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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

June 2012, Issue #158

Content this page:

Barbara Rogers: The Imperative of Beauty edited by Marilyn A. Zeitlin, with writings by Paul Eli Ivey, Carter Ratcliff, and Barbara Rogers (Hudson Hills Press)

Step-by-Step Posing for Portrait Photography: Simple Lessons for Quick Learning and Reference by Jeff Smith (Amherst Media, Inc.)

Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News [Audiobook, unabridged, 10 CDs, running time 12 hours] by Dan Rather with Digby Diehl, read by Dan Rather (Hachette Audio)

Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News by Dan Rather with Digby Diehl (Grand Central Publishing)

 I Am: The Secret Teachings of the Aramaic Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz [Audio Learning Course, 6 CDs plus learning guide, running time 6 hours, 22 minutes] (Sounds True)

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow [Audiobook, 7 CDs, unabridged, running time 8 hours] (Random House Audio)

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow (Pantheon)

Flawless Consulting Set, 3rd edition by Peter Block (Pfeiffer) is a 2-volume set consisting of two books: Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, 3rd edition and

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion: A Guide to Understanding Your Expertise.

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise by American Kinesiology Association, with Shirl J. Hoffman as Project Coordinator (Human Kinetics)

Seamus Mullen's Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better by Seamus Mullen (Andrews McMeel Universal)

Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West edited by Matthew L. Harris and Jay H. Buckley (University of Oklahoma Press)

The Jury in Lincoln's America by Stacy Pratt McDermott (Law, Society & Politics in the Midwest Series: Ohio University Press)

The Terracotta Warriors: The Secret Codes of the Emperor's Army by Maurice Cotterell (Bear & Co.)

Basic: Surviving Boot Camp and Basic Training by Colonel Jack Jacobs (Ret.) and David Fisher (Thomas Dunne Books)

From Western Deserts to Carolina Swamps: A Civil War Soldier's Journals and Letters Home edited by Lewis Franklin Roe (University of New Mexico Press)

SAS Ultimate Guide to Combat: How to Fight and Survive in Modern Warfare by Robert Stirling (Osprey Publishing)

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry by Laura Poplin (Kalmbach Books)

Kant's Dog: On Borges, Philosophy, and the Time of Translation by David E. Johnson (SUNY Series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture Series: SUNY Press)

Political Worlds of Women: Activism, Advocacy, and Governance in the Twenty-First Century by Mary E. Hawkesworth (Westview Press)

The Book of the Elders: Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Systematic Collection translated by John Wortley (Cistercian Studies: Cistercian Publications)

The Illuminated Kaddish: Interpretations of the Mourner’s Prayer by Hyla Shifra Bolsta (KTAV Publishing)

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow (Pantheon)

Social Work in Africa: Exploring Culturally Relevant Education and Practice in Ghana by Linda Kreitzer, with general editor Donald I. Ray (Africa: Missing Voices Series: University of Calgary Press)

Arts & Photography

Barbara Rogers: The Imperative of Beauty edited by Marilyn A. Zeitlin, with writings by Paul Eli Ivey, Carter Ratcliff, and Barbara Rogers (Hudson Hills Press)

While much of contemporary art practice has avoided outright beauty, Barbara Rogers has unabashedly embraced and explored it. "I want to remain vulnerable to beauty," she says. "I want to be stopped in my tracks by something I call beautiful that I have never noticed or seen before."

Barbara Rogers is the first documentation of Rogers’s life and work detailing her earliest influences and education, the shift following Hurricane Iwa, and her work that has grown increasingly complex and ambitious.

Rogers came of age as an artist during the battle between abstraction and the revival of the figurative. Rogers studied with members of the Bay Area figurative movement at Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute, and she was close to Elmer Bischoff and the work of David Park and Richard Diebenkorn. Never declaring full allegiance to the figura­tive movement they led, neither was Rogers prepared to sacrifice the image for pure abstraction. She forged a style that places the figure in a setting that includes rich foliage, creating a tension through the suggestion of allegorical content. Then in 1982 she experienced a powerful hurricane in Hawaii. The storm tore away much of the built environment, revealing for Rogers a new and more compelling world in which natural forms overpower the human form and take on an independent life. From this point, she focused on details of natural forms – plants, shells, invertebrate animals – and began a study of the history of ornament. Rogers never returned to the figure.

Barbara Rogers, the first to document Rogers's life and work in detail, traces her earliest influences and education, the shift in her practice following the storm, and her work since that time, which has grown increasingly complex and ambitious. Three essays examine the evolution of her work. Paul Eli Ivey, associate professor of art history at the University of Arizona, Tucson, explores the work up 1985; Carter Ratcliff, contributing editor at Art in America, sees her work moving from turmoil to serenity; and Marilyn Zeitlin, art historian, writer, and curator, considers her approaches to beauty and the tradition of ornament. Interviews in the artist's own voice reveal the relationship between Rogers's life experience and her art. The book not only documents the progress of an individual artist, but also reflects the trajectory of women working in the arts in the latter part of the twentieth and the early part of the twenty-first centuries, and the challenge facing artist working in the American West outside the world's major art centers.

As Zeitlin says in the introduction, Barbara Rogers is structured around key events in her work and life.

Barbara Rogers explores the challenges facing an artist working in the American West outside the world's major art centers. Three essays examine the three stages in the evolution of her work. Paul Eli Ivey, in "'the Emergence of the Airbrushed `Real Surreal;" examines Rogers's early work up until 1985; in "Toward Serenity"; Carter Ratcliff sees her work moving from turmoil to calm; and in "'The Imperative of Beauty," Zeitlin examines Rogers’s approaches to beauty and the multiple traditions of ornament that excite her imagination. Organized in six chapters, plates link specific works to the developments in her practice, and interviews in the artist's own voice reveals the relationship between Rogers's life experience and her it. The linkage between art and biography is then summarized in an illustrated chronology.

It is rare to find an artist as self-aware and open about her personal and professional struggles, her commitment to be and to remain an artist, and her desire to make the work that is so much her own. Barbara's life coincides with important social changes in the latter half of the twentieth century. Some were local, and others attained national relevance. The founding of the Black Panther Party took place right around the corner from her home studio in Oakland. Flower Power and the anti-war movement were vital ele­ments in the world right outside her door. From Oakland to New York, from the streets to art gatherings, she witnessed and participated in the great waves of social and artistic change of the '60s and '70s. In the world of academia, local skirmishes expanded to a national movement toward gender equality in hiring. The arts reflected and frequently led the charge toward greater openness in sexuality, in both life and imagery. Rogers participated in art breakthroughs that opened avenues to new creative approaches that meshed with the freedoms gained ha society. Barbara Rogers is not only a document surveying the output of an extraordinary artist, but also a narrative that reverberates with the experiences of those in parallel fields who sought to define new parameters of participation, new areas of discovery, and new degrees of creative freedom.

Arts & Photography / How-To / Reference

Step-by-Step Posing for Portrait Photography: Simple Lessons for Quick Learning and Reference by Jeff Smith (Amherst Media, Inc.)

In portrait photography, posing must make the client look amazing, and Step-by-Step Posing for Portrait Photography takes photographers through that process from start to finish. With short, one- or two-page lessons that are amply illustrated with before and after images, the book guides readers through each phase, from the positioning of arms and hands to the degree of the head tilt and shifting the weight. Image sequences showing variations and posing alternatives are also presented to customize a pose for an individual subject, accentuating the assets and minimizing the flaws. Readers are encouraged to take Step-by-Step Posing for Portrait Photography with them on shoots and work on replicating or refining the provided examples, creating a self-study course in the art of posing for portrait photography.

Acclaimed photographer Jeff Smith makes it easy to master the technical and creative aspects of design­ing great poses, to tailor each look to the subject's personality and appearance. Through simple, illustrated lessons, Smith provides a comprehensive study of this challenging facet of portrait photography.

Readers learn how to:

  • Determine the best style of pose to meet the client's needs.
  • Evaluate subjects’ concerns and minimize any problem areas they might be worried about.
  • Design traditional, casual, and glamorous poses.
  • Incorporate lines and curves in the poses for more interesting compositions.
  • Position the head and shoulders for a flattering look that suits the individual subject.
  • Pose the arms and hands to look attractive but also natural.
  • Slim the waist, hips, and thighs for better portraits of female subjects.
  • Address men's most common appearance concerns through careful posing and composition.
  • Pose group portraits that stand the test of time.
  • Work with subjects in the studio or on location.
  • Design standing, seated, and reclining poses.

There are so many aspects to professional photography: lighting, composition, camera angles, exposure, color balance, and posing. While each of these is important in the creation of a professional portrait, posing is unique. Smith says he teaches a staff photographer to set up lighting, then meter and color balance lighting properly in about six months. He teaches someone critical lighting adjustment in about two years. Composition and camera angles take a little longer. But posing is something that typically takes years to master – and one never completely masters it because, if done correctly, it is constantly evolving.

Step-by-Step Posing for Portrait Photography relies heavily on illustrations to show readers exactly how to pose each type of client. Photographers can't learn posing just by reading a book – or, for that matter, by memorizing the entire range of poses they see in Step-by-Step Posing for Portrait Photography. They have to practice the poses they see and learn to make adjustments in the poses for variables such as height, weight, and body size. Differences in a person's proportions, flexibility, and even how comfortable or rigid the person is in front of the camera, make a huge difference in the way they look in any given pose.

Readers also have to use common sense when posing and avoid making clients get outside their comfort zones. While a family portrait might look great with the grandmother kneeling or lying in the middle of the group, if she is unable to get down to the ground and back up, her discomfort in having to be helped into the pose will make her look tense no matter how comfortable they try to make her in the pose. If photographers make their poses too fashionable or hard to get into, the unique look of the pose will be overshadowed by their uneasiness. With small children, it is much more comfortable to bring the adults down to their level than to bring them up to the level of the adults.

Smith's guide will quickly prove to be a valuable resource that you will treasure. – Shutterbug

Smith extols the pluses of flash for studio photography; discusses the basics of lighting; and shares practical tips for optimizing studio lighting setups. – BookNews.com

Readers learn to make all their subjects look their best with Step-by-Step Posing for Portrait Photography. This thorough and well-illustrated guide shows how to get the pose to work within the photo’s composition, sure to give portraits a finished, professional look.

Audio / Press & Journalism / Biographies & Memoirs

Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News [Audiobook, unabridged, 10 CDs, running time 12 hours] by Dan Rather with Digby Diehl, read by Dan Rather (Hachette Audio)

Print

Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News by Dan Rather with Digby Diehl (Grand Central Publishing)

This memoir by Dan Rather – one of the pre-eminent journalists of our time – is told in a straightforward and conversational manner so that both readers of the print version and listeners to the audio version (The audio is read by Rather.) hear his distinctive voice on every page. Rather – who has won every prestigious journalism award in his distinguished career and anchored CBS Evening News for decades – discusses all the big stories from his decades of reporting. For half a century, Rather has covered the major news stories of our time: the civil rights movement, the assassination of JFK, Vietnam, Watergate, 9-11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib. For 24 of those years, he was the network ‘face’ of TV journalism. Rather Outspoken includes (but is not limited to) his dismissal from CBS, the Abu Ghraib story, the George W. Bush Air National Guard controversy, his coverage of the JFK assassination, the origin of ‘Hurricane Dan’ as well as inside stories about all the top personalities Rather has either interviewed or worked with over his remarkable career. Rather Outspoken also includes Rather's thoughts and reflections on the state of journalism today and what he sees for its future, as well as never-before-revealed personal observations and commentary.

With the assistance of Digby Diehl, founding editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Rather comes out swinging as he delves into the circumstances behind his firing from CBS News, where he had worked as a reporter since 1962. Unfortunately for Rather, his determination to air a potentially damning story about then-president George W. Bush's spotty military record irked the higher-ups at CBS's parent company, Viacom, leaving the feisty anchor unemployed at 75. Never one to shirk controversy, he sued CBS for breach of contract; although the suit was dismissed before it could come to trial, he has no regrets and no qualms about naming names. Indeed, this memoir reads as a muckraker's delight, with Rather lambasting CBS management as ‘spineless’ and ‘risk-averse.’ He painstakingly details the cloak-and-dagger operations that Bush proponents resorted to in an attempt to hide the truth and discredit Rather's source materials. These clandestine maneuvers unmasked the ‘independence’ of the investigation by the Thornburgh commission, revealing a News Division that had, Rather believes, temporarily abandoned its principles in order to enhance the bottom line of the parent company.

In Rather Outspoken, Rather looks back over his entire career, from his boyhood in Houston, Texas, through his coverage of every U.S. president since Eisenhower, to his successful return to investigative reporting on Dan Rather Reports for Mark Cuban's HDNet. Since leaving CBS, he has been engaged full-time in the kind of hard-hitting journalism pioneered by his boyhood idol, Edward R. Murrow and he has the Emmys to prove it.

Along the way, he sounds an urgent call for more programs like his own, more investigative journalists and more in-depth reporting, even in the face of what he calls the ‘corporatization, politicization, and trivialization’ of the news. Rather in Rather Outspoken makes an eloquent case for the critical importance of a free and independent press as a check on political power, and its responsibility to be the voice of the people, to force government to be fair, reasonable, and democratic.

An engaging grab-bag: part folksy homage to roots, part exposé of institutional wrongdoing and part manifesto for a truly free press. – Kirkus Reviews
Anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, much-honored newsman Rather has been working as a reporter for 64 years. He began his series of memoirs with The Camera Never Blinks (1977), a bestseller spanning his life from journalism study at Sam Houston State Teachers College to Watergate. He followed with I Remember (1991), recalling his Texas childhood, and The Camera Never Blinks Twice (1994) about TV journalism on location from Afghanistan to Vietnam. In this latest update to the series, his straight arrow honesty is punctuated with occasional humor. "It was long said of me that I had the CBS Eye tattooed somewhere on my ass." For a blistering opening chapter, he details the ‘absence of executive backbone’ during CBS News' investigation of Abu Ghraib: "The possibility that the financial and political interests of CBS corporate almost buried as story as compelling as Abu Ghraib is most unsettling." He's equally outspoken on the ‘journalistic meltdown’ when CBS News was ordered to drop its investigation into Bush's experience with the Texas Air National Guard. Throughout the book he delivers strong punches at those who stood in his way, but he also has much praise for the co-workers who joined him in his quest for the truth. With his usual conversational writing style, he maintains a personal connection with his readers in this riveting and revelatory autobiography that can also serve as a valuable textbook for anyone studying journalism. – Publisher's Weekly

Throughout his career, Rather has been dedicated to the two principles of journalism: first, find out the truth; and then, tell people about it. In Rather Outspoken he follows those principles and opens up; it makes for a compelling, eye-opening listen.

