We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

March 2010, Issue #131

Nature's Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir's Botanical Legacy by Bonnie J. Gisel, with images by Stephen J. Joseph, with a foreword by David Rains Wallace (Heyday Books)

The SuperStress Solution by Roberta A. Lee; read by the author (Abridged Audio CD, 4 CDs, running time: 4 hours) (Random House Audio)

On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson, read by Dan Woren, Audio CDs, unabridged, running time: approx 15 hours (Hachette Audio)
On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson (Business Plus)

Bethlehem Steel: Builder and Arsenal of America by Kenneth Warren (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box, 2nd edition by Arbinger Institute (Berrett-Koehler Publishers)

Big Cats by S. L. Hamilton (Xtreme Predators Series: ABDO Publishing Company)

It's a Thunderstorm! by Nadia Higgins, illustrated by Damian Ward (Weather Watchers Series: Magic Wagon, ABDO)

Trends in Internet Research edited by B. G. Kutais (Nova Science Publishers)

320 Italian Recipes: Delicious Dishes from all over Italy, with a Full Guide to Ingredients and Techniques, and Every Recipe Shown Step-by-Step in 1500 Photographs by Kate Whiteman, Jan Wright, Angela Boggiano & Carla Capalbo (Southwater)

Justin Wilson's Easy Cookin': 150 Rib-Tickling Recipes for Good Eating by Justin Wilson (Pelican Publishing)

The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough by Sean Foy, with Nellie Sabin & Mike Smolinski (Workman Publishing)

The Bipolar Workbook for Teens: DBT Skills to Help You Control Mood Swings by Sheri Van Dijk and Karma Guindon (Instant Help Series: Instant Help Books/New Harbinger Inc.)

Marching with the First Nebraska: A Civil War Diary by August Scherneckau, edited by James E. Potter and Edith Robbins, translated by Edith Robbins (University of Oklahoma Press)

The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding edited by Daniel Dreisbach and Mark David Hall (Liberty Fund, Inc.)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening by Delilah Smittle and Sheri Ann Richerson (Alpha Books)

Ruby's Spoon: A Novel by Anna Lawrence Pietroni (Spiegel & Grau)

Generation A: A Novel by Douglas Coupland (Scribner)

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series: Thorndike Press, Gale Cengage)

Preplanning for EMS (Continuing Education) by Warren J. Porter (Jones and Bartlett Publishers)

Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence by Karen Sladyk, Karen Jacobs, and Nancy MacRae (Slack Incorporated)

Many Parts, One Body: How the Episcopal Church Works by James Dator with Jan Nunley (Church Publishing)

Reclaiming the Imagination: The Exodus as Paradigmatic Narrative for Preaching edited by David Fleer and Dave Bland (Chalice Press)

The Embrace of Eros: Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity edited by Margaret D. Kamitsuka (Fortress Press)

Key Themes for the Study of Islam edited by Jamal J. Elias (Oneworld Publications)

How to Read the Akashic Records: Accessing the Archive of the Soul and Its Journey by Linda Howe (Sounds True)

Farming with Fire and Water: The Human Ecology of a Composite Swiddening Community in Vietnam's Northern Mountains edited by Tran Duc Vin, A. Terry Rambo, and Nguyen Thanh Lm (Kyoto Area Studies on Asia, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Volume 18: Trans Pacific Press)

Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam (Pantheon)

McDonaldization: The Reader, 2nd edition by George Ritzer (Pine Forge Press)

Contours of White Ethnicity: Popular Ethnography and the Making of Usable Pasts in Greek America by Yiorgos Anagnostou (Law, Society and Politics in the Midwest Series: Ohio University Press)

Sociological Research Exercises for the Global Age by JoAnn Chirico (Sage Publications, Pine Forge Press)










Arts & Photography / History / Outdoors & Nature / Science / Reference

Nature's Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir's Botanical Legacy by Bonnie J. Gisel, with images by Stephen J. Joseph, with a foreword by David Rains Wallace (Heyday Books)

The rediscover and exploration of John Muirs herbarium specimens engages us in what he saw, enables us to see what he touched, and revel in what he loved. Held in his hands, carried in his pockets, preserved for all time, the plants collected by Muir draw us closer to the world, that he knew, where we find the purity of which he spoke and the God-given grace and sympathy in which he believed. Here, then, is Muir's gift to us, preserved in his eternal fondness for plants. from the book

The popular John Muir plant catalog is now in paperback!

Awestruck by the orchid Calypso borealis, John Muir wrote: I never before saw a plant so full of life, so perfectly spiritual, it seemed pure enough for the throne of its Creator. Muir was blessed throughout his life with a love of plants. He tucked away interesting specimens wherever he traveled, sent them to herbaria all over the country, and wrote passionately of them to friends and colleagues. Skilled in the technical aspects of botany, Muir also found in plants pleasure so deep, so pure, so endless. The revelatory beauty of plants provided inspiration that suffused his career as a writer, adventurer, and environmental advocate.

In Nature's Beloved Son photographer Stephen J. Joseph presents images of plants collected by Muir himself, while scholar Bonnie J. Gisel, environmental historian and the curator at the Sierra Clubs LeConte Memorial Lodge in Yosemite National Park, lays before readers the life and words of a man at once familiar and surprising, a towering figure forever smitten with natures irresistible, divine beauty.

Muir (1838-1914) is best known today as a wilderness advocate and mountaineer. But Muir was much too involved with the living world to be summed up in that somewhat abstract way. "He was many things: a geologist, a geographer, and a zoologist," commented Willis Linn Jepson, a scientist friend, "but he liked best to be thought a botanist." David Raines Wallace in the foreword says that when he first read Muir over three decades ago, it was his evocations of trees and wildflowers that most excited him, although that excitement faded through years of reading about him as a pioneer environmentalist.

Botany began some twenty-three hundred years ago when Theophrastus, a colleague of Aristotle, started to regard plants not only as sources of food, medicine, and magic but as interesting in themselves. He was the first western writer to ask what plants are, how they function as living beings and interact with their environment. From Theophrastus on, botanists valued the beauty and diversity of plants, but few sought to preserve them in the wild.

As Gisel shows in her account of his botanical vocation and its nineteenth-century milieu in Nature's Beloved Son, collecting the plants he encountered helped Muir to know them to learn their names, their relationship with other plants, and their place in the wilderness ecosystems he loved. It also served as a concrete, permanent record of the places he had explored. That is why he took the trouble to carry a plant press, a bulky device for drying and preserving specimens, on his epically strenuous explorations.

Muir's love of wilderness and his sense of plants as spiritual beings made him challenge anthropocentric, utilitarian assumptions that even plant-loving scientists like Darwin and Gray took for granted.

Muir recoiled from the wanton destruction of forests and prairies even during his hard youth on the Wisconsin frontier. He tried to buy a tract of prairie from his family to preserve the wildflowers. Later, the uncontrolled logging and grazing rampant in the West largely drove him in his fight for parks and wilderness. The plants in Nature's Beloved Son are tokens of that struggle, the actual organisms that encouraged Muir to defy the destroyers.

Contents of Nature's Beloved Son include:

  1. From Scotland to Wisconsin In the Fullness of Nature's Glad Wildness
  2. Canada and Indianapolis To Botanize in Glorious Freedom
  3. Kentucky to the Gulf of Mexico Scarce a Familiar Face among the Flowers
  4. California The High Sierra and Yosemite
  5. Alaska Nature's Own Reserve

Epilogue: The View from Muir's Plants
Appendix: Searching for Muir's Plant Friends
Technical and Aesthetic Application

These extraordinary images of plant specimens Muir lovingly collected... show how he combined exacting attention to the stubborn particularities of nature with frankly mystical rapture at its splendors. The New York Times Book Review

This book is a testament to Muir's contributions to the botanical world. Washington Post

In this elegantly produced book, breathtaking prints of Muir's botanical specimens accompany an exploration of his life. Scientific American

Nature's Beloved Son is a treat both for Muir lovers and plant people. Orion Magazine

A remarkable publishing event. Audubon Magazine

As Nature's Beloved Son vividly shows, few herbaria have more historic and aesthetic significance than Muir's. The elegant and opulently produced book, richly presented, brings back the excitement of Muirs evocation of trees and wildflowers. It is a fascinating combination of the new and old. Joseph brilliantly enhances images of the plant specimens that Muir collected and studied, a feat impossible before the digital age.

Audio / Health, Mind & Body / Self-Help

The SuperStress Solution by Roberta A. Lee; read by the author (Abridged Audio CD, 4 CDs, running time: 4 hours) (Random House Audio)
Our bodies are hardwired to cope with stress, but we are biologically ill-equipped to handle the kind that we endure today.
The human brain cant distinguish true physical emergencies from daily hassles, deadlines, information overload, difficult decisions, guilt, and worries. The physiological reaction is the same: a chronic hormonal surge born of our instinctive fight-or-flight response. The result is a cluster of dangerous symptoms: immune deficiencies, high blood pressure, weight gain, insomnia, and a wide range of other ailments. This is what world-renowned integrative physician Roberta Lee has defined as the SuperStress syndrome.
Lee, vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine, director of Continuing Medical Education, and co-director of the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at Beth Israels Continuum Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, presents the solution in The SuperStress Solution. She shows readers how to build stress resistance and resilience into their lives with her prescription for recognizing, rebalancing, and protecting against stresses small and large. Starting with a comprehensive questionnaire to determine their stress levels and stress personality types, The SuperStress Solution then guides readers through a 4-week healing program to reset their rattled nervous systems to a default state of rest rather than high alert. Readers discover how to

  • Nourish the body with nutrient-rich foods, herbs, and supplements that repair stress damage.
  • Detoxify the system and jump-start the bodys healing with an eating plan.
  • Sleep well again by following simple steps to protect and promote the rest the body needs.
  • Move to simple, low-impact exercises that can be done in five-minute to one-hour increments.
  • Retrain the mind so they can access a sense of peace and calm even in their most stressed-out moments.

Anything that triggers stress is a stressor. Anything that forces individuals to adjust to the degree that it strains their coping skills is a stressor. Stressors can range from small aggravations to fear of something or someone that might pose a threat to well-being. Large stressors include major life events, such as a divorce, a child leaving home, an unexpected pregnancy, a move to a new town, a career change, graduating from college, or a diagnosis of cancer. But while major life changes are stressful, it's the stressors that come at us and consequently at our nervous systems all day long that affect us the most. These include: 

  1. Environmental stressors, such as noise pollution or living in a crime-ridden neighborhood where one never feels safe.
  2. Work stressors, such as job dissatisfaction, overwork, disagreements with the boss, low pay, or nasty office politics.
  3. Relationship stressors defined as a fight with a friend; problems with partners, children, or other family members; or loss of a spouse.
  4. Social stressors, from trying to keep up with the Joneses to trying to be the Joneses.
  5. Spiritual angst, which can come from loss of purpose in life. Loss of community. Loss of control. Loss of meaning.  

Fear is one of the great stressors of all. Fear heralds many dangers and yet it can save us by keeping us in fight-or-flight mode. Today, our fears are more socially related and can be broken into different categories: fear of failure, fear of not having enough, fear of not being enough, fear of losing, fear of success. Do I have enough to keep up with the neighbors? Am I pretty enough for the guy I have a crush on? It seems almost banal to label some of these trivial things fears, but the threats are very real to the person who experiences them.
Lee in The SuperStress Solution explains that allostasis is the body's way of keeping all systems in balance, particularly as we move from one situation to another. It's one thing to dash across a street to avoid an oncoming car, but when there are too many such threats in a relatively short period of time or when any one stressor goes on too long as when a person stays in a bad marriage then we begin carrying what is known as an allostatic load. If allostasis is the body's ability to maintain balance under stress, allostatic load refers to the factors that threaten to destabilize it.

The hectic pace of life is taking a toll on your body and mind. Here is the remedy. Andrew Weil, M.D.
With unique yet easy-to-implement diet and lifestyle changes, this powerfully healing book will help you build oases of calm into your life, moments of control and peace from which you can draw strength and resilience against both the small and large stresses of your day.  Dean Ornish, M.D.
To anyone whose default state of mind and being is stressed out, Dr. Roberta Lee's book, The SuperStress Solution is a masterful guide to the most difficult skill in the world learning to deeply relax. Just as the absence of disease is not health, so the absence of obvious stress is not relaxation. For unremitting stress, you need a solution, and practical tools, and a way to find the pause button and learn to hit it every day. This book will give you back life and joy. Mark Hyman, MD, author, The UltraMind Solution

The SuperStress Solution promises to relieve headaches and anxiety; help readers sleep well; and restore their ability to relax, control their weight and build resilience against future stress through diet and lifestyle changes. Comprehensive and easy to follow, this empowering and life-changing book provides more than a program that makes readers feel better, it is a program that will make them well.

Audio / Business & Investing / Economics / Politics / Biographies & Memoirs

On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson, read by Dan Woren, Audio CDs, unabridged, running time: approx 15 hours (Hachette Audio)

On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson (Business Plus)

In this book, I have done my best to describe my actions and the thinking behind them during that time, and to convey the breakneck speed at which events were happening all around us. Paulson, from an interview

When Henry Hank M. Paulson, Jr., the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was appointed in 2006 to become the nation's next Secretary of the Treasury, he knew that his move from Wall Street to Washington would be daunting and challenging.
But Paulson had no idea that a year later, he would find himself at the very epicenter of the world's most cataclysmic financial crisis since the Great Depression. Major institutions including Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup, among others all steeped in longstanding tradition teetered at the edge of collapse. Panic ensnared international markets. Worst of all, the credit crisis spread to all parts of the U.S. economy and grew more ominous with each passing day, destroying jobs across America and undermining the financial security millions of families had spent their lifetimes building.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime economic nightmare. Events no one had thought possible were happening in quick succession, and people all over the globe were terrified that the continuing downward spiral would bring unprecedented chaos. All eyes turned to the United States Treasury Secretary to avert the disaster.
Here is a dramatic re-telling of the financial crisis that nearly bought the developed world to its knees. Paulson was without doubt at the epicenter of the recent economic storm. On the Brink contains the decisive moments in the economic crisis, including the pivotal meetings with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as Paulson's personal recollections of and conversations with President Bush, President Obama, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. As well as detailing the major decisions taken during the height of the crisis, Paulson also puts forth the policies he believes need to be implemented to take us securely into the future.

Paulson served under President George W. Bush as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury from June 2006 until January 2009. Before coming to Treasury, Paulson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs since the firm's initial public offering in 1999. He joined Goldman Sachs Chicago Office in 1974 and rose through the ranks holding several positions.

This is a dramatic and fast-paced account of how Paulson dealt with the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, absolutely fascinating listening or reading. More than an account about numbers and credit risks gone bad, On the Brink is an extraordinary story about people and politics all brought together during the world's impending financial Armageddon. Paulson puts readers in the room for all the intense moments as he addressed urgent market conditions, weighed critical decisions, and debated policy and economic considerations with of all the notable players.

Business & Investing / History / Americas / Labor / Professional & Technical / Engineering

Bethlehem Steel: Builder and Arsenal of America by Kenneth Warren (University of Pittsburgh Press)

In the late 19th century, rails from Bethlehem Steel helped build the United States into the world's foremost economy. During the 1890s, Bethlehem became America's leading supplier of heavy armaments, and by 1914, it had pioneered new methods of structural steel manufacture that transformed urban skylines. Demand for its war materials during World War I provided the finance for Bethlehem to become the world's second-largest steel maker. As late as 1974, the company achieved record earnings of $342 million. But in the 1980s and 1990s, through wildly fluctuating times, losses outweighed gains, and Bethlehem struggled to downsize and reinvest in newer technologies. By 2001, in financial collapse, it reluctantly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Two years later, International Steel Group acquired the company for $1.5 billion.
In Bethlehem Steel, Kenneth Warren presents a compelling history of a leading American company, examining the numerous factors contributing to the growth of this titan and those that eventually felled it along with many of its competitors in the U.S. steel industry. Warren, Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford, considers the investment failures, indecision and slowness to abandon or restructure outdated integrated plants plaguing what had become an insular, inward-looking management group, while competition increased from more economical mini mills at home and from new, technologically superior plants overseas, which drove world prices down, causing huge flows of imported steel into the United States.
As Warren explains in the preface, it has been 150 years since the first iron company was formed in the small town of Bethlehem in eastern Pennsylvania. By December 2004, a century had passed since the incorporation of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The book looks at the history of what, from very small beginnings, had eventually become America's second biggest steel company.

Unfortunately, the distress in the steel industry during recent decades eventually caught up with Bethlehem Steel, and by a short distance it failed to complete the course of its first century. Bethlehem Steel is an analysis of what was achieved, how and why the enterprise grew and succeeded, and the ways in which that expansion passed into contraction and ultimate failure. It is a story not only of industrial vision but also of opportunism, of entrepreneurial risk taking that brought great achievements and wealth, of dogged rear-guard actions delaying collapse year after year, and of revived hopes confounded time and again.

According to Warren in the introduction, establishing what happened in the long-term development of a major company like Bethlehem Steel is a laborious but reasonably practicable task. There are numerous secondary sources of book length, and there have been excellent trade journals almost from the earliest days to the present time. Access to company archives permits a much fuller, balanced analysis of what happened. It is true that the business historian is faced with the serious problem of the selection and ordering of the material and that therefore the facts presented and the themes emphasized differ widely from one history to another. What happened is of such compelling interest that we want to know much more about the reasons. Why did this or that event or development occur? How was a choice made between various possibilities?

Finding a satisfactory answer to the question why? is surrounded with all sorts of difficulties. The most obvious is a practical one: evidence is not available or is only partial. Company minute books illustrate this well. From them, it may be possible to trace vital decisions that shaped the course of a company's history, decisions about expansion, contraction, new equipment or new plants, or about technology and personnel. Yet it is rare for the minutes from a board of directors to fully present the range of alternatives and the arguments and costs for each. For more recent periods, interviews with senior members of the firm are invaluable, but one always has to remember that recollection may not always be accurate and that, however well disposed, the interviewee will not always find it easy to represent his or her contribution to the choices made in less than a favorable light.

Another, and quite different, range of limitations to the ability to tease out the causes of events has already been mentioned: decision makers are not in command of all the variables. Invariably, they have only partial knowledge of the situation and are constrained by what has been called bounded rationality in dealing with what they do know. The drift of wider economic forces in other industries, in the national and even the global economy, though no doubt carefully studied and projected, remains uncertain. Yet such changes will influence the outcome of any important decision, such as the decision to expand an old plant or build a new one, embark on a new line of business, or tear out old equipment and install new technology.

