We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

February 2011 Issue #142


The Arts of South America, 1492-1850 edited by Donna Pierce (University of Oklahoma Press)

Hellas: Photographs of Modern Greece by William Abranowicz, with an introduction by Louis de Bernieres (Hudson Hills Press)

Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown and Coleen Marlo, unabridged, 6 CDs, running time 7 hours (Texas! Trilogy: Random House Audio)

Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown and Coleen Marlo (hardcover, paperback: Bantam)

Cocaine's Son: A Memoir by Dave Itzkoff (Villard)

Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi (Spiegel & Grau)

Never Lose Again: Become a Top Negotiator by Asking the Right Questions by Steven Babitsky and James J. Mangraviti (Thomas Dunne Books)

Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People by Edward M. Hallowell (Harvard Business Review Press)

Blogging and RSS: A Librarian's Guide, Second Edition by Michael P. Sauers (Information Today, Inc.)

Cooking Down East: Favorite Maine Recipes, 2nd edition by Marjorie Standish, with a new foreword by Melissa Kelly (Best Main Foods Series: Down East Books)

New Mexico's Tasty Traditions: Recollections, Recipes and Photos by Sharon Niederman (New Mexico Magazine)

Energetics in Acupuncture: Five Element Acupuncture Made Easy by Radha Thambirajah (Churchill Livingstone)

Florida: Mapping the Sunshine State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress by Vincent Virga and E. Lynne Wright (Mapping the States through History Series: Globe Perquot Press)

The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century (New Edition) by Michael Denning (Verso)

Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them by Mary Cappello (The New Press)

Contesting Realities: The Public Sphere and Morality in Southern Yemen by Susanne Dahlgren (Gender, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East Series: Syracuse University Press)

Fundamentals of Model Boat Building by John Into and Nancy Price (Schiffer Publishing Ltd)

The Log Home Book written & photographed by Ralph Kylloe (Gibbs Smith)

A Concise History of the Common Law by Theodore F.T. Plucknett (Liberty Fund)

The Latter-day Saint Family Encyclopedia by Christopher Kimball Bigelow and Jonathan Langford, edited by Don L. Brugger (Thunder Bay Press)

Following the Footsteps of the Invisible: The Complete Works of Diadochus of Photike introduction, translation and notes by Cliff Ermatinger (Cistercian Studies Series: Cistercian Publications, Liturgical Press)

Healing Through the Akashic Records: Discovering Your Soul's Perfection [Audiobook, 6 CDs, running time 7 hours] by Linda Howe (Sounds True)

The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human by V. S. Ramachandran (W.W. Norton)

We Are Our Language: An Ethnography of Language Revitalization in a Northern Athabascan Community (First Peoples, New Directions in Indigenous Studies) by Barbra A. Meek (University of Arizona Press)

The Sociology of Childhood, 3rd edition by William A. Corsaro (Sociology for a New Century Series: Pine Forge Press)

Delivered from Evil: True Stories of Ordinary People Who Faced Monstrous Mass Killers and Survived by Ron Franscell (Fair Winds Press)

Language Documentation: Practice and Values edited by Lenore A. Grenoble and N. Louanna Furbee (John Benjamins Publishing Company) 


Arts & Photography / Ancient & Classical / History & Criticism

The Arts of South America, 1492-1850 edited by Donna Pierce (University of Oklahoma Press)

The Mayer Center for Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial Art at the Denver Art Museum held a symposium in 2008 to examine the arts of South America during the culturally complex period of Spanish and Portuguese colonialism in the early modern era. Specialists in the arts and history of Latin America traveled from Venezuela, Spain, Portugal, and the United States to present recent research. The topics ranged from architecture, painting, and sculpture to furniture and the decorative arts.

Edited by Denver Art Museum curator Donna Pierce, The Arts of South America, 1492-1850 presents revised and expanded versions of the papers presented at the symposium. The volume is an interdisciplinary study bringing together a wide variety of new research on an understudied era and area. Pierce is the Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Spanish Colonial Art at the Denver Art Museum.

This volume also brings together an illustrious list of contributors. Thomas B.F. Cummins (Harvard University) opens The Arts of South America, 1492-1850 with a discussion of the reception and reinterpretation of American motifs by European artists in the centuries after contact. Through a detailed analysis of the architecture of Franciscan churches in Brazil, Nuno Senos (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) discerns political alliances and posits a structural timeline. Susan Verdi Webster (College of William and Mary) uses new evidence from Ecuadorian archive documents to recover the names and works of native artists in colonial Quito. Sabine MacCormack (University of Notre Dame) analyzes a series of mural paintings in the church of St. Augustine in colonial Lima and traces their graphic and theological sources.

Luisa Elena Alcal (Universidad Autnoma de Madrid) examines the treatise of one of the earliest documented Indian artists in Peru, Francisco Tito Yupanqui, and his famous carving of the Virgin of Copacabana. Through a detailed analysis of manuscript drawings of furniture and architecture by native artist Guaman Poma of Cuzco, Jorge Rivas Prez (Coleccin Cisneros, Venezuela) assesses their accuracy and relationship to actual examples of the early colonial era. Michael Brown (Denver Art Museum) concludes The Arts of South America, 1492-1850 with an essay on Daniel Casey Stapleton and the collection of Spanish colonial art now housed at the Denver Art Museum, acquired while he was working and traveling in South America at the turn of the century.

This illustrated study showcases new research on the arts of South America. The Arts of South America, 1492-1850 will be an important resource for scholars and enthusiasts of Latin American art and history.

Arts & Photography / Photography / Travel

Hellas: Photographs of Modern Greece by William Abranowicz, with an introduction by Louis de Bernieres (Hudson Hills Press)

Greek light is sharp, enigmatic, and famed. It has inspired many photographers, but perhaps none whose images are as instinctive and powerful as those of William Abranowicz. Abranowicz has photographed Greece for over a decade and his images show all dimensions of Greek life: its stores and cafes, its ancient ruins, its craggy mountains and its villages rising out of brilliant aquamarine waters.

Collectively the photographs in Hellas convey present day Greece. Hellas reveals a Greece far more complex than the country captured in postcards of the brilliant, blue Aegean, and white-stuccoed houses perched on rocky cliffs. It is an appraisal of a land with a rich and chaotic history that is also the source of much of the foundation of western European and American philosophy and culture. A somewhat darker and totally unique take on a familiar subject, Hellas is a book for the sophisticated traveler and Philhellene and lover of classical photography.

Louis de Bernieres contributes an introduction to the volume. According to de Bernieres, almost everything one can say about Greece is only partially true, or is contradicted by its equally valid (and equally partial) opposite. Until recently, Greece looked as though it was evolving rapidly as it adjusted itself to the standards and regulations of the European Union, and was going through a period of economic reform. It appears that this leap into the future was a delusion foisted on the world by a mendacious government. Even so, Greece has changed enormously, and economic crises do always pass. Athens now has a superb underground railway system, and one hardly sees anymore those little black-garbed old widows trudging along the side of the road accompanied by a donkey loaded with sticks.

Most foreigners experience Greece first as holidaymakers. They remember the joyous bouzouki nights put on for tourists in the tavernas, which always end with Zorba's Dance played at extraordinary volume and speed. They remember the first time that they tried retsina, the time they got sunstroke at Knossos, or the time that they first ate aubergine cooked in pints of olive oil. Tourists go home without realizing that in winter the weather can be utterly foul, and that the islands empty out as everyone returns to Athens or Thessaloniki.

The photographs in Hellas show Greece through the eyes of an artist who loves Greece and knows its history. In other words, Abranowicz is not just taking pretty pictures of picturesque things. Ancient Greece is present in the fantastically complex trunk of a very old olive tree. Here is Byzantium in the form of icons and candles, and the skulls of monks in an ossuary. These hark back further too, because ossuaries were a pre-Christian institution. Here is something from Ottoman times a grandfather holds up a picture of a soldier, perhaps a klepht, perhaps his own grandfather, perhaps one who died in the Balkan wars. Here is modern middle-class Greece, with its collections of gewgaws and trinkets, and its photographs of ancestors in their best clothes, who were probably expelled from Turkey after the Asia Minor catastrophe. Here is the Greece of the holidaymakers, with their sarongs, camper vans and mountain bikes.

There are some photographs that capture Greece as it has always been: sheep on a hillside; the soulful profile of a man in a tee-shirt who would otherwise look like everybody's exact idea of an Orthodox priest from any era; four generations of a family that has stayed together; people at a large table talking amid the detritus of a long meal; a belled goat with oddly philosophical eyes.

Hellas is a fine collection of photographs that says a great deal about Greece with greater subtlety than any number of words, honest, at times unsettling, eloquent and incisive. It also provides an excellent introduction to this enigmatic country for those who have never been and are itching to go. People learn to love Greece for many different reasons; in Hellas readers will discern some of Abranowicz' reasons, and no doubt they will be reminded of their own.

Audio / Literature & Fiction / Romance

Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown and Coleen Marlo, unabridged, 6 CDs, running time 7 hours (Texas! Trilogy: Random House Audio)

Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown and Coleen Marlo (hardcover, paperback: Bantam)

In the dramatic finale of #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Browns popular Texas! Trilogy, the headstrong youngest daughter of the powerful Tyler family finally steps out of the large shadows cast by her two older brothers.
In Texas! Sage, this youngest heir to her familys oil fortune has always been the unbridled spitfire in the Tyler clan. Fresh out of the University of Texas with her MBA in hand, shes looking to settle down at last with her safe, predictable upper-crust fianc. But unbeknownst to Sage, her well-ordered future is about to be irrevocably upended.
Headstrong Sage expects an engagement ring for Christmas but gets jilted: she is too flamboyant for her finance's snobbish, straitlaced family. Home to recuperate over the holidays, she is stuck in her kid-sister role, with no definite career plans and no family to compare with her two brothers'.

In Texas! Sage into her life saunters Harlan Boyd, an irritating, rootless drifter recently hired by her brothers for a Tyler Drilling Company project. Harlan is the sort of man Sage should avoid particularly during this period of vulnerability. But theres something irresistible about the laconic cowboy that intrigues her, makes her want to reveal all her secrets to him, and forces her to reconsider the path her life will take. But can she trust a man who shares her maverick spirit and harbors long-held secrets of his own?
When a financial crisis threatens to wreck Tyler Drilling for good, Sage and Harlan channel their simmering chemistry into the immediate task of saving the family business. Working side by side, Sage discovers that a man who seems all wrong for her may prove to be the right choice after all. But forging her own path will take every ounce of savvy and independent spirit in Sage Tylers possession.

This final novel in the Tyler trilogy (begun in Texas! Lucky) is summer-reading fluff; a few interesting plot twists, stereotypical but amusing characters and situations, and the factory-made happy ending. Publishers Weekly

Cowboys, horses and tough-talking blondes duke it out in this feisty conclusion to former television weatherperson Brown's lowbrow TEXAS! Trilogy . Through business crises, a family baby boomlet, and a desperate swing across Texas in which Sage and Harlan try to sell remodeled oil-well pumps to farmers as irrigation pumps Sage tussles with this smooth-talking inappropriate male. Brown manages better with this female protagonist than with the male-animal lobotomy cases in Texas! Chase, but bedroom dialogue that starts with ``Oh, what the hell?'' and culminates in ``Damn, Sage'' ain't for everyone. Kirkus Reviews

A masterful storyteller. USA Today

Crackling with the lightning heat of a Lone Star summer, Texas! Sage is a fitting final chapter for the Tyler family saga.

Biographies & Memoirs / Addiction

Cocaine's Son: A Memoir by Dave Itzkoff (Villard)

In Cocaine's Son New York Times journalist Dave Itzkoff turns a keen eye on his life with the mysterious, maddening, much-loved man of whom he writes, for the first eight years of my life I seem to have believed he was the product of my imagination. Itzkoff is a reporter on the culture desk of the Times and the lead contributor to its popular ArtsBeat blog.

Itzkoffs father was the man who lumbered home at night and spent hours murmuring to his small son about his dreams and hopes for the boys future, and the fears and failures of his own past. He was the hard-nosed New York fur merchant with an unexpectedly emotional soul; a purveyor of well-worn anecdotes and bittersweet life lessons; a trusted ally in childhood revolts against motherly discipline and Hebrew school drudgery; a friend, advisor, and confidant. He was also a junkie. In Cocaine's Son, Itzkoff chronicles his coming of age in the disjointed shadow of his fathers double life struggling to reconcile his love for the garrulous protector and provider, and his loathing for the pitiful addict.
Through his adolescent and teen years Itzkoff is haunted by the spectacle of his fathers drug-fueled depressions and disappearances. In college, Itzkoff plunges into his own seemingly fated bout with substance abuse. And later, an emotional therapy session ends in the intense certainty that he will never overcome the same demons that have driven the older man. But when his father finally gets clean, a long morning after begins for them both. And on a road trip across the country and back into memory, in search of clues and revelations, together they discover that there may be more binding them than ever separated them.