He settles scores in this investigation of how the news media has become dangerously intertwined with politics and corporate interests. While he occasionally lapses into platitudes – a chapter on 9/11 offers little beyond well-worn observations about courage and patriotism – he always gives credit where credit is due, and his sincerity is never in doubt.

Audio / Religion & Spirituality / Christian / Theology

I Am: The Secret Teachings of the Aramaic Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz [Audio Learning Course, 6 CDs plus learning guide, running time 6 hours, 22 minutes] (Sounds True)

Perhaps the most essential teachings given by Jesus came in the final year of his life on earth. Known as the “I AM” statements and found in the Gospel of John and the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, these radical truths were offered to connect followers to the original source of Jesus’ deeper power. But to fully grasp and embody these profound insights, teaches Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz, people must hear them in Jesus’ native tongue. On I Am, they accompany Douglas-Klotz on a journey to the Holy Land of Jesus’ time. With him, listeners learn 22 specific meditations that combine music, Aramaic chant, and breath awareness practices to attune listeners to Jesus’ words and help them “become fountains of healing and inspiration, as Jesus was.”

"I am the bread of life." "I am the light of the world." "I am the resurrection and the life." Although one might assume that Jesus was referring to himself in some exclusive way, Douglas-Klotz, the founder of the Abwoon Resource Center and Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning, illuminates the subtleties of these sayings to reveal their universality and urgency – for all, no matter what path they follow. For in these words, he explains, Jesus sought to convey an inner wisdom that they could rely on to lead them to their own source of guidance, through him, after he left this world. On I Am, listeners hear Jesus’ last stories, parables, and insights with Aramaic ears – and join him in the spiritual practices of his day – in order to touch directly their personal bond with Sacred Unity and to fulfill their own divine purpose.

Some of the highlights I Am contains include:

  • The last teachings of Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Aramaic).
  • Discovering one’s own inner self through the Aramaic language and spirituality of Jesus.
  • Human creativity and the blessing of ‘greater works’.
  • Entering Jesus’ shem, or the rhythm of his awareness of cosmic oneness.
  • Individuality in service of an unfolding universe.
  • Twelve sessions of teachings and guided meditations in an immersive six-hour curriculum.

The "I Am" sayings of Jesus, for example, "I am the way, the truth, and the life", appears in the Bible in the Gospel of John. In the story told there, Jesus began to use these expressions about a year before he left his disciples. Though many people believe Jesus was referring to himself in some exclusive way, these teachings are much more subtle.

As told in the introduction to I Am, the King James Bible was published in 1611 and was, until the mid-20th century, the only version familiar to most English-speaking people. It is based on a Greek version that dates from the fourth century CE. Until 20 years ago, most biblical studies scholars felt that John's Gospel was originally written in Greek. That opinion gradually changed as scholars re-evaluated the relationship between the community that produced the Gospel of John and the one that produced the Gospel of Thomas. These communities seem to have known one another, based on their treatment of various themes and events – although the most complete copy of the Gospel of Thomas found thus far is written in Coptic. A leading scholarly point of view is that both John's and Thomas' gospels may have been written in Syriac Aramaic.

If, or when, Jesus spoke the words attributed to him, he said them in Aramaic, since all of his listeners were native Aramaic speakers. According to I Am, an Aramaic view is the most helpful for discerning the native spirituality and way of prayer behind his words – before they were interpreted by Western Christianity through the lens of Platonic philosophy and later theological overlays.

In the Aramaic subtext of Jesus' ‘I Am’ statements, we can see the native Middle Eastern approach to the question of individuality. If everything is linked in communion with the Holy One – and this is the basic notion expressed in the Hebrew scripture – why do we have individuality, and how does it serve the universe's unfolding? In the Aramaic expression Jesus uses here, 'ena''na', we have an intensification of the word for ‘I,’ literally the ‘I-I’ or ‘the I of I.’ This statement (really not ‘I am’ at all) expresses a deep connection between one's individual ‘self’ and the ‘Only Self’ or ‘God,’ called Alaha in Aramaic.

The shem (‘atmosphere,’ ‘name,’ ‘sound’) of an individual is a bridge to her or his consciousness of the Only Individual (‘God,’ so to speak). So in using ‘I-I’ as he does in this context, Jesus is both including and pointing beyond his personal awareness of cosmic Unity. He is the bridge for those who attune to him in this way. But this way leads through him and doesn't end with him, as he makes clear throughout John's Gospel. A number of scholars have noted that by speaking in this ‘I Am’ formula, Jesus was linked to the tradition of Holy Wisdom, who united various ‘voices,’ inner and outer, into a greater unity.

Viewed through Yeshua's native Aramaic language, the ‘I Am’ statements are some of his most important teachings. We find many of these themes also in his main prayer (often called ‘the Lord's Prayer’) and the Beatitudes in Matthew and Luke. Yet in the Aramaic, we hear these teachings in John in a new way, with even more urgency for us to find our own inner voice of guidance connected to that of Alaha.

Listeners hear Jesus conveying an inner wisdom to his disciples in the year before he departs, a wisdom that would strengthen their trust in their own connection of guidance with the Holy One, a connection he called ruha d'shrara (‘spirit of truth,’ ‘breath of guidance on the way’). This is the source, Jesus says, of all his teaching and healing – the source of what we might call miracles.

With I Am listeners connect to the source of the Aramaic Jesus’ wisdom and guidance. On these audios, they listen to Yeshua's last stories, parables, and teachings with Aramaic ears – joining him in chanting, praying, and meditating – to strengthen their own sense of guidance, renewal, life energy, and healing.

Audio / Science & Math / Psychology & Counseling / Organizational Behavior

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow [Audiobook, 7 CDs, unabridged, running time 8 hours] (Random House Audio)

Print

Science & Math / Psychology & Counseling / Organizational Behavior

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow (Pantheon)

Leonard Mlodinow, the best-selling author of The Drunkard’s Walk and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), in Subliminal gives readers an eye-opening examination of how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world and how, for instance, we often misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates, misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions, and misremember important events.
One’s preference in politicians, the amount one tips the waiter – all judgments and perceptions – reflect the workings of the mind on two levels: the conscious, of which we are aware, and the unconscious, which is hidden from us. The latter has long been the subject of speculation, but over the past two decades researchers have developed remarkable new tools for probing the hidden, or subliminal, workings of the mind. The result of this explosion of research is a new science of the unconscious and a sea change in our understanding of how the subliminal mind affects the way we live.
Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and now teaches at the California Institute of Technology.

According to Mlodinow in the Prologue to Subliminal, for over a century now, research and clinical psychologists have been cognizant of the fact that we all possess a rich and active unconscious life that plays out in parallel to our conscious thoughts and feelings and has a powerful effect on them, in ways we are only now beginning to be able to measure with some degree of accuracy.
Carl Jung wrote, “There are certain events of which we have not consciously taken note; they have remained, so to speak, below the threshold of consciousness. They have happened, but they have been absorbed subliminally.” Subliminal is about subliminal effects in that broad sense – about the processes of the unconscious mind and how they influence us. To gain a true understanding of human experience, we must understand both our conscious and our unconscious selves, and how they interact. Our subliminal brain is invisible to us, yet it influences our conscious experience of the world in the most fundamental of ways: how we view ourselves and others, the meanings we attach to the everyday events of our lives, our ability to make the quick judgment calls and decisions that can sometimes mean the difference between life and death, and the actions we engage in as a result of all these instinctual experiences.
Though the unconscious aspects of human behavior were actively speculated about by Jung, Freud, and many others over the past century, the methods they employed – introspection, observations of overt behavior, the study of people with brain deficits, the implanting of electrodes into the brains of animals – provided only fuzzy and indirect knowledge. Meanwhile, the true origins of human behavior remained obscure. Things are different today. Sophisticated new technologies have revolutionized our understanding of the part of the brain that operates below our conscious mind – what Mlodinow is referring to as the subliminal world. These technologies have made it possible, for the first time in human history, for there to be an actual science of the unconscious. That new science of the unconscious is the subject of Subliminal.

Contents of Subliminal include:

PART I THE TWO-TIERED BRAIN

  1. The New Unconscious: The hidden role of our subliminal selves ... what it means when you don't call your mother.
  2. Senses Plus Mind Equals Reality: The two-tier system of the brain ... how you can see something without knowing it.
  3. Remembering and Forgetting: How the brain builds memories ... why we sometimes remember what never happened.
  4. The Importance of Being Social: The fundamental role of human social character ... why Tylenol can mend a broken heart.

PART II THE SOCIAL UNCONSCIOUS

  1. Reading People: How we communicate without speaking ... how to know who's the boss by watching her eyes.
  2. Judging People by Their Covers: What we read into looks, voice, and touch ... how to win voters, attract a date, or beguile a female cowbird.
  3. Sorting People and Things: Why we categorize things and stereotype people ... what Lincoln, Gandhi, and Che Guevara had in common.
  4. In-Groups and Out Groups: The dynamics of us and them ... the science behind Lord of the Flies.
  5. Feelings: The nature of emotions ... why the prospect of falling hundreds of feet onto large boulders has the same effect as a flirtatious smile and a black silk nightgown.
  6. Self: How our ego defends its honor ... why schedules are overly optimistic and failed CEOs feel they deserve golden parachutes.

Oh, and there’s a subliminal message on the cover of Subliminal. The audio version includes visual and memory exercises and charts on enchanced CD 7. Adobe Reader is required.

This very enlightening book explores the two sides of our mental lives, with a focus on the subconscious or subliminal element. Drawing on clinical research conducted over a period of several decades and containing a number of rather startling revelations ... the book appeals to readers with an interest in the workings of the human mind. – Booklist 
One of the ten books to watch out for in 2012 ... Physicist, science writer and Hollywood screenwriter Leonard Mlodinow is out to explore how important the unconscious is in shaping the way we process the world. – NewScientist.com
Mlodinow never fails to make science both accessible and entertaining. – Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time
Think you know the whys and hows of your choices? Follow Mlodinow on a gorgeous journey that will make you think again. – David Eagleman, author of Incognito
With the same deft touch he showed in The Drunkard’s Walk, Mlodinow probes the subtle, automatic, and often unnoticed influences on our behavior. – Daniel J. Simons, professor of psychology, University of Illinois, and coauthor of The Invisible Gorilla
If you liked The Drunkard’s Walk, you’ll love Subliminal. This engaging and insightful book not only makes neuroscience understandable, it also makes it fascinating. You will look at yourself (and those around you) in a new way. – Joseph T. Hallinan, author of Why We Make Mistakes
A must-read book that is both provocative and hugely entertaining. Mlodinow provides many eye-opening insights into the ways we act in business, finance, politics, and our personal lives. – Jerry A. Webman, chief economist, OppenheimerFunds, Inc., and author of MoneyShift
A highly readable, funny, and thought-provoking travelogue by Mlodinow, a trusted traveler in this treacherous region, who leads us on a tour of the little-known country that is our unconscious mind. – Christof Koch, professor of cognitive and behavioral biology, California Institute of Technology

Employing his trademark wit and lucid, accessible explanations of the most obscure scientific subjects, Mlodinow in Subliminal takes readers on a tour of the research, unraveling the complexities of the subliminal self and increasing readers’ understanding of how the human mind works and how they interact with friends, strangers, spouses, and coworkers. In the process he changes readers’ view of themselves and the world.

Business & Investing / Consulting / Reference

Flawless Consulting Set, 3rd edition by Peter Block (Pfeiffer) is a 2-volume set consisting of two books: Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, 3rd edition and The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion: A Guide to Understanding Your Expertise.

Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, 3rd edition by Peter Block (Pfeiffer)

When the landmark best-seller Flawless Consulting was first published more than three decades ago, it was quickly adopted as the ‘consultant's bible.’ With his legendary warmth and passion, Peter Block explained how to deal effectively with clients, peers, and others. The book continues to speak to people in a support function inside organizations as well as to external consultants.

Award-winning Block is an author and consultant whose work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community; partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers his personally designed workshops that help to build the skills outlined in his books; and founder of two well-know training and consulting firms, Designed Learning and Block Petreall Weisbord.

The thoroughly revised and updated Flawless Consulting, third edition of Block's groundbreaking book explores the latest thinking on consultation. It includes new insights about how to organize consulting around discovering the strengths, positive examples, and gifts of the client organization or community. The book remains a practical and specific guide for anyone who needs to develop a capacity for deeper relatedness and partnership – which means it is for all who wish to make a difference in the world.

This third edition covers the consulting challenges that have arisen from the way we routinely communicate electronically and live in the virtual world. Block suggests ways to overcome the distancing and isolating effects inherent in electronic connects. The book also includes practical guidance on how to ask better questions, gives suggestions for dealing with difficult clients, and contains expanded guidelines on more engaging forms of implementation.

Like the first two editions, Flawless Consulting, 3rd edition affirms the notion that authentic behavior and personal relationships are the key to technical and business success. By demonstrating their ability to be truly authentic at each step in the process, consultants can aim toward creating workplaces that are more collaborative and ultimately more successful.

Flawless Consulting includes two new examples, taken from health care and educational reform efforts, to show how consulting skills can be useful (and often transformative) in a broader context. These illustrative examples point the way for achieving changes for leadership in business, government, religion, and human services.