There remain the ifs of business history, those forgone opportunities that might have made the whole course of development different. Warren in Bethlehem Steel says that the late nineteenth-century history of Bethlehem Iron is particularly rich in these. For example, in the late 1870s, as the rail trade became increasingly difficult, the directors might have heeded John Fritz's advice and the company would then have become a major factor in the structural steel trade a full generation earlier than it did. If this had happened, the company would probably not have entered the armaments business in the mid-1880s as an alternative means of dealing with its trading difficulties. Or, if Charles Michael Schwab had succeeded in securing his vision of the direction of advance for the United States Steel Corporation, rather than being sidelined by Elbert H. Gary, he would not have fully linked his talents and drive to the transformation of Bethlehem Steel. In that case, Bethlehem's twentieth-century history would have taken a different path.

Looked at in retrospect, the course of a company's history is likely to seem a logical progression, almost an inevitable development. It is essential to keep in mind that at innumerable points of decision making along that path there were alternatives. A different choice would have led to further choices and the likelihood of still wider divergence between what happened and what might have been. In short, the idea of inevitability is as inapplicable in business history as in any other branch of historical study.

A final consideration is the ethos of the industry. This differs from one period to another. For instance, the cut-throat competition of the last decades of the nineteenth century was succeeded by the live-and-let-live spirit of the Gary years, from 1901 into the 1920s. A decade later, government in the form of the New Deal pressed on the industry more heavily than ever before or through most of the decades since that time. There is also the attitude of the American industry to the rest of the metallurgical industry around the world. American steel makers seemed as sure as the British had once been that they commanded the iron and steel world as of right. Examination of the trade press during the 1950s shows that little notice was taken of what happened in the industry in the rest of the world. Yet at that very time, the progress of European and Japanese reconstruction from wartime damage, a fresh surge in the industry worldwide, and the application of new technology, especially in bulk steel making, was building up a threat to U.S. hegemony in steel similar in many respects to that the Americans had earlier represented for Britain. Decades later, some representatives of the industry still seemed to assume it was almost in the divine order of things that they should lead in world steel and, as it could now be seen that they no longer did so, that this must be because others had subverted the rules of the game. No dearer illustration of this can be given than the testimony to two congressional committees in 1983 by the chairman of Bethlehem Steel. The attitude survived into the 1990s. Given Bethlehem Steel's large capital outlays for new plant, it would be quite erroneous to suggest that the company did not respond vigorously to the challenge of foreign competition. The fact remains, however, that it espoused the dangerous doctrine that any national superiority in an industry was part of the natural order of the world economy. But according to Warren in Bethlehem Steel, both it and many other major steel companies gradually learned the hard lesson that it was not.

Kenneth Warren turns his great expertise and ability in the iron and steel industry to Bethlehem Steel with superb results. He presents a comprehensive analytic narrative of this great firm from its beginnings to its inauspicious end. This business biography is an admirable companion to his earlier fine works on U.S. Steel and Charles M. Schwab. John N. Ingham, author of Making Iron and Steel

[Warren's] research is impressive. Students of industrial history will find Bethlehem Steel a revealing and timely work, defining challenges that all sorts of companies face today, across the U.S. and around the world. Wall Street Journal

Bethlehem Steel is the definitive historical analysis of the late Bethlehem Steel Corporation. This volume traces the origins, rise, decline, and eventual fall of one of this nations iconic business organizations. . . . well written and superbly researched. Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

The corporate biography of this icon of US industrial history is worthy of examination by history and business students and scholars. Highly recommended. Choice

Bethlehem Steel provides a fascinating case study in the transformation of a major industry from one of American dominance to one where America struggled to survive. Original, compelling, the well-researched book is rich in detail and well written, a fitting complement to Warrens Big Steel, his account of U.S. Steel Corporation in the first century.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Self-Help

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box, 2nd edition by Arbinger Institute (Berrett-Koehler Publishers)

Since its original publication nine years ago, Leadership and Self-Deception has become an international word-of-mouth phenomenon. Rather than tapering off, sales have increased each year since 2004. The books central insight that the key to leadership lays not in what we do, but in who we are has proved to have powerful resonances not only for organizational leadership, but in readers personal lives as well.

Leadership and Self-Deception uses an entertaining story about an executive facing challenges at work and at home to expose the precise psychological processes that conceal our true motivations and intentions and trap us in a box of endless self-justification. The book shows readers the way out.

This 2nd edition has been revised throughout to make the story more readable. Drawing on the extensive correspondence theyre received over the years the authors have added a section that outlines the ways that readers have been using the book, focusing on five specific areas: hiring, teambuilding, conflict resolution, accountability, and personal growth and development.

According to the preface, for too long the issue of self-deception has been the realm of deep-thinking philosophers, academics, and scholars working on the central questions of the human sciences. The public remains generally unaware of the issue, but self-deception is so pervasive it touches every aspect of life. Self-deception actually determines one's experience in every aspect of life. The extent to which it does that, and in particular the extent to which it is the central issue in leadership, is the subject of Leadership and Self-Deception.

As an analogy, an infant is learning to crawl. She begins by pushing herself backward around the house. Backing herself around, she gets lodged beneath the furniture. There she thrashes about, crying and banging her head against the sides and undersides of the pieces. She is stuck and hates it. So she does the only thing she can think of to get herself out she pushes even harder, which only worsens her problem. If this infant could talk, she would blame the furniture for her troubles. After all, she is doing everything she can think of. The problem couldnt be hers. But of course, the problem is hers, even though she cant see it. While it is true shes doing everything she can think of, the problem is precisely that she cant see how she is the problem. Having the problem she has, nothing she can think of will be a solution.

According to Leadership and Self-Deception, self-deception blinds us to the true cause of our problems, and once blind, all the solutions we can think of only make matters worse. Thats why self-deception is so central to leadership because leadership is about making things better. To the extent we are self-deceived, our leadership is undermined at every turn and not because of the furniture.

The authors say their experience in teaching about self-deception and its solution is that people find this knowledge liberating. It sharpens vision, reduces feelings of conflict, enlivens the desire for teamwork, redoubles accountability, magnifies the capacity to achieve results, and deepens satisfaction and happiness. Learning about the self-deception problem and solution gives people new leverage in all of these areas.

In this fictional tale an executive learns the great secret of leadership effectiveness: to get out of the self-deceptive box of narcissism and start connecting in empathic and respectful ways with others. Without discounting the value of strong managerial direction, the story reasserts something we know but don't practice that people are more likely to be enthusiastic and effective when they know we care about them. A worthwhile addition to anyone's audio library of management classics. T.W., AudioFile (refers to audio version)

... not just another book on leadership. It identifies the central issue of all performance. I recommend it very highly. Brad Pelo, President and CEO, NextPage
... shows why the truth about failure is so difficult to see, and explains how to overcome such self-deception. Dave Checketts, President and CEO, Madison Square Garden Corp.
Arbinger taught our leadership team at LensCrafters and the difference...was remarkable. This is the ... key to productivity and creativity. Dave Browne, former President and CEO, LensCrafters
Don't be fooled by the title this book is for everyone. I can't think about my life the same way again. Jack Anderson, Syndicated Columnist and Pulitzer Prize Winner
Fascinating, thought provoking, and insightful! Once I started reading, I couldnt put it down. Steven C. Wheelwright, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Harvard Business School
From boosting the bottom line to increasing personal joy, this book shows the way. Bruce L. Christensen, former President and CEO, PBS
I love this book. Like truth itself, it reveals more with each re-examination. I recommend it highly. Doug Hauth, Sales Vice President, Lucent Technologies
I've known the work of the Arbinger Institute for years. Arbinger's ideas are profound, with deep and sweeping implications for organizations. Leadership and Self-Deception provides the perfect introduction to this material. It is engaging and fresh, easy to read, and packed with insight. I couldn't recommend it more highly. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This is significant, original stuff. This book is a terrific introduction to Arbinger's groundbreaking material. I enjoyed it immensely. Robert C. Gay, Managing Director, Bain Capital

This expanded second edition of Leadership and Self-Deception is changing lives and transforming organizations; it reveals how we unwittingly sabotage relationships, despite our best intentions and how we can stop. Readers discover how to consistently tap into and act on their innate sense of what's right, dramatically improving all of their relationships.

Childrens Books / Ages 9-12

Big Cats by S. L. Hamilton (Xtreme Predators Series: ABDO Publishing Company)

Cougars, jaguars, leopards, tigers, and lions are just a few of the big cat predators who roam the far reaches of the earth. Strong, smart, and lethal, these cats are capable of bringing down prey much bigger than themselves./p>

Big Cats is illustrated with photographs, graphic photos like a close up of a big cat chewing on a big hunk of meat. Xtreme facts accompany most pages, for example: Big cats are silent hunters. They stalk their prey, moving noiselessly until they attack. The book also features Xtreme quotes: Even if youve never seen a mountain lion there is a chance that a mountain lion has seen you. Troy Swauger, CA Dept of Fish & Game

Contents of Big Cats include:

  • Xtreme Cats
  • Mountain Lions
  • Leopards & Jaguars
  • Cheetah Skills
  • The Lion & Lioness
  • Siberian Tigers
  • Big Cat Attacks on Humans
  • Human Attacks on Big Cats
  • The Glossary
  • Index   

Other books in the Xtreme Predators series:

  • Bears
  • Lizards
  • Sharks
  • Snakes
  • Wolves

Big Cats is an easy-to-read volume featuring photographs of big cats, aimed at ages 9-12; it will appeal to those young readers who like action and like to be scared.

Childrens Books / Grades PreK-3

It's a Thunderstorm! by Nadia Higgins, illustrated by Damian Ward (Weather Watchers Series: Magic Wagon, ABDO)

Weather affects everyone every day. From the pitter-patter of rain to the roar of a tornado, Weather Watchers is on the lookout for nature's weather wonders. /p>

CRACK-BOOM-ba-boom-boom! It's a thunderstorm!

Kids bring the weather indoors with It's a Thunderstorm!. Text explains how thunderstorms form, what causes thunder and lightning, and how scientists track thunderstorms. Diagrams, thunderstorm facts, and a glossary provide additional information for use in classrooms.

The Weather Watchers series explains what different kinds of weather are like, how they form, and how to follow weather patterns. Informative sidebars, fun facts, and a glossary aid young readers in understanding the weather they are watching.

Author Nadia Higgins lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband and two daughters. Content Consultant on the volume is Steven A. Ackerman, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Contents of It's a Thunderstorm! include:

  • A Dark Afternoon
  • A Special Cloud
  • Lightning and Thunders
  • Tomorrows Weather
  • Stormy Earth
  • Safely Inside
  • How a Thunderstorm Forms
  • Thunderstorm Facts
  • Glossary
  • On the Web
  • Index

Other books in the Weather Watchers series include:

  • It's a Tornado!
    It's a Tsunami!
  • It's Hailing!
  • It's Raining!
  • It's Snowing!

It's a Thunderstorm! is a brightly illustrated book with easy-to-read text, a perfect supplement to any library's weather collection.

Computer & Internet

Trends in Internet Research edited by B. G. Kutais (Nova Science Publishers)

The Internet expands its wild, unpredictable reach each year as the voracious appetite of its users continues unabated. Some developments are good, while others are changing so rapidly that their significance can barely keep pace with their own evolution. Trends in Internet Research, edited by B. G. Kutais brings together the leading issues which have surfaced and left an impact on Internet trends.

Chapter 1 Spam, also called unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or junk email, aggravates many computer users. Not only can spam be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic. Also, some spam involves fraud, or includes adult-oriented material that offends recipients or that parents want to protect their children from seeing. President Bush signed into law the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAN) Act, P.L. 108-187. The CANSPAM Act does not ban UCE. Rather, it allows marketers to send commercial email as long as it conforms with the law, such as including a legitimate opportunity for consumers to opt-out of receiving future commercial emails from that sender. The FTC submitted a report to Congress on June 15, 2004, concluding that a Do Not Email registry could actually increase spam. Whether or not spam is reduced depends in part on whether it is defined as only fraudulent commercial email, or all unsolicited commercial email. Many observers caution that consumers should not expect any law to solve the spam problem that consumer education and technological advancements also are needed.

CChapter 2 To produce revenue, websites have placed advertisements on their sites. Technology has been developed which enables online advertisements to be targeted directly at individual users based on their websurfing activity. This practice is widely known as behavioral or e-havioral advertising. It is often unclear whether current laws, such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Communications Act, apply to online advertising providers that are collecting data through click tracking, capturing search terms, and other methods. However, it is likely that in many cases these laws could be held to apply to such activities and that these methods of data collection would be forbidden unless consent is obtained from one of the parties to the communication. Trends in Internet Research/a>, Chapter 2, examines the application of these statutes to online behavioral advertising in more detail.

Chapter 3 The Google Book Search Library Project, announced in December 2004, raised important questions about infringing reproduction and fair use under copyright law. In October of 2008, Google, authors, and publishers announced a proposed settlement; final approval is still pending. In July of 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed that it is investigating whether the terms of the proposed settlement violate antitrust law.

Chapter 4 The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) regulates "any other form of general public political advertising." During the 110th Congress, the regulation of political communications on the Internet was not the subject of major legislative action. H.R. 894 (Price, NC) would have extended stand by your ad disclaimer requirements to Internet communications, among others. Trends in Internet Research has been updated regarding the latest events of major legislative, regulatory, or legal developments. Chapter 5 Navigating the Internet requires using addresses and corresponding names that identify the location of individual computers. The Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. Many of the technical, operational, and management decisions regarding the DNS can have significant impacts on Internet-related policy issues such as intellectual property, privacy, e-commerce, and cyber-security. Congress and the Administration are assessing the appropriate federal role with respect to ICANN and the DNS, and examining to what extent ICANN is presently positioned to ensure Internet stability and security, competition, private and bottom-up policymaking and coordination, and fair representation of the Internet community.

Chapter 6 Congress is involved in issues of state and local taxation of Internet transactions because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Currently, the `Internet Tax Moratorium' prohibits (1) new taxes on Internet access services and (2) multiple or discriminatory taxes on Internet commerce. Generally, taxes on Internet access that have continued in place since before October 1, 1998, are protected by a grandfather clause. In the 110th Congress, S. 1726 and its twin H.R. 5267 would establish more uniform standards generally higher standards for the level of business activity that would create nexus and thus state corporate income taxability.

Chapter 7 The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) seeks to cut off the flow of revenue to unlawful Internet gambling businesses. It outlaws receipt of checks, credit card charges, electronic funds transfers, and the like by such businesses. It also enlists the assistance of banks, credit card issuers and other payment system participants to help stem the flow. To that end, it authorizes the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System (the Agencies), in consultation with the Justice Department, to promulgate implementing regulations. It suggests that, except for financial institutions that deal directly with illegal Internet gambling operators, tracking the flow of revenue within the wire transfer, check collection, and ACH systems is not feasible at this point. It therefore exempts them from the regulations' requirements. It charges those with whom illegal Internet gambling operators may deal directly within those three systems, and participants in the card and money transmission systems, to adopt policies and procedures to enable them to identify the nature of their customers' business, to employ customer agreements barring tainted transactions, and to establish and maintain remedial steps to deal with tainted transactions when they are identified. The final rule provides non-exclusive examples of reasonably designed policies and procedures to prevent restricted transactions.

CChapter 8 Hyperlinking, in-line linking, caching, framing, thumbnails terms that describe Internet functionality pose interpretative challenges for the courts. At issue is whether basic operation of the Internet, in some cases, constitutes or facilitates copyright infringement. If so, is the activity a fair use protected by the Copyright Act? These issues frequently implicate search engines, which scan the web to allow users to find content for uses, both legitimate and illegitimate. The recent cases indicate a willingness by the courts to acknowledge the social utility of online indexing, and factor it into fair use analysis; to adapt copyright law to the core functionality and purpose of Internet, even when that means requiring content owners to affirmatively act, such as by the use of metatags; and to consider and balance conflicts between useful functions, such as online indexing and caching, against emerging, viable new markets for content owners.

Chapter 9 It has been proposed that there be a domain on the Internet exclusively for websites that contain sexually explicit material; it might be labeled .xxx to complement the current .com, org, and others. It is unclear whether making a .xxx' domain mandatory would violate the First Amendment. If a court viewed it as a content-based restriction on speech, then it would be constitutional only if the court found that it served a compelling governmental interest by the least restrictive means. Other factors that could affect its constitutionality might be whether it imposed criminal penalties and whether it were limited to websites that are predominantly pornographic./p>

Chapter 10 Protection of children. Internet harassment presents new challenges for legislators in terms of defining and prosecuting such activity. Definitions for these terms vary based upon jurisdiction. Internet harassment usually encompasses cyberstalking, cyberharassment, and/or cyberbullying. If one were to categorize these offenses based on danger or greatest potential harm, cyberstalking would be the most dangerous, followed by cyberharassment and then cyberbullying. While laws that address cyberstalking exist at both the federal and state levels, the question of how to handle situations that do not involve a credible threat of harm against minors has drawn congressional interest. The Internet harassment potentially causes emotional harm to its victims as opposed to the physical harm inflicted by the aforementioned activities. In addressing these concerns, legislators strive to maintain a balance between enacting statutes broad enough to cover undesirable behavior, while simultaneously narrow enough to prevent infringement upon an individual's right to express oneself under the First Amendment. Trends in Internet Research discusses these Internet crimes, along with the limitations of such laws in the current environment.

Chapter 11 Policy issues. In the decade between 1994 and 2004, the number of U.S. adults using the Internet increased from 15% to 63%, and by 2005, stood at 78.6%. From electronic mail to accessing information to watching videos to online purchasing, the Internet touches almost every aspect of modem life. The extent to which use of the Internet continues to grow, however, may be affected by a number of technology policy issues being debated in Congress.

First is the availability of high-speed or broadband Internet access. With deployment of broadband technologies accelerating, Congress is seeking to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. Next are a range of issues that reflect challenges faced by those who do use the Internet, such as security, privacy (including spy-ware and identity theft), unsolicited commercial electronic mail (spam), protecting children from unsuitable material (such as pornography), and computer security, including the vulnerability of the nation's critical infrastructures to cyber attacks.

A number of laws already have been passed on many of these issues. Congress is monitoring the effectiveness of these laws, and assessing what other legislation may be needed. Other CRS reports referenced in Trends in Internet Research track legislation, and readers should consult those reports.

Cooking, Food & Wine

320 Italian Recipes:: Delicious Dishes from all over Italy, with a Full Guide to Ingredients and Techniques, and Every Recipe Shown Step-by-Step in 1500 Photographs by Kate Whiteman, Jan Wright, Angela Boggiano & Carla Capalbo (Southwater)

One of the delights of Italian food is its diversity. Every region has its own favorite ingredients and cooking techniques, and each has its own unique character, but one thing is common to all the quality of the raw ingredients used. /p>

320 Italian Recipes is an introduction to Italian cooking featuring extensive photography. It contains an illustrated reference guide with information about all the common and less well-known Italian ingredients. Each section includes facts about how and where the ingredient is made or grown, its history and culinary uses, and essential information on buying and storing, along with detailed cooking and preparation instructions and basic recipes where appropriate. Authors are food writers Angela Boggiano, Carla Capalbo, Jeni Wright, and Kate Whiteman.

