburn, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, explores her childhood, the tangled and thorny relationships she had with her parents, and her final reconciliation and acceptance of them. This is the story of three people: Julia; her father, Thomas; and her mother, Rosalie. Julia spent her time between the two.
Thomas was a poet and an alcoholic who for many years was addicted to barbiturates, which would often make him violent. Despite his unpredictable, often terrifying behavior, Julia found solace in her father's company. It was her mother who proved the more damaging force in her life.
Rosalie, a painter, was sociable and flirtatious; she treated Julia as her sister, her confidante, and eventually as her deadly sexual rival. After Julia’s parents divorced, her mother took in lodgers, always men, on the understanding that each would become her lover. When one of the lodgers started an affair with Julia, Rosalie was devastated; when he later committed suicide, the relationship between mother and daughter was shattered irrevocably.
Or so it seems until the spring of 1999, when Rosalie, diagnosed with leukemia, came to live with Julia for the last month of her life. At last the spell was broken, and they were able to talk with an ease they had never known before. When she was very near the end, Rosalie said to Julia, “Now you will be able to write about me, won’t you?”
English writer Blackburn (Daisy Bates in the Desert) had two extraordinary parents, poet Thomas Blackburn and painter Rosalie de Meric. Her utterly doting father, who'd sit on the toilet seat and recite poetry with her when she bathed, eventually died of the alcohol and pill addictions that fueled his adult life. … Her father wasn't the problem – as bizarrely as he behaved, she'd never felt threatened by him. Instead, it's her mother's endless anger that's the vortex of this strangely compelling memoir. – Publishers Weekly
Despite the darkness of the rooms she re-enters, Blackburn's book isn't gloomy in the least . . . However unforgiving her detail, tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner is the message of this extraordinary book. – Blake Morrison, The Guardian
This memoir has warmth and love it's hard to imagine could have been possible. Readers be warned – this is no misery-lit memoir. There's something else going on entirely. [The Three of Us] is also a work of art in itself: a careful weaving in and out of personal memories and present pain to create something remarkable. – The Herald
Gripping . . . What sets Blackburn's memoir apart is her extraordinary ability to sit on the edges of her own drama, to notice the texture, cadence and scent of these lives and to capture the experience with a painterly precision . . . An unnerving book about manipulation and loss, and about the complicated burdens families inflict on one another down through the generations. As a literary memoir of a lost childhood, it is remarkable as much for its candour as its craftsmanship. – The Sunday Times
Blackburn details her first sixteen years . . . in such as ingenuous, matter-of-fact manner that she somehow manages to make terrible events seem almost funny . . . The resulting memoir is mesmerizing and brilliant. – Daily Mail
This is an astonishing memoir, brave and exquisitely written. The story is riveting, and its ending takes us as well as Blackburn by surprise as her mother's dying becomes the occasion for something that goes beyond reconciliation – a time of grace on both parts. Everything we think we know about families and sex and mother-daughter relations is called into question as Blackburn's unsparing eye is joined by her remarkably open heart. – Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice and Kyra: A Novel
The Three of Us is a memoir like no other. It is a mesmerizing story of a family that is dramatic and unsettling, and deeply moving in its generosity and wisdom. The writing is magical, and the story is extraordinary, not only for its honesty but also for its humor and its lack of blame. Blackburn writes with the lyricism and beauty present in all her books, and without the anger that surfaces in many other memoirs of difficult, damaged childhoods. Ultimately, this is a tale of redemption, a love story, and it could easily become one of the classics of the genre.


Philosophy / Religion & Spirituality
Principles of Philosophy by Rabbi Reuven Agushewitz, translated from the Yiddish by Mark Steiner (KTAV Publishing House, Inc.)
A remarkable book by a remarkable man, and remarkably well translated and introduced by Prof. Mark Steiner of Jerusalem, this tome's publication is an occasion for rejoicing. Prof. Steiner and Rabbi Aaron Feder, formerly a student of the author, have performed the mitzvah of pidyon shevuyim, redeeming the captives. They have snatched a precious sage from the bottomless pit of obscurity. – Norman Lamm, from the Preface
Principles of Philosophy is an attempt, by a self-taught genius, to persuade the Yiddish- speaking public that philoso­phy has not lost its central importance vis à vis both religion and science. Rabbi Reuven Agushewitz (1897-1950) does this, first, by identifying religion with philosophy – and he is the first Orthodox rabbi since Maimonides to do so. Next, he argues that philo­sophical principles, which are broader than those of science, are at the basis of all existence, and that the same prin­ciples that account for the organiza­tion of matter can account for the vari­eties of human organization (and disorganization). He argues, finally, that the study of philosophy itself can lead to the weakening of egotism and the strengthening of altruism. The book is translated from the Yiddish by Mark Steiner, Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Agushewitz's philosophical works – Principles of Philosophy is one of three – are all written in the Yiddish of the erudite Litvak with deep roots in the often arcane world of Talmudic scholarship. His style is richly id­iomatic, with all its charm and homey associations. Steiner's transla­tion captures much of the warmth and allusiveness of the Yiddish and then preserves the original by transliterating significant and essen­tially untranslatable terms and placing them in brackets.