A darker, unfunny companion to Itzkoffs mordantly humorous account of his days at Details and Maxim magazines (Lads, 2004), this memoir explores his agonizing relationship with his father, a near-hopeless cocaine addict whose day job was trading in fur pelts from a group of dilapidated buildings in the shadow of Madison Square Garden. Given the depths of Itzkoffs fathers dysfunction and despair at one point, son had to lead drug-blind dad out of a $20-an-hour flophouse with voice commands and Itzkoffs own angry and confused response to it, its a wonder the author has found gainful employment, by way of Princeton, as a reporter for the New York Times. That might be the tale worth following, especially for readers familiar with Itzkoffs Times writing. In the meantime, this desultory account will fill in the backstory. Alan Moores, Booklist

A remarkable story, beautifully told, sad and painful and funny and hopeful, with a realistic and nuanced message about reconciliation and redemption I couldnt stop reading. David Sheff, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Beautiful Boy
Cocaine's Son is powerful, sad, and funny in the strangest places. Itzkoff recounts what its like to be a son of addiction and a son of America which end up being much the same thing. Rob Sheffield, author of New York Times bestseller Love is a Mixtape and Talking to Girls about Duran Duran
While the real blow in Cocaine's Son is the one Dave Itzkoff delivers to the walls surrounding an emotionally complex and often infuriating relationship with his drug-addicted father its the books message of acceptance and forgiveness that ultimately stays with you. Joshua Lyon, author of Pill Head
Deftly written, with great wit and candor, Cocaine's Son is a welcome beacon of hope for those of us trying to negotiate new relationships with difficult parents. Janice Erlbaum, author of Girlbomb and Have You Found Her?
A memoir can be great for many reasons, but one quality matters more than all the others brutal, uncomfortable honesty. That's what's inside this book. Moreover, Cocaine's Son confronts a brutal, uncomfortable question: How do you forgive someone for their mistakes if those mistakes are the only relationship you have? Dave Itzkoff is a complicated man. After reading this book, I understand why. Chuck Klosterman, author of Eating the Dinosaur

Unsparing and heartbreaking, mordantly funny and powerfully felt, Cocaine's Son, with its sharp wit and penetrating honesty, clears a place for Dave Itzkoff in the forefront of contemporary memoirists.

Business & Investing / Economics

Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi (Spiegel & Grau)

In Griftopia readers find the dramatic story behind the most audacious power grab in American history.
As told in Griftopia, the stunning rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street in the bubble-and-bailout era was the coming-out party for the network of looters who sit at the nexus of American political and economic power. The grifter class made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding has been growing in power for a generation, transferring wealth upward through increasingly complex financial mechanisms and political maneuvers. The crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they have hijacked Americas political and economic life.
Rolling Stones Matt Taibbi in Griftopia unravels the story, digging beyond the headlines to get into the deeper roots and wider implications of the rise of the grifters. He traces the movements origins to the cult of Ayn Rand and her most influential acolyte, Alan Greenspan, and offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals that decided the winners and losers in the government bailouts. He uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world, and he shows how finance dominates politics, from the story of investment bankers auctioning off Americas infrastructure to an inside account of the high-stakes battle for healthcare reform a battle the true reformers lost. Finally, he tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.

Taibbi eviscerates Wall Street for what he considers frauds perpetrated on the American people over the last ten years. Taibbi asserts that the collusion between Wall Street and the White House has effectively turned the United States into a massive casino, in which working Americans are regularly bilked out of their savings and homes while the wealthy are repeatedly rewarded for their graft. It's an important and worthy read, but not for the Randian disciple or Goldman-Sachs alum. Publishers Weekly, starred review

Taibbi saves a good deal of venom for former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, arguing that Greenspans philosophy of easy cash, limited government oversight of markets, and bailing out too big to fail financial institutions all fueled the recent economic meltdown. And Taibbi profiles a recently passed health-care bill severely compromised by an all-powerful insurance lobby. As critical as he is of the process a process not likely to get fixed any time soon he doesnt seem to carry an agenda; instead, like any good investigative reporter, he mostly follows his nose. Alan Moores, Booklist, starred review

Taibbi in Griftopia combines deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create this account of the ongoing political and financial crisis in America. The book is the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing, and scathingly funny account yet written of the political and financial crisis, essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of politics and finance in this country, and the profound consequences for us all.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Never Lose Again: Become a Top Negotiator by Asking the Right Questions by Steven Babitsky and James J. Mangraviti (Thomas Dunne Books)

To become an exceptional negotiator requires years of experience. But most people can easily learn proven negotiating techniques if someone shows them what to do.

Never Lose Again reveals a set of fifty questions that anyone can use to become a better negotiator. The questions apply to all types of negotiation situations. Each question is designed to put readers in the best position possible, helping them avoid tricks, break deadlocks, and find hidden deals in all types of negotiations.

The book was written by Steven Babitsky, president and founder of the training firm SEAK, Inc., formerly a personal injury trial attorney for twenty years and managing partner of the firm Kistin, Babitsky, Latimer & Beitman and James J. Mangraviti Jr., a principal of SEAK, formerly a practicing litigator in Boston. Babitsky and Mangraviti say that the concept for Never Lose Again evolved out of their training of thousands of professionals across the US. During this training they learned two main things:

  • Many highly intelligent people are not good negotiators.
  • People who are good negotiators do much better financially, professionally, and have a better lifestyle.

The essence of Never Lose Again is negotiation advice that is quick to learn and effective since readers can easily apply the advice by asking the suggested questions in the appropriate negotiation scenario. The questions apply to most negotiation situations, from buying a home or an automobile, to business transactions of all kinds, and even to getting better rates from phone and cable companies. Often, more than one of the questions can be used over the course of a negotiation.

Each question is set out in separate two- to three-page chapters. In addition, each chapter contains a quick summary lesson. Sample questions include:

#3: What is your time frame for wrapping up this negotiation?

#18: What alternatives do you have?

#26: How much flexibility do you have in the price?

#43: Does my proposal work for you?

A section of each chapter contains possible responses in case readers are asked the question during the course of a negotiation. The points Babitsky and Mangraviti would like readers to take from the sample answers are as follows. First, if they are well prepared, even very difficult questions can often have effective answers sometimes extremely effective answers. Second, there is not a perfect answer to every negotiation question; sometimes there's not even a good answer to a tough question. Third, they almost always have the option of either dodging the question or just answering a different question. This last point is often one of the hardest to practice by new negotiators who somehow think it rude or inappropriate not to cooperate with the other party. Sample answers also teach readers about the negotiating process in general. When they provide the analysis for why a certain response may be a good one, they also provide a good deal of commentary on negotiation strategy, tactics, and concepts. This additional commentary, in the context of specific questions and answers, is an easy way to improve readers overall appreciation of the complex and dynamic subtleties and nuances of a negotiation.

The questions in Never Lose Again are organized loosely into ten parts, and included a brief introduction to each part. The purpose of these introductions is to provide concise negotiating theory and help readers to connect the dots.

A clear-eyed, no-nonsense approach to navigating negotiations. Babitsky and Mangraviti distill Machiavelli into a negotiation algorithm. Robert Burton, author of On Being Certain

Steve Babitsky and Jim Mangraviti are two people I hope I never have to negotiate with. This book puts you in the driver's seat with them in your corner exactly where the other guy doesn't want them. Zac Bissonnette, author of Debt-Free U

Steve Babitskys and Jim Mangravitis work offers a practical Rosetta stone for mutually beneficial negotiation. Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn, author of Medical Choices, Medical Chances

Never Lose Again is a refreshing take on negotiation. By demonstrating how to ask key questions at the right time, Babitsky and Mangraviti can turn even the most reluctant negotiator into a confident winner! Highly recommended for novice negotiators and even more accomplished ones who want to gain an extra edge. Diane K. Danielson, founder, Downtown Women's Club

Never Lose Again may be the most practical book on negotiating ever written. The book empowers readers to improve their negotiation skills, revealing key insights they need to become skilled negotiators. It distills those ideas into a set of simple but remarkably effective questions that anyone can use immediately. By learning to use these questions, readers can start thinking like expert negotiators and make better deals in both their professional and personal lives.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People by Edward M. Hallowell (Harvard Business Review Press)

Great managers serve others; they develop the shine in their people.

In Shine, bestselling author and ADD expert Edward Hallowell draws on brain science, performance research, and his own experience helping people maximize their potential to present a proven process for getting the best from their people.

The central question for all managers in these pressure-packed, confusing, unsettled times is how to draw the most from their talent. Finding the shine in someone, helping all ones people perform at their highest levels, isn't rocket science. It is brain science, but it has yet to be codified into a simple and reliable process that all managers can use. In Shine, Hallowell formulates such a code, the Cycle of Excellence. It is a process that he has created and honed over the past twenty-five years as a doctor, practicing psychiatrist, author, consultant, instructor at the Harvard Medical School and director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health. He explains peak performance and provides managers with a practical plan to bring the best from the people who work for them.

Rather than touting a single key idea for peak performance, the process he describes in Shine incorporates many ideas while drawing upon the latest research from diverse disciplines. The five steps in the Cycle of Excellence, and what they teach readers, are:

  1. Select: How to put people into the right jobs so that their brains light up.
  2. Connect: How to overcome the potent forces that disconnect people in the workplace both from each other and from the mission of the organization, and how to restore the force of positive connection which is the most powerful fuel for peak performance.
  3. Play: Why play imaginative engagement catalyzes advanced work, and how managers can help people tap into this phenomenally productive yet undervalued activity of the mind.
  4. Grapple and grow: How managers can create conditions where people want to work hard, and why making progress at a task that is challenging and important turns ordinary performers into superstars.
  5. Shine: Why doing well shining feels so good, why giving recognition and noticing when a person shines is so critical, and why a culture that helps people shine inevitably becomes a culture of self-perpetuating excellence.

Each step is critical in its own right and translates into actions a manager or worker can do. Each step builds upon the other. The most common mistake managers make is to jump to step 4 and ask people to work harder; without first having created the conditions that will lead workers to want to work harder. There is no point in challenging employees to exceed their personal best if they haven't first been placed in the right job, found a safe and connected atmosphere within which to work, and been given a chance to imaginatively engage and contribute to the design of the task. This plan works because it brings together the empirical evidence on peak performance into one integrated series of steps that create the ideal conditions, the perfect tension in the violin string, for managers to propel their people to excellence.

According to Shine, a key to working the Cycle of Excellence is making the critical step of connection. When that is threatened, all the other steps go awry. Unless managers realize how crucial it is to create an emotionally stable, connected environment in the midst of the maelstrom of modern business life, they will and do sacrifice performance in the name of speed, cost cutting, efficiency, and what they perceive to be necessity. In such a context, deep thought disappears, only to be replaced by decisions based on fear. Frazzled becomes the order of the day.

As global competition and economic stress create problems for businesses of all kinds everywhere, managers who don't have a plan to stabilize operations will be compelled to revert to crisis mode, putting out fires all day, just hoping to survive. The managers who do best develop a method that enables their people to do their work without toxic stress. Most of the time, such plans and methods languish in a book on the shelf, and never get put into action. The method that actually gets used is some simple version of the carrot-and-stick approach: do this and you'll get that. Work hard or else.

Shine offers an alternative to panic or serial crisis management. Readers learn a method they can set in motion anywhere to bring out the best in any person, no matter what is going on in the wider world. Once readers understand the Cycle of Excellence as well as the ways it can break down, they will have a more effective plan for bringing out the best in people than simply wielding the fear of job loss or exhorting them to try harder. They will be able to creatively manage for growth, rather than manage for mere survival. They will know how to capture the positive energy and not let it blow them or their organization away.

With Shine, Hallowell gives managers at every level an exciting new way to think about leading their people. Its stories delight, and its message enlightens. An important book. Suzy Welch, Business journalist and Coauthor of the international bestseller Winning

In his newest book, Hallowell masterfully reinforces the positive reactions that can be created when you take the time to compassionately connect with people around you. His insightful and highly practical lessons are universal whether you are beginning your career, midway through, or sitting in the corner office. This is a must-read. Howard J. Breen, Former Chairman and CEO, MacLaren McCann WorldGroup and author, A Page from a CEO's Diary

If you read Shine, it will make your life and everyone with whom you interact shine as well. It's a must-read for anyone who cares about bringing out the best in people. Ken Blanchard, coauthor, The One-Minute Manager and numerous other books

Information overload, busywork, burnout: It's easy to feel like a bike chain that's jumped the sprockets. Hallowell's five steps to a better work environment can get you and your people back in gear and on the road to peak performance. Daniel H. Pink, author, A Whole New Mind and Drive

Brimming with Hallowells trademark candor and warmth, Shine is a vital new resource for all managers seeking to inspire excellence in their teams.

Computers & Internet / Business & Culture / Library & Information Science

Blogging and RSS: A Librarian's Guide, Second Edition by Michael P. Sauers (Information Today, Inc.)

In this fully updated second edition of his popular 2006 book, author, part-time reference librarian for the Arapahoe County Library District, internet trainer and blogger Michael P. Sauers shows how blogging and RSS (XML-based language for syndicating content online) technology can be easily and successfully used by libraries and librarians. Sauers in Blogging and RSS covers new tools and services, introduces numerous useful library blogs and bloggers, and includes a new chapter on microblogging with Twitter. Sauers provides a wealth of useful examples and insights from librarian bloggers and easy-to-follow instructions for creating, publishing, and syndicating a blog using free web-based services, software, RSS feeds, and aggregators.

Blogging and RSS is designed to give readers a baseline from which to start taking advantage of blogging and RSS technologies. The book discusses history and theory but its central purpose is to give readers practical advice on how to get started at little or no cost. This book is for those who want to be able to read blogs and RSS feeds tomorrow, and to have their own blog up and running the next day.

In Blogging and RSS:

Chapter 1 takes a look at what blogs are, where they came from, and the significance of the blogging phenomenon. In Chapter 2 readers learn about some of the most significant blogs in the library world today and about dozens of other blogs of potential interest to library professionals. In Chapter 3 readers meet the people behind some of the blogs.