320 Italian Recipes includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions on how to make ones own homemade pasta.
  • Over 320 authentic, tested recipes, both regional classics and contemporary creations, each photographed in full color, with illustrated step-by-step instructions.
  • Classic dishes, such as bruschetta, pizza alla margherita, baked lasagne, fritto misto and minestrone soup.
  • Authentic recipes for just about everything one can think of.

The heart of 320 Italian Recipes is a beautifully photographed recipe section the recipes are presented in an illustrated step-by-step format. They are a combination of authentic regional favorites and contemporary classics. There are recipes for antipasti the Italian equivalent to the French hors d'oeuvre rustic country soups, all the essential pasta dishes, risottos, polenta and gnocchi, fish and shellfish dishes such a pan-fried prawns, a wide variety of poultry and meat dishes, a variety of vegetables and salads, as well as delectable recipes for desserts such as tiramisu and zabaglione, and home baking such as herb or olive-flavored focaccia and Italian bread sticks.

This the only reference book on identifying, preparing, using and cooking with Italian ingredients that readers will need. 320 Italian Recipes is an authoritative yet easy-to-read guide to ingredients and how to use them in the kitchen. With over 1600 glorious photographs, informative text and delicious authentic recipes, the book is the definitive guide to Italian ingredients and an inspirational, fail-safe recipe book.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Regional & Ethnic

Justin Wilson's Easy Cookin':: 150 Rib-Tickling Recipes for Good Eating by Justin Wilson (Pelican Publishing)

Dis is so easy to cook and it tastes so good, you are going to think somebody lied to you about how good it is, I garontee. Justin Wilson

Easy to cook, easy to eat that is Justin Wilson's philosophy in Justin Wilson's Easy Cookin', a collection of more than 165 delicious recipes. Wilson says readers don't have to look any farther than their supermarket for the makings of a great meal, no matter what theyve got a hankering for. From breakfast to dinner and appetizers to desserts, trouble-free recipes such as Crawfish Mashed Potato Casserole, Turtle Stew, and Peanut Butter-Blueberry Cobbler provide an excuse for anyone to try the laid-back way of cooking.

People in Louisiana love to cook and they love to socialize. Wilson, who died in 2001, was always looking for ways to make his cooking easier, here he eliminates peeling and chopping by using flavored salts and powders instead of onions, celery, and garlic.

Pecan Cornbread is made with pecan meal, and fish is filleted twice to speed up the process, allowing the host to get out of the kitchen and mingle with guests. Adding spice to every dish, Wilson makes use of local ingredients, like Creole mustard, Louisiana hot sauce, and cayenne pepper. Sayings and anecdotes are included, because just like his food, Wilson is a representative of Cajun culture.

Wilson was internationally known as a Cajun cook and humorist. During his lifetime, he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. He was voted one of the 100 most influential Southerners of the twentieth century by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and his twenty-seven comedy albums once outsold Elvis Presley.

For parties, picnics, or everyday occasions, Wilson in Justin Wilson's Easy Cookin' includes Hot Cabbage Slaw, Country Egg Salad, and Potato Salad without Potatoes. Each recipe yields between eight and twenty servings, enough to feed the family and all the neighbors. Hearty soups and stews for brisk weather, such as Turtle Stew, Red Bean Soup, and Oyster Soup keep people coming back for seconds. Wilson takes readers out of the kitchen to use a Cajun smoker and Cajun microwave, great for cooking a pig or turkey in any season.

Finally, with all the spices used in the main course recipes, it is essential to balance the savory flavors with a touch of sweetness. Wilson rounds out the meal with easy-to-prepare recipes for cobblers, pies, and puddings.

Good living is about good eating with friends and family, and this cookbook makes it easier. These easy down-home recipes are just the thing for the neighborly chef. Wilson adds Cajun wit to every chapter, from breakfast to dessert. Sitting at the table instead of standing in the kitchen during a meal is every cook's goal, and with Justin Wilson's Easy Cookin', even serious chefs will be spending more time with friends and family, garonteed!

Health, Mind & Body / Exercise & Fitness

The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough by Sean Foy, with Nellie Sabin & Mike Smolinski (Workman Publishing)

Incorporating the latest research in exercise physiology, The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough is an program of interval, circuit, aerobic, and resistance training that accrues the benefits of hours at the gym in daily 10-minute workouts.
Created by Sean Foy, award-winning exercise physiologist and behavioral coach, president and founder of Personal Wellness Corporation, The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough counters the #1 reason people dont exercise not enough time with a scientifically proven, clinically tested 4-3-2-1 program: 4 minutes of high-energy cardio, 3 minutes of resistance, 2 minutes of core, and 1 minute of stretching and deep breathing. By spending just 10 targeted minutes a day, readers will reap the benefits of a regular exercise regimen, with improved fitness markers across the board weight, body-fat percentage, blood pressure, cholesterol, energy, strength, flexibility, endurance, and more. This step-by-step, 12-week program of daily 10-minute workouts can be done anytime, anywhere the home, office, hotel room, and of course local health club.
The step-by-step illustrated exercises are simplicity itself air boxing, wall push-ups, chair jogging, stationary high-knee marching and are presented in three levels geared to readers fitness levels, with four weeks of routines per level. Their potency lies in the benefits of nonstop movement, thermal effect, and intensity: in other words, why it truly takes just 10 carefully crafted minutes to boost metabolic rate, exercise all the major muscle groups, increase cardiovascular endurance, have a positive effect on cholesterol and blood pressure, and deliver a sense of well-being.
 In The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough, Foy illustrates the effectiveness and versatility of his fitness and No-Diet Diet program with real-life success stories throughout, including:

  • A grandmother who travels every other week for her job.
  • A diabetic who has to be up by 4:30 A.M. for work and doesn't get home until after 5:00 P.M.
  • A single mother of two who works 12-hour days.
  • A business owner and mother of triplets.
  • A fitness coach who was thin but wanted to drop body fat.
  • A Ph.D. student who spends most of his time at a desk.

The #1 reason given by my listeners for not exercising more often is 'not enough time.' Sean Foy completely eradicates that excuse with The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough. Sean is the definitive voice of fitness, which is so vital to all of us in this fast-paced, stressed-out environment. The 4-3-2-1 workout is the new gold standard. A must-read for yourself and those you love. Jesse Dylan, author, The Good Life with Jesse Dylan; host, "The Good Life" radio show

Sean Foy's remarkably practical guide to the new life skills one needs to live well longer will not only change the reader, but should be the basis for training our families on how to thrive in the modern world. An outstanding book. Kenneth Kornman, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Interleukin Genetics

Employers looking to solve the physical inactivity crisis are going to welcome Sean Foy's easy and time-efficient approach. Joseph A. Leutzinger, Ph.D., Principal, Health Improvement Solutions, Inc., and President, Academy for Health and Productivity Management

A simple, safe, highly effective and scientifically proven approach that can be easily incorporated into even the busiest life. Greg Niederlander, M.S., strength and conditioning specialist for professional athletes and sports teams

This exceptional and innovative interval training program is challenging at every level. Yet it is so versatile that everyone can personalize his or her own program ... A pioneering book. Kip Johnson, M.D., Medical Advisor, NHI Center for Optimal Health

In all my 40-plus years coaching in the weight room, I have never seen a fitness book organized as well as this one. Daniel J. McDermott, senior coach, U.S. Olympic Weightlifting team

Do not mistake this book for another ordinary exercise instruction book. Sean Foy takes a whole-person approach with a simple formula: Move, Fuel, Renew and Connect. Practical and effective strategies webbed into these pages are built not only on scientific studies, but also on Foy's extensive career, where he has touched the lives of so many, many people. Yosuke Chikamoto, Ph.D., developer, Stanford SMART Wellness Assessment; former research and development manager, Stanford University School of Medicine

The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough.... changed my life. William Sears, M.D.

The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough is the solution to the no time problem.

While other books and programs typically offer short routines that focus on individual body parts, this cutting-edge fitness plan, is the first to deliver a complete inner and outer body workout in 10 minutes. This ingenious, step-by-step fitness regimen makes it easy to build a daily routine; it is for everyone from busy mothers to business executives to people who have never exercised before. With a simple program of interval, circuit, aerobic and resistance training, Foy demonstrates that all it takes to transform the body is 10 minutes a day. And because readers can do the workouts anywhere The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough is the first fast, full-body fitness book designed for people of any fitness level and every lifestyle.

Health, Mind & Body / Mental Health / Teens

The Bipolar Workbook for Teens:: DBT Skills to Help You Control Mood Swings by Sheri Van Dijk and Karma Guindon (Instant Help Series: Instant Help Books/New Harbinger Inc.)

If you bought or were given The Bipolar Workbook for Teens, you either have bipolar disorder or have been experiencing troublesome mood swings. Mood swings can have a severe impact on your life, preventing you from reaching long-term goals and having a negative effect on your relationships. There are skills you can learn to help you cope with your symptoms and have more control over your emotions. Working through this book can help you learn them. from the book

The Bipolar Workbook for Teens includes exercises and worksheets that will help readers learn skills drawn from a special technique called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT skills can help people with bipolar disorder improve their relationships with friends and family and calm themselves when their emotions get overwhelming.

Working through this book helps readers:

  • Recognize and respond to their emotional triggers.
  • Create a crisis plan and find support.
  • Get a handle on addictive behavior.
  • Maintain friendships and get along with their family.

In The Bipolar Workbook for Teens, two therapists, Sheri Van Dijk and Karma Guindon, help teenage readers use DBT to tap into their resources and develop new skills for managing their bipolar disorder, then use their newfound strengths to work towards living according to their goals and values. Van Dijk, MSW, is a mental health therapist in private practice and at Southlake Regional Health Centre and Guindon, MSW, is a clinical social worker in private practice at Southlake Regional Health Centre and a college instructor in Churchill, ON, Canada.
The activities in The Bipolar Workbook for Teens are largely based on DBT, which was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, a psychologist and professor at the University of Washington, and is presented in her book Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.

These activities will help readers gain insight into their lives and teach them skills that will help with their symptoms, but it's up to them to put those skills into practice. As they do each activity, the book urges them to give themselves time to really think about it and to learn each skill before moving on to the next.

The Bipolar Workbook for Teens offers potent support for youth struggling with bipolar disorder, empowering them with knowledge and practical tools for their journey towards self-acceptance and self-knowledge. Shirley Pyles, mental health nurse, certified Theraplay therapist in private practice, and coauthor of Applications of Family and Group Theraplay

I highly recommend this excellent workbook, not only for teens diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but also for those experiencing troublesome mood swings. Readers will learn essential skills to manage symptoms. This workbook is user-friendly, well-organized, encouraging, and based in research. Francine Brill, MD, FRCP(C), child and adolescent psychiatrist at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, ON, Canada

The authors of this book speak directly to youth in a respectful and genuine manner. There is tremendous value in reading stories of other teens who have shared similar experiences. This book is truly a welcome addition to the educational resources available to adolescents who live with the complex difficulties of bipolar disorder. Janice Phillips, B.Ed., educator and mental health social worker

This is an excellent, easy-to-read workbook for teens suffering from bipolar disorder. Teens will identify with the client scenarios shared in the book. It presents a straightforward approach to gaining knowledge about the illness, learning tools to help overcome symptoms, and practicing exercises to establish new thought patterns and behaviors. Used in conjunction with medication, the knowledge and exercises in this book will help teens prevent deterioration, take control of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, and optimize their quality of life. Linda Jeffery, RN, cognitive behavior therapist in private practice and manager of Crisis Services of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Simcoe County Branch

The Bipolar Workbook for Teens is an easy-to-use workbook presenting a set of skills readers can learn that will help them find that balance, become more independent, and stay focused on their big-picture goals.

History / Americas / Biographies & Memoirs / Civil War

Marching with the First Nebraska:: A Civil War Diary by August Scherneckau, edited by James E. Potter and Edith Robbins, translated by Edith Robbins (University of Oklahoma Press)

German immigrant August cherneckau served with the First Nebraska Volunteers from 1862 through 1865. Depicting the unit's service in Missouri, Arkansas, and Nebraska Territory, he offers insight and literary quality matched by few other accounts of the Civil War in the West. His observations in Marching with the First Nebraska provide new perspective on campaigns, military strategy, leadership, politics, ethnicity, emancipation, and many other topics. Scherneckau takes readers on the march as he and his comrades plod through mud and snow during a grueling winter campaign in the Missouri Ozarks.

Scherneckau (1837-1923) emigrated from Germany and was settled in Grand Island, Nebraska Territory, when he joined the Union Army in 1862. Editor James E. Potter is Senior Research Historian with the Nebraska State Historical Society and Associate Editor of Nebraska History. Editor and translator Edith Robbins, a native German and transplanted Nebraskan, is an independent scholar.

Nebraska Territory, created in 1854 by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, furnished 3,157 soldiers to the Union army during the American Civil War by official count. While numerically few, these soldiers represented about one-third of Nebraska's military-age male population in 1860 and about one-ninth of the 28,841 citizens of the territory as enumerated by the federal census.

Most of Scherneckau's diary survived the war because he mailed it in installments to relatives and friends living in the German settlement at Grand Island, Halla County, Nebraska Territory, where he found it waiting upon his discharge from the army. The diary accompanied Scherneckau in 1870 when he left Nebraska and moved to Oregon. It was mostly intact when he began to revisit his Civil War experiences about 1899 and to transcribe his diary, an exercise he continued from time to time until 1918, supplementing the diary with several letters he had written during the war. In 1984 the typescript diary (in German) was deposited in the Oregon Historical Society, where Edith Robbins discovered it, along with an English translation, during her research on the Germans of Grand Island. She recognized the potential treasure Scherneckau's text represented and felt it deserved a new translation.

Beyond its value as a unique document in its own right, several attributes distinguish Scherneckau's diary, Marching with the First Nebraska, from other Civil War soldier accounts. First, Scherneckau provides a German immigrant's perspective on his experiences as a Union volunteer. While many Germans fought for the Union (estimates range as high as 450,000 first- and second-generation Germans among a total of some 2.1 million soldiers and sailors), firsthand accounts of their wartime service will always be fewer than those penned by their American comrades-in-arms.

Second, Scherneckau served with that tiny band of Union soldiers from Nebraska Territory, only seven years removed from its political origins when the war broke out. Because Nebraska's contribution of troops was small, barely exceeding three thousand men, correspondingly few diaries and letters from its soldiers have survived. Scherneckau's diary of his three years with the First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry (later cavalry) in Missouri, Arkansas, and Nebraska Territory is the most extensive personal record of a Nebraska soldier's service that has yet come to light.

Finally, Scherneckau's account ranks with the best of Civil War diaries, regardless of origin. No mere recording of the weather or miles marched, the diary is filled with lengthy and detailed observations and insights rendered by a literate and perceptive soldier. Scherneckau's gaze took in far more than the First Nebraska Regiment's tents and campgrounds. His pen provided context and perspective on campaigns, military strategy, leadership, politics, ethnicity, emancipation, and many other topics.

Although Scherneckau saw men killed and wounded during the sporadic guerrilla and Indian warfare in which the First Nebraska engaged during most of its service, and was injured by friendly fire himself, he never experienced the carnage of a major battle. Most of the casualties he recorded came from disease or accidents. He fired his musket at an enemy once or twice but admitted he was dubious about whether his shots harmed anyone. Given the often mundane nature of Scherneckau's service, it is remarkable that he felt inspired to document his experiences, and those of his First Nebraska comrades, in such detail. But he was writing primarily for the benefit of his friends and relatives back home in Nebraska, so they could see the war through his eyes.

His meticulous record in Marching with the First Nebraska provides an insider's look at life in a Civil War volunteer regiment. Although Scherneckau's assessment of his fellow soldiers seems to have been colored by feelings of superiority stemming from his good education and his upbringing among his homeland's privileged class, his revelations that the regiment, the noble Nebraska volunteers, as it was sometimes called, included its fair share of drunkards, deserters, and dead-beats will come as no surprise. While ennobling characteristics such as patriotism, courage, honor, and determination are rightly ascribed to Civil War soldiers, the men were not saints. In this, the First Nebraska probably differed little from most other volunteer regiments. And, writing not for publication but to inform friends and relatives, Scherneckau could be candid, an attribute encouraged by the absence of any censorship of soldiers' writings during the war. His diary, therefore, provides a vivid portrait of one regiment of Union volunteers, spanning three years of service in the trans-Mississippi theater of the war.

With few exceptions Scherneckau provided detailed accounts of his experiences nearly every day, in part because he wanted to record them for his friends and relatives. He evidently kept daily notes and completed the more extensive entries soon afterward.

Working from Robbins's initial translation, both translator-editor Robbins and editor Potter tried to provide a final translation in modern English that accurately reflects Scherneckau's text, the meaning he sought to convey, and that also conforms to the military terminology of the American Civil War. For example, when he refers to artillery firing grenades or bombs, the words have been changed to shells.

For Marching with the First Nebraska, Scherneckau's dense typescript has been divided into chapters, and further divided into paragraphs. His occasional misspelling of names of officers, localities, or military units has been silently corrected when the proper spelling was known. Individuals mentioned in the diary have been identified, when possible, in a note. If identification of the same individual seemed necessary at a subsequent mention, this identification is usually provided in brackets within the text.

An unusual account of the war as viewed through the eyes of an unusual soldier. . . . Few Civil War diaries are as well written and consistently readable. Kansas History

Marching with the First Nebraska is an annotated edition that brings to bear the editors' and translator's respective expertise in both the Civil War and the German language, an important addition to primary material on one of the war's forgotten theaters. Documents such as this lengthy diary, remarkable for its rich detail, keen insight, and vivid description of life in the First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, are rare. The astonishingly vivid detail is unmatched in other accounts of the Civil War in the West. It will be a valued resource for historians and Civil War enthusiasts alike.

History / Americas / Religion & Spirituality / Religious Studies / Politics

The Sacred Rights of Conscience:: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding edited by Daniel Dreisbach and Mark David Hall (Liberty Fund, Inc.)

