SirReadaLot.org

SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

July 2010 Issue #135

Contents this Page:

Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun Using Everyday Stuff by MaryAnn F. Kohl (Gryphon House)

One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort (Harvard Business Press)

Everything Is Possible: Life and Business Lessons from a Self-Made Billionaire and the Founder of Slim-Fast by S. Daniel Abraham (Newmarket Press)

Scare a Bear by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello (Sleeping Bear Press)

At Our Table: Favorite Recipes to Share with the People You Love by Shelly Reeves Smith, illustrations by Roxie Kelley (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling by Ted Reader and Mike McColl (Napoleon Gourmet Grills Series: Key Porter Books)

The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House by Melissa Sue Anderson (Globe Pequot Press)

Stars When the Sun Shines: A Memoir by Wayne Stier (Weiser Books)

The Hanging of Susanna Cox: The True Story of Pennsylvania's Most Notorious Infanticide and the Legend That's Kept It Alive by Patricia Earnest Suter, Russell Earnest & Corinne Earnest (Stackpole Books)

The Original Dog Bible: The Definitive Source for All Things Dog, 2nd edition edited by Kristin Mehus-Roe (BowTie Press)

An Ill Wind by David Donachie (John Pearce Series: Allison & Busby)

The Microscripts by Robert Walser, translated from the German and with an introduction by Susan Bernofsky, with an afterword by Walter Benjamin (New Directions)

Austen's Oughts: Judgment after Locke and Shaftesbury by Karen Valihora (University of Delaware Press)

The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth by Eric Pooley (Hyperion)

Badiou: A Philosophy of the New by Ed Pluth (Key Contemporary Thinkers Series: Polity)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB by Laura Stradley and Robin Kavanagh (Alpha Books)

American Men & Women of Science, 28th edition by Gale (American Men and Women of Science, 8 volume series: Gale Cengage)

War, Peace, and Christianity: Questions and Answers from a Just-War Perspective by J. Daryl Charles and Timothy J. Demy (Crossway Books)

African Americans Doing Feminism: Putting Theory into Everyday Practice edited by Aaronette M. White (State University of New York Press)

Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Macro, National, and International Perspective by Rudolph Alexander, Jr. (Sage Publications)


Arts & Photography / Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Children / Ages 4-10

Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun Using Everyday Stuff by MaryAnn F. Kohl (Gryphon House)

With fifty-two weeks of art projects using ordinary, easy-to-find materials, Art with Anything provides a year of creativity and imagination. This book uses best-selling, award-winning author MaryAnn F. Kohls mantra Its the process, not the product to explore making art every day from everyday materials. Kohl is a regularly featured columnist for Parenting Magazine.

Organized by material, each week features one everyday material (address labels, fabric scraps, leaves, rocks) and provides five days of unique activities. Many materials, including buttons, cardboard, hole-punch dots, junk mail, masking tape, sandpaper, and salt encourage recycling and reusing.

Each of the fifty-two weeks features five days of activities, increasing in complexity with each day: Day 1 is the most basic art exploration and an introduction to the week's material; the other four days build upon the first. Days 2 and 3 are more challenging.

Day 4 is always a special craft day a day to make something that is useful, decorative, or just plain cute. Day 5 is the fanciest and most challenging. Young artists may look forward to Day 5 as the most exciting project of all, the culmination of the five art days of that week.

The activities in Art with Anything are geared to children ages four to ten. The 260 art experiences in Art with Anything promote the process of art exploration and discovery for each artist regardless of age, experience, or ability. The art activities are written to encourage children to express their creativity, not to reflect a pre-made adult sample or copied mock-up.

They are written for exploration and enjoyment by young artists at home, at school, in childcare, in after-school programs, or anywhere children have the materials and opportunities to be creative. Children make Glitter Photo Jars or work on Shake-It-Up-Bag Paintings, and projects like Family Finger Puppets and Fluff-N-Puff Mobiles keep them entertained while stretching their imaginations.

Art with Anything is organized alphabetically by everyday materials. Each week focuses on one of 52 common, everyday materials, providing creative art for an entire year, all 52 weeks. For example, the everyday material for Week 1 is Address Labels, Week 2 is Aluminum Foil, and so on until Week 52, which highlights Zip-Close Plastic Bags.

As readers progress through Art with Anything, they will notice that there is an element of repetition in the techniques or types of projects explored each week. For example, they will find numerous collage activities, as well as many variations on the technique of creating mobiles. This is a purposeful strategy that builds an artist's skill, understanding, and creativity. Often a collage experience will occur on Day 1, because collage is an excellent way for young artists to become familiar with a new material and learn how to work with that material. The collage activity becomes the springboard for more involved projects in the following days. In the same way, making a mobile takes a relatively stationary or flat material and frees it to be viewed from many sides and in new ways. By repeating techniques like collage and mobile construction with different materials, young artists begin to understand the possibilities of art while improving their skill in manipulating materials in artistic ways.

The art activities in Art with Anything value and stress the process of art, and encourage children to think for themselves about how to use materials to make the art their own. Exploration, discovery, and experimentation are key to each child's creative progress. The end product or finished outcome of the art is not as important as the process of how it came to be, what the child experienced and learned along the way.

Exploring the process of creating art is one of the most compelling ways children learn, and the book keeps children learning creatively. With 52 weeks of fantastic art projects using everyday materials, Art with Anything provides a year of creativity, imagination, and fun for children.

Business & Investing / Human Resources & Personnel Management

One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort (Harvard Business Press)

Readers know that winning in todays marketplace requires top quality talent. They also know what it takes to build that talent and they spend significant financial and human resources to make it happen. Yet somehow, their companys beautifully designed and well-benchmarked processes dont translate into the bottom-line talent depth they need. Why?
Talent management experts Marc Effron and Miriam Ort argue that companies unwittingly add layers of complexity to their talent building models without evaluating whether those components add any value to the overall process. Consequently, simple processes like setting employee performance goals become multi-page, headache-inducing time-wasters that turn managers off to the process and fail to improve results.
In One Page Talent Management, Ort, Senior Manager, Human Resources for PepsiCo and Effron, President of The Talent Strategy Group, introduce One Page Talent Management (OPTM): a simple approach that accelerates a companys ability to develop better leaders faster. The authors outline a process for designing results-oriented OPTM processes: base every process on proven scientific research; eliminate complexity by including only those components that add real value to the process; and build transparency and accountability into every practice. Based on extensive research and the authors hands-on corporate and consulting experience with companies including Avon Products, Bank of America, and Philips, One Page Talent Management shows how to:

  • Quickly identify high potential talent without complex assessments.
  • Increase the number of ready now successors for key roles.
  • Generate 360 feedback that accelerates change in the most critical behaviors.
  • Reduce the time required for managers to implement talent processes.
  • Enforce accountability for growing talent through corporate culture, compensation, etc.

Grounded in classic behavioral science, OPTM simplifies traditional talent building practices while increasing managers' accountability for their execution. When coupled with their belief in full transparency of talent practices, the combined approach is a, engine for talent growth. Effron and Oft apply this core mantra Simplicity, Accountability, Transparency in a specific and practical way to five key talent practices including:

  • Performance Management OPTM makes this challenging process faster, easier, and more effective by focusing on the three most powerful elements involved. It also shows typical activities/elements that aren't based on solid science that companies should stop doing immediately.
  • 360 Assessments OPTM shows how to focus leaders on their three vital areas for improvement and provide detailed and specific feedback about exactly what they should do. One page of feedback now delivers more precise and actionable information than ever before possible.
  • Talent Review Processes Effron and Ort show how to simplify this process while making it a powerful engine for talent growth. The OPTM talent review process increases transparency and accountability while taking hours out of the process.
  • Engagement Surveys Managers can increase staff engagement quickly and easily with an OPTM engagement report that shows them which actions have the highest impact on engagement for their group.
  • Competency Development OPTM helps determine which capabilities will drive the strategic agenda and measures leaders fit with those capabilities, predicting their future success.

Step by step, the authors of One Page Talent Management examine the core processes and key drivers of talent management, and then develop a detailed re-design of each.

Twenty years of adding bells and whistles to talent management have left many businesses with bloated processes that promise much yet deliver little. Effron and Ort set forth a simple yet powerful approach to drive results. Kevin Cox, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, American Express

Research shows that effective talent management systems can help to create substantial shareholder wealth, yet designing and implementing them is a significant managerial challenge. This book delivers a research-based and practical approach. Mark Huselid, Professor HR Strategy, Rutgers University, and coauthor of The HR Scorecard, The Workforce Scorecard, and The Differentiated Workforce

In today's global economic environment, high-impact, game-changing talent practices are critical. One Page Talent Management hits the mark with a practical, targeted road map. This stuff works, and you will use it! Mary Eckenrod, Vice President, Global Talent Management, RIM, and former Board Chair, Human Resource Planning Society

The most practical and powerful book I have seen about talent management in the last ten years. I highly recommend it to any business leader or HR professional looking to really grow great talent and high-performing organizations today. Kevin D. Wilde, Vice President, Organization Effectiveness and Chief Learning Officer, General Mills, Inc.

Effron and Ort provide a clear road map simplicity, accountability, and transparency to building the level of leadership that makes a company truly great. Keith Ferrazzi, bestselling author of Who's Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone

Advice for dealing with the most common challenges along with ideas for holding leaders accountable in constructive ways that ensure success make One Page Talent Management the complete practitioner's guide to building talent fast. A radical new approach to growing talent, the book trades complexity and bureaucracy for simplicity and a relentless focus on adding value to create the high-quality talent readers need.

Business & Investing / Small Business & Entrepreneurship / Biographies & Memoirs

Everything Is Possible: Life and Business Lessons from a Self-Made Billionaire and the Founder of Slim-Fast by S. Daniel Abraham (Newmarket Press)

In Everything Is Possible legendary businessman S. Daniel Abraham tells his life story while imparting crucial lessons about business and the underpinnings of success. Abraham is a leading American entrepreneur, a pioneer in both the pharmaceutical and diet food business, and a philanthropist dedicated to Israels security and peace in the Middle East. He is the founder and former chairman of Slim-Fast Foods and founder of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation in Washington, D.C.

From selling and marketing strategies, to the lessons taught by war, and Abrahams search for peace, this business memoir reveals a businessman unlike any other.
Abrahams recollections include:

  • Growing up in a Jewish family in Long Beach, New York.
  • His first taste of entrepreneurship putting out his own newspaper as a teenager.
  • Fighting in World War II and turning his focus to making the world a better place as a result.
  • Joining the family business, and learning about tenacity and achievement, selling such inventions as Slim-Mint Gum, San-Cura itch cream, and Gas-Tabs.
  • Developing Slim-Fast, exploring new avenues of marketing, making use of celebrity endorsements, and ultimately selling Slim-Fast to Unilever for $2.3 billion.