Chapter 4 discusses creating that first blog and various blog-creation services and software packages, but in the interest of cost and ease of use, the focus is on This free web service allows readers to have their own blog up and running in less than five minutes. Once the blog is live, Sauers walks readers through the options available for customizing it.

Chapter 5 moves on to RSS, starting with an introduction to RSS, explaining what it is, where it came from, and what it's good for. This chapter also demonstrates XML code. Chapter 6 applies RSS to life as a librarian, exploring the world of RSS aggregators specifically Google Reader. Aggregators are websites or software solutions that let readers take advantage of RSS feeds in order to get all their information in one location.

Chapter 7 is a directory of RSS feeds readers might consider subscribing to, although not all of them are directly LIS-related. Some might be useful in reference situations while others simply illustrate the possibilities of the technology. Chapter 8 shows readers how to create their own RSS feeds.

Lastly, and new to this edition of Blogging and RSS, Chapter 9 is an introduction to microblogging, using Twitter. If readers haven't used Twitter already, this chapter will get them up and running quickly and give them an overview of how to use it to both gather and distribute information.

A helpful guide on not only starting your own blog but finding blogs that will help you stay current in this field. Nicole C. Engard, blogger, What I Learned Today

Highly readable and packed full of excellent examples. Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems

Interesting and easily understood.... equally useful for public, special, and academic librarians just beginning their investigations into blogging. Library Journal

The stress normally associated with tedious hours of trial and error techniques will not befall the person that wields a practical handbook such as this one. Library Review

Practical and straightforward, Blogging and RSS is a must-read for librarians, library managers, administrators, tech staff, and anyone interested in utilizing blogs and RSS in a library setting.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Cooking Down East: Favorite Maine Recipes, 2nd edition by Marjorie Standish, with a new foreword by Melissa Kelly (Best Main Foods Series: Down East Books)

Yes, a goodly heritage is ours, and we still share the joy of passing recipes along from one generation to another. It is being done today just as always, perhaps a little more carefully. The recipes in Cooking Down East have definite amounts and specific temperatures and times especially helpful for young cooks.

The choosing of these recipes has been done with care, for I believe others will prize them as I do, not only for their description of the good, plain, and nourishing food that is traditional in Maine, but also because they represent life in the Pine Tree State. Marjorie Standish, from the first edition

Cooking Down East, first edition, is the bestselling Maine cookbook ever: More than 100,000 copies have been sold since it was originally published in 1969.

Kicking off the Best Maine Food series is this revamped edition of a true Maine classic with a new foreword and recipes by Primos James Beard Award-winning chef Melissa Kelly. In these redesigned pages, longtime food columnist Marjorie Standish tells readers how to prepare everything from finnan haddie to dilly green tomatoes to blueberry buckle.

Cooking Down East, second edition features more than 350 recipes filled with new England cooking traditions and Maine ingredients. Kelly has added more than 15 new recipes. She encourages readers to seek out seasonal, fresh ingredients and gives helpful tips on adapting some of Standish's classic recipes for today's tastes.

Standish wrote the Cooking Down East column for the Maine Sunday Telegram for twenty-five years, and was known as the first lady of Maine cooking. She lived in Augusta and even in her eighties she was still meeting with her fans and drawing out-the-door-and-around-the-block crowds.

Cooking Down East is a collection of recipes, some fun and retro (Nuts and Bolts, page 244) some simple and delicious (Oyster Stew, page 14), and a few strange (Hot Dogs over Sterno, page 237). Reading Standish's cookbook is like opening a treasure chest, with Kelly dusting off a few of the recipes and giving them a twenty-first-century spin.

Thank you Marjorie and to all of the Mainers who inspired her: Happy cooking! Melissa Kelly, June, 2010

Melissa Kelly is arguably the best chef in Maine. Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations

Cooking Down East is a beautiful presentation of a tried and true Maine classic and the kick-off of a promising new series. Standish teaches readers the basics and brings to readers great food, good ideas, and a passion for Maine ingredients. No Maine kitchen is complete without this regional classic, and Kelly's expertise adds a modern twist, making it even more essential for the contemporary Maine kitchen.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Regional / Travel

New Mexico's Tasty Traditions: Recollections, Recipes and Photos by Sharon Niederman (New Mexico Magazine)

New Mexico's Tasty Traditions takes readers on an armchair tour of cafes, ranches, festivals, home kitchens and farmers markets through the eyes of veteran food-travel writer and photographer, Sharon Niederman.

Readers are invited to:

  • Come along to the cakewalk at the Colfax County Fair.
  • Forage for chokecherries along the Cimarrn River.
  • Cook Dutch-oven stew and biscuits with ranch hands on the open range.
  • Make enchiladas with Chimay chile and bake oven bread in a Pueblo horno.
  • Sample tasty pastries in Pie Town and spice up their lives at the Hatch Chile Festival.
  • Learn to prepare latkes, potica bread and other ethnic specialties that make New Mexico cuisine so diverse.

New Mexico's Tasty Traditions contains recollections, recipes and photos. The photographs and tales showcase the people and places that reveal the state's varied and venerable culinary roots.

Niederman forages for chokecherries along the Cimarrn River, cooks Dutch-oven stew and biscuits with ranch hands on the open range, bakes hearty oven bread in a Pueblo horno and makes scrumptious enchiladas with Chimay chile. She samples tasty pastries in Pie Town, enjoys the cakewalk at the Colfax County Fair, spices up her life at the Hatch Chile Festival and discovers urbanites who have converted their yards into productive gardens.

Recipes peppered throughout the book tempt readers to create their own tasty traditions. They offer tips on preparing New Mexico fare, comfort foods and ethnic specialties such as potica bread and potato latees.

Useful, colorful, and lively, New Mexico's Tasty Traditions is a gift readers can treasure for their own kitchen bookshelves or for anyone they know who loves New Mexico. Niederman recounts her adventures with humor, charm and exuberance.

This guide to the state's diverse flavors and food traditions is the latest book from New Mexico Magazine, a division of the New Mexico Tourism Department.

Health, Mind & Body / Alternative Medicine

Energetics in Acupuncture: Five Element Acupuncture Made Easy by Radha Thambirajah (Churchill Livingstone)

Energetics is an area of growing interest and importance in acupuncture. Acupuncture treatment aims to correct the imbalance of energy, or qi; energetics is a method of diagnosing which aspects of qi are out of balance. One symptom can be caused by many different imbalances of organs and it is essential for the therapist to correctly diagnose the problem before commencing treatment.

Energetics in Acupuncture provides a diagnostic method of identifying which aspects of the qi are out of balance and therefore what acupuncture treatment is required. Once the correct diagnosis is made, the relevant points can be treated with appropriate techniques.

Features of Energetics in Acupuncture include:

  • Treatments are described for over 80 different diseases.
  • Innovative visual 'towers' show what an energy imbalance looks like.
  • Case studies illustrate imbalanced states.

'Medical acupuncture' as practiced in the West bears little resemblance to the method of acupuncture envisaged by its Chinese forefathers apart from using needle insertion. Compared with other forms of treatment, such as allopathic medicine or homeopathy, the differences and the lack of uniformity is huge indeed. Author Radha Thambirajah is a private practitioner and visiting lecturer at Sutton Coldfield, UK. Her approach since the inception of her practice of acupuncture has been that of 'energy balancing' choosing points that would cause energy flow between organs in order to balance their quality and quantity.

In the West, many practitioners use acupuncture together with Chinese herbal medicines.

But acupuncture is much more than a symptomatic treatment. It can be used with precision and accuracy so much so that should a treatment fail or the symptoms worsen, one could work backwards and revise the diagnosis that has been made before. This means that the response to our energy-balancing treatment provides the feedback as to whether the diagnosis was correct or incorrect. If it was incorrect, practitioners can take the necessary action to correct it. This aspect of acupuncture has not so far received the attention it deserves, a point emphasized in Energetics in Acupuncture.

Thambirajah believes that acupuncture should be an individualized form of treatment. The principles of 'energy balancing' have to be applied to the unique characteristics of the patient, which include his or her clinical presentation, appearance, associated symptoms, diagnosis through clinical examination, emotional character and general likes and dislikes. Local and Distal points, Symptomatic points and point prescriptions for conditions diagnosed by Western medical practice all have their place with the main aim being to improve the general well-being of the patient.

During consultation, acupuncturists use traditional approaches such as observation, history taking and palpation to make a diagnosis of the energy imbalance in different areas and organ systems in the patient. A disease is only an imbalance in a meridian or in an organ, or multiple imbalances that are interrelated to each other. Once the diagnosis is made, practitioners have at their disposal a number of methods of establishing a balance in one or many of these meridians or organs. If this change has to come from within the patient, it is important to change some aspects of diet, exercise, massage, lifestyle and environment, or administer herbal remedies. To believe that needles by themselves are sufficient to bring about a lasting clinical change is missing the idea of harmonizing energies both within the body and between the body and its surroundings.

In order to treat imbalanced states of energy effectively and produce long-lasting results, it is necessary to educate patients and motivate them to participate in their treatment. The patient should take responsibility for his/her energy imbalanced states (or diseases) and work together with the doctor or therapist to correct these. If this does not happen, the imbalance may resolve but not last in the long term.

Energetics in Acupuncture has three parts: theory, energy-balancing laws, and diseases: symptoms and treatment. The theory deals with Yin and Yang and their clinical concepts, associations, imbalanced states, manifestations of these states and rules for balancing. Yin and Yang affect the five stages of our lives. The terms Blood, energy and body fluid are introduced, and the various climatic pathogenic factors that attack the body from the exterior are discussed, as well as how they can move towards the interior (explaining why we refer to certain illness states as damp or wind etc.).

The theory of the Five Elements, which is the most important part of Energetics in Acupuncture, forms nearly half the book. All common imbalanced states are described with four pictures of imbalance Blood, Yin, Yang and Qi.

The energy-balancing laws explain the superficial and the deep energy circulation in the body. The meridian system is explained with its exterior and interior connection and uses, the Organ Clock, the relationship of the Five Elements with the Mother-Son Cycle and the Over-Powering and the Counter-Powering Cycle. The eight extra meridians and their uses are also covered. This part of Energetics in Acupuncture also deals with treatment and diagnosis.

All diagnostic methods including history taking, observation, tongue and pulse diagnosis and making a diagnosis on the Five Element diagram are explained. Needling and needle sensation, needling techniques and all the extraordinary therapies moxibustion, cupping, plum-blossom-tapping, electrical stimulation of needles and bleeding are also covered.

The diseases and their symptoms, differential diagnoses and treatment are included throughout the chapters on the Five Elements, and at the end of each of these chapters. Over 80 common diseases and symptoms are discussed and treatment is given for different causes of the same symptom. Thambirajah explains the use of nearly every point in the prescriptions. Thambirajah uses clinical illustrations and examples all through Energetics in Acupuncture. Each case history and treatment is illustrated with the location of the points used, so that readers do not have to look for these anywhere else.

Dr Thambirajah has finally written the bible of Five Elements Theory and Syndromes. It is a true gain for the TCM practitioner: clear text, descriptive graphics, well arranged, easily understandable, nevertheless comprehensive for the treatment of disease from the Chinese and Western points of view. Giving numerous practical examples, she shares with us the treasures of her experience. Dagmar Ehling DOM, author of The Chinese Herbalist's Handbook; international teacher, Durham, North Carolina

Radha Thambirajah has always managed to divide the world into five, the phases, and at the same time into two her yin/yang columns are legendary. This means she follows the classical tradition of pre-TCM times. Radha's practical knowledge and her therapeutic experience of decades is a living treasure that has finally been discovered. I am very happy that this book has been published at just the right moment. May its influence be widely spread. Claudia Focks, author of Atlas of Acupuncture; physician, Rottweil, Germany

I started learning acupuncture in 1978, during my medicine studies, and in 1986. I was still looking for a good and clear professor. Then I found one. Her way of teaching Chinese medicine is clear and practical. But most importantly, this way of treatment applied in patients works quickly and efficiently. I hope Radha's book helps people to enjoy and love Chinese medicine. Isabel Giralt, President of the Barcelona Medical Acupuncture section affiliated to the Medical College, Barcelona, Spain

Energetics in Acupuncture provides a straightforward diagnostic method of identifying which aspects of qi are out of balance and requiring acupuncture treatment. With its logical approach to diagnosis, it also provides relevant lines of questioning and reasoning. The substantial volume makes a good patient bedside book for the practice of acupuncture.

History / Americas / Cartography / Reference

Florida: Mapping the Sunshine State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress by Vincent Virga and E. Lynne Wright (Mapping the States through History Series: Globe Perquot Press)

A map is an image. It makes the world more real for us and uses signs to create an essential sense of place in our imagination.... Like the movies, maps helped create our national identity ... and this encyclopedic series of books aims to make manifest the changing social order that invented the United States, which is why it embraces all fifty states. from the Foreword by Vincent Virga

There is not much, geographically speaking, that residents of the Florida peninsula don't have to brag about not with their sizable shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico; their bays and lagoons; and their 12,000 miles of rivers and thousands of lakes, springs, and beaches. Accidentally discovered by Ponce de Leon in 1513, Florida has the longest documented history of any state in the United States, and this history shaped and reshaped by Spain, England, France, and finally, the United States is bound up intimately with its geography.