According to Norman Lamm in the Preface, Rabbi Agushewitz was an extremely courageous man. Who else, in our times, would write something original about a controversy of two mil­lennia ago on the problem of free will? Maimonides would have been enor­mously proud of him; he was a quiet and unassuming man, yet a rigorous and bold thinker in both Torah and Wisdom. Rabbi Agushewitz was also a dreamer: his wish was to reach the layman and impress upon him the importance of philosophy in an age when such abstract thinking was regarded by so many as irrelevant. It is quite a feat for a man who was technically a layman – an autodidact, Rabbi Agushewitz had no academic training in philosophy – to be able to climb the heights and bring readers up with him. Yet, he managed to address that idealized ‘intelligent reader’ and arouse his interests in philosophy. He did his studying and research on his bench in the New York Public Library – not in any formal school, and far from the tumultuous environment of the laymen he hoped to edify.
According to Steiner, Agushewitz was born in Sislovitsh, Lithuania, which was also the home town of his friend, the illustrious Tal­mudist and Jewish leader, Rabbi Aharon Kotler. They both studied, as did Agushewitz's older brother, Chaim Shmuel, at the kheyder of Agushewitz's father, and went on to higher yeshivot. The revolutionary winds of socialism and Zionism were blowing, however, and the paths of the three diverged drastically.
R. Agushewitz was a socialist activist; so much so that he had to flee Poland after the independent Polish regime was founded after World War I. After he left Poland, his friend R. Moshe Avigdor Amiel (rabbi of Antwerp and later the chief rabbi of Tel-Aviv) arranged for him a position as yeshiva head in Antwerp, where he had a reputation as a tzaddik as well as a gaon [Talmudic genius]. There he stayed for five years.
His nephew, Dr. Haim Agus (the name is a shortening of Agushewitz), would write much later that R. Agushewitz had dreamed of studying phi­losophy at the Sorbonne, but could not afford university education. Instead, he immigrated to the United States, where Haim's father was already living. There he could sit in the New York Public Library on 42nd Street at no cost, and study philosophy to his heart's content. He became a U.S. citizen in 1929. Although repelled by the direction the Soviet Union took under a dictatorship, he remained an advocate of social justice all his life. American capitalist materialism also repelled him, but the existence of such institutions as the New York Public Library tipped the balance. Steiner in his introduction to Principles of Philosophy says he is not aware of anybody else who immigrated to the United States because of the Public Library.
Rabbi Agushewitz never married, never had a family. His needs mod­est, he managed to make a living by teaching Talmud to the sons of busi­nessmen.
R. Agushewitz soon began to write philosophical works in Yiddish. In total, he published three volumes. The first, which saw light in 1935, was a book on ancient Greek philosophy. The second, published in 1942, was Principles of Philosophy, of which the present work is a translation. The third, Faith and Heresy, was published in Yiddish in 1948. Rabbi Agushewitz's early death in 1950 cut short an illustrious career.
Though entirely self-taught, Agushewitz was able to criticize his own philosophy as though he were reviewing someone else's. This is quite clear in Faith and Heresy as well in as Principles of Philosophy, where the author subjects his own ideas, as well as those of others, to withering criticism, accompanied by a self-dep­recating humor. Perhaps his Talmudic genius and training had an impact in this regard.
Principles of Philosophy is written in the form of a dialogue, more pre­cisely the form of Plato's later dialogues, in which Socrates does most of the talking. Of course, Socrates' interlocutors never characterized his ar­guments as ‘a gants fayner pilpel’ (a fine piece of casuistry), and Socrates never says, as Agushewitz does, ‘I see you are bored.’
Thus, Agushewitz conceives the work as a philosophical exercise that can be understood by a wide audience. But Agushewitz not only wants to popularize philosophy, he wants to persuade the ‘layman’ of the importance of philosophy in an age of sci­ence. This excellent translation will restore Rabbi Reuven Agushewitz to the place he deserves in the history of Jewish letters and Jewish thought.


Professional & Technical / Architecture
Natural Building: Creating Communities through Cooperation edited by Timothy Rieth & Bob Ferris (Schiffer Publishing Ltd.)
Schools teach classes. Always have. Always will. We wanted to do something different. We wanted to find a way for our students to experience the most usable teaching unit we could imagine. We wanted to teach a house.
Teaching a house offers up many challenges. For one, Yestermorrow has always emphasized that the learning experience trumps project progress. Our clients know from the beginning that their particular architectural ele­ment may not be complete when all of the students have partaken of their graduation dinners and dispersed. But when you teach a house, founda­tions must be completed so that walls can stand, and plastering exercises will not work at all if walls remain unassembled. – from the Preface to the book
Edited by Timothy Rieth, founder of Seven Generations Natural Builders and an archaeologist; and Bob Ferris, executive director of Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Warren, Vermont, green architect and landscape designer, Natural Building is both a reference tool and a guidebook.
The book explores the basics in foundations, framing, wall systems, and roofs through the shared experiences of teachers, students, and seekers who came together one summer to build a folly. The value of natural building is told in four parallel stories. At its core is a primer on low-impact and accessible building techniques, materials, and approaches. Even more, it is a narrative of shared experience and camaraderie. Natural Building yields insights about the value of teaching in a mentoring, experiential, and enabling manner. It is also a glimpse into how natural building projects – when done with care and purpose – can re-stitch the fabric of community.
