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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

December 2009, Issue #128

Contents:

From My Side: Being a Child by Sylvia C. Chard & Yvonne Kogan (KPress/Gryphon House)

The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games: How the Most Valuable Content Will be Created in the Age Beyond Gutenberg to Google by Clark Aldrich (Pfeiffer)

Drucker on Leadership: New Lessons from the Father of Modern Management (Hardcover) edited by William A. Cohen, with a foreword by Frances Hesselbein (Jossey-Bass)

Cupcake Decorating Studio by Jenna Land Free and Leslie Miller, edited by Nancy Waddell (Art Lab Series: Smart Lab)

From Integration to Inclusion: A History of Special Education in the 20th Century by Margret A. Winzer (Gallaudet University Press)

55 Tactics for Implementing RTI in Inclusive Settings edited by Pam Campbell, Jianjun Wang, Bob Algozzine (Corwin Press)

Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin with Tony Hendra (Free Press)

Acceptance & Mindfulness Treatments for Children & Adolescents: A Practitioner's Guide edited by Laurie A. Greco & Steven C. Hayes (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Series: Context Press/New Harbinger Publications)

Life as It Is: Or Matters and Things in General by J. W. M. Breazeale, with an introduction by Jonathan M. Atkins (The University of Tennessee Press)

Virginia: Mapping the Old Dominion State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress by Vincent Virga & Emilee Hines (Mapping .... Through History Series: Globe Pequot Press)

The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika edited by Robert B. Strassler, translated by John Marincola, with an introduction by David Thomas (Landmark Series: Pantheon Books)

Gladiator: Rome's Bloody Spectacle by Konstantin Nossov (General Military Series: Osprey Publishing)

Quilter's Favorites – Traditional Pieced & Appliquéd: A Collection of 21 Timeless Projects for All Skill Levels by the editors of C & T Publishing (Quilter’s Favorites Series, Volume 1: C&T Publishing)

The Sunbonnet: An American Icon in Texas by Rebecca Jumper Matheson (Costume Society of America Series: Texas Tech University Press)

A Questionable Life: A Novel by Luke Lively (Beaufort Books)

Wyatt's Revenge: A Matt Royal Mystery by H. Terrell Griffin (Oceanview Publishing)

The Hidden Dance by Susan Wooldridge (Allison & Busby)

The Tao of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation by Mark Hathaway & Leonardo Boff, with a foreword by Fritjof Capra (Orbis Books)

How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: 10 Ideas That Matter Most by Marietta McCarty (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin)

Our Dark Side: A History of Perversion by Élisabeth Roudinesco, translated by David Macey (Polity)

Shaping the American Landscape: New Profiles from the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project edited by Charles A. Birnbaum & Stephanie S. Foell (University of Virginia Press)

Realism in Religion: A Pragmatist's Perspective by Robert Cummings Neville (State University of New York Press)

Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 3: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century by Alan G. Padgett, Steve Wilkens (Christianity & Western Thought Series, Volume 3: IVP Academic)

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives, Classic Edition by Dan Millman (H.J. Kramer/ New World Library)

Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World: The Life and Work of the Last Man to Search for Universal Knowledge by Joscelyn Godwin (Inner Traditions)

Sport and Character: Reclaiming the Principles of Sportsmanship by Craig Clifford & Randolph M. Feezell (Human Kinetics)

My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur by Romney Steele (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

New York's Unique and Unexpected Places by Judith Stonehill & Alexandra Stonehill, with a foreword by Ethan Hawke (Universe) 


Arts & Photography / Education / Parenting & Families

From My Side: Being a Child by Sylvia C. Chard & Yvonne Kogan (KPress/Gryphon House)

Often when we watch children at play, our hearts grow too big for our bodies. Children are the sparkplug in the engine of life, the motivation behind our best deeds, and the evidence for hope in the future. – from the book

From My Side invites readers to consider the viewpoints of children.

Children are never still. They are always acting and reacting, thinking and speaking, anticipating and reflecting. The photographs in From My Side illustrate and explore the experience of children, who learn to make sense of their world by interacting with people, places, and objects they encounter in their homes, in public places, in schools, and in childcare centers. We hear the laughter of children dressed for a festival dance, the coos and gurgles of infants in their mothers' arms, and squeals of delight as children skip rocks in a stream.

Authors are Sylvia C. Chard, professor emeritus of Early Childhood Education at the University of Alberta; and Yvonne Kogan, who has twenty-nine years of experience working as a teacher and administrator, co-owner and principal of the Early Childhood and Lower Elementary departments of Eton School in Mexico City. Chard and Kogan include captions and brief essays to expand on their photographs, but often the pictures speak for themselves.

Readers tag along behind or beside children as they go about the business of bringing beauty and happiness into this fast-spinning, rough world, and get a glimpse at the blueprint for everything good and lasting. In this careful look at children being children – in all the complicated simplicity of those brief years in life's long journey – Chard and Kogan take readers back into their own childhoods and enable readers to recognize, even to name, the childlike qualities we as human beings need to preserve as we grow up.

In From My Side the authors share pictures of children from several countries engaging in various kinds of thinking and physical activity as they make sense of their world and discover what it means to be human. The pictures are the core content of the book. They explain the grouping and ordering of the photographs in the pages of text that introduce each section. These pages offer insights into the way young children engage with their surroundings and to show how one set of pictures leads to the next.

The photographs focus on the ways children interact with people, places and objects in their world. The section headings refer to processes in the cycles of experience and thought. At the beginning of each section, they describe the kinds of thinking the children were engaging in at the time the photographs were taken.

As readers look at the pictures, the authors invite them to read the details, the children's movements, the ways they are using objects or talking with one another and especially to focus on the expressions on the children's faces.

There is holy writ in these pages, a praise song of creation. Seeing childhood in a variety of times and places, as presented in this book, we become children again.

And it is only when we adults allow ourselves to recognize the needs of children, to celebrate the child like virtues that give life its sweetness, can we ourselves be fully human. – Ina Hughs, newspaper columnist and author of A Prayer for Children, Storylines, and A Sense of Human, from the foreword

The heartwarming photographs in From My Side beautifully illustrate the lives of children from around the world. This book, filled with hundreds of beautiful, color photographs from many different countries, invites readers to look through a window into the lives of children everywhere. The compelling story of childhood, told here from the child's point of view, will enrich and inspire readers’ work for and with children.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Training / Reference

The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games: How the Most Valuable Content Will be Created in the Age Beyond Gutenberg to Google by Clark Aldrich (Pfeiffer)

Clark Aldrich makes his call to action clear. The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games is "nothing less than a manifesto intended to overthrow the intellectual legacy of civilization to date." Aldrich is signaling the end of the age of Gutenberg, a time of great learning, no doubt, but of linear learn­ing – learning ‘how to know’ rather than ‘how to do’ or ‘how to be’ in a complex, interactive world.

… So why listen to Clark Aldrich? Because he is the Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan of the serious gaming and simulation world, all rolled into one. – Jeff Sandefer of Sandefer Capital Partners, from the foreword

The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games offers an encyclopedic overview and complete lexicon for those who care about the next generation of educational media. The book includes new tools and terms and a style guide to help understand them. Clark Aldrich covers topics such as virtual experiences, games, simulations, educational simulations, social impact games, practiceware, game-based learning/digital game based learning, immersive learning, and serious games. The book presents definitions of more than 600 simulation and game terms, concepts, and constructs.

Organized as a style guide, The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games divides the entries into key topics with introductory essays highlighting essential concepts. Aldrich, acclaimed educational simulation game designer, creates a unified view of capturing skills and knowledge and then shows how to develop them in others, through different uses of computer interfaces, level design, bosses, dynamic systems, game elements, displays, units on maps, skill cones, feedback, assessment strategies, even balanced scorecards and artificial intelligence, just to name a few.

The book balances tactical (what needs to go into a first level of a sim; what are questions to ask subject matter experts, how should programs be evaluated; when and how should coaches be used) to strategic (what is the difference between learning to know, learning to do, and learning to be; what does situational awareness look like when developing leadership or stewardship).
Beginning with pure simulation content models – how to record and model knowledge beyond the linear, The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games goes on to discuss how to build interactive envi­ronments to turn that pure simulation model into experiences to be engaged. It is an opportunity for game designers, a challenge and framework for corpo­rate, academic, and military educational designers, and a glimpse into the all­-too-possible future for traditional media publishers, analysts, and researchers. The Appendix discusses several successful simulation projects, including metrics.

…He's one of the few people who not only see the big picture of how simulations and gaming will transform education and can walk you step-by-step through what does and does not work in simulation design, but he also can create leading-edge games and write first-rate code.

…He explains why the ‘big skills’ – those that really count, like leadership, negotiation, and stewardship – and the ‘middle skills’ like directing people, probing, and procure­ment cannot be learned from a book or lecture, but only through simulations, or through the much more difficult school of hard knocks in real life.

… Yes, I've seen firsthand how much more powerful – and engaging – serious games and simulations can be than books and lectures. By the end of this book, I'm confident you'll not only have a glimpse of the future too, but even better, a blueprint for how you can get started creating that future. – Jeff Sandefer of Sandefer Capital Partners, from the foreword

Ready to blow your mind? Spend 15 seconds reading Clark Aldrich's The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games. Witty, fast-paced, and non-linear – it's Spock meets Alton Brown. – Lynne Kenney, Psy.D., The Family Coach

Clark Aldrich provides his clear vision of how 'learning to do' will liberate us from our industrial education legacy that has for too long been shaped by outdated, linear, passive instruction. I recommend this book without reservation for anyone interested in the future of learning. – Don Williams, manager, global learning research, Microsoft Corporation

This exhaustive guide to computer gaming and simulation points the way to a new, more powerful way of learning by doing. It is a must-read – a must-read and study – for those involved in education and journalism. – Bill Kovach, former Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, and former editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Aldrich has done it again. He provides an intuitive framework for those interested in (and perhaps overwhelmed by) simulations, games, and virtual worlds. Before you're halfway done with this book you'll be looking with a new perspective and set of competencies for creating interactive experiences. – Denis Saulnier, educational technology director, Harvard Business Publishing

The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games sets the standard as the encyclopedia for serious games and simulations. In this comprehensive volume, Aldrich uses hundreds of examples for this new medium. If you want to stay at the forefront of education, this book is a must-have! – Jerry Bush, program manager, Learning@ Cisco

In the spirit of Webster, Strunk and White, and Tufte, filled with helpful guidance and illustrative case studies, The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games is the definitive ‘go-to’ bookshelf reference. This is the essential reference for not only those directly involved in simulations and serious games, but also for researchers and writers, computer game designers, policy makers, and entrepreneurs. This exciting and groundbreaking work offers designers a new way to see the world, model it, and present it.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Drucker on Leadership:: New Lessons from the Father of Modern Management (Hardcover) edited by William A. Cohen, with a foreword by Frances Hesselbein (Jossey-Bass)

Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations. – Peter Drucker/p>

As we approach what would have been his 100th birthday, the late Peter Drucker's management principles continue to be studied and applied by managers all over the world. Though many seek his lessons on the central element of management – leadership – he in fact wrote relatively little under this actual subject heading.

Now, for the first time, William A. Cohen, a former student of Drucker's and a leadership expert and author in his own right, in Drucker on Leadership brings together Drucker's reflections on leadership, culled from his 40 books and hundreds of articles. Cohen, President of the Institute of Leader Arts, has taught in the graduate schools of California State University Los Angeles, University of Southern California and Claremont Graduate University as well as three years with Touro University International, a fully accredited online university. Cohen, distinguished graduate in residence of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, is also a retired major general from the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

If Drucker (1909-2005), the ‘Father of Modern Management’, were still alive today, what would he have to say about our financial crisis? Given that he cautioned the dangers of executive compensation, predicted the bankruptcy of GM and warned about the global threats to US dominance, perhaps it would have been wise to listen to him and avoided the problems plaguing us today.

In Drucker on Leadership, Cohen explores Drucker's lost leadership lessons – why they are missing, what they are, why they are important, and how to apply them. As Cohen explains, Drucker was ambivalent about leadership for much of his career, making it clear that leadership was not by itself ‘good or desirable.’ While Drucker struggled with the concept of leadership, he was well aware that it had a criti­cal impact on the accomplishment of all projects and human endeavors. Drucker's teachings about leadership have saved many corporations from failure and helped guide others to outstanding success. For instance, Jack Welch, arguably the most acclaimed executive in the last decade credits, Drucker for influencing his own accomplishments.

Many of the leadership concepts revealed in Drucker on Leadership will surprise and perhaps shock Drucker's followers. For example, who would have thought that Drucker taught that ‘leadership is a marketing job’ or that "the best leadership les­sons for business or any nonprofit organization come from the military"?

Bill Cohen's Drucker on Leadership is the best collection of Peter’s unique insights, deep wisdom, and practical advice I have ever read. Cohen channels Drucker as only a three-decades-long colleague and student can. You will find the lessons highly accessible, immensely enjoyable, and wonderfully fresh. – Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge

Cohen's unique relationship with Peter Drucker, as student and friend, allows him to extract valuable leadership lessons from Drucker's writings and teachings on management. Cohen's `labor of love' provides the essential lessons for leaders straight from the Father of Modern Management. – Ronald E. Riggio, director, Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont, McKenna College

Cohen has written with clarity and authority about the major challenges leaders today. And Cohen, like Drucker, emphasizes responsibility and integrity in leadership, qualities so desperately needed today. I strong recommend this book to you. – Joseph A. Maciariello, Horton Professor of Management, Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management

For those who aspire to lead – and we need a new generation of Drucker-like leaders in organizations in every country around the world – Bill Cohen distills the essential leadership lessons from the world's greatest management thinker. – Ira A. Jackson, dean and professor of management, Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University
Through a blend of anecdote and analysis, Bill Cohen has given us great insight into Peter Drucker's thinking on leadership – an aspect many have misconstrued or overlooked altogether. This is a new prism through which to view Drucker and, as such, a valuable contribution to the field. – Rick Wartzman, executive director, The Drucker Institute

A fresh look at vital lessons from the ‘Father of Modern Management’ – Drucker on Leadership explores Drucker's teachings on leadership. Explaining why there is so little known about Drucker's ideas on leadership, the book is a must-read for students and fans alike looking to lead better in today's world. Written for anyone who values the insights of the man whose name is synonymous with excel­lence in management, the book offers a deeper understanding of what makes an extraordinary leader. The book is ideal for executives, managers and entrepreneurs at all business levels.

Children’s / Sports & Activities / Arts & Photography

Cupcake Decorating Studio by Jenna Land Free and Leslie Miller, edited by Nancy Waddell (Art Lab Series: Smart Lab)

Cupcake Decorating Studio/span> is an art kit with a book about making art out of cake.

Young readers use the book to show them how to frost, decorate and showcase their cupcake masterpieces. They learn how to use real bakers' tools to make decorating easy.

According to the book, making amazing cupcakes means being part baker, part sculptor, and part painter. But instead of hanging masterpieces on the fridge, this is art kids and their friends can eat. Readers can make their cupcakes from scratch following the recipes included or use a store-bought cake mix; any yellow, white, or chocolate cake batter will work. For each project in this kit, they will need to make 1-2 dozen regular-sized or miniature cupcakes. Both the recipes in the book and cake mixes make about 2 dozen cupcakes.

If readers have ever rolled out Play-Doh snakes or used glitter and glue, they already have some of the skills they need. They can add candies, sprinkles, and gummy worms to make cupcakes look like chocolates, snow, even animals.

The kit includes a froster, 3 frosting tips, a spreader, a stencil holder, 4 stencils, 3 mini cutters, tweezers, a cake comb, and a rolling pin, all in miniature, designed for little hands. Cupcake Decorating Studio explains how to use each of these.

Contents of the book include: Artcakes, The Icing on the Cake, Sugar Cubed, Decorate Like a Pro, Cupcake Cones, Eat Dirt!, Sweet Tooth, Ride the Wave!, Snow Kiddin', Dragon Tails, and Hungry For More?

Tidbits of information include:

  • In England, cupcakes are often called ‘fairy cakes’ because their small size makes them fit for a fairy. People started calling them cupcakes because of their teacup size.
  • Rumor has it that the ice cream core was created at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. When the ice cream seller ran out of bowls, he turned to the waffle seller next door. Rolled-up waffles became the first ice cream cones!

Some of the tips along the way to help young chefs:

  • Baking soda and baking powder are called leavening agents. When they make contact with the wet ingredients (milk, eggs, butter), bubbles form within the dough. This is what makes cupcakes light and fluffy.
  • If they want to make pure white frosting, they should use shortening instead of butter or margarine and not use vanilla.
  • They can practice using the froster on a sheet of waxed paper or a plate until they get the hang of it. When they are done, they can scoop the frosting back into the tube and use it on the cupcakes.
  • To ‘ice’ cupcakes doesn’t mean to put them in the freezer. Both ‘frost’ and ‘ice’ mean the same thing – spread some frosting on a cupcake.

In Cupcake Decorating Studio, authors Jenna Land Free and Leslie Miller whip up a gallery of imaginative cupcakes sprinkled with classic decorating tips, including fondant made easy. This colorful food/art kit looks like a ton of fun.

Education / Special Education / Policy

From Integration to Inclusion:: A History of Special Education in the 20th Century by Margret A. Winzer (Gallaudet/st1:PlaceName> University Press)

Since Margret A. Winzer wrote her landmark work The History of Special Education, much has transpired in this field. Winzer’s new study From Integration to Inclusion focuses chiefly on the significant events of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries in the United States and Canada. Its key dynamics consist of a retrospective overview of the paradigms that emerged from and shaped special education; a critical assessment of past progress and reform, including failures and disappointments; and an analysis of the theoretical diversity within the discipline.