Consulting at its best is about action and interaction, relationships and results. In a highly readable guide that is both inspirational and practical, Peter Block leads consultant and client together through a proven approach to realize their future. – Samuel R. Strickland, chief financial and administrative officer, Booz Allen Hamilton

Surpasses the high standards of relevance, clarity, and wisdom characteristic of previous versions.... Whether one's consulting experience spans five years or fifty, there is a great deal in this new edition to prompt us to reflect on our own practice and to discuss with colleagues. – Roger Harrison, independent consultant and author of Consultant's Journey: A Dance of Work and Spirit and The Collected Papers of Roger Harrison

Peter Block has written a masterful third edition of his masterpiece, Flawless Consulting. Important additions to the third edition are the strength-based strategies that many are beginning to use... in solving seemingly intractable problems in health care and other industries. They are featured in a new Chapter Twelve and form a common thread that runs through this entire path-breaking book. – Jon C. Lloyd, MD, FACS senior associate, Positive Deviance Initiative; clinical advisor, Plexus Institute

Peter's masterwork, Flawless Consulting, has been my go-to guide since the first edition. Flawless Consulting is not just a practical, useful, and inviting book for practitioners. It's all those things, but it's also a book about some of the most vexing issues we face when consulting to organizations – issues of resistance, truth, doubt, vulnerability, and accountability. If you find yourself giving advice to people making choices, then this book is a must-have for you. Buy it today, use it tomorrow. – Jim Kouzes, award-winning coauthor of the best-selling The Leadership Challenge and The Truth About Leadership, and Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion: A Guide to Understanding Your Expertise by Peter Block, assisted by Andrea M. Markowitz (Pfeiffer)

Following on the heels of the best-selling Flawless Consulting, Second Edition comes The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion.

In this time of free agency, outsourcing, and cross-functional work teams, consulting has become a part of everyone's job. Some of this need for instant expertise is for reassurance; some is just that we do not have time to learn it ourselves. So, despite all the ambivalence surrounding consulting, it has grown into big business and generally infiltrated our lives.

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion contains:

  • Sample scenarios
  • Case studies
  • Client-consultant dialogues
  • Hands-on tools
  • Action plans
  • Implementation checklists

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion:

  • Supports the integrity of readers’ expertise.
  • Changes their minds about how they interpret their own consulting experience.
  • Broadens their way of thinking.
  • Brings a manageable dose of therapy and art, philosophy and literature into their thoughts about consulting.
  • Does it in a comforting and simple way.

Wow! A companion a business owner can't be without! The insights of 30 consultants the caliber of Peter Block is priceless. – Sue Mosby, principal, CDFM2 Architecture Inc.

This book is a companion piece for both the desktop and bedside of those who do consulting full time or in their role as leader. I plan to keep this book close to me to both guide and inspire my work. – Phil Harkins, president, Linkage, Inc.

This is content as rich as tiramisu. I find that I can digest only a small portion at a time; yet I'm always back for more. An indispensable resource for the consultant seeking ideas and inspiration. – Kathryn Heath
No matter how proficient, companies who fail to understand and apply Block's concepts risk operating at the vendor level with their clients rather than at the partner level – a potentially mortal risk in an increasingly strategic marketplace. – Fred Lamparter, director of worldwide training, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
As we encourage our IT professionals to pursue continuous learning, this 'Fieldbook' will be added to their skill-building toolkit. We've used Block's Flawless Consulting guidelines to define the basic consulting skills program. – Cassandra A. Matthews, vice president, Information Technology and CIO, PECO Energy Company
When it comes to prioritizing my reading, Peter Block is second only to the sports section. In this book, Peter provides different points of view and stories that plunge deeply into the human and organizational experience. – Paul Anderson, convener, Northern California School for Managing and Leading Change
Peter's work always challenges me to think about things in new ways and pushes me to take risks I might not have had the courage for otherwise. This long awaited companion to Flawless Consulting is no exception. – Jennifer Powell, human resources manager, Aetna USHealthcare
Peter Block and his friends have produced an indispensable companion to Flawless Consulting. Providing help to others is no easy task, but these philosophical, therapeutic, and artistic essays bring to life the spirit and hope of change practitioners everywhere. Ultimately, they deliver practical insights to the consulting craft. – Christopher G. Worley, director, MSOD Program, Pepperdine University
If you're new to consulting, or if you need reinforcement that relationships are the heart of successful consulting, read this book. More experienced professionals will find some real gems along the way like Peter's Twelve Exits. And where else will you find Sufi wisdom, Bertrand Russell, and Marvin Weisbord all under one roof? – Rick Maurer, author, Beyond the Wall of Resistance and Building Capacity for Change Sourcebook
In Peter's characteristically accessible style, this complement to the recently revised Flawless Consulting skillfully challenges consultants to learn what moves us towards more accountability and to discover what releases the commitment and passion inherent to the experience of being human. – Gordon C. Brooks, MSOD program administrator, The Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University
This book is a must read for anyone consulting or considering consulting. Peter has once again broken new ground with the The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion. –Steve Gibbons, past president, The Association for Quality and Participation

Readers – don't venture into the consulting field without the essential The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion. Whether readers work as consultants or work with consultants, this relentlessly practical guide will be a friend as they discover how consulting influences their business- and real life-decisions and those of others. Readers can enjoy this book, let it accompany them into the field, and use it as encouragement for writing their own story.

Business & Investing / Job Hunting & Careers / Reference

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise by American Kinesiology Association, with Shirl J. Hoffman as Project Coordinator (Human Kinetics)

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise is a readers’ guide to landing that dream job in one of today’s most exciting, popular, and fastest-growing industries. Produced by the American Kinesiology Association (AKA), with Project Director Shirl Hoffman, professor emeritus of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, AKA’s former executive director and now editor of the e-magazine Kinesiology Today, this hands-on guide includes detailed job descriptions, information on working conditions, salary ranges, responsibilities, key skills, and required certifications for 36 careers in sport and fitness: Aquatic therapist, Athletic trainer (college or university sport team), Athletic trainer (high school sport team), Athletic trainer (as physician extender), Athletic trainer (clinical), Personal trainer, Group exercise instructor, Strength and conditioning coach, Fitness center owner or manager, Fitness leader in gerontology settings, Health promotion specialist, Fitness specialist, Physical education teacher, Sport instructor, Coach, Sport official, Sport psychologist, Sport administrator, Sport marketer, Media and public relations specialist, Professional scout, Sport event manager, Sport journalist, Sport facility operations manager, Clinical exercise physiologist, Certified clinical exercise specialist, Sport dietitian, Sports medicine clinic director, Physical therapist, Occupational therapist, Medical and osteopathic physicians, Chiropractor, Physician assistant, Kinesiology professor, Kinesiology researcher, and Kinesiology department administrator.

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise, a joint effort of the American Kinesiology Association (AKA) and Human Kinetics, presents detailed descriptions of the many options available to those seeking a career within the spheres of physical activity – namely exercise, sports, and fitness. The general information readers can find on websites tends to be insufficient and superficial, lacking the depth and comprehensiveness AKA offers. In this book readers find for the first time anywhere the insights and advice of university professionals whose daily work involves preparing students for their careers.

Kinesiology is the name that has emerged for the universe that houses the exciting worlds of physical activity. The field of kinesiology – encompassing exercise, sports, fitness, and physical activity – is amazingly broad, offering an astonishing range of diverse careers.

Chapters 1 and 2 of Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise present a broad perspective of career development in the field, addressing the important questions students have when first beginning to explore their potential careers. The rest of the book provides the fundamentals, the essential information, on career opportunities available to those who graduate with a degree in kinesiology. Careers are grouped into separate but related categories. The many kinds of careers in the fitness industry are covered in chapter 3. Chapter 4 explores career opportunities in teaching, coaching, sport instruction, and sport psychology. Chapter 5 discusses careers available for those who study sport management. Chapter 6 does the same for athletic training and sports medicine. Chapter 7 presents important insights for the increasing numbers of students enrolling in kinesiology programs who have set their postgraduate sights on careers in allied health fields such as physical therapy and medicine. Finally, chapter 8 discusses career possibilities for those considering the teaching of kinesiology at the college level or pursuing a career as a researcher.

Each chapter presents the skills and knowledge readers need to succeed in each career. Readers also find helpful advice to increase their chances of success, an honest discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of each type of work, the physical and social settings in which they will probably work, a description of the type of co-workers with whom they will collaborate, the educational and certification requirements required to secure and maintain each career, and future economic prospects for the career. Advice from the writers is supplemented by observations by professionals and clinicians working in the area, and from students preparing to do so.

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise is a map to help readers explore the vast universe of kinesiology and to reach their destination.

I have served as a professor, department chair, and academic dean, and I have observed hundreds of students who enroll in programs with little concept of career options and how to achieve employment goals. Students need guidance in understanding the options. Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise provides that guidance. – Brian J. Sharkey, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Montana, Past President of American College of Sports Medicine

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise offers clear information, helpful examples, and plenty of food for thought for those aspiring to find a career in this growing field. – Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, Director of sports nutrition services at Healthworks, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Fourth Edition

Bringing their enormous funds of knowledge about the exercise, sport, fitness, and physical activity industry to bear on the kinds of problems young people frequently encounter when exploring careers, the professionals at AKA have produced an authoritative resource and invaluable guide. For students, parents, high school guidance counselors, and university academic advisors hoping to get firm footing in the flourishing cosmos of kinesiology, Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise will be indispensable.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Health & Fitness

Seamus Mullen's Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better by Seamus Mullen (Andrews McMeel Universal)

From celebrity chef Seamus Mullen, Seamus Mullen's Hero Food is not only a cookbook, but a personal philosophy of well-being. The subtitle says it all: "How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better."

Mullen, chef and owner of Tertulia, his first solo restaurant in Manhattan's West Village, where he has garnered rave reviews, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis five years ago, and in that time, he has discovered how incorporating 18 key ingredients into his cooking improved his quality of life. In the book, he shows how to make these key ingredients, or ‘hero foods,’ one’s cooking friends.

Seamus Mullen's Hero Food is divided into four sections, each devoted to a season. Each season is introduced with a richly imaged ‘movie,’ providing the context of Mullen's life and the source of many of the recipes contained in each seasonal section.

Mullen's ‘heroes’ are real food, elemental things like good meat, good birds, eggs, greens, grains, and berries. He cares about how his vegetables are grown, how his fruit is treated, and about the freshness and sustainability of the fish he uses. His hope is that readers will eventually forget about why these recipes are good for them, and that they will make them just because they taste good.

Growing up on an organic farm in Vermont, Mullen learned the value of harvesting the surrounding land to bring flavorful meals to the table. Jobs in local restaurants provided an early glimpse into the industry, and Mullen was immediately hooked. He became enamored with the various traditions and cuisines of Spain while studying at Universidad Autonoma de Extremadura in Caceres, before working in some of the country's top kitchens (Mugaritz, Abac, and Alkimia).

At his restaurant Tertulia, Mullen is known for seasonal Spanish cooking with an emphasis on the finest ingredients. With Seamus Mullen's Hero Food, he hopes to extend his philosophy that eating well can improve one's overall health and wellness. "I know there's no silver bullet, but I have discovered that some foods can make dramatic differences. These foods – all 18 of them – have become my heroes," Mullen writes. "And here's the good news – that what I like turns out to be good for me!"

Seamus Mullen's Hero Food is not only a cookbook, but an exploration of its subtitle, "How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better." Mullen guides readers through his beloved Spain, and onto the American farms he loves, demonstrating how to prepare more than 80 recipes that feature his 18 heroes.

The 18 hero foods and Mullen’s three key words for them are:

1.      Berries: Ripe • Sweet • Seasonal

2.      Carrots: Sugary • Snappy • Vivid

3.      Corn: Summery • Joyful • Delicious

4.      Stone Fruit: Luscious • Colorful • Radiant

5.      Good Fish: Scarce • Sustainable • Satisfying

6.      Squash: Earthy • Abundant • Autumnal

7.      Mushrooms: Woodsy • Meaty • Mellow

8.      Greens: Hearty • Vibrant • Healthy

9.      Good Meat: Juicy • Tender • Grassfed

10.  Olive Oil: Fruity • Delicate • Voluptuous

11.  Dried Beans: Creamy • Robust • Elemental

12.  Almonds: Crunchy • Versatile • Nutritious

13.  Grains: Nutty • Ancient • Toothsome

14.  Anchovies: Briny • Shiny • Essential

15.  Good Eggs: Fresh • Sunny • Vital

16.  Good Birds: Tasty • Wholesome • Succulent

17.  Sweet Peas: Bright • Green • Crispy

18.  Parsley: Potent • Leafy • Beneficial

In Seamus Mullen's Hero Food, Mullen devotes one chapter to each of these ‘heroes,’ giving readers thoughtfully annotated recipes that put the spotlight on the ingredient and make for vibrant, delectable dishes. Mullen sheds light on these ingredients – their nutritional value and restorative properties, and how to ensure they are of the highest quality – all the while arming readers with the tools they need to cook confidently and healthfully. Readers can look forward to recipes for flavorful dishes such as Salt Cod with Garbanzo Beans, Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder, and Autumn Squash Salad, along with tips for how to master practical techniques such as steaming greens, pickling, or preserving tuna.

Like the story of Spain that inspires Seamus and me, food can tell a story. Too often we hear how food is the cause of problems, but we need to see food as a solution. Seamus shows us in Seamus Mullen's Hero Food how good food is the answer. – Jose Andres, Chef, advocate, host of Made in Spain

Take a look at what Seamus Mullen does with vegetables, fruit, grains and everything else he cooks. I can't wait to try his 10 Things to Do with Corn. His food can't guarantee health, but it will surely make anyone happy! – Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University, author of What to Eat

After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Manhattan restaurateur Mullen modified his diet to improve his well-being. His debut cookbook, which pairs traditional Spanish cuisine with rustic farm-to-table fare, highlights 18 ingredients (‘hero foods’) that help him manage his symptoms. Ajo Blanco with Sardine Confit and Octopus and Parsley Salad reflect Mullen's years of work and travel in Spain, while Crispy Tuscan Kale on the Grill and Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder highlight the bounty of his Vermont farm. Mullen's personal success lends clout to this study in holistic, inclusive eating. – Library Journal

With his imaginative and beautiful cookbook, Seamus Mullen's Hero Food, demonstrates how to turn key ingredients into dishes that readers will prepare on a regular basis not only because of their healing properties, but simply because they are delicious.

History / Americas / 19th Century / Biographies & Memoirs

Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West edited by Matthew L. Harris and Jay H. Buckley (University of Oklahoma Press)

In life and in death, fame and glory eluded Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779–1813). The ambitious young military officer and explorer, best known for a mountain peak that he neither scaled nor named, was destined to live in the shadows of more famous contemporaries – explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, a collection of thought-provoking essays, rescues Pike from his undeserved obscurity. It does so by providing a nuanced assessment of Pike and his actions within the larger context of American imperial ambition in the time of Jefferson.