Rieth and Ferris say that they not only had to develop a new way to teach and also to create a staging process that insured that various educational elements were learned and nurtured, as well as completed on time. This heuristic evolu­tion played out with all of them – instructors, students, and staff – learning and growing from the process. They knew it was going to be hard, so to make it easier, they selected a project that was on the small side. They also picked a project – a folly – that welcomed the scale of architectural diversity and whimsy needed to give students the necessary spread of approaches and techniques. And they se­lected a building oeuvre – natural building – that has true relevancy in our troubled times and would also attract design/build aspirants willing to work hard, get dirty, and embrace flexibility and change.
As told in Natural Building, earth, stone, wood, and straw – some form of these elemental resources has been used to house humankind for millennia, and they remain fundamental building blocks for much of the current world popu­lation. It is only relatively recently (say, in the last 150 years) that de­veloped nations have moved to heavily processed materials for home, business, and industrial construction. In reality, the period of time in which plastics, metals, and synthetic fibers have gained prominence in the built environ­ment is but a blip in the continuum of our history. It is also during this brief time that most construction has shifted from owner-builders to specialized experts. The burgeoni­ng natural building movement addresses these changes with two general themes: the use of natural materials, and the empowerment of owner-builders.
Rieth and Ferris brought together eight core students who worked as a team all summer with a changing cast of expert instructors to create a small structure in two and half months' time. They taught a small group of folks how to build in a natural way, launched a new program with societal benefits, and created a series of settings that would serve as living laboratories for innovation and the development of well-designed natural buildings. The processes and material result of this adventure are documented, but they also documented what is harder to transmit: the creation of a social bond between all of the participants – students, teachers, the owner, residents of the town, and the land itself. This intangible result – the creation of a community, or tribe – is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of such an event and program.
Rieth and Ferris say they built Natural Building in the same se­quence as they built the house, start­ing with the planning and ending with the appreciation of what they had done. The chapters are:
Chapter 1 starts at the beginning with the design char­rette. The instructors and core students brainstormed, dis­cussed, and hashed out many of the details of the design.
Chapter 2 describes building the stone foundation.
Chapter 3 documents the construction and raising of the timber frame. This wooden frame bridged the foundation stones with the roof above and formed the functional skeleton of the entire building.
Chapter 4 provides a descrip­tion of the ‘fleshing out’ of the building as the cob, straw bale, light-clay, wattle, and adobe block walls enclosed the timber frame.
Chapter 5 takes readers to the heights of the folly as the roof is sheathed and turned into an elevated garden.
Chapters 6, 7, and 8 illus­trate the finishing touches on the wall surfaces with the applica­tion of clay and lime plasters and finishes.
Chapter 9 describes the fi­nal building stage of the build­ing, which takes readers back to the ground underfoot with the con­struction of an earthen floor.
Chapter 10 provides reflections on the building and the process that brought readers there.
Natural Building is not much about the mechanics of building, there are enough books on that subject already, but it is a brilliant book combining the wisdom of a great reference tool with the wonder of an inspiration guidebook, a guidebook to building community.


Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Reference
Christian Origins by Jonathan Knight (T & T Clark)
Jonathan Knight says that the great thing he learned from writing Christian Origins is the possibility of hope. According to Knight, one of the issues in being ordained fairly young is that, in the early years, one ministers to people without personally shar­ing the depth of experiences which one is called upon to address. As the years pass, one grows into the understanding which allegedly he has been trying to help others achieve. If Christianity means anything at all, it means there is always more to come and that the future is a hopeful one no matter what it may superficially seem to be.
Knight, Research Fellow of the Katie Wheeler Trust and Visiting Fellow in New Testament and Christian Ministry at York St John University, wrote a large part of Christian Origins when he was Priest-in-Charge of Holywell-cum-Needingworth in the Diocese of Ely. The real challenge of Christian Origins to Knight was to lay bare the social and religious perspective of Jesus and Paul, and to see how their vision of God's impending kingdom can be made to have meaning in a world so very different from theirs. He continues to believe that Christianity is a difficult process, as it were, by original design. He also continues to be fascinated by the never-ending tension between being and becoming and the vision of the kingdom which is now and yet also to be. The paradox of Christianity is that it looks back to foundational events to provide contemporary meaning on the understanding that ultimate hope always lies in the future.
Christian Origins explores the social and religious context in which Christianity first emerged and the nature of the earliest form of Christianity to which we can gain access. Its subject matter ranges widely within a fairly narrow period of history, but with an increasingly wide geographical outlook as Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean world in the mid- to late first century CE. Knight considers the nature of the Judaism from which Christianity first emerged and the different forms and expressions it acquired in the period of this expansion. That in turn raises social and theological questions as well as historical ones.
Christian Origins shows that, at least so far as the earliest Christian evidence is concerned, the divide between history and theology is an artificial one – New Testament documents are not innocent of theology. Knight considers how the historical element in New Testament study bears upon Christian theology with its systematic outlook. He asks about the nature of proof and about truth itself. It is not true to say that detailed study of the New Testament can somehow ‘prove’ the premises of Christian theology. The purpose of researching Christian origins is to create the most accurate understanding of what actually happened, and to expose the ideas which guided the Christian movement in its first expansion. This is quite different from an enquiry into the authenticity of Christian theology. Confidence in the New Testament records must not be allowed to provide a false sense of optimism that certain doctrinal convictions are thereby verified also. History sets theology in perspective. Researching Christian origins lays bare the earliest strata of the religion and allows readers to understand what took place at the very beginning of things.