Abraham tells the story of growing up in a modest home in Long Beach, New York, and the lessons he learned from his mother, father and teachers that have guided him ever since. At the heart of Everything Is Possible are 16 life lessons that Abraham picked up in sixty years of a hard-working business career. Among them:

  • There is no such thing as a mistake.
  • Why I always insured that my suppliers made a profit.
  • The philosophy of continuous improvement.
  • If you have a theory and the facts dispute it, drop your theory.
  • The realization that we all have both good and bad luck in our lives, but many of us don't prepare for either.
  • I never saw a man pick a fight with a stronger man.

Throughout Everything Is Possible, Abraham emphasizes the importance of a strong work ethic, good family values, hard work, and honesty. He touches on the importance of faith and trust to attain goals, and shares the lessons that he has learned over his storied career to create a successful and worthy life.

S. Daniel Abraham paints a colorful retrospective on his career and life in this autobiography which exudes his trademark positive energy. The story of his extraordinary business acumen is intertwined with his straight-forward tale of personal challenges and growth. Dan's commitment to excellence in all his endeavors has created an exceptional life and in this book he shares the many lessons learned along the way.

The depth of his commitment to his work, family, philanthropy and faith helped provide a true compass over the years. His brilliant insights and dogged perseverance explain not only his business successes but also his impact in many other areas. This friend of American presidents and Israeli prime ministers is rightfully proud of his patriotism and wartime military service, and his commitment to the state of Israel and the Jewish community. Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs & Co. and chair of the board, Jewish Theological Seminary

I have known Dan Abraham for years, as both a close friend and a tireless advocate for peace between Israel and her neighbors. Now he reveals a side of himself he normally talks about only rarely and briefly: his personal story and his legendary and laudable business success in the creation of Slim-Fast, one of the most successful and beneficial products of the past fifty years. President Bill Clinton

With its vivid recollections, Everything Is Possible is a fascinating and heartwarming life story and a compelling memoir.

Childrens / Animals / Humorous

Scare a Bear by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello (Sleeping Bear Press)

Do you know how to scare a bear?
Would you bang pots and pans?
Would you rattle some cans?
Would you shout?
Would you yell?
Would you ring a loud bell?
Do you know how to scare a bear?
---from the book

How would you scare a bear out of your cabin?
Or out of your fishing boat? How about away from your campfire?
And what if he climbed in your bunk?
Would the bed go kerplunk?
---from the book

From the author-illustrator team who created Moose on the Loose comes another example of the high jinks and hilarity that happens when wildlife wanders indoors.

Scare a Bear and Moose on the Loose are rhyming companion titles sure to garner a giggle. By storys end, young campers will know exactly how to scare a bear.

Author Kathy-jo Wargin grew up in the Northwoods, where she was always on the lookout for a moose on the loose. She is the best-selling author of more than 30 books for children. Illustrator John Bendall-Brunello is the youngest of nine children, bought up in a chaotic household with numerous pets including mice, guinea-pigs, cats, and rabbits. He has illustrated over 60 children's books published in England and the U.S.

Readers young and old will be charmed by Scare a Bear, in which Wargin's poetry and Brunello's delightful illustrations capture the imagination. Perfect for family reading fun or a classroom poetry exercise, this interactive and rollicking rhyming read-aloud will have children writing new poetic ways to scare a bear.

Cooking, Food & Wine

At Our Table: Favorite Recipes to Share with the People You Love by Shelly Reeves Smith, illustrations by Roxie Kelley (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

If readers have been sacrificing table time for grab-and-go meals, this cookbook may be the inspiration they need.

With this, their fifth collaboration, illustrator Roxie Kelley and author Shelly Reeves Smith set out to create a cookbook seasoned with their insights gleaned over 30 years as friends and business partners. The result is both a cookbook and a celebration of the abundance of people and things around the table. In At Our Table, they invite readers to return to the table and savor time with family and friends along with real comfort food.

Offering 125 simple recipes, At Our Table emphasizes how the experience of gathering for meals helps people recognize the richness and fullness of their lives. Recipes for appetizers, main dishes, sides, salads, breads, and desserts are offered along with timeless tips for cooking and kitchen preparation. Friends and family will enjoy recipes such as:

  • Kelly's Tutti Fruity Dip
  • Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Glaze
  • Honey Whole Wheat Bread
  • Cranberry-Orange Coffeecake

Smith and Kelley, friends and business partners for more than 30 years, have sold 150,000 books in their cookbook series. Kelley is the founding proprietor of home-furnishing emporium Keeping Good Company, and Smith is an award-winning illustrator whose designs are featured through Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Other cookbooks by these authors include: Just a Matter of Thyme, With Heart and Soul, Keeping Good Company, and Goodness Gracious.

Ideal for home cooks who savor the simple life, At Our Table magically combines Kelley's conversational writing style and Smith's beautiful illustrations to inspire all to return to their own tables.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling by Ted Reader and Mike McColl (Napoleon Gourmet Grills Series: Key Porter Books)

Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling offers over 125 innovative dishes developed by one of the most flamboyant celebrity chefs today. This guide to incorporating planks into barbecue cooking shows how grilled food can be infused with the delicate flavors of the wood it is cooked on. The book offers a wide range of tasty dishes Sometimes outrageous, Ted Reader's offerings include recipes that push the limits of what can be accomplished on the grill, from chocolate chip cookies to planked pizza. From appetizers and desserts to sides and main dishes, Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling makes plank grilling the way to go when it comes to cooking alfresco. Detailed, step-by-step directions give readers the tools they need.

Among the recipes readers can cook on a plank are:

  • Two-Foot Plank Pizza
  • Crab-Stuffed Super Jumbo Shrimps
  • Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings
  • Cedar-Planked Salmon Burger Sliders with Cucumber Slaw and Dill Havarti
  • Apple-Jack-Stuffed Planked Turkey Breast
  • Planked Thai Rack of Lamb
  • Red Wine-Planked Peppercorn New York Strip Steaks
  • Planked Brie with Peaches and Blueberries
  • Cedar Plank-Roasted Garlic Soup
  • Beerlicious Burgers
  • Southern Comfort Baked Apples
  • Cedar-Planked Dinner Rolls.

Added to the mix are plenty of grilling tips, tasty drink recipes and descriptions of all the equipment and tools needed for preparing a feast.

Cooking on planks originated in the Pacific Northwest. It was a common practice of the Native Haida people of this region. The Haida would strap a whole salmon between two cedar boards, place it on the hot coals of a bonfire, and slow roast their meals.

For Reader, it all started in the early 1990s. He had just started taping his television show, Cottage Country. During the first season of the show, he developed his cedar-planked salmon recipe. He says he was nervous about planking for the first time on his new TV show, but thankfully, the salmon was delicious, the plank didn't catch fire, and the boathouse was still standing at the end of it.

He says he has planked between 3,000 and 5,000 planks annually for the past eight years. Plank grilling is an easy way to cook: there's no turning, flipping or fussy cleanup. Essentially planking is a hot, fast way to smoke foods without needing to own a smoker.

The recipes in Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling range from easy to difficult, but they all have easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and all of them are tasty.

Ted is so good, he's the only Canadian chef we've ever had on our show. BBQ is his life and here's a chance to learn how to make your ribs as good as his. Regis Philbin, Live! with Regis and Kelly

Ted Reader is the 'Jackie Chan' of the BBQ. The wood is real, the meat is real, the fire is real ... and he does all his own stunts. Ed Robertson, The Barenaked Ladies

Only a truly gifted chef can pull off the kind of food Ted Reader cooks! Ted's comfort zone: the heat of the fire, the sizzle of the grill, the sight of the smoke and the aroma of the marinade ... hopefully there's a beer close by too. He's part chef, part artist ... part caveman! I can't tell who he's really cooking for... us? Or him? Kevin Brauch, Thirsty Traveler and Iron Chef America

Ted Reader is the main course in the banquet of life. He brings such joy and passion not only to his culinary creations, but to everyone he meets as well. Don't be surprised if you end up licking your fingers after reading his words. Rita DeMontis, Corporate Food Editor, Sun Media

Ted Reader is an amazing BBQ chef! He does things with fire and planks that the rest of us can't even think of, and this new book takes it all to another level. Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ

I believe that Chef Ted Reader is one of the finest chef's on this planet. If you don't like what he has prepared then you are from another planet. Not only is he the BBQ King, but he is a joy to watch and super fun to be with. Rock'n Ronnie Hawkins

Nothing feeds the great Canadian passion for grilling like Ted Reader's mouth-watering recipes. His range of techniques and ingredients is so inspired and innovative it makes everyone want to become a BBQ warrior. I love his books so much I keep copies at home and at the cottage! Chef Michael Bonacini, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants

Ted Reader is the crazy Canuck BBQ Kingpin. GQ magazine

Here we have a hot and cool trend in barbecuing.

Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling demonstrates that plank grilling is the way to go when it comes to exciting culinary creations: amazing appetizers, decadent desserts, succulent sides and mouth-watering mains. Whether at the cottage, at home, or for a special occasion, readers will find all that they require for creating a menu that will have everyone asking for more.

Entertainment / Television / Biographies & Memoirs

The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House by Melissa Sue Anderson (Globe Pequot Press)

When other girls her age were experiencing their first crushes, Melissa Sue Anderson was receiving handwritten marriage proposals from fans as young as and younger than she was. When other girls were dreaming of their first kiss, Melissa was struggling through hers in front of a camera. From age eleven in 1974 until she left the show in 1981, Anderson literally grew up before the viewers of Little House on the Prairie.

Anderson, as Mary Ingalls, is remembered by many as the blind sister and she was the only actor in the series to be nominated for an Emmy. In The Way I See It, she takes readers onto the set and inside the world of the iconic series created by Michael Landon, who, Anderson discovered, was not perfect, as much as he tried to be. In this memoir she also shares her memories of working with guest stars like Todd Bridges, Marlette Hartley, Sean Penn, Patricia Neal, and Johnny Cash.

In addition to stories of life on the set, Anderson offers revealing looks at her relationships off-set with her costars, including the other Melissa (Melissa Gilbert) and Alison Arngrim, who portrayed Nellie Oleson on the show. And she relates stories of her guest appearances on iconic programs such as The Love Boat and The Brady Bunch.

Filled with personal, revealing anecdotes and memorabilia from the Little House years, The Way I See It is also a portrait of a child star who became a successful adult actress and a successful adult.

Few television stars of the 1970s were as high-profile as Anderson. Her career began when she was only 9. Because she had asthma, her doctor recommended that she strengthen her lungs with activities such as ice skating and dance. A dance instructor, impressed by her talent urged her parents to find an agent for her, and Anderson was soon appearing on television commercials for Mattel Toys and French's Mustard. Her big break came when her agent landed her an audition for a pioneer western that turned out to be Little House.