Florida provides a fascinating journey into the state's past through over fifty rare, historical, detailed maps from the Library of Congress. Edited and with a foreword by Vincent Virga, it also includes compelling historical essays by E. Lynne Wright. Together, these weave the cartographic record into a drama of settlement and change. Virga, the coauthor of Eyes of the Nation and the author of Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations, has been called America's foremost picture editor. Co-author Wright is the author of numerous non-fiction articles, essays, books and book reviews.

Mapping States Through History Series is the first series to assemble in full color, state-by-state an in-depth collection of rare, historically significant maps of the cities, states, counties, towns, and events that make up each of America's fifty states. This series, produced from the archives of the Library of Congress and edited by Virga, offer a glimpse into the history of the United States through rare historical full-color maps, narrative captions, and short essays. Each map becomes a virtual time machine that tells readers much about the places we live in today.

According to Virga in Florida, Florida's ancient bedrock has revealed that the Sunshine State was once part of northwest Africa. Geologists call the Florida Plateau exotic terrain. Virgas northern-bred imagination equates Florida with tropical flora and fauna, Technicolor warmth, and an eternally enticing Atlantic coastline where, during the last ice age, myriad creatures, including saber-toothed cats, migrated to escape the frigid north. Spain's Ponce de Leon encounters two hundred thousand Native Americans in 1513, and the saga continues under the stewardship of England and France before self-realization is achieved and Florida becomes a bastion of many well-earned American dreams.

Florida provides a stirring trip through the history of the Sunshine State illustrated by gloriously detailed maps. The book includes informative and enlightening captions about each map's origins and its place in the evolution of state history.

History / Americas / US / Culture Studies

The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century (New Edition) by Michael Denning (Verso)

A panoramic history of the culture of Depression-era America and the Popular Front, The Cultural Front, written by Michael Denning who teaches American Studies at Yale University, charts the extraordinary upsurge of cultural activity and theory in America that began during the Great Depression. Spawned by the Popular Front of the Communist Party, it grew to encompass virtually every aspect of high and popular art in the U.S., instigating one of the most culturally rich and exciting periods in American history.

Three groups the young plebeians, the radical moderns, and the anti-fascist migrs came together in New York in 1935 in the cultural front, this extraordinary flowering of arts, entertainment, and thought. At the end of the century, what is left? For most critics and historians of American culture, not much.

"To this day," one of our finest historians has written, "when I hear the words Pop Front I think of atrocious art." The post-war Red scare and anti-communist purge combined with the Cold War to eradicate much of the radical culture of the Popular Front. The thirties became an icon, the brief moment when politics captured the arts, when writers went left, Hollywood turned Red, and painters, musicians, and photographers were social-minded. The left turn of the depression is usually seen as a detour if not a wrong turn. But were the 1930s merely a Red decade or were they, as Michael Gold claimed, a second American Renaissance?

In The Cultural Front Denning hopes to persuade readers that the cultural front reshaped American culture. Just as the radical movements of abolition, utopian socialism, and women's rights sparked the antebellum American Renaissance, so the communisms of the depression triggered a deep and lasting transformation of American modernism and mass culture, what he calls the laboring of American culture.

What is the laboring of American culture? What does it mean to labor a culture? In The Cultural Front, Denning uses the phrase to sum up a number of interrelated arguments, and he outlines those meanings and those arguments. First, the laboring of American culture refers to the pervasive use of labor and its synonyms in the rhetoric of the period. Second, it refers to what a more technical usage would call the proletarianization of American culture, the increased influence on and participation of working-class Americans in the world of culture and the arts. Third, the laboring of American culture refers to the new visibility of the labor of cultural production. Fourth, the phrase reminds us that the culture and politics of the Popular Front were not simply New Deal liberalism and populism. It was a social democratic culture, a culture of industrial democracy and industrial unionism. Finally, the laboring of American culture connotes a birthing of a new American culture, a second American Renaissance. To labor is to plod, to be hampered, to pitch and roll in a storm. In all these senses, the cultural front was a laboring, an incomplete and unfinished struggle to rework American culture, with hesitations, pauses, defeats, and failures.

The Cultural Front is a history of the cultural front and an interpretation of the artistic and intellectual formations it fostered. Denning begins with the question that has long dominated the cultural history of the depression: Why did the left have a powerful, indeed an unprecedented, impact on US culture in the 1930s?

The broad social movement known as the Popular Front was the ground on which the workers theaters, proletarian literary magazines, and film industry unions stood: it was a radical social-democratic movement forged around anti-fascism, anti-lynching, and the industrial unionism of the CIO. The Popular Front emerged out of the crisis of 1929, and it remained the central popular democratic movement over the following three decades, the years he calls the age of the CIO. Denning takes issue with most accounts of the Popular Front, sympathetic or hostile, which have seen it through a core-periphery model, in which the core was the Communist Party and the periphery was the surrounding circles of fellow travelers with greater or lesser degrees of affiliation to the Party. Party membership was not that central; many people passed through the Party at different times, and the large majority of Popular Front radicals were never members. Indeed, many figures thought of themselves as generic communists, using the term with a small c, the way earlier and later generations thought of themselves as generic socialists, feminists, or radicals.

Thus, in part one of The Cultural Front, "The Left and American Culture," Denning sketches an alternative view of the Popular Front, seeing it as a historical bloc: he begins with its base in the industrial unions of the CIO, then move to its political superstructures, and finally turn to its cultural formations. He then outlines the history of the Popular Front, its rise and fall through the age of the CIO. He concludes part one by arguing that the modern cultural apparatus not only found its audience among the ethnic working classes of the modem metropolis, but recruited its artists and intellectuals from those urban working classes. With the emergence of the Popular Front social movement, these hacks and stars of the cultural apparatus became the moving spirits of the cultural front.

Part two, "Anatomy of the Cultural Front," is an overview of the cultural politics and aesthetic ideologies of the cultural front. The cultural front referred both to the cultural industries and apparatuses a front or terrain of cultural struggle and to the alliance of radical artists and intellectuals who made up the cultural part of the Popular Front.

The notion of the cultural front itself was an attempt to theorize the relation of culture to politics. Chapter two, "Marching on May Day," explores the ways the cultural front inflected the movement culture of the CIO, the state cultural institutions of the New Deal order, and the studios of the culture industry. But if these allegiances and affiliations represent the social consciousness of the cultural front, the works produced by the communist artists and intellectuals also bear the traces of a political unconscious. Chapter three, "Ballads for Americans," looks at the popular aesthetics and ideologies that informed the cultural front, their revolutionary symbolisms, ethnic Americanisms, and labor feminisms.

Part three, "Formations of the Cultural Front," takes up the exploration and specification of distinguishable cultural formations. Each of the chapters of part three explores an artistic form that was also a social location: the narrative of the decline and fall of the Lincoln republic in John Dos Passos's U.S.A.; the literary class war of the proletarian literature movement; the genre of ghetto or tenement pastorals that came to dominate American literature through the works of novelists like Richard Wright and Tillie Olsen; the migrant narratives of California's factories in the fields composed by Woody Guthrie, Carlos Bulosan, and Ernesto Galarza; the experiments in musical theater represented by Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock, the Labor Stage's Pins and Needles, and Duke Ellington's Jump for Joy; the cabaret blues of Billie Holiday and Josh White; the theater, radio, and film of Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre; the strikes and cartoons of Disney's radical animators; and the encounter between American culture and socialist theory that reshaped American thought in the works of figures like Kenneth Burke, Carey McWilliams, and Elizabeth Hawes.

Although the Popular Front was defeated by the forces of the American Century, and the thirties seemed to be over by 1948, the works of the cultural front had a profound impact on American culture, informing the life work of two generations of artists and intellectuals. For the first time in the history of the United States, a working-class culture had made a significant imprint on the dominant cultural institutions. Both high culture and mass culture took on a distinctly plebeian accent. Black and ethnic writers, descendants of the proletarian avant-garde, dominated twentieth-century American literature. Vernacular musics like jazz, blues, and country resonated around the world. Gangster movies and films noir had founded the American look in film. According to The Cultural Front, the cultural front had begun a laboring of American culture.

Although the early portions of the book, which establish the historical and social contexts of the Popular Front, are interesting, readers may likely find most fascinating the later chapters on some of the artists who took part in the movement, including Billie Holiday, who first began singing Strange Fruit at a left-wing cabaret, Duke Ellington, and John Dos Passos. His essay on the antifascist crusading of Orson Welles "the American Brecht, the single most important Popular Front artist in theater, radio, and film" is particularly insightful. Like Ann Douglas's Terrible Honesty, The Cultural Front is a panoramic history that brings vibrancy and passion to the telling of American culture. Ron Hogan,

The breadth of his study is stunning, ranging from the compositional innovations of Duke Ellington and blues popularizations of Josh White to the Marxist critical theorizing of Kenneth Burke, from Orson Welles's Shakespeare adaptations to Tillie Olson's feminist-labor stories. But this is not a work of popular history in any sense; it is a model of currents in cultural studies. Denning has produced a work that will sit alongside Warren Susman's Culture as History (Pantheon, 1985) as the deepest contemplation of Depression-era popular (and high) culture. For scholars and cultural studies enthusiasts. Scott H. Silverman, Bryn Mawr Coll. Lib., Pa., Library Journal

Denning appears to have read, heard and seen it all. Adam Shatz, The Nation

A truly wonderful piece of history. The Progressive

An extraordinary book ... it offers to turn upside down our most dearly held understandings about how American culture has evolved. Van Gosse, American Quarterly

As fresh a synthesis of the distinctive culture of the 1930s and 1940s as you are likely to find anywhere. Times Literary Supplement

Denning's archaeological dig redefines as it reclaims the music, novels and movies of the Popular Front ... he is restoring a perspective that has been almost totally erased. Village Voice

An immense achievement ... the most important book yet written on American culture in the age of the CIO. Michael Rogin, Journal of American History

Providing both depth and breadth, this fresh analysis persuasively argues that the cultural front reshaped American culture. An important work, The Cultural Front reclaims a perspective on the American story, explaining to a new generation the reshaping of American culture by the working class, a perspective which in recent times has been virtually lost.

History / Historical Study / Science / Anatomy

Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them by Mary Cappello (The New Press)

An American half-dollar. A beaded crucifix. Tooth roots shaped like a tiny pair of pants. A padlock. Scads of peanut kernels and scores of safety pins. A metallic letter Z. A toy goat and tin steering wheel. A Perfect Attendance Pin.

As told in Swallow, one of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia's world-famous Mtter Museum is the Chevalier Jackson Foreign Body Collection: a beguiling set of drawers filled with thousands of items that had been swallowed or inhaled, then extracted nonsurgically by a pioneering laryngologist using rigid instruments of his own design. How do people's mouths, lungs, and stomachs end up filled with inedible things, and what do they become once arranged in Dr. Jackson's aura-laden cabinet? What drove Jackson's peculiar obsession not only with removing foreign bodies from peoples upper torsos but also with saving and cataloging the items that he retrieved?
Animating the space between interest and terror, curiosity and dread, award-winning nonfiction author Mary Cappello in Swallow explores what seems beyond understanding: the physiology of the human swallow, and the poignant and baffling psychology that compels people to ingest non-nutritive things. On a quest to restore the narratives that haunt Jacksons uncanny collection, she discovers that all things are secretly edible. Combining original research with a sympathetic and evocative sensibility, Cappello uncovers a history of racism and violence, of forced ingestion and hysteria, of class and poverty that left children to bank their familys last quarters in their mouths. In Swallow, the seemingly disparate but equally marvelous worlds of the circus and the medical amphitheater meet in characters ranging from sword swallowers and women who lunched on hardware to the sensitive, bullied boy who grew up to be the father of endoscopy.

Swallow is a surprising and original work. It is biography on the slant, a meditation that transcends boundaries and genres, written with scholarship, humor, and panache. I urge you to take this journey. Ricky Jay
I was astonished and delighted grabbed by the throat, indeed by this most remarkable book, which took me down a thousand little red lanes, and laid out in excruciating and fascinating detail all those myriad of items corks to safety pins to draughts of lye and three-foot swords that have managed to pass down there too. It is a wonderful and bizarre book: gorge yourself on it, and gulp. Simon Winchester, author of Atlantic: The Biography of an Ocean
Swallow is a wonderful, intriguing book, a fascinating glimpse into a true medical pioneer and a life's work. Mary Cappello delves into what it means to ingest things we werent meant to eat, and how the line between our bodies and foreign bodies can sometimes blur. Every object tells a story, and the stories here are marvelous. Colin Dickey, author of Crankiolepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius

Swallow is intriguing, bizarre, utterly original and a little disgusting food for the strong stomached.

History / Middle East / Social Sciences / Politics / Culture

Contesting Realities: The Public Sphere and Morality in Southern Yemen by Susanne Dahlgren (Gender, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East Series: Syracuse University Press)

Aden, the former capital of the only Marxist republic in the Arab world, has returned to the headlines as the scene of a popular uprising against the tribal-military rule of present-day Yemen. Susanne Dahlgren in Contesting Realities traces the social and political history of Aden from the late British colonial era, exploring the evolving ways in which the society has been established in a tension between contesting normative orders. Dahlgren, academy of Finland research fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, offers a complex picture of Adeni society in which norms for propriety vary according to the contexts of social space. She stresses individual agency and power to maneuver within a traditional patriarchal Muslim community.

As a resident of Aden for more than three years spanning the late years of Marxist South Yemen, Dahlgren in Contesting Realities presents readers with an intimate portrait of Yemeni men and women in the home, in the factory, in the office, and in the street, demonstrating that Islamic societies must be understood through a multiplicity of social spheres and morality orders. Within each space, she examines the range of legal, political, religious, and social regulations that frame agency and social dynamics. Highlighting the diversity of women's and men's positions as a continuum rather than distinct areas, Dahlgren presents a vivid picture of this dynamic society, providing an in-depth background to today's political upheavals in Yemen.