Knight explains the approach that Christian Origins adopts. The terms ‘Judaism’ and ‘Christianity’ had an essential fluidity in the period under discussion. It is often assumed, both that ‘Christianity’ was a homogeneous and recognizable entity in the first century CE, and that ‘Judaism’ underwent a profound change of character in the years following the Roman destruction of Jerusalem (70 CE), but both assumptions bring dangers with them.
Christian Origins is divided into four Parts. Part I considers the nature of the ancient Judaism from which Christianity emerged. This leads in Part II to an examination of the Jesus movement. Although Knight says that Paul was not the only significant Christian in the first century CE, his stature demands a separate treatment. This is attempted in Part III. Part IV looks at the nature of Christianity after Paul, including the question of what happened when the earliest eschato­logical beliefs of the Christian movement began to be questioned in the light of the enduring world order.
Jonathan Knight's Christian Origins will expand the horizons of anyone who reads it. Knight focuses on the ‘big picture’ and provides wide-ranging coverage of the historical and cultural setting, key figures and documents, and key issues at hand. This clear, readable book will be a great stimulus to students of early Christianity – and their teachers too! A fine achievement! – Steve Walton, Senior Lecturer in Greek and New Testament Studies, London School of Theology
Jonathan Knight has written a fast-paced and comprehensive introduction to Christian origins. His work moves from the Old Testament through to the Gnostics, the Second Temple period, Jesus, Paul and the rest of the New Testament. While Knight certainly has his own opinions on topics he does a very good job of introducing the viewpoints of other scholars. Christian Origins could serve as a useful textbook for students, or provide an easy-to-read introduction for those interested in exploring this topic for the first time. – Stanley E. Porter, President, Dean and Professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario
In Christian Origins Jonathan Knight describes the emergence of Christianity from Judaism and seeks to do justice to the character of early Christian theology. In accessible terms, he selectively but critically engages with scholarship in the Old and New Testaments, Judaism, and the history of the Church. – Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion, Bard College, New York
This wide-ranging study of Christian origins offers a helpful introduction to the New Testament. Readers will find in this book the fruits of wide reading and a perspective on Christian origins which sets it in its wider religious context and seeks to tease out the particular characteristics which gave the religion its distinctive shape. – Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford
Christian Origins may well encour­age many to see Christianity as an exciting business, but also a com­plex and at times a rather difficult one. In this fascinating study, Knight examines the emergent religion in all its diversity, and does not seek to minimize the tensions that emerge when this is done. Written in accessible language, this comprehensive introduction with be of great service to students of early Christianity and go a long way toward explaining the origins of Christianity and its emergence from Judaism in its early days.


Science / Biological Sciences / Physiology
Our Marvelous Bodies: An Introduction to the Physiology of Human Health by Gary M. Merrill (Rutgers University Press)
Many years before the heart attack that eventually took the life of Terry Schiavo, I knew a family who faced a similar crisis in New Jersey. The mother in this family had gone to a local hospital for a cardiac procedure, lapsed into a coma, and was being sustained on life support. Her three children were adults and had families of their own. … I empathized as this group of distraught adults kept twenty-four-hour vigils wondering if their loved one would regain conscious­ness. They were receiving no guidance from attending physicians, did not know what questions to ask, and seemed completely ignored by the medical estab­lishment. It was a lamentable scene of helplessness and confusion.
In private I mentioned to the husband that as a physiologist I had the medical background required to read and interpret medical records. I explained what physiology is and told him I could read his wife's records and apprise him of the status of her kidneys, GI tract, liver, heart, and lungs. He thought about my offer for a couple days and discussed it with her children. As a group they accepted my invitation, and he was given access to the records that he handed over to me. It was clear that my friend had been in multiple-organ failure from the outset of her hospitalization. She was on a mechanical ventilator, had a balloon-pump device implanted in her aorta to assist cardiac output, was on hyperalimentation (nutritional support), and was showing no signs of response to her family or the med­ical staff. After discussing her records, the family asked what I would do if this was my wife, my mother, my daughter, or my sister. My response was, "I would make the same decision in each case. I would terminate life support now and would have done so earlier had I seen the records then." The family thought about my input for about twenty-four hours and made a united decision to terminate life support. I sensed immediately the relief they felt. – from the preface
Our Marvelous Bodies offers a unique perspective on the structure, function, and care of the major systems of the human body. Unlike other texts that use a strictly scientific approach, physiologist Gary F. Merrill relays medical facts alongside personal stories that help students relate to and apply the information.
Readers learn the basics of feedback control systems, homeostasis, and physiological gradients. These principles apply to an understanding of the body's functioning under optimal, healthy conditions, and they provide insight into states of acute and chronic illness. Separate chapters are devoted to each of the body's systems in detail: nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, reproductive, and immune. Through a series of real-life examples, Merrill, professor of cell biology and neuroscience in the Division of Life Sciences at Rutgers University, in Our Marvelous Bodies also shows the importance of maintaining careful medical records for health care professionals, scientists, and patients alike.