I believe there are many good men, of sound integrity, of unblemished morals, and truly lovers of their country in every denomination of hristians. On this subject, it matters not with me, whether a man be a stated member of this or that church, whether he be in communion with that established in Old England, or in New; provided he be a good

man, actuated by evangelical principles and motives, and will stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made him free. I disdain the low singularities of a party. I desire that every man may think and judge for himself in religion, and enjoy all the sacred rights and liberties of conscience in full. Samuel Sherwood, Scriptural Instructions to Civil Rulers, and all Free-born Subjects, August 31, 1774

That some of the natural rights of mankind are unalienable, and subject to no control but that of the Deity. Such are the SACRED RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE. Which in a state of nature, and of civil society[,] are exactly the same. They can neither be parted with nor controled, by any human authority whatever. Samuel Stillman, An Election Sermon, May 26, 1799

There are other branches of knowledge, which will be of great advantage to men in power. It is, at least, desireable that they should have a tolerable acquaintance with natural law that they understand the natural rights of men, which are the same, under every species of government, and do not owe their origin to the social compact. Such, in a peculiar manner, are the SACRED RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE. Chandler Robbins, An Election Sermon, May 25, 1791

I do therefore issue this my proclamation, recommending to all who shall be piously disposed to unite their hearts and voices in addressing at one and the same time their vows and adorations to the Great Parent and Sovereign of the Universe that they... render Him thanks for the many blessings He has bestowed on the people of the United States; ... and particularly that He has blessed the United States with a political Constitution founded on the will and authority of the whole people and guaranteeing to each individual security, not only of his person and his property, but of those SACRED RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE so essential to his present happiness and so dear to his future hopes; that with those expressions of devout thankfulness be joined supplications to the same Almighty Power that He would look down with compassion on our infirmities; that He would pardon our manifold transgressions and awaken and strengthen in all the wholesome purposes of repentance and amendment... . James Madison, Proclamation, July 23, 1813

The pursuit of religious liberty has been one of the grand principles of the American experiment. In The Sacred Rights of Conscience, scholars Daniel L. Dreisbach, professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, and Mark David Hall, Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, present an unprecedented collection of primary documents that illustrate the creation of distinctively American approaches to religious liberty and church-state relations. The Sacred Rights of Conscience provides students and scholars a collection of primary sources that illuminate the discussions and debates about religious liberty in the American founding era. This compilation of primary documents provides a examination of the evolving relationship between public religion and American culture, from pre-colonial biblical and European sources to the early nineteenth century, to allow readers to explore the social and political forces that defined the concept of religious liberty and shaped American church-state relations.

The rights of conscience and prudential relationships between religion and public life have been a source of controversy since the first settlements in the New World, and they continue to provoke energetic debate today. These original documents have been gathered from both public and private papers and include constitutions, statutes, legislative resolutions, speeches, sermons, newspapers, letters, and diaries. The editors provide an introduction to the collection, placing these documents within a historical context and explaining their significance, as well as brief introductions to each chapter and head-notes to selections. A bibliography of major works on religion in American public life directs readers to additional primary sources and secondary literature. The appendixes include a chronology of American church-state developments and an outline of the crucial deliberations in the first federal Congress leading to the language of the First Amendment religious clause.

Not a collection of dusty documents of interest only to academics, The Sacred Rights of Conscience is of direct relevance to current debates about religious liberty and church-state relations. Today's concerns about the place and role of religion in public life are strikingly similar to those of the early nineteenth century. Then, as well as now, judicial decisions and societal opinions were shaped by the history of ideas and law presented here. These documents are a vivid reminder that religion was a dynamic factor in shaping American culture and that there has been a struggle since the inception of the republic to define the prudential and constitutional role of religion in public culture.

Religion is woven tightly into the fabric of the American experiment. In the traditional telling of the story, early colonists crossed the Atlantic Ocean's treacherous waters to escape religious persecution in the Old World and to search for religious liberty in the New World. (The story's more heroic versions omit less noble motivations that drew immigrants to these shores ambition, avarice, adventure, etc.)

Early colonial laws consciously drew on biblical codes, often providing specific biblical references lest there be any doubt about the source. The New England Puritans, especially, found biblical precedent for republican government and other principles of civil government in God's instructions to the Children of Israel. Their divine mission, they believed, was to establish Bible commonwealths in God's New Israel.

One purpose of The Sacred Rights of Conscience is to paint a richer and fuller portrait of the development of church-state relations and religious liberty in America, drawing on the writings and experiences of both the famous and the sometimes forgotten individuals who contributed to this aspect of American life.

This collection of primary documents was conceived to introduce modern readers to the history of religious liberty and church-state relations in the American experience. This volume surveys the evolving relationship between public religion and American social, legal, and political culture from the colonial era to the early national period, and explores the social and political forces that de-fined the concept of religious liberty and shaped church-state relations in America.

The Sacred Rights of Conscience combines important primary documents with editorial notes providing context and, where appropriate, brief commentary documents and topics were selected on the basis of the importance of their contribution to American political and intellectual thought, the saliency of the ideas they illustrate, and relevancy to enduring themes of church-state relations. In general, Dreisbach and Hall favored public papers, such as constitutions, laws, or public addresses, as opposed to private reflections contained in letters or diaries. They do not doubt the utility of the latter for shedding light on a particular founder's views; however, public papers, more than private writings, were accessible to a general audience and available for others to base their actions and opinions upon and to inform public sentiment and policy. The documents we selected also illustrate the rich diversity of perspectives on the role of religion in American society and reveal the roots of modern church-state controversies. They looked for documents that represented diverse political, ideological, theological, and regional viewpoints.

The selected documents are organized topically and, generally, chronologically within each theme. The primary focus is on the evolution of a distinctive American doctrine of religious liberty. The documents trace the development of American church-state relations from the biblical and European sources that influenced church-state thought in colonial America, to the crafting of distinctive American approaches to church-state relations, to the flourishing of denominational pluralism facilitated by the First Amendment's religious liberty and non-establishment provisions, and to the critical testing of the content and application of the prudential and constitutional principles governing religion's role in an increasingly secular, pluralistic society.

The material has been arranged to emphasize the content and intensity of the continuing public debate in America on the scope of religious liberty and the relation of religion to public life. A few of the documents are reproduced from unpublished original sources, such as several Virginia petitions in chapter 6 and the letters in chapter 12. The remainder comes from reputable primary sources. The documents have been edited very lightly. Their preference was to reproduce pieces in their entirety, but space limitations forced us to reproduce only selected portions of lengthy texts or works that contained repetitive material or passages unrelated to the general themes of The Sacred Rights of Conscience. They have tried to avoid excerpts so brief that it deprives readers of valuable context.

Each chapter is prefaced by a brief introduction providing context for the selected documents. Short head-notes accompany most documents. The volume also contains a variety of resources and pedagogical aids designed to enhance its value as a supplemental textbook or reference work for students of religion in American history Recommendations for further reading are located at the end of each chapter. Dreisbach and Hall have also provided a bibliography, of major works on religion in American public life that directs readers to additional primary sources and secondary literature. The appendixes include a chronology of church-state developments in American history and an outline of deliberations in the first federal Congress leading to the language of the First Amendment religious clause.

Collectively, these documents provide a vivid reminder that religion was a dynamic factor in shaping American social, legal, and political culture, and that there has been a struggle since the inception of the American republic to define the prudential and constitutional role of religion in public culture. Many of the selected documents have a striking contemporary quality to them. The style, language, and themes of church-state debate today are much the same as they have been for four centuries. The place of religion in a pluralistic society and the secularization of public life are sources of controversy today, just as they were in revolutionary Virginia, the first Congress, and the early republic.

Given the extensive and continuing influence of history in analyzing the prudential and constitutional place of religion in the American polity, this collection of historical documents will cast light not only on the past but also on the present and the future of the American experiment in liberty under law.

The Sacred Rights of Conscience is a rich collection of primary sources with a thorough and balanced introduction placing the documents in historical context and explaining their significance. The Sacred Rights of Conscience will prove a useful resource for students of religion in American public life. Students and scholars of American history, politics, law, theology, and religion will relish this collection of primary source material, much of it unavailable or hard to find in other published collections.

Home & Garden / Gardening & Horticulture

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening by Delilah Smittle and Sheri Ann Richerson (Alpha Books)

In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening readers discover how to go from being a fair-weather gardener to becoming a maestro of year-round gardening and enjoying the benefits of their own fresh-picked produce and flowers in every season. Whether it's onions in the summer, lettuce in the winter, or orchids any time, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening covers every step of the process of both outdoor and indoor gardening. From seeds, soil, compost, equipment, and fertilizers to all types of covers and greenhouses, and even gardening and harvesting in root cellars during winter. This book, written by senior editor Delilah Smittle, an expert in greenhouse gardens, and Sheri Ann Richerson, is full of tips and techniques readers can use to get their gardens growing early and keep them producing right through the winter. In this book readers get:

  • Clear information and expert advice.
  • Quick tips to get their veggies and flowers started under cover, either indoors or outdoors.
  • Charts of common plants they can grow under cover and what they need to thrive.
  • Composting and fertilizing year-round.
  • Seed-saving methods for flowers and vegetables.
  • Indoor and outdoor seed starting.
  • Year-round greenhouse techniques for growing ornamentals and produce.
  • The best plants for heated and unheated greenhouses.

Smittle and Richerson explore all the methods for expanding the growing season whether they want to keep cool-season salad greens producing through the dog days of summer, or prolong the harvest of heat-loving tomatoes after frost nips their unprotected garden plants. They give readers a range of plant-protection cover options and techniques, ranging from the wisdom of their elders' methods to cutting-edge techniques and products, everything from digging in the soil to building structures and growing plants readers never thought they could grow.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening is divided into six parts. Each addresses a different facet of gardening:

Part 1, "You Can Garden Year-Round," provides an introduction to gardening in every season. Smittle and Richerson explain essentials such as creating perfect growing conditions for every season and selecting plants that thrive in marginal growing conditions.

Part 2, "Gardening Basics: Before the Harvest," covers a garden essential healthy soil. Readers discover how to determine whether one's soil has the right balance of nutrients. And learn to raise garden plants from seeds.

Part 3, "Gardening Under Cover: Spring to Fall," helps readers determine which garden design fits their needs. Readers learn what a covered garden is and how to maintain it. Part 4, "Gardening Under Cover: Winter," is about making the most of nature's least friendly gardening season. Smittle and Richerson revive interest in the ecological and economical root cellar. They also shed light on insulating covers that allow readers to garden outdoors right through the winter.

Part 5, "Greenhouse Gardening: All Seasons," thoroughly explores the rewards of year-round greenhouse gardening. Readers learn the ins and outs of greenhouses, including heating and cooling options, helpful tools and gadgets, and beneficial insects and animals.

Part 6, "Gardening Basics: After the Harvest," casts an eye to next year's garden with a look at seed saving and garden cleanup. The book wraps things up with how to pack and store the harvest to maximize freshness.

This guide is a must-have for any dedicated gardener. To help readers find shortcuts, helpful information, and safety advice, the authors have scattered boxes throughout The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening that will give readers an extra edge when it comes to their own year-round gardening efforts. They can spend less time dreaming about those gardens in the magazines and more time doing what they love. This is the only book that covers both outdoor covered gardening and greenhouse gardening, as well as root-cellar gardening and harvesting.

Literature & Fiction

Ruby's Spoon:: A Novel by Anna Lawrence Pietroni (Spiegel & Grau)

I didn't consciously set out to write about imprisonment, but Ruby's Spoon is a novel about incarceration and the quest for freedom, both emotional and physical. Ruby, the young protagonist, is constrained at the most literal level by the geography of Cradle Cross it's surrounded by canals, and while Ruby longs to get to sea, she's forbidden to go near water. from an interview with the author

Set in 1980s Black Country, England and told in the area's unique dialect, Anna Lawrence Pietroni's debut novel Ruby's Spoon gives voice to a region of England that has a strong oral storytelling history that has, until now, been overlooked by mainstream literature. Pietroni grew up outside of Birmingham, England. She graduated with a first class degree from Oxford and worked for several years in the British prison system before turning to writing. This is her first novel.

Cradle Cross in 1933 is a town in the heart of England's coal-dusted Black Country, still reeling from the Great War and dominated by a button factory in terminal decline. It is a town out of time battered by war and yet linked to a distant past, an isolated pocket of the country whose customs and views have remained intact since medieval times, where talismans protect loved ones and rituals can help wring away the grief of loss. Into this exotically grim environment arrives a white-haired young woman from the coast named Isa Fly. Isa is a mysterious and magnetic presence who exerts a romantic pull on everyone she meets. Motherless, thirteen-year-old Ruby Tailor is instantly drawn to her. Ruby lives with her grandmother, works at a chip shop, and dreams of running away.

Also drawn to her is Captin, the proprietor of the local chip shop, a fifty-year-old bachelor and father figure to Ruby, and Truda Blick, the Oxford-educated spinster whos inherited the failing button factory. Isa quickly draws the scorn of the townspeople, especially after she and Ruby befriend Truda. As Blick's Button Factory tips into a steep financial decline, prized possessions all over town go missing, and Ruby questions Isa's motives.

In Ruby's Spoon the tongues of the tight-knit community are set wagging. As the reasons for Isa's sudden appearance become murkier with each passing day, the town's wounds are opened, and her small group of supporters is progressively ostracized by the town, with Isa labeled a witch.

Mystery, witchcraft, and a precocious young narrator enliven Pietroni's debut. Ruby is one of those bright narrators whose insights into the treacheries of the adult world are heartrending, but while the dialogue is inventive and gorgeously dialectical, the pacing is off, with the middle section slowing dramatically before ramping up for a final 50-page blitz. If savored for character and atmosphere, fans of Hardy, Dickens, and, more recently, Michael Faber and Sarah Waters will find much to enjoy. Publishers Weekly

This enthralling, suspenseful debut novel has the feel of a grim fairy tale.... Of the many riches it offers, it is the winning lead character, a lonely teen brave enough to have a dream despite her impoverished circumstances, who will capture readers hearts. Booklist, starred review

A spellbinding first novel, distinguished by unforgettable storytelling. Kirkus Reviews, starred review

It's a New Year, a new decade and it's only January. The big guns like Ian McEwan are still to publish later this year, but I'm going to stick my neck out anyway and predict prize-winning nominations for this debut novelist's astonishing first book. The tight, packed, demanding, fascinating first pages couldn't be maintained, I thought, when I began reading: at any moment now, it's all going to slacken and this prose will unravel. But it never, ever does. Sunday Herald (UK)

Pietroni in Ruby's Spoon captures for the first time the dialect of Black Country, and the effect is mesmerizing. The book combines a gritty, hyper-vivid realism with the dreamlike richness of a fable. Reminiscent of the work of Sarah Waters, this novel marks a noteworthy debut and an important addition to the canon of literary fiction. Pietroni has created two alluring characters Ruby and Isa and spins a story that feels mythical, that is driven by a mystery, throbs with tension, and ends in conflagration.

Literature & Fiction / Entertainment / Humor / Science Fiction

Generation A:: A Novel by Douglas Coupland (Scribner)

Now you young twerps want a new name for your generation? Probably not, you just want jobs, right? Well, the media do us all such tremendous favors when they call you Generation X, right? Two clicks from the very end of the alphabet. I hereby declare you Generation A, as much at the beginning of a series of astonishing triumphs and failures as Adam and Eve were so long ago. Kurt Vonnegut, Syracuse University commencement address, May 8, 1994/p>

How can we be alive and not wonder about the stories we use to knit together this place we call the world? Without stories, our universe is merely rocks and clouds and lava and blackness. It's a village scraped raw by warm waters leaving not a trace of what existed. from the book

This line opens a new work from best-selling author Douglas Coupland that re-imagines the very act of reading and storytelling in a crazed digital world. Like much of Coupland's writing, it occupies the perplexing hinterland between optimism about the future and everyday apocalyptic paranoia.

Generation A mirrors Coupland's debut novel, 1991's Generation X. It explores new ways of storytelling in a digital world. With rapidly-changing media and technology and a world that progressively cares less and less about books, Generation A champions the act of reading and storytelling as one of the few defenses we still have against the constant bombardment of the senses in a digital world.

In 1991, Coupland revolutionized the social world when he captured the cultural zeitgeist and coined the moniker Generation X. Since then each of his novels is wildly different from the last. With Generation A, Coupland continues to invent, but also establishes a significant connection to his seminal novel, Generation X.

In a near-future Earth, where bees are extinct, five unconnected people an Iowan farm-boy, a Sri Lankan call-center manager, a French gamer, a New Zealander and a Canadian Tourette's sufferer are all stung at the same time. These seemingly unimportant people all find themselves snatched by ominous figures in hazmat suits, interrogated in Ikea-like chambers, and then thrust back out into an Internet-driven world for their fifteen minutes of fame. After enduring a barrage of unusual, twenty-first century circumstances, these five people eventually are brought together on a remote Canadian island by a charismatic scientist with questionable motives. But the five find themselves united in a way they could never imagine.

Coupland's thematic sequel to Generation X strives once more to explore and define the edges of group identity through a Decameron-style storytelling marathon. Always in the background are rumblings of the hyper-addictive drug Solon, which holds its users in a perpetual present. Coupland juggles some fascinating ideas, and the story circle holds equal parts humor and revelation, though the revolving crew of narrators particularly the women can be difficult to distinguish from one another. Despite its flaws, this book will interest readers in search of an intelligent look at pop and digital culture. Publishers Weekly

WWith this exceptional sequel to Generation X, Douglas Coupland may be one of the smartest, wittiest writers around He is a terrifically good writer Generation A is set in the near futureIt is the attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery that brings the five together on an Alaskan island [actually BC island!] where they are made to tell stories to one another. Coupland weaves common elements across these tales and into the main narrative: large themes comic themes existential themes There is a compelling plot Coupland scatters his smartly satirical observations throughoutThis is a clever, brilliant book and its loads better than Generation Xfunny and profound. Esquire UK
Eighteen years on from Generation X, oupland still satirises pop culture better than anyone. This globe-spanning tale, set in the near future, is masterfully told and often hilarious. GQ UK
I know Im not alone in thinking that Douglas Coupland is one of our finest chroniclers of modern life. Hes funny, though, and maybe thats his problem. Memo to the Custodians of CanLit: Big Ideas can be delivered with humour and wit. National Post
Douglas Coupland is the greatest Canadian ironist of his time. . . . A far-fetched and enjoyable romp. . . . If he lives long enough, he could go through the alphabet of generations and entertain us thoroughly in the process. . . . A world without bees is hard to imagine. It's almost as hard to imagin[e] a Canada without Coupland. The Globe and Mail
As you're reveling in Coupland's wit and political acumen, a knockout section offering a trenchant commentary on storytelling suddenly hits you: how the best tales work, what inspires us and how stories can change the world. Don't miss it. NOW

Imaginative, inventive, and entertaining, Generation A is Copelands most ambitious work to date. He makes readers laugh while making them think about the consequences of information acceleration in contemporary society.

