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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

July 2012, Issue #159

Contents this page:

When I Left Home: My Story by Buddy Guy with David Ritz (DaCapo)

100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People by Susan M. Weinschenk (New Riders)

iPad: Visual QuickStart Guide by Chris Fehily (Visual QuickStart Guides: Peachpit Press)

Anatomy of Stretching: A Guide to Increasing Your Flexibility by Craig Ramsay (Anatomies of Series: Thunder Bay Press)

Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide for Clinicians by Kevin Stoddart, Lillian Burke and Robert King (W.W. Norton & Company)

Counseling LGBTI Clients by Kevin Alderson (Sage Publications, Inc.)

Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy in the Second Millennium BC edited by Vasiliki Kassianidou and George Papasavvas (Oxbow Books)

Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Barbara Bray and Michael Darlow (Skyhorse Publishing)

Metal Magic: How to Etch, Pierce, Enamel, and Set Striking Jewelry by Kim St. Jean (Kalmbach Books)

Maxwell's Crossing by M.J. Trow (A Peter 'Mad Max' Maxwell Mystery: Allison & Busby)

Breaking Bad and Philosophy: Badder Living through Chemistry edited by David R. Koepsell and Robert Arp (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: Open Court)

Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency by Daniel Klaidman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Countering Displacements: The Creativity and Resilience of Indigenous and Refugee-ed Peoples edited by Daniel Coleman, Erin Goheen Glanville, Wafaa Hasan and Agnes Kramer-Hamstra (The University of Alberta Press)

With Edwards in the Governor's Mansion: From Angola to Free Man by Forest Hammond-Martin Sr., edited by Tom Aswell (Pelican)

The Pope and I: How the Lifelong Friendship between a Polish Jew and John Paul II Advanced Jewish-Christian Relations by Jerzy Kluger with Gianfranco Di Simone (Orbis Books)

Dowsing Beyond Duality: Access Your Power to Create Positive Change by David Ian Cowan and Erina Cowan (Weiser Books)

The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement by Seth Farber Ph.D. with a foreword by Kate Millett (Inner Traditions)

Marvelous Learning Animal: What Makes Human Nature Unique by Arthur W. Staats (Prometheus Books)

Maximum Brainpower: Challenging the Brain for Health and Wisdom by Shlomo Breznitz and Collins Hemingway (Ballantine Books)

Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott (Spiegel & Grau)

Peter Leone's Show Jumping Clinic: Success Strategies for Equestrian Competitors by Peter Leone and Kimberly S. Jaussi, with a foreword by George Morris (Storey Publishing, LLC)

 

 

Arts & Photography / Entertainment / Music / Biographies & Memoirs

When I Left Home: My Story by Buddy Guy with David Ritz (DaCapo)

I followed the blues ever since I was a young child. Followed the blues from a plantation way out in the middle of nowhere to the knife-and-gun concrete jungle of Chicago. The blues took my life and turned it upside down. Had me going places and doing things that, when I look back, seem crazy. The blues turned me wild. They brought out something in me I didn't even know was there. So here I am – a seventy-five-year-old man sitting on a bar stool in a blues club, trying to figure out exactly how I got here. Any way you look at it, it's a helluva story. – from the Preface

According to Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy is the greatest blues guitarist of all time. An enormous influence on these musicians, as well as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, Guy is the living embodiment of Chicago blues, and his epic story stands at the absolute nexus of modern blues itself.

Guy was thirteen years old when he heard John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen" in 1949. His family, sharecroppers in Lettsworth, Louisiana, had just gotten electricity, and while the little electric bulb didn't change much in their home, the phonograph sure did. "Boogie Chillen" uncovered something in Guy he didn't know was there – a desire to play music. After inventing a few contraptions – window screen wires strung over tin cans and rubber bands stretched out and tacked to the wall – Guy's father bought him his first guitar, a worn-in instrument with two strings, for $4.35. Guy's life, he says, "ain't never been the same since."

In When I Left Home, Guy, heralded as the greatest blues guitarist of all time, recounts his journey from ‘middle of nowhere’ Louisiana to blues central Chicago and stages all over the world. Guy’s story stands at the nexus of modern blues. He came to Chicago from rural Louisiana in the fifties – the very moment when urban blues were electrifying our culture. When I Left Home tells Guy’s picaresque story in his own unique voice, that of a storyteller who remembers everything, including blues masters in their prime and the exploding, evolving culture of music that happened all around him.

He would later find inspiration in the music of John Lee Hooker and Lightnin' Hopkins, but the moment that would change Guy's destiny forever was when he first heard Muddy Waters sing "Rollin' Stone" on a jukebox at the local general store; the music ‘cracked open my soul’ and inspired him to head north to Chicago. After saving his money for two years, he finally left for the city, guitar in hand, on September 25, 1957.

In 1957, Chicago was home to Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy, and Howlin' Wolf – and twenty-one year old Guy was eager to join them. Armed with his Les Paul Gibson and a rough demo cut he'd made at a local radio station in Baton Rouge, Guy moved to the big city to make the blues his life. Unable to find a job, a gig, or a way to talk to a record producer, Guy decided to call his father for a train ticket back home to Louisiana six months after his arrival. That same night, a stranger invited him to the 708 club, where Guy was asked onto the stage to play some blues alongside Otis Rush. A few hours later, after an electrifying performance that had the audience screaming for more, Guy was sitting in Muddy Waters' red Chevy.

Guy began playing steady gigs across Chicago, building a reputation with his wild-man-on-stage persona, working as a songwriter and session guitarist for the Chicago bluesmen he admired, and collaborating with Junior Wells. Guy wouldn't record his own record until the late sixties, but by that point he had already influenced Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles.

As told in When I Left Home, Guy's introduction to the Chicago scene came at a time when urban blues were taking American culture by storm. Driving a tow truck by day, at night he electrified the South Side clubs with his flamboyant, soulful style of playing and singing, and eventually he was hired as a regular session player at Chess Records. Willie Dixon became his mentor, and he became a sideman and close friend of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. He and Junior Wells formed a band of their own, an often-stormy partnership that would persevere through thick and thin for decades. In the sixties, as the burgeoning rock audience began to gravitate to electric blues, he became a recording star in his own right, playing at the Fillmore East with the Grateful Dead and touring with the Rolling Stones.