Sections include:
The Foundation
Understanding the Mammalian Nervous System
The Endocrine System and Physiological Communication
The Cardiovascular System and the Blood
Health and the Respiratory System
Kidneys and Renal Physiology
The Gastrointestinal System
The Reproductive System
The Immune System
Muscle Function
Integrated Physiological Responses
For the Record
The ‘For the Record’ section includes Blood Pressure and Your Health, Blood Lipids and Physical Activity, Blood Cells and Good Health, and Blood Sugar, Diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome.
Merrill's approach to science instruction is a unique one. I found it captivating. – Byron Cryer, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Dr. Gary Merrill's enthusiasm for physiology is aptly expressed in his book titled Our Marvelous Bodies. His clear explanations of how the human body works will be helpful to students in the health care professions. – John E. Hall. Ph.D., Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Using marvelous examples of everyday experience, Merrill effectively illustrates and explains many complex physiological processes. This blending of basic human biology with real-life stories greatly helps us to understand our own bodies – as patients, students, or as health care professionals. – Richard A. Nyhof, professor of biology, Calvin College
As a physiologist, Merrill wrote Our Marvelous Bodies to help, among others, students in advanced high school biology courses and in introductory college courses such as fundamentals of physiology as well as those in the allied health sciences, for example, respiratory therapists, x-ray technicians, occupational/physical/recre­ational health therapists, nurses-to-be, and physician's assistants. He also wrote for those who have recently entered professional fields of health and medicine and are beginning to care for patients. What he has to say about physiology as the basis of medicine and as a prerequisite to understanding one's health should help students and practitioners gain a clearer understanding of our bodies and how they work. Perhaps with encouragement and information such as that offered in Our Marvelous Bodies, students (and their patients) will take better care of their bodies, will require less health care intervention, and will live qualitatively more productive lives. Moreover, with this understanding readers should be better informed when difficult decisions have to be made.


Science / Psychology / Health, Mind & Body / Medicine / Neuroscience
The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness by Jeff Warren (Random House)
A world at once familiar and unimaginably strange exists all around us – and within us. It is the world of consciousness, a mental landscape that each of us knows intimately in bits and pieces yet understands scarcely at all. Tied to the body and the brain, consciousness is nonetheless beyond our ability to measure or quantify. Despite the attempts of scientists and mystics, poets and dreamers, crackpots and geniuses, to map its contours and explain its secret workings, the mind remains mysterious. And the more we learn about it, the more mysterious it becomes.
But that is not to say that we know nothing about consciousness. In fact, as gonzo science journalist Jeff Warren, freelance producer for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, demonstrates in The Head Trip, a synthesis of cutting-edge research and personal experience, just how much we do know is little short of astonishing. And when Warren fits the pieces together, the implications of that knowledge are, well, mind-blowing.
Warren begins The Head Trip with the insight that consciousness is not a simple on-off proposition, with rigid demarcations separating waking awareness from the murky depths of sleep, but rather a round-the-clock continuum regulated by natural biorhythms. He sets out to explore, the seemingly miraculous, all-but-untapped potential of the human mind.
From the full-immersion virtual realities of lucid dreaming to the esoteric disciplines of Eastern meditative practices that have reached outposts of consciousness far beyond the grasp of Western science, from techniques of hypnosis and neuro-feedback to such exotic states of awareness as the Watch and the Pure Conscious Event, Warren takes us on a journey through our own heads – a journey conducted with the adventurous spirit and intellectual curiosity of a Darwin coupled with the sensibility of a stand-up comedian.
Warren, a Canadian science journalist, combines the rigorous self-experimentation of Steven Johnson's Mind Wide Open with the wacky self-experimentation of A.J. Jacobs's The Know-It-All in this entertaining field guide to the varying levels of mental awareness. … This could come off as New Age psychobabble, but Warren is well versed in the scientific literature, and he provides detailed accounts of his own research… His self-mocking attitude toward his inability to achieve instant nirvana, along with a steady stream of cartoon illustrations, ensures that his ideas remain accessible. More important than the theories, though, may be the basic tools – and the visionary spirit – that Warren hands off to those interested in hacking their own minds. – Publishers Weekly  
… One of Warren's best chapters covers lucid dreaming, in which the sleeper knows he's dreaming (when the images get silly enough, a kind of emcee function in the dreaming self seems to kick in). … His investigation of lucid dreaming brings him a new understanding of how important the mind (as opposed to the more primitive brain-stem) is to the direction dreams take, and he finds himself agreeing with one theorist's explanation that the weirdness of dreams is "exactly what you would expect if you let the mind run free in a milieu without sensory input to restrain it."
Among Warren's practical suggestions is that ‘consolidated’ sleep – eight hours straight – may not be the best way for everybody to get his daily allotment of sawn wood. … Warren concludes his voyage to the end of the night by formulating what his research has been leading up to: "We can learn to direct our own states of consciousness" – ‘we’ being not just Buddhist monks and contemplative nuns, but people living workaday lives. … – Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Post’s Bookworld
Have you ever wondered what goes on between your ears – not so much when you're thinking, but during those periods like sleep, daydreaming, or the borderline between the two, the hypnogogic period, when we have dreamlike hallucinations while still awake? This book examines these little understood parts of consciousness, showing just how much of a ‘trip’ life really is.  – K.M., AudioFile
The Head Trip is an incredible journey, provocative, hilarious, fascinating. Part user’s manual and part travel guide, The Head Trip is an instant classic, a brilliant summation of consciousness studies that is also a practical guide to enhancing creativity, mental health, and the experience of what it means to be human. Many books claim that they will change readers. This one gives readers the tools to change themselves.