Contesting Realities is based on Dahlgrens ethnographic interest in Aden, Yemen, during the period spanning the years from 1988 to 2001. This era in Adeni history witnessed the final years of what was the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), the only Marxist regime in the Middle East ever to be followed by unification, in this case of the two Yemens in 1990. The difficult period of the Republic of Yemen's early years that culminated in a civil war in 1994 was followed by years of rebuilding after the war.

In the summer of 1982, as a young student, Dahlgren headed to Aden to participate in an international student camp in the countryside of Abyan, some thirteen miles northeast of Aden. The camp was organized by the Yemeni youth organization ASHEED in the spirit of international solidarity after the devastating floods earlier that spring that had affected the countryside outside Aden. Upon Dahlgrens arrival, she became aware that the camp was an all-male affair and that the youth organization was little more than a boys' organization. This period, however, was one in which the South Yemeni government was making a sincere attempt to introduce to the remotest countryside a policy called tahrir al-rnar'a, women's emancipation. The organizers were happy to see her arriving, the only girl in the twenty or so foreign participants and about a hundred Yemeni boys. Her presence provided them with an excuse to invite local young women to the camp, an impossibility had the camp been all male.

This area was untouched either by the modernizing politics of British colonialism or by the government that had taken over with independence some fifteen years earlier, in 1967. In gatherings organized locally and in Aden to celebrate the international camp, she was asked to make speeches on women's role in society.

Her experiences in South Yemen in 1982 inspired her to return to this country that she found so fascinating yet so little studied. In the autumn of 1988, she arrived in Aden with the intention of carrying out anthropological fieldwork. She was given the chance to do so in the capacity of coordinator for a small Finnish health project carried out in the al-ivlahra governorate, some six hundred miles east of Aden.

For her anthropological work, Dahlgren decided that she wanted to obtain the cooperation of the General Union of Yemeni Women. It was the official women's association that at the end of 1980s was struggling to promote women's liberation in a declining atmosphere for anything of that kind. Because she did not have a formal research permit, the Women's Union issued her a letter so that she could visit workplaces without interference by the security forces. In entering homes, she did not need a permit or official letter; people were simply interested in letting her in and talking to her.

Her interests in Contesting Realities are morality and propriety and how they affect social dynamics in this town. She focuses in particular on how the principal relations of society, gender and family relations, have historically been regulated and how they are constituted in everyday practice and discourse.

When observing everyday life, she noticed how positive morality stood at the center of all action, deeds were evaluated from the point of view of propriety, and, in speech, distinct formulas of propriety informed statements on practice. This practice was quite contrary to what she has read in Middle Eastern studies literature, which was saturated at that time with the honor/shame approach. Her interest in morality as a target of making was sparked also by the scarcity of anthropological literature on morality.

In chapter 2, Dahlgren outlines a social history of Aden, from the late colonial period to the early twenty-first century. She suggests a continuity rather than a disruption between the different regimes. By applying an intersectional approach, she draws a line on how different social groups, divided by ethnic and religious background, social origin, race, and gender have accessed modernization and the public sphere. In chapters 3 and 4, she scrutinizes how gender relations have been regulated in law as part of state politics and how the legal discourse has participated in the construction of public argument during the three regimes. In chapter 4, the topic is also the historical formation of a civil society and public media in the form of newspapers, associations, and clubs. At issue is the emergence of women into public space. This analysis of the structural prerequisites of the society forms the background to the examination of how various normative representations come up in everyday discussions and how they are discursively linked to institutionalized forms. She then focuses on how people in their everyday agency observe contesting normative ideas and how they move from one set of norms to another, paying attention to available resources and limitations. In chapter 7, she discusses the theoretical problems that have come up in preceding chapters, such as different notions of traditional and modern, as well as the questions of the public sphere and varying notions of Islam. She further contrasts notions of propriety to ideas regarding a pariah type of social category, the akhdam (literally servants). All these studies lead her to approach the public sphere both in its historical formation (the coming of newspapers and civil societies and the emergence of women to public space) and from a pragmatic viewpoint that is, as lived and commented reality.

Although it has been suggested that most Muslims share inherited conceptions of ideas of the common good, in Contesting Realities she argues that Adeni social reality and the notion of the common good are constituted in a tension between contesting representations of propriety and morality. The parallel prevalence of competing normative representations does not manifest as chaos or as an anomaly, but instead in social dynamics where people have to consider the contextual nature of public propriety. This complexity challenges agency; it is not a matter of manipulating situations and stakes within them, but of learning to manage in diverse situations. It is a matter of making proper comportment an art in everyday life.

Contesting Realities outlines three main normative representations that in local terms are called: our customs and traditions, our religion, and our revolution. The people of Aden discuss such basic elements of culture as social order, the family, gender roles, and religion in different ways in all three representations. That Islam receives diverse interpretations is a reflection of the plurality of local religious manifestations and points to the complex relationship between Islam and society.

Rapid economic, political, and social changes are sweeping over the Middle East. Within the past fifteen years, Yemen has stepped into a multiparty parliamentary democracy. It has received hundreds of thousands of returnees and refugees from abroad, and its economy has collapsed, impoverishing even what might be called the middle classes. In Aden, the former PDRY capital, these changes have meant marginalization, the polarization of society, and the loss of many rights that women had gained during the earlier rule. To understand what has happened in Aden, according to Dahlgren, it is not enough to refer to such political and economic changes.

Contesting Realities's argument can be summarized in the following way: social interaction takes place in a tension between mutually contrasting normative frameworks that do not determine practice as such, but encode a certain cultural understanding. People act in reference to these normative frameworks, but practice is never imposed by rules. Focusing simply on norms would give an inadequate view of social practice because events do not follow a rule, and particular ideals seldom become targets of self-discipline. Even though the three normative frameworks customs, religion, and revolution are hegemonic in the sense that they dominate talk, few people are proponents or opponents of any, a fact that speaks for more complex situations rather than for one that can be reduced simply to a question of dominance and resistance. Contesting Realities is about what lies in between submission and defiance.

Dahlgren goes beyond the usual study of a group of people to research first-hand the lives of women and men in the home, in the work place, and in the streets, which is central to her finding that Islamic societies must be seen through a multiplicity of spatial areas. Amira Sonbol, editor of Beyond the Exotic: Women's Histories in Islamic Societies

Rich with detail and beautifully written. The book speaks directly to debates within anthropology. Janine A. Clark, author of Islam, Charity, and Activism: Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen

Contesting Realities focuses on the positive driving forces behind people's actions. Dahlgren's original research and engaging narratives of everyday Adeni people document a nuanced social flexibility in this vivid and in-depth study. Considered by the author preliminary, it provides a tool for understanding the social dynamics and how ideological conjunctures play an important role in what happens in one complex Arabic society.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Fundamentals of Model Boat Building by John Into and Nancy Price (Schiffer Publishing Ltd)

John Into and Nancy Price, professional model boat builders from Maryland's Eastern Shore in Fundamentals of Model Boat Building take readers through all the steps to create one model boat based on the Annie Buck, an actual Chesapeake Bay Deadrise workboat. Readers learn how to apply design techniques and theories to create models of other boats that appeal to them. The detailed text also explains how to read marine drawings for reference and describes the tools and techniques needed to execute bulkhead and lift building theory. For inspiration, a gallery of finished models Coronados, cruisers, and trawlers is included.

As told in Fundamentals of Model Boat Building, the building of model boats is an interesting mix of art and technology. As an art, any method, any material, and any interpretation are allowed. Model making is sculpture, usually multi-media sculpture. It is always an interpretation of the original subject by its artist. Rarely is it actually an exact miniature of the subject. As with all art, judgment by others will be in the eye of the beholder.

Model makers are usually expected to make their models look as much like the original object as possible. This is a factor that creates a continuum between art and technology that has a certain tension to it. A model can be accurate and yet be almost devoid of detail. Such is the case with lines models. Minimizing details does not make a model incorrect. Maximizing details certainly makes it more comprehensive, but not more correct.

There is a lot of information in Fundamentals of Model Boat Building. It is not about building one specific model of one specific boat, to the exclusion of others. Rather it is the start of a series of books that are meant to teach readers the skills to be model makers, so that they can develop and hone their craftsmanship.

Because they are making models of boats, readers need to start at the core of any boat: the hull, the foundation of all boats. It is usually, although not always, the most complicated single structure in a boat. This is because of such factors as compound curves, structural concepts, unusual terminology and measurement concepts. The hull is the foundation for all other parts, which are either built into it later, or somehow attached. Hulls are defined by what the boat must do and what it faces when it does it.

The lines of any boat hull are the essence of its shape and carry with them the original designers intent of making that boat capable of doing what it has to do. Its lines are often enough to define the type of boat, without any other details shown. This is the significant element in making half hull models. Being able to capture the hull's essence in this way provides a foundation that can be as beneficial to the overall model as a real boat's hull is important to its function.

Fundamentals of Model Boat Building hits on some important fundamentals and has information for model makers of all levels. Readers will find that many things are presented as theory: this is unusual with this type of book. Theory teaches readers why things are done the way they are, as opposed to telling them what to do. If readers understand the reason for doing things, they can better apply these things to the project they want to do, not just the one that the authors choose for them.

Regardless of any other factors, the building of scratch built models is highly dependent upon readers own desire and ingenuity. If they put this together with the information in the book, they will have all they need to start the process of making the boat of their own choosing.

Readers learn the skills necessary to successfully create an accurate model boat from scratch, including structural elements, paper model renderings, hull features, and mechanical drawings in this wonderfully detailed book. Fundamentals of Model Boat Building will prove its worth to modelers everywhere.

Home & Garden / Home Design / Professional & Technical / Architecture

The Log Home Book written & photographed by Ralph Kylloe (Gibbs Smith)

I've been photographing rustic homes for many years and have authored more than twenty books on the subject of rustic homes, furniture, and living. This book shares some of my favorite photographs, images that conjure my own memories of time spent at the cabin.

I hope the settings in this book recall some of your own cabin experiences. After all, cabin is a real place, but it can be anywhere even in a corner of your mind. from the book

An authority on rustic design and furnishings, Ralph Kylloe chose for The Log Home Book inspiring images from 20 years of photographing mountain retreats across America. Images of living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and recreation rooms are a springboard for cabin planning and vacation dreaming. Kylloe, who has taught at the university level for many years, is the owner of the Ralph Kylloe Gallery at Lake George in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

Comfort and livability are the keys to a great living area. Feet and beverages are not out of place on the coffee tables. We invite pets to cuddle up with us on any one of the chairs or couches. Lamp shades of mica, glass, cloth or parchment sport a host of rustic scenes. Canoes hang from the ceiling, and the fireplace makes us cozy on a chilly day.

Rustic-style couches that are comfortable apart from those made of Indiana hickory or in mission style are very difficult to find. Consequently, many homes today have new upholstered sofas that are often the focal point of the room. The most comfortable always seem to be those that are oversized and give one the sensation of sinking into a cloud or pillow. Many rustic homes have sleeper sofas for guests who happen to show up on weekends for an extended visit.

The Log Home Book includes entryways & staircases, living & great rooms, fireplaces, kitchens & dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, outbuildings, porches & patios.

It is memories such as these that each of us associate with the cabins, lodges, resorts and ranches that we love. These are the places that allow us to discover who we are. These are places of peace and comfort.

The Log Home Book, with its richly layered images, offers room-by-room inspiration for the affordable mountain retreat. There are decorating and design ideas galore in the book. Readers can take some inspiration for their own cabin, even if it's nestled in the middle of a big city or blossoming behind the auspices of a suburban home.
Law / History / Reference

A Concise History of the Common Law by Theodore F.T. Plucknett (Liberty Fund)

As always during its long history, English common law, upon which American law is based, has had to defend itself against the challenge of civil law's clarity and traditions. That challenge to our common law heritage remains today.

A Concise History of the Common Law provides a source for common-law understanding of individual rights, not in theory only, but protected through the confusing and messy evolution of courts, and their administration as they struggled to resolve real problems. The first half of the book is a historical introduction to the study of law. Theodore F.T. Plucknett discusses the conditions in political, economic, social, and religious thought that have contributed to the genesis of law. This section is a brief but full introduction to the study of law. The second half of the book consists of chapters introducing readers to the history of some of the main divisions of law, such as criminal, tort, property, contract, and succession. Plucknett (1897-1965) was a legal historian whose lifelong passion was the investigation of early English law and society; he dedicated himself to tackling this specialized subject and was equally obsessed with explaining his findings to those less informed. He was a fellow of the British Academy and president of the Royal Historical Society from 1949 to 1953.

In A Concise History of the Common Law, Plucknett takes readers on a journey through the history of English law. Part 1, "A General Survey of Legal History," is a dash through the centuries. It begins with a description of the Roman Empire, whose destiny was to rule the nations and crush resistance and continues with the empire's subsequent breakdown and the formation of the English state under the Anglo-Saxon kings. Then the steady growth of the common law under Edward I, the rise of Christianity, and the development of a powerful papacy in the Middle Ages are examined with respect to their implications for the rule of modern law. The survey concludes with the French Revolution and the liberalism and reform movements of the nineteenth century. Throughout, Plucknett stresses the conditions in political, economic, social, and religious thought that have contributed to the formation of common law.