From more than two hundred young actresses who auditioned for the roles of the sisters, she was selected to play Mary Ingalls. The only requirements were that she lose five pounds and that she sign a seven-year contract. She agreed and at age 11 became one of television's most beloved characters in one of the most watched shows in the history of television. It is still syndicated in practically every country in the world.

Little House on the Prairie set in the 1870s but very much of the 1970s comes to life in the pages of this intimate memoir. The Way I See It is a thoroughly absorbing, season-by-season journey into a series that has touched the lives of millions of viewers across America and the world.

Health, Mind & Body / Biographies & Memoirs

Stars When the Sun Shines: A Memoir by Wayne Stier (Weiser Books)

It all started in small town Minnesota and it ended much later than the doctors said it would.
In his early 20s, Wayne Stier was diagnosed with cancer and a less than 50% chance of living more than 5 years. He and his wife Mars responded by seizing the day and moving to Japan. Stars When the Sun Shines is the spiritual autobiography of a man out in front of himself.
That was the first step in a journey of discovery during which Stier embraced several lifetimes' worth of experiences in the span of one man's life. From performing on the Noh stage, to gamely joining an hilarious Okinawan rodeo, Stier said a resounding "Yes!" to every new experience life offered.

Stars When the Sun Shines is full of memorable lines and lessons: some funny: "Rule of slapstick stand up quick and pretend it didn't happen," some koan-like: "A dog's bark is a dot pointing out the silence." Stiers writing is an act of discovery and rediscovery, from the landlocked plains of the Midwest to the slope of an active volcano. On the Big Island of Hawaii he built his home and art studio with living trees forming the corner posts and wrote the myth of his own life. In Bali, an old man told Wayne to look at the sky filled with shining stars even when the sun is shining. Stars When the Sun Shines is about looking at the world through continuously new eyes.
Stier whose name refers to steering by the stars defied the dire prediction that he would not live through his twenties by living another forty-some years that he filled with literal and spiritual adventure. But, as his Stars When the Sun Shines proves, he did not stop at living life to the fullest just for himself. He also found the time to write his memoir and share his secrets for celebrating what it means and feels like to be magnificently alive in the face of impending death. In the end, Stier's writing burns through illusions to conclusions about a life made so full that he forgot he was dying.

Stars When the Sun Shines is an offbeat, upbeat, oddball, goofy, loose-limbed human comedy of a book. Wayne Stier's life and times reads like a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Gary Leon Hill, playwright, author of People Who Don't Know They're Dead

With startling detail, humor, and a poet's heart, Wayne Stier faces his death by gloriously living his life. He travels the world with his wife, visits ancient caves, teaches, writes, learns from wise elders and reminds all of us to focus on what truly matters. Louise Nayer, author of Burned: A Memoir

Anyone having trouble dealing with a physical affliction in his or her own life would do well to read this book and see how one man coped. Stier steadfastly refused to take himself too seriously, even when he knew his days were numbered. If life was a short and uncertain gamble, then he would just have to get the most out of it, and laugh at himself as much as possible along the way. Isn't that something we can all learn from? Scott Berry, author of A Stranger in Tibet: The Adventures of a Wandering Zen Monk

Stars When the Sun Shines reminds us to live our lives with gratitude, grace, and appreciation. Balanced by the bittersweet reminder that our time here is finite, Wayne's story is both courageous and poignant, a lifetime in the making. Alison Wright, author of Learning to Breathe, One Woman' Journey of Spirit and Survival

It is no surprise that my friend Wayne would manage to sing duets with the surgeon who removed his left foot, attend his own funeral, and as was his habit, embrace it all. His ultimate forgiveness of self and others led him to a temple deep in a forest of love-consciousness. Thank you for sharing your star path, traveled hand-in-hand with Mars. May many follow your loving lead. Jim Ford, family therapist and human development research scientist at the University of Georgia

As unbelievable as many of Wayne's stories may sound, I know they are all true, for I am one of the lucky people whose lives intersected with his in Malacca, Flores, Koh Phangan, and Hawaii. I learned a lot of important stuff along the way: how to really travel, how to play cribbage in an over-crowded minibus while traversing a mountain range, how to write better, how to enjoy the stars on an island beach at night. Often being on the receiving end of Wayne's quick wit, I also learned patience from Mars. I've loved all of his books, but Stars When the Sun Shines is his masterpiece: the inspirational odyssey of one of the quirkiest human beings it has been my privilege to know. Margaret Sarkissian, ethnomusicologist, author of DAlbuquerques Children: Performing Tradition in Malaysia's Portuguese Settlement

Stier's memoir is full of memorable lines and lessons. An admirer of Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Kurt Vonnegut, and Zeami, he weaves into his story a joy in adventure, an appreciation of the absurdities life hands us, and a Zen approach to his fate.

Readers who gravitated to Eat, Pray, Love to follow an enlightening spiritual odyssey, or to The Last Lecture with its message to live in the moment in spite of impending finality, will find satisfaction in Stier's memoir Stars When the Sun Shines. Stiers observations may change the reader's view and experience not just of the world but of life itself.

History / Americas / True Crime

The Hanging of Susanna Cox: The True Story of Pennsylvania's Most Notorious Infanticide and the Legend That's Kept It Alive by Patricia Earnest Suter, Russell Earnest & Corinne Earnest (Stackpole Books)

Author of The Hanging of Susanna Cox Patricia Earnest Suter operates a clearinghouse of Pennsylvania German documents, and her coauthors, Russell and Corinne Earnest, have studied and written about early American documents for more than thirty years.

The unfortunate Susanna Cox gained notoriety for killing her illegitimate infant son. The fatal episode led to her hanging in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1809, the last public execution of a woman in the commonwealth. But was Susanna really the culprit? The legend of her fate, repeated in Pennsylvania German broadsides by the generations that followed, suggests she herself was a victim.

In this first full-length investigation into the tragedy, new evidence reveals some startling facts about how indifference, an undeveloped court system, and the inexact science of nineteenth-century forensics combined to determine Susanna's tragic fate. The Hanging of Susanna Cox ends with a look at how Susanna's sad song became romanticized through broadside ballads.

Out of the dozens of German-language ballads published as broadsides for the Pennsylvania Dutch by local printers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, The Sad and Mournful Tale of Susanna Cox, heads the list in popularity and numbers of printings. In 1961, Don Yoder, who wrote the foreword to the book, was in charge of the seminar stage of the Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival at Kutztown. To his amazement, an eighty-nine-year-old Lehigh County farmwife appeared and sang all thirty-two verses.

The authors of The Hanging of Susanna Cox have dug deep in the record to tell the real story of Susanna. Certainly the 1809 hanging at Reading, before the largest crowd that ever gathered there, was Pennsylvania's most memorable public execution. The drama and the trauma of it lingered in the memories of all who witnessed it throughout the rest of the nineteenth century, and through written reminiscences, the traumatic event has registered itself even in the twenty-first century.

From the Susanna Cox story we see a rural tragedy involving a hapless hired girl on a Berks County farm who got in the family way. Susanna was not a saint, just a rather innocent young woman, caught in the moralistic machinery of Pennsylvania's legal system. And despite the fact that she purportedly had done away with her newborn child, her case attracted the sympathy of countless Pennsylvanians who learned about it, by hearsay or hearing the ballad sung, throughout two centuries.

The Hanging of Susanna Cox is a compelling murder mystery of a young Pennsylvania German woman who may be more a victim of nineteenth-century societal values and limitations than the perpetrator of an actual crime. The trial and conviction come across as a travesty of justice, and it is for that reason that the ballad of Susanna Cox continues today. The saga presented here is a masterful blend of who-done-it drama and cultural analysis. David L. Valuska author of Damn Dutch: Pennsylvania Germans at Gettysburg

The Hanging of Susanna Cox will continue to produce sympathy for the very human story of Susanna Cox.

Home & Garden / Animal Care & Pets / Reference

The Original Dog Bible: The Definitive Source for All Things Dog, 2nd edition edited by Kristin Mehus-Roe (BowTie Press)

The Original Dog Bible just got bigger. Complete with new and updated content, fresh photos and sidebars, and in its second edition, it is now the most inclusive book on dogs available. This copiously illustrated volume covers every aspect of responsible dog ownership and includes additional details on evolution, genetics, history, folklore, competitive events, careers, and rescue groups.

Readers can discover the history of pure bred dogs, their evolution, their portrayal in literature and the media, and the way they fit into society today. The expanded Breeds section catalogs more than 250 breeds alphabetically for easy reference and features breed-by-breed physical and personality descriptions.

Expert writers, breeders, and judges from renowned magazines, including Popular Pets, Dog World, and Dog Fancy, contributed expert advice from their respective canine fields to make The Original Dog Bible the ultimate resource for novice dog owners and seasoned dog breeders alike nine sections with more than thirty pages of resources: books, organizations, periodicals, video/audio, and web sites.

Editor Kristin Mehus-Roe is the author of Dogs for Kids! and Working Dogs: True Stories of Dogs and Their Handlers and a former editor of Popular Pets dog magazine.

Sections in The Original Dog Bible include:

I: Dogs, Domestication, and Development. Dogs from the beginning to the present. Why do dogs look the way they do? How did they come to share our lives?

II: A New Dog. Finding the right dog and making a home for him. What do you need to look for in a breeder or rescue league? How do you prepare for a new puppy?

III: Life with a Dog. Making your dog a part of your family. What activities does your dog enjoy as much as you do? What should you consider in planning a canine-friendly vacation?

IV: Breeds. Essential information on more than 250 breeds. Is a Papillon a good choice for families with children? Which breeds make good herding dogs?

V: Health. Diseases that can affect your dog and how to provide a lifetime of good health. What should you look for in selecting a veterinarian? What are canine preventative-care practices you can perform at home?

VI: Care. An expert discusses grooming history, which cuts different breed types wear best, and how to groom your dog at home. And with so many different diets available, this section provides you with all the information you need to make the right choice for your dog.

VII. Training and Behavior. Learn why dogs act the way they do and how we can teach them to behave in a better way.

VIII: Dogs and Jobs. From canine companions to search-and-rescue heroes. How do handlers train a service dog? Who supervises treatment of canine actors?

IX: Resources. The one-stop shop for all the canine particulars you need, including rescue organizations, breed clubs, and dog travel Web sites.

Each breed profile includes a color photo, country of origin, group, history, physical description, temperament, recommended owner type, and special needs. Recommended resources, a glossary, and an index are also included.