Social Sciences / Folklore & Mythology / Psychology & Counseling
The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 3rd Edition by Joseph Campbell (Bollingen Series XVII: New World Library)
The Joseph Campbell Foundation (JCF) and New World Library are proud to announce the publication of famed mythologist Joseph Campbell's seminal work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. As part of the JCF’s Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, this third edition features new and expanded illustrations, a comprehensive bibliography, and more accessible sidebars. Newly redesigned, it includes updated and expanded notes.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers over its 58-year history by combining the insights of modern psychology with Campbell’s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell outlines the Hero’s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world’s mythic traditions, evident in the stories of such heroes as Buddha, Moses, Jesus, and Jason of the Argonauts. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.
Originally published in 1949, the book hit the New York Times bestseller list in 1988, the year after his death, when the PBS television series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers brought Campbell's work to millions and to an international audience. Translated into over twenty-five languages, The Hero with a Thousand Faces sold millions of copies and continues to find new audiences among professors and students in fields ranging from the history of religion and anthropology to literature and film studies; among creative artists including authors, filmmakers, game designers, and song writers; and among all of those interested in the basic human impulse to tell stories.
Campbell (1904-1987) was an inspiring teacher, popular lecturer and author, and the editor and translator of many books on mythology, including The Mythic Image. He was born in New York City in 1904, and from early childhood he became interested in mythology. He was educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in medieval literature, and, after earning a master's degree, continued his studies at universities in Paris and Munich. Throughout his life, he traveled extensively and wrote prolifically, authoring many books.
Campbell's survey of mythology continues to speak to us with a timeless eloquence and spiritual urgency that quicken the soul. – Gabor Mate, The Globe & Mail
I have returned to no other book more often since leaving college than this one, and every time I discover new insight into the human journey. Every generation will find in The Hero with a Thousand Faces wisdom for the ages. – Bill Moyers
In the three decades since I discovered The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it has continued to fascinate and inspire me. Joseph Campbell peers through centuries and shows us that we are all connected by a basic need to hear stories and understand ourselves. As a book, it is wonderful to read; as illumination into the human condition, it is a revelation. – George Lucas
Campbell’s words carry extraordinary weight, not only among scholars but among a wide range of other people who find his search down mythological pathways relevant to their lives today....The book for which he is most famous, The Hero with a Thousand Faces [is] a brilliant examination, through ancient hero myths, of man’s eternal struggle for identity. – Time
Originally written by Campbell in the '40s – in his pre-Bill Moyers days – and famous as George Lucas' inspiration for ‘Star Wars,’ The Hero with a Thousand Faces will likewise inspire any writer or reader in its well considered assertion that while all stories have already been told, this is not a bad thing, since the retelling is still necessary. And while our own life's journey must always be ended alone, the travel is undertaken in the company not only of immediate loved ones and primal passion, but of the heroes and heroines – and myth-cycles – Amazon.com
As relevant today as when it was first published, this inspirational volume, possibly the most influential book of the twentieth century, through this reissue, will be available to a new generation of readers.


Social Sciences / Political Science / Health, Mind & Body
Life, Liberty, and Happiness: An Optimist Manifesto by Frank S. Robinson (Prometheus Books)
We all know the bleak litany: humankind is beastly; hatred, violence, and war are bred in the bone; man's inhumanity to man; ignorance, bigotry, oppression, exploitation, overpopulation; a sick society perverting nature, a materialistic capitalist economy controlled by evil corporations; the rich get richer while the poor get poorer; we are killing ourselves with pollution and wantonly destroying the planet.
Anne Frank was someone who directly experienced the darkest side of humanity’s inhumanity. Yet even while falling victim to one of history's worst horrors, she continued to insist, "in spite of everything, people are truly good at heart." Life, Liberty, and Happiness shares her positive vision.
Frank S. Robinson, retired administrative law judge from the New York Public Service Commission, has written this ‘optimist manifesto’ as an antidote to what he calls ‘poisonous pessimism.’ In Life, Liberty, and Happiness readers will find some radical and refreshing assertions: that most people are fundamentally good, that global society is getting better all the time, and that, in the big picture, humankind is not at the end of a brief, tragic existence but, rather, has just embarked on a long, bright future.
What started as an extended letter to his daughter, a father¹s effort to leave an intellectual legacy, grew to cover and tie together the big philosophical, political, social and economic issues. Robinson emphasizes reason as our best tool for discovering truth and making objective decisions. It is through a consistently rational approach to life that he argues for a positive humanistic vision, based on people being left free to pursue their dreams.
Life, Liberty, and Happiness became a wide-ranging yet focused work that covers issues both personal and public, providing a framework to connect the two. The unifying theme is freedom, the central concept for understanding life and happiness and for making a better world. He begins with the meaning of life, and of a good life. He considers morality, consciousness, thought, free will, and love. After covering the personal, he moves out to discuss what human society is all about.