Professional & Technical / Health Policy

The Healing of America:: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series: Thorndike Press, Gale Cengage)

The Healing of America/a>: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid (The Penguin Press)

When the World Health Organization rated the national health care systems of 191 countries in terms of fairness, the United States ranked fifty-fourth slightly ahead of Chad and Rwanda but just behind Bangladesh and the Maldives. How is it that all the other industrialized democracies provide health care for everyone at a reasonable cost, something the United States has never managed to do? Bestselling author T. R. Reid in The Healing of America shows how they do it. Reid, longtime correspondent for The Washington Post and former chief of its Tokyo and London bureaus as well as a commentator for National Public Radio, guides a whirlwind tour of successful health care systems worldwide, revealing possible paths toward U.S. reform.
In his global quest to find a possible prescription, Reid visits wealthy, free market, industrialized democracies like our own including France, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and Canada where he finds inspiration in example. Seeking treatment for the flare-up of an old shoulder injury, he visits doctors in the U.S., France, Germany, Japan and England with a stint in an Ayurvedic clinic in India in a quest for treatment that dovetails with his search for a cure for America's health-care crisis, a narrative device that sometimes feels contrived, but allows him valuable firsthand experience. Reid shares evidence from doctors, government officials, health care experts, and patients the world over, finding that foreign health care systems give everybody quality care at an affordable cost. And that dreaded monster socialized medicine turns out to be a myth. Many developed countries provide universal coverage with private doctors, private hospitals, and private insurance.
In addition to long-established systems, Reid in The Healing of America also studies countries that have carried out major health care reform. The first question facing these countries and the United States, for that matter is an ethical issue: Is health care a human right? Most countries have already answered with a resolute yes, leaving the United States in the moral backwater with nations we typically think of as far less just than our own.
Reid sees problems elsewhere, too: He finds poorly paid doctors in Japan, endless lines in Canada, mistreated patients in Britain, Spartan facilities in France. Still, all the other rich countries operate at a lower cost, produce better health statistics, and cover everybody. In the end, The Healing of America is a good news book: It finds models around the world that Americans can borrow to guarantee health care for everybody who needs it.

Washington Post correspondent Reid (The United States of Europe) explores health-care systems around the world in an effort to understand why the U.S. remains the only first world nation to refuse its citizens universal health care. Neither financial prudence nor concern for the commonweal explains the American position, according to Reid, whose findings divulge that the U.S. not only spends more money on health care than any other nation but also leaves 45 million residents uninsured, allowing about 22,000 to die from easily treatable diseases. For all the scope of his research and his ability to mint neat rebuttals to the common American misconception that universal health care is socialized medicine, Reid neglects to address the elephant in the room: just how are we to sell these changes to the mighty providers and insurers? Publishers Weekly

T.R. Reid has done a service to his nation by showing in his latest book just how uninformed this conventional wisdom is. Based on his own experience and research, The Healing of America is both readable and informative. Elsewhere on his journey, Reid discovered other curious truths about health care abroad that Americans don't know. For example, Germany and Switzerland manage to provide universal coverage while preserving a greater role for competing private-sector doctors and insurance companies than the United States does. In those countries, it is true that government regulation and price controls also play a big role. However, in Britain, a supposed bastion of socialized medicine, most doctors are in business for themselves and are often highly entrepreneurial in seeking new patients; some even make house calls. Similarly, in France and Japan, consumers have quicker access to a broader range of providers than most Americans do (no cost for going out of network). And no one is ever denied an insurance claim or thrown into medical bankruptcy. What's more, per-capita health-care costs are far lower than in the United States and health-care outcomes better. Canada does have long waiting lists for elective procedures, but other nations such as Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark outperform the United States in providing quick access to specialists.But he does demonstrate that Giuliani and like-minded Americans put forward a distorted image when they contend that other industrialized countries ration health care and constrain patients' choice of doctors, deny effective care and, in essence, provide socialized medicine. Reid shows us how other advanced countries easily combine universal coverage and government regulation with entrepreneurialism and respect for market forces to produce high-quality, low-cost health care a simple empirical truth we can no longer afford to ignore. Phillip Longman, The Washington Post

The Healing of America lays bare the moral question at the heart of our troubled health-care system, dissecting the misleading rhetoric surrounding the health care debate, and bringing to bear his talent for explaining complex issues in a clear, engaging way.

Professional & Technical / Medical / Allied Health Professions

Preplanning for EMS (Continuing Education) by Warren J. Porter (Jones and Bartlett Publishers)

Reflecting many of the principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), Preplanning for EMS, written by Warren Porter, MS, BA, NREMT-P, PNCCT, who has over 30 years of experience with emergency medical services, encourages EMS agencies to become involved in preplanning to promote the best possible outcome in an emergency.

Preplanning was first developed in the 1970s by the fire service as a tool to make firefighting efforts more effective and ensure life safety for responders and civilians. Preplanning for EMS introduces emergency medical services (EMS) administrators, supervisors, and providers to pre-incident planning, focusing exclusively on EMS concerns. Preplanning allows EMS agencies to prepare prior to an incident by:

  • Researching specific local facilities, events, and potential incidents.
  • Identifying hazards.
  • Developing a response plan.
  • Gathering supplies and recruiting help.
  • Coordinating with law enforcement, fire services, and other response agencies.

The book includes coverage of preplanning for:

  • Medical facilities
  • Schools
  • Mass gatherings
  • Mass medical transportation
  • Shelters and mass care
  • Disaster and pandemic management

Features include Case Studies, which provide readers with an opportunity to see how EMS preplanning applies to the real world; Preplanning Practices, which provide further guidance on how to incorporate preplanning as a vital EMS function; Tip Boxes, which highlight and elaborate on emergency response topics presented in the text; and Selected References, which suggest further reading on EMS preplanning. A complete list of these references appears in the back of the book.

Porter in Preplanning for EMS says that to begin a discussion of preplanning in the EMS it is necessary to first define preplanning and discuss its importance for emergency response at incidents or events. Preplanning, simply put, is the process of planning before an incident or event occurs. As a means of ensuring efficient responses to future incidents, EMS personnel must consider the five Rights of preplanning: the right response to the right incident, with the right resources for the right tasks for the right patient.

Preplanning allows EMS to evaluate emergency incident factors that responders may or may not have control over. Through the preplanning process, responders can develop logical steps to follow to effectively deal with potential incidents. Although not every call for assistance is exactly the same, many calls for similar events have common characteristics that allow EMS personnel to plan ahead.

Preplanning takes into consideration commonly performed tasks, as well as the potential for specific patient or victim needs, and then asks responders to evaluate the best way to accomplish care for a specific patient or group of patients. Preplanning allows those who will respond to a specific event, such as a large concert or a large sporting event, to look at the site before they are called to respond at the venue. This first look provides crews a chance to see what factors may impact their response, such as traffic, venue size, expected crowd locations, and the location and nature of potential hazards or danger areas. By assessing these factors ahead of time, crews can ensure they have the resources necessary to care for patients while developing a plan for safety during an emergency response. If a large pyrotechnic show were to be held in this kind of venue, it would be important to preplan for possible burn victims in the event that something unexpected occurs with the fireworks. Taking into account the show's distance from roads, EMS responders may decide to have personnel and the appropriate resources standing by throughout the duration of the concert at a safe distance from the pyrotechnics. Additionally, the EMS responders may have preplanned routes to different parts of the area designated and secured, to provide quick access to patients as well as quick transportation away from the site.

Porter in Preplanning for EMS says that while performing the first look of the proposed concert location, EMS personnel can identify potential issues associated with the location. This includes identifying location-specific hazards, designating sites for treatment areas, and ensuring ambulance access if the main road is congested. During this evaluation of the location, an agency should ask questions such as:

  • Will more than one treatment or triage area need to be established?
  • If so, who will staff them, and how many responders are needed?
  • How will patients be moved away from the concert in the event of an emergency incident?
  • Will aircraft be needed? If so, where should landing zones be established?

When it comes to preplanning, certain issues are relevant to all involved. Depending on a responder's position within an EMS organization, however, certain questions will come to mind when he or she begins the preplanning process. It is important for each person to share information with other contributors to the preplanning effort so that resources can be coordinated in advance, to avoid having inadequate resources for some part of the emergency response.

Preplanning for EMS allows responders to answer questions and concerns from every level, starting at the lowest level up to the chief or administration within an organization, before a response is called for. It allows organizations to develop emergency response plans, then evaluate and modify those plans as needed, to ensure resources are well utilized and safety is maintained. Although an incident may be the direct responsibility of the fire department, police department, or someone in the unified command at the EOC, the EMS staff still serves as the expert in EMS tasks. Even for EMS agencies that are part of the fire department, triage, treatment, and transport of patients should be managed by the best qualified person(s) who have operational responsibility to handle these tasks. EMS must be involved in preplanning to promote the best possible outcome in an emergency.

As explained in Preplanning for EMS, one of the most beneficial aspects of preplanning is that it permits organizations to conduct training on tasks they may be required to perform at a later time. These tasks may be simple or complex. They may be the same tasks required of EMS personnel every day, but applied in a different manner than usual. Triage would be an example of something that is done daily in EMS. Triage of two patients, however, is somewhat different than the triage of 60 people. The principles are similar, but the actual hands-on tasks are different.

Training is normally done in phases that follow a set process, progressing from individual tasks, to intermediate tasks, to crew training, to agency training, and then to interagency training. If one task or level is not mastered and goes unchecked, false positive results may be accepted; the individual or crew may think they have mastered a task when, in fact, they are not prepared to perform that task in a true emergency situation. The importance of training should not be understated. The way organizations train for events is directly linked to how they will respond and how effective their response will be.

Training hones the effectiveness of the response and can expose any misconceptions or errors in assumptions in the plan before the plan is worked at a true emergency scene where people may get hurt. Training gives the organization the ability to fix issues identified in training before the organization responds to the true emergency.

The preplanning taught in Preplanning for EMS allows EMS to develop plans for specific types of incidents, complications that arise at incidents and cause responders to evaluate and/or modify the response plan at the scene, as well as complexities of response. Preplanning allows the flexibility to deal with such issues, all the while reducing the risk of injury and fatalities at an emergency incident.

Professional & Technical / Medical / Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence by Karen Sladyk, Karen Jacobs, and Nancy MacRae (Slack Incorporated)

This textbook edited by highly respected leaders in the field... is appropriately and cleverly organized around the essentials of competence in the occupational therapy process. It did not escape my notice that the array of possibilities presented is balanced and reflects the opportunities that are available for using situations (contexts, environments, activities, and people) to provide competent care. The toolkit of options available ... for implementing the plan of care as presented here is comprehensive and represents a formidable and significant part of the book. from the foreword by Charles Christiansen/p>

The occupational therapy profession has seen many textbooks on a wide range of topics, but never has a text used the ACOTE Accreditation Standards as a blueprint, incorporating them as a way to intricately outline a plan of action for the current practice of occupational therapy. With 50 expert contributors, Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence sets the stage with two foundational concepts vital to the study of occupation: flow and culture. Led by nationally renowned authors, Karen Sladyk, PhD OTR/L FAOTA, Bay Path College, Longmeadown, MA; Karen Jacobs, EdD OTR/L CPE FAOTA, Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College; and Nancy MacRae, MS OTR/L FAOTA, Westbrook College of Health Professions, University of New England, Portland; Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence presents a summary of interconnected constructs that define and direct occupational therapy practice. In this volume readers find:

  • Basic tenets of occupational therapy.
  • Occupational therapy theoretical perspectives.
  • Screening, evaluation, and referral.
  • Formulation and implementation of an intervention plan.
  • Context of service delivery.
  • Management of occupational therapy services.
  • Professional ethics, values, and responsibilities.
  • Culture and its role in occupational choice and performance.

Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence also includes student activities at the end of each chapter, as well as on-line material that consists of multiple choice questions, chapter objectives, teacher activities, and PowerPoint slides.

Some additional features include:

  • Examples as viewed and analyzed from multiple perspectives.
  • Evidence-based practice reviews that provide a starting point to have each topic explored in depth.
  • Evaluation of the mastery of application and self-assessment exercises.
  • Integration throughout the text of Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, Second Edition

Designed as a comprehensive overview of the ACOTE Standards relative to curriculum, Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence introduces every topic needed for a competent, entry-level occupational therapy practitioner. In most chapters, examples are provided that can be viewed from multiple perspectives. For instance, the student example in Chapter 7 can be analyzed as a student-to-peer or as an advanced practitioner-to-student. Such examples enrich the content and its application to practice.

Based on adult learning theory, it is easier to understand concepts if they are chunked together or if they utilize scaffolding techniques to reinforce and facilitate learning. This is the case for many chapters. For example, the content and application of theory are covered between two chapters. Both chapters cover theory. However, Chapter 8 introduces the development and organization, while Chapter 9 applies theory to evaluation and intervention.

When appropriate, chapters in Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence include evidence-based practice reviews that provide the beginning resources to help the student explore the topic in depth. Further, there are student application and self-assessment exercises in each chapter for the students to evaluate their mastery. Although no chapter is meant to stand independent of other resources, some chapters are more appropriately comprehensive. This is the case for the chapters on ethics and physical agent modalities. Fifty authors contribute their specific expertise to enhance readers learning experience, leading to our decision to include multiple voices. An Instructor's Manual is also available, with multiple choice questions and simple power points to assist the occupational therapy educator.

Occupational therapy practitioners and students are concerned with identifying occupations meaningful to clients in order to provide the just right challenge. The use of valued, goal-directed activities promotes health and well-being, and it contributes to satisfaction and quality of life. Csikszentmihalyi's construct of flow shares many of the same tenets held by occupational therapy.

Although there is not a specific ACOTE Standard on culture, the concept of culture is woven throughout the standards, indicating the need for occupational therapy practitioners and students to have a sound understanding of culture and its importance in occupational choice and performance, and in culturally competent care. The remaining chapters address specific assigned standards in the following sections:

  1. Setting the Stage
  2. Basic Tenets of Occupational Therapy
  3. Occupational Therapy Theoretical Perspectives
  4. Screening, Evaluation, and Referral
  5. Intervention Plan: Formulation and Implementation
  6. Context of Service Delivery
  7. Management of Occupational Therapy Services
  8. Research
  9. Professional Ethics, Values, and Responsibilities

All occupational therapists will welcome Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence, a forward-thinking text, and one of a kind in following 2006 ACOTE Accreditation Standards for a Masters Program for the Occupational Therapist, with its unique organizational format of grouping concepts together to reinforce and facilitate learning.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Many Parts, One Body:: How the Episcopal Church Works by James Dator with Jan Nunley (Church Publishing)

It is hoped that Many Parts, One Body will be helpful to persons concerned with both the government of the Episcopal Church and ecclesiastical polity as a whole, as well as to those students of government who are interested in comparing and contrasting public and private governance. James Allen Dator 1959, from the preface to the original work

A scholarly dissertation, written fifty years ago and largely unknown to the broader community, suddenly burst into prominence recently providing a credible voice in the middle of controversy.

In one of several recent disputes concerning the rights of dioceses to secede from the Episcopal Church, James Dator's unpublished dissertation on the government of the church was quoted in support of secession. A curious journalist followed the trail to Dator himself, who located a copy of his long-ignored dissertation Many Parts, One Body and found that it, in fact, clearly came to the opposite conclusion. Together, they also realized that this original research provided the framework of historical documentation and analysis about the history and nature of the government and ordering of the Episcopal Church, which is so urgently needed to answer the pressing questions the church faces today.

In Many Parts, One Body, a revised and updated survey of the governing bodies, constitution, and canons of the Episcopal Church, Dator, professor of political science and director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Jan Nunley, an Episcopal priest and former deputy for communications for the Episcopal Church, have teamed up to provide footing for Episcopalians to address issues of authority and governance. The questions dioceses and parishes face today may seem novel to us, but Many Parts, One Body clearly shows that the Episcopal Church has encountered and addressed similar challenges at different times and in different ways throughout its history. Dator says in the preface to the original work that research into the constitutional structure of the government of the Episcopal Church was first suggested to him while he was studying the history of American Christianity as a special student at the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia.

What kind of a federation or confederation is it that places no constitutional limits whatsoever upon the power of the central government? The problem of the nature of the church's government became more interesting. Subsequent research showed that the controversy over the nature of the church's constitutional structure was not new; that, indeed, it was as old as the oldest commentaries on the American Episcopal Church. Almost always, moreover, the dispute centered on the politically important questions of whether General Convention did or did not have the constitutional power to enact a given canon, and whether that was a power belonging to the sovereign dioceses.

It soon became evident that a decision could not be reached as to whether the church's government was federal, confederal, or unitary until these terms had been rather precisely defined and distinguished. After this was done, the church's constitutional structure could be compared with the definitions and a more specific appraisal of the church's Constitution could be reached.

Many Parts, One Body examines in some detail the structure of the American Episcopal Church in relation to the question of the nature of its Constitution, and then examines that structure in terms of the criteria developed in chapter 1. The examination is made under five headings: The Written Constitution, General Convention, Executive and Judiciary, Membership, and Locus of Sovereignty. The structural characteristics of the church under each of these five is made on the behavioral actualities within the church's structure.

The final conclusion, then, about the structure of the church's government is that the government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America is unitary. As such, however, it is hugely decentralized. In this decentralization, it takes on confederal, more nearly than even federal, characteristics. This, however, does not make the church structurally confederal. There is no essential division of power between the General Convention and the dioceses. In fact, there is no limit at all upon the Convention's governing powers, unless it is the ancient canons and the necessity for conformity with the catholic faith; but General Convention alone interprets these finally. Thus, the government is unitary.

Unitary in structure, but highly decentralized, The Episcopal Church is both the dioceses and the parishes participating fully and extensively in the confederal-like decentralization. These confederal features equal representation according to dioceses and the vote by orders in the House of Deputies of the General Convention, the method of financing, the court system, and the weak central executive are probably partly due to the legacy of the spirit of the times when the first Constitutions were being formulated, to the Founding Fathers' fear of any government at all, and to the political conservatism of members of General Convention who reflect and intensify the controversies over federalism in the history of the United States and tacitly transfer the controversies to the government of the church. Indeed, according to Dator, the reason for the church's decentralized structure is worthy of careful study.