The best part of the book . . . covers `life with a dog,' with sections on pet care partners like sitters and walkers, emergencies, lost dogs, biting, traveling with a dog, and a fantastic chapter on activities one can do with one's dog. Publishers Weekly

This attractive, copiously illustrated easy-to-understand volume covers every aspect of responsible dog ownership. . . . An essential purchase for public libraries; if budgets permit, buy multiple copies. Library Journal

Being a veteran veterinarian of 25 years and a lifetime pet lover, I can enthusiastically say `this old doc learned new tricks' upon reading the consummate book on all things dogs. . . . I highly recommend it! Dr. Marty Becker, resident veterinarian on ABC's Good Morning America and co-author of Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul

The Original Dog Bible is a great overall reference source on dogs, providing information on dog breeds and hundreds more pages on the care of dogs. The second edition brings new chapters, photos, and updated resources. New chapters include Kids and Dogs, Mixes and Designer Dogs, and The Problems Surrounding Dogs (such as dog fighting and puppy mills). The socializing chapter is now separate from the training chapter, which is also considered new. The book will be useful for those deciding on a dog and breed, needing medical or emergency advice on their dogs, and seeking a career with dogs or other animals. The useful information, great photos, and affordable price make this highly recommended for public and school libraries. Sue Polanka, Booklist

Those who love the canine species which means just about all of us lap up doggy information like puppies at the feeding bowl. This wonderful new volume is a veritable banquet of fascinating, useful facts. It will leave readers bulging contentedly with vital, nurturing knowledge. George Berger, publisher of the AKC Gazette and AKC Family Dog

The Original Dog Bible is comprehensive and easy to understand, a must-have for every dog fancier's bookshelf and an essential purchase for public libraries.

Literature & Fiction / World Literature

An Ill Wind by David Donachie (John Pearce Series: Allison & Busby)

An Ill Wind, written by David Donachie, best-selling author of novels of naval history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, is set in Toulon, 1793.

John Pearce and his Pelicans are going home to gain their freedom and, using the evidence they have, put the treacherous Captain Ralph Barclay in the dock. But first they must take part in the evacuation of Toulon.

With the Republican Army at the gates, the citizens of Toulon are panicking, trying to flee the retribution of the guillotine. Among this confusion John Pearce and the rest of the Allied forces must put the needs of war before their lives. This is not the end to the troubles they face: the ship designated to remove the wounded from Lutyens' hospital has been deliberately delayed by Admiral Hotham, the whole situation made worse when it is discovered many of the French ships singled out for destruction have been saved by the Spanish; was it naive to expect help from a nation more often an enemy than a friend?

The Arsenal and dockyard must be destroyed; the ships they cannot get away must be set alight to deny them to the enemy. And Pearce is entrusted with dangerous tasks by Admiral Hotham.

His orders take on a particularly challenging form when Pearce is tasked with evacuating the hospital and finds himself sailing in close proximity to Captain Ralph Barclay the man he intends to have court-martialed and his wife Emily, difficult given his loathing for the Captain, in contrast to his regard for the lovely Emily. She discovers Pearce has a copy of the lies her husband told at his recent court martial, papers that would ruin his career and her future security. Matters between the men come to a head, and Pearce is sucked into a web of intrigue and devious politics.

And then comes that dread thing, a fire aboard a wooden ship of war! Confusion reigns and Pearce must keep his wits about him in order to survive. Cast adrift, Pearce and his Pelicans find help from an unlikely source, yet still they face a pursuer they cannot outrun.

Finally back on British soil in An Ill Wind, the Pelicans hope they have reached the end of their troubles, but with the important documents missing, their real concerns have only just begun. Emily Barclay holds the key, but do her loyalties lie with her husband or her conscience?

Literature & Fiction / World Literature

The Microscripts by Robert Walser, translated from the German and with an introduction by Susan Bernofsky, with an afterword by Walter Benjamin (New Directions)

W.G. Sebald called Robert Walser a clairvoyant of the small, and nowhere is the phrase more apt than in his microscripts. Walser wrote many of his manuscripts in a highly enigmatic, shrunken-down form. These narrow strips of paper (many of them written during his hospitalization in the Waldau sanatorium) covered with tiny ant-like markings only a millimeter or two high, came to light only after the authors death in 1956. At first considered a secret code and a further symptom of his mental illness, the microscripts were eventually discovered to be a miniaturized form of German script: a whole story could fit on the back of a business card.
Believed to be Walser's finest writings, The Microscripts are, quite literally, microscopic masterworks of illumination and musing. Selected from the six-volume German transcriptions from the original microscripts, these 25 short pieces, translated by award-winning translator Susan Bernofsky, are gathered in this illustrated co-publication with the Christine Burgin Gallery. Each is reproduced in full color in its original form: the detached cover of a trashy crime novel, a disappointing letter, a receipt of payment. Sometimes Walser used the pages of small tear-off calendars (but only after cutting them lengthwise and filling up each half with text). Rotten husbands, small town life, the radio, pigs (and how nobody can deny being one), jealousy, Van Gogh and marriage proposals are some of Walsers subjects. These texts take strength from Walsers motto: To be small and to stay small.

Walser (1878-1956), one of the major European writers of the early twentieth century, was born in Switzerland and raised speaking German and French. Upon leaving school at fourteen, he drifted along, working various odd jobs, all the while writing novels, essays, and stories. Walser worked as a bank clerk, a butler in a castle, and an inventor's assistant before writing as many as seven novels and more than a thousand stories. Admired by Kafka, Musil and Hesse, Walser has been noted as "one of the most remarkable and fully realized stylists in modern literature" (The Nation). Forcibly hospitalized in 1933 with a now much disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia, he spent the final twenty-three years of his life in an institution. Abandoning writing (or so we thought), Walser said, "I am not here to write but to be mad."

A truly wonderful, heart-breaking writer. Susan Sontag

Robert Walser is a bewitched genius. Newsweek

A clairvoyant of the small. W. G. Sebald

Language is Walser's great love, a love he sometimes openly confesses, sometimes lionizes. He writes out of the pleasure of language, a true musician, and this gives each of his works the magic of an art that has almost become nature again, of a virtuosity almost childlike and naive. Hermann Hesse

One of the profoundest products of modern literature. Walter Benjamin, author of Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
Incredibly interesting and beautiful. John Ashbery, author of Planisphere: New Poems

Once inaccessible texts now burst forth from the page, revealing "some of Walser's most beautiful and haunting writing" (Benjamin Kunkel, The New Yorker). From religion to marriage, from crisis to schnapps, each microscript is infused with a wit and wisdom that displays Walser's genius to the fullest, coupled with his enduring ability to cut to the core of humanity and human behavior. The Microscripts is presented for the first time as a bilingual edition and accompanied by lustrous images of the original papers.

Literature & Fiction / World Literature / Womens Studies

Austen's Oughts: Judgment after Locke and Shaftesbury by Karen Valihora (University of Delaware Press)

"Emma was sorry; to have to pay civilities to a person she did not like through three long months! to be always doing more than she wished, and less than she ought!"

Ought.

What ought to be done, what one ought to say, how much one ought to spend, how one ought to feel: the word is all over Austen's novels. How things ought to be is the central if hypothetical topic of Austen's art. But where does the word get its force? Austen's Oughts situates the disinterested, reflective appeal to moral principle invoked, ironically or otherwise, in Austen's oughts within the history of thought about judgment in the British eighteenth century.

As told by Karen Valihora, associate professor of English Literature at York University in Toronto, that history begins with Shaftesbury's critique of Locke in the series of essays collected in the Characteristicks (1711). In an effort to correct what he saw as Locke's impoverished model of judgment, Shaftesbury argues that to have moral force, judgment must reflect on itself. He suggested disinterested judgment finds its grounds in the regularity, harmony, and unity that prevail in the idea of the beautiful whole, whether that is an abstraction from the idea of the social order or a work of art. In turning to neoclassical aesthetics to elaborate a concept of reflective judgment, Shaftesbury cannily anticipates the priorities of a period for which the standard of nature was as much a moral standard as an aesthetic one.

Austen's Oughts shows that Shaftesbury's attention to disinterested judgment was much more influential than is generally recognized. Achieving reflective distance on one's immediate feelings, assumptions and biases, the distance of an impartial spectator, or of a third-person narrator offered a crucial means of moving beyond the self and finding common ground with others. Samuel Richardson's Clarissa (1748) insists on disinterestedness in its demand for `just judgment the judgment that will justify Clarissa on the par of readers. In An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), David Hume describes a consensus of feeling that directs moral judgment, and suggests that consensus is both forged and maintained through the kinds of perspectives offered in works of art. Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) brings an imagined, third-person impartiality to bear on the self as well as others, a reflective perspective borrowed from the discourse of aesthetics. In the Discourses on Art (1797), Joshua Reynolds describes a common aesthetic inheritance, conceived of as a set of perspectives elaborated in great works of art and offering enlarged views. Finally, Austen's Oughts shows how the structural principles their strict unity, harmony, order, and proportion of Austen's novels give form and shape to the idea of what ought to be and so direct the judgments of readers and characters alike. Austen's art represents the culmination of a century of thought about judgment.

As Valihora describes in the introduction to Austen's Oughts, Many of Austen's oughts refer to the standards of decorum and propriety, and to debates about those standards. There is a clear continuum between the ought of the decorums and proprieties of Austen's communities and the ought of moral idealism. There is symmetry and a balance. Austen's oughts those of her characters and those of her narrators are delicately, often ironically, balanced between first-person uses and the third-person reflections they are supposed, in a moral grammar, to indicate. When characters employ an ought, Austen's free-indirect style offers two contexts for meaning, enabling the reader to distinguish between what they say and what they ought, according to a morally idealized, third-person calculus, to mean.

What Valihora shows in Austen's Oughts is that the moral discriminations indicated by Austen's oughts are analogous to expressions of taste; as such they offer a minutely calibrated key to the demands of moral judgments conceived in aesthetic terms. An aesthetic sense of proportion gradually supplies Austen's readers with a standard of judgment a standard that emerges from a series of minute, yet marked, gradations from the sense of what is fit, suitable, reasonable, and proper that governs specific occasions as well as each novel as a whole.

In Austen's Oughts, Valihora situates Austen's ironic emphasis on bringing what is into perfect congruence with what ought to be within the century of thought about judgment that precedes her work. The dream of a perfect congruence between private aspirations and desires, on the one hand, and a public world that supports and furthers them, on the other, motivates virtually every sentence of one of the most important examples of eighteenth-century thinking about moral judgment, Anthony Ashley Cooper, the third earl of Shaftesbury's, Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times (1711).'

In chapter 1 of Austen's Oughts, Valihora situates Shaftesbury's attention to the problem of judgment or reflection in the context of Locke's empiricism, to show how the questions raised but not answered by Locke's epistemology led directly to the intense interest in aesthetic judgments in both Shaftesbury's work and the aesthetics, moral philosophy, literature, and art of the century that follows. She shows how crucial Shaftesbury's work on judgment was, first, to correct the impoverished theory of judgment, divided into separate acts of sensation and reflection, that marks Locke's Essay. In the next chapters, she finds Shaftsbury's work on judgment closely informs the models of moral judgment explored by David Hume and Adam Smith, both of whom, in founding judgment on a moment of feeling, struggle with the tension between consensus, on the one hand, and impartiality, on the other. Subsequent chapters read Richardson, Reynolds, Price, and Austen to show how, in different stages of the development of the novel, and in the theory and practice of both painting and landscape design, the hypothetical judgment of the reader, spectator, or picturesque tourist is the privileged focus of increasingly sophisticated rhetorics of address and inclusion, rhetorics that recall Shaftesbury's intricate reflections on the problem of arriving at truly impartial, and therefore just, judgment, a judgment that is at once disinterested and a matter of common sense.