Buddy Guy, the winner of six Grammys and Billboard magazine's Century Award, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. David Ritz is the co-author of numerous autobiographies of musicians, including Ray Charles and Etta James.

Guy is a vibrant and hilarious storyteller. With a natural ease and honesty, he captures the spirit of the age, the culture of violence in the clubs, and the personalities of his colleagues... Highly recommended for any fan of Guy and those interested in the history of blues music. – Library Journal

As mesmerizing a storyteller as a guitarist, Guy, writing with Ritz, regales readers with tales of growing up picking cotton in rural Alabama, of seeing his first guitar and standing transfixed in front of Lightning Slim for several hours just memorizing the movements of Slim's hands, of his father's friend buying his first guitar for him, and of his endless efforts to play the blues as he had heard and seen Slim and others play... Guy's memoir is a joyous celebration of the blues, one of our greatest musical treasures. – Publishers Weekly

As is the case with all artists who are sure of their work, Buddy is an absolute gentleman. When I first heard him, I got scared. Musically, he had raised the bar and continues to do so. Buddy has never failed to amaze me first as an artist and secondly as a beautiful guy. I did not give him my guitar for show! I loved that axe, yet I loved what Buddy gave us all even more. Long may he give us his gift. – Keith Richards

Tasty as a Buddy Guy guitar lick. – Kirkus Reviews

[A] must-read autobiography… What makes the breezy and revealing book special is its ability to bring history – Guy’s own, as well as that of Chicago blues – to life. – Chicago Magazine

In When I Left Home we finally get inside Buddy Guy, guitar muse to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and the Rolling Stones (to name but a few)… Buddy's narrative is cousin to his music. It's down home. It's not clean and prissy… This biography gives the reader unabridged stories of many of the great blues artists of his day and before, and raw images of the Chicago blues scene as it was from the 1950s to the 1980s… A valuable and rare insight into the music and the musician. – Internet Review of Books

Gives the whole picture, from sharecropping family to big city hustling; guitar-playing to womanizing and back again… [Guy] gives a real flavour of the age and circumstances he grew up on. – Record Collector
A lively, sharply etched account of Guy’s unlikely ascent from sharecropper roots in Louisiana to the blues hotbed of Chicago and beyond. – Boston Globe

The music fans [Guy] has affected so profoundly over his 50-plus year career will at last know how he feels. – Memphis Commercial Appeal

Buddy makes his life come alive… Told in his own style and language, the book reads more like a blues song than an actual book, each verse telling a different story. And what stories they are… Buddy's book is as colourful as the blues… If you're looking for a reasonably unvarnished account of the blues life, Buddy has it here… The book is funny, sad, tragic, lusty, honest, loving and insightful. Just like the blues. Just like Buddy Guy. If you love the blues and all that it means, you should love this book. – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In this memoir, the story of [Guy’s] life is also the tale of the music itself of the past 50-plus years… There’s a treasure trove of stories here. – Houston Press

When I Left Home covers an amazing amount of ground in its close to 300 pages… Relayed in a simple, conversational manner, the book does a terrific job of documenting the life of one of blues music's biggest living stars, making it a must-read for any fan of the blues… When I Left Home isn't, as the title indicates, just Buddy's story; in many respects, this is a story of the blues. – BluesPowR blog

Filled with personal anecdotes about the legends who inspired him, Guy's When I Left Home is a chronicle not only of a great musician's life and hard-earned success, but of a pivotal time when the blues traveled to every corner of the world and changed music forever. It is an incredible, deeply personal story, as only the legend himself can tell it, chronicling Guy’s journey from the deep south to Chicago and the blues revolution that followed, with unforgettable, candid portraits of all the key players of the first generation of electric blues artists.

Business & Investing / Education & Reference / Public Speaking

100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People by Susan M. Weinschenk (New Riders)

I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. – Albert Einstein

Every day around the world millions of presentations are delivered. Some are great, some are mediocre, and some are just downright boring. How much better would the world be, how much more inspired would audiences be, and how much change could presenters make in the world if they improved the quality of their presentations?

100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People reveals what presenters need to know about how people listen, how people decide, and how people react so that they can learn to create more engaging presentations. No matter what their current skill level, whether beginner or polished, this book guides readers to the next level, teaching them how to improve their delivery, stance, eye contact, voice, materials, media, message, and call to action.
Readers learn to increase the effectiveness of their own presentations by finding the answers to questions like these:

  • What grabs and holds attention during a presentation?
  • How do they choose the best media to use?
  • What makes the content of a presentation stick?
  • How do people react to voice, posture, and gestures?
  • How do people respond to the flow of their message?
  • How do they motivate people to take action?

These are just a few of the questions that 100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People answers in its exploration of what readers need to know about people to create a compelling presentation.

The author, Susan Weinschenk, who has a Ph.D. in psychology, has spent over 30 years of experience applying psychology to the design of communication and online interactions. She is a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies and has written 5 books.

Weinschenk says that sometimes when she’s coaching people on presentation skills they will say something like, "I'm not a great presenter. I don't know if I'll ever be a great presenter. I'm never satisfied with the presentations I give." "That's good," she responds, "now I know that you have the capability of being a great presenter." Like any great artist or performer, great presenters are constantly striving to improve their performance and their craft. The drive for mastery keeps them working at a task. But mastery can never be reached – it can really only be approached.

If you want to make powerful presentations, you need to know how the brain works and how people think. This beautiful book by Susan Weinschenk will go a long way toward ridding the world of dull and boring presentations! – Garr Reynolds, Professor and best-selling author of Presentation Zen and The Naked Presenter

If readers want to give great presentations, they need to know a lot about people. The more they understand how people think, learn, hear, see, react, and decide, the better able they will be to put together a presentation that informs, inspires, and motivates. And 100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People will help them do that.