Part 2 is a more-detailed treatment of topics discussed in the first part. The history of the courts and the jury system, the various types of law, crime and tort, real property, and contract, as well as equity and succession, are laid out in chronological fashion. Important juridical figures of each era come alive: King Henry II in the twelfth century; Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More, King Henry VIII, Sir Edward Coke, and Francis Bacon in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and Sir William Blackstone in the eighteenth.

A detailed table of contents; three extensive reference tables of historical cases, modern cases, and laws and statutes; and a comprehensive index provide ample help for readers.

Clear and candid, Plucknett's seminal work is intended to convey a sense of historical development not to serve merely as a work of reference. Written in an engaging writing style, A Concise History of the Common Law will be of interest to those just embarking on their quest in legal history while still providing enough substantial information, references, and footnotes to make it meaningful for well-versed legal history readers.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Mormonism / Reference

The Latter-day Saint Family Encyclopedia by Christopher Kimball Bigelow and Jonathan Langford, edited by Don L. Brugger (Thunder Bay Press)

With its original roots in America, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is now a global phenomenon, with millions of members worldwide.

The Latter-day Saint Family Encyclopedia is a resource for understanding the essentials of the Mormon faith, offering a comprehensive overview of all things LDS. Arranged alphabetically for easy navigation, this A-to-Z guide to Mormonism provides information for family members of all ages. Readers meet leaders of the faith, including founders Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and learn about LDS prophets and apostles and how the Book of Mormon came to be. This large-format volume is illustrated with more than 400 full-color illustrations, photographs, and works of art.

Authors are Christopher Kimball Bigelow, who worked as an Ensign magazine editor and Jonathan Langford, a freelance writer currently serving as a membership clerk in his LDS ward.

This comprehensive encyclopedia is one-volume compendium that covers the church's history, beliefs, leadership, and culture, including:

  • Key doctrinal terms, beliefs, and ordinances.
  • Church growth and progress throughout the world.
  • People, places, and events in Church history.
  • Key prophets and personalities from all four standard works.
  • Church programs, policies, and organizations.
  • Mormon culture.

LDS scriptures are quoted and referenced throughout The Latter-day Saint Family Encyclopedia. Biographical sketches bring prophets and historical figures to life. Cross-referenced entries explain and summarize key doctrinal terms and concepts. This volume traces Church growth and progress throughout the world, and it explains numerous Church programs, policies, organizations, and cultural practices.

Rich with details, statistics, maps, tables, and full-color photos and illustrations, this book makes a welcomed addition to any home library. The Latter-day Saint Family Encyclopedia promises to become a valuable resource for Latter-day Saints and anyone interested in the religion. Appropriate for use by teens and adults alike, this encyclopedia provides a comprehensive overview of the faith. For readers preparing a talk or lesson, refreshing their memory about church history or scripture, or trying to learn everything they can about Mormonism, this encyclopedia provides a one-stop resource for reviewing the basics in an engaging, readable format.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology

Following the Footsteps of the Invisible: The Complete Works of Diadochus of Photike introduction, translation and notes by Cliff Ermatinger (Cistercian Studies Series: Cistercian Publications, Liturgical Press)

Fifth-century Christianity was a theological battlefield. With the Messalian heretics and their experientialist spirituality on the one side and the intellectualist school on the other, representatives of both extremes found themselves condemned by the Church. In this milieu of subjectivist notions of grace and negative anthropology, there appeared a true mystic, Diadochus, Bishop of Photik in Epiros. His is a theology whose two poles are God's grace and man's ability to cooperate with it by way of discernment of spirits. Diadochus's ability to salvage what was orthodox from the Messalians and the intellectualists proves that, rather than a reactionary, he was a true theologian capable of synthesis, open to the truth even if found in his adversary, and yet firm in his faith, unwilling to compromise. He is among the earliest witnesses of the Jesus Prayer. Diadochus is the most important spiritual writer of his century, whose influence can be found in the writings of Maximus the Confessor, Simeon the New Theologian, Gregory of Palamas, and the author of The Way of the Pilgrim. Following the Footsteps of the Invisible is the first translation of his complete works into English.

Translator and author of the introduction and the notes, Cliff Ermatinger is associate pastor of two parishes. According to Ermatinger, in Diadochus of Photike we find a pure Greek specimen. Even as Greece was busy hellenizing the East, its own culture was undergoing latinization from the West. The price of exportation was unintended imports. The Attic Peninsula seemed to be undergoing an identity crisis that brought with it social, religious, and linguistic syncretism all of which Diadochus managed to resist. Since the overall level of Greek had deteriorated and writers of the fifth century became increasingly aware of how far their language had drifted from the beauty of Classical Greek, many writers clumsily attempted to rectify this. Others simply kept on writing as the linguistically mixed masses spoke. As the beauty of his language attracted many more adepts it also proved to be a worthy platform for his solid doctrine. Diadochus set a new standard for subsequent generations.

In Following the Footsteps of the Invisible, first comes The Discourses on Judgment and Spiritual Discernment, by far Diadochus's most famous and influential work, also known as One Hundred Gnostic Chapters. Diadochus seems to offer yet another title as an afterthought, calling it his Ascetical Treatises on the last page.

Diadochus has his own style; rather than offer weighty, challenging aphorisms, his chapters, with their multiple ideas, offer much more in one chapter than other century writers. He makes his point and then, having gotten the reader's attention, uses the opportunity to engage his theological foes. Other times he uses colorful metaphors to exemplify his rules for discernment. But all that he says remains on the level of experiential theology and is quite practical.

The ten definitions with which Diadochus begins this work set the foundation for everything he is about to say. It seems that such distinctions are not only necessary to understand his usage but also offer readers a glimpse into his spiritual experience. A large portion of the Gnostic Chapters offers insightful rules of discernment, and this seems to be the methodology of the Diadochan corpus. He wants to define terminology, distinguish the provenance of the interior movements that accompany the spiritual life, guide the spiritually perplexed to the heights of divine union, and separate orthodox teaching from the dominant heresies of his age.

Two further manuscripts complete Following the Footsteps of the Invisible the Homily on the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ is similar to his Gnostic Chapters in its elevated and rhythmic Greek style and its elongated phrases that can give headaches to translators. The Homily has the clear purpose of defending Christ's divinity and human natures and Diadochus carries this out masterfully. In it he makes the crowning victory of the Incarnation the divinization of man. His finale is a christological confession meant to trump the Monophysites.

Finally, the Vision is a communication with Saint John the Baptist in the guise of a dream. Using an effective question-answer format, Diadochus's inquiries regarding contemplation, the beatific vision, apparitions, and angels are all satisfied, in some regard aspects of his teaching resemble Pseudo-Dionysius's angelology. No manuscript of The Vision prior to the thirteenth century exists and the eleven existing texts all attribute this work to the bishop of Photike.

The Catechesis is an enigma. Although it follows the same question-answer format as the Vision, some have attributed its authorship to Simeon the New Theologian. Nonetheless, it is absent from lists of Simeon's works and most recent scholarship seems unwilling to attribute it to Simeon. This work considers God's relationship to the world, the divine attributes, and angelology, ending with a reminder of the role of good works in the order of salvation.

Following the Footsteps of the Invisible offers modern readers the first translation of Diadochus complete works. Diadochuss insight and balance, in obvious abundance, have influenced posterior generations from the sixth to the eighteenth centuries.

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

Healing Through the Akashic Records: Discovering Your Soul's Perfection [Audiobook, 6 CDs, running time 7 hours] by Linda Howe (Sounds True)

Wounds physical, mental, emotional, or even from a former life interfere with individuals ability to fully and freely express themselves.

To help listeners learn how to turn their wounds into points of power, paths to peace with others, and platforms for transformation in the world, Linda Howe offers Healing Through the Akashic Records in six CDs. Listeners join this acclaimed author to learn her unique and effective protocols for spiritual self-healing through this energetic archive of every soul and its journey. The audio program includes guided meditations and the "Pathway Prayer Process" for accessing the Records.

Howe is the founder and director of the Center for Akashic Studies, and the leading expert in the field of Akashic Studies. Specializing in the use of the Akashic Records for personal empowerment and consciousness development, she has taught thousands of people to work in the Records as a spiritual practice.

Listeners imagine opening a book that tells the story of their lives and suddenly realize that the painful parts hold the key to knowing themselves as completely whole, well, and good. As many of Howe's students have found, this is the transformative process that they can experience in the Akashic Records, an energetic archive of the soul and its journey.

At the heart of Healing Through the Akashic Records is a unique four-step process that Howe gleaned over the past 20 years of working in the Records. Rooted in the idea that we can shift energetic patterns at the soul-level for real-world effects, this approach includes 16 guided practices and visualizations that focus on awareness, acceptance, responsibility, and choice. With a nurturing teaching style, Howe empowers listeners to work in the Records and to seize the growth opportunities in their wounds so that they can move into a richer connection with their innermost self, a greater sense of aliveness, and increased joy for living.

"The Akashic Records not only provide soul-level wisdom and information for our daily lives, they also offer an ideal environment to heal and accelerate our spiritual evolution," teaches Howe.

The book is a resource to accelerate spiritual evolution. Listeners tap into the archives of the soul to discover their path to inner peace. Healing Through the Akashic Records provides guided practices for using the power of sacred wounds to discover ones souls perfection. Included are empowering tools and practices for connecting to the innermost self.

Science / Biological Sciences / Neuroscience / Anatomy & Physiology

The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human by V. S. Ramachandran (W.W. Norton)

Drawing on strange and thought-provoking case studies, a neurologist in The Tell-Tale Brain offers insight into the evolution of the uniquely human brain.

Preeminent neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran, the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and a professor with the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego, is at the forefront of his field. One of the most original and daring neuroscientists of our age, Ramachandran has spent much of his life's work expanding our understanding of the human brain. His pioneering spirit and innovative methods have resulted in Richard Dawkins dubbing him the Marco Polo of neuroscience. And Nobel laureate Eric Kandel hails Ramachandran as the modern Paul Broca, referring to the founding father of neurology. But if Ramachandran takes after anyone, it may just be Sherlock Holmes.

In this major new work, Ramachandran sets his sights on the mystery of human uniqueness. Taking readers to the frontiers of neurology, he reveals what baffling and extreme case studies can teach readers about normal brain function and how it evolved. Synesthesia becomes a window into the brain mechanisms that make some of us more creative than others. And autism gives readers a glimpse of the aspect of being human that is least understood: self-awareness. Tracing the strange links between neurology and behavior, The Tell-Tale Brain unveils a wealth of clues into the deepest mysteries of the human brain.

In The Tell-Tale Brain Ramachandran takes on some of the brain's deepest and most intriguing mysteries: What evolutionary developments made human brains so remarkably distinct from those of even our closest ancestors? How did language develop? What are the origins of art? What is the relationship between our subjective perceptions and external reality? What causes autism, and how might it be detected and treated? Why do we find certain things beautiful? How did language evolve? These are just a few of the fascinating neurological mysteries that Ramachandran tackles in his landmark new work.

Ramachandran doesn't tackle these mysteries in the abstract. He draws on years of working with actual patients, presenting readers with case studies like the following:

  • A blind patient is asked by his doctor to touch a spot of light on the wall. After protesting that he can't see it, the patient makes what feels like a wild guess. He is right, and in further trials he succeeds time and again even though he cannot consciously see the spot.
  • A patient with synesthesia a blending of the senses claims to feel strong emotions when she touches different textures: denim evokes sadness, silk calms her, and orange peel sends her into shock. To see if she is faking, Ramachandran measures her skin conductance an indicator of physical stress only to find that she truly does experience these reactions.
  • A patient in a coma seems not to recognize his family or comprehend speech. But if his father calls him from a telephone in the next room, the patient becomes suddenly alert, recognizing his father and engaging him in conversation. When his father reenters the room, the patient lapses back into his semiconscious zombie state.
  • Following the amputation of his right arm, a patient develops phantom limb syndrome; he still feels as if he has a right arm and even experiences pain in it. But watching a volunteer massage her hand makes him feel as if his own phantom hand is being massaged, relieving the painful cramp in it.

Through close observation, the occasional brain scan, and a few low-tech tests, Ramachandran in The Tell-Tale Brain reveals the neural mechanisms that underlie these seemingly inexplicable cases. In elegant deductive maneuvers, Ramachandran uncovers what these exceptional patients can teach us about the normal human brain.

For example, the first phenomenon described, known as blindsight, shows that vision is not entirely conscious, providing clues into the unconscious brain processes that occur without our knowing. In the second case, synesthesia becomes a window on the uniquely human ability to create metaphors as well as an indicator of why some of us are more creative than others. The splitting of the self in the third case reveals that consciousness isn't unitary, but rather arises from multiple layers of neural processes. And the experience of the fourth patient points to the existence of remarkable brain cells known as mirror neurons, which fire not only when one performs a particular action but also when one simply watches someone else perform that action.

