Contents this page:
An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) by Ad Hoc Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) and National Research Council (The National Academies Press)
Arts & Literature / Biographies & Memoirs
What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness by Candia McWilliam (Harper)
What to Look for in Winter is the story of a celebrated writer's sudden descent into blindness, and the redemptive journey into the past that her loss of sight sets in motion. The book has proven a literary sensation in Candia McWilliam's native Great Britain, where she won the 2011 South Bank Sky Arts Award for literature and was shortlisted for the Mind Book of the Year Award and the Duff Cooper Prize.
McWilliam's literary memoir was triggered by a catastrophic crisis: encroaching blindness. A certain tragedy for anyone, McWilliam's affliction was doubly frightful and more than a little ironic for an award-winning author and critic who makes her living as a reader and writer. As she struggled to relearn how to navigate her world, McWilliam found herself returning to the past – to vivid memories of a childhood marked by both happiness and isolation, and a womanhood shaped by talent, love and addiction.
What to Look for in Winter begins in 2006 when she is asked to join the judging panel of the Man Booker Prize. As she tackles the scores of novels that must be read, she suddenly begins to experience difficulties with her vision. After confounding more than one doctor, her condition is ultimately diagnosed as blepharospasm, a rare neurologically-induced form of blindness in which one loses the physical ability to keep one's eyes open. There is nothing wrong with the eyes themselves, she is told.
Propelled to look inward and into the past, McWilliam embarks on a painful personal voyage through a waste of snows punctuated by shards of ice as she attempts to write her life back. What follows is a flow of memory: her childhood in Edinburgh, her devastating alcoholism, finding and losing her bearings in Cambridge and London, her marriages, her children.
With a singular narrative style of free-flowing associations and recollections, McWilliam takes What to Look for in Winter through both past and present. Refusing to accept a fate of blindness, McWilliam pushes forward in search of a cure. But she also must face the everyday reality of her new affliction, as well as the way it shapes her own perception of her identity. As she begins to write this memoir – which for the first time in her career requires dictation – she ventures into emotional territory that she has long suppressed. Living in Oxford, a city she has inhabited for a long time but which still feels alien to her, McWilliam returns in her mind to the Scotland of her youth. There, she was raised by two forward-thinking, unconventional parents whose marriage was a ‘practical disaster.’ Her mother's suicide when young Candia was only nine left an unexplored scar which becomes the defining event of this memoir and McWilliam's search for past truths.
McWilliam, who has long traveled in rarified circles in the British literary world, winning awards for her fiction and being named one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists. Two high profile marriages (to an earl and an Oxford don) produced three children, now grown. Family members and friends all become characters in her artfully crafted stream-of-consciousness, contributing to her shifting uncertainties, her successes and insecurities, her defeats and recovery.
A dramatic memoir, which showcases [McWilliam’s] elegant voice. – O, the Oprah Magazine
A masterful wordmonger, McWilliam consistently delivers the perfect word or phrase to express each thought... In addition to the loveliness of the prose, the author's life story is just good reading... Anyone who enjoys a play of words and appreciates the turn of a phrase in a beautifully constructed sentence will value this book for years to come. – Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
[A] devastatingly brutal and gorgeously written memoir... Her writing is both precise and evocative... A shimmering and quite remarkable memoir. – Booklist, Starred review
A strange and startling memoir slung between the central poles of writing, alcoholism and blindness. It is a kind of literary origami trick, where the author folds in on herself in tight, dense, intricate collies, then unfolds herself again with miraculous lightness and delicacy. – Hilary Spurting, Guardian Summer Reading
Brilliant ... breathtakingly raw in its self-excoriation.... McWilliam wants "to pass the shiver that comes when we read and know for a time what it is to live, think, feel and be inside the mind of another." That shiver is felt on every page of this remarkable book. McWilliam writes with elegance, with sardonic humor and with honesty. Regaining the will to write may be no compensation for what she has lost, but readers can only be grateful for this unforgettable book. – Sunday Times
One of the most extraordinary literary autobiographies of this or any other year. – The Times
Unsparing and beautifully written. – The Herald
An essential book in all of its aspects, a thing of beauty and of unbearable hurt, of dreadful harm and intense humanity. It brims with perceptions to be unwrapped like the most precious of presents. Its starting point is the hideous onset of a particular form of blindness. In the end it is composed entirely of love ... replete with redemption. It is remarkably personal though as delicate as a ballet dancer when it needs to be.... This is a work to be considered with the utmost attention and care; a writer to be intensely cherished. – The Scotsman
An extremely sagacious book about loss.... It is the book's wisdom, modest and hard-won, that will stay with you. – The Observer
Magnificent. – Mail on Sunday
Candia McWilliam has the two essential attributes of a memoirist: ruthless honesty . . . and mastery of the language. – Jane Ridley, The Spectator
What to Look for in Winter is an eloquent and uncompromising literary memoir, a thought-provoking and absorbing work of truth from one of Britain's most celebrated writers. A personal story of love and loss, addiction and reclamation, her piercing memoir is also a celebration of friendship, reading, children, and the consolations of landscape. In the book, McWilliam riffles through her many incarnations to find her true self and discover how she may come to see once more. (In 2009 she underwent an operation to partially reverse her eye condition.) Ultimately, she recounts a "startling, discomforting, complicated, ungovernable, hilarious, and heartrending" (The Telegraph, UK) rite of passage, as she comes to terms with darkness, both real and metaphoric.
History & Social Sciences / Canada / Biographies & Memoirs
Pursuing China: Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer by Brian L. Evans (The University of Alberta Press)
One of the most annoying aspects of relations with Canada, and indeed the West, for the Chinese is our obsession with telling them what to do. It seems that in order for us to feel secure, we have to make the Chinese into clones of ourselves. The Chinese are amazed at our lack of self-awareness and at our hypocrisy. What moral lessons do we have to teach the Chinese, or Asians in general, when it was the West that fought wars to force China to import opium and Christianity, when it was the West that dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese, and experimented with Agent Orange and napalm on the Vietnamese? Is this the same West that now badgers China over human rights, and interprets any growth in the Chinese defence budget as a threat? And is the America that criticizes China for its use of prisons the same America that, with one-quarter of China's population, has half a million or more people in jail? And is it the Canada of the great internationalist Norman Bethune that criticizes China for building a railway across Tibet to facilitate settlement and commerce, when the very same technique was used to open and settle the Canadian Prairies? And is it not interesting that the CPR and the new Tibetan railway both used Chinese workers and Canadian engineers? Is it the same Canada that says it cannot interfere with its own courts to respond to requests from China for the return of known criminals, while, at the same time, insisting that the Chinese government should override its legal system and release Canadians with dual citizenship charged under Chinese and international law? Why is the West always saying, "Do as I say, but not as I do, or have done"? – from the book
With Pursuing China, Brian Evans, former Professor of Chinese History at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, makes a contribution to the understanding of the nature and wide range of Canada-China relations, an area in which he himself has played a role.
Brian Evans blends memoir and history to draw a picture of China and its cultural outreach over the past three decades in Pursuing China. His historical and sociological insights as student, scholar, and administrator form a commentary as he discusses China and the Cold War; the Cultural Revolution; the post-Mao transformation of China; Canada’s relations with China; the cultural impact of the overseas Chinese community on the Canadian Prairies; development of China studies in Canada and elsewhere; the current impact of China on Canadian higher education; and recent Chinese history seen within a broader context.
According to Evans in Pursuing China, Canada is no longer as important to China as it once was, and as we think we should be. We have less and less to teach China that it finds useful. Canadian and U.S. views of China need to be revised. Most importantly, and this most Westerners ignore, they view the world from a Chinese perspective and within the context of an unbroken history of over five thousand years. That is to say, to fulfill the dreams of the foreigner to get rich is not their prime purpose. Nor do they assume that foreign philosophies and modes of governing are necessarily the best or the most easily adapted to Chinese circumstances. Throughout their history, the Chinese have sought the way that best suits them. The Western human rights tradition stresses the rights of the individual over those of the collective, while the Chinese traditionally place the rights of the collective over those of the individual.
Evans says one would be a fool to attempt to predict China's future, save to say that Canada, along with the West, is going to have to learn to live with a powerful China and not to overreact to everything the Chinese do. Evans aligns himself with those who are of the opinion that China and the West are destined to be friendly competitors. China has too many problems of its own to become involved in the affairs of others, except when there is a direct threat to China's security.
According to Evans in his concluding chapter of Pursuing China, the current leaders of China are attempting to balance the forces of modernization unlocked by Deng prior to 1989 with the constraints of tradition and the ideological conservatives who cling to the socialist axioms of Marx and Mao. The next generation of leaders is expected to be made up of younger people more attuned to the world of globalization, along with its potential and its pitfalls, and to act accordingly. This will be a far cry from Mao's concept of self-reliance. Even so, the current regime has brought capitalists into the party and has moved to protect private property, much to the dismay of the old guard. Whichever generation is in charge, however, the leaders and the party have to learn how to renew themselves and to dilute their power gracefully. Otherwise they face the fate of the Soviet Communist Party, a lesson they have taken to heart. Moreover, they are reluctant to rush into democracy and run the risk of throwing up a leader like Boris Yeltsin or George W. Bush.
Pursuing China paints a vivid picture of China, providing an authentic, insider commentary that puts recent Chinese history within a broader context.
Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies
Kim Hargreaves' Vintage Designs to Knit: 25 Timeless Patterns for Women and Men from the Rowan Collection edited by Kate Buller (Trafalgar Square Books)
IInterest in vintage or ‘retro’ clothing that summons styles from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s experienced a resurgence a decade ago and hasn't faded since. Resale shops and consignment clothing boutiques are heavily favored by celebrity style icons, and the search for the perfect piece of vintage designer-wear can be great fun; if not all-consuming!
Now, in this collection of projects, most of which first appeared in the seminal Rowan magazine, readers will find a varied range of yarns and styles for all seasons, from chunky country jackets and sweaters to ethereal tops and cardigans. Showcasing a knitwear designer with a world-renowned flair for femininity and elegance, Kim Hargreaves' Vintage Designs to Knit revisits more than two dozen of Kim Hargreaves’ memorable designs featured in Rowan Yarns’ magazine. The photography highlights the artist’s classic yarns – including wools, mohairs, and cottons – providing a project for every time of year. From smart sweaters and cardigans to tailored jackets and stylish tops, this knitter’s delight also contains ideas for beaded, textured, plain, and lacy stitches, rounding its inspiring array off with a handful of accessories. There is something for men as well as women, and even a pattern that translates into a child's garment.
Hargreaves is a knitwear designer who formerly managed the Rowan brand and created hundreds of individual designs. Kate Buller is the senior brand manager at Rowan Yarns and the editor-in-chief of Rowan magazine. Buller has included a few of the most popular Hargreaves patterns of all time: ‘Elfin’, a frilled sweater set; ‘Iris’, a charming shrug; ‘Alex’, the traditional turtleneck with a sexy twist; and ‘Agnes’, the perfect little fitted jacket.