Pike’s accomplishments as an explorer and mapmaker and as a soldier during the War of 1812 has been tainted by his alleged connection to Aaron Burr’s conspiracy to separate the trans-Appalachian region from the United States. For two hundred years historians have debated whether Pike was an explorer or a spy, whether he knew about the Burr Conspiracy or was just a loyal foot soldier. This book moves beyond that controversy to offer new scholarly perspectives on Pike’s career.

The essayists in Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West – all prominent historians of the American West – examine Pike’s expeditions and writings, which provided an image of the Southwest that would shape American culture for decades. John Logan Allen explores Pike’s contributions to science and cartography; James P. Ronda and Leo E. Oliva address his relationships with Native peoples and Spanish officials; Jay H. Buckley chronicles Pike’s life and compares Pike to other Jeffersonian explorers; Jared Orsi discusses the impact of his expeditions on the environment; and William E. Foley examines his role in Burr’s conspiracy. Together the essays assess Pike’s accomplishments and shortcomings as an explorer, soldier, empire builder, and family man.

Pike’s 1810 journals and maps gave Americans an important glimpse of the headwaters of the Mississippi and the southwestern borderlands, and his account of the opportunities for trade between the Mississippi Valley and New Mexico offered a blueprint for the Santa Fe Trail. This volume is the first in more than a generation to offer new scholarly perspectives on the career of an overlooked figure in the opening of the American West.

Editors are Matthew L. Harris, Associate Professor of History at Colorado State University-Pueblo and Jay H. Buckley, Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University.

In Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, Harris and Buckley move beyond the labels of ‘spy’ and ‘lost pathfinder’ and offer a fresh perspective of Pike's life. They seek to place Pike's life and times within a broader context and explain his significance as an explorer in the American West. Pike's story is a compelling one. He was an empire builder, field scientist, mapmaker, explorer, spy, and soldier. More importantly, he was a significant cog in the opening of the American West. His two expeditions set in motion a pattern of conquest and settlement that would forever alter the political, environmental, and geographic landscape of the region.

The chapters in Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West capture those changes. They explore Pike's contributions to science and mapmaking, address his relationship with Native peoples and Spanish officials, compare him to other Jeffersonian explorers, discuss the impact of his expeditions on the environment, assess his relationship with General Wilkinson and his connection to the Burr conspiracy, and evaluate his role as an empire builder in the trans-Mississippi West. Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West begins with two chapters placing Pike within a larger national context. Jay Buckley's chapter, "Pike as a Forgotten and Misunderstood Explorer," provides a rich and nuanced portrait of Pike's life, discussing his family, experiences on the rugged frontier, and rise in the military. Buckley also traces Pike's two expeditions in the American West, demonstrating the hardships and travails that Pike and his men experienced, in addition to exploring his relationship with Native peoples.

The next chapter, "Pike and Empire," by the distinguished historian James Ronda, argues that Pike was part of a long and distinguished tradition of empire building that began during the American Revolution. Ronda explains that Pike contributed significantly to a larger effort to spread democracy across the American landscape, fulfilling Jefferson's vision of an ‘empire of liberty’

Historical geographer John Logan Allen's chapter, "Pike and American Science," posits that Pike played a greater role in exploring the West than critics have acknowledged. Allen tells us that although Pike's maps contain many errors about the natural history of the region, they provided a general outline of the Southwest that other mapmakers, including William Clark, followed. Finally, Allen dispels the idea that Pike knew he was on the Rio Grande in Spanish territory when he was captured by the Spanish in the spring of 1807.

Jay Buckley's chapter titled "Jeffersonian Explorers in the Trans-Mississippi West: Zebulon Pike in Perspective" situates Pike within a larger pantheon of Jeffersonian explorers. Buckley compares the expeditions that Thomas Jefferson and James Wilkinson commissioned to explore the western tributaries of the Mississippi River that were part of the Louisiana Purchase – the Missouri, Arkansas, and Red rivers.

Jared Orsi provides a provocative new paradigm for understanding the early American republic and Jefferson's ‘empire of liberty.’ His chapter, "An Empire and Ecology of Liberty," focuses on the ecosystems of the West, arguing that Pike's journey exploring the Louisiana hinterland allows one to reconstruct flows of energy and commodities in that region during a critical time in the nation's political and economic development. Orsi contends that the new American nation achieved political and economic preeminence in North America, in part, by capturing the stored energy of the West in profitable commodities. This was possible, Orsi writes, because of explorers such as Zebulon Pike, who blazed a trail mapping, exploring, and writing about their scientific observations of the region.

Leo Oliva examines the relationship between Pike and Facundo Melgares, the Spanish lieutenant who had a hand in capturing Pike near the Rio Grande. In "Enemies and Friends: Pike and Melgares in the Competition for the Great Plains," Oliva traces the expeditions that both men made in exploring the region and explains that they were part of a larger imperial effort to control the Great Plains. Both men, Oliva observes, became enmeshed in a competition to chart the western limits of the Louisiana Territory. This competition opened up the American West to generations of future Americans but, more importantly, led to the annexation of Texas in 1845 and the Mexican-American War in 1846-48.

Finally, William Foley evaluates James Wilkinson's role in the Burr conspiracy, offering keen insights about his character and code of ethics. In "James Wilkinson: Pike's Mentor and Jefferson's Capricious Point Man in the West;" Foley asserts that the sale of the Louisiana Territory, with its ‘culturally diverse frontier,’ provided a conduit by which Wilkinson could spy for both the Spanish and U.S. governments. Wilkinson joined the Spanish payroll as ‘Agent 13;’ spying for the Spanish while serving as the highest-ranking military officer in the United States Army. Further, he aligned himself with the crafty and overzealous former vice president Aaron Burr in an effort to detach the southwestern borderlands from American control. In this endeavor, Foley writes, the evidence is not clear whether Pike was connected to the Wilkinson-Burr conspiracy; more likely, he claims, Wilkinson used Pike for commercial purposes. He commissioned Pike's two expeditions in the West not for the purposes of filibustering the Spanish but to explore the potential of tapping into the rich and lucrative trade market that the Spanish had developed with the Native Americans in the region.

Stymied by his mountain, confused by western geography, captured by the Spaniards, Zebulon Pike has been the odd man out in Jeffersonian exploration history for two centuries now. This fine anthology of new essays about Pike and his circle should go far toward correcting our historical memory about that clarion moment when the Southwest first beckoned, and Zebulon Pike became America's eyes. – Dan Flores, editor of Southern Counterpart to Lewis and Clark: The Freeman Custis Expedition of 1806

Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West brings the most recent scholarship to the questions that have long surrounded Pike's foray into the Southwest, and helps to place the explorer firmly within the context of his more famous peers Lewis and Clark, Dunbar and Hunter, and Freeman and Custis. – Ron Tyler, author of Alfred Jacob Miller: Artist as Explorer

Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West not only provides readers with a new reconceptualization of the explorer Zebulon Pike, a fresh and exciting retrospective assessment of his life and legacy, but also sparks further research into Pike's considerable accomplishments as a major player in building Jefferson's ‘empire of liberty.’

History / Americas / State & Local / Law

The Jury in Lincoln's America by Stacy Pratt McDermott (Law, Society & Politics in the Midwest Series: Ohio University Press)

In the antebellum Midwest, Americans looked to the law, and specifically to the jury, to navigate the uncertain terrain of a rapidly changing society. During this formative era of American law, the jury served as the most visible connector between law and society. Through an analysis of the composition of grand and trial juries and their courtroom experiences, Stacy Pratt McDermott in The Jury in Lincoln's America demonstrates how central the law was for people who lived in Abraham Lincoln’s America.

McDermott, assistant director and associate editor of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, and the co-editor of The Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases and The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln, focuses on the status of the jury as a democratic institution as well as on the status of those who served as jurors. According to the 1860 census, the juries in Springfield and Sangamon County, Illinois, comprised an ethnically and racially diverse population of settlers from northern and southern states, representing both urban and rural mid-nineteenth-century America. It was in these counties that Lincoln developed his law practice, handling more than 5,200 cases in a legal career that spanned nearly twenty-five years.

Drawing from a rich collection of legal records, docket books, county histories, and surviving newspapers, McDermott in The Jury in Lincoln's America reveals the enormous power jurors wielded over the litigants and the character of their communities. 

Through an examination of the jury and of the law in the vibrant and dynamic environment of antebellum Illinois and through an analysis of the jury trials of the state's most famous son, The Jury in Lincoln's America demonstrates the importance of the jury and, by extension, the law to nineteenth-century Americans. Abraham Lincoln and his contemporaries exhibited a commitment to the rule of law that not only shaped their understanding of society but also influenced their individual roles within their communities and the world at large. Lincoln stands in history as an iconic figure of the American past, but he was not born ready to lead his nation through a bloody civil war. His development as a man and a national leader took place in the courthouses of antebellum Illinois during a legal career that spanned three decades.

Antebellum Springfield and Sangamon County were home to Lincoln. The county represented a cultural blending of the North and the South. Of the states of nativity that Sangamon County residents reported in the 1860 census, Connecticut, New York, and Ohio were as ubiquitous as Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maryland. There was also some ethnic diversity in the region. A relatively large number of Irish and German immigrants lived in Springfield, and a small population of free blacks made their homes there as well.

Second, the county contained elements of both urban and rural mid-nineteenth-century America. Sangamon County was agriculturally based, and farming was central to its economy. Yet Springfield – the county seat, state capital, and home to 29 percent of the county's residents in 1860 – was a bustling commercial center with a population of more than nine thousand people.

The surviving antebellum legal records of the county are abundant. A nearly complete run of the docket books, court records, and fee books of the circuit court during the antebellum period is available to the scholar. The Jury in Lincoln's America fully utilizes the records of Lincoln's law practice. Statutes, legal treatises, newspapers, periodicals, manuscript sources, and demographic data collected in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. censuses enhance the richness of the hundreds of trial and appellate case documents examined for this volume. History, environment, people, and power relations that existed within antebellum Midwestern communities are never far from the discussion.

The Jury in Lincoln's America investigates the status of the jury as a democratic and political institution in antebellum America. It also evaluates the characteristics of the jurors, their jury experiences in Sangamon County, and the quality of their verdicts. It is relatively easy to examine the nineteenth-century political and legal rhetoric that antebellum Americans employed to describe the jury, but it is a much more laborious task to analyze the status of the jurors themselves. This book seeks to find out who served as jurors in Illinois and to study their jury box and courtroom experiences. It also explores how the individual status and experiences of jurors informed their service and what juror status meant in terms of jury verdicts for various groups of litigants, especially men without property, women, and African Americans. When readers understand the economic, social, political, and professional status of the ‘gentlemen’ who served on grand and petit (or trial) juries, they can begin to see the ways in which jury selection and service played out at the local level. Within the circuit courts, evidence of the law was clear and direct. In the jury box, jurors represented a very human link between legal structures and the community. From that specific convergence of law and society, a vivid picture of the Midwestern Illinois legal landscape emerges. Lincoln's own juror service and the corpus of his jury cases further enhance that landscape.

Community is an integral part of the legal story The Jury in Lincoln's America relates. However, because there are no similar community studies of juror composition, The Jury in Lincoln's America cannot offer an in-depth analysis comparing antebellum Midwestern juries and juries in other parts of the country. Instead, it provides as much detail as possible about the circumstances of the jury and the experiences of jurors in one Midwestern locale and to suggest some conclusions about the wider meaning of jury service in the emerging Midwest.

The Jury in Lincoln's America consists of an introduction and four chapters that combine to show the structures and context of the law, the composition of juries, the experience of jury service, and the power relationships that functioned whenever a grand or petit jury was impaneled. The introduction broadly defines Lincoln's America and discusses the nineteenth-century political language that Americans used to describe their understanding of juror qualifications, the process of trial by jury, and jury service. The introduction also highlights the antebellum American commitment to the law and, particularly, to the institution of the jury.

Chapter 1, "Jury Law and Tradition in the Antebellum Midwest," examines the statutes and appellate case law pertaining to juries in four mid-western states from the year each attained statehood to 1860: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. In less detail, the chapter looks at the law regarding juries in Iowa and Wisconsin. It sets the context of the legal foundation of the jury and provides a basis from which an understanding of antebellum Midwestern jury politics can emerge.

Chapter 2, "The Composition of Juries in Sangamon County, Illinois, 1830-60," is quantitative in structure and incorporates the research in regard to juror status. It presents raw demographic data on the grand and petit jurors in Sangamon County and offers a community study of the jurors themselves.

Chapters 1 and 2 draw heavily on the more than ninety-six thousand legal documents from Abraham Lincoln's law practice. His caseload was varied and extensive, and his courtroom experiences shed light on the legal systems of Illinois, including key aspects of jury service in the pre-Civil War era. Thus, the documentary evidence from Lincoln's law practice provides a convenient set of primary source materials. But more than research convenience, it offers a legitimate historical narrative regarding the law and community in a vital, developing region during a dynamic period of American history.

Chapter 3, "The Work of Jurors in the Antebellum Illinois Courtroom," presents an in-depth examination of the actual work and experiences of grand and petit jurors. This analysis gives readers a sense of how juries functioned and how litigants experienced the law at the local level. Four topics – crimes related to drinking and gambling, slander, divorce, and race – are the focus of this examination on jury work, and three groups of defendants and civil litigants – white men without property, women, and African Americans – share the stage with the jurors who heard their cases. The chapter draws meaning from the contrasting status of jurors and litigants, examining different areas of the law to provide some broader understanding and balance.

Chapter 4, "The Struggle for Legal Power in Lincoln's America," considers the push and pull of jury authority, which was one of the central issues of nineteenth-century law. As judges sought to redefine the role of the jury in the courtroom and dictate procedure, jurors tried to make sense of the law and a rapidly changing world through their verdicts. And as panels of juries exercised their courtroom authority, the rising professional bar worked to position itself as a broker between judicial dominance and jury independence. Illinois jurors, lawyers, and judges wanted to bring order to the sometimes frightening and chaotic legal, social, economic, and political transformations they were experiencing in the emerging Midwest. The end result was a three-way battle for dominance that became particularly apparent in Illinois courtrooms in the 1840s and 1850s. This chapter analyzes the power struggle in order to better understand the centrality of the jury in the antebellum Midwest, which represented the America of Abraham Lincoln and his courtroom contemporaries.