In this stand-alone volume, Winzer, Professor, Faculty of Education, at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, juxtaposes the historical study of disability and of special schooling and service provision with reference to broader social systems, protocols, and practices. She documents how prevailing emotional and intellectual climates influence disability and schooling, and also takes into account the social, political, and ideological factors that affect educational theory and practice. Winzer recognizes that reform has been the Zeitgeist of the history of special education. Crucial problems such as defining exceptional conditions and separating them from one another were formulated in contexts organized along moral, theological, legislative, medical, and social dimensions. Many reforms failed for various reasons, which Winzer explains in her study.

From Integration to Inclusion is designed as a comprehensive history of the field focuses on events in the 20th century. The text offers a description, analy­sis, and audit of the history, highlighting the major paradigms that have both emerged from and shaped special education; by describing the reform movements that have periodically shaken the whole of education, the field of special educa­tion, or have applied to discrete groups of exceptionality; and by examining the issues and debates that have arisen within the field of special education in the twentieth century.

In another sense, From Integration to Inclusion is also prospective; it anchors present experiences to the past and details the forces that have led to today's issues and controversies. Many of today's most contentious issues have plagued the field from the outset. But joined to longstanding dilemmas, many issues have acquired a new urgency in the light of current school reform movements. Critical areas include, but are not restricted to, inclusive education for students with disabilities; over- and under-representation in special education; techniques and methods to provide safe and caring schools; new genetic discoveries that are revamping the field of intellectual disabilities; the recent marriage of special education and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; the subsequent tendency to label and categorize children with overwhelming detail; the push toward high-stakes testing and accountability; and the stress on science-based methods to both inform current issues and close the gap between research and practice.

Winzer says she hopes that From Integration to Inclusion is persuasive. As a field, special education occupies contested terrain: it is both hailed and con­demned. Yet, not only its defenders but also its critics often are unaware of histori­cal developments. North American special educators seem curiously disinterested in the foundations of their field. Historical perspectives, foundational matters, and theoretical stances are often ignored or historical knowledge is learned inci­dentally and unintentionally. For many researchers and practitioners, the immediate demands of the present tend to occlude a broader historical and philosophical scope. They look more favorably at proposals for practical solutions to immediate problems and prefer to devise stud­ies and collect data on the lived worlds of schools and teachers.

The underlying and inherent structure adopted in From Integration to Inclusion makes the forces that shaped special education explicit by mapping the themes in three core areas: social and philosophical perspectives, patterns of evolution in different areas, and the specific time and space of key events. These areas allow readers to consider the history of special education and the clients served from a num­ber of perspectives and levels. From the first focus, social and philosophical perspec­tives, themes are viewed in relation to society in general – essentially joined to the structural aspects of society, institutions, and social processes that affected people with exceptionalities and the interdependence of the individual and the social world. The history also examines the philosophical underpinnings of special education – the assumptions and the concepts used in thinking about education, society, and the treatment of people who are exceptional. Another level focuses on individual dis­ability categories as well as the policies and provisions adopted, school interventions, curricula changes, reform movements, and the disciplines that surrounded and supported special education such as psychology and social work.

The second focus rests on the notion that evolution was neither straightfor­ward nor linear. The history of special education cannot be viewed as a historically located sequence nor as a fixed and absolute series of developmental stages; it was more a set of trends. Rather than being an event, transformation was a slow, incremental, and multifaceted process surrounded by conflicts and scattered with the disruptions, contradictions, and tensions that are natural occurrences in an evolutionary pattern.

According to Winzer in From Integration to Inclusion, a number of factors are paramount in the evolutionary pattern. First of all, in the two centuries of progress toward today's philosophy and practice, reform has been the zeitgeist, a dominant theme determining goals and hoped-for outcomes. Quests for reform came from within the profession just as often as from without. Ideas have their historical roots, and natural histories and the field can catalog a long series of reforms constructed in particular eras in response to political rheto­ric, social perceptions, and fiscal conditions together with etiological, educational, and pedagogical considerations.

Second, the complex history and cycles of reform in special education show a field that has been characterized by fervent appeals to new philosophies and paradigm shifts and that has always been vulnerable to the caprice of changing fashions, politics, and fads. The landscape has been dotted with zealous reform­ers who offered innovations and remedies promoted either as being capable of solving certain problems or challenges entirely or as offering new solutions to enduring dilemmas. Often, reform ideals and decision making were based on professional consensus and the popular way; just as often, ideological principles sought to operationalize values founded on the prevailing notions of social justice, rightness, and desirability. Sometimes, reform was erected on personal opinions or impelled by an initial sense of outrage and indignation. Occasionally, the reform reasoning was rooted in prejudice, illogical assumptions, quackery, and, perhaps, downright charlatanism. Rarely did Empirical evidence underlie reform; many efforts floundered because they lacked reliable data. Many calls to reform, restructure, and reinvent centered on specific categories of exceptionality such as oral modes of communication for those who were deaf, Braille for those who were blind and individual psychotherapy for those who were labeled emotionally disturbed.

Finally, careful examination of the evolutionary pattern shows that however fervently those involved hold beliefs about educational innovations, many of those beliefs, although worthwhile in themselves, fail to survive and tend to be tem­porary. Regularities, which tend to reassert themselves again and again, quash reform agendas. Just as often, it was not that the reform efforts did not work but that they created a spiral of new problems. At the same time, resistance and oppositional cultures counter the function of particular ideologies and even the most compelling proposals.

An earlier volume, The History of Special Education: From Isolation to Integration examined the genesis and development of special education and was set largely in the 18th and 19th cen­turies. In dealing with early developments, it highlighted institutional openings; the contributions of pioneers; the clients served; and the sociological, pedagogical, and philosophical foundations on which special education was erected. From Integration to Inclusion plays variations of the same themes but examines the huge changes and reforms, as well as the failures and disappointments that characterize the enterprise of special education throughout the 20th century.

Since Winzer wrote her landmark work, much has transpired in this field, which she again has captured in a remarkable display of scholarship in From Integration to Inclusion. This new work brings the history of special education up to date, thoroughly explaining reforms that failed as well as those that succeeded.

Education / Teaching Methods / Special Education

55 Tactics for Implementing RTI in Inclusive Settings edited by Pam Campbell, Jianjun Wang, Bob Algozzine (Corwin Press)

As students with disabilities and learning differences are included in general education settings in greater numbers and for longer periods of time, educators – expert and novice alike – are searching for ways to meet these students' needs. While many recognize that a teacher's expertise is often the critical determinant in any student's achievement, they also realize that meeting the increasingly diverse needs of students calls for additional information and support. Response to Intervention (RTI) has emerged as a practice to meet the needs of the ‘most vulnerable, academically unresponsive children’ in schools and school districts.

As schools implement RTI in general education settings, educators need easy access to information about effective teaching and intervention tactics for the diverse learners in their classrooms. 55 Tactics for Implementing RTI in Inclusive Settings provides teachers, regardless of level, experience, or area of specialization, with instructional strategies for students with or without disabilities and across grade levels and content areas.

Drawing from evidenced-based models of instruction, the book is organized around four components of instruction – planning, managing, delivering, and evaluating. In addition to 55 classroom-tested, how-to tactics backed by research, this book includes:

  • Accommodations and modifications to adapt tactics to meet individual instructional needs.
  • Illustrations showing how to implement tactics within each tier of a three-tier RTI framework.
  • Examples from teachers in the field.
  • Reproducible worksheets and forms for immediate use.
  • References and additional readings.

Authors are Pam Campbell, associate professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Jianjun (Adam) Wang, senior instructional technology specialist at Williams College; and Bob Algozzine, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina and project co-director of the U.S. Department of Education-supported Behavior and Reading Improvement Center. According to Campbell, Wang and Algozzine in 55 Tactics for Implementing RTI in Inclusive Settings, RTI is ‘a multi-tier prevention model that has at least three tiers or levels of intervention to respond to the increasing needs of students. Primary (Tier I) interventions are designed to address the majority of students' instructional needs. If a student has been identified as needing additional support, RTI directs the use of evidence-based, ‘secondary’ (Tier II) interventions, which are easy to administer to small groups of students and which require limited time and staff involvement. Tertiary (Tier III) intervention is specifi­cally designed and customized instruction that is extended beyond the time allocated for Tiers I and II; in some states, Tier III intervention means the provision of special education services. When using the RTI tiers as the framework for determining the appropriate structure and setting for each student, teachers must design instruction to address the student's current learning phase appropriately. In this way, students can move from Accuracy, to Proficiency, to Maintenance, and finally Generalization of skills.

55 Tactics for Implementing RTI in Inclusive Settings is based on the authors’ fundamental belief that teachers can respond to instructional diversity more effectively when pro­vided with an easily accessible resource of effective tactics. They believe that most effective evidence-based practices (tactics) can be modified to meet the instructional needs of all learners across categories of disability, grade levels, and content areas in the context of RTI. They have eliminated those distinctions while retaining ‘learning differences’ as a marker for providing information teachers need to teach effectively in inclusive settings. They have also added ‘RTI tier accommodations and modifications’ to each tactic to guide teachers in adapting tactics to support RTI practices and meet individual instructional needs across levels and tiers of instruction.

This exceptionally practical book can make a real difference in every classroom. Educators who follow with intensity the wisdom in this book and apply the specific tactics will ensure success for all students. The authors present a healthy attitude toward educators taking personal responsibility to teach for learning. – Wanda Oden, Assistant Superintendent, Kingman Unified School District 20, AZ
Campbell gives teachers a compass of well-researched tactics to navigate RTI in inclusive classrooms. Teaching diverse learners in inclusive settings can be an overwhelming task. This book is my bible for effectively completing multiple tasks with my students, who often have varying needs. – Tina M. Guard, Graduate Student and Teacher, University of Nevada

55 Tactics for Implementing RTI in Inclusive Settings offers research-based tactics that can be used with RTI in inclusive classrooms to boost academic achievement for all students in the inclusive classroom. This valuable guide provides the support teachers need to meet the increasingly diverse needs of today's classrooms and ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.

Entertainment / Humor / Biographies & Memoirs

Last Words:: A Memoir by George Carlin with Tony Hendra (Free Press)

Carlin ... on politics:/p>

I had a left-wing, humanitarian, secular humanist, liberal inclination on the one hand, which implied positions on myriad issues. On the other, I had prejudices and angers and hatreds towards various classes of people. None of which included skin color or ethnicity or religion. Well – religion, yes. I used to get angry at blue-collar right-wingers but that passed because I saw that in the end they were just a different sort of victim.

Carlin ... on values:

The worst thing about groups are their values. Traditional values, American values, family values, shared values, OUR values. Just code for white middle-class prejudices and discrimination, justification for greed and hatred. I believe in giving everyone, as I encounter them, one at a time the full value of their dignity and their honor in the world. Whether I'm seen as a celebrity on an elevator or I'm just George the stranger, I open myself to them and I take them in and I give them everything I would want myself in terms of treatment, feeling and consideration. I call that a value. – from the book

Last Words is the story of the man behind some of the most seminal comedy of the last half century, blending his signature acerbic humor with never-before-told stories from his own life.

In 1993 George Carlin (1937-2008) asked his friend and bestselling author Tony Hendra to help him write his autobiography. For almost fifteen years, in scores of conversations, many of them recorded, the two discussed Carlin's life, times, and evolution as a major artist. When Carlin died at age seventy-one in 2008 with the book still unpublished, Hendra, one of the original editors of National Lampoon magazine and author of the bestselling memoir Father Joe, who began his comedic career with Graham Chapman of Monty Python, set out to assemble the book as his friend would have wanted. Based on hours of taped interviews, drafts, and polished chapters from their sessions, Last Words is Carlin's life story as it has never been told before – the rollicking, wrenching story of Carlin's life from birth – literally – to his final years, as well as a parting gift of laughter to the world of comedy he helped create.

Carlin's journey to stardom began in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of New York's Upper West Side in the 1940s, where class and culture wars planted the seeds for some of his best known material, including the notorious "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." His early conflicts, his turbulent relationships with his family, and his triumphs over catastrophic setbacks all fueled the unique comedic worldview he brought to the stage. From the heights of stardom to the low points few knew about, Last Words is told with the same honesty that made Carlin one of the best loved comedians in American history.

Born in 1937, George Dennis Patrick Carlin was one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time. He appeared on The Tonight Show more than 130 times, starred in an unprecedented 14 HBO Specials, hosted the first Saturday Night Live and penned three New York Times bestselling books. Of the 23 solo albums recorded by Carlin, 11 were Grammy nominated and he took home the coveted statue five times including a 2001 Grammy win for Best Spoken Comedy Album for his reading of his best seller Brain Droppings. In 2002, Carlin was awarded the Freedom of Speech Award by the First Amendment Center in cooperation with the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and he was the named 11th recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in June of 2008.

Carlin is candid about both his career and his personal life throughout the book, addressing his 20-year tax battle with the IRS; a decades-long struggle with cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol; and his run-ins with the law. Carlin also writes intimately about his family life, stemming from his nonexistent relationship with his father, and the inevitable complications that led to with his mother. His 36-year marriage to first-wife, Brenda, is discussed with honesty and vulnerability, and his relationship with their daughter, Kelly, is threaded throughout the book, giving readers a glimpse into what George was like at home as both husband and father.

Last Words also delves into Carlin's work as a stand-up comedian, and his acting aspirations, in which he offers a frank account of his talent: "I was devastatingly inept! There were no Oscars in sight." In the end, the book is a celebration about a boy from Harlem who knew how to make people laugh and forever changed the face of comedy in America and the world.

Last Words is pure, unadulterated Carlin – full of the wit, charm, and mischievous insight that made him one of the most iconic and admired comedians of the past 50 years. The book is an irreverently funny, yet deeply honest, story about George's life, told as only Carlin could, a fitting addition to his long list of accomplishments.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling / Child Psychology

Acceptance & Mindfulness Treatments for Children & Adolescents:: A Practitioner's Guide edited by Laurie A. Greco & Steven C. Hayes (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Series: Context Press/New Harbinger Publications)

The field of psychology is witnessing the emergence and rapid scientific advancement of ‘third-wave’ behavior therapies: dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). The efficacy of third-wave behavior and cognitive therapies has been demonstrated empirically across a wide range of clinical populations, including adults suffering with chronic pain, anxiety, depression, poly-substance use, thought disorders, and chronic illness. /p>

Though acceptance and mindfulness interventions have proven enormously effective for adults with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, they have not been fully documented for use with children and adolescents. And yet they are a natural fit for children's therapy – the focus on acceptance and mindfulness builds chil­dren's psychological flexibility, and the values component of these methods helps young people learn to set goals and take action to achieve them. As acceptance- and mindfulness-based therapies continue to gain momentum and empirical support within mainstream psychology, it is important to examine the adaptability and effectiveness of these approaches for children and adolescents. Acceptance & Mindfulness Treatments for Children & Adolescents summarizes the diverse ways in which the third-wave therapies have been adapted for young people and their families. Chapters summarize recent empirical advances as well as pragmatic issues related to acceptance and mindfulness applied to children and adolescents. In each chapter in the two applied sections, readers are given practical clinical guidance that shows how to apply these methods. Acceptance & Mindfulness Treatments for Children & Adolescents is edited by Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., University of Nevada Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno and founder of acceptance and commitment therapy; and Laurie A. Greco, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, assistant professor of psychology at the University of MissouriSt. Louis.

The essays in Acceptance & Mindfulness Treatments for Children & Adolescents offer a much-needed adaptation of these revolutionary techniques for young people and their families, providing a wealth of new approaches to therapists, counselors, and other helping professionals. The chapters show how to modify third-wave behavioral and cognitive therapy methods for the treatment of chil­dren and adolescents. This book also considers the early evidence for the adaptability and effectiveness of these methods.

Readers learn how ACT, DBT, MBCT, and MBSR can be used with young people and their families. They discover recent third-wave behavior therapy research. They explore the practice issues that arise when acceptance and mindfulness techniques are used with children and adolescents. And they find out how to put these techniques to work in their own practice.

A timely and impressive compilation of state-of-the-art approaches for teaching acceptance and mindfulness to younger populations. – Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., C. Psych., Morgan Firestone Chair in Psychotherapy and professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Toronto and author of The Mindful Way Through Depression

This is an absolutely outstanding book on applications of acceptance and mindfulness treat­ments to physical and mental health problems of children and adolescents. Impressive in its scope and the quality of the contributors, the book provides a broad, comprehensive, and cutting-edge examination of acceptance and mindfulness treatments with children and adoles­cents.… Overall, this unique book provides excellent coverage of key issues and will be an important and valuable resource for today's child health professionals. This book is a ‘must read’ for professionals in child health and mental heath who wish to understand and use mindfulness treatments in clinical research or practice. – Annette M. La Greca, PhD, ABPP Cooper Fellow and professor of psychology and Pediatrics at the University of Miami

For the reader interested in acceptance and mindfulness in children and adolescents, this book is the definitive work on what is happening now and what is on the horizon. – Bruce F. Chorpita, Ph.D., professor of clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles

Greco and Hayes' innovative book on acceptance and mindfulness treatments for children and adolescents is an invaluable new resource for students and faculty. Readers will appreciate the broad coverage and creative applications of acceptance and mindfulness treatments in specialized populations (e.g., anxiety disorders, chronic pain, etc.), and settings (e.g., primary care and schools). This book provides a foundation for practice and research in an important new area. – Dennis Drotar, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for the Promotion of Adherence and Self-Management in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Acceptance & Mindfulness Treatments for Children & Adolescents, a resource for clinicians, is the essential guide to using acceptance and mindfulness techniques with children and adolescents. The essays offer a much-needed adaptation of these revolutionary techniques for young people and their families, providing a wealth of new approaches to therapists, counselors, and other helping professionals. Chapters present leading-edge coverage of a range of child problems and contexts and include many rich examples of how these approaches can be developed and tested.