Robinson dissects the social contract and the interplay between individuals and society. He critiques the role of government, explaining how and why it so often fails to meet our needs; at the same time, he offers a cogent analysis of how the free market not only better serves society but also comports with moral precepts. Robinson goes on to consider globalization and world poverty, showing why economic liberty and free trade are the keys to providing better lives for people everywhere. He also explains the error of those who fret that technology is running amok in some ruinous way and that humankind is on the road to planetary destruction.
Portions of Life, Liberty, and Happiness are idealistic. Robinson considers himself both an optimist and an idealist, though not a pie-in-the-sky dreamer. To the contrary, he believes equally in realism; that is, in confronting the world as it is. He says it is a mistake to assume that idealism cannot be consistent with realism. Looking at reality, he sees much that's bad, but even more that's good.
According to Robinson, one of these realities is human imperfection. Though perfection, of course, can never be attained, his idealism insists that we must strive toward it.
Writing in a highly readable style, independent of religious dogma, Robinson in Life, Liberty, and Happiness comprehensively tackles the big questions with the basic understanding that “if you keep before you the core idea, ‘live and let live,’ you will never go far wrong.” The focus is not upon facts but ideas. Robinson offers a coherent viewpoint on the big questions, a comprehensive optimist manifesto, not packed with bland bromides but thought-provoking ideas.


Travel / Americas
Santa Fe, History of an Ancient City: Revised and Expanded Edition edited by David Grant Noble (School for Advanced Research Press)
In 2010, Santa Fe officially turns 400 – four centuries of a rich and contentious history of Indian, Spanish, and American interactions. Pueblo Indians settled along the banks of the Río Santa Fe as long ago as the sixth century CE. By 1610, Spanish colonists had established the town as a distant outpost in Spain's expanding empire. Drawing on recent archaeological discoveries and historical research, this updated edition of Santa Fe, History of an Ancient City, edited by acclaimed photographer David Grant Noble, details the town's founding, its survival through revolt and reconquest, its turbulent politics, its lively trade with Mexico and the United States, and the lives of its most important citizens, from the governors Peralta, Vargas, and Armijo to the madam doña Tules. The origins and transformations of the very building blocks of Santa Fe, from the iconic Palace of the Governors and the city's acequia irrigation system, are revealed in these pages.  
According to Noble, long ago, instead of paved streets, restaurants, shops, schools, hotels, and private homes, the place we call Santa Fe was marked by fresh-flowing springs, wetlands, lush meadows, abundant deer and waterfowl, and a flowing river teeming with trout. This rich natural environment at the foothills of the San­gre de Cristo Mountains was a magnet for Native Americans for thousands of years – since time immemorial, as they say. Then, four centuries ago, Spaniards with their Mexican Indian allies were drawn to Santa Fe from the south, eventually to be followed by Anglo-Americans from the east. Early Santa Feans, whether of indigenous or European descent, built homes, raised families, hunted and fished, tilled their fields, engaged in warfare, trade, and business, and car­ried on a multitude of daily domestic activities.
When Noble and his wife moved to Santa Fe in November of 1971, they discovered that an accessible, authoritative, ‘popular’ his­tory of Santa Fe did not exist. The idea came to Noble to do one – and not to write it himself, but rather to persuade leading scholars to contribute chapters that together would form a comprehensive view of the city's early centuries. The result was Santa Fe, History of an Ancient City, originally published in 1989.
Now, with Santa Fe about to cele­brate its 400th anniversary, the time seemed propitious to revitalize that volume and incorporate some of the new research and knowledge gained in recent years. For example, since 1989, archaeologists have carried out scores of research projects in and around Santa Fe. They include a major excavation behind the Palace of the Governors; sev­eral more within the still undetermined boundaries of a prehistoric pueblo located south and east of the main post office; historic artifacts and foundations found behind the old Lensic Theater and near the railway station; and the remains of Archaic camps at the city's periphery. Some sites date to thousands of years ago, others to the Spanish colonial and Mexican periods, and still others to times within living memory.
The history of any place, but espe­cially a venerable city like Santa Fe, needs to be studied and carefully thought about, for, as the saying goes, the past is pro­logue to the future. Noble says he has been amazed, for example, how often present-day controversies and sensitivities have their genesis in times or events long gone but not forgotten. What is more, like any community experiencing rapid growth and change, Santa Feans currently have pressing social, economic, and environ­mental issues to contend with.
Santa Fe has several institu­tional repositories that contain a wealth of materials relating to the city's history: books and manuscripts, photographs, films, spoken-word recordings, and art and artifacts. Together, these collections constitute an extraor­dinary resource and these have been mined for the revised edition of Santa Fe, History of an Ancient City.
For tourist and scholar, this history of Santa Fe is a delight. – Terrae Incognitae
This is a must for aficionados of Southwestern history and anyone who wants to know what makes Santa Fe different. – The Santa Fe New Mexican
Santa Fe, History of an Ancient City is a classic history that forms a good starting point for deepening our understanding and pursuing further research. Readers, whether residents, city planners or policy makers, visitors, tourists, or students, will find the pages interesting; each scholar-writer has a remarkable story to tell, and the photography is plentiful and historic.


Travel / Guidebooks
Argentina, 6th Edition by Danny Palmerlee, Sandra Bao, Gregor Clark, Sarah Gilbert, Carolyn McCarthy, Andy Symington, and Lucas Vidgen (Country Guide Series: Lonely Planet)
Better and cheaper than ever, Argentina beckons!