Computers & Technology / Reference

iPad: Visual QuickStart Guide by Chris Fehily (Visual QuickStart Guides: Peachpit Press)

Most readers have seen the TV ads in which happy, purposeful people use iPads to type messages, watch movies, play games, video-chat with grandchildren, and surf the Web from hammocks. On the cutting-room floor, however, is the footage where those actors actually learned how to do all that stuff.

Despite its clean lines and compact size, the iPad is a true computer running complex programs on a modern operating system. Apple's engi­neers have painted a pretty face on all the gee-whizzery. The iPad's consistent, simple design lets users wield a lot of power with only a little learning. Even complete begin­ners can't easily shoot themselves in the foot.

iPad: Visual QuickStart Guide is a companion to Apple's third-generation iPad, which takes readers from setting up the trim tablet to reading ebooks to streaming videos to their TV.

Readers learn the iPad – the quick and easy way with iPad: Visual QuickStart Guide. Whether this is readers’ first iPads or not, iPad: Visual QuickStart Guide has something for them – how to get started with their iPad and get online, back up files with iCloud, find their way with Maps, take and manage photos and video, read books with iBooks and listen to songs with iTunes, and mirror the screen on their TV with AirPlay.

Readers learn how to set up a Wi-Fi and 4G connection, chat with family and friends with iMessage, read their favorite magazines with Newsstand, and browse the web with Safari. They learn how to capture, edit, store, and share their photos with iCloud. They see how to get going with Mail, listen to music, buy apps from the App Store, play games, and capture stunning HD video. Along the way, they pick up tips and tricks for getting the most from Apple's third-generation iPad.

The visual approach uses pictures to guide readers through using the iPad and shows them what to do step by step. Concise steps and explanations let readers get up and running in no time.

iPad: Visual QuickStart Guide is an essential reference guide that will keep readers coming back. But who is the author, Chris Fehily? – The picture on the back cover is of a 10-14 year-old boy, the description says he’s a writer and statistician, but provides no details (can he have written 5 other books?) and, forgive us, one wonders whether it is possible to generate a book of this high quality by computer.

Health & Fitness

Anatomy of Stretching: A Guide to Increasing Your Flexibility by Craig Ramsay (Anatomies of Series: Thunder Bay Press)

It doesn’t matter if readers are fitness novices or elite athletes; they should be starting each workout exactly the same way – with a stretching regimen designed to warm up the body and to help them achieve a new personal best each time.
Craig Ramsay can help. In Anatomy of Stretching, he brings the lessons learned in ten years as a trainer to celebrities and professional athletes and the star of Bravo’s Thintervention to everyone. Readers learn when and how to do a tricep stretch and a shoulder stretch, when to avoid toe touches and hamstring stretches, and why it’s important to keep the neck relaxed during a hip flexor stretch. While taking readers through each movement step by step, Anatomy of Stretching also goes beneath the skin to allow readers to see just which muscles they are working during each stretch.
With over ten years of experience, Ramsay is one of the most sought-after trainers in the business. A trained contortionist, ballet dancer, hockey player, fitness model, and Broadway, TV, and film actor, His clients include some of Hollywood’s top celebrities and professional athletes.

A stretching routine offers many benefits – for both body and mind. By following a carefully crafted stretching regimen, readers can:

  • Create elongated muscles.
  • Improve muscle coordination.
  • Increase flexibility.
  • Build up cardio endurance.
  • Alleviate lower-back pain.
  • Burn calories.
  • Combat the effects of aging.
  • Boost energy.
  • Relieve stress.

Ramsay points out that ‘taking time for stretching is taking time for yourself’. A stretching routine is not just those few moves readers make before getting to the ‘real’ exercise regimen – it is a key component in building a healthy, supple body. In Anatomy of Stretching, Ramsay guides readers through the Stretching Session, which targets all of the major muscle groups. Also included is the focused Quick Stretch Program – a must for those who want to look and feel great, but don't always have the time for a full session. Special sections on stretches for expectant mothers, for partners, and for the office show readers how to adapt a routine for any circumstance. Full-color photographs and clear instructions take them through each stretch, while detailed anatomical illustrations highlight the target muscle groups. Also included is a full-color poster of the Quick Stretch Program, with an illustrated guide.

Readers can get limber – and get the most out of their workouts – with Anatomy of Stretching. The book helps them attain a solid understanding of their musculature by presenting a glimpse beneath the skin, revealing those muscles they are working during each stretch. With tips to guide readers on what to do – and what not to do – Anatomy of Stretching provides essential insights into their body and their exercise routine.

Health & Fitness / Psychology & Counseling

Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide for Clinicians by Kevin Stoddart, Lillian Burke and Robert King (W.W. Norton & Company)

Robert, a university professor in philosophy, was experiencing increasing problems in social interaction at work. He had been productive in his academic work, despite his struggle of many years with anxiety and depression. Increasing departmental administrative responsibilities and meetings exacerbated his problems with social and organizational tasks. His ex-wife suggested to him that he be assessed for Asperger Syndrome. – from the book

Despite the dramatic proliferation of research, clinical perspectives, and first-person accounts of Asperger Syndrome (AS) in the last 15 years, much of this information has focused on the application of the diagnosis to children, even though AS displays persistence over time in individuals. Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood is one of the only guides to Asperger Syndrome as it manifests itself in adults. The volume integrates research and clinical experience to provide mental health professionals with a comprehensive discussion of AS in adulthood, covering issues of diagnosis as well as co-morbid psychiatric conditions, psychosocial issues, and various types of interventions – from psychotherapy to psychopharmacology. It also discusses basic diagnostic criteria, controversies about the disorder, and possible interventions and treatments.

Authors are Kevin Stoddart, PhD, Founding Director of The Redpath Centre in Toronto and Assistant Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto; Lillian Burke, PhD, Psychologist and Assistant Director of the Redpath Centre; and Robert King, MD, consultant to the only Assertive Community Treatment Team in Canada exclusively supporting individuals with dual diagnosis (ACT-DD, Brockville Mental Health Centre) as well as Pathways to Independence (Brockville, Ontario), Kerry’s Place Autism Service (Aurora Ontario), and Community Living agencies in northwestern Ontario.

In Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood, the authors integrate their extensive clinical experience with published research, providing both a comprehensive discussion of AS in adulthood and a multidisciplinary approach to assessment and treatment. Early chapters discuss basic diagnostic criteria and assessment, mental health, neurodevelopmental, genetic, and medical issues that often accompany AS in adults. Also reviewed are historical findings and controversies about AS diagnoses. The last two chapters focus on intervention: psychotherapy, psychopharmacotherapy, and complementary supports. Throughout, clinical examples and anecdotes model the practical application of recommended diagnostic and treatment strategies.

As Stoddart discusses in the preface to Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood, among their discoveries is the number of adults – more than was previously imagined – seeking a diagnosis of AS in their 20s and beyond. Undiagnosed individuals seeking help in their 40s, 50s and 60s are now common. They have been ‘missed’ by pre-DSM-N diagnostic systems, and because of lack of public awareness, clinical knowledge, and expertise. Sometimes, they have suffered tremendously because of their AS, and their quality of life has been poor; others, although appearing successful in their vocation or relationships, still have had to contend with the effects of the core features of the syndrome. Both groups demonstrate that AS in adults can present as a disorder of extremes.

Adults living at the ‘higher functioning’ end of the autism spectrum are those whom Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood is about. At the place that has been called ‘the borderlands of autism,’ clinicians need to be cautious to carefully apply diagnostic criteria, utilizing the best available assessment procedures, so as not to make a diagnosis of less value. They are faced with the difficult task of distinguishing when variation in ability to engage with others socially is within the typical range of functioning, versus when it is not and results in significant day-to-day problems. Some would argue that ‘Asperger Syndrome’ as a diagnosis is now over-applied. The authors say they have not seen that to be the case. Instead, they have met many adults who have struggled to understand their social and behavioral differences without such a label.

The greatest challenge facing people with AS is not necessarily their primary symptoms related to AS, or even the comorbid symptoms, but rather finding knowledgeable supports and services in their communities. Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood introduces clinicians to this clinical population and promotes effective clinical assessment and intervention. Misdiagnosis of AS, or inability to recognize AS is common in the mental health, medical, and social service fields, despite the bold attempts of those affected by AS to advocate for services.

An outstanding addition to the literature. This volume is comprehensive in scope and is a valuable addition to the growing body of work on this topic. – Fred R. Volkmar, MD, Irving B. Harris Professor and Director, Child Study Center, Yale; Chief of Child Psychiatry, Yale New Haven Hospital
Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood represents a very welcome addition to the current literature on what happens to individuals on the autism spectrum after they graduate from high school or college. Maintaining an evidence-based perspective, the authors address a wide range of issues, including some controversial ones, in way that is accurate, accessible, and very applicable to the promotion of quality-of-life concerns. A very useful volume. – Peter F. Gerhardt, EdD, Chair, Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research; Director, McCarton Upper School
An invaluable resource for parents and clinicians alike. This book fills an important and neglected niche in our understanding of Asperger Syndrome. It is written with both clarity and compassion. – Peter Szatmari, MD, Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences; Director, Offord Centre for Child Studies; and Head, Division of Child Psychiatry, McMaster University

In Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood, Stoddart, Burke, and King present the most comprehensive volume to date on the subject of understanding, supporting, and treating affected adults. Intended for mental health professionals, this timely book is requisite reading for clinicians practicing with adults who may have AS or who have been previously diagnosed.

Health & Fitness / Psychology & Counseling / Gay & Lesbian Studies

Counseling LGBTI Clients by Kevin Alderson (Sage Publications, Inc.)

Counseling LGBTI Clients is a comprehensive guide for emerging and current practitioners, as well as LGBTI individuals, combines theory, research and practice to help readers become effective counselors. It focuses on challenging and changing beliefs and attitudes toward each LGBTI subgroup, gaining current knowledge about the subgroup, and empathetically developing skills to work effectively with the subgroup in a LGBTI-affirmative manner.

Students and clinicians gain knowledge about LGBTI groups and develop the skills needed to work effectively with each subgroup. Additionally, to enhance practitioners' multicultural competency to counsel LGBTI clients and prepare them for practice in an increasingly global landscape, Kevin Alderson, associate professor of counseling psychology at the University of Calgary, explores cultural differences around the world and discusses how LGBTI identities change from region to region.

Key features of Counseling LGBTI Clients include:

  • The Counseling Considerations feature explores issues specifically relevant to each LGBTI subgroup.
  • Role-Playing Exercises provide an opportunity to practice and to evaluate role-play performance.
  • The Challenging Your Attitudes and Beliefs about this Group feature helps students and clinicians to reflect upon their beliefs, attitudes, and values about a specific LGBTI group.
  • The Recent Research Focused on Other Societies feature explores cross-cultural differences between how LGBTI individuals present their identities in our culture as compared to other cultures.
  • The How Would You Help This Person? feature stimulates class discussion and guides students and clinicians to reflect on a case.
  • Reflections provide a counseling scenario, aimed at assessing the effectiveness of the counselor's intervention, in which readers imagine that they are the client.
  • Chapter 9 offers a complete chapter on Intersex Individuals.
  • The Recent Research Focused on Canada section highlights some of the contributions of Canadian researchers.

When it comes to counseling LGBTI clients, mental health counselors of all backgrounds are rarely competent in their practice. Most counselors have never received training in working effectively with LGBT clients. While counseling students feel ill prepared to work with LGBTI clients, practicing counselors have expressed a lack of adequate levels of self-awareness and knowledge concerning their issues.

Ignorance and prejudice about LGBTI issues are present in the counseling profession yet seldom discussed. Even in training programs that provide competent training regarding gay- and lesbian issues, the training around working with bisexual clients is inadequate.

The American Counseling Association's Code of Ethics under section C.2.a (i.e., Boundaries of Competence section) states, "Counselors gain knowledge, personal awareness, sensitivity, and skills pertinent to working with a diverse population". Most counselors today are going to have one or more LGBTI clients on their caseload. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients seek out counseling services at five times the rate (i.e., 50%) of heterosexual clients (i.e., 10%). The increased need of LGBTI individuals to receive counseling should come as no surprise: These individuals have been subjected to ‘marked prejudice and discrimination in society’. The cumulative effects of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and heterosexism on one's psychological, emotional, and physical health are often substantial.