The designs in Kim Hargreaves' Vintage Designs to Knit include easy-to-knit classic tops, plus a great range of textured stitches and Hargreaves' trademark finishing details from deep garter stitch welts and cuffs on a classic jacket, to an exquisite edging on a feminine cardigan offering interest and challenge to more experienced knitters.
Every knitter with a sense of style and a taste for nostalgia is sure to love Kim Hargreaves' Vintage Designs to Knit. Hargreaves – the undisputed master of classic knits – offers marvelous designs for vintage knitwear from the Rowan archive that are sure to satisfy the most exacting of fashionistas, as well as inspire those who simply favor the tailored lines and classic detail of bygone eras.
Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Antiques & Collectibles / Americana
A Legacy in Tramp Art by Clifford A. Wallach, with a foreword by Helaine Fendelman (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.)
MMade from society’s discards, primarily wooden cigar boxes and wooden crates, tramp art is the story of the common man, unschooled in the arts, taking a simple tool to carve a legacy from the heart for all of us to enjoy and celebrate.
In over 600 color photos A Legacy in Tramp Art presents historical images and introduces newly discovered artists of tramp art, complete with their known biographies. The text tells the personal stories of the creators of tramp art, including Augustus ‘Gus’ Wynn, Levi Fisher Ames, Adolph Vandertie, John Kozimor, Robert Louis Kosmerl, Carl Briston, Ernest Huber, and Charles Mikkelsen. Also discussed are the collectors who cherished and brought tramp art into their lives. Examples of this unique art form include boxes, picture frames, miniature houses, and carousels that are marvels of meticulous detail.
Wallach has written two previous books on tramp art. He and his wife Nancy have dedicated their lives to researching, writing, and collecting tramp art made as early as the 1870s but only discovered as an art form in 1959.
Helaine Fendelman in the foreword to A Legacy in Tramp Art says that in the early 1970s, when she stumbled across her first piece of tramp art, she asked the dealer from whom she was purchasing the box what she was buying. The answer was tramp art and that it was the work of hoboes traveling the countryside and bartering these fancifully made boxes and frames for food and lodging. The extent of knowledge available was limited, supplemented by hearsay and stories passed from antiques dealer to antiques dealer. Not being satisfied with the answer he gave her, she started a journey to learn the origins of these boxes and frames. Building upon the earlier writings of collectors, dealers, and scholars, she also conducted extensive research on her own. In time, she was able to put together enough information to produce the first definitive book on tramp art.
Chapters in A Legacy in Tramp Art include:
Introduction: The Art of Textured Simplicity
With the publication of his three books, Cliff has brought tramp art into the mainstream of collecting as a recognized and respected art form. He has created a market while uncovering makers' names and thousands of examples of spectacular pieces of tramp art. Although memory and time have obscured the origins of many of the makers and their intentions, Cliff again has come to the fore, eliciting makers' stories and linking their names with beloved objects. It is now time to pass the mantle to Clifford Wallach, ‘The King of Tramp Art.’ – Helaine Fendelman, the foreword
For anyone with a passion for folk art, A Legacy in Tramp Art will be a much-treasured addition to their library.
Humanities / Education / Language
In Our Hands: Educating Healthcare Interpreters edited by Laurie Swabey and Karen Malcolm (The Interpreter Education Series: Gallaudet University Press)
Deaf Americans have identified healthcare as the most difficult setting in which to obtain a qualified interpreter. Yet, relatively little attention has been given to developing evidence-based resources and a standardized body of knowledge to educate healthcare interpreters. In Our Hands addresses these concerns by delineating the best practices for preparing interpreters to facilitate full access for deaf people in healthcare settings. The book was edited by Laurie Swabey, Professor of Interpreting, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, and Karen Malcolm, former Instructor/Coordinator, Department of Sign Language Interpreting, Douglas College, New Westminster, Canada.
The first section of In Our Hands begins with developing domains and competencies toward a teaching methodology for medical and mental health interpreters. The next chapter describes a discourse approach that relies on analyzing actual transcripts and recordings to train healthcare interpreters. Other chapters feature a model mental health interpreter training program in Alabama; using a Demand-Control Schema for experiential learning; the risk of vicarious trauma to interpreters; online educational opportunities; and interpreting for deaf health care professionals. The second section offers four perspectives on education, including healthcare literacy of the clients; the education of Deaf interpreters; the development of standards for spoken-language healthcare interpreters; and the perspectives of healthcare interpreter educators in Europe.
According to Swabey and Malcolm in the introduction, given the importance of healthcare interpreting, both in terms of the high stakes involved and the fact that it affects almost all deaf individuals and their family members, it is time for the field to seriously expand the number of evidence-based publications that are accessible and available to educators, consumers, and students. As a contribution to that effort, In Our Hands engages educators in building stronger courses in healthcare interpreting and to further engage the profession in the important work of preparing interpreters to facilitate full access to healthcare communication for Deaf people around the world.
In Our Hands presents the following chapters:
The first section of In Our Hands features approaches to best practices for educating healthcare interpreters. It begins with the chapter by Swabey and Craft Faber, which discusses the development of domains and competencies for medical and mental health interpreters. Their discussion of the use of these documents during the first National Symposium on Healthcare Interpreting points readers toward developing teaching methodology that addresses the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for medical interpreting and mental health interpreting. Following this, readers learn of a creative use of a discourse approach to preparing healthcare interpreters, one developed in Australia. Major, Napier, and Stubbe engaged students with discourse analysis techniques and worked with transcripts and recordings of actual healthcare interactions.
Next, Crump presents an overview of a model program in Alabama that prepares interpreters to work in mental health settings. She describes the many challenges that interpreters face in such venues and then outlines the Alabama program and the way it effectively prepares interpreters to work in this environment. Two of the instructors in the Alabama program are the authors of the next chapter – Dean and Pollard detail the efficacy of their Demand-Control Schema (DCS) and show how it can be applied to preparing interpreters for healthcare settings, both medical and mental health.
A number of authors throughout In Our Hands comment on the possibility that healthcare interpreters will experience vicarious trauma, making the next chapter apropos. Bontempo and Malcolm review the literature, describe the negative effects of vicarious trauma, and discuss strategies for educating students to avoid it or, if already affected, to manage their reactions in healthy and constructive ways. Next comes a look at online education for healthcare interpreters. Bowen-Bailey describes the need for online educational opportunities that satisfy the criteria for effective education. He considers both Bloom's taxonomy and Vygotsky's approaches and applies these principles in his description of an online educational experience he designed. Finally in this section, Moreland and Agan consider the education of interpreters working with deaf health professionals. While the number of deaf health professionals may be small at present, it is likely to continue to grow.
The second section of In Our Hands offers four unique perspectives on healthcare interpreting and healthcare interpreting education. This section begins with an examination of the importance of the role of healthcare literacy in the doctor-patient interview. Many IEPs focus on educating students to work with college-educated, bilingual deaf adults. However, as this chapter points out, the deaf patients that educators are preparing interpreters to work with run the gamut from illiterate to highly educated.
The next perspective focuses on the importance of the education of Deaf interpreters. Morgan and Adam examine their own pathways to becoming Deaf interpreters as well as documenting the important contributions Deaf interpreters have made and continue to make.
The third perspective is from two longstanding and active members of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care and its Committee on Standards, Training and Certification, Downing and Ruschke. They take readers through the development of standards for training for spoken-language interpreters, specifically in the medical field. The field is often quick to make comparisons with spoken-language interpreters, and this chapter gives educators an insider's view about the challenges and successes of spoken-language interpreter education in the healthcare setting.
The final perspective is from Europe, specifically Great Britain, Italy, and the Netherlands. Three leading educators/interpreters/policymakers, Hema, Salami, and de Wit, describe the education of healthcare interpreters in their respective countries. With globalization, it is increasingly vital that educators and interpreters become aware of educational practices around the globe.
The range and depth of In Our Hands makes significant strides in presenting educational opportunities that can enhance the critical services provided by healthcare interpreters to deaf clients. The book is destined to be one of the guideposts for significantly increasing the number of qualified interpreters who are well prepared to work in healthcare settings.
Humanities / Linguistics / Semantics
Dialogue, Science and Academic Writing Zohar Livnat, with general editor Edda Weigand (Dialogue Studies Series, Volume 13: John Benjamins Publishing Company)
Dialogue, Science and Academic Writing investigates
nature of research articles from the perspective of discourse
analysis, based on theories of dialogicity. It proposes a
theoretical and applied framework for the understanding and
exploration of scientific dialogicity. Focusing on some dialogic
components, among them citations, concession, inclusive we and
interrogatives, a combined model of scientific dialogicity is
proposed, that reflects the place and role of various linguistic
structures against the background of various theoretical approaches
Taking this combined model as a basis, the analysis by Zohar Livnat of Bar-Ilan University in Dialogue, Science and Academic Writing demonstrates how scientific dialogicity is realized in an actual scientific dispute and how a scientific project is constructed step by step by means of a dialogue with its readers and discourse community. A number of different patterns of scientific dialogicity are offered, characterized by the different levels of the polemic held with the research world and other specific researchers – from the ‘classic’, moderate and polite dialogicity to a direct and personal confrontation between scientists.
According to Livnat in the introduction, scientific text, often called academic prose, is often presented on the monologic-dialogic continuum as a classic example of a monologic text. Some linguists, in analyzing and comparing language variations, take it as being at the extreme monological pole, with spoken interaction being the other, most ‘dialogic’ one.
However, a more in-depth scrutiny of the nature of scientific writing shows that it is only partially monologic in character. In fact, the texts that scientists write contain many dialogic features: They address other people in the past, present and future, relate to them and correspond with them in different ways. Moreover, it may be argued that scientific creativity, with the fluid and open-ended process that characterizes it, is rooted in an ongoing scientific conversation.
The aim of Dialogue, Science and Academic Writing is to investigate the dialogic nature of research articles from the perspective of linguistics and discourse analysis. In recent years, discourse analysts have examined various aspects of academic dialogicity, but no complete framework has yet been provided for these observations based on theories of dialogicity. The book seeks to provide a theoretical and applied framework for the understanding and exploration of academic dialogicity, in which varying levels and types of dialogicity are expressed. This task involves a number of different steps, which are included in the book's two theoretical chapters (2 and 3) and two analytical ones (4 and 5).
Many current theories touch in one way or another on the question of the dialogicity of discourse from various perspectives, such as the cognitive, historical and communicative aspects. For the design of the theoretical framework of this study, Livnat chooses four theoretical approaches that appear to make the most substantial contribution to the research question that interests him – the dialogicity of scientific texts. In Chapter 2, he presents each of them and then integrates them so as to best serve the analysis in the analytical chapters.
Livnat’s assumption in Dialogue, Science and Academic Writing is that persuasion is by definition dialogic, since it requires orientation toward an audience in order to increase its acceptance. Thus, the next step is to define the discourse used in research articles as a persuasive genre. In Chapter 3, he supports this definition in various ways through the analysis of excerpts taken from articles published in social sciences journals.