As Ramachandran reveals, the implications of these case studies are extraordinary. Mirror neurons alone help explain empathy, the transmission of culture, and linguistic capabilities. Their unique strength in humans is most likely what enabled the human species to transcend the narrow instinctual drives of evolution and achieve civilization. Moreover, in one of The Tell-Tale Brain's most provocative chapters, Ramachandran suggests a link between autism and a deficiency in mirror neurons, opening the door for new methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Boldly asserting, right off the bat, that Homo sapiens is no mere ape, Ramachandran tells us why the day of neuroscience has dawned. A physician (like Oliver Sacks, a neurologist) as well as a researcher, Ramachandran uses his neurology patients predicaments to inspire inquiries into how we see and know, the origins of language, the mental basis of civilization, how we conceive of and assess art, and how the self is constructed. Always careful to point out when he is speculating rather than announcing research findings, he is also prompt to emphasize why his speculations, or theories, are not just of the armchair variety but can be put to the test because of what neuroscience has already discovered about the active structures of the human brain. Ray Olson, Booklist, starred review
Ramachandran has written an astonishing book. His humanity, humor and scientific genius inform every passage. The Tell-Tale Brain is a veritable Voyage of the Beagle through the terrain of brain science and psychology. Nicholas Humphrey, author of Seeing Red
A masterpiece. The best of its kind and beautifully crafted. Alluring story telling, building to a penetrating understanding of what it is to be uniquely human. Ramachandran is the foremost pioneer the Galileo of neurocognition. Allan Snyder, FRS, Director of the Centre for the Mind
Ramachandran is the modern wizard of neuroscience. In The Tell-Tale Brain, we see the genius at work, tackling extraordinary cases, many of which mark turning points in neuroscientific knowledge. In this utterly entertaining account, we see how these fascinating cases fit together, and how he uses them to explain, from a Darwinian point of view, how our brains, though evolved from those of other animals, become neurologically distinct and fundamentally human. Norman Doidge, M.D., author of The Brain That Changes Itself

No one is better than V. S. Ramachandran at combining minute, careful observation with ingenious experiments and bold, adventurous theorizing. The Tell-Tale Brain is Ramachandran at his best, a profoundly intriguing and compelling guide to the intricacies of the human brain. Oliver Sacks

Exhilarating. Kirkus Reviews

As entertaining as it is illuminating, The Tell-Tale Brain is a delightful tour of recent advances in neuroscience, enriched throughout by Ramachandran's engaging conversational style, wit, and insight. Ramachandran tackles the most exciting and controversial topics in neurology with a storyteller's eye for compelling case studies and a researcher's flair for new approaches to age-old questions. Tracing the strange links between neurology and behavior, this landmark work rewards readers with a wealth of new clues into the mysteries and the remarkable abilities of the human brain.

Social Science / Linguistics / Anthropology / Ethnography / Native American

We Are Our Language: An Ethnography of Language Revitalization in a Northern Athabascan Community (First Peoples, New Directions in Indigenous Studies) by Barbra A. Meek (University of Arizona Press)

For many communities around the world, the revitalization or at least the preservation of an indigenous language is a pressing concern. Understanding the issue involves far more than compiling simple usage statistics or documenting the grammar of a tongue it requires examining the social practices and philosophies that affect indigenous language survival.
In presenting the case of Kaska, an endangered language in an Athapascan community in the Yukon, Barbra Meek, associate professor of anthropology and linguistics at the University of Michigan, asserts that language revitalization requires more than just linguistic rehabilitation; it demands a social transformation. The process must mend rips and tears in the social fabric of the language community that result from an enduring colonial history focused on termination. These disjunctures include government policies conflicting with community goals, widely varying teaching methods and generational viewpoints, and even clashing ideologies within the language community.
We Are Our Language provides the detailed investigation of language revitalization based on more than two years of active participation in local language renewal efforts. Each chapter focuses on a different dimension, such as spelling and expertise, conversation and social status, family practices, and bureaucratic involvement in local language choices. Each situation illustrates the balance between the desire for linguistic continuity and the reality of disruption.

It is the routinization of Kaska its continual transformation in relation to ideological and social changes in the sociolinguistic environment that is the focus of We Are Our Language. As Meek explains, in chapter 1 she presents the colonizing history of Watson Lake's Kaska community, through the eras of assimilation and reconciliation, through language suppression and language revitalization, highlighting key disjunctures pertinent to the current language situation. These disjunctures include economic and political disjunctures, segregation, disjunctures of identity, and, ultimately, sociolinguistic disjunctures. This chapter also describes the presence of aboriginal languages in everyday (adult) interactions and the emerging economy of aboriginal language in the Yukon territory. Disjunctures within this emerging linguistic marketplace are explored, and what becomes clear across different moments of interaction is the specialized nature of these languages and their association with specialized roles. These are the kinds of social factors easily overlooked by language planners, which have significant effects on the sociolinguistic field and contribute to language shift.

Chapter 2 of We Are Our Language details the theoretical framework of sociolinguistic disjuncture and the challenges of disjuncture for endangered languages and the pursuit of language revitalization. The chapter begins by discussing the various factors used to determine the vitality of an endangered language and appropriate measures for reversing shift. It then highlights the remaining conundrums affecting language revitalization and turns to linguistic anthropology for an answer. Research on language shift, language socialization, and language ideology in particular complicates our purview of endangerment and revitalization, providing arguments for a more socially grounded approach to language revitalization. This approach is then theorized through the concept of sociolinguistic disjuncture, that is, the moments of discontinuity between practices, between ideologies, within and across these social domains.

Chapter 3 carries along this theoretical trajectory, focusing on interactions with children and other Kaska language learners. To reveal the sociolinguistic disjunctures across these interactions, comparisons are made between institutionalized educational contexts and family settings. This shows that while some children are acquiring an indigenous language passively at home, the institutionalization of the language erases the grammatical and communicative diversity of these family interactions. Another way in which disjuncture emerges is through interlocutors' limits of awareness. Currently, most Dene children's experience with socially occurring, spoken Kaska comes from the home and other family settings, mainly provided by their grandparents. However, they also attend Kaska language classes at the local elementary school. In such institutional settings they experience Kaska in a very different way. Educators often present the language as an object of learning, as an artifact. Students learn lists of nouns, token expressions, and decontextualized scraps of cultural knowledge that serve only to fetishize the language. In the end, such educational events often interrupt, dislocate, or work against the goals of language revitalization by teaching children that their language is no longer a valid form of communication, even though their grandparents still converse in Kaska at home. Whether intentional or not, patterns of language use in the home, at school, and elsewhere have socializing consequences such that linguistic practices across different contexts can be contradictory or in conflict.

Another way in which language efforts can be at odds with the goals of revitalization is in the construction of language materials. Chapter 4 of We Are Our Language describes the ways in which indigenous languages are manufactured, by both experts (researchers, linguists, educators) and indigenous communities. Such experts are often concerned with documenting the grammatical knowledge of speakers before this knowledge is lost, along with the diversity it represents. They are also concerned with sharing these documents with the relevant communities. What many of these experts have not attended to are the ways in which they represent the indigenous language. Documentation also raises the question, By whom is literacy highly valued? And for those who value literacy, which materials are they using, and when are they using them? While many communities support the production of some kind of indigenous language media, they do not all agree on the kind of media used, nor do they all have access to these media and their linguistic content. So, why do indigenous communities participate in language revitalization at all, given the disparities between practice and plan?

The concern over production extends beyond the reversing of language shift; it is about asserting an aboriginal heritage and claiming the political power that comes with the recognition of this heritage by others. Chapter 5 of We Are Our Language focuses on the role of aboriginal language in government, noneducational institutions and other nation-building ventures, analyzing how aboriginal languages are represented across different programs and bureaucracies. For example, within bureaucratic rhetoric the commodification of language is downplayed in favor of depicting language as a feature of identity rather than an issue of property. In the Yukon this has resulted in disjuncture.

The final chapter of We Are Our Language links Meeks findings about disjuncture to broader theoretical and applied concerns. By approaching language revitalization as a sociolinguistic process, the multivalent ways in which endangered languages are being performed, entextualized, and imagined emerge. Meek focuses on the different interactional moments and linguistic experiences that mediate and are mediated by these reconfigurings and lead to disjuncture. It is in moments of breakdown between and across theories and practices that the sociolinguistic field is reconfigured and the course of language shift (re)directed, but also when opportunities for negotiating and containing disjuncture exist.

This is an important book. Anyone involved in language revitalization would gain a lot by reading it. Original, informative, and well written. Leanne Hinton, co-author of How to Keep Your Language Alive: A Commonsense Approach to One-on-One Language Learning

We Are Our Language reveals the subtle ways in which different conceptions and practices historical, material, and interactional can variably affect the state of an indigenous language, and it offers a critical step toward redefining success and achieving revitalization.

Social Science / Sociology

The Sociology of Childhood, 3rd edition by William A. Corsaro (Sociology for a New Century Series: Pine Forge Press)

The Sociology of Childhood has been acclaimed as the best book available on the sociology of children. Author William A. Corsaro is the Robert H. Shaffer Class of 1967 Endowed Professor of Sociology at Indiana University, Bloomington where he won the Presidents Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1988.

The Sociology of Childhood presents a focus on children's relationships with peers and adults, including coverage of children's peer cultures from preschool through preadolescence. This third edition, like the first two editions, is about children and childhood from a sociological perspective. An interpretive perspective on the sociology of childhood is contrasted with more traditional socialization or outcome approaches. A special chapter reviews and evaluates different methodologies for studying children and childhood and discusses the special ethical consideration. The volume brings together Corsaros ideas and experiences gained from research and teaching in this area during the past 30 years.

Sociology has now established a tradition for studying children and childhood; although still understudied, these are no longer relegated to the margins of the field. There are now, in addition to this text, other basic texts in sociology on children or childhood, and a growing number of courses on the sociology of childhood are now offered at colleges and universities.

New to this third edition of The Sociology of Childhood:

  • The book has been thoroughly updated to reflect the recent explosion of research.
  • This edition includes expanded material on children's symbolic culture and material culture, as well as a new section, "Children, Parents, and Consumer Culture."
  • A new section on "Generation M: Electronic Media in the Lives of Preadolescents and Adolescents" covers debates on the effects on youth of electronic media.
  • "Patterns in Child Population by Race and Ethnicity" documents ongoing changes in the racial and ethnic diversity of the children's population in the United States.
  • "Sociodramatic Role Play" includes two new engaging case studies.
  • The author highlights current policy debates and changing demographics regarding children's quality of life around the world.

In this new edition of The Sociology of Childhood Corsaro includes statistical indicators on the quality of children's lives in both developed and developing societies. In addition, he expands the coverage of children's symbolic and material culture especially related to media and new technologies in Chapters 6 and 9. Even though much is new in this edition, it is not possible to cover what is now such a vast quantity of theory and research highly relevant to a new sociology of childhood. Corsaro focuses much more on children's relationships with peers than with adults, and his coverage of children's peer cultures generally ends in preadolescence, at the age of 12. He offers an interpretive perspective to the sociology of childhood, which he contrasts with more traditional socialization or outcome approaches to children and child development.

Part One of The Sociology of Childhood reviews traditional approaches to socialization and child development and contrasts them with his perspective of interpretive reproduction and his focus on children's peer cultures. Corsaro presents an orb web model of children's developing memberships in their cultures, and he integrates this model, along with the concept of interpretive reproduction, with structural approaches to childhood. He includes an updated chapter on studying children and childhood.

Part Two places the new sociology of childhood in historical and cultural perspective. Corsaro presents a much-needed detailed review and evaluation of classic work on the history of childhood, and he introduces the new history of childhood and presents representative examples of it. He then considers children and childhood cross-culturally by examining children, families, and social change in industrialized and developing societies, updating the discussion to capture recent trends.

Part Three of The Sociology of Childhood discusses the importance of children's peer cultures for a new sociology of childhood. In the first chapter in this section (Chapter 6), Corsaro presents an extended discussion of children's introduction to symbolic and material aspects of peer culture in their families and from the media and focus on how new technology has had major effects on the peer cultures of children and youth. In the next two chapters, he considers the basic themes of control and communal sharing in children's initial peer cultures. In Chapter 9, Corsaro explores these same themes and considers the importance of autonomy, self, and identity in preadolescent peer cultures. He also describes and discusses important changes in what has been called`the new media of, for example, video games, cell phones and texting, and social networking on Internet sites by preadolescents and adolescents.

Part Four comes back to more macro issues. He considers children as social problems and also the social problems of children. He examines growing levels of anxiety about children's potential victimization in rapidly changing industrialized societies in which adults feel they have less control over their children's lives. He explores the reverse of this phenomenon, the tendency in modern societies to blame some children, most especially poor children and youth, for their own vulnerability. Chapters 10 and 11 provide a detailed discussion of the nature and extent of social problems of children. In these chapters Corsaro presents updated social indicators related to the quality of the lives of children and youth and notes where some progress has been made, and he indicates where much more needs to be done in regard to both research and social policy. In the last chapter he presents some proposals to begin to address the social problems of children. In this last part of The Sociology of Childhood Corsaros appreciation and celebration of children's lives and childhoods develop into clear political advocacy.

The Sociology of Childhood is up to date and thorough. Throughout the volume, Corsaros original research and the compelling photographs and vivid illustrations bring the topics to life.

True Crime

Delivered from Evil: True Stories of Ordinary People Who Faced Monstrous Mass Killers and Survived by Ron Franscell (Fair Winds Press)

Their deaths flashed before their eyes.

A 12-year-old boy cowers in his closet while a lunatic killer slaughters his family ... a nursing student unwittingly opens her home to the serial killer on her front porch ... an 11-year-old girl drifts alone at sea on a flimsy cork raft for almost four days after a mass murderer kills her vacationing family aboard a chartered yacht ... a brave firefighter suddenly finds himself in the crosshairs of a racist sniper almost nine stories above the ground ... And, astonishingly, they all survived.

From Howard Unruhs 1949 shooting rampage through a quiet New Jersey neighborhood to Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lees reign of terror in 2002, the corpses piled up and few lived to tell the horror in Delivered from Evil. Award-winning journalist Ron Franscell explores the wounded hearts and minds of the ordinary people these monsters couldnt kill. He takes readers on a pulse-pounding dash through the murky intersection of pure evil and the potency of the human spirit.