All of the works she considers in Austen's Oughts position their readers in striking ways, across a range of different perspectives, both within a given common sense and outside it, in order to privilege, formally and thematically, the moment of reflection on an immediate sensation, a moment that signals a highly idealized, morally oriented, and fundamentally aesthetic form of judgment. This kind of judgment creates the conditions for reflection on one's immediate and deeply felt responses of pleasure and pain responses that may indicate prejudiced and utterly conventional ways of thinking and feeling. Throughout, she shows how each of these works actively positions an imagined reader or spectator in a way that opens up opportunities for reflective judgments on immediate feeling. In fact, finding oneself in this position, one of a formally orchestrated disinterestedness, is among the greatest pleasures of reading these texts.

The closing chapters of Austen's Oughts explore the ways in which Austen's insistence on disinterested self-reflection forms the central problematic of two other major novels, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. Valihora shows how in both of these novels Austen refers to the widely disseminated discourse of the picturesque as a way of discoursing about narrative art in general, and her own in particular, and suggest that Austen's attention to reflection occurs in tandem with an exploration of the picturesque arts of absorption. She reads Pride and Prejudice to show how the narrative moves between an identifiably picturesque art of immersion and absorption as in Elizabeth's visit to Darcy's Pemberley estate and a reflective, distanced reevaluation of the terms of that absorption as when Elizabeth stands before a formal, public portrait of Darcy and reflects on her knowledge of his character and context.

In Mansfield Park, Austen experiments with the disinterest that supposedly characterizes the position of the impartial spectator by turning, again, to the critique of distance offered in the discourse of the picturesque. She situates her heroine, Fanny Price, as both impartial spectator sidelined at the play rehearsals, benched in the gardens at Sotherton and picturesque tourist absorbed in the people and events around her; in both roles, Fanny struggles to find the right perspective to bring to bear on the landscape at Mansfield Park. In this novel, Austen suggests that attaining a perspective that is morally and aesthetically complex enough to prevail which means appealing to others enough to win them over to it and, therefore, to shape a sense of the whole, consists in much more than merely occupying a certain position in narrative terrain, or learning a set of rules of perspective. It means actually being able to impose a certain way of seeing. This insight leads Austen to the picturesque, precisely because it stages its own inquiry into the very fine line there is between becoming wholly absorbed by an illusory vision that is just an imposition such as Henry Crawford's visions of romance, or certain picturesque landscaping techniques and arriving at a way of seeing that is truly comprehensive, that is sharable with others. In Mansfield Park, Austen explores theater, painting, and landscape gardening as arts that direct the gaze of the spectator, reader, or picturesque tourist; she situates her readers, not just so that they see things a certain way, but so that they attain a perspective, arguably, on seeing itself. Such acts of reflective judgment as are modeled for us by Austen's exemplary characters unfold an art of life. In no other eighteenth-century novelist is the individual capacity for reflective judgment made to offer as much. At the same time, according to Valihora in Austen's Oughts, Austen's work represents only the culmination of a century of inquiry into the art of the impartial perspective.

Meticulously written, Austen's Oughts is closely reasoned, like the work of Austen herself.

Outdoors & Nature / Environment / Professional & Technical / Earth Sciences

The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth by Eric Pooley (Hyperion)

In The Climate War, award-winning journalist Eric Pooley deputy editor of Bloomberg BusinessWeek does for global warming what Bob Woodward did for presidents and Lawrence Wright did for terrorists. In this tale of an American civil war, Pooley takes readers behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of the most important players in the struggle to cap global warming pollution a fight in which trillions of dollars and the fate of the planet are at stake.

Why has it been so hard for America to come to grips with climate change? Why do so many people believe it isn't really happening? Powerful interests are threatened by the carbon cap that would speed the transition to a clean energy economy, and their agents have worked hard to deny the problem and delay the solutions.

To write The Climate War, Pooley, the former managing editor of Fortune and chief political correspondent for Time, spent three years embedded with an extraordinary cast of characters: from the flamboyant head of one of the nation's largest coal-burning energy companies to the driven environmental leader who made common cause with him, from leading scientists warning of impending catastrophe to professional skeptics disputing almost every aspect of climate science, from radical activists chaining themselves to bulldozers to powerful lobbyists, media gurus, and advisors in Obama's West Wing and, to top it off, unprecedented access to former Vice President Al Gore and his team of climate activists.

Pooley captures the quiet determination of climate campaigners who have dedicated their lives to an uphill battle that's still raging. He asks whether we have what it takes to preserve our planet's habitability, and shows how America's climate war sends shock waves from Bali to Copenhagen. In The Climate War, Pooley delivers a blow-by-blow description of the political and economic battle over climate change as he looks at the power players on both sides of the struggle. The book demonstrates how the battle for our planetary existence hinges on a fight over the almighty dollar.

The Climate War reads like a thriller, portraying the personalities who play a role in determining our future while delivering an up-close. Pooley also covers the other side of the issue, laying bare the enormously effective PR campaign waged by the coal, oil, and manufacturing lobbies, skeptical members of Congress and the Senate, and professional deniers PR hit men hired to spin the science of climate change and sow doubt and confusion among the American public. Pooley's adventures in this skeptical world, dubbed the Denialosphere, shows the power that corporate opponents of climate action still wield in dictating public policy. By focusing on Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, a flamboyant and mysterious character torn between a desire to do the right thing and the need to protect his company's bottom line, The Climate War shows how difficult it has been for American business to come to terms with this issue.

[An] engrossing behind-the-scenes expose of the multifactioned confrontation over climate... As he parses the ecology vs. economy debate waged in Capitol Hill back rooms and Wall Street boardrooms, Pooley peppers his meticulously researched insider account with `aha!' moments of revelation and populates it with a Machiavellian cast of characters. Accomplishing the impossible, Pooley makes policy-making fascinating. Booklist, starred review

Eric Pooley has written a riveting tale, the very first account of the epic American campaign to get serious about global warming. This story has heroes, like my friend Al Gore, and it has some villains. What it doesn't have is an ending; that part is still up to us. Which is why anyone who worries about the future of our nation or wonders why it has been so hard for us to deal with climate change should read this book. President Bill Clinton

The Climate War offers a behind-the-scenes look at the most consequential political battle of our time. It's a compelling and often disturbing read. Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

The first great campaign book about the political battle over climate change. Eric Pooley brings us inside this epic struggle in which science, business, and politics all come together. The characters are fascinating and the stakes are enormous. Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute and author of Einstein: His Life and Universe

The legislative process revealed: Eric Pooley paints the personalities, the strategies, and the intrigue of climate politics in vivid detail. A page turner and a must-read for anyone who cares about the climate and about America's continued ability to tackle problems and lead. Katie McGinty, Former Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality

The Climate War is a great book not just because it chronicles the bloody political fight to save the planet, but because it's the best argument I've ever read for how a single policy idea cap and trade can change the world. Jeff Goodell, author of How to Cool the Planet

Journalism with principles: epic in scale, masterful in narrative and detail, with well-paced winks at the tragic absurdity of it all. Eric Roston, author of The Carbon Age

From the trenches of a North Carolina power plant to the battlefields of Capitol Hill, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street, The Climate War is the essential read for anyone who wants to understand the players and politics behind the most important issue we face today.

With extraordinary intimacy and scope, Pooleys political and business expertise informs this narrative as he explains both the progress and the obstacles in the struggle to cap global warming pollution. While other climate books may offer polemics or dense, complex science, The Climate War turns the political and economic terrain into a gripping story.

Philosophy

Badiou: A Philosophy of the New by Ed Pluth (Key Contemporary Thinkers Series: Polity)

Alain Badiou is one of the leading philosophers in the world today. His ground-breaking philosophy is based on a creative reading of set theory, offering a new understanding of what it means to be human by promoting an intelligence of change. Badious philosophical system makes our capacity for revolution and novelty central to who we are and develops an ethical position that aims to make us less anxious about this very capacity.

Badiou presents an account of Badious philosophy, including an in-depth discussion of The Theory of the Subject, Being and Event and Logics of Worlds. Ed Pluth, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at California State University, considers how Badious theoretical anti-humanism is linked up to what is, for all intents and purposes, a practical humanism. Central to this is an account of Badious theory of the subject, and his attempt to develop an ethic of truths. The role of set theory, Marxism, and Lacanian psychoanalysis in Badious philosophy is also given close attention.

Is there a fundamental principle for Badiou's work, in the manner of those German Idealists who found it necessary to begin their systems with an incontrovertible truth, from which everything else about their systems could be somehow derived? If there is, it would probably be the claim that the one is not, and its (seemingly contradictory) companion claim there is something of the one. Pluth in Badiou says he is not convinced that everything about Badiou's philosophy can be derived from these claims, but they do condition quite a bit of it.

Pluth begins his treatment of Badiou's philosophy proper with the structural and formal side of his philosophy: with a study of his claims about ontology, being, multiples, sets, situations, and finally evental sites and events themselves. One may get the impression that such discusions are what Badiou's philosophy is primarily about. But Badiou is far more concerned with promoting things such as the notion of a faithful subject procedure, or the idea of a generic truth.

Chapter 1 looks at Badiou's philosophical background, his activism, and some events in his life that have been central to the development of his philosophy. Pluths argument in this chapter is that Badiou, initially inclined to develop what he calls a philosophical Maoism, has long been interested in developing a materialist theory of the subject, first within the framework of a dialectical philosophy, and then within the framework of a philosophy informed by the insights of set theory.

Chapter 2 focuses on some of the main theses of Being and Event, which promotes the view that mathematics, and set theory in particular, is ontology. Pluth considers two key claims: that the one is not, and that there is something of the one, or a one-effect, after all. This sets up the basic idea that being is subtracted from presentation. The nature of a situation is discussed, and he considers some of the lessons Badiou draws from the axioms of Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory. Why Badiou uses set theory at all, and whether he really needs to, is a question with which Pluth concludes the chapter.

A discussion of further axioms from set theory used by Being and Event occurs in chapter 3, and this chapter also addresses some of the more complex matters raised by Being and Event such as the distinction between belonging and inclusion, between a situation and a state, the different types of multiples in a situation (normal, excrescent, and singular), and finally the notion of an evental site. He also introduces Badiou's claim that events are multiples that contain themselves as members: this seems to be their most significant property, and their most perplexing one.

Chapter 4 of Badiou considers the modifications Badiou makes to the theory of the event in Logics of Worlds. Badiou is explicit about the fact that he thinks he has in Logics of Worlds come up with a better theory of the event by focusing on the status of its effects in a situation, rather than on an event's intrinsic properties. According to the theory developed in Logics of Worlds events are changes in a world that involve changes in the very manner in which appearances in that world are ordered.