The insightful, well-documented research and rich analysis provided in Many Parts, One Body sheds a clear light on thorny issues deeply divisive in the church today. Dator and Nunley provide solid footing for Episcopalians to address issues of authority and governance.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Leadership / Reference

Reclaiming the Imagination:: The Exodus as Paradigmatic Narrative for Preaching edited by David Fleer and Dave Bland (Chalice Press)

Reclaiming the Imagination/a>, focuses on the paradigm of the exodus as developed in scripture. This book proposes that we allow the world imagined in the exodus narrative to form, inform, and transform the lives of preachers and congregations. The Exodus motif engages biblical scholars, theologians, and homileticians from evangelical and post liberal backgrounds with different perspectives as they listen and understand how the Exodus paradigm has shaped and continues to shape our identities.
Reclaiming the Imagination is edited by David Fleer, professor of religion and communication and special assistant to the president of Lipscomb University in Nashville and Dave Bland, professor of preaching at Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, where he directs the Doctor of School Ministry program and is one of the preaching ministers at White Station Church of Christ. Contributors include: Lynn Anderson, Dave Bland, Walter Brueggemann, Trent Butler, Jana Childers, David Fleer, Joshua Graves, Mark Hamilton, Katie Hays, Lucy Hogan, Cleophus J. LaRue, Jim Martin, Brian McLaren, Rodney Plunket, Dwight Robarts, Daniel A. Rodriguez, Jerry Taylor, and John York
According to Fleer and Bland, more than two decades ago they were engaged in conversation with a professor of rhetoric, exploring the academic and practical aspects of public apology. This professor had long impressed them with his knowledge of leading theorists and details of the most prominent studies in the field. When they proposed that they might consider the narrative of David and Bathsheba in evaluating a particular apologia, they were stunned to hear that their respected mentor had never heard the story.

Today, more than ever, they say they mourn the loss of intimacy with biblical narratives even among their fellow church members, an amnesia made more acute with an inability to discern various degrees of importance and weight within Scripture. These pivotal texts that echo through Scripture should craft the Christian experience as well.

According to Fleer and Bland in Reclaiming the Imagination, the exodus is a fundamental paradigmatic narrative through all of Scripture. In a sense, the entire Bible is a palimpsest overlaid on this paradigm. What God does in the exodus is the archetype for how God acts throughout history and how God works today. A problem arises as people are losing touch with God's fundamental story. Not only is the culture forgetting the Bible's stories faster than the church, our culture is also busy inflicting amnesia by dismissing memory as a passive exercise in futility. Despite our disadvantaged milieu, we long for the reliable and identity-forming memories that offer hope and provide courage during painful times. Despite potential misappropriations, the most fundamental Christian memory is the story of God liberating an oppressed people from an outside power and then saving these same people from their own obstinacy and selfishness.

One of the primary ways in which memory of the exodus narrative is reread and thus reactivated is through the discipline of imagination. Imagination meets bad press when associated with fanciful, freewheeling, and undisciplined thinking. When grounded in Scripture's exodus narrative, however, imagination becomes an essential act that invites our full engagement. Imagination is the act of believing in something that cannot be seen, and being sure of promises that are not yet fulfilled. By faithful imagination God's people live and act as though God's promises are true.

The essays and sermons in Reclaiming the Imagination are designed to imaginatively reactivate the exodus memory in the life of the church. Walter Brueggemann keynotes the volume, moving through Exodus's particularities underscoring its progression away from imperial oppression. The narrative is a call to counter amnesia when grandparents imaginatively recreate God's exodus in the present. In the theme essay for chapter 2, Mark Hamilton reveals how Scripture reappropriates the exodus for different purposes: serving as warning, encouragement, warrant for legal material, and the reclamation of a usable history from cultural meltdown. The biblical writers disclose an amazing array of exodus reemployment strategies. Steeped in the narrative, they find ways to represent that story in fresh, challenging, and engaging contemporary ways.

In chapter 3 John York examines New Testament writers who operate with the collective memory of the exodus narrative. The New Testament lives and breathes the exodus paradigm.

In "The Exodus as Paradigmatic Text in the African American Community," Cleophus LaRue shows how the exodus imaginatively energizes the African American community to throw off the chains of oppression. However, LaRue warns, we can lose sight of the purpose of the exodus narrative and embrace it as a means to support our own selfish agendas. In a subsequent sermon, Daniel Rodriguez reminds readers that exodus is about liberation, not from oppression to autonomous freedom, but from oppression to serving God.

Brian McLaren completes the collection of essays as he creatively examines the context of the exodus narrative between Genesis and Isaiah as the movement from creation to liberation to the peaceable kingdom. Liberation is the central story, McLaren observes. "Creation is its prequel, and peaceable kingdom is its sequel. So much depends on our rediscovering this central story." The creation story of Genesis is similar to the liberation story of Exodus. In both, God faithfully interacts with rebellious people.

Three sermons follow each of the five essays in Reclaiming the Imagination to flesh out their theology and themes. They work to creatively imagine how the exodus narrative can be reread in the intense particularities of several contemporary contexts. For example, Katie Hays creatively stretches readers truncated imagination and memory to read the gospel more richly by tracing Matthew, who "inhales Egypt, exhales exodus, like a Semitic form of yoga." Through rich metaphor and storytelling, Trent Butler's sermon creates space for an overture to response by imagining us in the context of Amos' world, hearing Amos' voice.

In introductions to the written sermons, each preacher describes his or her work en route! to the sermon with notes on the interaction with the lead essay. Each sermon provides a healthful development of one trajectory from that essay. The twin components of each sermon chapter provide observations about the sermon's growth and demonstrate good practice.

Fleer and Bland also find ways to continue the conversation between essays and sermons in Reclaiming the Imagination to generate ongoing dialogue among readers beyond the volume. In addition to the sermons dialoguing with the essays, each of the essayists either writes a sermon that flows out of their essay or responds to one of the sermons that dialogue with their essay. So, each section includes a continuing the conversation feature, which adds to the volume's dynamic quality.

According to Fleer and Bland, the Exodus narrative is an imaginative paradigm for the entire canon of Scripture, and they have gathered together a cloud of witnesses to deepen this argument and demonstrate its homiletic impact. The result is a rare blend of first-rate scholarship and powerful sermons that will bring the Exodus story alive for scholars, preachers, and congregations for a generation to come. John S. McClure, Vanderbilt Divinity School, editor of Homiletic

How many ways can/should/must the Exodus story be preached? The essays and sermons in this book remind us that the writers of Scripture found God addressing ever-new situations as they reinterpreted Exodus. The editors and essayists call upon preachers today to put their imaginations to work on those reinterpretations, to bring the richness of the Exodus message to bear on our own needs and hopes. The sermons take up the challenge, offering examples of imagination bridging past and present. The book ought to encourage and challenge its readers to make our preaching bring that story to life, for those who do not know that through it God speaks to us now. Donald E. Gowan, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

The richness of the Exodus story comes through with power and imagination in this collection of essays and sermons. This volume models what is possible when Bible scholars, theologians, and preachers all gather together around the same body of biblical material for the purpose of discovering a fresh proclamation of the good news. Gail R. O'Day, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Reclaiming the Imagination encourages preaching that engages Scripture's vision through its paradigmatic texts. From Brueggemann's heuristic work to McLaren's portal into the current conversation about the emerging church, Fleer and Bland have gathered a group of thinkers and communicators who broaden and deepen connections between Exodus' paradigmatic narrative and our lives that yearn for justice, spirituality, and community formation.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Religious Studies / Gender & Sexuality

The Embrace of Eros:: Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity edited by Margaret D. Kamitsuka (Fortress Press)

The lover followed the paths of his beloved absorbed in /> He tripped and fell among the thorns, and it seemed to him that they
were flowers and that he lay on a bed of love. Ramon Llull, The Book of the Lover and the Beloved

The topic of sexuality intersects directly with the most contested historical, theological, and ethical questions of our day. In The Embrace of Eros, edited by Margaret D. Kamitsuka, Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Oberlin College, noted scholars and theologians assay the Christian tradition's classic and contemporary understandings of sex, sexuality, and sexual identity. The contributors are academic scholars of research. The project unfolds in three phases: contemporary assessments of the Christian tradition, new thinking about eros and being human religiously, and new perspectives on classic mysteries in light of eros and embodiment.

The genesis of The Embrace of Eros was a 2006 conference attended by about fifty theologians and scholars of religion from across North America who came together to discuss how eros and sexuality have fared in Christianity historically and up to the present. After this conference, conversations continued, thus sowing the seeds for The Embrace of Eros to investigate the possibilities for and the shape of an embrace of eros in Christianity that would be enlivening not repressive, matter-of-fact not obsessive, plurivocal not uniform.

Eros, from the name of the Greek god of love, understandably is associated for most people with pleasure, including sexual pleasure; few, no doubt, expect the Christian tradition to be its place of nurture. Christianity from its inception preached continence and eschewed pleasures of the flesh. According to Kamitsuka, spiritualities across the spectrum of Christianity show tension regarding the body. The body is necessary for one's devotional life of bodily practices; yet the body's sin-prone inclinations are at odds with one's spiritual aspirations. Again, gender perceptions intersect with this tensive attitude toward the body resulting in a mix of misogyny and eroticism, as seen in the writings of the so-called desert fathers ascetic men who often saw the devil coming to tempt them sexually in the form of a woman. While medieval female mystics waxed eloquent about union with their bridegroom Christ, their embrace of his body did not translate into care of their own bodies, which they sometimes mortified to the point of holy anorexia, as one scholar puts it.

Sexuality as an orientation or an identity is a very modern notion, foreign to theological and other writings predating the advent of modern psychology. Even in the contemporary age, theologians and religious ethicists have stumbled for terminology to describe sexualities outside of the heterosexual norm and gender expressions outside of the male-female binary.

The Embrace of Eros is divided into three parts: history, culture, and reconstruction. The historical section (part one) provides an overview of the persistent anxiety in Christianity regarding eros from the writings of the early church fathers to modern papal encyclicals and Protestant denominational rulings. David Jensen surveys what the Bible is thought to say about sex and asks, Should the Bible be taken as a rule book on matters of sex or is there a possibility for a more eros-friendly hermeneutic? Against the backdrop of the early church's polemic against sexual desire, Mark Wallace proposes a theology of the erotic, tactile healing of bodies with a focus on Luke's narrative about a woman who engaged in intimate touching of Jesus' body. Tackling the apostle Paul's supposed invectives against homosexuality, William Stacy Johnson argues that Paul's writings are best understood as a critique of practices of slavery in the Roman Empire not as a moral denunciation of Greco-Roman homoeroticism. Augustine of Hippo, arguably the pivotal thinker for Western Christendom, bequeathed to us an anthropology of denial that equated bodily desires with death, according to John Thiel, who explores why this viewpoint has been so resilient in the Christian tradition. Corey Barnes introduces readers to the subtleties of the Scholastic theology of Thomas Aquinas to show the extent to which Aquinas's views on bodily appetites could potentially provide some basis for affirming the goodness of passionate bodies. Tatha Wiley critically assesses the views on sexuality and contraception in the 1968 papal encyclical Humane vitae and proposes an alternative approach to sexuality for Roman Catholic married couples. Do principles of the Protestant Reformation support homosexual ministers who will not comply with current denominational rules of self-imposed celibacy? This question guides Paul Capetz in his semi-autobiographical essay as an ordained Presbyterian minister actively grappling with this current theological and existential issue.

Part two of The Embrace of Eros reflects theologically on bodies, desires, and sexual identities in the modern period. Five scholars use various critical theories (including theories of race, gender, queerness, and post modernity) in order to analyze and reflect theologically on the construction of embodied eros in a range of modern cultural attitudes and practices. Shannon Craigo-Snell analyzes how female theologians such as herself find themselves attempting to pass as male in the academy by valuing masculine modes of rationality and by devaluing the embodied relationality that has marked women's cultural ways of knowing. Mark Jordan's essay tracks how church leaders from the post-WWII era and later struggled to label and religiously situate persons with male-male sexual desires. Rebecca Davis demonstrates how eros and gender were constructed for conservative Christian families based on one of the most widely read evangelical marriage manuals of the 1970s, Marabel Morgan's The Total Woman. Edward Antonio outlines the theological challenge of conceptualizing African sexual identities in light of the devastation of HIV/AIDS and the legacy of colonizing Western public-health discourses about sexuality in Africa. Theologian and spoken-word artist James Perkinson comments theologically and autobiographically on intersections of eros and white male fetishizing of hip-hop.

The guiding question for part three of The Embrace of Eros is, How can classic Christian doctrines be reformulated in light of more positive views of eros? The essays in this section offer theological reconstructions of five traditional doctrinal loci: creation, incarnation, ecclesiology, eschatology, and pneumatology. Laurie Jungling reinterprets the doctrine of creation as God's call to embodied relationality based not only on the freedom to seek erotic possibilities but also on the call to faithfulness appropriate to our creaturely finitude in time and space. In her reflections on the doctrine of the incarnation, Laurel Schneider uses the provocative term promiscuous to represent the refusal of divine exclusivity in God's choice for fleshly intimacy with humanity. Paul Lakeland's essay on ecclesiology employs the dialectic of presence and absence in order to compare Protestant and Catholic metaphorical representations of the church's love of and desire for God and to project a dynamic ecclesiology of desire. Is there sex in heaven? This question guides Margaret Kamitsuka's reflection on eros and the resurrection of the body in light of the Freudian psychodynamic theories of feminist philosopher Julia Kristeva. Joy Bostic reads Toni Morrison's iconic Beloved in relation to feminist and womanist pneumatologies in order to formulate a doctrine of the Holy Spirit who brings erotic justice to broken flesh.

The Embrace of Eros does not settle the matter of eros and Christianity, but it points to the need to continue to hear new voices and entertain new cultural challenges, while reengaging with the texts and practices that have formed Christian identities for two millennia. Christians have been taught to believe that God is love. The time has come to reflect anew on the plenitude and mystery of divine eros and risk falling among its thorns.

Eros has been politicized and sexualized, but how can it be theologized? This anthology offers fresh perspectives on Eros, desire, and sexual identities in the long Christian tradition and provocative insights in Erotic Theology. Well-conceived and written in accessible language, this volume is invaluable for both students of theology and the educated public. Kwok Pui-Ian, William F Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality, Episcopal Divinity School

In wrestling with Eros, these theologians reframe nearly every theme of classical theology. Their learned, passionate essays will touch, tickle, and sometimes trouble the theological consciousness of everyone who is ready to follow to its radical conclusions the ageless premise that God is love. Karen Sands, Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa

The papers presented in this edgy but profound volume bring into sharp focus how Christian texts and traditions can be implicated in many contemporary societal struggles and injustices related to human gendered and sexual embodiment. Readers will gain an appreciation for the constraints and possibilities of eros and Christianity. The authors engage critically and constructively with the historical and current textual sources and material practices of the Christian tradition. Although the authors tend toward liberal positions, The Embrace of Eros does not present a univocal view on eros. Even the arguably most central figure to shape the theology and ecclesial institutions of the early church, the apostle Paul, is variously interpreted.

Religion & Spirituality / Islam / History / Reference

Key Themes for the Study of Islam edited by Jamal J. Elias (Oneworld Publications)

O Human Beings! We created you male and female and made you into nations and peoples so that you would come to know one another. Quran 49:13

There are many books introducing readers to Islam. For all their many strengths, most survey books on Islam suffer on account of their mission as well as the nature of their authorship. At the same time, the sole authorship of such works despite the smoothness of prose and narrative that they frequently possess imparts introductory works with the logical idiosyncrasies of their authors. The alternative, pursued in Key Themes for the Study of Islam, is to eschew unity of narrative and of voice in an attempt to preserve the (sometimes contradictory) complexities that are innate to a rich and diverse religion such as Islam.

From gender and history to prayer and prophecy, Key Themes for the Study of Islam examines the central themes indispensable to an informed understanding of Islamic religion and society. With each chapter written by a world expert in that field, this book may become the first choice for students and experts in religion from disparate fields, who wish to know how Islam relates to vital concepts in religion and society today.

Editor Jamal J. Elias is Professor of Islamic Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania provides a unique introduction to the world's second largest faith. Using English-language terms as a basis for its analysis, this book demonstrates how familiar concepts in the study of religion and society can be used to explain the Islamic world in a way that is accessible to those in the West.

Chapters of Key Themes for the Study of Islam and their authors include:

  1. Art Kishwar Rizvi, architect, art historian, and editor.
  2. Authority Devin DeWeese, Professor in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University.
  3. Belief R. Kevin Jaques, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University.
  4. Body Shahzad Bashir, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University.
  5. Community Ahmet T. Karamustafa, Professor of History and Religious Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
  6. Culture Michael Cooperson, Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at UCLA.
  7. Death Amila Buturovic, Associate Professor in Humanities and Noor Fellow in Islamic Studies at York University, Toronto.
  8. Gender Kelly Pemberton, Assistant Professor of Religion and Women's Studies at the George Washington University.
  9. God Jamal J. Elias, Class of 1965 Endowed Term Professor and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
  10. History Snjezana Buzov, Assistant Professor of Turkish Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the Ohio State University.
  11. Institution Joseph E. Lowry, Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania.
  12. Law A. Kevin Reinhart, faculty, Dartmouth College.
  13. Modernity Bruce B. Lawrence, Nancy and Jeffery Marcus Humanities Professor and Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University and Inaugural Director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center.
  14. Prayer Shawkat M. Toorawa, Associate Professor of Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies at Cornell University.
  15. Prophecy Devin Stewart, Winship Distinguished Research Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory University.
  16. Ritual Amina M. Steinfels, Assistant Professor of Religion at Mount Holyoke College.
  17. Text Irvin Cemil Schick, former teacher, Harvard University, Boston University, and M.I.T.
  18. War Sohail H. Hashmi, Associate Professor of International Relations and Alumnae Foundation Chair in the Social Sciences at Mount Holyoke College.

According to Elias in Key Themes for the Study of Islam, it is normal for adherents of specific religions and religious systems to maintain the uniqueness of their own tradition. In the case of Islam, however, exceptionalism takes the extreme form of fetishization for a number of historical reasons. Islam and Islamic civilization served as Europe's counterfoil its other through much of history, and they continue to do so today, as is evident from global events as well as from the culture wars raging within Europe and North America over the place of Muslims in modern Western societies. Muslims frequently see themselves and their religion as radically different from all others (not just Christianity and Judaism) and argue for the impossibility of achieving an acceptable understanding of Islam unless one studies the religion on and through its own terms. Except in the very specific context of interfaith dialogue, Muslim notions of individualism, society, and the relationship to God are presented by many Muslims as well as non-Muslim commentators as radically different from their non-Islamic counterparts, necessitating an approach to the study of Islam that is different from that of other religions.

Key Themes for the Study of Islam is an attempt to refute claims of Islamic exceptionalism while simultaneously highlighting distinctive aspects of Islam through nineteen essays written by a wide range of scholars. It is neither intended as a dictionary or glossary of important terms dealing with Islam, nor a partial encyclopedia. Rather, this is "the record of an inquiry into a vocabulary: a shared body of words and meanings in our most general discussions, in English, of the practices and institutions" of a religion. Put differently, this volume is premised on the belief that Islam and Muslims are sufficiently part of a wider world, both global as well as academic, that they can be written about and studied in the vocabulary of that wider world rather than the vernacular of their own internal processes and history.