History / Americas / Biographies & Memoirs

Life as It Is:: Or Matters and Things in General by J. W. M. Breazeale, with an introduction by Jonathan M. Atkins (The University of Tennessee Press)

Originally published in 1842, John Will M. reazeale's Life as It Is is a collection of essays providing insight on a variety of subjects relating to life in early East Tennessee. Though little is known about the author, a frontier lawyer and editor of the Tennessee Journal from 1837 to 1838, scholars of the nineteenth-century South, Tennessee historians, and even true crime buffs will find his observations of considerable interest.

At first glance, Breazeale's book appears to be a loose collection of short essays dealing with a variety of subjects. However, on closer inspection there is a theme: declining morals, a common theme of every generation. The first chapters present a history of Tennessee from its first European exploration through the state's admission to the Union. Later chapters highlight the state's unique geographic features, followed by a gruesome account of the murderous rampage of Micajah and Wiley Harp, who terrorized settlers along the line separating eastern Kentucky and Tennessee at the turn of the nineteenth century. Breazeale next offers his thoughts on the practice of political ‘election­eering,’ recounting a fictional canvass in a typical congressional district. Life as It Is concludes with several chapters noting various features of Breazeale's Tennes­see, including Native American ‘antiquities,’ the founding of the state govern­ment, and an early religious revival.

Breazeale was the son of Henry Breazeale, the first clerk of the Roane County Court between 1802 and 1836. The father had come to Ten­nessee from South Carolina and was appointed deputy sher­iff in Knox County by Territorial Governor William Blount in 1795. Breazeale's early education is unknown, but he was admitted to the bar in 1820 in Roane County and four years later married Betsy Margraves. He practiced law in the towns of Kingston and Athens and represented Morgan and Roane Counties in the state legislature from 1829 until 1831. He published a weekly newspaper and died in 1861 at Jasper, Ten­nessee, where he is buried.

In contrast to the bare outline of his own life his­tory, Breazeale's 1842 self-published book, Life as It Is, is a veritable cornucopia of rich details and descriptions of the life and times in early Tennessee, East Tennessee to be specific. All the details of the ‘lost state’ of Franklin, the Watauga Association in 1772, and other efforts of pioneering frontiersmen to form their own government in the region are delineated with rich detail and a specificity of places, people, and events virtually unsurpassed among early accounts of the state's history.

According to Dunn Durwood in the foreword, the real value of Breazeale's book, for both Appalachian scholars and students of American social history, lies in the subtle and richly varied attitudes of these early Tennessee pioneers toward their new land and surrounding human and physical environment. The subtext of his innumerable descrip­tions of battles and other encounters with Native Americans illustrates the authenticity of these attitudes. The constant fear of Indian attack on the frontier, reinforced by all too frequent murders of entire families, comes alive in Breazeale's account less through overt emotion than through telling details and anecdotes. To give just one example, pioneers knew a hunter, or group of white hunters, had been slaughtered when their dogs returned home alone because, under normal circum­stances, these faithful hunting companions would never leave their masters alive.

Likewise, in describing the social customs of these pio­neers, it is the specific detail Breazeale offers which most interests the modern social historian. Their cooking uten­sils consisted of a single cast iron pot or oven, and they fre­quently baked their bread upon long boards, called Johnny­cake boards. Spreading the dough on these boards, they held it directly before the open fire until cooked. With few blacksmiths, axes, ploughs, mattocks, and hoes were crudely fashioned by the men themselves or with the help of a more skilled neighbor. Horse collars were fashioned out of corn shucks, and traces were often raw scraps of cow hide. Breazeale interprets this earlier simplicity and lack of material goods as favoring the growth of an honest, indus­trious citizenry, replete with republican virtues.

Yet what fascinated readers most about Life as It Is, and gave the book its lasting reputation, was Breazeale's detailed, if horrible, description of the psychopathic killers Micajah ‘Big’ Harp and his brother, Wiley ‘Little’ Harp. Moving to Ten­nessee from North Carolina in 1797, they began plundering the hogs, sheep, and horses of their neighbors. Their activities expanded to murdering random strangers they encountered, or entire families, and mutilating their corpses in a fashion that prefigures modern horror films. These lurid descriptions of the Harps engrossed a nineteenth-century read­ing public, bringing the region an unwelcome fame which also prefigures social aberrations that would wrongly come to characterize Appalachia after the Civil War. But again, to a careful social his­torian, what interests one is the immediate response of the communities terrorized by the Harps. Their organization and patrolling anticipate a strikingly similar, although largely unnoted, response to guerrilla warfare in the Appalachian mountains during and immediately after the Civil War.

According to the introduction Jonathan M. Atkins, professor of history at Berry College in Mt. Berry, at minimum, Breazeale's history provides an important account that complements and corrects Judge John Haywood's better-known Civil and Politi­cal History of the State of Tennessee, published in 1823. Later, J.G.M. Ramsey used Life as It Is as a source and corrected some of Breazeale's errors when preparing his 1853 work Annals of Tennessee. Breazeale's account of the earliest days of the sixteenth state presents a wealth of detail about life, attitudes, and experiences of the early white inhabitants. Moreover, since he learned much of his material from "some of the hoary-headed patriarchs of Tennessee, who are tarrying with us, but tottering upon the outermost verge of time", Life as It Is preserves the voices of the unnamed and forgotten people who lived on Tennessee's late eighteenth-century frontier.

Life as It Is conveys the sense of uncertainty pioneers faced as they carved their homes out of the Indians' lands. The account shows little sympathy for the Natives. There is no discussion of land speculators' influence on the frontier or of the manipulations they used to gain questionable title to Native lands. Nor does he acknowledge differing interpretations of agreements' terms or white settlers' frequent crossing of accepted boundaries into Indian domains. He recognizes white retaliations and excesses, but in his view the Indians bore chief responsibility for keeping the frontier ‘in a state of half war and half peace’. As a result, Breazeale presents the Natives as ‘uncivilized peoples’ – ‘bloodthirsty, cruel, and perfidious savages’.

Breazeale's depiction of Native Americans offends modern readers, but it should come as no surprise. Life as It Is came out only a few years after Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which provided for the forced migra­tion of the remaining Native peoples in the lands east of the Mississippi River to a territory in the West. Hostilities with the Indians, like those Breazeale describes, resumed in the first decade of the nineteenth century, but after the War of 1812 the Natives were too weak to present a serious threat to American expansion. Despite their weakness, the nations' continued presence on potentially valuable lands united white Tennesseans behind President Andrew Jackson's removal policy.

Breazeale never mentions Indian removal in Life as It Is. Nevertheless, the book reflects how white southerners in both his and his forbears' generation understood the conflict. White Americans may have instigated much of the violence, but the dehumanization of the enemy – a usual occurrence in wartime – helps to recapture the sense of terror settlers must have felt when they learned about the most recent atroc­ity. Many of the tales Breazeale recounts are, if true, probably romanticized accounts of simpler events. Still, learned from "the few surviving veter­ans who are yet lingering amongst us", they show Life as It Is to be an excellent source on how mid-nineteenth-century Tennesseans remembered the wars that dominated the lives of their grandparents.

Throughout his history Breazeale’s main concern is the character of the people. Breazeale describes his ancestors as the founders of a uniquely democratic America that honored equality, self-reliance, and patriotism: they represented "the bold, talented, intrepid and inspiring amongst the lower ranks" of Europe who rejected tyrannical aristoc­racy and came to America to live in "honor and equality ... in accordance with the laws of their God, of nature, and of man". As portrayed in Life as It Is, the excellence of the people went beyond the battlefield. In his chapter on "Manners and Customs of the Early Inhabitants of Tennes­see," Breazeale relates how the first settlers constructed their cabins, baked their bread, preserved their meat when salt was a scarce commodity, and learned to use whatever materials were available to make their clothes and to fashion the tools and equipment they needed to work their land. Despite the limitations, he contends, "our hardy and enterprising fathers lived comfortably", and his careful description of how they managed to survive shows that, for him, the quality of the people, more than physical strength or military heroism, conquered the wilderness.

Following his history of early Tennessee, Breazeale pro­vides descriptions of several rivers, lakes, caverns, and other ‘natural curiosities,’ including the legends surrounding the so-called ‘Enchanted Mountain’ in nearby Georgia. Life as It Is then seems to veer in yet another direction. Following the ‘History of the Harps,’ Breazeale presents his observations about the practice of electioneering and campaigning. Here his remarks stress a common theme - men­tioned earlier but now the author's obsession – that unites the book's seemingly disparate chapters. This theme shows clearly that Breazeale intended for Life as It Is to serve as more than a collection of interesting essays. Through comparing the virtue of their ‘hardy, free-born’ ances­tors with his own ‘extravagant and effeminate’ genera­tion, Breazeale hoped to show his contemporaries how their vices and corrupt practices threatened "to deluge the land with a flood more noxious than that of a sea of black and putrid waters". In other words, Breazeale hoped to warn his fellow citizens that they had fallen away from the noble and honorable character of their forbears. For him, his fel­low citizens had lost the virtue necessary to sustain republican government.

For Breazeale, prosperity is the danger. "People of the present day have become extravagant and effeminate, fond of find clothes and rich-living, well-timed music and delicate women". As a result, they had fallen from their forefathers' ‘primeval simplicity, happiness and delight’ and allowed the prolifera­tion of vices that reflected the corruption of their character. Electioneering stood as the greatest vice, but throughout the book Breazeale identifies his fellow countrymen's declining virtue and encourages them to return to their ancestors' hon­orable ways.

Not surprisingly, the narrative praises the famous men associated with Tennessee's founding, particularly John Sevier, Isaac Shelby, and William Blount, but it also devotes particular attention to lesser-known figures such as the unnamed soldier who saved Adam Sherrell during a battle and James Dearmond, who helped Lieutenant John McClellan escape a surprise attack. The real heroes of Breazeale's story, though, are "the bold, hardy, energetic and chivalrous spirits" who settled the land, fought in the wars, and established the republic. Especially in his chapter on the early inhabitants' manners and customs, Life as It Is intends to show to Breazeale's gen­eration – who if denied modern comforts would, "no doubt, expect soon to be plunged into a state of starvation, famine, and death" – how their forefathers had all they needed to live "in harmony, friendship and brotherly love with each other" despite their primitive conditions.

At heart, Breazeale's warnings present a refrain common to every generation. His history romanticizes the past and reads as a virtue the crude conditions that frontiersmen worked to escape. Meanwhile, his denunciations of electioneering and bemoaning of declining manners and morals reflect his inability to accept what modern Americans grumblingly accept as politics as usual. Life as It Is thus foreshadows those in our own time who long for ‘the good old days,’ as well as the Cassandras who see catastrophe in change. Fortunately for us, Breazeale chose to express his frustrations through his writing.

Historian Jonathan M. Atkins, author of the award-winning Parties, Politics, and the Sectional Conflict in Tennes­see, 1832-1861, provides a superb introduction which places Breazeale's political worldview within the context of both republican ideology and the rapid expansion of the state's intense two-party competition between Democrats and Whigs during the three decades prior to the Civil War. Atkins also provides an excellent overarching theme by which the disparate topics covered in Breazeale's chapters finally appear to fit together in a prescient warning for posterity. If the atrocities of the Harps foreshadow a decline in public virtue necessary to sustain a republic, Breazeale's dubious negative examples nevertheless illuminate for the modern reader a fas­cinatingly detailed account of Tennessee's frontier history as seen through the eyes of one very opinionated contemporary. – Durwood Dunn, from the foreword

Life as It Is is an amazing, insightful and, at times, chilling collection of essays. A fascinating source, the volume presents a treasure trove of information, stories, and memories from early East Tennessee. It also provides an illuminating window into the worldview of someone who would not adjust to his times. It both complements and corrects Judge John Haywood's better-known Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee, revealing the richly varied attitudes of early Tennessee pioneers toward their history, society, politics, and natural environments.

History / Americas / Earth Sciences / Cartography

Virginia: Mapping the Old Dominion State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress by Vincent Virga & Emilee Hines (Mapping .... Through History Series: Globe Pequot Press)

A map is an image. It makes the world more real for us and uses signs to create an essential sense of place in our imagination. Like the movies, maps helped create our national identify, and this encyclopedic series of books aims to make manifest the changing social order that invented the st1:country-region w:st="on">United States, which is why it embraces all fifty states. – from the foreword

In a sense, the State of Virginia was born not on June 25, 1788 – when it became the young nation's tenth state – but on the day the land was first depicted on a map. Over the centuries, each such map has become yet another precious link not only in the history of the state, but also in the ever-evolving ‘Virginia’ as imagined by its residents and, more broadly, by the rest of America. Virginia provides a journey into the past of the Old Dominion State through detailed maps from the Library of Congress. Edited and with a foreword by renowned photo editor and author Vincent Virga, it also includes historical essays by writer and Virginia native Emilee Hines, historian and retired teacher. Together, these weave the cartographic record into a drama of settlement and change.

Virginia contains:

  • 50 full-color historical maps from the Library of Congress.
  • Captions on each map’s origins.
  • Essays by Hines on how maps reflect the history, culture, and sensibilities of the state and its residents through time.
  • A foreword by Virga describing the library’s collection and the state’s maps.
  • A choice selection of modern maps depicting birds-eye-views of towns and cities.

In 1606 Virginia's first royal charter was given in terms of latitude, proving maps were close at hand. Hines equates the geography of the state with the story of its evolution and suggests Virginia may be called the Mother of Presidents and the Mother of States since it originally encompassed the territory of New England. The four centuries of the state's complex history unfold for Virga in Virginia with details as varied as the book's maps because we are shown: "Virginia has always been in the midst of things geographically – and often historically as well."

IIn 1507, the Waldseemuller map appeared. There Americans are named for the first time. And there we sit, an independent continent with oceans on both sides, six years before Balboa supposedly discovered ‘the other sea.’ There are few maps as mysterious for cartographic scholars as Wald­seemuller's masterpiece. Where did all that news come from? It is sufficient to say to the world's visual imagination, "Welcome to us Americans in all our cartographic splendor!"

Virga says in the introduction that throughout his academic life, maps were never offered to him as primary historical docu­ments. When he became a picture editor, he learned, to his amazement, that most book editors are logo-centric, or ‘word people.’ Along with most historians and academics, they make their liveli­hood working with words and ideas.

The very title of this volume, Virginia: Mapping the Old Dominion State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress, makes it clear that this series has a specific agenda, as does each map. It aims to thrust readers into a new intimacy with the American experience by detailing the creative process of the nation in motion through time and space via word and image. It grows from the relatively recent shift in consciousness about the physical, mental, and spiritual relevance of maps in our understanding of our lives on earth. Just as each state is an integral part of the larger United States, ‘Where are we?’ is a piece of the larger puzzle called ‘Who are we?’ 

The Mapping States Through History Series is the first series to assemble – in full color, state-by-state – an in-depth collection of rare, historically significant maps of the cities, states, counties, towns, and events that make up each of America/st1:place>’s fifty states. Produced in collaboration with the Library of Congress, these books offer a glimpse into the history of the United States through the maps and their narrative captions. Each map thus becomes a virtual time machine that tells us much about the places we live in today.

For Virga, general editor of the series as well as co-author of this volume, this series celebrating each of our states is not about the delineation of property rights. It is a depiction of the pursuit of happiness, which is listed as one of our natural rights in the 1776 Declaration of Independence. These books depict what each succeeding generation in its pursuit of happiness accomplished on this portion of the earth known as the United States. If America is a matter of an idea, then maps are an image of that idea.

Virginia provides a fascinating journey into the past of the Old Dominion State through gloriously detailed and fascinating maps from the Library of Congress. The maps, foreword and historical essays together weave the visually stunning cartographic record into a drama of settlement and change. Compelling historical essays by a local writer complement Virga’s foreword to help weave the cartographic record into a drama of settlement and change.

History / Ancient / Greece

The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika edited by Robert B. Strassler, translated by John Marincola, with an introduction by David Thomas (Landmark Series: Pantheon Books)

From the editor of the widely praised The Landmark Thucydides and The Landmark Herodotus, here is The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika, the primary source for the events of the final seven years and aftermath of the Peloponnesian War.
Hellenika covers the years between 411 and 362 B.C.E., a particularly dramatic period during which the alliances among Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Persia were in constant flux. Together with the volumes of Herodotus and Thucydides, it completes an ancient narrative of the military and political history of classical Greece.
Xenophon was an Athenian who participated in the expedition of Cyrus the Younger against Cyrus’ brother, the Persian King Artaxerces II. Later Xenophon joined the Spartan army and hence was exiled from Athens. In addition to the Hellenika, The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika is filled with detailed maps. This edition gives readers an authoritative and accessible translation by John Marincola, a comprehensive introduction by David Thomas, sixteen appendices written by leading classics scholars, and an extensive timeline/chronology to clarify this otherwise confusing period. Unlike any other edition of the Hellenika, it also includes the relevant texts of Diodorus Siculus and the Oxyrhynchus Historian, with explanatory footnotes and a table that correlates passages of the three works, which is perhaps crucial to an assessment of Xenophon’s reliability and quality as a historian.