This textbook incorporates the standards adopted by the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC), a division of the American Counseling Association while at the same time paying particular attention to the multicultural competencies of beliefs and attitudes, knowledge, and skills as outlined by experts in the field.

Wherever possible, Counseling LGBTI Clients incorporates material from evidence-based peer-reviewed journal articles. In some cases, the lack of research in a specific area is indicated. In this regard, this book speaks to what we know based on the available research and it is relatively silent on those topics that still require empirical study.

In Chapters 3 through 10, most of the opening vignettes begin with a counselor who is lacking competence in one or more areas. The intent is to help readers begin thinking about appropriate interventions with this particular group within the LGBTI community.

Other pedagogical features to assist readers’ learning are highlighted in Chapter 1. By the end of Chapter 11, readers will have gained an excellent foundation upon which to provide counseling to the LGBTI community.

The groups within the LGBTI community included in this text will be refreshing to many professionals in the field. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to terminology and to some of the ongoing debates within the field of LGBTI studies and, more generally, within all research endeavors.

Chapter 2 provides a brief history of the LGBTI community. It provides some context for how this community rose in visibility, and in doing so, how it simultaneously began developing its own cultural norms and mores.

Chapters 3 through 10 are the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the text with their focus on gay men, lesbian women, bisexual men, bisexual women, fetishistic cross-dressing individuals, male-to-female transsexual clients, female-to-male transsexual persons, and intersex individuals, respectively. Chapter 11 is the conclusions chapter, which offers a brief synthesis and evaluation of where they are and where they are headed.

I have been looking for a text like this, one that integrates theory, research, and clinical practice seamlessly, since I began teaching students nearly a decade ago. – Phillip J. Osteen
Counseling LGBTI Clients is a thoroughly comprehensive book that makes GLBT issues accessible to students. This book includes a depth and breadth of coverage that I have not seen in other titles. – Samuel Sanabria
This text provides an easy to digest and comprehensive current state of the field of GLBT counseling and would be a valuable addition for emerging and practicing clinicians. – Daniel J. Munoz
This textbook is an excellent resource to help counselors better understand LGBT persons, bond with similarities, honor differences, and be instrumental in helping LGBT clients to see their intrinsic value and unique gifts so as to better honor self and let their light shine brightly. – Laura R. Ritchie
This is an important – and much needed – work for anyone wanting to work with these populations. Based on the latest empirical research, this book clearly addresses the issues facing LGBT individuals and their therapists in an objective and empathic manner. I highly recommend it. – Jeannie D. DiClementi

Counseling LGBTI Clients is based on more empirical research than any other volume that exists on the topic of LGBTI individuals. This practical, easy-to-read guide challenges and changes beliefs about and attitudes toward each LGBTI subgroup, while preparing practitioners to provide sensitive, informed, and effective affirmative counseling to this largely misunderstood population. The volume is a comprehensive guide for both emerging practitioners and current practitioners, LGBTI individuals, and those who know them.

History / Ancient / Europe / Cyprus / Archaeology

Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy in the Second Millennium BC edited by Vasiliki Kassianidou and George Papasavvas (Oxbow Books)

Ancient Cyprus was an important copper producing region, as well as a pioneer in the development and spread of metallurgy and metalwork in the wider region of the Eastern and Central Mediterranean. Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy in the Second Millennium BC contains twenty-three papers that compare and contrast the material culture associated with metallurgical workshops, as well as discussing technological issues and their cultural and archaeological contexts.

Several archaeologists and archaeometallurgists from around the world whose research focuses on the metallurgy of this period in Cyprus and surrounding regions were invited to participate in the conference.

Some papers are devoted to the metallurgy and metalwork of Cyprus, presenting material from various sites and discussing the production and use of copper in the eastern Mediterranean. Others are dedicated to the Minoan and Aegean metal industry and the connections between Sardinia and Cyprus. Moving eastwards, from Anatolia through the Syro-Palestinian coast and Jordan and south to Egypt, papers are presented that discuss Late Bronze Age metallurgy in Alalakh, Ugarit, Faynan, Timna and Qantir. Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy in the Second Millennium BC also includes papers on tin and iron.

Originally presented at a conference organized by the University of Cyprus in honor of the distinguished scholar James D. Muhly who has dedicated much of his research to Cypriot archaeology and metallurgy, Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy in the Second Millennium BC is a worthy dedication to James Muhly and his work. Muhly was a participant at the conference; he can be seen in several of the photographs in the book.

Contributors include:

Yiannis Bassiakos, Maria Rosaria Belgiorno, Carol Bell, Erez Ben-Yosef, Philip Betancourt, Gerald Cadogan, George Constantinou, Ella Dardaillon, Nota Dimopoulou, Roger Doonan, Daniela Ferro, Noel H. Gale, Alessandra Giumlia Mair, Maria Iacovou, Vasiliki Kassianidou, A. Bernard Knapp, Thomas E. Levy, Fulvia Lo Schiavo, David Richard Loepp, Robert Maddin, Mohammad Najjar, George Papasavvas, Despina Pilides, Vincent Pigott, Edgar Pusch, Thilo Rehren, David Sewell, Alison South, Zofia Anna Stos-Gale, Thomas Tselios, Xander Veldhuijzen, and Aslihan K. Yener.

Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy in the Second Millennium BC makes a significant contribution to Cypriot and Mediterranean archaeology and the study of metallurgy.

History / Middle East / Biographies & Memoirs

Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Barbara Bray and Michael Darlow (Skyhorse Publishing)

Recognized today as nearly synonymous with controversy, Saudi Arabia – our ally in the Middle East, a key supplier of oil – is more than what it seems. Amid the often unpleasant news coverage, there is a story to be told of the George Washington of this country – Ibn Saud – commanding leader, passionate lover and devout Muslim. It's a story that few Americans know.