The legal environment that shaped Lincoln provides the context of The Jury in Lincoln's America, and Lincoln's experiences with the law as an attorney, a litigant, a judge, and a juror provide a fascinating human connection to the history of the law in pre-Civil War Illinois, the Midwest, and America. Antebellum Midwestern history is an important focus of the book, and Midwestern legal history is particularly central. Little scholarship on the history of law in this vibrant region exists, and the legal history of Illinois prior to the Civil War has not yet been told. This book fills a significant gap in the scholarship of the history of American law.

History / Ancient / China / New Age

The Terracotta Warriors: The Secret Codes of the Emperor's Army by Maurice Cotterell (Bear & Co.)

When the first emperor of unified China, Ch’in Shi Huangdi, felt his death approaching, he decreed that he be entombed within a pyramid and that his tomb be protected by an immortal army of terracotta soldiers. In 1974 archaeologists discovered the first of more than 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors, each weighing half a ton, buried circa 220 B.C.E. near this emperor’s pyramid tomb.

The Terracotta Warriors:

  • Explains esoteric secrets of the sacred solar science encoded in the massive army of terracotta warriors that guards the tomb of Chinese emperor Ch’in Shi Huangdi
  • Decodes the farewell message of the first emperor of China concealed more than 2,000 years ago in the 8,000 terracotta warriors that guard his tomb.
  • Shows the spiritual principles of this sacred solar science and its remarkable insights into heaven, hell, and the immortality of the soul.

Maurice Cotterell in The Terracotta Warriors shows how Shi Huangdi – like the pharaoh Tutankhamun, the Mayan lord Pacal, and Viracocha in Peru – was a keeper of the sacred solar science of the ancients, a science that included a sophisticated understanding of the effect of the sun on earthly affairs, fertility rates, and personality. The keepers of this science taught that the soul was immortal and was destined to transform into star energy or be reborn on Earth, depending on an individual’s spiritual progress in his or her lifetime. Using his unique understanding of how and why ancient civilizations encoded this extraordinary knowledge, Cotterell, mathematician and scientist formerly at the Cranfield Institute of Technology, decodes the emperor’s farewell message concealed in the terracotta warriors – a message that reveals the purpose of life and the imperishable nature of the soul.

Cotterell's ability to relate science to religion . . . will provide the reader with plenty of food for thought. – Janet Bren, Fate, August 2004
With a wealth of in-depth research, data and analysis, Cotterell presents a truly compelling theory that could make a believer out of even the most ignorant or skeptical reader. – Asian Geographic, No. 62, Jan 2009

Originally published in 2003 in the United Kingdom, The Terracotta Warriors contains a surprisingly large number of figures and color plates.

History / U.S. / Military

Basic: Surviving Boot Camp and Basic Training by Colonel Jack Jacobs (Ret.) and David Fisher (Thomas Dunne Books)

“I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will only speak when being spoken to. The first and last words out of your sewers will be, sir! Do you maggots understand that?”
“Sir, yes Sir!”
“Bullshit. Sign off like you got a pair.”
“Sir! Yes Sir!” – from the movie Full Metal Jacket

No matter where they live, all American fighting men and women have one thing in common: They have survived basic military training. They’ve crawled through the swamps on Parris Island, stood in the frigid cold guarding a Dumpster at Great Lakes, struggled to complete fifteen bars on the horizontal ladder to get to the chow hall at Ft. Jackson, fought desperately to stay awake after long days without sleep at Lackland. They were shaved and screamed at, they barely ate, they marched a hundred miles, and they accomplished things they never would have dreamed possible. They made the epic journey from civilian to soldier in eight weeks … and gained a lifetime of memories in the process.

If readers have done it, they will recognize the Drill Instructors, the marching chants, the movie segments, the proper way to make a hospital corner, the jokes, the camaraderie and the shared feeling of triumph in Basic. And those who haven’t done it – yet – will understand and appreciate this life-changing experience. Basic is the story of that training. It is the funny, sad, dramatic, poignant and sometimes crazy history of how America has trained its military, told through the memories of those who remember the experiences as if they happened yesterday.

In Basic, Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs (Ret.) and bestselling writer David Fisher present the first book that provides a documented and oral history of the American institution of basic training. "In every way – professionally, socially, psychologically – basic is the very beginning of an experience like no other," says Jacobs. "It is during this period of initial military training that a civilian – an otherwise ordinary person – is transformed into a warrior, that heroic figure whose exploits have saved fellow warriors, saved the day, saved the republic. Basic training is really a tiny period of time, just a few weeks, during which the lessons learned will shape a lifetime."

Colonel Jacobs (Ret.) is Vice Chairman of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, holds the McDermott Chair of Humanities and Public Affairs at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and is an on-air analyst for NBC News.

During the eight weeks of training each recruit learns things about themselves that they never experienced before. In Basic, those who have gone through this training share their stories. Some talk about the homesickness they initially felt, while others remember how the loss of sleep and privacy were challenges to overcome. Some recall the demands of doing push-ups and blister-inducing marches, while others recall learning skills like the perfect way to shine boots and how to handle KP. Still others relate the more dangerous aspects of basic like the rigors of live fire exercises and learning how to throw a hand grenade.

As Brian Dennehy (Marines, Parris Island, 1969) explains in Basic, “Boot camp provides basic military training, but the real point is to indoctrinate you into a new way of looking at the world. The Marine Corps has a tradition of a very tough boot camp process. They are exposing you for the first time to the basic military philosophy – what otherwise might be presumed to be very risky activities. During this time officers and NCOs will tell you to do things to which your normal reaction would be, Hell no, I am not doing that. The basic objective of military training is to teach you how to operate as a unit, to become primarily concerned with unit cohesiveness and protection and to respond automatically to a situation that will achieve some goal. Boot camp is an assault on your individuality.”
Basic also tells the history of basic training. Basic training began unofficially in the United States in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in February 1778 when General George Washington brought in Prussian officer Baron Friedrich von Steuben to instill discipline in his unorganized, rag-tag Continental Army. Von Steuben trained a company of 120 men in basic military conduct and drilling. Because he spoke no English, he recruited an aide to curse at the troops for him. Troops were instructed to march at a seventy-six-step per minute cadence, rather than the current 120 steps. In battle at that time, troops maneuvered as a single unit, and the army best able to coordinate its moves gained a significant advantage. When von Steuben’s original model company was trained to his standards he dispersed them throughout the Continental Army to train other troops. He then wrote down his lessons in the “Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States,” which has become known as The Soldier’s Blue Book.

The unique transition from civilian to Soldier has always generated tall tales... about the environment, the changes, and of course the ever-present Drill Sergeant who changes your life. While the portrayed events usually grow with exaggeration and some added humor as Soldiers grow older, Jack Jacobs and Dave Fisher have captured the ‘war stories’ of basic training in a uniquely hilarious and moving way. Well done, gentlemen and patriots! – Mark Hertling, Former Deputy Commander for Initial Military Training, US Army

Movies and television shows have taught us to think of boot camp as a grueling physical challenge – and it is that – but what we take away here is a deeper understanding of the punishing psychological component as recruits learn to box up their individuality in favor of conformity and the unfaltering following of orders. – Booklist

Provides a clear and sometimes mordantly amusing overview of the training experience, punctuating it with personal accounts from soldiers. – Kirkus Reviews

Basic is a book that will bring back memories of basic for the 40 million people who have gone through it. For anyone about to go through training, it will provide them with some grasp of what lies ahead. And for those who will never go through basic, it offers a fascinating look inside this life-changing experience.

History / U.S. / Military / Civil War

From Western Deserts to Carolina Swamps: A Civil War Soldier's Journals and Letters Home edited by Lewis Franklin Roe (University of New Mexico Press)

While eyewitness accounts of the Civil War by enlisted men are uncommon, even scarcer are personal narratives from the Civil War in the West. These journals and letters in From Western Deserts to Carolina Swamps were written by Lewis Roe, an Illinois farm boy who served in the 7th U.S. Infantry and the 50th Illinois Volunteer Infantry between 1860 and 1865.

Edited by John P. Wilson, retired archaeologist with the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, the journals and letters in From Western Deserts to Carolina Swamps offer details of an epic march from Fort Bridger, Wyoming, to New Mexico, a firsthand account of the Battle of Valverde, and a soldier's efforts to understand ongoing events as the country rushed toward the outbreak of hostilities. Later in the war, Roe documented the Union occupation of Rome, Georgia, and the battle of Allatoona, and left readers a candid account of an enlisted man's experiences with Sherman's army on its March to the Sea and in the Carolinas Campaign.

The majority of eyewitness accounts of the Civil War were written by officers, most fighting in the legendary armies of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. While personal narratives of the Civil War by enlisted men are uncommon, even more rare are those from the Civil War in both the far West and Eastern theaters. Roe's writings recount the transfer of the 7th Infantry from Utah to New Mexico in the summer of 1860, a march of more than 1,000 miles; describe affairs in New Mexico on the eve of the Confederate invasion in 1861; and provide a rare firsthand account of the Battle of Valverde (1862). As seen in From Western Deserts to Carolina Swamps, Roe was remarkably free of prejudice, a rarity in that day.

Wilson notes that by the end of his journals, Roe had developed into a better than average descriptive writer. His spelling and grammar were always good, but from the first journal in 1860 to the last in 1865, his narrative style improved greatly. The journals end with the arrival of the army in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Roe’s participation in Sherman’s campaigns was clearly the greatest experience of his life and the years after the Civil War were comparatively uneventful.

Contents of From Western Deserts to Carolina Swamps include:

  1. The Search for Lewis Roe
  2. Retracing the March of the 7th Infantry, June-August 1860
  3. Fort Bridger to Fort Craig; Lewis Roe's 1860 Diary
  4. Escort Duty in the Southwest and the Battle of Valverde
  5. Reenlistment, Joining Sherman's Army, and the Beginning of the Atlanta Campaign, February-May 22, 1864
  6. Rome, Georgia, and the Battle of Allatoona, May 23-November 9, 1864
  7. The March to the Sea, November 10-December 14, 1864
  8. Savannah, Georgia, December 15, 1864-January 26, 1865
  9. Up through the Carolinas, January 27-March 27, 1865
  10. The End of the War and Home Again, April-July 1865

The book also contains 35 figures and 10 maps.

Well written, superbly documented and researched, and metic­ulously edited. The depth of the research is most impressive. Roe's story is interesting, valuable, and worth telling, and Wilson's fine editing tells it well. His scholarship reflects one of the best jobs of historical sleuthing I have seen in years. His telling of the Battle of Valverde, the largest Civil War battle in the Rocky Mountain West, is particularly valuable and is certain to be welcomed by scholars and general readers alike. – Jerry Thompson, Regents Professor of history, Texas A&M International University, coauthor of Texas and New Mexico on the Eve of the Civil War

The journals and letters in From Western Deserts to Carolina Swamps are unique in offering the enlisted man's commentary on the Civil War. His relative objectivity and attention to every day details (the importance of mail, what did a knapsack contain, what did they eat and how did they get it?) make the book a valuable record and a lively read.

History / World / Military / Martial Arts

SAS Ultimate Guide to Combat: How to Fight and Survive in Modern Warfare by Robert Stirling (Osprey Publishing)

I'm not going to teach you how to survive in snowy mountains with only a tea bag; this book will teach you how to fight and survive war in the 21st century. – Robert Stirling, from the Introduction

In the tradition of John 'Lofty' Wiseman's SAS Survival Handbook comes a new combat handbook from a seasoned special forces soldier. Whereas Wiseman initiated hundreds of thousands of readers to the survival techniques developed by the SAS in far-flung covert ops in Burma, the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere, Robert Stirling's focus is on fighting techniques for the contemporary soldier.
Stirling, a combat veteran of Northern Ireland, the Bush Wars in Africa, and Afghanistan, in SAS Ultimate Guide to Combat provides a fully-illustrated training manual for combat readiness. This is the stuff they don't teach in boot camp, but they should. Stirling writes in an aggressive style that will appeal to the warrior in readers. He also serves up first-hand anecdotes and advice drawn from operations that went well – and those that went wrong.
This is a practical handbook, with 150 color and 100 black and white how-to illustrations and photos. The contents of SAS Ultimate Guide to Combat include:

  • Why Do You Need This Book?
  • Tools of the Soldier's Trade
  • Food, Shelter & Dealing with Weather
  • Staying Healthy
  • How to Avoid Getting Shot
  • How to Avoid Having Artillery Spoil Your Day
  • How to Deal with Mines, Bombs & Booby Traps
  • How to Deal with Suicide Bombers
  • How to Deal with Bombs Under the Road
  • Defending a Position
  • Attacking the Enemy

At the age of 16, Stirling joined the British Army as a Junior Leader Paratrooper and so spent his first year of service undergoing a strict training regime which alternated weapons skills, drill, physical exercise and education all designed to prepare a soldier for leadership. Entering adult service and passing P Company, the Parachute Regiment selection, led to four tours in Northern Ireland and some covert experience wearing a donkey jacket and carrying a 9mm pistol. He was probably the second youngest ever to pass selection for the SAS at 19 years of age.
Stirling left the British Army and joined the Rhodesian Army towards the end of the Bush War. He led a unit of 200 men including a number of ex-French Foreign Legionnaires. He was in constant action and wounded twice. Besides extensive combat experience in numerous conflicts, Stirling has been contracted to recover stolen diamonds, work undercover against mercenary operations, teach unarmed combat to ript police, and provide close protection to VIPs and other secretive roles. Based in Southern Spain, he travels widely and accepts some consultancy work. He has recently trained the Austrian Officer Corps and Special Forces in unarmed combat and the Greek Special Forces. He is now running a covert operation in Afghanistan.

Stirling says he wrote SAS Ultimate Guide to Combat to help soldiers kill the enemy when they get the chance and, most importantly, come back home in one piece. To achieve this aim he covers combat training from boot camp up to the level required of a Special Forces soldier and then goes on to add a few tricks of his own.