The ten stories told in Delivered from Evil are:

1.      "They're All Dead": Charles Cohen and the Insane Spree Killer Howard Unruh. When shell-shocked World War II veteran Howard Unruh finally snapped, he embarked on a twenty-minute shooting rampage through his otherwise peaceful Camden, New Jersey, neighborhood, killing everyone he saw. Seconds after druggist Maurice Cohen ran into his pharmacy and told his family to hide, Unruh burst in. He shot Cohen dead, then rushed upstairs, where Cohen's wife, mother, and twelve-year-old son Charles were hiding.

2.      "Today Is Gonna Be Visual": Brent Doonan and the Atlanta Day-Trader Spree. Mark Barton was a cocky, hotshot day trader obsessed with making a killing in the dot-com boom. But when his big dreams went spectacularly bust in 1999, the crazed misfit killed his wife and two children, then walked into two Atlanta day-trading offices, murdering nine more innocent people and wounding thirteen others in the bloodiest workplace massacre in American history. His friend Brent Doonan was shot four times and near death when he escaped the bloodbath, just ahead of the pursuing Barton.    

3.      Seventy-Seven Minutes in Hell: Keith Thomas and the McDonald's Massacre. Twelve-year-old Keith Thomas had just sat down to a Happy Meal with a childhood friend and his family when deranged gunman James Huberty stormed into the San Ysidro, California, McDonald's with an Uzi semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun. For the next seventy-seven minutes, he stalked men, women, and children, including survivor Keith Thomas.

4.      Nightmare at Noon: Suzanna Gratia Hupp and the Luby's Massacre. Until the Virginia Tech killings in 2007, the deadliest shooting rampage in American history happened at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, in 1991, when George Hennard crashed his pickup truck into the restaurant and began the calm, systematic killing and wounding of forty-three people inside. Suzanne Gratia survived, but her parents were killed in the carnage. A hundred feet from where they were gunned down was a handgun Suzanna had left in her car.

5.      Death from Above: Tim Ursin and the Howard Johnson Sniper. After suffering racist abuse in the Navy, Mark Essex joined the Black Panthers and declared war on honkies. In 1973, he began a murderous spree in New Orleans, finally holing up in a downtown hotel, where he shot white guests, set fires, and then began firing at the police and firefighters who responded to the attack. Among the firefighters was young Tim Ursin, who climbed a ladder to get to a fire on an upper floor. But Essex leaned over a balcony and rained fire on Ursin.

6.      The Darkest Tower: Roland Ehlke and the Texas Tower Sniper. Roland Ehlke was walking across campus with two friends in 1973 when Charles Whitman opened fire from twenty-eight stories up in the University of Texas clock tower in Austin. He killed sixteen people and wounded thirty-one. Ehlke was hit twice and survived, but the course of his life was changed forever.

7.      Evil on the Front Porch: Dianne Alexander and the Serial Killer Derrick Todd Lee. When Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee asked to use the phone in nurse Dianne Alexander's trailer one night in 2002, she let him in. After attempting to rape her, he bludgeoned her and tried to strangle her with a telephone cord. Despite sustaining serious injuries, she was eventually the star witness in the serial-murder case against Lee.

8.      The Devil You Know: Anthony Majzer and Serial Killer David Maust. Chicago gangbanger Tony Majzer first met David Maust in prison, and they became fast friends. Later, when their moment of freedom came, Maust was living in a dowdy Chicago apartment and Majzer was about to leave a halfway house and be murdered. Maust tricked Majzer into getting drunk and beat him severely with a steel pipe, but the tough con Majzer didn't die. Majzer forced Maust to take him to the hospital with a fake mugging story, where he received dozens of stitches but refused to stay the night. Astonishingly, he returned to Maust's apartment instead.

9.      A Prayer before Dying: Missy Jenkins and the West Paducah High School Shooting. Fifteen-year-old Missy Jenkins had just said a prayer to begin a new school day when her fourteen-year-old classmate Michael Carneal opened fired with an automatic pistol in the foyer of their western Kentucky high school.

10.  Alone in a Dark Sea: Terry Jo Duperrault and the Bluebelle Murders. A dream vacation aboard a chartered yacht turned into a nightmare when the hired skipper killed his own wife and four of the five members of the Duperrault family, set the boat on fire, and escaped in the Bluebelle's only life raft leaving eleven-year-old Terry Jo Duperrault to drown or burn to death.

In Ron Franscell's captivating account of the darkest chapters of our history, the author skillfully reminds all of us of the meaning of grace and the triumph of the human spirit. Gregg Olsen, New York Times best-selling author of Victim Six

In Delivered from Evil Franscells mesmerizing accounts crackle with gritty details that put readers in the midst of the carnage and offer a front-row seat on the complex, painful process of surviving the rest of their lives. This journey into the darkest corners of the American crime-scape is a penetrating work of literary journalism by a writer hailed as one of the most powerful new voices in true crime.

Words & Language / Linguistics

Language Documentation: Practice and Values edited by Lenore A. Grenoble and N. Louanna Furbee (John Benjamins Publishing Company)

Language documentation, also often called documentary linguistics, is a relatively new subfield in linguistics which has emerged in part as a response to the pressing need for collecting, describing, and archiving material on the increasing number of endangered languages.

Language Documentation details the most recent developments in this rapidly developing field with papers written by linguists primarily based in academic institutions in North America, although many conduct their fieldwork elsewhere.

The articles in Language Documentation position papers and case studies focus on some of the most critical issues in the field. These include (1) the nature of contributions to linguistic theory and method provided by documentary linguistics, including the content appropriate for documentation; (2) the impact and demands of technology in documentation; (3) matters of practice in collaborations among linguists and communities, and in the necessary training of students and community members to conduct documentation activities; and (4) the ethical issues involved in documentary linguistics.

The papers in Language Documentation stem from a collaboration of several years sponsored by the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) and funded by the National Science Foundation. At the request of the Society, scholars involved in the documentation and archiving of endangered languages engaged in discussions among themselves on issues arising in this new field in the profession. Among their activities, they planned a conference on these topics, which was held during the LSA Linguistic Institute at MIT/Harvard in 2005. Originating in that conference, this book presents a statement about the content and conduct of language documentation at a turning point in its development, when it only recently has become a recognized area in linguistics. Edited by Lenore A. Grenoble, University of Chicago and N. Louanna Furbee, University of Missouri, Columbia, archivist for the Linguistic Society of America, the volume is organized around position papers and case studies that identify and illustrate existing possibilities and inadequacies, as well as desirable directions for the growth of the enterprise. The editors believe that Language Documentation should be seen both as a characterization of challenges afforded by language documentation at this point in time and as a set of informed suggestions for directions to be pursued.

The group of specialists engaged in these considerations represented the stakeholders in the emerging activity of language documentation of endangered languages, such as major archiving projects and electronic repositories for endangered languages, funding agencies, standards-setting initiatives, training programs, indigenous communities, and the LSA Committee on Endangered Languages and Their Preservation. Initially numbering 21 people, the group of participants became known as the LSA Conversation on Endangered Languages and Their Archiving, or simply the conversation group. A significant number of people joined the original conversation group and added their perspectives and expertise. The following describes the goals and contents of Language Documentation.

The conversation group organized a conference event, "Extending the LSA Conversation on Archiving Endangered Languages," which formed a final session of the conference on July 11, 2005, and which included about half of the original conversationalists, plus several other conference participants.

The interest groups collaborated throughout the next six months and then reported back at the 2006 LSA Annual Meeting, January 5-8, 2006, in Albuquerque. They reported to the Committee on Endangered Languages and Their Preservation, the Committee on Computing, and the Executive Committee. Suggestions ranged from resolutions such as one supporting the International Year of Languages, and another urging acceptance of documentary studies of endangered languages as appropriate topics for dissertations, to quite meaty and sometimes controversial works on issues such as (1) the state of the field for endangered language documentation; (2) linguistics, the public sector, and the documentary team, and (3) enhancing creative interactions among scholars, avocationalists, and students.

The "Conference on Language Documentation: Theory, Practice, and Values" examined issues that the process of language documentation raises for linguists, heritage speakers, and their respective communities. It attempted to set directions for aspects of the documentary enterprise (e.g., collaborations, appropriate training of field linguists, ethical issues, the documentary linguists' role in language revitalization efforts), as well as to present case histories of attempts at documentation and approaches to documentation and training.

Many of the papers in Language Documentation originated as posters or talks, reworked to fit the themes of the volume, focusing on key issues that emerged from the original topics that the conversation group identified the role of technology in documentation; the push among linguists, activists, and community members to jointly define language documentation and revitalization projects; and, above all, the ethical and moral issues underlying all of this work.

The contributors to Language Documentation range from seasoned linguists to undergraduate students, as well as to dedicated activists and community members, who all share a sense of commitment and enthusiasm for the hard work of language documentation. Although they present many perspectives, their works all exhibit a preoccupation with the ethical practice of language documentation. As those persons labor to save languages that are endangered, or at least save a persistent and useable record of them, they are more concerned with the impact of the manner of their work than many of their predecessors have been. This preoccupation makes their suggestions especially interesting since many offer truly original ways of incorporating and accommodating the interests of the communities who speak or once spoke these languages.

The contributors bring a wealth of experience working with different languages and communities to the discussion, and expertise in all aspects of the documentation process. Useful reading for anyone contemplating, embarking on or engaged in a language documentation project. Marianne Mithun, University of California, Santa Barbara

This is an indispensable volume. A terrific collection of rich, readable, thought-provoking, and very practical chapters. Jane Hill, University of Arizona

The drive to document languages is a new pressing imperative, but a dense thicket of issues intellectual, practical, social, ethical threaten to frustrate their attempts to fulfill it. This book points out the hazards, and charts a path through them, combining focused position papers with the revealing experiences of dozens of practitioners. Nicholas Ostler, Foundation for Endangered Languages

An exciting, wide-ranging exploration. It highlights the roles of technological advances and of ethical considerations in moving fieldwork from a solo enterprise to a multipurpose enterprise undertaken by and for diverse stakeholders. Nancy Dorian, Bryn Mawr College

Language Documentation will again extend the LSA Conversations on endangered languages and their archiving, continuing the creative engagement of the participants who helped to create it all the conversationalists, all the conference participants, and all those who prepared post-conference papers to situate and orient the sections.



Contents this Issue:

The Arts of South America, 1492-1850 edited by Donna Pierce (University of Oklahoma Press)

Hellas: Photographs of Modern Greece by William Abranowicz, with an introduction by Louis de Bernieres (Hudson Hills Press)

Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown and Coleen Marlo, unabridged, 6 CDs, running time 7 hours (Texas! Trilogy: Random House Audio)

Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown and Coleen Marlo (hardcover, paperback: Bantam)

Cocaine's Son: A Memoir by Dave Itzkoff (Villard)

Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi (Spiegel & Grau)

Never Lose Again: Become a Top Negotiator by Asking the Right Questions by Steven Babitsky and James J. Mangraviti (Thomas Dunne Books)

Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People by Edward M. Hallowell (Harvard Business Review Press)

Blogging and RSS: A Librarian's Guide, Second Edition by Michael P. Sauers (Information Today, Inc.)

Cooking Down East: Favorite Maine Recipes, 2nd edition by Marjorie Standish, with a new foreword by Melissa Kelly (Best Main Foods Series: Down East Books)

New Mexico's Tasty Traditions: Recollections, Recipes and Photos by Sharon Niederman (New Mexico Magazine)

Energetics in Acupuncture: Five Element Acupuncture Made Easy by Radha Thambirajah (Churchill Livingstone)

Florida: Mapping the Sunshine State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress by Vincent Virga and E. Lynne Wright (Mapping the States through History Series: Globe Perquot Press)

The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century (New Edition) by Michael Denning (Verso)

Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them by Mary Cappello (The New Press)

Contesting Realities: The Public Sphere and Morality in Southern Yemen by Susanne Dahlgren (Gender, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East Series: Syracuse University Press)

Fundamentals of Model Boat Building by John Into and Nancy Price (Schiffer Publishing Ltd)

The Log Home Book written & photographed by Ralph Kylloe (Gibbs Smith)

A Concise History of the Common Law by Theodore F.T. Plucknett (Liberty Fund)

The Latter-day Saint Family Encyclopedia by Christopher Kimball Bigelow and Jonathan Langford, edited by Don L. Brugger (Thunder Bay Press)

Following the Footsteps of the Invisible: The Complete Works of Diadochus of Photike introduction, translation and notes by Cliff Ermatinger (Cistercian Studies Series: Cistercian Publications, Liturgical Press)

Healing Through the Akashic Records: Discovering Your Soul's Perfection [Audiobook, 6 CDs, running time 7 hours] by Linda Howe (Sounds True)

The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human by V. S. Ramachandran (W.W. Norton)

We Are Our Language: An Ethnography of Language Revitalization in a Northern Athabascan Community (First Peoples, New Directions in Indigenous Studies) by Barbra A. Meek (University of Arizona Press)

The Sociology of Childhood, 3rd edition by William A. Corsaro (Sociology for a New Century Series: Pine Forge Press)

Delivered from Evil: True Stories of Ordinary People Who Faced Monstrous Mass Killers and Survived by Ron Franscell (Fair Winds Press)

Language Documentation: Practice and Values edited by Lenore A. Grenoble and N. Louanna Furbee (John Benjamins Publishing Company)