Chapter 4 is devoted to the search for a coherent model of dialogicity that can serve as a solid basis for the analysis of scientific dialogicity. Four textual components that have been shown to be of considerable importance in designing the dialogic nature of academic discourse are discussed: citations, concession, the inclusive we and questions. This chapter proposes a combined model of scientific dialogicity that describes the place and role of these linguistic structures against the background of the various theoretical approaches to dialogicity.
Taking this combined model as a basis, Chapter 5 of Dialogue, Science and Academic Writing demonstrates how scientific dialogicity is realized in an actual academic dispute. In order to take a closer and more in-depth look at the dialogic dimension of the academic discourse, Livnat analyzes of a number of complete articles. The articles all focus on the same topic and hold a dialogue with one another, and consequently, provide a better understanding of the specific content to enable a more precise interpretation of each of the linguistic components that can be identified in the texts. His analysis shows how a scientific project is constructed step by step by means of a dialogue with its readers and discourse community. In this chapter he offers a number of different patterns of scientific dialogicity characterized by the different levels of the polemic held with the research world and other specific researchers – from the ‘classic;’ moderate and polite dialogicity to a direct and personal confrontation between scientists.
In this chapter, Livnat analyzes papers originally written in English, in order to enable readers to see entire sections of texts, with all the attendant linguistic nuances, without requiring the mediation of translation. Unlike studies that have investigated academic discourse by means of computerized corpora, or which restricted themselves in advance to seeking out specific linguistic features, he uses the methodology of open and free discourse analysis in this chapter, to observe the entire text in its context, as well as to identify an entire range of linguistic and rhetorical strategies that aid the author in achieving his aims. His analysis follows the outline of the analyzed papers themselves, so that readers can gain at least a partial understanding of the range of arguments offered in the paper.
In the analysis of the texts in Dialogue, Science and Academic Writing, readers see how the researchers themselves present the weight that they choose to assign to the various methods and their own preferences in regard to research methods.
Literature & Fiction / British / Philosophy
Forgiving the Gift: The Philosophy of Generosity in Marlowe and Shakespeare by Jeffrey S. Theis (Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies Series: Duquesne University Press)
On the early modem stage, both language and politics arise from an originary generosity. Edward only wields political power for the sake of Gaveston, whom he loves; similarly, Prospero only returns to the dukedom of Milan for the sake of Miranda, whom he also loves. Antonio becomes indebted to Shylock and enters into the entire web of obligations and debts out of a love for Bassanio that initially seems barely to enter his consciousness, much less overtly drive his decisions. It is a habit of criticism to attempt to explain characters' actions in terms either of self-interest or manipulation (by others or by power or by society in general). However, in these plays, generosity does not reveal itself as a ruse of economics, a polite fiction driven by self-interest, or an instrument of social organization. Rather, a primary generosity inspires politics and even language. – from the introduction to the book
Forgiving the Gift challenges the tendency to reflexively
understand gifts as exchanges, negotiations, and circulations.
Lawrence reads plays by Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare
as informed by an early modern belief in the possibility and even
necessity of radical generosity, of gifts that break the cycle of
economy and self-interest.
The prologue reads Marlowe's Dr. Faustus to show how the play aligns gift and grace, depicting Faustus's famous bond as the instrument simultaneously of reciprocal exchange and of damnation. In the introduction, Jeffrey S. Theis, associate professor of English at Salem State College, frames his argument theoretically by placing Marcel Mauss's classic essay, The Gift, into dialogue with Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and Paul Ricoeur to sketch two very different understandings of gift-giving. In the first, described by Mauss, the gift becomes a covert form of exchange. Though Mauss contrasts the gift economy with the market economy, his description of the gift economy nevertheless undermines his own project of discovering in it a basis for social solidarity. In the second understanding of gift exchange, derived from the philosophy of Levinas, the gift expresses the radical asymmetry of ethical concern.
The original readings of The Merchant of Venice, Edward II, King Lear, Titus Andronicus, and The Tempest constitute the body of Forgiving the Gift. These readings find in the plays a generosity that exceeds the social practice of gift-giving, because extraordinarily generous acts of friendship or filial affection survive the collapse of social norms. Antonio in Merchant and the title character in Edward II practice a friendship whose extravagance marks its excess. Lear, on the other hand, brings about his tragedy by attempting to reduce filial love to debt. Titus also discovers a love excessive to social convention when rape and mutilation annihilate his daughter's cultural value. Finally, Prospero in The Tempest sacrifices power and even his own life for the love of his daughter, giving a gift rendered asymmetrical by both its excess and its secrecy.
While proposing new readings of works of Renaissance drama, Forgiving the Gift also questions the model of human life from which many contemporary readings, especially those characterized as new historicist or cultural materialist, grow. In so doing, it addresses questions of how we are to understand literary texts, but also how we are to live with others in the world.
Theis is superb at weaving together social and natural history
with literary tradition and nuanced close readings.... As a
contribution to studies of the environment and Renaissance
literature, Theis's work is welcome and significant. – Renaissance
Theis identifies and examines sylvan pastoral, a highly adaptable literary mode in which English writers from the 1590s to the 1670s resituated pastoral from open land to forest. This change in setting permitted imaginative engagement with contemporary issues such as fears of deforestation, increased rates of migration to woodlands, and the status of the royal forest as a symbol of monarchical power. – Choice
This book makes an important contribution to ecocritical scholarship and to critical work on early modern English pastoral writing. – SEL Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900
Forgiving the Gift contributes to our understanding of gift giving. Literature and philosophy scholars alike will benefit from these original readings of The Merchant of Venice, Edward II, King Lear, Titus Andronicus, and The Tempest.
Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers
Plunder: A Faye Longchamp Mystery by Mary Anna Evans (Faye Longchamp Mysteries: Poisoned Pen Press)
Time is not on Faye Longchamp's side in Plunder, the 7th in this series by the award-winning Mary Anna Evans. Faye and her Native American husband Joe are working near the mouth of the Mississippi, researching archaeological sites soon to be flooded by oil. The Deepwater Horizon disaster has morphed her run-of-the-mill contract job into a task that might swamp her fledgling consulting business.
It isn't helping that an injured babysitter has left Faye to work with a toddler underfoot. Thankfully, Amande, a bright and curious teen battling to break free from a poverty-stricken life on a houseboat with an eccentric grandmother, lives nearby. Amande is an insatiable student. But when the girl's grandmother and her no-account uncle are murdered, her prospects worsen.
With only two known relatives – neither of them much more respectable than the dead uncle – Amande in Plunder seems destined for neglect or worse.
Soon, Faye and Joe find themselves among people fighting hard for Amande's pathetic inheritance: a raggedy houseboat, a few shares of stock, and a hurricane-battered island that's not even inhabitable. Pirate-era silver coins are found and disappear. Shadowing it all is the fact that there's a murderer on the loose. But why should Faye be surprised by such shady events here in these watery lands once harboring the greatest pirates of them all? And she can see, as the oil slick looms, Louisiana is still being plundered... after all these years….
In her delightfully erudite seventh (Strangers, 2010, etc.), Faye continues to weave archaeological tidbits and interesting people into soundly plotted mysteries. – Kirkus Reviews
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico provides the backdrop for Evans's engaging, character-driven seventh mystery.... Faye replaces [her babysitter] with an amateur treasure hunter, 16-year-old Amande Landreneau. Amande's story and her tales of the pirates who claimed Barataria Bay as their home overshadow the archeology in this outing. Readers will hope to see more of Amande. – Publishers Weekly
Evans's award-winning series of Faye's adventures includes Artifacts, Relics, Effigies, Findings, Floodgates, Strangers and, now in 2012, Plunder.
Politics & Social Sciences / Philosophy / Religion & Spirituality / Religious Studies
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt (Pantheon)
Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and
problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the
motives of their fellow citizens? In
The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores
the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual
Haidt’s starting point is moral intuition – the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and visiting professor of business ethics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, shows readers how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. In The Righteous Mind he blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim – that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In the final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.
The Righteous Mind is about why it’s so hard for us to get along. He takes readers on a tour of human nature and history from the perspective of moral psychology. He gives them a new way to think about two of the most important, vexing, and divisive topics in human life: politics and religion. Etiquette books tell us not to discuss these topics in polite company, but he says go ahead. Politics and religion are both expressions of our underlying moral psychology, and an understanding of that psychology can help to bring people together. He says his goal is to drain some of the heat, anger, and divisiveness out of these topics and replace them with awe, wonder, and curiosity. According to Haidt, humans are downright lucky that we evolved this complex moral psychology that allowed our species to burst out of the forests and savannas and into the delights, comforts, and extraordinary peacefulness of modern societies in just a few thousand years.
Haidt says he could have titled this book The Moral Mind to convey the sense that the human mind is designed to ‘do’ morality, just as it’s designed to do language, sexuality, music, and many other things described in popular books reporting the latest scientific findings. But he chose the title The Righteous Mind to convey the sense that human nature is not just intrinsically moral, it’s also intrinsically moralistic, critical, and judgmental.
The Righteous Mind has three parts, each one depending on the
one before it. Each part presents one major principle of moral
Part I is about the first principle: Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second. Moral intuitions arise automatically and almost instantaneously, long before moral reasoning has a chance to get started, and those first intuitions tend to drive our later reasoning. If readers think that moral reasoning is something they do to figure out the truth, they will be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with them. But if they think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further their social agendas – to justify their own actions and to defend the teams they belong to – then things will make a lot more sense.
The central metaphor of these four chapters is that the mind is divided, like a rider on an elephant, and the rider’s job is to serve the elephant. The rider is conscious reasoning – the stream of words and images of which we are fully aware. The elephant is the other 99 percent of mental processes – the ones that occur outside of awareness but that actually govern most of our behavior. In this book Haidt uses the metaphor to solve puzzles such as why it seems like everyone (else) is a hypocrite and why political partisans are so willing to believe outrageous lies and conspiracy theories. He also uses the metaphor to show readers how they can better persuade people who seem unresponsive to reason.
Part II is about the second principle of moral psychology, which is that there’s more to morality than harm and fairness. The central metaphor of these four chapters is that the righteous mind is like a tongue with six taste receptors. Secular Western moralities are like cuisines that try to activate just one or two of these receptors – either concerns about harm and suffering, or concerns about fairness and injustice. But people have so many other powerful moral intuitions, such as those related to liberty, loyalty, authority, and sanctity. Haidt explains where these six taste receptors come from, how they form the basis of the world’s many moral cuisines, and why politicians on the right have a built-in advantage when it comes to cooking meals that voters like.
Part III of The Righteous Mind is about the third principle: Morality binds and blinds. The central metaphor of these four chapters is that human beings are 90 percent chimp and 10 percent bee. Human nature was produced by natural selection working at two levels simultaneously. Individuals compete with individuals within every group, and we are the descendants of primates who excelled at that competition. This gives us the ugly side of our nature, the one that is usually featured in books about our evolutionary origins. We are indeed selfish hypocrites so skilled at putting on a show of virtue that we fool even ourselves.