As a veteran of Northern Ireland, Rhodesia, and Afghanistan, Stirling writes from great personal knowledge of battle. Stirling writes in the colorful voice of a veteran soldier; he addresses the reader as "you!" SAS Ultimate Guide to Combat covers the tools of the trade to avoid getting shot or blown-up, surviving an interrogation and defending a position. This book is not for the faint-hearted. But then neither is war.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Jewelry

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry by Laura Poplin (Kalmbach Books)

It's time to re-imagine traditional chain mail. Laura Poplin has created a hybrid style with an urban feel that's easy and lots of fun to make.

In Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry Poplin treats chain mail not just as the focal point of jewelry, but also as an unexpected accent to pearls, metals, and even leather.

Chain mail continues to gain popularity among jewelry makers, with its intricate weaves and endless design possibilities. In this book, readers learn Poplin’s techniques for incorporating other materials – leather, metal, beads, and wire – into traditional chain mail to produce a hybrid style she calls Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry.

In the projects, readers discover endless design possibilities as they begin incorporating the techniques. Sometimes the focus is the chain mail, with a little something extra. Sometimes leather or textured sheet metal takes center stage, and chain mail plays a supporting role.

Poplin’s popular jewelry designs can be found in many Dayton-area galleries and boutiques under the brand Enchainements. She was a finalist in the 2010 Halstead Grant competition for up-and-coming jewelry entrepreneurs. Poplin is a member of the Ohio Arts Council, Dayton Visual Arts Center, and the American Craft Council.

Chain mail has never been so versatile, adaptable, and pretty. Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry teaches readers how to pair traditional chain mail weaves with unexpected elements to make fresh, fabulous accessories that can be personalized in many ways.

The book contains:

  • Tutorials for five popular chain mail weaves.
  • Ideas for using Poplin's unconventional extras – metal, leather, wire, and beads.
  • 21 projects to explore and create.
  • Gallery photos with ideas for additional jewelry.

A technique tutorial begins each project-filled chapter and covers five basic weaves: Euro 4-in-1, Byzantine; Unbalanced Euro 1-in-1; Japanese 12-in-2; and Chrysanthemum. A substantial tools and materials section covers everything from wire gauges and making jump rings to texturing metal and working with leather.

Each of the techniques Poplin uses is not unconventional on its own, but when it's combined with the patterns of chain mail, readers can create unexpected and appealing designs. It is unusual to see chain mail on a leather cuff, for example, or hung from a textured sheet-metal shape, or connected with colorful leather pieces in a dramatic necklace. Mixed metals are sometimes used in chain mail, but in these projects, we'll push beyond the commonplace. Readers will find some projects that incorporate beads in unusual ways as well.

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry is organized so that regardless of their experience, readers can easily find the information they need. The Basics section includes information about the materials, tools, and skills they will need, covering fundamental chain mail, metalwork, wirework, and leatherwork techniques. Any of these projects can be completed with the basic setups of tools and supplies explained in the book.

Projects are grouped into sections that focus on the chain mail weave they have in common. At the start of each project section, readers find a brief tutorial that teaches the pattern for each weave. Because each weave is best created with certain ring sizes and ratios, each tutorial includes a chart with ring size information in millimeters.

Poplin urges readers to play with color, incorporate their style of beads, or change the shapes and use the elements that and love. At the end of the sections, readers see photos of some of Poplin’s other work made with the featured weave to get readers started thinking in new directions.

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry appeals to those who would like to learn a new skill, and enthusiasts who are looking for a fresh approach to the technique. Poplin’s clever chain mail jewelry brings an updated look to this ancient technique. Easily accessible materials, clear tutorials, and tons of detailed photos deliver more confidence, more success, and more fun.

Literature & Criticism / Politics & Social Science / Philosophy

Kant's Dog: On Borges, Philosophy, and the Time of Translation by David E. Johnson (SUNY Series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture Series: SUNY Press)

Kant's Dog provides fresh insight into Borges's preoccupation with the contradiction of the time that passes and the identity that endures. By developing the implicit logic of the Borgesian archive, which is most often figured as the universal demand for and necessary impossibility of translation, Kant's Dog is able to spell out Borges's responses to the philosophical problems that most concerned him, those of the constitution of time, eternity, and identity; the determination of original and copy; the legitimacy of authority; experience; the nature of language and the possibility of a decision; and the name of God. Kant's Dog offers original interpretations of several of Borges's best known and most important stories and of the works of key figures in the history of philosophy, including Aristotle, Saint Paul, Maimonides, Hume, Locke, Kant, Heidegger, and Derrida. This study outlines Borges's curious relationship to literature and philosophy and, through a reconsideration of the relation between necessity and accident, opens the question of the constitution of philosophy and literature. The afterword develops the logic of translation toward the secret at the heart of every culture in order to posit a Borgesian challenge to anthropology and cultural studies.

The author, David E. Johnson, is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. This is a volume in the SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture with Jorge J. E. Graeia and Rosemary Geiisdorter Feal, editors.

As Johnson explains in the introduction to Kant's Dog, the attempt to marginalize Borges's philosophical investment is widespread and often buttressed by his own statements. But Borges's state­ments are not immediately convincing, if only because there remain a few holdouts.

Why is it important for literary scholars to save Borges for literature and from philosophy? What is the philosophical contaminant that threatens to ruin literature? Where does one draw the line between literature and philosophy? What is a philosopher if not someone who reads philosophy, thereby taking the philosophical text 'as an object,' as Cordua and Balderston claim Borges does? But it is not only literary critics and scholars who patrol the border between literature and philosophy and who want to keep Borges on literature's side. Cordua, for one, is an important South American philosopher, author of major works on Hegel, Husserl, and Heidegger. How does exploiting and exploring – but also exploding – the literary possibilities of philosophy not amount to doing philosophy? Is the ‘philosophical element,’ so easily determined, so easily isolated from its context and not treated as a concept? What concept, finally, is not opaque, suggestive but finally indecipherable, untranslatable? What is so unsettling about Borges that so many feel compelled to take a stand on where he stands? It is possible that Borges belongs on the list of those whose work, as Paul de Man put it, "straddles the two activities of the human intellect that are both the closest and the most impenetrable to each other – literature and philosophy".

Kant's Dog teases out the implications of the accidents of translation. It remarks the impossible relation between the singular or the accidental and the universal or the necessary. Chapter 1, "Time: For Borges," takes its point of departure from Borges's consistent position that the fundamental problem ‘for us’ is time or what he calls the contradiction between the identity that endures and the time that passes away. The chapter pursues Borges's determination of time in order to demonstrate that in his most explicit statements about time, Borges often repeats its most classical philosophical definition. And yet in every case the Borgesian text also provides the resources for thinking against the philosophical or metaphysical understanding of time. Chapter 1 establishes the temporal logic that organizes the interpretations of Borges and philosophy throughout the remainder of Kant's Dog. After describing the logic of temporality that explains the apparent contradiction between identity and temporality, "Time: For Borges" elaborates the logics of impossibility, the promise, and survival, all of which follow from the structure of time and each of which plays an important role in the chapters that follow. Indeed, the ensuing chapters demonstrate that Borges consistently deploys the logic of temporality that follows ineluctably from his understanding of the intractable contradiction of temporal succession and identity in order to remark – to respond to, to trace, to reinscribe – classic philosophical problems. Central to this chapter is an analysis of time in Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, in which it becomes clear that Hume's empiricism ineluctably grounds itself in something other than experience, namely, in the enigmatic translating operation of the imagination. Chapter 3, "Kant's Dog," takes up in detail the relation of sensibility and the understanding to temporal synthesis by reading in "Funes el memorioso [Funes the Memorious]" an oblique reference to Kant's description of the synthesis of time in the operation of transcendental schematism. Taken together Chapters 2 and 3 offer a sustained assessment of the limits of empiricism and transcendentalism. In short, the logic of temporality implicitly at work in the Borgesian text challenges the limits of the transcendental and the empirical.

The first three chapters of Kant's Dog argue that the time of translation, which informs at the same time the universal demand for translation and its singular impossibility, structures the entire Borgesian archive and, as well, corrupts the distinction between necessity and accidentality, transcendental and empirical, philosophy and literature. Chapters 4 and 5 spell out the implications of the logic of translation for the possibility of decision (hospitality, justice) and the name of God. Chapter 4, "Decisions of Hospitality," begins with a consideration of the problem of the temporality of metaphor in Borges and Aristotle. Following a suggestion of Borges, the chapter turns to the metaphor of hospitality and to the temporal structure of decision in order to establish the parameters for an interpretation of "The Garden of Forking Paths" and its determination of the time of the possible. Chapter 5, "Idiocy, the Name of God," reads across Borges's interest in the religions of the book (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) in order to think through his invest­ment in the name of God and to rethink the limits of the idiom and the idios. Finally, the Afterword, "The Secret of Culture," expounds the logic of the secret in order to argue that Borges proposes a relation to the other that – in the figure of the secret, despite all necessary calculations and precautions – remains singular, incalculable, and in jeopardy.

Johnson focuses not on Borges's uses of his philosophical references, but on how Borges can be brought into classical debates in philosophy, on time, identity, God, and so forth. His corpus of philosophers is novel in the context of Borges studies – we get Aristotle here more than Plato, Augustine and Aquinas, Maimonides and Averroes, Hegel and Kant, Agamben and Derrida. The effect is salutary: he shows how Borges's thought takes up, and participates in, some old (and some new) philosophical debates. – Daniel Balberston, Director, Borges Center, University of Pittsburgh, and editor of Variaciones Borges

Kant's Dog is a groundbreaking work that fills a long-lasting hole in Borges scholarship. Johnson beautifully brings together the discourses of literature and philosophy through Borges's work. He provides original and illuminating interpretations of some of the most important texts and problems in Borges's oeuvre. – Kate Jenckes, author of Reading Borges after Benjamin: Allegory, Afterlife, and the Writing of History

Kant's Dog is not simply expository. On the contrary, it pursues a reading strategy that might best be characterized as accidental. Every chapter opens onto the singular, the contingent, following a minor detail, an arbitrary reference, in order to read in – and at the constitutive limit of – the Borgesian archive, its philosophical, hence its fantastic, interlocutors. If it is true that metaphysics belongs to the genre of fantastic literature, then the Borgesian text must of necessity be inscribed within the horizon of metaphysics. It is this double inscription of literature and philosophy – each inscribed at the limit of the other – that Kant's Dog seeks both to demonstrate and to perform. It does so by translating literature into and as philosophy, philosophy into and as literature. As if there were literature, as if there were philosophy – the traces of each remaining in and as the other.

Political & Social Sciences / Gender Studies / International Relations

Political Worlds of Women: Activism, Advocacy, and Governance in the Twenty-First Century by Mary E. Hawkesworth (Westview Press)

Political Worlds of Women provides a comprehensive overview of women’s political activism, comparing formal and informal channels of power from official institutions of state to grassroots mobilizations and Internet campaigns. Illuminating the politics of identity enmeshed in local, national, and global gender orders, Political Worlds of Women explores women’s creation of new political spaces and innovative political strategies to secure full citizenship and equal access to political power. Incorporating case studies from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, Mary Hawkesworth, professor of political science and women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University and the editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, analyzes critical issues such as immigration and citizenship, the politics of representation, sexual regulation, and gender mainstreaming in order to examine how women mobilize in this era of globalization.

Chapter 1 begins with official state institutions, examining the numbers of women serving as presidents and prime ministers, cabinet officials, and members of national legislatures and parliaments. It examines competing explanations for the continuing under-representation of women in elective offices. In constructing a profile of the world's women, this chapter calls attention to forms of bias routinely incorporated into ‘scientific’ claims about women. The chapter presents an approach to knowledge production that attempts to correct erroneous accounts, while also illuminating structural inequities that circumscribe women's lives.

Chapter 2 draws on feminist social science to illuminate the vast differences that characterize women's lives in various regions of the world. It examines women's livelihoods, comparing subsistence, informal, formal, and care economies. It considers how women's labor is complicated by double shifts – the combination of waged work in the market plus unwaged work in the home – and triple burdens – volunteer labor in communities in addition to waged and unwaged work. The chapter also considers how war complicates subsistence struggles for millions of women in the world. Although war is often considered the quintessential male terrain, Chapter 2 demonstrates that women are disproportionately affected by war. The final section of Chapter 2 examines racing-gendering in development policies. Drawing insights from feminist international political economy, the chapter investigates why poverty is increasing among women in an era of unprecedented growth in wealth.

Chapter 3 of Political Worlds of Women takes up the topic of raced-gendered citizenship. In contrast to popular claims that democratic states are governed by norms of formal equality, laws that treat all citizens equally, a zone of privacy that insulates individuals from arbitrary state intervention, and respect for individual rights, this chapter provides a very different account of the liberal democratic nation-state – an account that emerges when race, gender, and sexuality are included in the analysis. From the use of ‘sex’ on birth certificates, driver's licenses, passports, marriage licenses, and death certificates to laws prohibiting miscegenation, same-sex marriage, and various sexual practices, states intrude on the most intimate decisions citizens make. The historical evidence suggests that from the early experiences of colonial settlement through the arduous process of nation-building, political elites used the law and the coercive apparatus of the state to create the United States as a male-dominant, white race-nation. Through an examination of the 1996 ‘welfare reform,’ which ended welfare entitlements regardless of need, the chapter explores how racialized assumptions about the poor structure perception of ‘facts’. The final section of the chapter analyzes welfare reform in relation to increasing restrictions on abortion and homophobic legislation such as the Defense of Marriage Act; all are instances of biopower, the use of law and policy to create racial, ethnic, class, gender, and sexual hierarchies among citizens despite constitutional guarantees of formal equality.

Chapter 4 expands the discussion of the politics of intimacy, the microphysics of power, and the politics of identity beyond the United States. The regulation of dress is only one example of state intrusion upon the intimate decisions of citizens. Chapter 4 also examines the regulation of marriage migration and the emergence of new racial codes and criteria of citizenship in Taiwan. If, as Chapter 4 suggests, the politics of identity is characteristic of contemporary political practice in so many different kinds of regime, then it is important to ask why this mode of politics is so seldom recognized either in popular discourses or in studies of political life. The final section of Chapter 4 demonstrates how the politics of identity enacted by nation-states engenders identity politics – forms of oppositional politics organized by the oppressed to overcome marginalization by transforming political culture and political institutions to achieve equal recognition, equal respect, and equal citizenship.