The editor, Robert B. Strassler, is an unaffiliated scholar who is chairman of the Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities. The translator, John Marincola, is the Leon Golden Professor of Classics at Florida State University.

This Landmark series exists because general readers, and some scholars, find the ancient texts difficult to follow for a variety of reasons, and it seems that good, clear maps, an Introduction rich in background information, explanatory notes, and appendices on subjects in the text that are particularly difficult for modern readers to understand all prove useful and effective for keeping readers oriented and interested.

Xenophon is not a great historian like either Herodotus or Thucydides, but he is a good writer with much to say of interest to anyone curious about the end of the Peloponnesian War and what followed during the next forty years in Greece. Without the Hellenika, we would know nothing or very little of many events and developments of that dynamic period. The Hellenika, which is sometimes so episodic and anecdotal as to resem­ble a memoir, is yet a history, and it lends itself well to the features of the Landmark format.

One new feature of The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika, which for lack of alternate contem­porary sources could not be developed for Herodotus or Thucydides, is that Strassler includes significant material from two other historians who were more or less contemporaries of Xenophon and who, in part, wrote about the same events. Thus, if the readers follow a footnote's suggestion to turn to Appendix O (selections from the work of Ephorus as transcribed by Diodorus Siculus in his Histories) or Appendix P (relevant text from papyrus fragments of the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia), they will be able to compare and contrast for themselves diverse accounts of histor­ical events. These comparisons will enrich their understanding of the period, their grasp of the problems faced by historians dealing with these events, and their assessment of the virtues and failings of Xenophon as a historian.

Another unique element of The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika concerns the difficulties faced when determining the dates and sometimes the sequence in which the events described take place. There are many problems of chronology that readers of Herodotus and Thucydides will encounter, but they are not as central to the main sequence of events that form the heart of those narratives. For Xenophon's period, however, the very interpretation of some elements of the source text provoke and require particular chronological schemes in an attempt to make sense of them. As a result of this chronological muddle, Strassler decided that all dates in The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika, unless otherwise noted, would be based on a single source, The Cambridge Ancient History. By relying on this one common and easily located source, the volume provides a chronological anchor for general readers who might otherwise despair of mastering the large and often confusing material of the scholarly discussion of fourth-century dates.

First and foremost among the features are the maps. This edition contains forty-eight maps designed to support every episode of the narrative, with each map located amid or adjacent to the text it supports. Those maps that display many labels employ a simple coordinate system to help readers search for a particular site, and with a few exceptions in the interest of clarity, each map displays the names of only those features that appear in the surrounding text. Although a number of maps are single images, most are double and a few are triple, arranged in overlapping format from small scale to large scale.

Side notes are found on the outside page margin at the beginning of the chap­ters into which the text was divided long ago by Alexandrian scholars. The first line of the side note display the book, chapter, and section number. The second line shows the year in our calendar B.C.E. in which the events described take place and the third line shows in capital letters the location of where the action takes place.

This edition of the Hellenika begins with an excellent and informative Introduc­tion by David Thomas, in which he describes not only the history of the period in which Xenophon lived but what is known of Xenophon himself, his other works, and the earlier histories that we know were available to him (Herodotus and Thucy­dides) and that may have served, in one respect or another, as models to follow. Thomas also explores what is known of two other fourth-century historians. He then focuses on the Hellenika, its composition, style, and literary devices. Finally he deals with Xenophon as a historian, his virtues and faults, his sources, his attitude toward religion, his obvious biases, his reliability, and his own interpretation of the time in which he lived and wrote.

The volume's twelve Appendices, by a number of scholars, cover a lot of ground, from the standard subjects on ancient Greece – units of currency and distance, elements of land and naval warfare, characteristics of Greek religion – to the more particular discussions of Athenian and Spartan government in Xenophon's life, political leagues in the fourth century, theories on the dates and sequence in which Xenophon composed the various parts of the Hellenika. One appendix is devoted to a biography of Agesilaos, perhaps the most important single figure in The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika. Another gives brief biographies of other people mentioned in the Hellenika who either played significant roles in the book or, if not, then in the history of the period. These appendices provide a sufficient minimum of explanatory and/or background information to help a general reader understand and relate to the text.

To assist readers who wishes to locate passages or subjects within the text, this edition offers the most thorough and complete Index that can be found in any English translation of the text. There is, in addition, a Glossary of terms and a short Bibliography of both ancient sources and modern works, which is designed for general readers who might wish to read more about Xenophon or his world.

In the Landmark series, editor Strassler has compiled a magnificent body of work. Like the two Landmark editions that precede it, The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika is the most readable and comprehensive edition available of an essential history. Beautifully illustrated, heavily annotated, and filled with detailed, clear maps, this edition gives readers a new, authoritative, and completely accessible translation, a comprehensive introduction, sixteen appendices written by leading classics scholars, and an extensive timeline/chronology to clarify this otherwise confusing period. The volume considerably improves accessibility by integrating hundreds of maps and extensive timelines, which provides insight into dating problems. The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika contains a number of illustrations, and these are not just attractive ornaments; but significantly enhance the read­er's sense of the historicity of the text. Thomas does a skillful and thorough job of setting Xenophon in his time. All in all, this is a must for any aficionado of ancient history.

History /Ancient / Military

Gladiator: Rome&'s Bloody Spectacle by Konstantin Nossov (General Military Series: Osprey Publishing)

What wounds will the gladiators bear, who are either barbarians, or the very dregs of mankind? How do they, who are trained to it, prefer being wounded to basely avoiding it? How often do they prove that they consider nothing but giving satisfaction to their masters or to the people? For when covered with wounds, they send to their masters to learn their pleasure: if it is their will, they are ready to lie down and die. What gladiator, of even moderate reputation, ever gave a sigh? Who ever turned pale? Who ever disgraced himself either in the actual combat, or even when about to die? Who that had been defeated ever drew in his neck to avoid the stroke of death? So great is the force of practice, deliberation, and custom! – st1:City w:st="on">Cicero

Gladiatorial games are an aspect of ancient Rome with which nearly everyone is familiar, the blood falling on the sand, the cheering crowds, and the fate of the losing gladiator. However, the popular vision of wretched slaves – forced to fight to the death by a cruel society caring only about gushing blood, is now shown by new evidence to be at best incomplete. Although its true that the execution of criminals in the arena were massacres, during the heyday of gladiatorial games in Rome, gladiators were far too valuable to be wasted in mindless fights to the death, and gladiators were not only slaves, some were volunteers, seeking fame and fortune.

From the author of Ancient and Medieval Siege Weapons, Konstantin Nossov, comes this new study of one of the most popular pastimes of ancient Rome. Gladiator introduces readers to every aspect of the gladiator phenomenon: from the types of equipment the different classes of gladiator used – to the high place these sportsmen came to occupy with the popular culture of the time. The book covers the evolution of gladiatorial combat, the types of gladiator, their equipment, their way of fighting, their lives and social status.
Nossov provides readers with a tour of Gladiator customs. At the beginning of their 800-year existence in the fourth century BC, gladiatorial games served as a solemn funeral rite to honor high-born citizens. From the height of their popularity to their decline, they were the equivalent of a multi-billion dollar industry – run by entrepreneurs and highly regulated by the government. Nossov in Gladiator shows how, with few exceptions, Roman leaders embraced the spectacle and how over the centuries new events such as mortal combat with animals and full-scale naval battles were added to the games.
Using updated research that has never before appeared in English, Nossov's chapter on the everyday life and social status of gladiators will surprise many readers. Despite the persistent myth that Gladiators were treated as expendable refuse by their Roman handlers, Nossov demonstrates that the reality was much more nuanced. The professional gladiator pool was comprised primarily of highly-trained men (and, for a time, women) who volunteered for the arena. In return for a long-term contract with a local games master, these athletes would earn an annual salary hundreds of times greater than an ordinary person. And slaves who were willing to become gladiators could earn their freedom with as few as four wins. These athletes lived communal lives together and trained year round for events that occurred no more than seasonally. As Nossov shows in Gladiator, being a professional gladiator was not much different from the lifestyle of a modern professional football player or boxer.

Gladiator offers the reader an opportunity to get the richest knowledge of the history of this most interesting phenomenon – the history of Roman Arena where, in blood and gold, magnificent performances developed, which devoured enormous sums of money and took away the lives of thousands of human beings and animals. The book is based on a huge amount of ancient sources, as well as the newest findings and research. – Dr, Michael Gorelik

In Gladiator Nossov brings together the newest evidence on gladiators to revise our one-sided view of them. Nossov's detailed, highly readable and comprehensive treatment of this enigmatic yet persistently popular phenomenon in Gladiator will delight and enlighten readers.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Quilter's Favorites – Traditional Pieced & Appliquéd:: A Collection of 21 Timeless Projects for All Skill Levels by the editors of C & T Publishing (Quilter’s Favorites Series, Volume 1: C&T Publishing)

Quilter's Favorites – Traditional Pieced & Appliquéd/span> includes 21 pieced and appliqué quilts for all skill levels, chosen by the editors of C&T Publishing. It is first in a series called Quilter’s Favorites.

The volume includes quilts from Alex Anderson, Peggy J. Barkle, Karen Dugas, Becky Goldsmith at Piece O’Cake Designs, Margrit Hall, Dixie Haywood, Diane McClun and Laura Nownes, Lerlene Nevail, Nancy Odom, Claudia Olson, Gai Perry, Donna Ingram Slusser, Jan Bode Smiley, Pam Stallebrass, Laura Wasilowski, Rebecca Wat, Jean Wells, and Joen Wolfrom.

For this collection the editors gather 21 mostly traditional quilt projects, many of which combine clever takes on some favorite blocks and appliqué motifs with contemporary fab­rics and fresh color and piecing combinations. Quilter's Favorites – Traditional Pieced & Appliquéd features a wide variety of techniques and sizes, as well as styles from traditional to contemporary. From easy-fused Log Cabins to more challenging paper-pieced Pineapple variations and everything in between, readers will find a quilt to showcase their stash and suit their style. Some examples include:

  • Courthouse Blues
  • Winter Flowers
  • Goose in the Pond
  • Sunshine and Windmills
  • Summer Fun
  • Jewel Box
  • Making Waves
  • Birds of a Feather
  • Castle Weather
  • A-Tisket, A-Tasket
  • Splash of Tulips
  • Vinnie’s Double Pinwheel
  • Autumn Richness
  • Pleiades Pineapple

Success is stitches away with the inspiration and instruc­tions readers count on in books from C&T Publishing. Readers will find projects they will love making in Quilter's Favorites – Traditional Pieced & Appliquéd that combines clever takes on favorite blocks and appliqué motifs with fresh, contemporary fabrics.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Beauty & Fashion / History / Americas

The Sunbonnet: An American Icon in Texas by Rebecca Jumper Matheson (Costume Society of America/st1:place> Series: Texas Tech University Press)

The year was 1929, and the Piney Woods of East Texas had been clear cut into great bald patches of red earth and cotton plants. In the middle of one of these cotton fields a teenager named Louise was deftly wielding her hoe against the never-ending onslaught of insidious weeds. …

It was so humid out this morning that it was already becom­ing unbearable, with hours to go before the dinner bell would welcome her to shade and a meal. A drop of perspiration began to crawl down the back of Louise's scalp, creepy-itchy as a June bug catching at your hair. Louise paused in her work, leaned the hoe in the crook of her arm, and took off her slat bonnet for just a mo­ment, just long enough to shake out the soft, short layers of her bob. She immediately put the bonnet back on, retying it smartly under her chin. As she did, she looked back toward the road. The wagon was passing by, and the driver, a young man not much older than herself, was watching her intently.

The young man, in the way of Romantic young men, was busy deciding that Louise was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen; in fact, that it was love at first sight. He was already making up his mind to marry her . . . and one day he would.

At least this is the way I imagine it must have been. Louise was my grandmother, and this story of how my grandfather Loinel saw her working in the field and fell in ‘love at first sight’ was one I grew up hearing. – from the book

The sunbonnet is a garment that has been worn throughout the period of American nationhood. This humble piece of millinery is more than just a pioneer accessory; it has played an important role in the realm of rural American dress for genera­tions. It is emblematic of the United States as an agrarian society: the sunbonnet's disappearance parallels American urbanization in the twentieth century.

Pervasive and fashionable throughout westward expansion in the United States, the sunbonnet endures as work dress in some regions and as icon just about everywhere on quilts, dolls, and children's clothing. In 2003, Rebecca Matheson, at the time research assistant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and now co-curator of the Museum at FIT exhibition Designing the It Girl: Lucile and Her Style, began to ask why.
The Sunbonnet is the first book-length study focusing on the twentieth century and why this particular working-dress accessory persisted long after it passed out of nineteenth-century fashion. Surveying its previous history, Matheson pursues what the sunbonnet reveals about twentieth-century American fashion, culture, and ideals, as well as class- and race-related issues. Detailing materials and methods of sunbonnet construction and care, she also addresses differences in sunbonnet design.
Enlivening the study's approach are oral histories and primary source images, such as photographs by Dorothea Lange and sunbonnets from American collections private and public, including the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Texas Fashion Collection, and the Museum of Texas Tech University. Literary context fiction and nonfiction also enriches the text.

As told in The Sunbonnet, readers can enter any Texas store selling western wear – whether the large complex geared toward tourists, the department-type store such as Baskin's, or the local feed store – and a selection of cowboy hats is sure to be plentiful, in styles both for men and women. But it is rare to find sunbonnets for sale outside of living history museum gift shops. Why is it that the sunbonnet, a garment so prevalent in the history of American rural life and Manifest Destiny-driven set­tlement patterns, seemingly has no place in contemporary western clothing?

Matheson believes the omission can be traced to prevailing American myth-making and popular ways of viewing our history. For exam­ple, images of an American past have been created and shaped by Hollywood film and television, which glorified the John Wayne heroes in their cowboy hats, but confined images of sunbonnet wearers to the likes of Scarlett O'Hara and her sisters laboring in the fields in post-Civil War poverty. The cowboy hat is not inher­ently more glamorous than the sunbonnet; it simply has had a better public relations team.

Matheson believes the sunbonnet has been overlooked, just as the women who wore sunbonnets have been underrepre­sented on the pages of history. The Sunbonnet attempts to reclaim a bit of ground for the heroines of the sunbonnet – hardworking women whose lives were delineated not in battles won or lost but in rows of cotton chopped, bushels of vegetables grown and canned, miles of frontier trail traveled, lives of children birthed. By analyzing who wore the sunbonnet, when it was worn, why it was worn, how it was made, what materials were used to con­struct it, and differences in sunbonnet design, we will begin to see the sunbonnet take shape as an important expression of Amer­ican fashion history and material culture.

When Matheson began her study, there were at least a few women still alive in East Texas who continued to wear sunbonnets for work gear. This generation of women, in their late eighties or early nineties at the turn of the millennium, had worn sunbonnets as a matter of course in their youth. Published secondary sources on the sunbonnet are relatively few and far between, but Matheson cobbled together a bibliography, discovering multidisciplinary bits of information about the sunbon­net here and there. She searched for docu­mentary evidence, reading newspaper articles and memoirs of nineteenth-century sunbonnet wearers, investigating nineteenth-century mail-order catalogs' sunbonnet offerings.

The Sunbonnet also looks to examples of fiction that describe sunbonnets as a source of information about the bonnets themselves, as well as the ways in which they were perceived. In her research she traveled to look at extant sunbonnets in various collec­tions, in the hope of understanding more about the people who wore sunbonnets through contemplating the garments themselves. The theoretical framework of The Sunbonnet includes the work of Jules David Prown, as she attempt to step back and see what the sunbon­net's form implies about the culture that created it.

In spring 2004 Matheson was able to locate four East Texas sunbonnet wearers who were willing to participate in micro-tape recorded oral history interviews specifically on the subject of sunbonnets, as well as one sunbonnet seller who did not participate in a named, taped interview, but who did share information with her. The women she interviewed personally are identified using their first names to distinguish them from previously published sources: Louise, Faye, Minnie Lee, Julia, Eileen. She says she would like to have gotten the perspective of male narrators and their perceptions of the sunbonnet as a garment worn by women they knew but was unable to locate men who had survived.

How this American icon came to survive in Texas and what its story reveals about frontier women and American culture must be understood first through exploring the sunbonnet's place in the history of millinery and fashion. In Chapter 1 Matheson considers other forms of millinery related to the sunbonnet; Chapters 2 and 3 trace the sunbonnet as we know it through the nineteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century. Her sunbonnet narrators were born in the second decade of the twentieth century, so from the 'teens and twenties forward, their voices of personal experi­ence form the core of the book's discussion of the sunbonnet in twentieth-century Texas.

A pleasure to read... fills in another missing piece in the puzzle that remains women's collective past. – Laurie Winn Carlson, author of Seduced by the West

When I was born and raised, in the country, we were outside a whole lot. And my mother had beautiful skin, and she said, "You're going to ruin your skin. And you won't be able to go out in the world from being out in the sunbeams too much."... They'd protect you all right. But they were miserable! – Faye Rusk (1914-2004), From the Oral Histories

Lively, and with a fresh approach, this oral history fills a vacuum. A resource for historians and other scholars in dress, American and women's studies, and popular and material culture, The Sunbonnet should also enjoy wide appeal among collectors, reenactors, and anyone drawn to this American icon.

Literature & Fiction / Religion & Spirituality

A Questionable Life: A Novel by Luke Lively (Beaufort Books)

In A Questionable Life, author Luke Lively, former bank executive, introduces protagonist Jack Oliver, a hard-charging, Philadelphia born-and-bred banking executive who finds his world in turmoil when his life-long goal slips from his grasp.