But human nature was also shaped as groups competed with other groups. As Darwin said long ago, the most cohesive and cooperative groups generally beat the groups of selfish individualists. Darwin's ideas about group selection fell out of favor in the 1960s, but recent discoveries are putting his ideas back into play, and the implications are profound. We're not always selfish hypocrites. We also have the ability, under special circumstances, to shut down our petty selves and become like cells in a larger body, or like bees in a hive, working for the good of the group. These experiences are often among the most cherished of our lives, although our hivishness can blind us to other moral concerns. Our bee-like nature facilitates altruism, heroism, war, and genocide.
Once readers see righteous minds as primate minds with a hivish overlay, they get a whole new perspective on morality, politics, and religion. Haidt shows that our ‘higher nature’ allows us to be profoundly altruistic, but that altruism is mostly aimed at members of our own groups. Haidt shows that religion is (probably) an evolutionary adaptation for binding groups together and helping them to create communities with a shared morality. He uses this perspective to explain why some people are conservative, others are liberal (or progressive), and still others become libertarians. People bind themselves into political teams that share moral narratives. Once they accept a particular narrative, they become blind to alternative moral worlds.
Haidt draws on the latest research in neuroscience, genetics, social psychology, and evolutionary modeling, but the take-home message of The Righteous Mind is ancient. It is the realization that we are all self-righteous hypocrites.
Enlightenment requires us all to take the logs out of our own eyes and then escape from our ceaseless, petty, and divisive moralism. Haidt believes that a world without moralism, gossip, and judgment would quickly decay into chaos. But if we want to understand ourselves, our divisions, our limits, and our potentials, we need to step back, drop the moralism, apply some moral psychology, and analyze the game we're all playing.
Jonathan Haidt is one of smartest and most creative psychologists
alive, and his newest book, The
Righteous Mind, is a tour de force – a brave, brilliant and
eloquent exploration of the most important issues of our time. It
will challenge the way you think about liberals and conservatives,
atheism and religion, good and evil. This is the book that everyone
will be talking about. – Paul Bloom, Yale University, Author of How
As a fellow who listens to heated political debate daily, I was fascinated, enlightened, and even amused by Haidt's brilliant insights. This penetrating yet accessible book will help readers understand the righteous minds that inhabit politics. – Larry Sabato, University of Virginia, author of A More Perfect Constitution
A remarkable and original synthesis of social psychology, political analysis, and moral reasoning that reflects the best of sciences in these fields and adds evidence that we are innately capable of the decency and righteousness needed for societies to survive. – Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
A profound discussion of the diverse psychological roots of morality and their role in producing political conflicts. It's not too much to hope that the book will help to reduce those conflicts. – Richard E. Nisbett, University of Michigan, author of The Geography of Thought
Haidt's research has revolutionized the field of moral psychology. This elegantly written book has far-reaching implications for anyone interested in politics, religion, or the many controversies that divide modern societies. If you want to know why you hold your moral beliefs, and why many people disagree with you, read this book. – Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge University, Author of The Science of Evil
The Righteous Mind is an intellectual tour de force that brings Darwinian theorizing to the practical realm of everyday politics. The book is beautifully written, and it is truly unusual to encounter a book that makes a major theoretical contribution yet encourages one to turn its pages enthusiastically. – Christopher Boehm, University of Southern California, author of Moral Origins
Here is the first attempt to give an in depth analysis of the underlying moral stance and dispositions of liberals and conservatives. I couldn't put it down and discovered things about myself! – Michael Gazzaniga, University of California, Santa Barbara, author of The Ethical Brain
A well-informed tour of contemporary moral psychology… A cogent rendering of a moral universe of fertile complexity and latent flexibility. – Kirkus
The Righteous Mind will make conversations about morality,
politics, and religion more common, more civil, and more fun, even
in mixed company. Haidt’s hope, and this editor’s hope too, is that
it will help us humans to get along.
Politics & Social Sciences / Women’s Studies / Current Events / Civil Liberties
The Unfinished Revolution: Voices from the Global Fight for Women's Rights edited by Minky Worden, with a foreword by Christiane Amanpour (Seven Stories Press)
It’s a time of change in the world, with dictators toppling and new opportunities rising, but any revolution that doesn’t create equality for women will be incomplete. The time has come to realize the full potential of half the world’s population. – Christiane Amanpour, from the foreword
The Unfinished Revolution tells the story of the global struggle
to secure basic rights for women and girls, including in the Middle
East where the Arab Spring raised high hopes, but the political
revolutions are so far insufficient to guarantee progress.
Around the world, women and girls are trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery, trapped in conflict zones where rape is a weapon of war, prevented from attending school, and kept from making deeply personal choices in their private lives, such as whom and when to marry. In many countries, women are second-class citizens by law. In others, religion and traditions block freedoms such as the right to work, study or access to health care. Even in the United States, women who are victims of sexual violence often do not see their attackers brought to justice.
The Unfinished Revolution shows that the fight for women’s equality is far from over. As Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate says, “Women are not free anywhere in this world until all women in the world are free.”
More than 30 writers – Nobel Prize laureates, leading activists, policymakers, and former victims – have contributed to The Unfinished Revolution. Drawing from rich personal experiences, they tackle some of the toughest questions and offer new approaches to problems affecting hundreds of millions of women. Contributors include: Esraa Abdel Fattah, Hawa Abdi, Christiane Amanpour, Charlotte Bunch, Ellen Chesler, Isobel Coleman, Shirin Ebadi, Georgette Gagnon, Liesl Gerntholtz, Sharon K. Hom, Aruna Kasityap, Nadya Khalife, Mark P. Lagon, Gara Lamarche, Graca Machel, Marianne Mollmann, Samer Muscati, Agnes Odhiambo, Elaine Pearson, Sheridan Prasso, Rachel Reid, Meghan Rhoad, Sarah J. Robbins, Mary Robinson, Judith Sunderland, Sussan Tahmasebi, Dorothy Q. Thomas, Sarah Tofte, Gauri Van-Gulik, Anneke Van Woudenberg, Nisha Varia, Janet Walsh, Christoph Wilcke and Jody Williams.
As Human Rights Watch's Director of Global Initiatives, editor Minky Worden develops and implements international outreach and advocacy campaigns. According to her, in October 2011, the Norwegian Nobel Committee named three women winners of the Nobel Peace Prize – an award won by only a dozen women since 1901. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her compatriot Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman were honored "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights;" in a declaration that was clearly intended to send the message that the moment for women and girls to achieve basic rights had arrived. This moment is as dramatic as any in recent decades for women and girls.
We have seen enormous changes in law and practice, with measurable progress in women's ability to get an education, to work, and to make decisions about their own bodies. Yet in several places, including Iraq and Afghanistan, women are losing ground, facing violent insurgencies that threaten and attack women who are active in public life or work outside their homes. As Rachel Reid writes in The Unfinished Revolution, a common form of threat in Afghanistan is the ‘night letter’ left at a house or girls' school, such as this ominous letter sent to a female government employee: "We Taliban warn you to stop working for the government, otherwise we will take your life away. We will kill you in such a harsh way that no woman has so far been killed in that manner. This will be a good lesson for those women like you who are working."
With societies from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya in political transition from repressive dictatorships, fundamental questions remain about whether women will indeed benefit from the overthrowing of tyrants. It is not yet clear whether they will be allowed to participate in the new political systems in the Middle East, or whether their rights will be protected under the region's new constitutions.
The Unfinished Revolution spotlights these and other pressing problems for women and girls in the world today, and to give a road map to solutions that can work. In these pages readers meet tenacious women human rights defenders. Readers hear in their own voices from women and girls who have faced unimaginable terror and grief. And they can decide for themselves whether so-called ‘traditional practices’ such as early marriage or female genital mutilation are harmful practices that have no rightful place in the world today.
When women are fully empowered, there is clear evidence that previously unthinkable opportunities develop for them – and also for their families, communities, and countries.
The Unfinished Revolution is indispensable reading, providing thoughtful analysis from a never-before assembled group of advocates.
Professional & Technical / Architecture / Religious
The Cathedrals of England by Harry Batsford & Charles Fry, with a foreword by Simon Jenkins (Batsford)
The Cathedrals of England, Batsford's classic 1934 book on England's cathedrals republished for a modern audience, a hardcover classic, newly reissued, celebrates the majesty of England's cathedrals. It traces the history of each one of these 40 key edifices, backed with iconic line drawings by artist Brian Cook, as well as stunning photos. From London's Westminster Abby, site of the crowning of nearly every English monarch, to the immense Gothic masterpiece at York to Canterbury, Durham, and Oxford, England's grandest houses of worship are found in the book.
The Cathedrals of England covers all the major cathedrals, built by 1934, from Canterbury to Durham through St Albans and York, plus the parish church cathedrals, such as Birmingham and the pre-war Coventry, and the now quaintly termed `modern cathedrals' of Truro, Liverpool and Guildford. For each cathedral, the authors provide a succinct description, photographs, cathedral plan and drawings by Brian Cook.
Harry Batsford was the author of several books on life in Britain, including How to See the Country, The English Cottage and The Face of Scotland (all co-authored with Charles Fry), and was the chairman of the publisher B. T. Batsford from 1917 to 1952. His passion for all aspects of British life is seen in the books he wrote and also in his stewardship of the publishing house for several decades.
Cook worked at the publishing company B.T. Batsford from 1928 to 1950, during which time he produced some of the most memorable book jackets in British publishing. His designs were pioneering, using the Jean Berte printing process for color reproduction, and graced the covers of books in the Face of Britain, English Life and British Heritage series. His jacket covers are now hugely collectable and are loved by those who remember the originals but also by a new generation who have rediscovered his beautiful art.
According to the original preface, The Cathedrals of England is intended first and foremost as a compact pictorial review of the Cathedrals, with a brief account of each, written as simply and concisely as possible to meet the needs of the increasing body of people who appreciate these great churches, and were, because of the development of touring, able to visit them much more frequently and widely. It is, of course, a large and fascinating field of study, capable of treatment from many angles and in almost infinite detail, and has furnished the subject-matter of quite a library since John Britton completed his great twelve-volume survey. The Cathedrals of England can claim to illustrate the Cathedrals, if not in great detail, with all the resources of modern photography, with its transformed technique of lighting and effect.
For the sake of completeness, the ‘parish-church cathedrals’ are briefly included, though theoretically outside the scope of the survey. The drawings in the text have inevitably, in many instances, been submitted to severe reduction, in order to fit the space available in the description. Plans are given in the case of every `major' cathedral, and these are reproduced to a uniform scale throughout to make comparison easy.
The contents of The Cathedrals of England is a faithful facsimile of the original 1934 text except for the new foreword by Simon Jenkins. As such, it includes the phraseology of the time, descriptions of England's cathedrals of the time, and also attitudes of the 1930s.
The Cathedrals of England is a classic book on England's cathedrals, one of the most beautiful examples of Canada’s national heritage. Wonderfully readable and richly illustrated with photographs and original drawings, this is still a great read for architectural enthusiasts and those who visit churches and cathedrals.