From the moment of their exclusion from politics in the eighteenth century, some women mobilized against discriminatory practices, devising creative tactics to pressure the state for the full rights of citizens. Chapter 5 of Political Worlds of Women examines the contours of women's activism to engage the state, considering how different kinds of regime affected women's strategies of engagement. The chapter begins by considering competing conceptions of the state, comparing absolutist, constitutional, social democratic, pluralist, and new-institutionalist accounts of the state. Chapter 5 then analyzes the long struggle for inclusion, contrasting mobilizations in the United States, Latin America, India, China, postsocialist states in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and the European Union. The comparative focus helps illuminate how gender inequality is conceptualized; how race, class, and sexuality influence the definition of ‘women's issues’; and how various regime types complicate the quest for inclusion.

Chapter 6 returns to the question of women's political leadership within the nation-state, investigating the challenges women confront when they assume the mantle of state power. The chapter begins with profiles of seven women currently serving in the highest political offices of their nations – as presidents or prime ministers. By comparing the experiences, the chapter analyzes routes to power for women who aspire to top political offices. Chapter 6 also examines innovative efforts devised by women politicians to circumvent male domination. Drawing on the comprehensive studies of feminist political scientist Mona Lena Krook, the chapter suggests that political will is far more important to increasing women in governance than any particular form of quota. Chapter 6 also takes up questions concerning ‘substantive representation’: whether women in elective office act to represent the interests of women. Comparing the findings of women and politics scholars who study legislative dynamics in Latin America, North America, and Europe, the chapter enumerates the powerful forces working against women leaders' efforts to create policies that improve women's lives.

Chapter 7 of Political Worlds of Women examines efforts to use the state to foster equality. To demonstrate the complexity and difficulty of meaningful policy change, the chapter compares approaches to women's equality policies in the United States, Canada, Korea, and the European Union. The final section of the chapter examines competing interpretations of gender mainstreaming, the effort to spread accountability for gender equity across all governmental offices and initiatives. By examining the efforts of various governments within the European Union, the chapter illuminates the gulf between progressive feminist policy ideas and the implementation within male-dominant nation-states, situating this gulf in relation to the politics of equality.

Chapter 8 examines the historical efforts of transnational women activists – who had no diplomatic standing – to participate in international deci­sion making despite their lack of official credentials. In the aftermath of World War II, these seasoned women diplomats tried to use the newly created United Nations to promote women's rights. Chapter 8 explores their ef­forts to press for more gender-inclusive practices within international institutions and to forge international conventions such as the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The chapter also examines how superpower politics and changing global dynamics in the aftermath of the Cold War influenced the four UN World Conferences on Women. It explores the mobilization of transnational women activists to challenge male-dominant governments' claims to represent the ‘interests of women’ at the UN World Conferences.

The chapter concludes with an examination of transnational women ac­tivists' efforts to address some of the world's most intractable issues – poverty, dispossession, and war – by reconceptualizing peace and security.

Virtual politics, or activist engagements in cyberspace enabled by the development of new media – information and communication technologies developed in the past four decades – is the subject of Chapter 9 of Political Worlds of Women. Chapter 9 situates the optimistic appraisals of the democratic potential of new media in relation to a darker side to cyberspace – the proliferation of cyber­racism, cybersexism, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and systemic surveillance. The chapter tracks the proliferation of political uses of technology over the past two decades, comparing cyber applications in conventional politics with cyberfeminism and the use of information and communication technologies in women's transnational social justice activism. In the final section, the chapter returns to the question of the politics of transformation and empowerment, situating the emancipatory potential of the Internet in the context of discussions concerning the replication and intensification of existing racial, gender, and global hierarchies.

The dimensions of politics analyzed in Political Worlds of Women – the politics of embodiment, the politics of identity, the politics of intimacy, identity politics, the politics of gendered institutions – directly challenge the view that we are living in a ‘post-racial,’ ‘postfeminist’ world. Claims about a postracial, postfeminist era convey the idea that inequality is no longer a pressing concern, that race, gender, class, and sexuality pose no obstacles to individual advancement. Chapter 10 classifies claims of this sort as one of many obstacles to political equality. By masking systemic inequities, claims that equality has already been achieved encourage the demobilization of social justice activists.

Rather than succumb to such distortions, the final chapter catalogs persistent dimensions of inequality and continuing obstacles to gender justice. These obstacles indicate the depths of the challenges that political women face in the twenty-first century and that women in all regions of the world are mobilized to address.

Mary Hawkesworth has given us an amazing gift: a truly global exploration of women activists' thinking and strategizing that never slips into bland generalization. Political Worlds of Women shows us how densely rich and locally rooted feminist activist experience has been, from Nigeria to Pakistan, from the US to France. Here is a book we'll all be assigning to our students for years to come. – Cynthia Enloe, author of The Curious Feminist

Broad in its scope, radical in its theory and careful in its scholarship, Political Worlds of Women offers a truly transformative synthesis of global gender politics. Hawkesworth's integrative vision encompasses both the conventional institutional narratives of political science and the most challenging insights of transnational feminism. She brilliantly rethinks familiar concepts like identity politics and embodied citizenship, challenges the divisions among comparative politics, international relations, and theory, and provides a wealth of empirical detail about women's raced-gendered realities around the world. This book offers insights to the seasoned feminist scholar no less than to students in their first course in gender and politics. – Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Political Worlds of Women is new and refreshing; a clear departure from current gender and politics textbooks. Mary Hawkesworth combines cross-national and global transnational perspectives without getting mired down into focusing on a specific set of countries or regions. She takes an ‘intersectional’ approach showing how gender has been intertwined with race/ethnicity, sexuality, class in the unfolding of politics and democratic development throughout the globe. A perfect book to adopt for gender and politics courses in the 21st century!!” –Amy G. Mazur, Washington State University

Political Worlds of Women is a forceful and comprehensive account of the dynamic intersection of gender and race and the embodiment of power in contemporary global politics. It is a must read! – Dr. Janine Brodie, University of Alberta

Political Worlds of Women deepens understandings of national and global citizenship and presents the formidable challenges facing racial and gender justice in the contemporary world. It is an essential resource for students and scholars of women’s studies and gender politics.

Religion & Spirituality / Christian / Monasticism

The Book of the Elders: Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Systematic Collection translated by John Wortley (Cistercian Studies: Cistercian Publications)

This is why the apophthegms make such an impression on us. The reader is directly confronted by the person of Antony or of Poemen with nobody in between, and the father speaks to him as to a disciple, guiding him along the steep and narrow path of asceticism.... With his linguistic abilities and his familiarity with early monastic literature, [John Wortley] offers a precise translation.... – from the Foreword by Bernard Flusin Professor, University of Paris, Sorbonne

In the early part of the fourth century, a few Christians, mostly men and some women, began to withdraw from the world to retreat into the desert, there to practice their new religion more seriously. The person who aspired to renounce the world first had to find an elder, a person who would accept him as a disciple and apprentice. To his elder (whom he would address as abba father) the neophyte owed complete obedience; from his abba he would receive provisions (as it were) for the road to virtue. In addition to the abba’s own example of living, there was the verbal teaching of the elders in sayings and tales, setting out the theory and practice of the eremitic life. In due course, these sayings (or apophthegmata) were written down and, by the fifth century, collected and codified. The earliest attempts to codify tales and sayings are now lost. As the collection grew, they were first organized alphabetically according to the name of the abba who spoke them, in a major collection known as the Apophthegmata Patrum Alphabetica. A supplementary collection, the Anonymous Apophegmata, followed. Later, both collections were combined and arranged systematically rather than alphabetically. This collection, The Book of the Elders, was created sometime between 500 and 575 and later went through a couple of major revisions, the second of which appeared sometime before 970. This second one was published in an excellent new critical edition, with a French translation, in 1993. Now, in The Book of the Elders, John Wortley offers an English translation of this collection, based entirely on the Greek of that text.

John Wortley, PhD, spent thirty-three years as a university professor. For fifty years he has served as an Episcopalian priest, assisting now in a large local parish in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and has always maintained strong ecumenical ties with Catholics (especially those of the Benedictine tradition) and with Orthodox.

The publication of this long-awaited English translation of the collection of sayings by the Desert Fathers, known as the `systematic' version, is an event to be celebrated. John Wortley has provided us with a fluent and readable version of this important anthology, allowing us now to explore the wisdom of the Desert Fathers in a more systematic way than has previously been possible. Wortley's expertise in the spiritual tradition of the Egyptian desert is well known and appreciated by scholars and lay readers alike. – Dr. Mary B. Cunningham, Lecturer in Historical Theology, The University of Nottingham, England

The Book of the Elders is an excellent collection making these sayings and stories available to an English-speaking audience.

Religion & Spirituality / Judaism / Arts & Photography / Graphic Design

The Illuminated Kaddish: Interpretations of the Mourner’s Prayer by Hyla Shifra Bolsta (KTAV Publishing)

The Illuminated Kaddish: Interpretations of the Mourner's Prayer is a contemporary, illuminated manuscript that deepens contemplation and appeals to the spirit through visual beauty. This book is a modern meditation with images that reflect the spirit of the Kaddish, replete with illustrations, illuminated calligraphy, exploration of the powerful text and its invocations, Biblical quotes and sages' thoughts on Death and Prayer. It includes approximately 104 embellished pages in a 10 x 10 format.

Author Hyla Shifra Bolsta, an accomplished artist, is represented in collections throughout the US, Europe and Israel. Bolsta creates art in various media, engages in Jewish study with Rabbi Margaret Holub as a member of the Mendocino Coast Jewish Community, and is a student of Rabbi Avram Davis, studying Chasidism.

The Illuminated Kaddish: Interpretations of the Mourner's Prayer breathes new life into the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning, universally recognized and recited all over the world. It is the author's personal interpretation (or midrash) expressed in poetic text and lavish artwork. The book explores the prayer's profound ideas and opens new horizons on the themes of gratitude and paying tribute to life.

Contents include: Mourner's Kaddish Transliteration, Mourner's Kaddish: Hebrew/Aramaic Translations, Four Interpretations, Preface, Introduction, Part I: Calligraphic Illuminations, Part II: Paintings – Visual Interpretations, Part III: Quotes

Part IV: Notes and Glossary

As Bolsta describes in the introduction to The Illuminated Kaddish, when family or friends pass away, loss runs rampant over us and dictates its needs; we discover who we are inside this new force. Jews begin the journey with the Kaddish, a prayer of sanctification, a doxology or text of praise. The custom began in the Middle Ages, but its gist reaches back to the Talmud.

Rabbis advise us to prepare for worship with meditation, songs and blessings. Such celebration readies the congregation for the Torah Service. We assemble, open to The Great Name and infuse our spirits with joy. How do we do this while grieving? When we recite The Mourner's Kaddish, we join the vast ensemble of generations who invoked these same words in their times of sorrow. Countless millions of Jews have formed these phrases of exaltation while their hearts beat the rhythm of grief. They looked to heaven and asked why, sobbed, hunched in silence, tore their clothes, whispered bargains or accepted the will of God. Guilt-ridden or relieved, in one way or another, they mourned. In every synagogue the world over, weekdays and Sabbaths, mourners stand and daven with their peers and the congregation responds. The community shares the sensibility of life and death.

The Rabbis who gave us this devotion and the tradition of performing it knew what heals our hearts and the heart of this world. Repetition’s familiar cadence transforms us. Rhythmic sounds help sooth and offer solace just as the same lullaby night after night reassures a baby to sleep. A mourner chants the Kaddish and during those moments, time rests in praise.

Not everyone can be healed by words alone. For many, imagery is the return to life. Bolsta has given us a visual midrash on probably the most widely recited and least understood prayer in Jewish liturgy. Even if you have not lost a loved one, these words and especially these images help reorient your own spiritual inner compass. – Lawrence Kushner, Emanu-El Scholar-in-Residence at Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco, California, author of I'm God; You're Not and Kabbalah: A Love Story and other books on Jewish Spirituality.

What a wonderful gift Hyla Bolsta has given us! The artwork, calligraphy and commentary, taken together, are a powerful work of Jewish renewal in the largest sense. They are nourished by the rich soil of tradition and blossom in new colors. They permit us to see the kaddish as a source of comfort – a key connecting us to the world, the divine, and to those we love and have lost. – Jonathan Boyarin, Kaplan Professor of Modern Jewish Thought, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Hyla's illuminations of the Mourner's Kaddish opened up this prayer for me in a way that reciting it literally thousands of times never had. Her illustrations and words lift the soul to worlds beyond our finite lives. They will be healing to mourners and uplifting to all who see them. – Rabbi Margaret Holub, spiritual leader of the Mendocino Coast Jewish Community, Caspar, California

The most important act associated with the year long period of mourning by one who has lost a loved one is the recitation of the Mourner's Kaddish, an ancient hymn of praise to God. The Illuminated Kaddish, beautifully illustrated and interpreted by Hyla Shifra Bolsta, brings a new dimension of understanding to this prayer. With original visual illustrations, calligraphic illuminations and rabbinic interpretations and quotations, this book will surely uplift the heart and mind of the reader. It is a book full of rich images and thoughts that anyone can take to heart. If any book has a chance of uplifting the spirits of a mourner, this is it. – Rabbi Ron Isaacs, author of The Jewish Mourner's Handbook

Hyla's art is a part of her practice. Her art opens the gates of the heart for all to see. It is a sublime prayer. It is beautiful in the way that truth is beautiful – for it illuminates the deepest depths. – Rabbi Avram Davis, Ph.D., author and teacher

Hyla's manuscript is an original midrash, a wonderful, artistic interpretation of the Kaddish, and enchanting and spiritually moving visual experience. – Rabbi Lewis Barth, PhD., former Dean of Hebrew Union College, LA, California, Professor of Midrash and Related Literature

The Illuminated Kaddish is a modern meditation that offers a treasured opportunity to slow down and open the gates to reflection, understanding and contemplation. Its familiar cadence comforts mourners who feel an attachment to it, as if it were in their genes, without understanding the wisdom of its words. The book benefits mourners, family and friends, who look for solace and inspiration at this poignant time. But The Illuminated Kaddish is not only for mourners; it is for readers who want to understand the Kaddish in the context of centuries-old Jewish tradition, this book revitalizes its meaning and relevance to contemporary thought.