After an account of Badiou's views on infinity and truth, chapter 5 considers the concepts in Being and Event that address how inhabitants of historical situations (human individuals) handle events. Foremost among these concepts is the notion of an intervention, but the issue of naming an event, and the status of that name in a situation is also discussed, as well as the forcing of a subject.

In chapter 6 he presents his interpretation of Badiou's theory of the subject. His thesis is that the subject is his term for the real presence of change in a situation or world. He explores the anti-Cartesian and anti-phenomenological aspects of this theory, and considers whether his subject is active or passive or both or neither. He also considers whether there are one or many subjects and argues that there is really one type of subject in Badiou's philosophy until the publication of Logics of Worlds, which pluralizes the subject's forms.

Chapter 7 of Badiou continues filling in the picture of the subject in Badiou's work, yet it does so from a slightly different perspective by focusing not on the subject as such but on the different styles, deviations, tendencies, or forms that subjects take on. He approaches this from the perspective of ethics and affects. As anti-humanist as his theory of the subject is, his philosophy is still a philosophy about what it means to be human. With an important terminological distinction, Badiou posits that individuals or someones or inhabitants of situations are distinct from subjects, and are the ones who are affected by events and by truth procedures, and react to them in various ways including carrying them out, continuing with them, covering them up, or reacting against them. This chapter includes discussions of the fields in which truth procedures occur particularly art, love, and science.

Badiou's views on politics get a separate chapter, given the importance of his views on politics for so many other aspects of his work. In chapter 8 Pluth addresses the constant themes found in his writings, such as the presence of communist universals or invariants in history and his suspicion of parliamentary politics, party politics, and even voting itself. He also tracks his shift away from what he calls the insurrectionary paradigm in politics and from the theme of destruction, which is replaced by the idea of subtraction. Also, the chapter considers what is living and what is dead about Marx for Badiou.

The conclusion to Badiou discusses again the link between Badiou's theoretical anti-humanism and his practical humanism. Unlike the theoretical anti-humanism of the 1960s, Badiou's is not working out the death of Man His work entails instead an ironic resurrection of the concept of the human, and an ironic return to themes from the religious tradition such as immortality, infinity, and, of course, fidelity.

Ed Pluth's book is an admirably accessible and intellectually rigorous introduction to the work of Alain Badiou. In precise and unaffected prose, he provides compelling reconstructions of the key facets of Badiou's philosophy, from his mathematical ontology to his thinking of the event. An excellent starting-point for those new to Badiou's thought, Pluth's book also offers insightful treatments of issues of concern to more specialized readers, such as the role of affect in Badiou's understanding of the subject, and the link between his two major works, Being and Event and Logics of Worlds. Above all, Pluth convincingly shows how Badiou's philosophy combines the formal requirements of logic and ontology with an emphasis on the courage needed to live a life committed to unprecedented truths. Alberto Toscano, Goldsmiths, University of London

This book is a clear-eyed walk straight to the heart of Badiou's philosophy all dross is eliminated in the pursuit of a single, astounding, idea: that if we do not take the risk of being faithful to a truth, we guarantee ourselves inhuman lives. Pluth has not only introduced Badiou's philosophy, he has crystallized it. Oliver Feltham, American University of Paris

Comprehensive and engaging, Pluth in Badiou provides a clear and careful analysis of Badious theories. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, as well as to all those keen to develop a critical understanding of one of the most controversial and important thinkers of the twentieth century.

Professional & Technical / Military / Education / Study Guides

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB by Laura Stradley and Robin Kavanagh (Alpha Books)

Thinking about a career in the military? Readers have to go through a long process for the military to determine whether they have the right stuff to succeed in a specific branch.

They are tested on all types of things, such as their physical appearance and health, their psychological health, their character, and even their financial responsibility. But before they get to these assessments, they have to jump one big hurdle: they must pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This is a battery of up to 10 tests designed to predict how test-takers will perform once they are in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard. It will also determine which jobs they are qualified to train for. They need to get a minimum score on certain sections of this test to be eligible to enlist.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB is a study guide to the ASVB, a test taken by millions. It offers everything test-takers need to know, from the way the test is administered and how each branch of the military uses the scores to taking the pretest and using the results to prepare for the real thing. The book breaks down the battery into its component parts to offer individualized preparation for each.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB includes three full ASVAB tests, plus one full AFQT (Armed Forces Qualifying Test). Authors are Laura Stradley, military coordinator for Bryant & Stratton College, formerly leader/manager for the U.S. Army for eight years and Robin Kavanagh Matthews, adjunct English professor at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, who has taught GMAT, SAT, and SAT II verbal preparation courses.

Readers find out how to maximize their potential in The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB. They get:

  • Test-specific preparation tips to help them get ready for each of the 10 tests that make up the ASVAB.
  • Planning strategies and study tips to help them do their best.
  • A review of basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry concepts.
  • Answers and explanations for each practice test question.
  • Workouts to help them strengthen their communication, math, and technical skills.
  • Simple strategies for building their vocabulary.
  • Expert advice to help them excel on the Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension tests.
  • Guidance on what to do (and what not to do) before and after taking the ASVAB.
  • Tips on interpreting their score report.

Studying for a large exam like the ASVAB is a huge undertaking, especially when test-takers consider the amount of math and science they will be tested on. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB breaks down all the information they need into five main sections; they can pick and choose what they want to read and when.

Part 1, "A Little Intel Goes a Long Way," gives readers lots of information about the different branches of the military, career options, and recruitment. Test-takers also find out how the test is broken down, what to expect, and the best ways to approach both taking the test and studying for it.

Part 2, "Word Up! All About Communication Skills," explains how the ASVAB is divided into two main parts: the Armed Forces Qualifying Tests (AFQT) and the Technical Tests. The AFQT tests readers on verbal communication and math abilities. This part takes them through what they will see on the verbal subtests and gives them plenty of room to practice.

Part 3, "Math as Easy as Hup-2-3," breaks down the two math subtests for readers and gives them a comprehensive review of the type of math they will likely encounter on the ASVAB. There are a lot of practice questions in the chapters, as well as a separate chapter filled with more chances to practice.

Part 4, "Get It Together: Technical Sections," describes all the other subtests, which are considered technical sections. This is not only because they count toward job eligibility, but also because they test readers on general science, physics, electronics, automotive and shop information, and visual logic. Each of the chapters in this part of The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB provides review on the subject at hand, plus questions that will help them get some practice.

Part 5, "After Action Review: Practice Tests," contains three complete practice tests that include both AFQT and job specialty sections. They will also find an additional test that has only math and verbal sections; so they can get some more practice taking the crucial AFQT (this is the part of the test they need to pass to join the military).

Also included are three appendixes that give readers score breakdowns for each branch of service, locations of testing sites throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, and a listing of resources they can check out to help make the most of their test-prep experience.

Handy, thorough, easy to follow, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB gives test-takers everything they need to know and the practice they need.

Professionals & Academics / Science / Reference / Catalogs & Directories

American Men & Women of Science, 28th edition by Gale (American Men and Women of Science, 8 volume series: Gale Cengage)

American Men & Women of Science is a biographical directory of todays leaders in the physical, biological and related sciences.

Its Advisory Board includes James E. Bobick, Former Department Head, Science and Technology Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; K. Lee Lerner, Managing Director LernerMedia and Managing Partner Lerner & Lerner, LLC; and David A. Tyckoson, Associate Dean, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno.

American Men & Women of Science (AMWS), the twenty-eighth edition, was first compiled as American Men of Science by J. McKeen Cattell in 1906. In its 104 year history, AMWS has profiled the careers of more than 300,000 people in various scientific fields. Since the first edition, the number of U.S. and Canadian scientists and the fields they pursue has grown immensely. This edition alone lists 131,011 people in science, 1,000 of which are listed for the first time and approximately 40,000 updated entries. Although the 8-volume series has grown, its stated purpose is the same as when Dr. Cattell first undertook the task of producing a biographical directory of active American scientists.

The biographies of people in science constitute seven of the eight volumes of the current edition of American Men & Women of Science and provide the following information, if available and applicable: birthdate, birthplace, citizenship, name of spouse, name(s) or number of children, field of specialty, education, honorary degrees, professional experience, honors and awards, memberships, research information, addresses, facsimile numbers, and e-mail addresses for each entrant. These sections are preceded by subheads in boldface for easier reference. The eighth volume, the discipline index, organizes entrants by field of activity. This index, adapted from the National Science Foundation's Taxonomy of Degree and Employment Specialties, classifies entrants by 192 subject specialties listed in the table of contents of Volume 8. The index lists entrants by state or province within each subject specialty, allowing the user to easily locate a person in science in a given geographic area. Also included are statistical information and charts showing the distribution of AMWS entrants by age and discipline and an annotated listing of the recipients of the Nobel Prizes, the Crafoord Prize, the Charles Stark Draper Prize, the National Medal of Science, the Fields Medal, the National Medal of Technology, and the Alan T. Waterman Award since the previous edition.

While the scientific fields covered by AMWS are comprehensive, no attempt has been made to include all U.S. and Canadian scientists. Entrants are meant to be limited to those who have made significant contributions in their field. The names of new entrants were submitted for consideration at the editors' request by current entrants and by leaders of academic, government and private research programs and associations. Those included met the following criteria:

  1. Distinguished achievement, by reason of experience, training or accomplishment, including contributions to literature, coupled with continuing activity in scientific work; or
  2. Research activity of high quality in science as evidenced by publication in reputable scientific journals; or, for those whose work cannot be published due to governmental or industrial security, research activity of high quality in science as evidenced by the judgment of the individual's peers; or
  3. Attainment of a position of substantial responsibility requiring scientific training and experience.

American Men & Women of Science profiles living persons in the physical and biological fields, as well as public health scientists, engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists. The information is collected by means of direct communication whenever possible. All entrants received forms for corroboration and updating. The information submitted by entrants is included as completely as possible within the boundaries of editorial and space restrictions. Entrants known to be deceased are noted as such and a reference to the previous edition is given. Entrants who are not citizens of the United States or Canada are included if a significant portion of their work was performed in North America.

American Men & Women of Science remains without peer as a chronicle of scientific endeavor and achievement in the United States and Canada. The volume, following the purpose of the original author, records educational, personal and career data which makes "a contribution to the organization of science in America" and "make men [and women] of science acquainted with one another and with one another's work."

The volume is available in electronic formats.

Religion & Spirituality / Philosophy

War, Peace, and Christianity: Questions and Answers from a Just-War Perspective by J. Daryl Charles and Timothy J. Demy (Crossway Books)

How might those who are responsible for policy propose to deal with the scale of humanitarian need that in our day is massive and frequently the result of unstable regimes? And what moral and political resources might inform our response to such situations situations that fall short of formal war per se but require some measure of interventionary force for humanitarian purposes? Should governments respond and intervene to prevent or retard the effects of genocide, mass murder, enslavement of peoples or people groups, and egregious human-rights violations?