Ibn Saud is a biography that carries readers through the intriguing life of this kind-natured, militant mastermind. Authors Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray detail what drove a nomadic child from the desert to become an emperor. Bray, now deceased, twice won the Scott Moncrief Prize for her translations, as well as the French-American Foundation Prize. Darlow, writer and award-winning TV producer and director, is a fellow of the Royal Television Society and was awarded its Silver Medal in 2000.

Ibn Saud grew to manhood living the harsh traditional life of the desert nomad, a life that had changed little since the days of Abraham. Equipped with immense physical courage, he fought and won, often with weapons and tactics not unlike those employed by the ancient Assyrians, a series of astonishing military victories over a succession of enemies more powerful than himself.

As told in Ibn Saud, early on, Saud took an interest in politics and the massive kingdoms of Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire – perhaps a foreshadowing of what he would become. After becoming a seasoned victor in the military between 1902 and 1930, Saud earned great respect and began building his massive empire. He transformed himself from a minor sheikh into a revered king and elder statesman, courted by world leaders such as Churchill and Roosevelt. Ibn Saud took many wives, had numerous concubines, and fathered almost one hundred children. Yet he remained an unswerving and devout Muslim, described by one who knew him well at the time of his death in 1953 as “probably the greatest Arab since the Prophet Muhammad.”

Saudi Arabia, the country Ibn Saud created in 1932, is a staunch ally of the West, but it is also the birthplace of Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Saud’s kingdom, as it now stands, has survived the vicissitudes of time and become an invaluable player on the world’s political stage.

From his beginning as an outsider in hostile territory, to becoming the preeminent leader of an oil-rich kingdom, Ibn Saud wrote his country's modern history. But, according to Ibn Saud, a big question looms high in the minds of the vast majority: Will the kingdom, as it stands now, survive the divisive cultural pressures of the twenty-first century?

Darlow and the late Bray ... spent decades researching Saudi history and their enigmatic subject's place in it, and their easy familiarity with Ibn Saud's life comes across in lively prose that captures the romance and intrigue of the Arabian warrior. The authors pack each chapter with entertaining anecdotes that highlight the differentness of Ibn Saud's life ... [A] successful narrative. – Publishers Weekly

Ibn Saud is the compelling biography of the warrior-politician who founded Saudi Arabia and created one of the world’s most powerful nations. A melding of human interest, current events, and history, is truly a new tale to be told.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Metal Magic: How to Etch, Pierce, Enamel, and Set Striking Jewelry by Kim St. Jean (Kalmbach Books)

  • Etch. Create interest and texture with surface detailing.
  • Pierce. Discover how to pierce and saw like a pro.
  • Enamel. Add vivid bursts of color or a subtle patina to basic metal.
  • Set. Form unique bezels and settings for unusual components.

Readers connect with the metalworking passion of Kim St. Jean in this follow-up to her first book. Building on basic metalworking techniques, St. Jean in Metal Magic uses her conversational style to teach torch and kiln enameling, etching, piercing, creating settings for unconventional objects, and drilling stone and glass to create organic jewelry components.

Readers step inside St. Jean’s workshop with Metal Magic as she teaches advanced beginner to intermediate jewelry makers how to create 30 mixed-metal and mixed-media projects that celebrate the process as well as the finished product. Readers learn to build color with enameling, add detail with etching, and create unique settings for unusual components.

St. Jean’s organic, earthy designs belie an amazing attention to detail and professional craftsmanship that inspires her many fans. A former public school instructor, she now combines her love of teaching with her creative talent as a jewelry maker, teaching metalsmithing and other jewelry-making techniques at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts and other venues.

According to St. Jean, “If you are familiar with my work, you may have noticed my propensity for the organic look. My creations have texture, depth, and patina, and while some may border on the verge of rough, they are still wearable pieces of jewelry art.”

In Metal Magic, she is true to many of those design elements, but for fun, she has added color and bling. Readers will see some creative setting techniques and some designs incorporating crystals. There are several projects blending her love for cold connections with enameling, a few using etching, and of course her current favorite technique, piercing. She says she loves to become ‘one with the saw,’ as exhibited in the pierced and enameled heart on the cover of the book.

30 projects are included in Metal Magic. The projects build in difficulty, so early projects require only one technique or skill. As readers move through the book the projects become more complex, adding several skills at once.

Metal Magic provides hands-on instruction from the best. St. Jean opens her toolbox, and through her friendly teaching style and detailed step-by-step photos and instructions, shares her tips and tricks for taking basic metalworking to the next level. Every project is like taking a personal class with St. Jean.

Mysteries, Thrillers & Suspense / Mystery

Maxwell's Crossing by M.J. Trow (A Peter 'Mad Max' Maxwell Mystery: Allison & Busby)

In the latest installment of the Peter `Mad Max' Maxwell series, Maxwell's Crossing, the teacher and part-time sleuth must contend with outlandish Americans, a son who is acting strangely, a missing cub-scout mistress and the usual Leighford High School mayhem while trying to catch a murderer before more lives are lost.

At Leighford High, ever-resourceful Maxwell, acting Head of History, is chosen for an American exchange and heads off to Los Angeles. His counterpart is Hector Gold, accompanied to Leighford by his eccentric family including his wife Camille and her parents, Jeff and Alana O'Malley. In particular, Hector's father-in-law, Jeff O'Malley, quite a character with money to burn, gate-crashes the local poker school, much to the dismay of its members.
When events in Maxwell's Crossing take a sinister turn and Sarah Gregson, one of the poker school's members, is found murdered, newly-promoted Inspector Jacquie Carpenter-Maxwell and Henry Hall investigate, with the assistance of Maxwell, of course. Something is crooked in this case and Maxwell is sure that it is more than meets the eye.

It soon becomes apparent that Sarah suspected Jeff of cheating and Jeff was sacked in LA for being a crooked cop. Is this simply a case of murder as revenge for name-calling? Being quite the expert in solving murders, Maxwell believes there is more to it.

M.J. Trow has recently retired as a history teacher – he has been doubling as a crime writer for twenty-six years. He is the author of the Inspector Sholto Lestrade and the Kit Marlowe series and twenty-one non-fiction books.