Science & Math / Psychology & Counseling / Organizational Behavior

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow (Pantheon)

Leonard Mlodinow, the best-selling author of The Drunkard’s Walk and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), in Subliminal gives readers a startling and eye-opening examination of how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world and how, for instance, we often misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates, misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions, and misremember important events.
One’s preference in politicians, the amount one tips the waiter – all judgments and perceptions reflect the workings of the mind on two levels: the conscious, of which we are aware, and the unconscious, which is hidden from us. The latter has long been the subject of speculation, but over the past two decades researchers have developed remarkable new tools for probing the hidden, or subliminal, workings of the mind. The result of this explosion of research is a new science of the unconscious and a sea change in our understanding of how the subliminal mind affects the way we live.
Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and now teaches at the California Institute of Technology.

According to Mlodinow in the Prologue to Subliminal, for over a century now, research and clinical psychologists have been cognizant of the fact that we all possess a rich and active unconscious life that plays out in parallel to our conscious thoughts and feelings and has a powerful effect on them, in ways we are only now beginning to be able to measure with some degree of accuracy.
Carl Jung wrote, “There are certain events of which we have not consciously taken note; they have remained, so to speak, below the threshold of consciousness. They have happened, but they have been absorbed subliminally.” Subliminal is about subliminal effects in that broad sense – about the processes of the unconscious mind and how they influence us. To gain a true understanding of human experience, we must understand both our conscious and our unconscious selves, and how they interact. Our subliminal brain is invisible to us, yet it influences our conscious experience of the world in the most fundamental of ways: how we view ourselves and others, the meanings we attach to the everyday events of our lives, our ability to make the quick judgment calls and decisions that can sometimes mean the difference between life and death, and the actions we engage in as a result of all these instinctual experiences.
Though the unconscious aspects of human behavior were actively speculated about by Jung, Freud, and many others over the past century, the methods they employed –introspection, observations of overt behavior, the study of people with brain deficits, the implanting of electrodes into the brains of animals – provided only fuzzy and indirect knowledge. Meanwhile, the true origins of human behavior remained obscure. Things are different today. Sophisticated new technologies have revolutionized our understanding of the part of the brain that operates below our conscious mind – what Mlodinow is referring to as the subliminal world. These technologies have made it possible, for the first time in human history, for there to be an actual science of the unconscious. That new science of the unconscious is the subject of Subliminal.

Contents of Subliminal include:

PART I THE TWO-TIERED BRAIN

  1. The New Unconscious: The hidden role of our subliminal selves ... what it means when you don't call your mother.
  2. Senses Plus Mind Equals Reality: The two-tier system of the brain ... how you can see something without knowing it.
  3. Remembering and Forgetting: How the brain builds memories ... why we sometimes remember what never happened.
  4. The Importance of Being Social: The fundamental role of human social character ... why Tylenol can mend a broken heart.

PART II THE SOCIAL UNCONSCIOUS

  1. Reading People: How we communicate without speaking ... how to know who's the boss by watching her eyes.
  2. Judging People by Their Covers: What we read into looks, voice, and touch ... how to win voters, attract a date, or beguile a female cowbird.
  3. Sorting People and Things: Why we categorize things and stereotype people ... what Lincoln, Gandhi, and Che Guevara had in common.
  4. In-Groups and Out Groups: The dynamics of us and them ... the science behind Lord of the Flies.
  5. Feelings: The nature of emotions ... why the prospect of falling hundreds of feet onto large boulders has the same effect as a flirtatious smile and a black silk nightgown.
  6. Self: How our ego defends its honor ... why schedules are overly optimistic and failed CEOs feel they deserve golden parachutes.

Oh, and there’s a subliminal message on the cover of Subliminal.

This very enlightening book explores the two sides of our mental lives, with a focus on the subconscious or subliminal element. Drawing on clinical research conducted over a period of several decades and containing a number of rather startling revelations ... the book appeals to readers with an interest in the workings of the human mind. – Booklist 
One of the ten books to watch out for in 2012 ... Physicist, science writer and Hollywood screenwriter Leonard Mlodinow is out to explore how important the unconscious is in shaping the way we process the world. – NewScientist.com
Mlodinow never fails to make science both accessible and entertaining. – Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time
Think you know the whys and hows of your choices? Follow Mlodinow on a gorgeous journey that will make you think again. – David Eagleman, author of Incognito
With the same deft touch he showed in The Drunkard’s Walk, Mlodinow probes the subtle, automatic, and often unnoticed influences on our behavior. – Daniel J. Simons, professor of psychology, University of Illinois, and coauthor of The Invisible Gorilla
If you liked The Drunkard’s Walk, you’ll love Subliminal. This engaging and insightful book not only makes neuroscience understandable, it also makes it fascinating. You will look at yourself (and those around you) in a new way. – Joseph T. Hallinan, author of Why We Make Mistakes
A must-read book that is both provocative and hugely entertaining. Mlodinow provides many eye-opening insights into the ways we act in business, finance, politics, and our personal lives. – Jerry A. Webman, chief economist, OppenheimerFunds, Inc., and author of MoneyShift
A highly readable, funny, and thought-provoking travelogue by Mlodinow, a trusted traveler in this treacherous region, who leads us on a tour of the little-known country that is our unconscious mind. – Christof Koch, professor of cognitive and behavioral biology, California Institute of Technology

Employing his trademark wit and lucid, accessible explanations of the most obscure scientific subjects, Mlodinow in Subliminal takes readers on a tour of the research, unraveling the complexities of the subliminal self and increasing readers’ understanding of how the human mind works and how they interact with friends, strangers, spouses, and coworkers. In the process he changes readers’ view of themselves and the world.

Science & Math / Social Sciences

Social Work in Africa: Exploring Culturally Relevant Education and Practice in Ghana by Linda Kreitzer, with general editor Donald I. Ray (Africa: Missing Voices Series: University of Calgary Press)

Drawing on her experience as a social work instructor in Ghana and field research conducted for her doctoral thesis, author Linda Kreitzer addresses the history of social work in African countries, the hegemony of Western knowledge in the field, and the need for culturally and regionally informed teaching resources and programs.

Social Work in Africa is intended as a framework for the creation of culturally relevant social work curricula in African countries and other contexts. Kreitzer, associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work (Central and Northern Alberta Region) at the University of Calgary, challenges African social workers and schools of social work to critically examine their curricula and to continually evaluate teaching practices in light of the social, political, economic, and spiritual aspects of African life. At the same time, she urges the creation of new theories and methods that are culturally relevant to the current African context.

Guided by a strong sense of her limitations and responsibilities as a privileged outsider and a belief that "only Ghanaians can critically look at and decide on a culturally relevant curriculum for themselves," Kreitzer utilizes Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology to move the topic of culturally relevant practices from rhetoric to demonstration.

Many of the ideas and thoughts that are presented in Social Work in Africa origin­ated from a research project Kreitzer facilitated from 2002 to 2003 concerning social work curriculum in Ghana. The research group consisted of ten people who had been involved in the social work curriculum over the years, plus a cultural advisor. They spent one year looking at the relevance of social work curriculum in Ghana, in light of the historical and current factors of colonization, modernization, and globalization as they relate to social work education and practice. Ghana is a society in which consensus was and is still used in decision-making processes. PAR uses a dialogical consensus approach to generating knowledge. Many African social workers have not had a part in the process of defining their professional and educational needs. This PAR project used social work practitioners, academics, students, and community persons interested in social work education. PAR has been successful when examining situations of domination and exploitation. The domination of western social work knowledge was part of the attempt to modernize social work education in Africa and to promote the western way of knowing. This thinking is still predominant in many universities in Africa today. PAR is not new to the everyday life of Ghanaians; many PAR examples can be found in the areas of agriculture, girls' education, self-help activities in the informal sector, and gender studies. However this type of participatory action research is not reflected in the university setting.

The original questions for the research for Social Work in Africa were as follows: 1) How did the historical dominance of western knowledge and in particular western social work thinking emerge and how has it preserved itself? 2) How and to what extent has western social work thinking been replaced by indigenized approaches in social work in non-western countries? 3) How has the experience of the PAR process facilitated the creation of new knowledge? These questions were presented to the research group at the initial stages of the process. Over time, two main topics emerging from these research questions were: 1) How did social work evolve in Africa and 2) What is African culture? Through these two questions, the group was able to critically examine social work education and practice in Ghana. Kreitzer’s main data-collecting techniques were inviting appropriate people to dialogue with the group about a particular topic, group discussions, document analysis, and journal writing. Data analysis was a continual process through the group meetings and individual themizing. At the end of ten months, action plans were initiated that have played an important part in changing certain aspects of social work education in Ghana.

The question of why an outsider had to come and do this project was discussed on various occasions. The group felt that sometimes someone from the outside is able to see things differently than insiders and can challenge them to think outside the box.

Kreitzer says she wrote Social Work in Africa with the hope that it will challenge African social workers and schools of social work to critically look at their curriculum and to continually evaluate this curriculum in light of the social, political, economic, and spiritual aspects of African life. It is time to cut the umbilical cord with western theory and practice and create new theories and methods that are culturally relevant to the current African context.

These chapters reflect the themes from this research as well as international, national, and local conferences, various articles read, and Kreitzer’s own thinking and writing concerning African social work since the research.

Contents include:

  • Chapter I provides an historical overview of influences, both foreign and local, that have made social work what it is today in Africa. This includes a brief history of the evolution of Sub-Saharan universities in Africa.
  • Chapter II discusses the concept of cultural identity and its important influence on Africans and African social work in light of its current state in African society.
  • Chapter III discusses the role that western knowledge has played in the development of Africa and in particular social work training. The role of traditional knowledge in this development is discussed.
  • Chapter IV highlights the effect that neo-liberal thinking and economic systems have played in regards to social development and in turn the social work profession.
  • Chapter V discusses development and aid in Africa and its influ­ence on social development. Welfare institutions of the past are examined and questions surrounding who social workers are accountable to are discussed. The roles of professional associations are also discussed.
  • Chapter VI offers practical ways to initiate a more culturally appropriate social work curriculum in Africa. Details of the research group findings and action plans will be elaborated upon. Suggestions for ways forward with social work curriculum will be discussed.
  • Chapter VII offers concluding remarks concerning ways forward in creating African social work curricula that works for Africa.

Linda Kreitzer has succeeded in moving beyond rhetoric to provide concrete examples from the context of Ghana as to how local systems, practices and knowledge might be incorporated into social work education and practice. The Participatory Action Research methodology used by Linda Kreitzer, and giving voice to local participants, lends legitimacy and credibility to the conclusions and recommendations contained in the book. – Dr. Vishanthie Sewpaul, School of Social Work and Community Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Social Work in Africa is written mainly for African social workers and academics in hopes that a spark of revolutionary thinking is ignited as to what kind of social work education and practice would be most useful and practical for Africa in the twenty-first century.

This book invites readers to reflect on, explore, critically evaluate, and take action on the thoughts and ideas expressed. Kreitzer’s hope is that readers will take away new ideas and be challenged to think about the book's content; in other words, explore what has been written. In exploring ideas in Social Work in Africa she hopes that new knowledge will be uncovered and questioned and that change will come about as a result of this exploration.

 

Contents this Issue:

Barbara Rogers: The Imperative of Beauty edited by Marilyn A. Zeitlin, with writings by Paul Eli Ivey, Carter Ratcliff, and Barbara Rogers (Hudson Hills Press)

Step-by-Step Posing for Portrait Photography: Simple Lessons for Quick Learning and Reference by Jeff Smith (Amherst Media, Inc.)

Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News [Audiobook, unabridged, 10 CDs, running time 12 hours] by Dan Rather with Digby Diehl, read by Dan Rather (Hachette Audio)

Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News by Dan Rather with Digby Diehl (Grand Central Publishing)

 I Am: The Secret Teachings of the Aramaic Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz [Audio Learning Course, 6 CDs plus learning guide, running time 6 hours, 22 minutes] (Sounds True)

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow [Audiobook, 7 CDs, unabridged, running time 8 hours] (Random House Audio)

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow (Pantheon)

Flawless Consulting Set, 3rd edition by Peter Block (Pfeiffer) is a 2-volume set consisting of two books: Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, 3rd edition and

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion: A Guide to Understanding Your Expertise.

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise by American Kinesiology Association, with Shirl J. Hoffman as Project Coordinator (Human Kinetics)

Seamus Mullen's Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better by Seamus Mullen (Andrews McMeel Universal)

Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West edited by Matthew L. Harris and Jay H. Buckley (University of Oklahoma Press)

The Jury in Lincoln's America by Stacy Pratt McDermott (Law, Society & Politics in the Midwest Series: Ohio University Press)

The Terracotta Warriors: The Secret Codes of the Emperor's Army by Maurice Cotterell (Bear & Co.)

Basic: Surviving Boot Camp and Basic Training by Colonel Jack Jacobs (Ret.) and David Fisher (Thomas Dunne Books)

From Western Deserts to Carolina Swamps: A Civil War Soldier's Journals and Letters Home edited by Lewis Franklin Roe (University of New Mexico Press)

SAS Ultimate Guide to Combat: How to Fight and Survive in Modern Warfare by Robert Stirling (Osprey Publishing)

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry by Laura Poplin (Kalmbach Books)

Kant's Dog: On Borges, Philosophy, and the Time of Translation by David E. Johnson (SUNY Series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture Series: SUNY Press)

Political Worlds of Women: Activism, Advocacy, and Governance in the Twenty-First Century by Mary E. Hawkesworth (Westview Press)

The Book of the Elders: Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Systematic Collection translated by John Wortley (Cistercian Studies: Cistercian Publications)

The Illuminated Kaddish: Interpretations of the Mourner’s Prayer by Hyla Shifra Bolsta (KTAV Publishing)

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow (Pantheon)

Social Work in Africa: Exploring Culturally Relevant Education and Practice in Ghana by Linda Kreitzer, with general editor Donald I. Ray (Africa: Missing Voices Series: University of Calgary Press)