Although spirited and often contentious debates over war and the use of coercive force have characterized the post-Cold War era, a sturdy and philosophically robust reexamination of the rich tradition that qualifies both war and peace is urgently needed in our day.

Authors J. Daryl Charles and Timothy J. Demy in War, Peace, and Christianity speak from a just-war moral perspective to provide Christians with expert and accessible answers to more than one hundred common questions concerning the ethics of war.

Ranging from the theoretical to the practical, the book looks at how the just-war perspective relates to the philosopher, historian, statesman, theologian, combatant, and individual with particular emphases on its historical development and application to contemporary geopolitical challenges. Forgoing ideological extremes, Charles and Demy give attention to the biblical teaching on the subject as they provide moral guidance. Charles is director and senior fellow of the Bryan Institute for Critical Thought and Practice, and Demy is a retired US Navy commander, now associate professor of military ethics at the US Naval War College.

As seen from a wider religious and Judeo-Christian perspective, war entails the death and killing of people who are fashioned in the likeness of their Creator and who therefore possess inherent dignity and incalculable worth. Yet, the very same Weltanschauung affirms that war is sometimes necessary.

Few (if any) world-and-life views eschew war in all circumstances, and no faith tradition is monolithic in its dogma and practice regarding war and peace. Throughout its millennia-long history, the Judeo-Christian moral tradition has justified, rationalized, restrained, and informed war, the conduct of warfare, and the conditions for peace. In various times and by diverse means, it has both upheld and departed from biblical standards, and both ecclesiastical and secular leaders have appealed to its teachings for national guidance and support.

War, Peace, and Christianity is based on the wider social, moral-philosophical, and political assumption that the sturdiest, wisest, and most well-defined position (whether secular or religious in orientation) regarding war and peace is lodged in the mainstream of the classic just-war tradition. According to the book, just-war thinking is best understood as an approach to comparative justice applied to the considerations of war or intervention. Justice in the present life is always approximate. To acknowledge the possibility of error or human fallibility in moral reasoning is not to give up on the ideal of justice. Nor is it to abdicate, as imperfect human beings, the social-political necessity of working for justice on behalf of those who need it. Justice, after all, is the moral tissue that holds civil society together. Philosophically, just-war thinking understands itself as a mediating position between the ideological poles of Realpolitik or militarism on the one hand, and pacifism on the other. Authentic justice is lodged somewhere in the messy middle. That requires of imperfect men and women the resolution to work for justice (albeit imperfectly) in order to preserve the common social good; anything less is morally and socially deficient.

Moreover, just-war moral reasoning is rooted in a certain moral realism about human nature. Such realism influences how we construe power and the use of coercive force. Consequently, it encourages a healthy skepticism and uneasiness about the use and abuse of power without opting out of political reality altogether in favor of utopian fantasies. It understands that moral judgments, and subsequent actions, must proceed in a world of limitations, estrangements, and partial justice, thereby fostering recognition of the provisional nature of all political arrangements. Yet, it recognizes self-defense against and, on occasion, active opposition toward unjust aggressors and agents of oppression, while refusing to legitimate imperialistic crusades and the building of empires in the name of peace.

War, Peace, and Christianity, in its affirmation of the classic just-war tradition, in no way attempts to glorify or promote war. Rather, it seeks to answer common and persistent questions about war and peace from within the moral logic that inheres in the just-war idea. In so doing, the authors engage readers through a question-and-answer format, hoping that such may stimulate them to probe issues of specific social-cultural, historical, and geopolitical concern. The answers are not exhaustive. They are starting points for necessary reflection on topics that are typically complex, usually mirrors converging ideological perspectives and convictions of Charles and Demy, even while one writes from the perspective of moral and political philosophy and the other approaches questions from a professional military vantage point. Both write as theorists as well as practitioners one having done criminal justice research before entering the university classroom full-time, the other continuing to train officers in professional ethics and moral leadership at one of the nation's military war colleges. And both embrace the broader philosophical commitments of the just-war tradition in its classic expression.

When two of the brightest minds around put their insights together on questions about war, peace, and Christianity, you get this remarkable book. This book provides much-needed theoretical and practical wisdom on this sadly perennial issue. In our post-Cold War, terroristic, and morally ambivalent era, it couldnt be more timely. David Naugle, Professor of Philosophy, Dallas Baptist University; author of Worldview: The History of a Concept

The new threats to international peace and security have cried out for moral clarity, for a fresh appraisal of the relevance of the Christian just-war tradition. In War, Peace, and Christianity, J. Daryl Charles and Timothy Demy have answered the call admirably. Unlike most of what passes for biblical ethics, their careful analysis refuses to use the Bible as a proof text for political propaganda. With great intelligence and common sense, the authors have assembled the insights of natural law, historical experience, political realism, and biblical theology. Those who hope to impose utopian schemes for world peace will find no comfort here. But those who seek justice as part of the command to love thy neighbor will find much wisdom to light the way. Joseph Loconte, Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Politics, The King's College, New York

This is an important book. In an era when Christians are tempted to think that pacifism is the biblical and responsible position of a Jesus-follower, this volume makes a reasoned and erudite argument to the contrary. It makes available to readers a wealth of scholarship in a format that is inviting to the nonspecialist. I recommend this book for university courses in political science and ethics, to Sunday school classes on contemporary issues, and to thinking Christians considering one of our most urgent societal debates. Gerald R. McDermott, Professor of Religion, Roanoke College

Warfare as I knew it in the 1980s and 90s has changed forever. My son, an Army Infantry officer on his third deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan, is dead center in the middle of this countrys modern-day warfare international terrorism. In light of the statement there will always be evil men, and thus there will also be the need to restrain evil men, authors Charles and Demy tackle the tough questions: Are we justified in responding to and intervening in this global threat? What is our just-war theory toward rogue groups that target innocent people and our military? Does the United States of America have a moral obligation to militarily respond to global terrorism? Is all use of force just? What is the definition of classic just-war tradition and war against evil and injustice? This in-depth volume will answer these and many other pertinent questions that face our country today. Robert J. Keneally, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), United States Air Force

Charles and Demy have authored a book that carefully and clearly offers answers to some of the most important questions of our time concerning justice, war, and pacifism. Unlike some other Christian authors who approach these and similar questions, Charles and Demy maintain that justice, rather than the mere absence of conflict, should be the working principle that animates both citizen and soldier. In that sense, the authors hearken us back to the nonpacifist and non-realist, indeed Christian, roots of the just-war tradition. Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University; author of Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice

War, Peace, and Christianity is a valuable resource for considering the ethical issues relating to war. The volume answers questions from a just-war perspective, offering thoughtful yet succinct answers. Charles and Demy join a centuries-long conversation bringing enduring resources that imbue their own cultural tradition to bear upon contemporary geopolitical challenges.

Christians will find this book's user-friendly format a helpful starting point for discussion.

And the resources for the politician, the educator, or the thoughtful layperson are urgently needed.

Social Sciences / African American Studies / Womens Studies

African Americans Doing Feminism: Putting Theory into Everyday Practice edited by Aaronette M. White (State University of New York Press)

How might ordinary people apply feminist principles to everyday situations? How do feminist ideas affect the daily behaviors and decisions of those who seek to live out the basic idea that women are as fully human as men?

African Americans Doing Feminism is a collection of essays using concrete examples to illuminate the ways in which African Americans practice feminism on a day-to-day basis. Demonstrating real-life situations of feminism in action, each essay tackles an issue personal finances, parenting, sexual harassment, reproductive freedom, incest, depression and addiction, or romantic relationships and articulates a feminist approach to engaging with the problem or concern. Contributors include African American scholars, artists, activists, and business professionals who offer personal accounts of how they encountered feminist ideas and are using them now as a guide to living. The book is edited by Aaronette M.White, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz.

The essays in African Americans Doing Feminism reveal how feminist principles affect people's perceptions of their ability to change themselves and society, because the personal is not always self-evidently political. As told in the introduction, a person, female or male, whose feminism is practical recognizes that there is an imbalance of power between men and women in our society and acts publicly and privately in ways to correct that imbalance. The personal chapters reveal how feminist principles affect people's perception of their ability to change themselves as well as society.

At the heart of the books autobiographical chapters, the contributors address many questions with examples from their lived experiences: How can people understand what the personal benefits of feminism are, when so much of the information available about it is conveyed through elitist (and often biased and hostile) print and electronic media sources? In what ways can feminists contribute to the rehumanization of society when they themselves have been deeply traumatized by its dehumanizing aspects? As they fight for social justice institutionally, how can they practice it individually? How can they make feminism work in their lives?

The contributions in African Americans Doing Feminism emphasize that they must reflect on their everyday lives; otherwise, they become oblivious to the reality that there may be a huge gap between their expressed feminist ideas and the real values that drive their acts. Experience suggests that if they maintain a long-term commitment to change, if they are truly accountable to a movement that represents their best intentions, their behavior will gradually fall in line with their ideas.

Sometimes the personal is not self-evidently political; therefore, in each chapter the contributors to African Americans Doing Feminism attempt to make the connection between their individual problems, perceptions, and choices and the institutions that have shaped those factors. The contributors believe it is important to make the link between private and public worlds because the difficulty in changing themselves is related, in part, to the difficulty of changing political and economic structures that reinforce dehumanizing behavior that demeans women and men. White says, speaking for the contributors, that the struggle to dismantle the effects of sexism in their personal lives also requires changing the institutional structures that reinforce sexism and the other oppressive systems that intersect with sexism (e.g., racism, heterosexism, and economic inequalities). Together their life stories conclude that dismantling sexism and other forms of oppression necessitates collective action that will bring about changes in the economy, the labor market, social policy and the state, as well as in the domestic sphere, the nature of sexual encounters, and the social construction of racial and sexual difference.

As editor of the volume, given the dynamic nature of language and expressions of feminism, Black feminism, and womanism; White did not tell authors how to define feminist. Instead, she encouraged them to use the definitions that were rooted in their lived experiences. As African American feminists, in particular, they strongly believe that anyone who dismisses the relevance of feminism for African American individuals and institutions is expressing cynicism, rather than a commitment to the social justice concerns of African American women and men. However, African Americans do have something to gain from feminist perspectives that appropriately and critically consider the personal and political interconnections among race, class, sexuality, and other systemic forces.

African Americans Doing Feminism addresses five broad areas. In part 1, "Family Values," contributors write about their decisions to have or not have children and their experiences with feminist parenting. Angela M. W. Thanyachareon, a lawyer, embraces full-time mothering and explains, in chapter 1, why breast-feeding is both a feminist and a human rights issue. Writer and academic Mark Anthony Neal discusses how progressive Black feminist politics expand his notions of fatherhood and Black masculinity (chapter 2). Research psychologist and professor Aaronette M. White, a reproductive-rights activist who was sure she did not want to have children, describes voluntarily having a tubal ligation as a means of practicing what she preached (chapter 3).