The key themes in Key Themes for the Study of Islam have been selected by the editor, in consultation with others, with the goal of exploring how conceptually important, widely used words in the English language apply to the study and discussion of the Islamic world. The choice of using common English words is critical, since it connotes a different set of priorities and purposes for this book than it would have possessed had the themes been chosen from a list of what might be called Islamic terms.

With this pattern of diversity as a goal, each individual author has been free to approach the theme about which he or she is writing in any fashion of his or her choosing. Though varying widely in approach and style, the essays are united in their treatment of the keywords as themes that are not only interesting in their origins their historical and cultural etymology but also in the subsequent variation of meanings as they pertain to Islam and Muslims.

Superb. An indispensable source for introductory, advanced, and comparative courses involving Islamic religious tradition and culture. Suleiman Mourad, Associate Professor of Religion, Smith College
A stimulating and original approach to understanding Islam. The contributions by a distinguished roster of scholars provide a fresh look at topics of enduring importance. Carl Ernst, William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina
Excellent... beautifully framed by its editor. Students and scholars will appreciate the work's methodological sophistication, the thoughtfulness of each treatment, and the consistent clarity of presentation. Susan Niditch, Samuel Green Professor of Religion, Amherst College
Jamal Elias and his collaborators have produced an introduction to Islam that both beginners and specialists will find original and stimulating... The entries feel like conversations with learned interlocutors whose comments one is privileged to hear. Barbara Metcalf, Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History, University of Michigan

An unusually satisfying book. Jane Mcauliffe, President of Bryn Mawr College

Dispelling the widespread myth that Muslims are alien and incomprehensible to Western society, this wide-ranging and authoritative collaboration explores the complexities that make Islam so rich and diverse, and presents fresh perspectives on its place in the world. A novel approach to this fascinating religion and its culture, Key Themes for the Study of Islam is an invaluable resource for students of Islamic studies and comparative religion, and an enlightening way into the subject for general readers.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age

How to Read the Akashic Records: Accessing the Archive of the Soul and Its Journey by Linda Howe (Sounds True)

How to Read the Akashic Records: Accessing the Archive of the Soul and Its Journey [Audio CD, Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged] by Linda Howe (Sounds True)

The Akashic Records contain everything that every soul has ever thought, said, and done over the course of its existence as well as all its future possibilities. This valuable information can help you with any aspect of your life journey. And because the Records are also a dimension of consciousness, they are available anytime and everywhere. from the book

The universe is alive and it has a memory says Linda Howe, founder and director of The Center for Akashic Studies. Known as the Akashic Records, this energetic archive of every soul's history and its future possibilities stands ready to guide readers. Once accessible only to spiritual masters, now the Akashic Records are available to everyone to personally enter anytime, anywhere, with How to Read the Akashic Records.

After a lifelong search for truth, master teacher and healer Howe has developed a reliable method for accessing this reservoir of information: the Pathway Prayer Process. By lifting readers to a divine level of consciousness, this prayer opens the doors of the Records, where the individuals soul blueprint everything one need to know about their soul's destiny awaits them. Once there, readers work with their Masters, Teachers, and Loved Ones to cultivate a relationship with the Records and ultimately learn to unleash their highest potential.

Grounded with the success stories of dozens whose lives have been touched by the Records, this guidebook helps readers read the Records for themselves or for another person and find inspiration on their spiritual path. "Accessing the Akashic Records provides an opportunity to align with your soul and develop your own spiritual authority," teaches Howe.

Linda Howe is a very bright spirit dedicated to inspiring others. How to Read the will heap you move forward into a new place of love and peace. It is brilliantly written and. takes you through clear, step-by-step practices, meditations, and exercises that allow you to fully embrace and deepen your spiritual connections. It's a wonderful book and healing to read to read. Sandra Ingermann, author of Shamanic Journeying and How to Heal Toxic Thoughts

This book will illuminate the path of many who wish to increase their understanding of the mysteries of the universe. Ainslie MacLeod, author of The Instruction

Linda Howe is a gifted reader of the soul stories contained in the Akashic Records. Here she reveals the secret of how to tap into this library in consciousness for personal work and helping others. Bravo! David Pond, author of The Pursuit of Happiness and Chakras for Beginners

How to Read the Akashic Records is an amazing, complete, readable, and practical guide to accessing the cosmic information field traditionally called the Akashic Record and currently rediscovered in the sciences as the Akashic Field the informational component of cosmological physic unified field. Ervin Laszlo, Ph.D., author of The Akashic Experience and Science and the Akashic Field

With How to Read the Akashic Records, readers have all the tools they need to help them tap into this profound wisdom source.

Science / Agricultural Sciences / Social Sciences / Anthropology

Farming with Fire and Water: The Human Ecology of a Composite Swiddening Community in Vietnam's Northern Mountains edited by Tran Duc Vin, A. Terry Rambo, and Nguyen Thanh Lm (Kyoto Area Studies on Asia, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Volume 18: Trans Pacific Press)

Farming with Fire and Water presents a detailed description of the composite swidden system employed by the Da Bac Tay ethnic minority people of Tat hamlet in Hba Binh Province in Vietnam's Northern Mountain Region (NMR). The farming system in Tat hamlet combines slash-and-burn agriculture in swidden fields on the hill slopes (farming with fire) with the cultivation of irrigated paddy fields in the valleys (farming with water). Editors of the volume are Tran Duc Vin, Associate Professor and Rector of the Hanoi University of Agriculture and Director of the HUA Center for Agricultural Research and Environmental Studies (CARES); A. Terry Rambo, Special Professor in the Program on System Approaches in Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, Adjunct Senior Fellow of the East-West Center and Visiting Professor at the Hanoi University of Agriculture; and Nguyen Thanh Lm, Executive Director of the Center for Agricultural Research and Ecological Studies (CARES), Hanoi University of Agriculture and Chair of the Department of Environmental Technology.

In Farming with Fire and Water, the contributors look at the complex agro-ecosystem of this hamlet from the perspective of human ecology. The overall goal of human ecology research is to understand both how the natural environment influences human society and how human activities affect the natural environment. Because of the breadth of its concerns, human ecology research is necessarily an interdisciplinary endeavor that involves both natural and social scientists. As a consequence of its interdisciplinary character, human ecology occupies an uncertain place in most area studies centers. It is represented, if present at all, by geographers and anthropologists, but rarely by ecologists or agricultural scientists. Only two major area studies centers concerned with Southeast Asia, the East-West Center in Honolulu and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of Kyoto University, have consistently had natural scientists as well as social scientists as members of their regular faculties.

As told in the preface to Farming with Fire and Water, although some of the pioneering studies that established human ecology as a respectable field of study were carried out in Vietnam during the French colonial era, the institutional structure for scientific research during the socialist era was not conducive to such an interdisciplinary approach. Instead, following the Soviet model, Vietnamese natural scientists and social scientists were based in wholly separate institutions with minimal cross-disciplinary communication. Thus, it was truly an innovative step when, in 1989, scientists from the East-West Center and the Southeast Asian Universities Agro-ecosystem Network (SUAN) worked together with Vietnamese scientists from the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES) to make a human ecology research study in what was then Vinh Phu Province in the Midlands of northern Vietnam.

The contributors research in Tat hamlet began in 1992 as part of a project on the human ecology of shifting cultivation organized by the East-West Center in collaboration with CRES. In its early stages, several individual scientists from the Hanoi University of Agriculture's Center for Agricultural Research and Ecological Studies (CARES) and the Faculty of Agriculture of Khon Kaen University (KKU) also took part in this project. In later stages of the research, many academic staff and students of the Hanoi University of Agriculture (HUA) carried out extensive fieldwork on many different topics in Tat hamlet. These studies form the basis for the majority of the chapters in Farming with Fire and Water.

Although Farming with Fire and Water is intended to be a contribution of human ecology research to area studies, the research itself was undertaken to meet very practical needs associated with the development of ethnic minority communities in the NMR. Within the NMR, the pressure of growing populations, degrading soils, loss of forest cover, and the reduction of biodiversity continue to generate poverty, further environmental degradation, and contribute to a host of social, economic, and political problems. The Government of Vietnam is in the midst of a long and ongoing effort to develop the northern mountains economically, to integrate their ethnic minority populations into the nation, and to eliminate hunger, reduce poverty, and protect the environment. Many government laws, policies, programs, and efforts to introduce new technologies and to build the physical and institutional infrastructure have, taken together, had a powerful impact upon the NMR, and they continue to do so. While the achievements of this massive development effort have been considerable, there have also been some failures and disappointments. Of particular concern is the fact that, despite the vast sums of money being spent on their behalf, ethnic minority farmers in the uplands are still economically and socially marginalized.

There are many unanswered questions about the social, economic, and environmental changes that are taking place as upland farmers struggle to earn a living and to manage the complex agro-ecosystems upon which their livelihoods depend in the face of rapid integration into the market system. Is their way of life sustainable? How are they responding to the many environmental and social stresses impinging upon their lives? What strategies are they devising to cope with the pressing problems that confront them and to take advantage of the new opportunities that emerge as new roads and better communications bring images of the modern world into their lives, along with new ideas, new problems, and new desires?

Farming with Fire and Water represents the editors attempt to answer some of these questions based upon research on composite swidden agriculture over the past 15 years at Tat hamlet. It is primarily an effort to describe Tat hamlet and to analyze the changes that are taking place there. They describe changes in the farming systems as they relate to a changing biophysical and social environment on the one hand; and, on the other hand, to the livelihood strategies of individual households, each with its own characteristics and circumstances that influence the choices made in production and consumption activities.

The study site was carefully selected as representing what may be one of the most sustainable upland agricultural systems in the NMR. The Ha Bac Tay people of Tat hamlet have practiced their own distinctive composite swidden agriculture for a century or more. The agro-ecosystem they have evolved shows considerable promise for serving as a model that can enhance sustainability and improve living standards in many other upland ethnic minority villages in Vietnam and beyond. The project was designed to generate detailed empirical data on the structure, functioning, and dynamics of the human ecosystem of Tat hamlet, especially the composite swidden agro-ecosystem on which the hamlet's inhabitants rely for their survival. Research was done on a great variety of topics including soil erosion, nutrient balances, land use, forest management, community social organization, household economics, marketing, and other relevant environmental and social aspects of the community. Farming with Fire and Water brings together a series of individual research reports generated by many of the different researchers who have participated in the human ecological study of Tat hamlet in the years since 1992.

Farming with Fire and Water is divided into five parts:

  • Part I includes a general introduction to their research in Tat hamlet (Chapter 1) and a description of the study site (Chapter 2).
  • Part II describes the structure and functioning of the composite swidden agro-ecosystem. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the system as a whole. The following chapters focus on different system components, including paddy fields (Chapter 4), fallow swidden fields and their vegetation (Chapter 5), livestock (Chapter 6), fishponds (Chapter 7), home gardens and tree gardens (Chapter 8) and secondary forest (Chapter 9). The final chapter in this part reviews changes in the composite swidden farming system in recent years (Chapter 10).
  • Part III focuses on the social system of Tat hamlet. Chapter 11 offers an account of the social organization of the hamlet as that affects management of natural resources. Chapter 12 looks at the diversification of household livelihood strategies and the economic performance of composite swiddening, and Chapter 13 examines the evolving role of the market for agricultural and forest products. Finally, chapter 14 discusses gender roles in the household economy.
  • Part IV offers an assessment of the ecological sustainability of composite swidden agriculture. It presents a nutrient balance analysis of swidden and paddy fields (Chapter 15) and an analysis of changes in land use and vegetation cover in the hamlet since 1952 (Chapter 16).
  • Part V looks at composite swiddening in wider perspective. Chapter 17 describes the occurrence of composite swidden agro-ecosystems in other parts of the NMR and Chapter 18 compares the environmental and social situation of Tat hamlet with four other upland farming communities in that region. Finally, Chapter 19 relates the research on composite swiddening in Tat hamlet to broader issues of the status of swidden agriculture in montane mainland Southeast Asia as a whole.

Farming with Fire and Water adds to a now large and growing body of literature that documents the agro-ecological knowledge of Asian farmers. This literature also demonstrates the sophistication of local land, soil and vegetation management techniques and the wisdom and creativity of farmers. The book helps to make the composite swidden agro-ecosystem of Tat hamlet more widely known. This complex and adaptable system, which has evolved over many generations of trial and error experimentation by the DA Rae Tay farmers, should be of special interest to academics engaged in Southeast Asian area studies as well as to applied researchers and development planners who are directly involved in efforts to facilitate rural development in the uplands of Vietnam and elsewhere in the mountains of Southeast Asia.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam (Pantheon)

So the stories grew from worries about the future, stray items in the news, and The Economists technology quarterly, which is unsurpassed for alarming and amazing facts about things to come. A few novels I was reading at the time also had an impact. Saramagos Blindness, in particular, showed people cobbling meaning together in a time of change. His depiction of a familiar city, transformed, and his language, spare but emotional, gave me a certain freedom with creating new worlds. And other favorites sustained me Nabokov and his obsessive powers of observation, James M. Cain and his tightly sprung twists, Shirley Jackson and her love of the weird, and Capote with his ear for language. I am grateful to them and just about everyone else. Steven Amsterdam, Winner, The Age Book of the Year Award

Michael Williams, in Melbournes The Age, wrote of this award-winning, dazzling debut collection, By turns horrific and beautiful . . . Humanity at its most fractured and desolate . . . Often moving, frequently surprising, even blackly funny . . . Things We Didn't See Coming is terrific. This is just one of the many rave reviews that appeared on the Australian publication of these nine connected stories set in a not-too-distant dystopian future in a landscape at once utterly fantastic and disturbingly familiar.
Author Steven Amsterdam, a native New Yorker, moved to Melbourne, Australia, in 2003, works as a psychiatric nurse.

Richly imagined, dark, and darkly comic, the stories follow the narrator over three decades as he tries to survive in a world that is becoming increasingly savage as cataclysmic events unfold one after another. In the first story, What We Know Now set in the eve of the millennium, when the world as we know it is still recognizable we meet the then-nine-year-old narrator fleeing the city with his parents, just ahead of a Y2K breakdown. The remaining stories capture the strange sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny circumstances he encounters in the no-longer-simple act of survival; trying to protect squatters against floods in a place where the rain never stops, being harassed (and possibly infected) by a man sick with a virulent flu, enduring a job interview with an unstable assessor who has access to all his thoughts, taking the gravely ill on adventure tours. But we see in each story that, despite the violence and brutality of his days, the narrator retains a hold on his essential humanity and humor.

Given that its nine linked stories are set in a postapocalyptic near future, the pleasure of Amsterdam's debut collection is surprising. Over the course of the book, just about every possible disaster assails the unidentified country in which the stories are set. Among the high points are Dry Land, in which the narrator encounters a drunken mother and her daughter clinging to each other in a cataclysmic flood, though each is more likely to survive alone; and Cake Walk, with a narrator who hides in a tree while a man infected with a deadly virus destroys his campsite. Though a couple of the later stories lack polish and punch, Amsterdam's varied catastrophes are vividly executed, while his resilient narrator's travails are harrowing. Publishers Weekly

In Things We Didn't See Coming, Steven Amsterdam describes a convulsed world, from its regressive barbarism to the inevitable savagery on the horizon, while suggesting that the human animal can, perhaps, rediscover empathy and humor in the thick of planetary meltdown. In this book we hear a voice as naturally surprising as the jazz of Django Reinhardt or Dexter Gordon. A real writer, in short. Gary Indiana, author of The Shanghai Gesture and Utopias Debris
In Steven Amsterdams debut story collection, floods, famine, viral outbreaks and raging mobs have devastated society in an unnamed country . . . Early reviews have drawn comparisons to Cormac McCarthys The Road. The Wall Street Journal
Funny, scary, and described with a flair for the telling detail . . . The strength of Amsterdams book, as of [Margaret] Atwoods recent work, lies in its eschewing of pie-in-the-sky theorizing that so often mars science fiction. This is not a nerdy fantasy of some undiscovered galaxy. Steven Amsterdam reads the newspapers. Benjamin Moser, Harpers Magazine
In his award-winning debut volume of connected short stories, Amsterdam takes his lead from the apocalyptic speculations that grew more ominous by the minute as 1999 drew to a close . . . The author enters the literary world with a full-blown talent that can't be stopped. Sue Russell, Library Journal (starred review) 
Eye-opening . . . As in Cormac McCarthys The Road, to which Amsterdams work bears a passing resemblance in its spare, searing prose, the emphasis here is on holding fast to love and faith in even the direst circumstances. Carl Hays, Booklist
A fresh, modern voice . . . Amsterdams writing is tight, calculated, and compelling. Andrew Hutchinson, author of Rohypnol
Bold, original, and sneakily affecting. Emily Maguire, author of Taming the Beast
One of the most breathtaking experiences of my reading life. Martin Shaw, Readings Monthly

Things We Didn't See Coming is haunting, restrained, and beautifully crafted a stunning debut.

Social Sciences / Anthropology

McDonaldization: The Reader, 2nd edition by George Ritzer (Pine Forge Press)

The Second Edition of McDonaldization: The Reader includes a wide array of sources, from journal articles, to essays from edited books, to newspaper and magazine articles. George Ritzer, best-selling author of The McDonaldization of Society, Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland, has updated this popular anthology to build upon and go beyond the thesis of McDonaldization. Classic articles from the First Edition remain and are supplemented by a significant number of new pieces which bring the discussion about McDonaldization up to date.

When they complete the book, students in introductory courses (and others) will know not only a lot more about sociology and McDonaldization but also how to critically analyze the social world and the sociological study of it.

Ritzer says in McDonaldization that even though the first edition of this book was quite successful, he has substantially revised it for this new edition. Major changes include:

Part IV, "The Debate Over the Relationship Between McDonaldization and Globalization" is entirely new, although two of the chapters (Chapter 31 by Waters and Chapter 32 by Watson) were in the first edition under a different heading. The addition of this part reflects the increasing importance of globalization and the need to relate McDonaldization (which, in part, but only in part, involves globalization) to it. It also deals with some of the criticisms of the McDonaldization thesis from the point of view of globalization. Although all of the critics have reasonable points to make, Ritzer particularly likes the positions taken by Bryman in Chapter 35 and Ram in Chapter 36. They understand that McDonaldization is not only, or even mainly, about food (and adaptations of McDonald's menus to local realities), but about its principles, structures, and systems and their globalization. Chapter 37 in Part IV is an excerpt from the 2004 edition of The McDonaldization of Society in which Ritzer relates the invader thesis of The Globalization of Nothing to McDonaldization. Both theses are then critiqued by Veseth in Chapter 38.