Maxwell's Crossing is the seventeenth novel featuring Peter `Mad Max' Maxwell. Also in the series: Maxwell's Match, Maxwell's Inspection, Maxwell's Grave, Maxwell's Mask, Maxwell's Point, Maxwell's Chain, Maxwell's Revenge, Maxwell's Retirement, and Maxwell's Island.

Trow's skill at spinning mysteries a twist further than expected keeps him at the top of the form. – Sunday Telegraph

Trow has the reader chuckling while tussling over the intricacies of his dexterous plotting. Tragic and humorous by turns, the Maxwell novels are packed with dry wit and keep the readers guessing to the last page. – Good Book Guide

Terrific ... a perfect treat ... M.J. Trow gives you a laugh-a-minute – gatewaymonthly.com

Superb. Still fresh as ever and it doesn’t really matter where you start [in the series]. Definitely recommended­. – thebookbag.co.uk

No one, no one at all, writes quite like Trow … so top marks for the scholarly sleuth – Yorkshire Post

A witty series, Mad Max Mysteries just keep getting better.

Philosophy / Politics & Social Sciences / Entertainment / TV & Film

Breaking Bad and Philosophy: Badder Living through Chemistry edited by David R. Koepsell and Robert Arp (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: Open Court)

Breaking Bad, hailed by Stephen King, Chuck Klosterman, and many others as the best of all TV dramas, tells the story of a man whose life changes because of the medical death sentence of an advanced cancer diagnosis. The show depicts his metamorphosis from inoffensive chemistry teacher to feared drug lord and remorseless killer. Driven at first by the desire to save his family from destitution, he risks losing his family altogether because of his new life of crime.
In defiance of the tradition that viewers demand a TV character who never changes, Breaking Bad is all about the process of change, with each scene carrying forward the morphing of Walter White into the terrible Heisenberg.
Breaking Bad and Philosophy investigates the crimes of Walter White, showing how this story relates to the major themes of philosophy and the major life decisions facing each of us. Twenty-two professional thinkers conduct stimulating mental experiments with this emotionally high-powered and artistically superb TV series. They look at the social, ethical, and metaphysical issues raised by the show, and come up with some surprising results. Editors are David R. Koepsell, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Values and Technology Section, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands and Robert Arp, philosopher and author/editor of numerous books. The book is Volume 67 in the series, Popular Culture and Philosophy, with Series Editor George A. Reisch.

For example, Breaking Bad and Philosophy raises questions such as: can a person be transformed as the result of a few key life choices? Does everyone have the potential to be a ruthless criminal? How would we respond to the knowledge that we will be dead in six months? Is human life subject to laws as remorseless as chemical equations? When does injustice validate brutal retaliation? Why are drug addicts unsuitable for operating the illegal drug business? How can TV viewers remain loyal to a series where the hero becomes the villain? Does Heisenberg’s Principle of Uncertainty rule our destinies?
Breaking Bad emerged on the airwaves at a critical time in American history. Deep in a never-ended recession, losing confidence with our technical and innovative prowess worldwide, outpaced by competitors, and nervous about the future and what we leave for the next generation, we are all Walter White. Our dreams and hopes for ourselves and our futures seem crushed by the everyday. Middle-aged, over-educated, and struggling to make ends meet, the bright, shiny futures we had been promised if only we lived right were never more elusive.

Then Walter White came along and gave us hope. He's a twenty-first century geek hero. Chemistry teacher turned meth manufacturer, dealer, and eventually king pin, he skirts his failures in the straight world by delving deep into a dark underworld, both physical and psychic. Walter White shows us that the nebishy, flabby, middle-aged nerd can be someone, despite being marginalized by a society and economy that have moved on without him.

It's the someone he becomes that makes the show so interesting. It's a modern morality play, showing us the shame, degradation, and moral decline that come from pursuing a life of crime. But it's a morality play without the moralizing. Walter White remains our hero, and we root for his success, and the defeat of his foils. What this says about us, our society, and the meaning and roots of success are all great mysteries behind the success of the series, and the appeal of Walt.

In the chapters in Breaking Bad and Philosophy, the authors consider the philosophical, psychological, and sociological issues behind this critically acclaimed drama. What motivates Walt, really? Is Walt in conflict with science itself? Is there something wrong with the American psyche that makes a Walter White into a hero? What are the ethical issues behind drugs? What lessons does Breaking Bad have about existentialism? Can Walt be redeemed? Who is Gus Fring? There are so many philosophical issues in the complexly unfolding characters and plots we've been treated to as we follow Walt and company's descent into badness.

The show is rich with complexity and poetry of a sort. Race, class, good, and evil are all confronted for thirteen episodes per year in the guise of a show about drugs, violence, and money set in the deserts around Albuquerque, New Mexico. As in Greek tragedy, Walter White’s failure is inevitable, but his situation and motivations make him sympathetic. Walt rebels and confronts a system that cheated him out of his just reward, and against a society that outlaws acts of self-destruction. He convinces himself that it is family, and not ego, that drives him. The American dream lives on in Walt, and viewers cling to it with fading hope.

Whether a pusher of the show, a recreational user, or someone who tweaks during the hiatus, every fan of Breaking Bad will get satisfaction from this thoughtful discussion of the philosophical implications of the most dangerous and compelling of all TV shows. – Paul Booth, author of Time on TV and Digital Fandom

More scrumptious than the chicken from Los Pollos Hermanos, more mind-tripping than Blue Sky crystal, Breaking Bad and Philosophy is the ultimate score for addicts of this amazing TV series. – Matthew Brophy, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, High Point University

Koepsell and Arp know just how to cook it: a little metaphysics, add some explosive ethics, cut it with a dose of heavy existentialism – Breaking Bad and Philosophy is a real blast for any thoughtful fan of the show. – Wayne Yuen, editor of The Walking Dead and Philosophy

There's a lot more here than chemistry! What responsibilities, beyond building the Death Star, does an outlaw have? Do social constraints prevent us from being our authentic selves? What exactly are our "meth-ical" obligations to our families and communities? Breaking Bad and Philosophy reveals just what it means to live at the speed of White. – Joseph J. Foy, editor of Homer Simpson Goes to Washington

In Breaking Bad, X-files alumnus Vince Gilligan created a Kafkaesque morality play for the twenty-first century. Breaking Bad and Philosophy explores the ethical and philosophical dimensions of one of the best-written and most innovative shows in the history of television. – Paul A. Cantor, author of The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs Authority in American Film and TV

The philosophers in Breaking Bad and Philosophy show how the major themes of philosophy and the decisions facing us all are dealt with in Breaking Bad. This is a fabulous exploration.