Part 2, "Community Building" includes feminists who are involved in both individual and group empowerment activities. Omar Freilla, a Black Latino environmentalist and administrator, recalls how his personal commitment to his feminist partner led to a public commitment and the founding of Black Men for the Eradication of Sexism at Morehouse College (chapter 4). Social worker Mary Anne Adams, an openly proud lesbian, describes how her own coming-out process motivated her to help lesbian and gay students of color obtain scholarships, thereby building a community from former outsiders (chapter 5). Witnessing Black men's violence against Black women helped political science professor Todd C. Shaw speak out against violence on college campuses and come out to women friends who validated his feminist perspectives on gender, sexuality, and relationships (chapter 6). Vera C. Martin offers her rationale for living out her retirement years in an RV park, to fulfill her need for a community of women who embrace being old and lesbian (chapter 7).

Part 3, "Romantic Partnerships," examines intimate involvements that ultimately strengthened the feminist commitments of authors. In chapter 8, writer and activist Pearl Cleage shares the concrete ways in which she and her husband practice feminism, making marriage viable for a progressive African American couple. Health educator and executive William Dotson (chapter 9) tells how a twenty-year off-again-on-again relationship with a Black feminist woman helped him gradually redefine how he understood and lived manhood. Dorothy M. (chapter 10), already a feminist, struggled to stop being both victim and perpetrator in a violent lesbian relationship, finally getting the help she needed to sustain her recovery.

"Healing Practices" are covered in part 4. These chapters detail how feminists learn from painful conditions in their past and become the people they want to be. Professor Carolyn M. West finds solace in the words and actions of Black feminist foremothers while fighting a sexual harassment battle that she ultimately wins (chapter 11). Gary L. Lemons, a professor of English, articulates his vision of Black feminist male recovery as a childhood survivor of and witness to domestic violence (chapter l2). In chapter 13, sociology professor Carolyn E. Gross describes how she developed resilience as a survivor of incest, and how both radical and Black feminist perspectives continue to help her thrive. Psychotherapist Vanessa Jackson (chapter 14) uses both ancient and contemporary woman-centered strategies to heal from depression, countering the oppressive myth of the Black superwoman in her own life and in the lives of her clients.

Part 5, "Career Dilemmas," presents the variety of work-related options feminists choose and the feminist perspectives that help them navigate occupational challenges. In chapter 15, Sister Sojourner Truth explains how feminist and womanist theologies help her stay committed to the revolutionary resistance that lies at the heart of her spiritual vocation and her choice to remain a celibate nun. Deloise (Dee) A. Frisque left the academic world to start her own business, relying on feminist principles to guide her through recurring bouts of self-doubt and fear (chapter 16). When Marian Cannon Dornell felt like a mere token Black student in nursing school, a group of White feminist-oriented women became her allies (chapter 17). Her narrative parallels that of Mary Church Terrell, an early 20th century Black feminist, allowing readers to see how similar pressures can be overcome with comparable support networks. In chapter 18, life coach Anitra L. Nevels describes her vocational journey, in the course of which an epiphany in an emergency room led to her decision to teach women financial literacy. African Americans Doing Feminism makes clear that self-identifying as feminist and making feminist choices are not always easy or comfortable. A certain level of vulnerability, contradiction, redefinition, and uncertainty can be found in the narratives, reflecting the realities of adult feminist identity development and the adoption of doable practices.

The topic of thinking about feminism and feminist theory as functional is very important: students often want to know more about how they can put feminist thinking and politics into action. Having concrete, lived examples of how various people have done so is a real contribution to the field. Vivian M. May, author of Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist: A Critical Introduction

This collection of first-person narratives provides much-needed examples of the concrete ways in which contemporary African Americans, both women and men, live by feminist principles, not just as beliefs or theories but by their actions in concrete situations. It contributes to the continued development of feminist theory in practice, grounding it in the diverse experiences of self-identified African American feminists.

African Americans Doing Feminism challenges those African Americans who think that they must refrain from airing dirty laundry as proof of their loyalty to radical Black politics. In addition, the conversational writing style of most of the authors makes the volume accessible to high school, college, and lay-educated readers alike.

Social Sciences / Sociology

Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Macro, National, and International Perspective by Rudolph Alexander, Jr. (Sage Publications)

Taking a macro or broad perspective, Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) covers human behaviors within the social environment that is, how organizations, institutions, and communities impact individuals and families. Providing students with in-depth coverage of families, groups, and communities, the text encourages students to understand the nature of key macro institutions impact on human behaviors and vice versa. The primary chapters include a section on knowledge and theories followed by the impact on economic and social forces upon these topics. Students develop a knowledge of different macro HBSE theories including community, human conduct, inequality, and group theories.

While author Rudolph Alexander Jr., professor and Director of the BSSW Program at the Ohio State University, follows the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) outlines for macro HBSE courses throughout this text, he provides distinctive topical coverage including:

  • The impact of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
  • Human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide in international communities and their effect on human needs.
  • Theoretical discussion of terrorism and terrorist activities.

As an HBSE textbook, Human Behavior in the Social Environment's primary focus is social institutions, organizations, and communities. Chapter 1 provides a foundation by defining social work, social environment, and human needs. It explains why human needs exist and what causes human needs. Additionally, this chapter discusses human needs in the international communities, particularly those extremely poor communities wracked by considerable human rights violations, as defined by the United Nations. At the end of the chapter is the conceptual framework that Alexander identifies as world systems theory. Overall, the book is grounded in world systems theory as it provides, in part, an understanding of core, semi-periphery, and periphery societies, which one researcher has applied to communities and the extent to which communities are core, semi-periphery, and periphery communities. Chapter 2 discusses human needs in more depth, particularly those caused by poverty, race, gender, natural disasters, violence, crime, ethnic cleansings and genocide, and wars. Natural disasters are discussed as they have a serious impact on human needs and communities. Chapter 3 discusses a number of theories that explain macro HBSE, including social systems theory, community theory, social disorganization theory, routine activity theory, migration theory, inequality theory, feminist theory, power theory and social independence theory, social learning theory, reference group theory, role theory, and Black's theory of law. These theories are loosely grouped as community theories, human conduct theories, inequality theories, and group theories. Chapters 4 and 5 contain discussions of social institutions, including the family, education, religion, medicine and health, the news media, and law. Chapter 6 discusses organizations and their impact, good and bad, on human needs. Chapter 7 discusses urban communities, and Chapter 8 discusses rural communities. Last, Chapter 9 has discussions about several developing countries.

In order to follow CSWE outlines for HBSE, the primary chapters in Human Behavior in the Social Environment, those on organizations, social institutions, and communities, include a section on knowledge and theories, followed by one on the impact of economic and social forces on these topics. In its discussion of families, this textbook includes military families and their needs. Because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, numerous veterans have returned with posttraumatic stress disorder and domestic violence issues. This textbook examines the impact of natural disasters on human and community needs, such as a major flooding in North Dakota and hurricanes in Florida and New Orleans. For instance, mental health professionals have documented the rise in suicides and depression in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Moreover, this textbook discusses human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide in international communities and their impact on human needs. As an illustration, the genocide that occurred in Rwanda devastated families. However, some female survivors in Rwanda have been able to rebuild farms and increase the yield for coffee beans. In fact, these women are better farmers than their male relatives were. Economically and politically, women in Rwanda have benefited from tremendous advances following the genocide that took many of their relatives. Last, Human Behavior in the Social Environment provides a theoretical discussion of terrorism or terrorist activities, void of the emotionality attached to it. Many American movies and television programs intended for entertainment comprise plots involving terrorists who seek to harm Americans, but one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. Social scientists have formulated a theoretical model to predict which countries will have terrorism due to economic and political oppression within these countries.

By reading Human Behavior in the Social Environment, students acquire knowledge and theories involving families, organizations, and communities. Students also acquire an understanding of the economic and political forces impinging on families, organizations, and communities. Equally, students understand the almost reciprocal nature of these macro institutions' impact on human behaviors.

The text is accompanied by robust ancillaries. The Instructor Resources include test questions and PowerPoint slides. The Student Study Site offers quizzes and SAGE journal articles.

Human Behavior in the Social Environment incorporates a distinctive international and national perspective providing students with a solid knowledge of macro HBSE theories and in-depth coverage of families, groups, and communities. The book helps students become aware of how events and occurrences in one system affect other systems, and provides knowledge that may be used for social work practice and intervention and social welfare policy analysis. This text is appropriate for social work students taking a macro Human Behavior in the Social Environment course in the upper-level undergraduate or graduate level.

 

Contents this Issue:

Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun Using Everyday Stuff by MaryAnn F. Kohl (Gryphon House)

One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort (Harvard Business Press)

Everything Is Possible: Life and Business Lessons from a Self-Made Billionaire and the Founder of Slim-Fast by S. Daniel Abraham (Newmarket Press)

Scare a Bear by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello (Sleeping Bear Press)

At Our Table: Favorite Recipes to Share with the People You Love by Shelly Reeves Smith, illustrations by Roxie Kelley (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling by Ted Reader and Mike McColl (Napoleon Gourmet Grills Series: Key Porter Books)

The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House by Melissa Sue Anderson (Globe Pequot Press)

Stars When the Sun Shines: A Memoir by Wayne Stier (Weiser Books)

The Hanging of Susanna Cox: The True Story of Pennsylvania's Most Notorious Infanticide and the Legend That's Kept It Alive by Patricia Earnest Suter, Russell Earnest & Corinne Earnest (Stackpole Books)

The Original Dog Bible: The Definitive Source for All Things Dog, 2nd edition edited by Kristin Mehus-Roe (BowTie Press)

An Ill Wind by David Donachie (John Pearce Series: Allison & Busby)

The Microscripts by Robert Walser, translated from the German and with an introduction by Susan Bernofsky, with an afterword by Walter Benjamin (New Directions)

Austen's Oughts: Judgment after Locke and Shaftesbury by Karen Valihora (University of Delaware Press)

The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth by Eric Pooley (Hyperion)

Badiou: A Philosophy of the New by Ed Pluth (Key Contemporary Thinkers Series: Polity)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the ASVAB by Laura Stradley and Robin Kavanagh (Alpha Books)

American Men & Women of Science, 28th edition by Gale (American Men and Women of Science, 8 volume series: Gale Cengage)

War, Peace, and Christianity: Questions and Answers from a Just-War Perspective by J. Daryl Charles and Timothy J. Demy (Crossway Books)

African Americans Doing Feminism: Putting Theory into Everyday Practice edited by Aaronette M. White (State University of New York Press)

Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Macro, National, and International Perspective by Rudolph Alexander, Jr. (Sage Publications)