Three new and original essays, written especially for McDonaldization, are included. They are all in Part II, "The McDonaldization of Social Structures and Institutions": Sara Raley on the McDonaldization of the Family (Chapter 13), Suzanne Hudd on the McDonaldization of character education and the nation of McMorals (Chapter 15), and Andrew Knight on supersizing farms and the creation and expansion of McAgriculture (Chapter 19). In addition, Mathew Robinson has revised and updated his essay on criminal justice written especially for the first edition of McDonaldization(Chapter 11).

A number of other entries are new to this edition, although they have been published previously in a variety of other venues. In Part I, "McDonaldization: Basics, Studies, Applications, and Extensions," these include Ritzers essays on Weber and precursors to McDonaldization (Chapter 2) and the social geography of McDonaldization (Chapter 3, "Islands of the Living Dead"), Bryman on McDonald's as a Disneyized institution (Chapter 6); and conversations with the author of Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (Chapter 8), and the director of the movie documentary Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock (Chapter 9). Part I closes with a discussion by Bryan Turner of the major general criticisms of the McDonaldization thesis.

Part II includes an excerpt from a piece by Kemmesies on the McDonaldization of the care of drug addicts in Germany (Chapter 14) and an adaptation by John Drane of his essay on the McDonaldization of the church (Chapter 20).

Part III, "Cross-Cultural Analysis, Social Movements, and Social Change" remains much as it was, although two of the essays from the original edition, now Chapters 31 and 32, have been moved to Part IV.

Students will not only like McDonaldization but also learn a great deal from it. As with many of Ritzers other works, this volume deals with a broad area the McDonaldization of society with which students are intimately familiar. Furthermore, it looks at this process within an array of settings for example, fast-food restaurants, the family, the university, the Internet which they are quite knowledgeable about and that are at the heart of their daily lives. While they are quite knowledgeable about such areas, they have almost certainly never looked at any one of them, let alone such a wide diversity of settings, through the lens of McDonaldization. A second attraction to students is the discussion of another set of areas that they may not have thought much about, and certainly not from the perspective of McDonaldization. For example, analyses of Disney World, mountain climbing, the church, and politics from this perspective should prove eye-opening and provocative to students. A third issue that should prove interesting to students is the worldwide existence and implications of McDonaldization. They will see that this is not only an American phenomenon (although most of its roots are there) but that it has also penetrated deeply into much of the rest of the world. Furthermore, it has helped lead to movements, sometimes quite violent, against this process. Given the events of September 11, 2001, and their relationship to the concerns in this book (e.g., Jihad as an alternative to McDonaldization or McWorld), this discussion could not be more timely. Furthermore, with McDonaldization continuing to expand and proliferate, especially in domains of greatest interest and concern to students, this book should be highly relevant to them and their lives.

This is a well-organized reader. This is an excellent reader for teachers who teach undergraduate courses on globalization, work, and social institution. It is also a must-read for lower and upper division undergraduate students who are concerned with the nature of modern and postmodern worlds. Shu-Ju Ada Cheng

McDonaldization allows students to look at various settings, as well as their daily lives, in a whole new way. This edition is a great improvement over the first (already strong and popular) edition it is much more ambitious, it includes a more balanced appraisal of the McDonaldization thesis, and several of the essays point to new directions in work on the topic. It is full of new material, and it includes much else that is new or updated. Ritzer has edited heavily and this editing has also made McDonaldization crisper and more to the point. The final product is a tight and manageable survey of work on the McDonaldization of society.

Most of the major topics in introductory sociology are covered in McDonaldization. Although this anthology does not include the breadth of offerings that one finds in the typical reader for introductory sociology, it has the advantage of covering all the basic topics from a single, coherent perspective. The book could be used in a wide variety of courses theory, social problems, social organizations, and especially introductory sociology as one of several texts or as a supplement to a basic textbook.

Social Sciences / History /Ethnic Studies

Contours of White Ethnicity: Popular Ethnography and the Making of Usable Pasts in Greek America by Yiorgos Anagnostou (Law, Society and Politics in the Midwest Series: Ohio University Press)

In Contours of White Ethnicity, Yiorgos Anagnostou, associate professor of modern Greek and American ethnic studies at the Ohio State University, explores the construction of ethnic history and reveals how and why white ethnics selectively retain, rework, or reject their pasts. Challenging the tendency to portray Americans of European background as a uniform cultural category, the author demonstrates how a generalized view of American white ethnics misses the specific identity issues of particular groups as well as their internal differences.
Interdisciplinary in scope, Contours of White Ethnicity uses the example of Greek America to illustrate how the immigrant past can be used to combat racism and to bring about solidarity between white ethnics and racial minorities. Illuminating the importance of the past in the construction of ethnic identities today, Anagnostou presents the politics of evoking the past to create community, affirm identity, and nourish reconnection with ancestral roots, then identifies the struggles to neutralize oppressive pasts.
Anagnostou explores the social category of white ethnicity in the United States. A classification that emerged and gained currency during the civil rights era, white ethnicity refers to hyphenated populations that trace their origins to Europe but also to countries and areas in relative proximity to it. This ascription incorporates both ethnic and racialized dimensions, attaching to these populations both cultural attributes and inescapable racialized overtones. It indicates, therefore, how white ethnics are placed in multiple, yet interrelated, systems of difference within the nation. On the one hand, groups such as Armenian Americans, Greek Americans, Jewish Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, and Polish Americans are recognized as distinctly ethnic, claiming unique cultures, histories, and religions. The Americanization of these populations, on the other hand, has entailed a specific kind of assimilation, their eventual incorporation into whiteness. It is this racialization that marks these groups in counter-distinction to nonwhite racial minorities. Therefore, the ethnoracial label white ethnic simultaneously accomplishes two distinct classificatory functions. On the one hand, the racialized ascription places these collectives within the boundaries of whiteness, pointing to their current entrenchment as white in the national imagination. On the other hand, the ethnic marker attaches a cultural hue that differentiates these populations from unmarked whiteness. Racially denigrated and classified as nonwhite in the past, people now designated white ethnics define themselves against the backdrop of complex social and political struggles over assimilation and cultural preservation, and histories of brutal symbolic and physical violence over their racial and ethnic place in American society.

Contours of White Ethnicity analyzes the ways in which one specific group of white ethnics, Greek Americans, represent themselves, examining how their past is made to matter in the present. Anagnostou probes the enduring relevance of ethnic pasts for the contemporary social imagination. Specifically, he investigates how practices and values associated with the past and glossed as tradition, folklore, heritage, custom, or immigrant culture are endowed with significance today.

Anagnostous aim in Contours of White Ethnicity is to provide an analysis of how these pasts are produced and by whom, of what interests they advance and for whom. In this analysis, he initiates a critical discussion that investigates academic and popular understandings of ethnic whiteness. He frames this category as a contested, heterogeneous cultural field whose complexity and relevance for social life has been downplayed, even maligned, in larger debates about diversity.

He focuses attention on the notion that ethnic pasts are always plural not singular or monolithic and inform the present in ways that are not always clearly discernible. He intervenes in dominant academic and popular representations of ethnicity that tend to erase this diversity and, in the process, take a step toward mapping how multiple pasts give texture to the contours of the field of ethnic whiteness in the United States.

Contours of White Ethnicity emerges from and participates in a number of intersecting academic conversations in anthropology, cultural studies, ethnic and racial studies, folklore, modern Greek studies, sociology, and women's studies. Ownership of the past is an important power relation, one grounded in the ability of particular social groups to establish those versions of historical truth that serve their own interests.

One of the aims of Contours of White Ethnicity is to destabilize the understanding of white ethnicity as a uniform category. Anagnostou does not neglect the racial privileges enjoyed collectively by white ethnics, and he closely analyzes the dominant narratives that seek to fix the meaning of a group as a homogeneous collective. But he is also interested in mapping pluralities, marginalized perspectives, and the struggles over which pasts count as meaningful in the present. As a way of entering the complexity of this terrain, he traces a specific contour of this struggle as it was expressed in the conflict over ethnic self-representation in a highly visible cultural institution, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

Who are the white ethnics in Contours of White Ethnicity? Individuals committed to the realist representation of the past, or those determined to silence aspects of the historical record? The public controversy over the proper display of immigrant ancestors reveals that there can be no single answer to these questions. By no means a transparent social category, white ethnicity is a construct of social practices and narratives that compete over the significance of the past in defining contemporary identity and the ways in which this identity is portrayed in the public. Of course, the idea of ethnicity as invented, imagined, administered, and manufactured is a truism in critical scholarship, antagonizing the popular and even sometimes academic view of ethnicity as biologically innate and therefore immutable. Consequently, the critical responsibility becomes to investigate how pasts are made to matter in the production of ethnic meanings today: who produces usable ethnic pasts, how, and for what purposes?

The organization of Contours of White Ethnicity reflects Anagnostous aim to intervene and problematize current academic discussions of white ethnicity. In chapter 1, he introduces the core analytical framework of the work. He discusses how a selective corpus of narrative and visual texts produces usable ethnic pasts, and he situates these texts in relation to history and social discourse. It is at this point that he demonstrates the pitfalls of analyzing ethnicity on the basis of texts alone and makes a case for the utility of a discourse-centered, historical approach to ethnicity. To this end, he includes an analysis of an inchoate popular ethnography, a text extracted from an interview that a professional folklorist conducted with members of an ethnic family.

In chapter 2, he continues to critically probe scholarly works that produce generalized meanings about ethnicity. He turns on its head the common view of assimilation as cultural loss and examine assimilation paradoxically as production of ethnic particularity. For this purpose he analyzes a documentary film as a narrative that assimilates Greek America into ethnic whiteness while simultaneously reproducing ethnicity as enduring collective obligation to a specific form of cultural affiliation. In chapter 3, he further interrogates the notion of the dissolution of collective ethnicity and therefore complicate the proposition of entirely privatized white ethnic identities. Tracing the historical contour of gender construction in Greek America, he illuminates why and how two specific popular ethnographers produce competing versions of ethnic community and, therefore, polyphonies of collective Greek American belonging. In chapter 4, he enters the political minefield of popular ethnography as cultural critique. He probes popular ethnographies that decidedly and unambiguously indict Greek America from within, leveling charges of racism and complicity in ideologies of whiteness.

In chapters 5 and 6, he undertakes a critique of the ideology of white ethnic identity as choice. In chapter 5, he examines one popular ethnographer's quest for roots, analyzing this ethnography of travel as a site of identity formation. He shows how culture and history mediate this narrative construction of identity. In chapter 6, he continues this critical polemic through an alternative reading of the popular ethnography of travel, this time focusing on the historical routes of ethnic meanings. He shows that a historical approach to white ethnicity directs one away from the mystifying ideology of choice and toward a view of whiteness as a process of contextual negotiation and oppression, in which certain ethnic options become available or privileged while others are displaced, stigmatized, or even eliminated.

The conclusion in Contours of White Ethnicity points to a dramatic tension in how popular ethnographies construct white ethnicity. Ethnicity may be seen as a richly textured social terrain but also as a culturally impoverished landscape. It may be seen as a site that requires historical memory for its realization or, alternatively, as a site that affords the opportunity to actualize without it. And it may sustain antiracist politics or appropriate for itself social privileges at the expense of racial minorities. This polyphony complicates the current thinking of ethnic whiteness as a culturally superficial and uniformly anti-minority field. Anagnostous work identifies those usable pasts offering an enticing model that ratifies a progressive present and shapes a promising future.

[This is] a book of great importance. Contours of White Ethnicity demonstrates a patient and very deep reflection on the past, present, and future of ethnicity in America. Its immediate subject popular ethnography's treatment of the Greek immigrant past in America is quite precise, but its scope is wide. Artemis Leontis, Department of Modern Greek, University of Michigan

Contours of White Ethnicity charts new directions for the study of white ethnicities in the United States. Although it draws from the scholarship on a specific ethnic group, the study exhibits a sophisticated, interdisciplinary methodology, which makes it of particular interest to scholars researching ethnicity and race in the United States and for those charting the directions of future research for white ethnicities.

Social Sciences / Research Methodology

Sociological Research Exercises for the Global Age by JoAnn Chirico (Sage Publications, Pine Forge Press)

In the pages of Sociological Research Exercises for the Global Age, written by JoAnn Chirico, Pennsylvania State University, Beaver Campus, students become personally involved in research as they learn analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills, and develop the ability to interpret the contemporary global situation and its impact on their lives. Linking fundamental concepts of sociology with everyday activities, the exercises in each chapter lead students through an array of qualitative and quantitative methods as they test and apply theories. Students experience research as a process of asking questions, defining terms clearly, seeking patterns, and reaching conclusions based on their findings, while avoiding bias.

Short essays describing current perspectives on globalization accompany the exercises, addressing political, cultural, social, economic, technological, and religious dimensions. Features of Sociological Research Exercises for the Global Age include:

  • 25 research exercises may be completed by students in class or independently.
  • Exercises are ready to be assigned as they appear in the text, with tear-out pages.
  • Students investigate intriguing topics such as Global Ethics, Violating Folkways, Bowling Alone, and McDonalds Versus Jihad.
  • A variety of research methods are featured, including interviews, experiments, functional analysis, and content analysis.
  • Extensive follow-up Discussion sections help students maximize their understanding.

Sociological Research Exercises for the Global Age has two objectives. The first is to involve students in the research process. Research is simply asking and answering questions in ways that are valid and reliable. Research skills help students create and understand knowledge, not just in the academic world but in all of their endeavors. They develop important analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills. The second objective is to help them understand the contemporary situation of the world that we live in, interpret the world that they read about and see in the media, and understand the impact that some of the forces of globalization have on their lives.

Readers will find short explanations of some of the major theoretical perspectives on globalization and brief mini-research exercises. Some deal with the economic dimension of globalization, some the political, some the cultural, some the social. Each involves a specific research method, a particular type of reasoning, and an important concept or two. Each has something to contribute to understanding the multifaceted nature of globalization.

For the surveys, Chirico uses a nonrandom sample, stratified for gender and age. Students are to survey two people from two distinct generations: baby boomers, ages roughly 45 to 65, and the younger end of the me generation, ages roughly 18 to 29. They interview one man and one woman from each generation. This provides a sample that is 50% male, 50% female, and 50% from each generation. This makes comparisons between genders, generations, or among the four age cohorts easier.

Many of the surveys, as well as many of the qualitative exercises in the manual, were adapted from larger research studies. In these cases, readers have the opportunity to compare the results of their class sample with nationwide surveys and/or international surveys. Students can determine how their data fit into and are part of a national pattern. In many cases, they can compare their data to survey data from a number of other countries and with international samples to see how their small sample fits into the larger national and global picture.

This interactive manual, Sociological Research Exercises for the Global Age, follows the format of standard introductory sociology texts, making it an engaging and easy fit for Introductory Sociology or Principles of Sociology courses. The research exercises provide flexibility for the instructor, and they are convenient to use both because of the tear-out pages and the Web links provided.


Contents this Issue:

Nature's Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir's Botanical Legacy by Bonnie J. Gisel, with images by Stephen J. Joseph, with a foreword by David Rains Wallace (Heyday Books)

The SuperStress Solution by Roberta A. Lee; read by the author (Abridged Audio CD, 4 CDs, running time: 4 hours) (Random House Audio)

On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson, read by Dan Woren, Audio CDs, unabridged, running time: approx 15 hours (Hachette Audio)
On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson (Business Plus)

Bethlehem Steel: Builder and Arsenal of America by Kenneth Warren (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box, 2nd edition by Arbinger Institute (Berrett-Koehler Publishers)

Big Cats by S. L. Hamilton (Xtreme Predators Series: ABDO Publishing Company)

It's a Thunderstorm! by Nadia Higgins, illustrated by Damian Ward (Weather Watchers Series: Magic Wagon, ABDO)

Trends in Internet Research edited by B. G. Kutais (Nova Science Publishers)

320 Italian Recipes: Delicious Dishes from all over Italy, with a Full Guide to Ingredients and Techniques, and Every Recipe Shown Step-by-Step in 1500 Photographs by Kate Whiteman, Jan Wright, Angela Boggiano & Carla Capalbo (Southwater)

Justin Wilson's Easy Cookin': 150 Rib-Tickling Recipes for Good Eating by Justin Wilson (Pelican Publishing)

The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough by Sean Foy, with Nellie Sabin & Mike Smolinski (Workman Publishing)

The Bipolar Workbook for Teens: DBT Skills to Help You Control Mood Swings by Sheri Van Dijk and Karma Guindon (Instant Help Series: Instant Help Books/New Harbinger Inc.)

Marching with the First Nebraska: A Civil War Diary by August Scherneckau, edited by James E. Potter and Edith Robbins, translated by Edith Robbins (University of Oklahoma Press)

The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding edited by Daniel Dreisbach and Mark David Hall (Liberty Fund, Inc.)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening by Delilah Smittle and Sheri Ann Richerson (Alpha Books)

Ruby's Spoon: A Novel by Anna Lawrence Pietroni (Spiegel & Grau)

Generation A: A Novel by Douglas Coupland (Scribner)

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series: Thorndike Press, Gale Cengage)

Preplanning for EMS (Continuing Education) by Warren J. Porter (Jones and Bartlett Publishers)

Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence by Karen Sladyk, Karen Jacobs, and Nancy MacRae (Slack Incorporated)

Many Parts, One Body: How the Episcopal Church Works by James Dator with Jan Nunley (Church Publishing)

Reclaiming the Imagination: The Exodus as Paradigmatic Narrative for Preaching edited by David Fleer and Dave Bland (Chalice Press)

The Embrace of Eros: Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity edited by Margaret D. Kamitsuka (Fortress Press)

Key Themes for the Study of Islam edited by Jamal J. Elias (Oneworld Publications)

How to Read the Akashic Records: Accessing the Archive of the Soul and Its Journey by Linda Howe (Sounds True)

Farming with Fire and Water: The Human Ecology of a Composite Swiddening Community in Vietnam's Northern Mountains edited by Tran Duc Vin, A. Terry Rambo, and Nguyen Thanh Lm (Kyoto Area Studies on Asia, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Volume 18: Trans Pacific Press)

Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam (Pantheon)

McDonaldization: The Reader, 2nd edition by George Ritzer (Pine Forge Press)

Contours of White Ethnicity: Popular Ethnography and the Making of Usable Pasts in Greek America by Yiorgos Anagnostou (Law, Society and Politics in the Midwest Series: Ohio University Press)

Sociological Research Exercises for the Global Age by JoAnn Chirico (Sage Publications, Pine Forge Press)