Psychology & Counseling / Self-help / Hypnosis
Why Do I Keep Doing This!!? End Bad Habits, Negativity and Stress with Self-Hypnosis and NLP by Judith E. Pearson (Crown House Publishing, Ltd.)
If a person curious about hypnosis and self-improvement were to seek answers from only one source, it should be this book, which asks all the right questions and provides full and complete answers for one seeking solutions.
The companion CD nicely rounds out the total package and makes possible a post-hypnotic suggestion often uttered by the famous Dr. Milton Erickson, "My voice will go with you." – George Gafner, MSW, LCSW, Author, Techniques of Hypnotic Induction, Tucson, from the foreword
Why do people find it so difficult to change unwanted habits and behaviors?
One can come up with all sorts of explanations, ranging from childhood trauma to genetics to personality types, but what it really boils down to is the fact that most people simply aren't skilled at managing their minds. When they try to break a habit, their brains send out signals of alarm and discomfort. The solutions to readers’ problems lie in the unconscious mind, and Judith E. Pearson, PhD in Why Do I Keep Doing This!!? considers the unconscious mind in devising her techniques in this book. To get past this, Pearson, who has put in over 20 years of practice in NLP and hypnosis, says readers must put the ‘logical brain’ in charge. They do this using self-hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
Pearson explains how hypnosis relaxes and quiets the mind's chatter and helps access the qualities and strengths we already possess. NLP spells out those strategies step by step. The concepts and mechanisms of hypnosis and the principles of NLP make for effective approaches to self-hypnosis.
Why Do I Keep Doing This!!? helps readers:
Part I covers basic information about hypnosis and NLP. Readers learn easy methods for going into a relaxation state (trance), visualizing results, giving themselves suggestions, and coming out of a trance. The CD that comes with Why Do I Keep Doing This!!? features a self-hypnosis trance training that guides readers through various methods of trance induction. Part II includes 16 self-hypnosis applications that clients most often bring to hypnotherapy, such as habits and addictions, smoking, overeating, insomnia, procrastination, emotional difficulties, and pain management, among others.
Judith Pearson's insightful, helpful, well-written book is the best self-help book I have read in years.... I'm keeping it at my bedside to dip into when I need to remember how to be my own best self. – Shelle Rose Charvet, author of Words That Change Minds
Why Do I Keep Doing This!!? stands way above most self-help books as well as books about self-hypnosis. – C. Roy Hunter, PhD, FAPHP, author of several hypnosis texts, including The Art of Hypnosis
Why Do I Keep Doing This!!? is in a different league altogether and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to a client ... in fact, I've already recommended it to my wife. – Nick Jenkins, cognitive hypnotherapist
This is a really informative back to basics book about self-hypnosis, which could be read by anyone interested in learning more about this particular skill. – Karen Moxom, Managing Director, Association for NLP
Serves as a good introduction to hypnosis and NLP for those
wanting to explore how these tools can be considered in relation to
changing unhelpful behaviours. – Nick Kemp, creator of Provocative
Offers a 'buffet' of food for the 'emotionally hungry' person. – Bobby G. Bodenhamer, DMin, Patterns for Renewing Your Mind International
The solid writing and copy-editing make this a well-organized book that is easy to read and apply to one’s personal situation. Through the use of an easy, self-help method, even the most skeptical are able to overcome their worst habits with Why Do I Keep Doing This!!?.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Religious Studies / New Testament
Coping with Violence in the New Testament edited by Pieter G. R. de Villiers and Jan Willem van Henten (Studies in Theology and Religion (Star) Series: Brill)
In 2000–2001 I was living in Jerusalem while working on a research project about Jewish and Christian martyrdom in antiquity. In the afternoon I often worked in the National Library, which is part of the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University. Each time as I was entering or leaving the Judaica Reading Room I saw the stunning stained-glass window by Marc Chagall, which represents the well-known vision of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 2 ("They shall beat their swords into plowshares ..." Isa. 2:4). On the road home, however, driving in the direction of Ramallah, I saw slogans on the back of Palestinian minibuses with messages like "Rather dead than unfree". Several times I read interviews in the newspapers with a mother of a Palestinian, who had sacrificed his life for the Palestinian cause. I could not resist associating these mothers with the mother of the Maccabean martyrs (2 Macc. 7). While some might see these acts as violent suicides, many Palestinians regarded them as martyrdoms. It was the year in which the Second Intifada began. – from the book
Violence is present in the very heart of religion and its sacred traditions – also of Christianity and the Bible. The problem, however, is not only that violence is ingrained in the mere existence of religions with their sacred traditions. It is equally problematic to realize that the icy grip of violence on the sacred has gone unnoticed and unchallenged for a very long time. Coping with Violence in the New Testament aims to contribute to the recent scholarly debate about the interconnections between violence and monotheistic religions by analyzing the role of violence in the New Testament as well as by offering some hermeneutical perspectives on violence as it is articulated in the earliest Christian writings.
The book is edited by Pieter G. R. de Villiers, D. Th., Professor Extraordinarius of New Testament at the University of the Free State and Jan Willem van Henten, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament at the University of Amsterdam.
Should we erase the violent passages from our canon, or should we go for ‘a canon within the canon’ and link up with those passages that point to another way, Jesus' third way? As a further possibility, should we accept that violence is part of our religious and cultural tradition and try to cope with it, instead of erasing or ignoring it? The role of readers is crucial, as several contributors point out. Wink offers guidelines for contemporary readers who want to go beyond the violence reflected in biblical passages.
Chapters of Coping with Violence in the New Testament and their authors include:
PART I. INTRODUCTORY ESSAYS
PART II. CASE STUDIES
PART III. EPILOGUE
Coping with Violence in the New Testament is the result of a conference on violence in the New Testament that took place in Stellenbosch, South Africa. New Testament scholars from The Netherlands, Belgium and South Africa took part in a first joint venture during which they presented papers in Dutch, Flemish and Afrikaans on this topic of special relevance to their discipline.
The epilogue by de Villiers offers some hermeneutical observations about violence in the light of the contributions to Coping with Violence in the New Testament within a wider range of publications in New Testament studies as a discipline. The debate about violence is in several respects new and underdeveloped, though it has shown progress. A major step forward in the discussion of violence was the recognition, for example, that Christianity is not merely about people who suffer violence at the hand of its persecutors, but also about Christianity itself perpetrating violence in many forms. Another significant development was the openness and the growing concern about the consequences of violent pronouncements and motifs in biblical texts and in the understanding of God's character and actions.
These two developments reflect a commendable self-critical position of researchers and an awareness of what violence, potential destruction and power games underlie seemingly innocuous language. The new awareness and openness includes the willingness to account for the darker side of the sacred texts of Christianity, and also a growing determination to break with destructive practices that are perpetrated in the name of religion and Christianity. While much has been achieved, as is clear from what has been written in Coping with Violence in the New Testament, much remains to be done, especially since violence is now perhaps one of the most serious threats to humanity and creation. The theories discussed in the volume offer a useful framework for discussion of these issues.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology
The Gospel as Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry Practices edited by D. A. Carson and Timothy Keller (Crossway)
Important aspects of Christianity are in danger of being muddied or lost as relativism takes root in churches today. What was historically agreed upon is now readily questioned and the very essentials of the Christian faith are in jeopardy. It is time to reclaim the core beliefs.
To that end, editors D. A. Carson and Tim Keller, and other influential leaders put together The Gospel as Center to defend the traditional gospel and to strengthen the church. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Keller is founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York.
The Gospel as Center helps readers join in the movement – the movement dedicated to a Scripture-based reformation of ministry practices and the centrality of the gospel – and stand united under the conviction that what holds Christians together is worth fighting for.
When The Gospel Coalition was founded, the members of the Council worked hard to produce what the Coalition calls its ‘Foundation Documents.’ These consist of a one-page preamble, a statement of faith, and a theological vision of ministry. They are filled with a delighted confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ and its entailments for how Christians think and live. These documents are included as an appendix in this volume.
Carson and Keller say it was not long before various local churches and organizations asked to adopt them as their own, and the Coalition is delighted when this takes place. Along with these requests came a rising number of suggestions. Carson and Keller and others unpack the Foundation Documents in a series of booklets or downloadable files, eventually putting these together to form one book. Then they asked a number of the Council members and one or two others to collaborate by writing fourteen chapters that explain the theology reflected in the Foundation Documents. The individual chapters, available as booklets and files, have now come together in The Gospel as Center.
Carson and Keller allowed diversity in form while trying to maintain a more-or-less consistent level of accessibility. At the plenary sessions of their national conferences, the Coalition members got used to expositors who vary enormously in their styles as they expound the Word of God; indeed, they delight in the freshness of the diversity. Something of the same diversity is reflected in these chapters.
Chapters and their authors include:
For those who crave to have it all worked out for them, to know where to look for the answers to their religious questions, The Gospel as Center is the book that does it.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology
Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings, 3rd edition edited by Timothy F. Lull and William R. Russell (Fortress Press)
Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings has
become the gold
standard for use in seminary and college environments. It not only
offers Luther's most influential and important writings, but also
includes excerpts of his sermons and letters shedding light on
Luther's own religious and theological development. This volume
takes readers straight to Luther the man, to his controversial
Reformation insights, to his strongest convictions about God,
Scripture, and the life of the church, and most valuably to his
theology, a still-exciting encounter with the meaning of Jesus
Christ for each age.
The third edition includes revised introductions, updated bibliography index, and the addition of "A Meditation on Christ's Passion" (1519), "Treatise on the Blessed Sacrament" (1519), "Sermon on the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ Against the Fanatics" (1526), "Sermon in Castle Pleissenburg" (1539), and "Consolation to Women Whose Pregnancies Have Not Gone Well" (1542), as well as new translations of "On the Freedom of a Christian" (1520) and "A Practical Way to Pray" (1535). Updated online ancillaries enhance the text for students and teachers alike.
Timothy F. Lull, the editor of the first edition, was President of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, and Professor of Systematic Theology there before his death in 2003. William R. Russell is the editor of the second and third editions.
Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings concentrates unapologetically on Luther's theological writings: Such a focus aligns with Luther's self-understanding of his life's work as a pastor and theologian. For the Reformer, theology helps the church speak about God – specifically about the God revealed in Jesus Christ. That is, theology helps the church preach the gospel. As a professor of theology Luther was called to help the church speak clearly and cogently about that revelation. Therefore, for Luther, wherever the church speaks in ways that obscure or misinterpret the gospel, it needed to be reformed.
Luther took the vocation of theology so seriously that a collection purporting to identify his basic writings must look at his theological contributions. This perspective looks away from the trendy and the excessively topical. Such a focus provides a perspective that much of the debate in recent decades over Luther's thought seems to have missed, with its concentration on topics related to his political and social impact.