Argentina, 6th Edition urges travelers to tackle the tango in a Buenos Aires milonga, bite into the world’s most heavenly beef, and gallop with gauchos across the Pampas.
Travelers can navigate Argentina with the 90+ detailed maps provided. Argentina provides insight into the country’s culture and history, from tango etiquette to the story of Evita and the recent peso crash. It explains side trips to Uruguay and Chile, plus essentials for crossing into Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia. It highlights top dining spots and bargain bites, gives the scoop on local libations (from mate tea to Mendoza wine) and hundreds of top-notch lodging options. The Spanish language chapter and food glossary help travelers chat with the locals and order the heavenly ice cream instead of the liver.
According to Argentina, Lonely Planet authors in general see their job as inspiring and enabling travelers to connect with the world for their own benefit and for the benefit of the world at large.  They offer travelers the world's richest travel advice, informed by the collective wisdom of over 350 Lonely Planet authors living in 37 countries and fluent in 70 languages. They are relentless in finding the special, the unique and the different for travelers wherever they are. When they update their guidebooks, they check every listing, in person, every time.  They offer a trusted filter for those who are curious, open minded and independent. They tell it like it is without fear or favor in service of the travelers; not clouded by any other motive.
Argentina, with its seven authors, headed by coordinating author Danny Palmerlee, rounds up the best of Argentina – the wine, the fishing, the art, the mountaineering, the skiing, the literature, the beef, the architecture, the clubbing – travelers have the building blocks for one of the most exciting journeys they will ever take. While so many things in Argentina are exciting, some things are better defined as 'mind blowing.' The book has cobbled together a collection of the latter.
Buenos Aires. The Argentine capital is one of the world's most exhilarating cities, with astounding art, fascinating neighborhoods, fabulous food and a passionate population blazingly devoted to having fun all night long.
Cordoba. Argentina's second city boasts the country's finest colonial center, with a gorgeous central plaza and exquisite Jesuit ar­chitecture. And the people? They're some of the friendliest travelers will find anywhere.
Mendoza. Grab a corkscrew and venture to the heart of wine country. Basking in the sun beneath the Andes' highest peaks, Mendoza is a stunning city of shade trees and vino.
Natural Wonders. With its head in the tropics and its toes in Antarctica, it's hardly surprising Argentina kicks out such a barrage of natural wonders. Few places in the world offer so many opportunities for jaw-dropping, speech-stopping encounters with planet earth. Although the journeys are long, access is usually easy. The rewards? Unforgettable.
Iguazu Falls. There are waterfalls and there are waterfalls. And then there is Iguazu. Nothing can prepare travelers for the sight and sound of so much water falling so hard from so many jungle-clad cliffs.
Tierra del Fuego. Maybe it's the austral light, or just knowing that the next step south is Antarctica. Whatever it is, this trove of mystical islands, cut off from the northern world by the Strait of Magellan, is indescribably magical.
Reserva Faunistica Peninsula Valdes. Never mind the Galapagos, this coastal Patagonian reserve is a wildlife lover's dream, with sea lions, elephant seals, gua­nacos, rheas, Magellanic penguins, seabirds and – most famously – endangered southern right whales.
Quebrada de Humahuaca. Etched into the Andes near the Bolivian bor­der, this spectacular valley is home to traditional villages, epic views, unique food, and plenty of proof that erosion can be na­ture's greatest artist. No wonder it made Unesco's World Heritage list.
Vanes Calchaquies. From Parque National Los Cardones, where lawn-colored guanacos dart among giant cacti, to the traditional adobe villages of Cachi and Molinos, this vast network of volleys cradles some of Argentina's most scenic treasures.
Glaciar Perito Moreno. What Iguazu Falls is to water, the Perito Moreno Glacier is to ice. This advanc­ing Patagonian glacier calves with such force into the steel-blue waters of Lago Argentino travelers will forever remember the sounds with glazed-over eyes.
Valle de Calingasa. Travelers might look a little funny pulling off the road, getting out of the rental car, throwing their arms into the sky and spinning around in deranged, oblivious bliss – but they prob­ably wouldn't be the first. This stretch of the Andes is that beautiful.
Reserva Provincial Esteros del Ibera. Vast wetlands, shimmering lagoons, fiery red sunsets, gauchos, capybaras, caimans, birds – this enormous provincial reserve is the stuff of dreams, where you can experience traditional Argentine life and some of the continent's most visible wildlife all in one go.
Classic Argentina. Dulche de leche (that delicious milk caramel Argen­tines spread on just about everything). Tango. Soccer. Estancias. Gauchos. Bariloche. The Jesuit Missions.
The Taste of Argentina. Barbequing and beef. The pasta. The coffee. Ice Cream. Mate.
Best of all, travelers can eat big while spending surprisingly little.
And Wine. From the malbecs and cabernets of Mendoza to the crisp torrontes of Cafayate to the suc­culent syrahs of San Juan.
Grab the top-selling, tried-and-true guide and prepare for a thrill ride across enchanting cities, lush jungles and windswept plains, over Patagonian glaciers ... to the tip of the world. With more maps than any other guidebook and more double checking, Argentina is the one to take.

 

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