Jack has always made tough choices and sacrifices to achieve success, but when his mid-sized banking group is bought out by a mega-chain, Jack finds himself knocked from the top rung to the bottom of the ladder. When the stress of the merger lands him in the hospital, he realizes that his wife and kids hate him and his mistress is only interested in the number of zeros in his paycheck.

Even at a young age, Jack had mapped out his future and set his sights on the ultimate goal: becoming president at PT&G, Philadelphia Trust & Guaranty, the largest bank in Philadelphia. Not content to work for the family plumbing business, Jack worked his way up from an entry-level job to the second-highest position at the bank. When PT&G is bought out by Merchants, Jack is forced to come face-to-face with a harsh reality: the position he had long considered the pinnacle of success is no longer a possibility.

In A Questionable Life for the first time in over 27 years, Jack, now 45, must confront the aftermath of having devoted nearly every waking hour to work. His personal life is in shambles; he's made difficult choices at the expense of others; he's surrendered his integrity by turning a blind eye to greed, dishonesty, and questionable business practices.

When Jack's long time friend John Helms suggests that Jack needs a change and offers to introduce him to Benjamin Franklin ‘Benny’ Price, the CEO of Citizens Bank in Roanoke, Virginia, Jack is initially disdainful. Why would Jack Oliver, a big fish in the big pond of Philly, even consider a job in a hick town? And Benny? What could Benny, a seventy-year-old dinosaur of the banking world, have to offer him?

But when Jack faces an unexpected health crisis, he realizes that John is right: he does need a change. Jack reluctantly agrees to meet Benny for a weekend visit in the mountains of Virginia, and during that fateful trip, Jack discovers that Benny, a man with whom he assumed he'd have nothing in common, is not all that dissimilar. What's more, Benny actually has a fresh perspective on life, work, and success. But Benny sure doesn't have all the answers – in fact, Benny only has questions.

Left without the success he once craved and the family he undervalued, can Jack, a man whose life has been punctuated by wanting more – more money, more power, more prestige – learn to embrace the concept of a new kind of ‘questionable life’?

From the first page of A Questionable Life, I was hooked! Beneath the compelling story is a treasure chest of wisdom that is brought to life with a message of hope that will touch your heart. – Didiayer Snyder, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

A Questionable Life is a great read! The story depicts the power of questions in achieving balance in your life. – Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder/ Publisher, Selling Power Magazine

An eloquent, thought-provoking, and inspirational novel that reads like non-fiction, A Questionable Life has an air of authenticity. Destined to stay with readers after the final page is turned, the book is a triumphant and touching tale about choices and consequences, love and loss, regret and redemption.

Mysteries & Thrillers

Wyatt's Revenge:: A Matt Royal Mystery by H. Terrell Griffin (Oceanview Publishing)

Sometimes good men do very bad things.o:p>

Wyatt's Revenge is the latest mystery in the Matt Royal series, written by award-winning novelist H. Terrell Griffin, a board-certified trial lawyer who practiced law in Orlando for thirty-eight years. In Wyatt's Revenge, this time Matt Royal's not just looking for the truth; he's looking to settle the score.

On balance, retired trial lawyer turned-beach bum Matt is a pretty laid-back fellow. But when Laurence Wyatt, one of Matt's best friends, is murdered, Matt trades in his easygoing ways for a hard-hitting quest for revenge. Matt knows the Longboat Key police will do their job in investigating. But for Matt, finding Wyatt's killer isn't a job; it's personal. Determined to do whatever it takes to solve Wyatt's murder, Matt takes matters into his own hands and embarks on a clandestine investigation.

Who would've wanted to kill Laurence Wyatt, the once fierce soldier who'd morphed into a gentle professor? The only clue into this senseless act is Wyatt's missing laptop.

Matt finds himself in hot pursuit of a cadre of remorseless criminals and trained killers, but the tables turn and Matt becomes the pursued. Faced with mounting danger, Matt calls for backup from his buddies Jock Algren and Logan Hamilton.

As Matt and his buddies uncover the truth about Wyatt's death one fact at a time, they find an evil larger in scope than anything they ever could have imagined. And danger lurks everywhere – from a fast-paced European city, to the quiet island Matt calls home, and everywhere in between.

Matt Royal would go to the ends of the earth to exact revenge for Wyatt's murder, but one question remains: will he go outside the law?

A rollercoaster of ups and downs takes the reader on the ride of their lives in this Matt Royal mystery. – Suspense Magazine

Wyatt's Revenge is a hard-hitting, action packed tale about good versus evil, justice versus revenge, murder and redemption. Readers can expect the unexpected in this wild and danger­ous ride from Longboat Key to Frank­furt, Germany.

Mysteries & Thrillers / Mystery

The Hidden Dance by Susan Wooldridge (Allison & Busby)

It is 1933 in The Hidden Dance, a first effort by British actress Susan Wooldridge.

On March first the luxury liner SS Etoile sets sail from Southampton en route for New York. England has finally emerged from the terrors of the Great War and yet the new optimism in Europe is tempered by the stirring of Hitler's National Socialists in Germany. Surely another war is unthinkable?

On board the liner is Lily Sutton – a fragile but determined woman who is seeking to escape the brutality of her failed marriage, and begin life anew in the glittering American city.

During the five days at sea, Lily is caught between the world she leaves behind, with its attendant riches and position in society, and her new-found love, which has given her the strength and courage to be herself. Traveling in steerage so as not to attract attention, Lily is terrified that her flight from England will be uncovered. But a new friendship makes the journey easier to bear... until an old enemy surfaces and Lily must do everything she can to protect those she loves most in the world.

Wooldridge was born in 1952 to the composer John Wooldridge and the actress Margaretta Scott. Her many film, television and theatrical roles have included Daphne Manners in The Jewel in the Crown, and key parts in Kavanagh QC and Poirot to name a few.

The writing is extremely fresh and the story strong and poignant. – Nell Dunn
This beautifully titled book is as much a quest and a journey as a dance. Wooldridge's heroine, Lily, like her wonderful creation of Daphne Manners in Paul Scott's The Jewel in the Crown, starts off as an apparently conventional, timid, middle-class English girl of the 1930s. By the end she is fearless, strong and wise. A brave and loving novel – Jane Gardam

The Hidden Dance is a lovely first novel. In Lily we have a character with whom many will be able to identify.

Outdoors & Nature / Environment / Religion & Spirituality

The Tao of Liberation:: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation by Mark Hathaway & Leonardo Boff, with a foreword by Fritjof Capra (Orbis Books)

Today, humanity stands at an historic crossroads. Deepening poverty and accelerating ecological destruction challenge us to act with wisdom and maturity: How can we move toward a future where meaning, hope, and beauty can truly flourish?/p>

Drawing on insights from economics, psychology, science, and spirituality, The Tao of Liberation seeks wisdom – a path toward ever-greater communion, diversity, and creativity for the Earth community. It describes this wisdom using the Chinese word Tao – both a way leading to harmony and the unfolding process of the cosmos itself.

The authors are Mark Hathaway, ecumenical eco-justice activist, who is an adult educator researching and writing about the interconnections between ecology, economics, social justice, spirituality, and cosmology; and Leonardo Boff, Brazil's best-known theologian.

According to Fritjof Capra, author of the Tao of Physics in the foreword, the new economy, which emerged from the information technology revolu­tion of the past three decades, is structured largely around networks of financial flows. This economy is so complex and turbulent that it defies analysis in conven­tional economic terms. What we really have is an electronically operated global casino. The gamblers in this casino are not obscure speculators but major investment banks, pension funds, multinational corporations, and mutual funds organized for the sake of financial manipulation. The so-called global market, strictly speaking, is not a market at all but a network of machines pro­grammed according to a single value – making money – to the exclusion of all other values.

It has become increasingly clear that global capitalism in its present form is unsustainable – socially, ecologically, and even financially – and needs to be fundamentally redesigned. The process of reshaping globalization has already begun. At the turn of this century, an impressive global coalition of nongovernmental organiza­tions (NGOs) formed for this very purpose. This coalition, or global justice movement as it is also called, has organized a series of very successful protests at various meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the G7 and G8, and it has also held several World Social Forum meetings, most of them in Brazil. At these meetings, the NGOs proposed a set of alternative trade policies, including concrete and radical proposals for restructuring the global financial institutions that would profoundly change the nature of globalization.

TTo place the political discourse within a systemic and ecological perspective, the global civil society relies on a network of scholars, research institutes, think tanks, and centers of learning that largely operate outside our leading academic institutions, business organizations, and government agencies. Most of these research institutes are communities of both scholars and activists who are engaged in a variety of projects and campaigns. Among them, there are three clusters of issues that seem to be focal points for the largest and most active grassroots coalitions. One is the challenge of reshaping the governing rules and institutions of globalization; another is the opposition to geneti­cally modified foods and the promotion of sustainable agriculture; and the third is ecological design – a concerted effort to redesign our physical structures, cit­ies, technologies, and industries so as to make them ecologically sustainable.

It seems that this political will has increased significantly in the last few years. One notable sign is Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, which has played a major role in raising ecological awareness. Another important development is the publication of Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, by Lester Brown, founder of the orldwatch Institute and one of the most authoritative environmental thinkers. The first part of Brown's book is documentation of the fundamental interconnectedness of our major problems. The second part is perhaps the clearest documentation to date that we have the knowledge, the technologies, and the financial means to save civilization and build a sustainable future.

Finally, the political will and leadership for moving toward sustainability increased with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States.

Yet some fundamental questions remain. Why has it taken us so long to rec­ognize the serious threats to the survival of humanity? Why are we so painfully slow to change the perceptions, ideas, lifestyles, and institutions that perpetuate injustice and destroy our planet's capacity to sustain life? How can we accelerate the movement toward social justice and ecological sustainability?

These are the issues at the heart of The Tao of Liberation. The authors – Boff from the global South and Hathaway from the North – have both reflected on ques­tions of theology, justice, and ecology. Their answer to the above-mentioned questions is that the fundamental challenge is much more than disseminating knowledge and changing old habits. All the threats we face, in their view, are symptoms of a deeper cultural and spiritual sickness afflicting humanity. "There is a deep pathology inherent in the system that currently dominates and exploits our world," they assert. To overcome our deep pathology, the authors maintain, will require a fun­damental shift in human consciousness. "In a very real way," they write, "we are called to reinvent ourselves as a species." They refer to this process of profound transformation as ‘liberation,’ using the term as it is used in the tradition of liberation theology – both in the personal sense of spiritual realization, or enlightenment, and in the collective sense of a people seeking to free itself from oppression.

As Hathaway and Boff state in the Prologue, The Tao of Liberation is a search for the wisdom needed to effect profound liberatory transformations in our world. Realizing that such wisdom, ultimately, cannot be captured in words, they use the ancient Chinese word Tao (‘the Way’). According to Taoist tradition, spiritual realization is achieved when we act in harmony with nature.

In The Tao of Liberation, the search for the wisdom needed to shift from a society obsessed with unlimited growth and material consumption to a balanced and life-sustaining civilization involves two principal steps. The first step is an understanding of the obstacles that stand in the way of liberating transformation. The second step is the formulation of a ‘cosmology of liberation’.

The multiple and interdependent obstacles are explored by Hathaway and Boff The external ‘systemic’ obstacles are discussed at length; they include the illusion of unlimited growth on a finite planet, excessive cor­porate power, a parasitic financial system, and a tendency to monopolize knowl­edge and impose. As the authors explain, these external obstacles are reinforced by oppressive systems of education, manipulative mass media, pervasive consumerism, and artificial environments – especially in urban areas – that isolate us from living nature.

To overcome internalized powerlessness, which may take the form of addic­tion and greed, denial, psychic numbing, or despair, we need to expand our sense of self, the authors suggest. We need to deepen our capacity for compas­sion, build community and solidarity, reawaken our sense of belonging to the Earth, and thereby rediscover our ‘ecological self.’ They suggest that we should "reflect on the things that truly delight us, that truly give us pleasure – spending time with friends, walking outdoors, listening to music, or enjoying a simple meal." Most of what truly delights us, they point out, costs little or no money.

HHowever, to fully awaken and reconnect, we also need a new understanding of reality and a new sense of the place of humanity within the cosmos. We need ‘a living and vital cosmology.’

The authors assert that a new understanding of the cosmos is now emerging from modern science, which in many ways recalls earlier aboriginal cosmolo­gies. But unlike most of them, the new scientific worldview envisions an evolv­ing universe and is therefore an ideal conceptual framework for the iberatory transformation we need. To make that case, Hathaway and Boff draw from a reservoir of contemporary thinkers – philosophers, theologians, psycholo­gists, and natural scientists. In the vast array of ideas, models, and theories they discuss, not all are compatible with one another; quite a few are esoteric and def­initely outside the scientific mainstream; and at times the authors draw conclu­sions that go well beyond current science. Nevertheless, they succeed in demonstrating the emergence of a new and coherent scientific understanding of reality.

The authors also argue that the emerging scientific cosmology is compatible with the spiritual dimension of liberation. This sense of oneness with the natural world is borne out by the new conception of life in contemporary science. The awareness of being connected with all of nature is particularly strong in ecology. Thus, ecology seems to be the ideal bridge between science and spirituality. Indeed, Hathaway and Boff advocate an ‘ecological spirituality’ concerned primarily with the future of planet Earth and of humanity as a whole.

They point out that there are unique ecological insights and approaches in each religion, and they encourage us to see this diversity of teachings as a strength rather than a threat. "Each of us must look again into our own spiri­tual tradition," the authors suggest, "and seek out the insights that move us to reverence for all life, to an ethic of sharing and care, to a vision of the sacred incarnate in the cosmos."

The Tao of Liberation also contains many concrete suggestions of goals, strategies, and policies for effective transformative action to move toward a just and ecologically sustainable society. Two frameworks discussed in detail are bioregionalism, based on the idea of regaining a profound connection with nature at the local level, and the Earth Charter, ‘a truly liberating dream for humanity,’ which names as its first principle the respect and care for the com­munity of life.

The Tao of Liberation is a path-breaking book. It brings together the insights of cosmology, ecology, and spirituality in a fresh and powerful way. With their creative collaboration, Mark Hathaway and Leonardo Boff offer us a remarkable new synthesis which will surely become an enduring classic. – Brian Swimme, Director, Center for the Story of the Universe, California Institute of Integral Studies

Boff and Hathaway present us with a holistic, comprehensive, and integrated path toward the transformation required if the human experience is to have a future in our Earthly Home. – Bill Phipps, International President of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and Chair of Faith and the Common Good

I love this book. Its inspiration lives up to its ambition – leading the reader through some of the most complex issues of our age (from globalization and the current recession to climate change and loss of species) while illuminating a path forward through religion and spirituality. – Elizabeth May, O.C., Leader, Green Party of Canada

There is no other book that has so carefully identified the new cosmology of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme as a liberating context for a sustainable future. This is a masterful and important work. – Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion and Ecology, Yale University

The Tao of Liberation is a monumental contribution toward tackling the global crisis, including analyses that plumb the roots of the crisis and proposals for a fundamental change of direction. The text draws on science, economics, ethics and spirituality, integrating them in a scenario that just might pull us back from the precipice. – David G. Hallman, Advisor to the World Council of Churches Climate Change Programme

Leonardo Boff and Mark Hathaway give birth to a great marriage between lib­eration theology and creation spirituality. I welcome it – it is very timely – and I welcome the dimensions of ecology, cosmology and feminist philosophy applied astutely to the crisis of western capitalism and culture we are all undergoing at this time as well as the deep ecumenism which is so beautifully and aptly invoked in the use of the great Tao Te Ching throughout the text. – Matthew Fox, author, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ

Global poverty and global ecological destruction represent two of the most important challenges facing the human community. In The Tao of Liberation, Mark Hathaway and Leonardo Boff creatively and movingly explore the inter-connection of these twin challenges, deftly blending the wisdom of the world's spiritual traditions and the insights of social science to explore the structural and cultural features underlying our present unsustainable behavior. This is a must read for all of those who seek to understand the critical nexus between the option for the poor and the option for the Earth. – Stephen Bede Scharper, University of Toronto

Rather than seeing the transition to a sustainable society primarily in terms of limits and restrictions, Hathaway and Boff eloquently propose a new and compelling conception of sustainability as liberation. – Fritjof Capra, author, The Tao of Physics

The Tao of Liberation is a gospel for our time, a path forward. Clear, prophetic and inspiring, it provides hope for our troubled world. The authors present a comprehensive plan synthesizing interdisciplinary resources.

Philosophy / Health, Mind & Body / Self-Help

How Philosophy Can Save Your Life:: 10 Ideas That Matter Most by Marietta/st1:place> McCarty (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin)

A philosophy club is a health spa for the mind and heart. – Marietta McCarthy

How Philosophy Can Save Your Life urges readers to discover how great philosophers can help them live a more purposeful and peaceful, healthier and happier life.
This new book from the bestselling author of Little Big Minds reveals how the heartbeats of philosophy – clear thinking, quiet reflection, and good conversation – are essential ingredients in a well-lived life. In Little Big Minds, McCarty dusted off a seemingly dry and serious subject – philosophy – and demonstrated how it could be used in a fun way to teach kids to think critically. Now, in How Philosophy Can Save Your Life, McCarty brings the benefits of philosophy to an adult audience and shows how an exploration of philosophy's big ideas, particularly in the setting of a philosophy club, can be not only a thought-provoking experience but a life-changing one.