The Reformer, however, did not understand himself as either a social revolutionary or a political operative. He saw himself as a theologian – that is, as one who interprets the Scriptures for the mission of the church. Thus, for Luther, theology and the Bible go together. The guiding principle, the Leitmotiv, of his work lies in his famous distinction between law and gospel (a theological assertion!). For Luther, this interpretive tool both arises from the Bible and then informs how he interprets the biblical text. This theological dynamic of law-gospel directs his statements about the nature of God and how God deals with the world politically and socially.
For Luther, the distinction between law and gospel is a vitally important element – and, in the judgment of some (notably, Karl Barth), a fatal element – in his interpretation of the authority of temporal government and social custom and of how Christians relate to them. Several of the selections in Part VI have been chosen with this debate in mind, but they come where they do because the fundamental ideas about the Word of God in Part II and about grace that appear in Part III must be clear if readers are to make sense of the social and political ethics of Part VI. Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings attempts to take Christian doctrine seriously as an object of study in its own right, not merely as a prelude to politics.
Much of what Luther, a sixteenth-century German, says about politics pertains chiefly to his own time and place. But the Luther who speaks in this volume is primarily an international figure. Sometimes he did see himself as a defender of Germanic values against Roman ones, but usually he strove to articulate his teachings in a larger, more international context. The Wittenberg of Luther's day was a crossroads for students from many countries who returned to bring the Reformation to their own peoples and churches. Indeed, Shakespeare tipped his dramatic hat to this dimension of Luther's work when he wrote into Hamlet's character the Prince of Denmark's connection to Wittenberg.
For much of its history, however, German academics have dominated Luther studies. Indeed, students could not get very far in the field without the pioneering work of German scholars and editors in the past centuries. In the second half of twentieth century, however, that began to change substantially. Luther scholars in many lands have gone on from the tutelage of their German mentors to create a truly international community, reflected, for example, in the attendance at the International Congresses for Luther like the Luther Congress, therefore, this compendium is also explicitly ecumenical in its orientation and intent. In the history of theological controversy, Luther occupies a special place, both because he had a remarkable knack for recognizing key doctrinal issues and because his powers as a veritable sorcerer of language enabled him to express that recognition with a pungency and force that could often verge on polemical overkill.
The Reformer was generally suspicious of what moderns call ‘ecumenism.’ Luther, the arch-polemicist, the descendant of Augustine and Jerome (and of St. Paul), expresses these suspicions in substantial selections from The Bondage of the Will (1525) and in the defenses of Baptism (1526) and the Real Presence (1528), as well as in his infamous anti-Jewish rant, On the Jews and Their Lies (1543). But these are outweighed quantitatively and especially qualitatively by those writings in which Luther expresses – with characteristic force and eloquence, imagery and compassion – the great consensus of most Christian teachers and of their churches.
Closely related to the ecumenism of Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings is its communal orientation. Luther has too often been stereotyped as a modern individualist (at Worms he did appeal to his conscience and supposedly said, "Here I stand"). But if twentieth-century Luther research has made any point that is sure to remain central in future study, it is that, according to Luther, he stands in the company of the church as it listens to the word of God and as it prays. A stinging critique like Luther's The Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520) is not an attack on the church but a defense of the church by its faithful servant against all its enemies, foreign and domestic. The Small Catechism (1529) stands together with his translation of the Bible as a contribution to the life of the whole church. On the Councils and the Church (1539) demonstrates that Luther spent his career probing the meaning of the theology of the church and its practical implications. Luther on scripture, Luther on the sacraments, Luther on reform, Luther on the gospel, Luther on ethics – this is the theologian who speaks in these pages.
The Reformer's ongoing concern for the practical interface between Christian theology and Christian practice also shapes Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings. The critical issues facing the church in the twenty-first century, the twin issues of mission and doctrine, require the witness, wisdom, and wit of the whole communion of saints, ‘of every time and every place.’ And, because Luther occupies a special place in that communion, the church would do well to listen anew to his voice.
In the end, perhaps the best way to read Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings as a text is with both generosity toward Luther's own context and style and with imagination about how to make connections between Luther's academic and pastoral problems and those facing folks in the present.
A superb selection of texts.... All Christians concerned with the
ecumenical dialogue will find this edition an indispensable
introduction to Luther's theology. – Francis Schussler Fiorenza,
Harvard Divinity School
Well designed to initiate readers into the world of Luther's thought ... college students, seminarians, pastors, and students of theology in general will get a taste of the real Luther. – Eric Gritsch, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Emeritus
Whether readers accept or reject, embrace or alter the Reformer's particular proposals, Luther deserves to be read and not just read about. Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings seeks to bring his voice more fully into both the study of theology and history and into current conversations.
Science / Agricultural Sciences / Biological Sciences / Biochemistry
Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition by H. DeWayne Ashmead (CRC Press)
Although introduction of amino acid chelates in mineral nutrition initially met with considerable skepticism and controversy, the greater absorption and bioavailability of amino acid chelated minerals compared to nonchelated minerals have been well-documented for decades.
In Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition Dr. H. DeWayne Ashmead, president of Albion Laboratories Incorporated, compiles published chemical, nutritional, and clinical studies with new unpublished research, interpreting the combined data for the first time to explain why the body responds to an amino acid chelate differently than it does to inorganic metal salts.
Focusing on digestion, the book follows how chelates are absorbed from the stomach and intestines into the mucosal tissue, their movement from the mucosal tissue into the blood, and uptake into tissue and organ cells. Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition compares amino acid chelate absorption and metabolism and that of inorganic salts of the same minerals.
Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition mainly focuses on the ingestion of amino acid metal chelates as a way to optimize mineral absorption, but it also provides a fundamental discussion of chelation chemistry. Ashmead includes his own results, as well as alternate interpretations of the results of numerous studies of animal and human amino acid mineral chelate digestion and absorption.
According to Wayne Askew in the foreword, mineral bioavailability has historically been ‘the black box’ of micronutrient metabolism. Dietary intake of a mineral micronutrient in sufficient quantities to meet dietary reference intakes does not always ensure adequate metabolizable mineral at the tissue level. Minerals are by nature ionic and form complexes and chemical compounds quite readily. The pathway from the food or supplement in which they are contained to their target cells in the body provides multitudinous opportunities to interact with their immediate chemical environments. The foodstuffs with which they are ingested, the acidic and chemical milieu of the digestive tract, the absorptive surface and interface of the gastrointestinal tract, the ions in the plasma, and ultimately the cellular matrix to which they are delivered can interact to influence the ultimate efficacy of the structural, metabolic, or catalytic roles of the dietary mineral. The seemingly large doses of mineral supplements needed to correct a dietary mineral deficiency can be explained in terms of the ‘inefficiency of absorption’ or, in broader terms, the lack of ‘bioavailability’ of the particular mineral supplement. Mineral nutritionists have long sought chemical forms of minerals that evoke a greater or more positive response at the target tissue. Not all covalently bound minerals ionize sufficiently to release their mineral counterpart optimally at the sites of absorption in the gut. Mineral absorption from the gut is a complex topic, considering the various routes that are available to account for the disappearance of the mineral from the gut and its appearance in the plasma.
Enter the concept of supplying the mineral in an ionic or covalently bound protective amino acid matrix (chelate) with a stability factor that helps to circumvent ionization issues and delivers the mineral to sites of absorption in the intestinal brush border. Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition explores the chelation principles as applied to the biochemistry of mineral absorption and metabolism, specifically focusing on the formation and absorption of amino acid metal chelates.
The progress and development of amino acid mineral chelates has not been without controversy. Although the improved bioavailability of some amino acid mineral chelates is generally accepted, it has not been clearly understood exactly why these chelates provide improved absorption. Much of this early experimental information was studied with an agricultural emphasis and published in related animal nutrition venues and proprietary in-house publications sponsored by early innovators of chelated mineral products such as Albion Laboratories. Some of these publications were not widely read by or accessible to mineral researchers due to the early emphasis in livestock applications and publication venues that were not readily available or read by those in the human mineral nutrition field. By publishing Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition, Ashmead makes this information more readily available.
Much of the pioneering early work on chelation was accomplished by DeWayne's father, the late Harvey Ashmead. This book is a scholarly compendium that not only provides the historical context of chelates but also explains the chemistry of chelation and the formation of amino acid mineral chelates in considerable detail. Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition contains a well-developed introduction and discussion to the complexities of mineral bioavailability. Ashmead then reviews the analytical methodology necessary to establish that one is indeed working with a true chelate prior to engaging in direct feeding comparisons of amino acid mineral chelates versus inorganic forms of the mineral in question. Tabular and graphical data from feeding trials previously published in the literature as well as some extracted from some difficult-to-access publications and previously unpublished work are presented in the chapters on amino acid mineral chelates. The concept and criteria for the development of a ‘nutritionally functional’ metal chelate are presented and discussed.
Although the main focus of Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition is on the ingestion of amino acid metal chelates as a way to optimize mineral absorption, the book also provides a good fundamental discussion of chelation chemistry. Ashmead provides not only his interpretation of the results of numerous studies of animal and human amino acid mineral chelate digestion and absorption but also alternative interpretations.
One cannot help but admire the clarity of writing and the logical and stepwise development of the material in this book. This reference should be invaluable to bioinorganic mineral researchers and others seeking to enhance mineral bioavailability to support optimal health and productivity. – Wayne Askew, Ph.D., Professor, Division of Nutrition, University of Utah
Amino Acid Chelation in Human and Animal Nutrition reviews many of the studies that provided information on the comparison of amino acid chelates and nonchelated minerals, thus making this information available to a wider audience. These studies were conducted using many different animals, including humans, under a variety of conditions, and amino acid chelates consistently provided improved responses that resulted from better absorption and bioavailability of the minerals being tested.
Science / Political Science / Public Policy / Nature & Ecology / Conservation
Biocidal: Confronting the Poisonous Legacy of PCBs by Ted Dracos (Beacon Press)
Chemophobia, the unreasonable fear of chemicals, is a common public reaction to scientific or media reports suggesting that exposure to various environmental contaminants may pose a threat to health. – Dr. Stephen Safe, The New England Journal of Medicine
Whether or not readers have heard of PCBs (polychlorinated
biphenyls), it's likely that this toxic chemical can be found in
their cells. PCBs were invented in 1920 for the electronics
industry, fueled the World War II military machine, then were put to
domestic uses, and finally came to be present in every corner of the
earth. Because PCBs were outlawed in 1976, most people think they
are no longer a threat. However, like many industrial chemicals,
PCBs persist in our environment and continue to accumulate in
practically every life form on earth, becoming more concentrated in
the tissues of those highest on the food chain – us.
In Biocidal, award-winning, investigative journalist Ted Dracos (1945-2011) explores the science behind how PCBs affect the environment, amphibians, fish, and mammals. He draws on extensive research to document the connection between PCBs and catastrophic human illness. From the beginning – even as workers in the first manufacturing plants quickly began to suffer skin lesions, boils, liver failure, and death – the industry denied the danger of its chemicals and manipulated science, regulatory agencies, and the government to continue to make and distribute PCBs throughout the next half-century. Biocidal provides the latest scientific findings in the heated controversy that surrounds the continued health impacts of PCBs, ranging from cancer to immunosupression, endocrine disruption, fetal brain development, reproductive abnormalities, and even autism.
Yet Biocidal is optimistic, leaving readers with a complete and surprisingly uncomplicated blueprint of what can be done – and is being done – to counter the risks and damages of PCBs and other industrial chemicals.
Every human being, from the womb to the grave, bears a body burden of these poisonous molecules forever locked in their blood and tissues. Dracos presents the latest science as studies draw ever more disturbing links between PCBs and continued health impacts ranging from cancer and autism to immunosuppression and reproductive abnormalities. Drawing on research from scientific studies, news articles and decades of court documents, Dracos reveals how politics, corporate corruption, and the chemical industry's manipulation allowed PCBs to become the most widespread, eco-toxic chemical to be inadvertently released into the environment.
While Dracos believes the impact PCBs have on humans is grave, he moves the conversation to the equally important issue of the environment. In the second half of the book, Dracos stresses the very real threat PCBs pose to the earth's biodiversity, likely driving the extinction of orca whales and frogs. "Since approximately 1970, entire species of amphibians – frogs and salamanders – have been disappearing," writes Dracos. Referencing various studies, Dracos argues that amphibians' exposure to toxic chemical agents, like PCBs and insecticides like DDT, have not only compromised their immune system but has impacted their reproductive cycles. Dracos sees the extinction of amphibians as a ‘biological nightmare,’ reminding readers that they are an essential part of the food chain, eating "more than four million pounds of insects in a single year."
Dracos also tackles the ‘politiks’ behind PCBs head on. He addresses General Electric's involvement in dumping PCB laden toxins into the Hudson River, the Environmental Protection Agency's past complacency, and corruption within the Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. administrations. For Dracos, the problem lies in the fact that "Western industrial culture has always given far greater weight to economic considerations than to environmental ones." Ultimately, Dracos hopes that global industries throughout the world will adopt the physician's Hippocratic Oath of ‘do no harm.’ But until then, Biocidal leaves readers with a proposal for how policymakers, environmental think tanks and average consumers can effectively deal with PCBs and other industrial chemicals.
[A] driving, fast-paced narrative . . . Dracos’s straightforward
reporting delivers one blow after another. – Publishers Weekly
Innately villainous and shrouded by deceit, PCBs are the cigarettes of the chemical world. Finally, with Biocidal, their treacherous story is told. And, because all of us on Earth carry molecules of PCBs within our bodies, it is a story that all of us on Earth need to hear. Happily, Ted Dracos makes listening to PCBs a captivating task. – Sandra Steingraber, biologist and author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment
The first-ever complete and up-to-date story of PCBs and their
effects on human health and the ecosystem. – Dr. David Carpenter,
Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at
This book is a game changer with respect to the world of PCBs. – Katie Noble, KPCW’s This Green Earth
Details how the chemical industry manipulated regulatory agencies despite knowledge of the dangers of PCBs. The author synthesizes research on the connection between PCBs and human illness, environmental damage, and damage to species diversity, drawing on scientific studies, news articles, and court documents. – SciTech Book News
Dracos’ writing is accessible and intelligent… Such skilled writing and his talents as an investigative reporter allow Dracos a certain panache to telling the story of Monsanto, the EPA and independent researchers uncovering the true danger. – Dotrad blog
In Biocidal Dracos tells the full story of PCBs for the first time, drawing on extensive research to thoroughly document the connection between PCBs and catastrophic human illness.
Science & Mathematics / Experiments & Projects
An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) by Ad Hoc Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) and National Research Council (The National Academies Press)
According to the big bang theory, our Universe began in a state
of unimaginably high energy and density, contained in a space of
subatomic dimensions. At that time, unlike today, the fundamental
forces of nature were presumably unified and the particles present
were interacting at energies not attainable by present-day
accelerators. Underground laboratories provide the conditions to
investigate processes involving rare phenomena in matter and to
detect the weak effects of highly elusive particles by replicating
similar environments to those once harnessed during the earliest
states of the Earth. These laboratories now appear to be the gateway
to understanding the physics of the grand unification of the forces
Built to shield extremely sensitive detectors from the noise of their surroundings and the signals associated with cosmic rays, underground facilities have been established during the last 30 years at a number of sites worldwide. To date, the United States' efforts to develop such facilities have been modest and consist primarily of small underground laboratories. However, the U.S. underground community has pushed for larger underground facilities on the scale of major laboratories in other countries. An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) addresses this matter by evaluating the major physics questions and experiments that could be explored with the proposed DUSEL. Measuring the potential impact, this assessment also examines the broader effects of the DUSEL in regards to education and public outreach, and evaluates the need associated with developing U.S. programs similar to science programs in other regions of the world.
The features of the Universe we observe today, like the large-scale distribution of luminous and dark matter and the preponderance of matter over antimatter, resulted from the behavior of unknown elementary particles in that primordial epoch. The physics of this earliest of states can be assessed through the search for certain spontaneous but very rare phenomena in matter and through the detection of the weak effects of highly elusive particles. Underground laboratories provide the conditions needed to investigate these processes and have succeeded in discovering the first clear evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model: namely, that those extremely elusive particles – neutrinos – are massive and that flavor lepton numbers are not conserved.
Within the confines of the existing underground mines and laboratories in the United States and abroad, the U.S. research community has always played a leading role in underground science. As the required sensitivity and scale of underground experiments grow, the need for new underground laboratory space has drawn the attention and proposals of research communities around the world (see Chapter 2). The U.S. particle and nuclear physics communities have identified certain underground experiments as a top priority for their fields in their long-range plans. According to An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), efforts to develop a major facility in the United States have resulted in a proposal for a facility, the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), to be located in the abandoned Homestake gold mine.
The research to take place at DUSEL is described by the proponents as being built upon ‘four pillars,’ or four physics quests of critical scientific importance – the search for dark matter, the study of neutrino oscillations, and investigations into whether protons decay and whether atoms can undergo neutrinoless double-beta decay. In the proposed initial suite of experiments, these four quests are addressed by the apparatus of three experiments (see Chapter 3). The proponents of DUSEL also describe three research tenets – that the facility provide opportunities for a diverse set of research efforts in subsurface engineering, the geosciences, and biosciences; that it allow other well-motivated experiments to take advantage of the unique capabilities of a world-class underground research facility; and that it provide a significant education and outreach program for visitors and the communities near the laboratory.
The principal underground laboratory space is to be located at 4,850 ft, where plans call for installing five or six physics experiments and at least one earth science experiment. The proponents' plans also call for a deeper site, at 7,400 ft, where two smaller physics experiments and an earth science experiment would be located. Other research facilities could be installed at other levels, depending upon requirements of the experiments. Recently plans were developed that would allow for the installation of a liquid argon detector for the neutrino oscillation experiment at 800 ft, where ramp, as opposed to vertical, access can be provided. Finally, the facility would include a large research space on the surface to support the underground experiments and allow for the development of future experiments.
The program would also include a process for evaluating the merit of proposed future experiments. Once selected, those experiments would be integrated with the current suite of experiments, either by incorporating them into the existing space or by excavating new space and expanding support services.
As part of the process for developing the DUSEL program, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) jointly commissioned An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL). The principal charge to the committee is as follows:
The committee undertakes an assessment of the proposed DUSEL program, including:
An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) is the response to that charge. However, several events transpiring over the course of this study caused the committee to interpret the statement of task in a manner that merits explanation. Just before the committee's first meeting, in December 2010, the National Science Board (NSB), the governing organization for the NSF, elected not to provide bridge funding for the further development of the DUSEL facility. NSF's FY2012 budget request, submitted several months thereafter, indicated that the decision not to provide this funding was part of a larger determination by the NSB that the scope and likely cost of the project lay outside NSF's core mission. As a consequence, NSF would not be proceeding as principal steward of the DUSEL facility. The committee was also informed that there would be limited follow-up to the preliminary design report being prepared by proponents of the DUSEL program and that it would mainly serve as general input for evaluating future opportunities. As it releases this report, the committee understands that DOE and NSF have been discussing whether to proceed with some or all of what has been described as the DUSEL program but that no firm decision has been made.
Given these uncertainties and developments, the committee has interpreted the portions of its charge by which it is to assess the science that might take place in the proposed DUSEL program (the first and second bullets in the statement of task) as directing the committee to evaluate the intellectual merit of the science to be addressed by the slate of experiments that were to be included in the initial DUSEL program, as described at the committee's first meeting. In particular, the committee did not assess any future experimental opportunities that would be enabled by the existence of an underground research facility but that had not been included in the initial suite of experiments. In assessing the impact of the DUSEL infrastructure on fields other than physics, the committee considered the suite of experiments in the biosciences, geosciences, and subsurface engineering that were presented to it as being indicative of the type of nonphysics questions that could be addressed rather than as specifying the DUSEL nonphysics program. The committee assessed the science questions in the general context of frontier research worldwide; it did not compare them with any particular alternative project or investment.
In responding to the remaining bulleted items in the statement of task – the impact such a program would have on the stewardship of research communities; the need to develop such a program in the United States given similar science programs elsewhere; and the broader impacts of such a program – the committee elected not to restrict its assessment to the specifics of ‘the proposed DUSEL program’ at the Homestake site. Rather, it set forth more general considerations that it believes should be taken into account by policy makers in evaluating the impact that an underground laboratory facility in the United States – either a DUSEL-like national laboratory or a more limited facility – would have on advancing the goals of the U.S. research communities. In conformity with the charge, the committee assessed only the options associated with developing some form of underground research facility in the United States and did not assess the project costs or budgetary impacts of the facilities and experiments discussed.
Chapter 1 of An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) provides an overview of the science questions that an underground research facility could address and of the broader impacts such a facility would have on the relevant research communities and summarizes the report's principal findings and conclusions. Chapter 2 discusses the general parameters of underground research space and the status of the principal underground research facilities around the world. Chapter 3 contains a detailed assessment of the principal science questions that would be addressed with the DUSEL program. Chapter 4 concludes the report by describing the broader impacts of the program, including the education and outreach opportunities such a program might provide.
Conclusion: Three underground experiments to address fundamental questions regarding the nature of dark matter and neutrinos would be of paramount and comparable scientific importance:
Each of the three experiments addresses at least one crucial question upon whose answer the tenets of our understanding of the Universe depend.
Conclusion: The three major physics experiments would not only provide an exceptional opportunity to address scientific questions of paramount importance, they would also have a significant positive impact upon the stewardship of the particle physics and nuclear physics research communities, and would have the United States assume a visible leadership role in the expanding field of underground science. The U.S. particle physics program is especially well positioned to build a world-leading long-baseline neutrino experiment due to the combined availability of an intense neutrino beam from Fermilab and a suitably long baseline from the neutrino source to an appropriate underground site such as the proposed DUSEL. In light of the leading roles played by U.S. scientists in the study of dark matter and double-beta decay, together with the need to build two or more large experiments for each of these two areas, U.S. particle and nuclear physicists are also well positioned to assume leadership roles in the development of one direct detection dark matter experiment on the ton-to-multiton scale and one neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment on the scale of a ton. While installation of such U.S.-developed experiments in an appropriate foreign facility or facilities would significantly benefit scientific progress and the research communities, there would be substantial advantages to the communities if these two experiments could be installed within the United States, possibly at the same site as the long-baseline neutrino experiment.