As a professor of philosophy and a longtime participant in philosophy circles, McCarty has spent years making philosophy accessible and illustrating how its core components can enrich lives. Here she invokes the timeless wisdom of Epicurus, Lao Tzu, Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, the Dalai Lama and others to illuminate the ideas that are essential to a fulfilling life. Full of discussion ideas and activities readers can do with a group, How Philosophy Can Save Your Life is framed around ten ‘big ideas’ – themes that, according to McCarty, assistant professor of philosophy at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, Virginia, are necessary to grasp if one wants to live a truly fulfilling life. They are:

  1. Simplicity (philosophers include Epicurus and Charlotte Joko Beck)
  2. Communication (philosophers include bell hooks and Karl Jaspers)
  3. Perspective (philosophers include Bertrand Russell and Mary Wollstonecraft)
  4. Flexibility (philosophers include Plato and Alan Watts)
  5. Empathy (philosophers include the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King, Jr.)
  6. Individuality (philosophers include Jean-Paul Sartre and Elizabeth Spelman)
  7. Belonging (philosophers include Albert Camus and Rita Manning)
  8. Serenity (philosophers include Epictetus and Lao Tzu)
  9. Possibility (philosophers include John Stuart Mill and Simone de Beauvoir)
  10. Joy (philosophers include Shunryu Suzuki and Jane Addams)

Throughout, McCarty offers meaty discussion questions, fun activities (that can be done as part of a group or on their own) and a variety of reading and listening recommendations. For example:

  • To build Communication skills, ‘Get Up and Do’ these exercises:
    • Intentionally engage in conversation with someone whose lifestyle and viewpoint differ from your own.
    • Write a letter that matters to you and that you know will make a difference to the recipient.
  • When pondering Flexibility, ask and/or discuss:
    • How do you pose deadlines and demands on your life unnecessarily?
    • What is a firmly held belief that you discarded upon further reflection?
    • What are some assumptions that you regret?
  • To increase Serenity, ‘Read and Talk’ about:
    • Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder
    • Marcus Aurelius's Meditations
    • William Shutkin's A Republic of Trees: Field Notes on People, Place and the Planet

From music and poetry to documentary and drama, the variety of ‘homework opportunities’ allows readers to approach these big ideas from numerous angles.

...[A] tangible approach to understanding how notions like tolerance, flexibility and perspective can enrich our busy lives. – Publisher's Weekly

"[McCarty] opens up a whole new world to those who have never explored
philosophy in detail. – Library Journal

How Philosophy Can Save Your Life shows readers how the greatest thinkers of all time can help them live more meaningful and peaceful lives. An accessible guide, the book helps readers awaken their minds, change their lives, and have fun in the process. Whether reflecting alone or sharing the adventure with a club, readers are challenged and engaged.

Philosophy / History / Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling

Our Dark Side: A History of Perversion by Élisabeth Roudinesco, translated by David Macey (Polity)

Where does perversion begin? Who is perverse? Ever since the word first appeared in the Middle Ages, anyone who delights in evil and in the destruction of the self or others has been described as ‘perverse’. But while the experience of perversion is universal, every era has seen it and dealt with it in its own way.

The history of perversion in the West is told by Élisabeth Roudinesco, Professor of History at the University of Paris VII – Denis Diderot, in Our Dark Side, through a study of great emblematic figures of the perverse – Blackbeard, the mystical saints and the flagellants in the middle ages, the Marquis de Sade in the eighteenth century, the masturbating child, the male homosexual and the hysterical woman nineteenth century, Nazism in the twentieth century, and the complementary figures of the pedophile and the terrorist in the twenty-first.

They are commonly viewed as monstrous and cruel, as something alien to the very nature of being human. And yet, perversion can also attest to creativity and self-transcendence, to the refusal of individuals to submit to the rules and prohibitions that govern human life. Perversion fascinates us precisely because it can be both abject and sublime. Whether they are sublime because they turn to art or mysticism, or abject because they surrender to their murderous impulses, the perverse are part of us because they exhibit something that we always conceal: our own negativity and our dark side.

According to Roudinesco in the introduction to Our Dark Side, many books, including learned dictionaries of sexology, eroticism and pornography have been devoted to the sexual perversions, but there is no history of the perverse. As for the word, structure or term ‘perversion’, it has been studied only by psychoanalysts.

Michel Foucault said in substance that, because of the inverted symmetry between ‘perverse people’ and the exemplary lives of famous men, the lives of the perverse are unnamable: they are infamous, minuscule, anonymous and wretched. These parallel, abnormal lives are not talked about and, as a rule, are mentioned only to be condemned. And when they do acquire a certain notoriety, it is because of the power of their exceptional criminality, which is deemed to be bestial, monstrous or inhuman, and seen as something alien to the very humanity of human beings. Witness the constant reworking of the stories of great perverse criminals, with their terrible nicknames: Gilles de Rais (Bluebeard), George Chapman (Jack the Ripper), Erzebet Bathory (the Bloody Countess) and Peter Kiirten (the Vampire of Düsseldorf).) These creatures have inspired plays, novels, stories and films because of our continued fascination with their strange, half-human, half-animal status.

Our Dark Side enters into both the world of perversion and the parallel lives of the perverse via the universal themes of metaphor and animality, not so much via the epic poems that relate how men were transformed into animals, fountains or plants as by plunging into the nightmare of a never-ending infinite reassignment that reveals, in all its cruelty, what human beings try to disguise.

Our Dark Side is traced in five chapters dealing, successively, with the Middle Ages (Gilles de Rais, the mystical saints and the flagellants), the eighteenth century (the life and work of the Marquis de Sade), the nineteenth century (mental medicine, its descriptions of the sexual perversions, and its obses­sion with the masturbating child, the homosexual and the hysteri­cal woman), and, finally, the twentieth century that saw, thanks to the rise of Nazism – and especially Rudolf Hoess's Auschwitz confessions, the most abject metamorphosis of perver­sion.

Be it a delight in evil or a passion for the sovereign good, perversion is the defining characteristic of the human species: the animal world is excluded from it, just as it is excluded from crime. Not only is it a human phenomenon that is present in all cultures; it presupposes the existence of speech, language, art, or even a discourse on art and sex.

While no perversion is thinkable without the establishment of the basic taboos – religious or secular – that govern societies, no human sexual practice is possible without the support of a rheto­ric.

Perversion is, according to Our Dark Side, a sexual, politi­cal, social, psychic, transhistorical and structural phenomenon that is present in all human societies. And while every culture has its coherent divisions – the prohibition of incest, the definition of madness, terms to describe the monstrous or the abnormal – perversion naturally has its place in that combinatory. But it is also a social necessity; it preserves norms, while ensuring the human species of the permanence of its pleasures and transgres­sions. What would we do without Sade, Mishima, Jean Genet, Pasolini, Hitchcock, and the many others who have given us the most refined works imaginable? What would we do if we could no longer scapegoat, or in other words pervert, those who agree to translate into strange acts the inadmissible tendencies that haunt us and that we repress?

No matter whether the perverse are sublime because they turn to art, creation or mysticism, or abject because they surrender to their murderous impulses, they are part of us and part of our humanity because they exhibit something that we always conceal: our own negativity and our dark side.

In this provocative, timely, and engaging study of famous perverse figures, Elisabeth Roudinesco offers us a ‘dark mirror' for human experience. She persuasively argues that because perversion is a uniquely human activity, it allows us to gain access to aspects of the human psyche that are normally hidden from view. By examining case histories of perversion throughout history, Roudinesco shows that perverts provide us with a disturbing reflection of the dark side of the very human societies in which they perform their extreme acts. – Elissa Marder, Emory University

This fascinating book takes us from the question of the origin of the perverse through its semiotic displacements in Christianity and libertinism, by way of Freud as a thinker of the dark Enlightenment, into the emergence of contemporary biocracy and genocide as delight in evil. Required reading for all studies of the history of consciousness. – Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Columbia University

This unique study opens up a little-researched part of our history. Where does perversion begin, and who are the perverse? That is the question Roudinesco answers in Our Dark Side, which brings together hitherto distinct approaches by combining an analysis of the notion of perversion not only with portraits of the perverse and an account of the main sexual perversions, but also with a critique of the theories and practices that have been developed, mostly from the nineteenth century onwards, to theorize perversion and to name the perverse.

Professional & Technical / Architecture / Gardening & Horticulture / Landscape / Reference

Shaping the American Landscape: New Profiles from the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project edited by Charles A. Birnbaum & Stephanie S. Foell (University of Virginia Press)

Shaping the American Landscape explores the lives and work of 151 professionals who quite literally shaped both the land itself and our ideas of what the American landscape means. Although the contributors consider many important figures from the past, the book breaks new ground by including seminal designers who are in their twilight years, and in some cases still professionally active, to provide a look at the modern era of design in action. The roster of profiles extends far beyond landscape architects to encompass professionals in many other fields, including planning, journalism, gardening, and golf course and cemetery design.

Editors are Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and Stephanie S. Foell, architectural and landscape historian, who seek not only to bring their subjects' design legacies to light, but also to instill a sense of stewardship for historically meaningful examples of their art.

Why? Because across North America, key works in landscape design – from M. Paul Friedberg's Riis Plaza Park in New York to Dan Kiley's NationsBank Plaza in Tampa – have already disappeared. Other iconic works, although still extant, face serious threats of demolition. Shaping the American Landscape identifies a host of public spaces deserving of recognition, and sheds light on the process by which they may be protected. A selection of illustrations, together with a list of surviving landscape sites accessible to the public, brings both the subjects and their art to life.

Like the previously published Pioneers volumes – which canvassed the work of American landscape centers, many lesser known, and focused on the stewardship of built legacies while showcasing some of the more cel­ebrated figures – this collection surveys the state of the art, asserting that modernists, too can be pioneers – and expanding the idea of landscape history ever further outward. The biographical entries gathered in Shaping the American Landscape cover a great­er span of time, both backward to Sir Francis Nicholson, born in 1655, and, probably more controversially, forward, with the inclusion of individuals who are still living. This new volume is particularly notable for incorporating interrelated collateral disciplines, with portraits of earthworks artists (Herbert Bayer), amateur botanists (Henry Shaw), community activists/gardeners (Liz Christy), inventors (John Brooks), cemetery designers (Almerin Hotchkiss), golf course architects (Willie Park Jr.). librarians (Theodora Kimball Hubbard), seeds-men (James Vick) and a host of others.

Shaping the American Landscape is an essential reference for everyone interested in the world around us, and reveals the highlights and hidden gems that are our shared legacy. Organized in an accessible, encyclopedic format, Shaping the American Landscape is a fascinating and indispensable reference work that may also be read simply for the pleasure of discovery, or may be used to identify and visit some of the landscapes described.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology

Realism in Religion: A Pragmatist's Perspective by Robert Cummings Neville (State University of New York Press)

Religion is basic to the human condition, according to this philosophy of religion from a pragmatist's perspective. While pragmatist thinkers have often been cool to religious claims, Robert Cummings Neville, Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at Boston University, in Realism in Religion holds that a theology of truth can emerge from this tradition. Standing against the typical nominalist view that regards religious claims as concepts or structures of language, Neville argues that there can be significant and well-tested hypotheses about what is true in religious matters. He brings this theology to bear on questions of God, divine creation, divine nature and will, and eternity. Using the work of pragmatists Peirce and Whitehead to ground his philosophy of religion, Neville surveys a wide swath of twentieth-century theology and current trends, from Barth and Tillich to liberal and post-liberal theology, systematic theology, concepts of God, and approaches to scripture.

To discover in one's late sixties that one's early instincts were fruitful is a con­siderable comfort in the face of the discomforts of that age. Neville says he began his career in the 1960s when most philosophers in American and Britain believed in the ‘linguistic turn,’ to use Richard Rorty's phrase, which meant that philos­ophy and theology talk about talking about things, not about the things themselves. Against this, his instincts were for a realism in epistemology and metaphysics, and for an appreciation of the American pragmatists as creative, anti-Kantian realists. At that time, the pragmatists were generally considered to be amateur philosophers, not professionally precise like the Anglo-American analytic philosophers, nor professionally profound like the Continental philosophers. Over the years, Neville says his instincts have been rewarded, negatively, by the various moves of both analytic and Continental philosophies and the­ologies toward greater realism and, positively, by the handiness of pragmati­cally inspired realism for thinking through all sorts of problems Kantian foun­dationalism said we cannot think.

The chapters in Realism in Religion began as essays for various occasions or publications, but exhibit a strong continuity of theme regarding realism in reli­gion. As explained by Neville in the preface, although most of these essays have been rewritten to provide continu­ity and minimize repetition, Realism in Religion still is a book of essays from different contexts. Instead of a single treatment of each major theme, as would be appro­priate for a monograph, the basic themes recur in different contexts and forms. Each is accessible, as befits a lecture, and cumulatively they provide nuances of detail that would be impossible in a massive treatment with one plot-line. These essays embody a system, which is not a single rational struc­ture but rather an examination of a cluster of related themes from many dif­ferent angles. Notions such as truth, interpretation, engagement, ultimacy, God, and comparison appear in many different contexts of discussion, each time with a new twist.

Chapter 1 in Realism in Religion explores the contrast between Barthian narrative theology and Tillich's realistic ‘systematic theol­ogy’ (a term of contempt for Barth). The attraction of narrative theology is the ease with which it serves the search for religious identity. But because narrative theology cannot be realistic enough, it sacrifices strong justifications to be true.

According to the introduction, the case for the importance of truth in theology, over against the use of religious belief to define identity, is not an easy one to make, although it would seem to be obvious. If the only real things are bare particulars, and general terms refer to our thinking rather than to real things, then theology has little of interest to say about reality.

Chapter 2 explores some of the issues in affirming a realistic theology as true of the world, and discusses why so many liberal theologies that were aware of prob­lems of realistic reference were near misses. It then sketches an approach to theology called ‘symbolic engagement’ that is elaborated in subsequent chapters, and it concludes with the introduction of a conception of metaphysics that shows how religiously important things can be aspects of reality, not merely of language or conceptuality. That conception of metaphysics is developed in many of the later chapters.

The nominalistic view that theology is about our language or conceptu­ality rather than its purported real subjects has been given great precision by Frei and his colleague, also Neville’s teacher, George Lindbeck, known together with their followers as the ‘Yale School’ of theology. The difficulty with this approach is that theological claims seem to be incapable of referring to what they intend, but rather only to the deep structure of the way a community uses the language of reference. Chapter 3 argues that the vital contextualism of the Yale School can be main­tained within a theological approach that still is realistic in its reference to the ultimate realities that are theology's ostensible subjects.

Chapter 4 in Realism in Religion applies and elaborates some of the arguments of the preceding chapters to scriptural understanding, carrying out theology as symbolic engagement with respect to a specific genre of symbols. The theory of reference, distinguishing iconic, indexical, and conventional reference, is expressed more technically than discussions in earlier chapters, and later chapters will add more detail.

If properly realistic, theology attempts to say what is true of religious real­ities. Theology should not be caught within the symbol systems of one or a few communities, however, because presumably all religious with deep reflec­tive traditions have grappled with the religious realities. To make a case for a religious claim, as chapter 3 argues, requires dealing with alternative claims and their cases. Often the languages of different religions are so incommen­surate that it is impossible to tell whether they are talking about the same thing. With its realistic commitments, therefore, theology needs a base in comparative theology to create the global public necessary for making its cases. Chapter 5 explores this in some detail, and later chapters elaborate and illustrate the theory of comparison.

Because the approach to theology advocated in the first five chapters is based on Charles Peirce's pragmatism and other sources that debt needs to be spelled out. Although earlier chapters mention elements of Peirce's theory, chapter 6 lays it out directly, distinguishing issues of meaning, context, and reference in his general theory of interpretation. Of particular note is his theory of indexical reference. By virtue of indexical reference we can understand how concrete symbolic interpretations actually engage the world in fallible, corrigible ways. This is the theoretical heart of ‘theology as sym­bolic engagement.’ Chapter 7 of Realism in Religion goes on to elaborate a number of the conse­quences of Peirce's theory for religion and religious inquiry. They amount to a presentation of religious inquiry that is thoroughly empirical, without being reductionistic as in most sciences of religion.

The pragmatic approach to inquiry, including religious or theological inquiry, argues that all knowing is interpretation. Interpretations might be made problematic subsequently, but by and large we live and act within habitual assumptions about the world. Peirce had argued against intuition as a cognition ‘in immediate relation to its object’ (Kant's phrase). Chapter 8 is his youthful technical defense of intuition as ‘fourthness’ in Peirce's philosophy, a point Peirce should have learned from Plato. The intentional character of the reli­gious experience of ultimate realities depends on something like this kind of intuition, which is the ground for experiential realism.

Chapter 9 details a number of close connections and interesting differences between Alfred North Whitehead and pragmatism. However, that the arguments in Realism in Religion are far less dependent on Whitehead's specific metaphysics than those in much of his earlier work. For him, at least, pragmatism is the more enduring and fruitful legacy, it seems. Chapter 12 explicitly argues against Whitehead's theology.

Jonathan Edwards, in the early eighteenth century, introduced notions that became great themes in American theology, including in pragmatism and process theology. These include realism in theological reference, realism in theological knowledge of nature as revealing the ultimate, realism regarding value being resident in things, and aestheticism in experience as the means by which interpreters recognize real value. These are all antinominalist themes, and are explored briefly in chapter 10.

Chapter 11 addresses a specific question with a the­ology of world religions, namely, how conceptions of God fare when employed cross-culturally. Neville argues that comparison can be fair and still normative, and explore the role of comparative treatments of the problem of the one and the many as one criterion for assessing theologies in comparative perspective. Chapter 12 divides conceptions of God into those of a determi­nate being and those of God as ground of being. It argues for the latter, and claims that a theology of creation ex nihilo explains this best.