Conclusion: Two additional capabilities of the long-baseline neutrino experiment would be of great scientific interest and would add significant value to that experiment:
The stability of the proton is a crucial, fundamental scientific question. Moreover, the detection of neutrinos from supernovas would make a unique and valuable contribution to our understanding of one of the most important astrophysical phenomena. However, these sensitivities are not so important as to make them primary considerations in choosing neutrino detector technology or a site for the experiment.
Conclusion: A small underground accelerator to enable measurements of low-energy nuclear cross sections would be scientifically important. These measurements are needed to elucidate fundamental astrophysical processes such as thermonuclear reactions and the production of heavy elements in the Sun and the stars.
Conclusion: The ability to perform long-term experiments in the regulated environment of an underground research facility could enable a paradigm shift in research in subsurface engineering and would allow other valuable experiments in the geosciences and biosciences.
Conclusion: The co-location of the three main underground physics experiments at a single site would be a means of efficiently sharing infrastructure and personnel and of fostering synergy among the scientific communities. The infrastructure at the site would also facilitate future underground research, either as extensions of the initial research program or as new research initiatives. These additional benefits, along with the increase in visibility for U.S. leadership in the growing field of underground science, would be important considerations when choosing a site for the three main physics experiments.
Conclusion: If co-located with one or more of the main underground physics experiments in the United States, a small underground accelerator facility to enable measurements of low-energy nuclear cross sections important to nuclear astrophysics would benefit from shared infrastructure, personnel, and expertise.
Conclusion: In light of the potential for valuable experiments in subsurface engineering, the geosciences, and the biosciences that could be offered by an underground research facility, if such facility is constructed in the United States for physics experiments, scientists in other fields would greatly benefit by having a mechanism in place that would allow them to perform research there.
Conclusion: A facility for underground research would have a significant positive impact on the stewardship of the research communities involved. Such a facility would offer the particle and nuclear physics communities access to the underground research space they need to undertake a range of scientifically critical experiments, and it would allow the bioscience, geoscience, and subsurface engineering communities to perform valuable long-term experiments in a regulated environment.
Conclusion: Development of an underground research facility in the United States would supplement and complement underground laboratories around the world. A U.S. facility could build upon the unique position of the United States that would allow it to develop a long-baseline neutrino experiment using intense beams from Fermilab. It could accommodate one of the large direct detection dark matter experiments and one of the large neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments that are needed by the international effort to delve into these critical scientific issues, while sharing infrastructure among the three experiments, which are of comparable import. It could also host and share infrastructure with other underground physics experiments, such as an accelerator to study nuclear astrophysics, and with underground experiments in other fields. An underground research facility would benefit the U.S. research communities and would guarantee the United States a leadership role in the expanding global field of underground science.
Social Sciences / Sociology
An Invitation to Social Theory by David Inglis with Christopher Thorpe (Polity Press)
Social theory is a crucial resource for the social sciences. It provides rich insights into how human beings think and act, and how contemporary social life is constructed. But often the key ideas of social theorists are expressed in highly technical and difficult language that can hide more than it reveals.
Cutting through the often off-putting writing styles of social theorists, An Invitation to Social Theory demonstrates what social theory is about, presenting the key themes of major social theory from the classical thinkers onwards. Areas covered include Marxism, structuralism, post-structuralism, phenomenology, symbolic interactionism, feminism and structuration theories.
According to David Inglis, professor of sociology at the University of Aberdeen and Christopher Thorpe, lecturer in sociology at the Robert Gordon University, in An Invitation to Social Theory, if students read the whole book through, and think about what is being said in each chapter, then by the end of it, they will have cracked the various codes of social theory. Readers start off from a point where social theory seems to be both alien and unfamiliar. But as they go along the path, they get to a point that they start to feel comfortable with it. After that point has been reached, the journey becomes easier, because the terrain they are traveling through seems ever more recognizable.
This is in large part because they start to see recurrent themes and ideas turning up again and again. In order to make sense of the world of social theory, An Invitation to Social Theory is divided up into different chapters, each covering a major `school of thought' or `paradigm' in social theory. In each chapter Inglis and Thorpe present the ideas of particular theorists who have a lot in common with each other, often writing explicitly in light of each other's ideas, engaged in a dialogue of like-minded thinkers.
But just because they have arranged the book into chapters dealing with different paradigms does not mean to say that there is not a great deal of overlap between different paradigms. Different thinkers and schools of thought often borrow, take up or criticize the same sorts of ideas and themes.
Social theory as it has developed over the last one hundred years or so – which is the focus of An Invitation to Social Theory– is basically a patchwork of ideas of earlier thinkers being borrowed by later thinkers, and then being transformed for new (or sometimes not-so-new) purposes. Sometimes the debts to earlier thinkers are clear, sometimes they are hidden, even sometimes deliberately covered up. What the book gives readers is a map of the main tendencies in social theory over the last century and a half.
An Invitation to Social Theory starts with a depiction of the ideas of the so-called `classical theorists', those who lived and wrote in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In many ways what is called `modern' or `contemporary' social theory involves playing around with and transforming the ideas of the classical social theorists. Some new elements that are purely twentieth century in origin – notably the ideas of Sigmund Freud, Ferdinand de Saussure and Ludwig Wittgenstein – get added into the mix as time goes on. But in very important ways, theory nowadays is still a response to, and involves diverse uses and transformations of, the ideas first created in the nineteenth century by the classical authors, such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel.
But as Inglis and Thorpe make clear in Chapter 1, these classical thinkers also had their sources that they took inspiration from. At the very heart of almost all social theory are the concepts of the German philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Hegel. Their work had a huge influence on the classical social theorists, in all sorts of diverse ways. Although their philosophies are complex, luckily the essential issues that inform social theory are easy enough to understand if explained clearly – which is what Chapter 1 is concerned with.
The shadows of Kant and Hegel continued to fall over more modern social theory, sometimes mediated through the appropriation of their ideas by the classical theorists, sometimes more directly and sometimes in hidden and unacknowledged fashions. The recurring theme of the `social construction of reality' that readers will find turns up again and again throughout An Invitation to Social Theory, is basically derived from Kant. Subsequent thinkers in many different paradigms twisted his ideas about this theme in ever new directions. Likewise, issues to do with the relationships that might exist between `social structure' and individuals, which many different thinkers and paradigms have grappled with, are all variations on themes originally thought about by Hegel. For that reason, readers can't really understand `modern' social theory unless they understand its `classical' ancestors, and they can't really understand the latter without a basic knowledge of what Kant and Hegel were talking about.
An Invitation to Social Theory presents a lucid and comprehensive survey of modern and contemporary social theory. Engagingly written, the book demonstrates that the relationships pertaining between appearance and reality in social life are complex and interesting – and that this is the space in which social theorists ply their craft. The book makes a strong case for the illuminating power of theory to help us understand the social world. – Robin Wagner-Pacifici, New School for Social Research, New York
A genuine tour de force: balanced in-depth discussions of major theorists are alternated with insightful contextual information and comparisons, reminding us of the principal stakes of current social theorizing. Written with detachment and enthusiasm, this book is a perfect match for students of social theory as well as skeptics who doubt its relevance or comprehensibility. – Rudi Laermans, University of Leuven, Belgium
This text takes the fear out of social theory. Wonderfully written, in a friendly but authoritative voice, it will send students scurrying to the primary texts with a deeper appreciation of the riches enshrined within classic, modern and contemporary theory. It is a rare, forward-thinking theory text that tackles conceptual territories normally obscured by intellectual posturing and opaque terminology. An essential guide, a welcome invitation, and a joy to read. – Nick Prior, University of Edinburgh
Showing why social theory matters, and why it is of far-reaching social and political importance, An Invitation to Social Theory is ideal for students across the social sciences seeking a clear, crisp mapping of a complex but very rewarding area. Wide-ranging in scope and coverage, the book is clear and concise in presentation and free from jargon.
Travel / U.S. / Outdoors & Nature / Hiking & Camping
Moon California Hiking: The Complete Guide to 1,000 of the Best Hikes in the Golden State, 9th edition by Tom Stienstra and Ann Marie Brown (Moon Outdoors Series: Avalon Travel Publishing)
A wise person once said that a culture can be measured by the resources it chooses to preserve. If that's true, then the state of California is an immense credit to our culture. The Golden State is blessed with an abundance of parks and preserves, including more than 20 units of the National Park System, 18 national forests, 137 federally designated wilderness areas, 275 state parks, and thousands of county and regional parks.
This huge mosaic of parklands celebrates California's diverse landscape, which includes the highest peak in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney at 14,495 feet) and the lowest point in the western hemisphere (Badwater in Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level). The state contains 20,000 square miles of desert, nearly 700 miles of Pacific coastline, an unaccountable wealth of snow-capped peaks and alpine lakes, a smattering of islands, and even a handful of volcanoes.
California also boasts its share of the world's tallest living things, the towering coast redwoods. And it is the only state that is home to the world's largest living trees (by volume), the giant sequoias. Also within California's borders are groves of the planet's oldest living things, the ancient bristlecone pines.
Whether readers are in search of a kid-friendly walk or a day-long adventure, they will find the perfect hike among the choices selected by outdoors experts Tom Stienstra and Ann Marie Brown in Moon California Hiking. Seasoned authors, Stienstra and Brown know the best hiking trails in the Golden State, from breathtaking coastal walks north of Los Angeles to challenging backcountry treks in the Sierra Nevadas. Including 21 new hikes and unique ‘best-of’ lists, Moon California Hiking leads beginner and expert hikers alike to the best trails the state has to offer.
Each hike in Moon California Hiking is listed in a consistent, easy-to-read format to help hikers choose the ideal hike. From a general overview of the setting to detailed driving directions, the profile provides all the information readers need. Each hike in this book begins with a brief overview of its setting. The description typically covers what kind of terrain to expect, what might be seen, and any conditions that may make the hike difficult to navigate. Side trips, such as to waterfalls or panoramic vistas, in addition to ways to combine the trail with others nearby for a longer outing, are also noted. In many cases, mile-by-mile trail directions are included.
Moon California Hiking is divided into chapters based on major regions in the state; an overview map of these regions precedes the table of contents. Each chapter begins with a map of the region, which is further broken down into detail maps. Trailheads are noted on the detail maps by number.
Well written, thoroughly researched, and packed full of useful information and advice, these guides really do get you into the outdoors. – gorp.com
Complete with detailed regional maps, hiking tips, difficulty and quality ratings for each hike, Moon California Hiking provides hikers with all the necessary tools to head outdoors.
An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) by Ad Hoc Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) and National Research Council (The National Academies Press)