Chapter 13 places the debate between God as a being and God as ground of all being in an early modem historical context, attributing the former view to Leibniz and the latter to Descartes. Because of the close connection between them, some clarity is brought to the debate about whether God is a being with a nature who creates on the basis of that nature, Leibniz' view, or whether God is the ground for all natures, all intel­ligibility, and all value, which thus depend on the divine creative will. Descartes' hypothesis of the priority of divine will to divine nature is defended, which is not so far from the famous claims on the matter by Duns Scotus, the realist. Chapter 14 pulls together many of the themes of creation ex nihilo to elaborate a theory of time and eternity in reference to human life, with special emphasis on eternity. Contrary to the usual analogy for understanding God, according to which God is like temporal human beings but somewhat above time, it argues with contrarian vigor that temporal human life should be understood on the analogy of the eternal God. We discover who we are only in God.

Realism in Religion provides a philosophical consideration of key religious issues from a pragmatist's perspective.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology / Philosophy

Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 3: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century by Alan G. Padgett, Steve Wilkens (Christianity & Western Thought Series, Volume 3: IVP Academic)

Colin Brown's Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 1: From the Ancient World to the Age of Enlightenment was widely embraced as a text in philosophy and theology courses around the world. His project was continued with the same spirit, energy and design by Steve Wilkens and Alan Padgett in Volume 2, which explores the main intellectual streams of the nineteenth century.

This, the third and final volume, Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 3: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century, also by Wilkens, professor of systematic theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, and Padgett, professor of theology and ethics at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California, examines philosophers, ideas and movements in the twentieth century and how they have influenced Christian thought.

Along with a loss of faith in reason and science, the twentieth century witnessed a loss of faith in the human self and soci­ety as a whole. Two devastating world wars left scant reason for Enlightenment optimism. Commencing with Frege, Husserl and Bergson, Padgett and Wilkens chart the course of twentieth century philosophy on its journey toward postmodernism.

They say that the voyage is not a straight-line affair. Questions of language and mean­ing in the tradition of Russell and Moore, which reached its apex in Wittgenstein, follow a stream unlike the continental philosophy domi­nated by Heidegger. This latter stream of continental philosophy com­prises a delta of philosophical movements, including phenomenology, hermeneutics, structuralism, Marxism, critical theory and poststruchualism and brings to the fore such thinkers as Foucault, Derrida and Rorty.

Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century is the continuation of and final volume in the series. The purpose remains the same as before, namely, an overview and introduction to Western thought from a Christian point of view. While Padgett and Wilkens do not cover theology as fully as in previous volumes they remain inter­ested as Christian scholars in the thought of the great philosophers of the twentieth century. What did these women and men believe, and how does their thought engage the Christian worldview? What are the impli­cations of these philosophies for the ongoing task of church mission, worship and scholarship? They make no pretensions to neutrality, but come to twentieth-century phi­losophy as disciples of Christ Jesus.

Padgett and Wilkens in Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century look back to the nineteenth century as an era of relative stability and progress, when many people believed in reason, science and the inevita­ble triumph of the human spirit. The machine age and industrialization gave people hope in the future. Great systems of thought arose to give shape to this optimism. Philosophers such as Nietzsche and Schopen­hauer, generally pessimistic concerning the human race, were swimming against the stream in their own day. Today many thinkers look back on them as prophets.

According to Padgett and Wilkens in Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century, it is always difficult to write about one’s own century, even when it is over. We lack distance and historical perspective. Only the passage of time allows people to reflect upon the past, to discover the essential ingredients of culture, to gain insight into the why and how of events. Still, the longest journey begins with the first step. Padgett and Wilkens say readers must do their best to understand their own century, sure in knowl­edge that other, later scholars will correct their myopia.

The story of Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century begins in central Europe, in German-speaking intellectual circles. In response to the challenge of Kant, Hegel and idealism, several thinkers began to insist that philosophy must return to its scientific foun­dations. The most important of these turn-of-the-century philosophers was Gottlob Frege (1848-1925). Although his work received almost no recognition in his lifetime, he contributed to the story through those he influenced. Frege is the first philosopher of our century to make the ‘linguistic turn,’ that is, to argue that (1) philosophy can only proceed by a careful analysis of the symbols used in expressing propositions, and (2) that the meaning of a symbol (or word) is its use in a formula (or sentence). He influenced two philosophers whose works helped establish the two streams of Western philosophy in our century: Bertrand Russell in ana­lytic philosophy, and Edmund Husserl in phenomenology. These men in turn influenced two philosophers who stand at the center of the story. Both Frege and Russell influenced Ludwig Wittgenstein, while Husserl had a major impact on Martin Heidegger. With Heidegger and Wittgenstein we reach philosophers whose work is arguably the most influential in our century. The two streams in which they stand are the two schools or movements into which Western philosophy is typically divided: the analytic and continental approaches.

Early in the century, analytic philosophers Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore at Cambridge rejected the idealism then popular in British philos­ophy. Russell began his career in the philosophy of mathematics and logic, and it is due to him that Frege's work became well known. Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein (at this early point in his career) all agreed that the ambiguities of language had led tradi­tional philosophy into logical blunders and pseudo-problems. Only care­ful, exacting, logical analysis could possibly help philosophy out of the blind alley of ordinary language.

According to Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century, a similar school of thought was growing in Austria, known as the Vienna Circle. These logical positivists, as they became known, also held that a careful, logical analysis of language was the only way forward in philosophy. The style of philosophy at Cambridge and Vienna, which we now call analytic, dominated philosophy in the English-speaking world for much of our century. Traditional metaphysics was almost wholly forsaken, while logic, philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science were the new dominant concerns. Idealism, once so influential, had been swept from the field. The other major philosophical movement in our century is continental, which begins with phenomenology. These terms, methods and ideas are covered more fully in Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century.

The continental tradition in the twentieth century tends to circle around Husserl's student Martin Heidegger. Heidegger's early work examined consciousness, as Husserl did, with a special focus on human Being that is conscious. In his central work, Being and Time (1927), he argued that knowledge of reality must begin with an investigation of the knower, that is, of human Being (Dasein in German, roughly meaning human existence in the world). Heidegger was also concerned with meaning, but focused on the meaning of human Being and of the world we live in, rather than simply the meaning of words. Yet Being and Time is pregnant with important insights for hermeneutics. He argued that tradi­tional metaphysics had to be overcome, in order to clear the way for Being to speak. The turn to human Being as the ground of knowledge (as opposed to the stable Cartesian ego), alongside the general concern with the loss of center and loss of self during and after World War I, helped spark the rise of existentialism.

Existentialism was more of an attitude or trend than a specific style or method of philosophy. Building upon the work of Heidegger and other philosophers, existentialists investigated the meaning of human existence. They held (for the most part) that existence and freedom were basic. Human Being cannot be reduced to an object for empirical, scientific inquiry. They rejected the quest for scientific foundations in philosophy and for a rational basis for ethics. Each individual is unique and faces unique situations: only she can discover, for herself, what authentic exis­tence means for her. To rely upon such external authorities for the meaning of our lives is ‘bad faith.’ Existentialism had a tremendous impact on Western culture, and Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century looks in some detail at its influence on Christian theol­ogy.

Existentialism represents a general reaction against reason, science and logical analysis. Following Heidegger, thinkers of this type rejected the pretensions of traditional metaphysics. No universal, scientific, ration­alist approach to life can possibly be authentic or address one’s deepest personal needs. This general rejection of Enlightenment rationalism continues to the end of the century and expands to other movements.

Alongside Heidegger a key philosopher of the age was Ludwig Witt­genstein. Through arduous analysis and reflection upon his own earlier work, Wittgenstein changed completely the character of his philosophy with it, the analytic tradition. Meaning comes from use by a speaking community, in the actions of real life. We must pay attention to the way words are actually used in various contexts, in what he called ‘language games.’ By ignoring how language is grounded in many forms of life, philosophers have committed numerous errors. The goal of the philosophy therefore becomes therapeutic, rather than cognitive: we help thinkers overcome the errors that language has led them into. This behavioral, communal approach to meaning was just as detrimental to traditional metaphysics as logical positivism had been. It also served to undermine the logical program of Russell and Frege, and their more abstract, propositional notions of meaning and truth.

As told in Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century, Wittgenstein moved much closer to a kind of pragmatism in the philosophy of language. Along with the work of the later Wittgenstein, the philosophy of W. V. Quine and other logical pragmatists effectively undermined the confident faith in logical analysis characteristic of early analytic philosophies.
This loss of confidence reaches its acme in the work of the popular American pragmatist Richard Rorty. Rorty insists that the history of Western philosophy is a dead end, a quest for objective truth that is doomed to failure. Enlightenment faith in reason must be rejected for the ‘bad faith’ it was, and a pluralistic, relativistic and pragmatic approach to truth and meaning must take its place. Rorty is the parade example of post-modern analytic philosophy.

Recent French philosophy provides another example of post-moder­nity. The work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, sometimes described as ‘poststructuralist,’ exerts a powerful hold over Western intellectuals, especially in the humanities and human sciences. Foucault was primarily a social phi­losopher and historian. Like Wittgenstein and the logical pragmatists, he insists on the social and cultural foundations of all sciences, worldviews and philosophies. Furthermore, following the influence of Marx and Nietzsche, Foucault sees the hand of power and class behind the domi­nation of a scientific program, a philosophy or a worldview. Such a historicist approach calls into question any notion of ‘truth’ for sci­ence, philosophy or theology.

Like Foucault, Derrida learned the questions and concerns of his teachers only to radically undermine their results. Derrida's work in phi­losophy focuses on language. He emphasizes the great distance that he finds between language and Being or ‘presence.’ Derrida finds Being to be under ‘erasure’ in the text, and the author to be dead – any appeal to some inner authorial intention as a norm for meaning is futile. Thus meaning is endlessly deferred, and difference (as we will see) becomes the leitmotif of Derrida's philosophy.

Clearly, according to Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century, the story of Western philosophy in the twentieth century is a story of great change. The century began with the attempt to ground phi­losophy in reason and create a scientific approach to philosophical issues. However, much popular and intellectual culture abandoned faith in the power of reason and science to discover certain truth about reality or to establish human control over it. In both the analytic and the phenomenological traditions, philosophers undermined the rationalism of earlier founders. By the end of the century postmodern philosophies, with their emphasis on the social construction of reality and the relativity of all claims to truth and meaning, dominated many academic disci­plines. It does seem as if indeed the center did not hold.

Padgett and Wilkens discuss these movements fully Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century.

Covering the twentieth century's major figures and movements in philosophy and theology in one volume is truly a feat! That the authors have managed to narrate the history of both analytic and continental varieties of thought in an engaging and lively way is even more impressive. But what is perhaps most remarkable is how judicious and measured the authors have been in their appraisals of the respective figures and movements. The result is a most welcome achievement. – Bruce Ellis Benson, professor of philosophy and chair of the philosophy department, Wheaton College

As in the previous volumes, Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 3: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century, Padgett and Wilkens prove able guides, assisting readers in understanding the various currents and landscapes along the way. This volume will meet the needs of stu­dents, pastors and general readers for a narrative introduction to the developments in Western philosophy in the twentieth century. This volume, when combined with the previous two, completes an authoritative history of Western thought since the birth of Christianity. The volume also stands alone, that is, the material is logical and reasonable even to readers not acquainted with the previous two volumes.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Health, Mind & Body / Self-Help

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives, Classic Edition by Dan Millman (H.J. Kramer/ New World Library)

This book is so appealing because it provides an easy access for people to naturally identify, connect and be in touch with the spiritual part of themselves. – Virginia Satir

Way of the Peaceful Warrior has become one of the most beloved spiritual sagas of our time. Shared among friends and families, this multimillion-copy, word-of-mouth bestseller has been translated into more than twenty languages and has inspired men and women of all ages worldwide. For the first time since the book's initial publication in 1980, it is available in a hardcover classic edition to celebrate its milestone 25 years.

As told by the author/narrator in Way of the Peaceful Warrior, despite his success, college student and world-champion athlete Dan Millman is haunted by a feeling that something is missing from his life. Awakened one night by dark dreams, he wanders into an all-night gas station. There he meets an old man named Socrates, and his world is changed forever. Guided by this eccentric old warrior and drawn to an elusive young woman named Joy, Dan begins a spiritual odyssey into realms of light and shadow, romance and mystery. He travels the paths of flesh and spirit, light and darkness, laughter and magic, learning new ways to see the world and live life fully. His journey ultimately leads him toward a final confrontation that will deliver or destroy him.

Thematically, Way of the Peaceful Warrior is the tale of the eternal human quest for the meaning of life is the path of transformation and enlightenment. It uncovers concepts known deep inside but allowed to wake up and be content with this knowledge. There is no need to search, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One – and the only laws are paradox, humor and change.

Millman is a former world-champion athlete, gymnastics coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor. His books have touched millions of readers in thirty languages. He travels worldwide, teaching fresh and realistic ways to live with a peaceful heart and a warrior spirit.

… To this observer, Millman is a bit young, his life too charmed to speak authoritatively about enlightenment and cosmic wisdom, but millions of avid readers disagree. However one takes his professions of sagacity, as narrator as well as author, he has ample skill and showmanship, though one gets the impression that one has heard it all before. – Y.R., AudioFile (refers to the original edition in 1980, whose content has not been modified)

A very unusual book, remarkably wise, provocatively humorous, and hauntingly beautiful. It may even change the lives of many of those who peruse its pages. – Dr. Stanley Krippner, Institute for Humanistic Psychology

A piercing and very lively book. – Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., author of Body Mind

It is for me an important work of art and truth. It helped answer inner questions I've been battling for a long time. – Laura Goad, Association for Transpersonal Psychology

After reading Way of the Peaceful Warrior don't tuck it away on a bookshelf to gather dust. Keep it close at hand, and recapture guidance from many of the metaphors sprinkled throughout the story. The secret of happiness, Socrates so aptly points out, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. – Association for Humanistic Psychology Newsletter

This classic tale, told with heart and humor, speaks to something in each person. Countless readers have been moved to laughter, tears, and moments of illumination as they rediscover life’s larger meaning and purpose. This edition is another opportunity for readers who have not yet done so to follow the peaceful warrior’s path and find out for themselves why Way of the Peaceful Warrior changes lives.

Religion & Spirituality / Occult / Arts & Photography / Biographies & Memoirs

Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World: The Life and Work of the Last Man to Search for Universal Knowledge by Joscelyn Godwin (Inner Traditions)

Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World is a major study of both the written and pictorial work of a neglected genius.

Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) was a Jesuit, linguist, archaeologist, and exceptional scholar, whose breadth of interest made him the last true Renaissance man. To Kircher the entire world was a glorious manifestation of God whose exploration was both a scientific quest and a religious experience. His works on Egyptology (he is credited with being the first Egyptologist), music, optics, magnetism, geology, and comparative religion were the definitive texts of their time – and yet they represent only a part of his vast range of knowledge. A Christian Hermeticist in the mold of Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola, his work also examined alchemy, the Kabbalah, and the Egyptian mystery tradition exemplified by Hermes Trismegistus.
The Hermetic cast of Kircher’s thought, which was foreign to the concerns of those propelling the Age of Reason, coupled with the breadth of his interests, caused many of his contributions to be widely overlooked – an oversight now rectified by Joscelyn Godwin, musicologist and translator, professor of music at Colgate University. It has been said that Kircher could think only in images. While this is an exaggeration, the stunning engravings that are a distinguishing feature of his work are included in Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World so readers may fully appreciate and see for themselves the life work, philosophy, and achievements of ‘the last man who knew everything.’

Kircher was the first to map ocean currents; the first to offer a comprehensive theory of vulcanism; the first to compile an encyclopedia on China, a dictionary of Coptic, a book dedicated solely to acoustics; the first to construct a machine for coding messages and another for composing music. His museum in Rome was among the most famous ‘cabinets of curiosities,’ visited by everybody in the intellectual world.

In May 2002, Godwin says, he was eating breakfast in a Chicago motel when a ribbon appeared on the television screen: “Was Athanasius Kircher the coolest guy ever, or what?” It turned out that Kircher's four-hundredth birthday was to be celebrated by a symposium at New York University, organized by eminent scholars who had come to Kircher comparatively late in their careers. Kircher had come to him early in his.

Since there is a long list of recent Kircher literature, Goodwin says he must justify adding another to them. His first principle is to let Kircher speak for himself, both in words and in pictures. Caterina Marrone writes: “It has been said that Kircher could not think except in images, but in fact thinking in images was not a limitation for him, but rather the realization of a forma mentis which he constantly followed.” However, in order for modern people to enjoy this kind of activity, most of them need a helping hand across the gulf of history, culture, religion and erudition that yawns between Kircher's age and ours.

Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World supplies all of the important illustrations of Kircher's works with explanations based, whenever possible, on his own words. It may be a poor substitute for reading the books themselves, but few today have access to these rare volumes and time to read them. And, to be honest, who would want to? Kircher's writing abounds in superfluities, repetitions and sermonizing: that is why his books are so long, and why no one translates them. The illustrations, on the other hand, have a quality of ingenuity and strangeness that are particular to his century, and of singular appeal to ours. More eloquent to our sensibilities than his inflated prose, they cry out to be understood.

That applies especially to the great symbolic frontispieces and the didactic images. There is also a host of lesser illustrations that need little explanation. Some are purely decorative, but even these can open windows on Kircher's world and the attitudes of his contemporaries. What, for example, is one to make of a picture of a unicorn, or a dragon? Kircher knew that the first no longer existed, but was sure that dragons did. The serious consideration of his theories by bodies such as the Royal Society betrays a climate of attitudes far closer to Kircher's than to those of the scientists and philosophers who

eventually turned out to be ‘right’, and who dominate a simplified historio­graphy. Even now, not all of Kircher's errors have been rectified – experts still debate the chronologies of ancient empires, the makeup of the earth's inte­rior, the causes of the tides. The biblical literalism that acted as a straitjacket on Kircher's brilliant mind is, astonishingly, still with us. Participation in Kircher's museum, or theatre, or ecstatic journey – whichever metaphor one prefers – is both an education and a surrealistic adventure, rather like the par­allel universe in which he is deemed so ‘cool’.

The plan of Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World follows the categories of the Kunst- and Wunder­kammer, the ‘chamber of art and marvels’ that was the precursor of muse­ums: Artificialia (works of the human hand), here represented by Antiqui­ties; Naturalia (wonders of nature); Scientifica (devices of human ingenuity); and Exotica (things from outside Europe). To these are added a chapter on the sciences of the ear, and one on the importance of maps and plans for Kircher's visualization of the world. These thirteen chapters complete the essential part of the book, Chapters 14 and 15 being more in the nature of appendices. Not every reader shares Kircher's fascination with pagan theo­logy and didactic diagrams, but a few may be curious about the meaning of these often baffling images.

Almost any modern work on archaeology, geology, science, medicine, or even Egyptian or Chinese history will present some intriguing fact … with a footnote referencing a work by Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680). The work of the polymath Jesuit richly rewards pursuit, and Joscelyn Godwin, a distinguished translator and professor of music at Colgate University, is the ideal guide. Not least of Godwin's services is placing Kircher in his intellectual context…. What makes Kircher endlessly fascinating, as Godwin amply demonstrates, is the sheer breadth, depth, and expansiveness of his ever-curious mind…. Godwin and Inner Traditions deserve congratulations for a superb book, complete with bibliographies of Kircher's works and works about him. – Peter Skinner, ForeWord Reviews

Here we have a virtual window into the mind of a 17th century genius. Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World fully and masterfully examines every area of Kircher’s wide field of study and accomplishment. The large volume is magnificently illustrated with the stunning engravings from Kircher’s work.

Sports / Coaching / Psychology

Sport and Character: Reclaiming the Principles of Sportsmanship by Craig Clifford & Randolph M. Feezell (Human Kinetics)
In an era when our nightly news is filled with reports of athletes run amok on the field, on the court, and on the street, and when cheating by players and coaches has become a part of the daily discourse, sportsmanship has never been a more timely topic.

Using examples from commonly occurring situations, Sport and Character brings to life what is required in order to be a good sport. Special ‘News Breaks’ incorporated throughout the text present practical examples of sportsmanship drawn from current sport news, including articles about Michael Phelps, Shawn Johnson, Jimmy Rollins, and Nastia Liukin. Inspirational quotes by Phil Jackson, John Wooden, and Mickey Mantle add vitality to this tool for building good athletes and good citizens. Unique ‘Time-Out for Reflection’ questions help readers examine the ethics of their coaching.

Sport and Character is endorsed by the American Sport Education Program (ASEP).

Authors are Craig Clifford, former head varsity men's and women's tennis coach at Tarleton State University in Texas, and Randolph M. Feezell, professor of philosophy and former youth, high school, and collegiate baseball coach.

Unlike other books, Sport and Character discusses not only how to teach sportsmanship but also why sportsmanship supports the health and welfare of individuals engaged in competitive play. Clifford and Feezell, both successful coaches and respected teachers and authors on the subject of ethics in sport, begin by offering a framework for thinking about sportsmanship. After reading a discussion of the principles of sportsmanship, readers learn how these principles can penetrate beyond the sport arena to provide guidance for everyday life. With real-life situations that occur both on and off the field, Sport and Character illustrates readers’ unique opportunity to teach and model sportsmanship for their athletes.

Randolph Feezell is, as I see things, quite simply the most engaging writer in philosophy of sport. His contributions to virtue ethics, especially regarding the virtue of sportsmanship, should be read by everyone who is interested in the moral character of contemporary athletes, coaches, and fans. – Daniel Dombrowski, Professor of Philosophy, Seattle University

Sport and Character addresses the key reason athletic competition is relevant and important – the development of sound character through competitive sports. This book provides a good look at the reasons for our national decline in sportsmanship and ways we can restore time-honored principles dedicated to character development through athletics. – Tom Osborne, Athletic Director, University of Nebraska

Sport and Character can help those involved in sport tackle the important lessons of sportsmanship. The book revitalizes readers’ ideas of sportsmanship, helping them balance the playful side of sport with the seriousness of competition. And by reminding readers of an alternative view to a win-at-all-costs mentality, the book inspires readers to renew their focus on incorporating lessons of sportsmanship in their coaching.

Travel / Cooking, Food & Wine

My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur by Romney Steele (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Ultimately, My Nepenthe is a story about food, family, and the culture of place, and how it all unfolds around the table and why that matters.

In 2009 Nepenthe commemorates sixty years of bringing writers, artists, dancers, travelers, actors, and cooks together around the table. Located on the Big Sur cliffs 808 feet above the Pacific Ocean, Nepenthe Restaurant boasts sweeping views of the rugged Santa Lucia Mountains and the wild south coast of Monterey County. Angular mountains plunge into the crashing surf below, and on a clear day there is no limit to the scenery, unspoiled and immense in nature. Opened in 1949 by the Fassett family, the restaurant is nestled among native oak trees and a historic log cabin (now faced by brick) that was once owned by Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth.

Nepenthe has become a cultural icon synonymous with Big Sur and the free-living bohemian lifestyle. Today, the original cabin, Nepenthe Restaurant, Cafe Kevah, and the Phoenix Shop make up the legendary establishment that continues to represent the spirit of its past patrons and its owners. About 250,000 people visit Nepenthe every year to take in the view, sample the food, and soak up a bit of history.

A lyrical feast written by the owners' granddaughter, Romney Steele, writer, cook, and food stylist, who grew up at the restaurant, My Nepenthe is as much about a family enterprise as it is about the Fassett family and their legacy. It recounts stories about the family's more than sixty-year history on the coast, the arts and architecture, and the colorful people who were the genesis of this legendary restaurant.

My Nepenthe marks the restaurant's vibrant past as a gathering place and noted bohemian haunt, and its foray into the film industry during the shooting of The Sandpiper, featuring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. It also explores the lively scene that played out into the '70s, and onward through the current decade where it showcases Nepenthe's unique relationship with Pisoni Vineyards, owned by the renowned winemaker family. My Nepenthe includes more than seventy-five special recipes along with spectacular photography that completes the tale.

Steele – Nani, as she is known to family and friends – opened Café Kevah, an outdoor cafe on the Nepenthe grounds, when she was twenty-six years old. She later served as a pastry chef at Sierra Mar Restaurant at neighboring Post Ranch Inn. As Nepenthe celebrates its 60th anniversary, she delves into her own memories, those of family members, and the restaurant's archives. In the process, she re-creates Nepenthe's years of bringing writers, artists, dancers, travelers, actors, and cooks together around the table.

My Nepenthe readers will enjoy the collection of recipes from the Fassett family, the restaurant, and the cafe, along with the history, anecdotes, archival black-and-white photos, and breathtaking color photography of Sara Remington. Also of interest:

  • The art and architecture that made Nepenthe revered around the world.
  • The story of Lolly Fassett, Romney's grandmother, and the spirit and strength behind the creation of Nepenthe and its legacy. Nepenthe's Shangri-La atmosphere is the result of Lolly's vision to create ‘an isle of no care.’
  • The creative influences of the founders' friends, international artists, and sculptors who contributed their ideas in making Nepenthe fabulous.
  • Nepenthe's role as a gathering place and focal point for bohemian America, a place that featured folk dancing, fashion shows, poetry readings, concerts, and the presence of notables including Henry Miller (who used it as his favorite watering hole), Jack Kerouac, Kim Novak, and Steve McQueen.
  • Family history including Romney's great-great-grandfather, who founded Carmel, CA, and her uncle Kaffe Fassett, a renowned textile artist.
  • A restaurant known for serving uncomplicated fare – grilled steaks, sandwiches, and salads – according to the founders' original vision. Nepenthe is now recognized as a destination among wine enthusiasts.

My Nepenthe also includes special sections about the filming of The Sandpiper (1965), which featured scenes from Nepenthe's terrace, as well as Nepenthe's unique relationship with the renowned Pisoni winemaking family.

A very special book about a very special place. – Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food

What a world Romney Steele has given us in My Nepenthe! This personal tale is as tender and bright as a bite of Nepenthe Cheese Pie and will transport me – and you – to Big Sur and the days and nights of this magical place. My Nepenthe serves a big, gorgeous slice of American culture that I loved visiting through words and memory. – Deborah Madison, author of What We Eat When We Eat Alone and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Romney Steele grew up in the lively bohemian milieu of Nepenthe on the Big Sur coast and knows all the stories worth telling. In My Nepenthe, an intimate, richly illustrated memoir with recipes culled from the restaurant's 60 years, she writes marvelously about her ‘crazy stew of a family’ and especially her beloved grandmother, whose kindness and hospitality were legendary. – Caroline Bates, contributing editor, Gourmet magazine

Steele creates a beautiful storybook weaving together stories and recipes in My Nepenthe. The book celebrates the magic and history of place through food and the Fassett family who started Nepenthe. In the end, this is not the definitive Nepenthe story or an unbiased account, but the way Steele experienced it. It is her Nepenthe.

Travel / US / States

New York's Unique and Unexpected Places by Judith Stonehill & Alexandra Stonehill, with a foreword by Ethan Hawke (Universe)

More than forty-seven million visitors come to New York each year, mingling with the city's eight million residents, yet the possibilities of finding unique and unexpected places are endless in this incom­parable, astonishing city.

New York's Unique and Unexpected Places is written for adventurers and dreamers who want to explore the city’s uncommon, but fascinating, less familiar sites. The book will delight urban enthusiasts, New Yorkers, and the countless tourists determined to discover – and sometimes rediscover – these fifty memorable destinations. Readers experience secluded gardens, idiosyncratic museums, little shops here and there, and the occasional well-known place with distinctive treasures.

New York's Unique and Unexpected Places aims to coax readers to venture beyond New York's major attractions and become acquainted with some of the city's more uncommon corners. The fifty destinations included here could easily have been hundreds, and readers can create their own lists of favorites and describe these in the blank page at the end of the book. Authors are Judith Stonehill, formerly co-owner of New York Bound Bookshop and vice president of the South Street Seaport Museum, author of Greenwich Village and Brooklyn; and Alexandra Stonehill whose photographs have been printed in publications in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

Readers enjoy the dazzling contrasts within the city: the unfolding perspectives seen from a park in the sky or from the front porch of an eighteenth-century farmhouse; a wildlife refuge, an innovative center for architecture; an extraordinary map collection; small museums dedicated to skyscrap­ers, finance, sculpture, and fashion; the urban cacophony of melodious songbirds; poetry read aloud, the sounds of jazz, and the chatter of some zoo languages spoken by the city's inhabitants. They observe the river traffic from a waterfront boardwalk or from the lawn of a Victorian cottage; notice the details that give each area a sense of place: the diverse shops, a surprising number of little parks, and the sidewalk chore­ography that varies from one neighborhood to the next; spend time at places of inspiration: a sculptor's studio, a tranquil chapel, a garden of stones; note the clouds tangled between buildings during the day and the soaring towers illuminated each night.

The fifty places in New York's Unique and Unexpected Places are: Alice Austen House Museum, Staten Island; Biblical Garden at Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Upper Manhattan; Bowne & Company Stationers, Lower Manhattan; Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; Campbell Apartment, Midtown Manhattan; Center for Architecture, Greenwich Village; Chapel of the Good Shepherd, Midtown Manhattan; Chinese Scholar's Garden, Staten Island; Dyckman Farmhouse, Upper Manhattan; Economy Candy, Lower East Side; Elevated Acre, Lower Manhattan; Film Forum, South Village; Garden at St. Luke's in the Fields, Greenwich Village; Garden of Stones, Lower Manhattan; Gardens of the Cloisters, Upper Manhattan; Grolier Club, Midtown Manhattan; Greenmarket Farmers Market, Midtown Manhattan; High Line, Greenwich Village/Chelsea; Hispanic Society of America, Upper Manhattan; Hua Mei Bird Garden, Lower East Side; Idlewild Books, Chelsea; Irish Hunger Memorial, Lower Manhattan; Italian American Museum, Little Italy/Chinatown; Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Broad Channel, Queens; Japan Society, Midtown Manhattan; Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks, South Village; Little India, Jackson Heights, Queens; Louis Armstrong House Museum, Corona, Queens; Map Room of the New York Public Library, Midtown Manhattan; Merchant's House Museum, East Village; Museum at Eldridge Street, Lower East Side/Chinatown; Museum of American Finance, Lower Manhattan; Museum of Chinese in America, Lower East Side/Chinatown; Museum of the City of New York, Upper Manhattan; Museum at FIT, Chelsea; New York Academy of Medicine, Upper Manhattan; New York City Fire Museum, South Village; New York Transit Museum, Downtown Brooklyn; Nicholas Roerich Museum, Upper Manhattan; Noguchi Museum, Long Island City, Queens; Pageant Print Shop, East Village; Poets House, Lower Manhattan; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, Queens; Rubin Museum of Art, Chelsea; Russ & Daughters, Lower East Side; Scandinavia House, Midtown Manhattan; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem, Upper Manhattan; The Skyscraper Museum, Lower Manhattan; Tender Buttons, Midtown Manhattan; Three Lives & Company, Greenwich Village; and Wave Hill, Riverdale, Bronx.

New York's Unique and Unexpected Places is a practical guide for local residents or the intrepid travelers who want to take full advantage of what New York City has to offer. Visually striking with more than 200 illustrations, the original photography and maps are juxtaposed with vintage images in a sophisticated design, making New York's Unique and Unexpected Places not just another guidebook of New York City and its boroughs, but a treasure trove for those who love the idiosyncratic details that make up this dazzling city. Not just for visitors, even the most adventurous native New Yorker will find new places to explore. 

 

Contents this Issue:

From My Side: Being a Child by Sylvia C. Chard & Yvonne Kogan (KPress/Gryphon House)

The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games: How the Most Valuable Content Will be Created in the Age Beyond Gutenberg to Google by Clark Aldrich (Pfeiffer)

Drucker on Leadership: New Lessons from the Father of Modern Management (Hardcover) edited by William A. Cohen, with a foreword by Frances Hesselbein (Jossey-Bass)

Cupcake Decorating Studio by Jenna Land Free and Leslie Miller, edited by Nancy Waddell (Art Lab Series: Smart Lab)

From Integration to Inclusion: A History of Special Education in the 20th Century by Margret A. Winzer (Gallaudet University Press)

55 Tactics for Implementing RTI in Inclusive Settings edited by Pam Campbell, Jianjun Wang, Bob Algozzine (Corwin Press)

Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin with Tony Hendra (Free Press)

Acceptance & Mindfulness Treatments for Children & Adolescents: A Practitioner's Guide edited by Laurie A. Greco & Steven C. Hayes (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Series: Context Press/New Harbinger Publications)

Life as It Is: Or Matters and Things in General by J. W. M. Breazeale, with an introduction by Jonathan M. Atkins (The University of Tennessee Press)

Virginia: Mapping the Old Dominion State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress by Vincent Virga & Emilee Hines (Mapping .... Through History Series: Globe Pequot Press)

The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika edited by Robert B. Strassler, translated by John Marincola, with an introduction by David Thomas (Landmark Series: Pantheon Books)

Gladiator: Rome's Bloody Spectacle by Konstantin Nossov (General Military Series: Osprey Publishing)

Quilter's Favorites – Traditional Pieced & Appliquéd: A Collection of 21 Timeless Projects for All Skill Levels by the editors of C & T Publishing (Quilter’s Favorites Series, Volume 1: C&T Publishing)

The Sunbonnet: An American Icon in Texas by Rebecca Jumper Matheson (Costume Society of America Series: Texas Tech University Press)

A Questionable Life: A Novel by Luke Lively (Beaufort Books)

Wyatt's Revenge: A Matt Royal Mystery by H. Terrell Griffin (Oceanview Publishing)

The Hidden Dance by Susan Wooldridge (Allison & Busby)

The Tao of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation by Mark Hathaway & Leonardo Boff, with a foreword by Fritjof Capra (Orbis Books)

How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: 10 Ideas That Matter Most by Marietta McCarty (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin)

Our Dark Side: A History of Perversion by Élisabeth Roudinesco, translated by David Macey (Polity)

Shaping the American Landscape: New Profiles from the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project edited by Charles A. Birnbaum & Stephanie S. Foell (University of Virginia Press)

Realism in Religion: A Pragmatist's Perspective by Robert Cummings Neville (State University of New York Press)

Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 3: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century by Alan G. Padgett, Steve Wilkens (Christianity & Western Thought Series, Volume 3: IVP Academic)

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives, Classic Edition by Dan Millman (H.J. Kramer/ New World Library)

Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World: The Life and Work of the Last Man to Search for Universal Knowledge by Joscelyn Godwin (Inner Traditions)

Sport and Character: Reclaiming the Principles of Sportsmanship by Craig Clifford & Randolph M. Feezell (Human Kinetics)

My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur by Romney Steele (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

New York's Unique and Unexpected Places by Judith Stonehill & Alexandra Stonehill, with a foreword by Ethan Hawke (Universe)