Politics & Social Sciences / Current Events

Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency by Daniel Klaidman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Is Barack Obama an idealist or a ruthless pragmatist? He vowed to close Guantánamo, put an end to coercive interrogation and military tribunals, and restore American principles of justice, yet in his first term he has backtracked on each of these promises, ramping up the secret war of drone strikes and covert operations. Behind the scenes, wrenching debates between hawks and doves – those who would kill versus those who would capture – have repeatedly tested the very core of the president’s identity.
Top investigative reporter Dan Klaidman has spoken to dozens of sources to piece together a Washington story packed with revelations – Kill or Capture. As the president’s inner circle debated secret programs, new legal frontiers, and the disjuncture between principles and down-and-dirty politics, Obama vacillated, sometimes lashed out, and spoke in lofty tones while approving a mounting toll of assassinations and kinetic-war operations. Klaidman’s fly-on-the-wall reporting reveals who has his ear, how key national security decisions are really made, and whether or not President Obama has lived up to the promise of candidate Obama.

Klaidman is a special correspondent for Newsweek, where he has worked since 1996, serving as investigative reporter, Middle East correspondent, Washington bureau chief, and managing editor, before his current position. Kill or Capture shows in detail how Obama and his inner circle make decisions in this shadow war: whom to target and kill, how the president pushes back against the military (‘signature strikes’ where drones target groups of people whose identities aren't necessarily known vs. targeted killings where an individual is positively identified beforehand), and how Obama has personally approved or revised dozens of operations. Specific revelations are outlined:

  1. Unprecedented reporting on the meetings of top military, intelligence, and administration officials who review what the military have deemed ‘baseball cards’ – PowerPoint profiles of potential targets that detail an individual terrorist's history and lay out proposed plans for elimination.
  2. What Klaidman calls a ‘holy trinity of targeted killings’ – how the president has been frequently pulled from state affairs and family dinners in order to meet with Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, and former Vice President of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral James ‘Hoss’ Cartwright, to make ‘kill or no kill’ decisions about each approved ‘baseball card’.
  3. How upon becoming Legal Adviser of the Department of State, Harold Koh transformed from a liberal human-rights champion into a master of targeted killings, and how tortured an experience it has been for him.

Kill or Capture also describes the suffering of the liberals – how key administration figures, up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder, lost every battle over closing Guantanamo, bringing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to trial in civilian court, and ending indefinite detentions. In detailing these lost battles, Klaidman tells the inside story of the release of a few Chinese Uighur detainees from Guantanamo, which proved that no other country, domestic state, or city would ever accept any other detainees.

And finally in Kill or Capture, Klaidman speaks to the intense in-fighting within Obama's inner circle – between the pragmatists like former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and idealists like Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, former White House Counsel Greg Craig, and Attorney General Eric Holder. Klaidman reveals never-before-heard stories of how former Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Eric Holder nearly came to physical blows, and how Valerie Jarrett refused to let Holder quit in the middle of the president's term.

How has President Obama waged the war on terror? With one hand tied behind his back – and the other dealing death sentences to suspected terrorists around the world.

Bringing readers into the Oval Office, the Situation Room, the CIA, and other ‘sensitive compartmentalized information facilities’ of the war on terror, Klaidman offers a new portrait of our forty-fourth president, a leader struggling to balance high-minded idealism with hard-headed politics.

Yet at the same time, Obama transformed himself into one of the most decisive and lethal commanders of America's shadow wars. Working primarily with two key advisers, he personally reviewed countless targeted killings, approving or vetoing strikes on a case-by-case basis. ("I want Awlaki; " he told one of his aides. "Don't let up on him.")

Klaidman's Kill or Capture is a behind-the-scenes look at how the Obama administration is waging the shadow war on terror.

Klaidman has done something that few journalists have been able to do: capture the human dimensions of national security decision-making – the doubts, frustrations, and raw emotions that come with life-and-death choices. Readers making up their minds about him during the 2012 election year may turn to Kill or Capture to help them decide.

Politics & Social Sciences

Countering Displacements: The Creativity and Resilience of Indigenous and Refugee-ed Peoples edited by Daniel Coleman, Erin Goheen Glanville, Wafaa Hasan and Agnes Kramer-Hamstra (The University of Alberta Press)

The essays in Countering Displacements explore the activities of two populations of displaced peoples that are seldom discussed together: Indigenous peoples and refugees or diasporic peoples around the world. Rather than focusing on victimhood, the authors focus on the creativity and agency of displaced peoples, thereby emphasizing capacity and resilience. Throughout their chapters, the contributors show how cultural activities – from public performance to filmmaking to community arts – recur as significant ways in which people counter the powers of displacement.

Contributors include: Catherine Graham, Subhasri Ghosh, Jon Gordon, Maroussia Hajdukowski-Ahmed, Agnes Kramer-Hamstra, Mazen Masri, Jean McDonald, and Pavithra Narayanan. Editors’ credentials include: Daniel Coleman, Professor of Canadian Literature, Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University; Erin Goheen Glanville, PhD Candidate in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University; Wafaa Hasan; founding Associate Director for the Symposium for the CRC on Diversity in Canadian Literary Cultures; and Agnes Kramer-Hamstra, Professor of Literature in the Department of English at St. Stephen's University.

As the editors explain in the introduction, the chapters gathered in Countering Displacements highlight the creativity and agency of people who have been displaced. Each author, addressing a distinct case study of displacement, points to the ways in which the experience of displacement and the possibilities and realities of resilience are creatively expressed in the cultural domain. The relationship between indigenous and refugee-ed experiences of displacement and of agency is directly addressed in a number of the eight chapters and is further opened up by the conversation offered among the chapters. Contexts of study range from the Americas to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Countering Displacements begins with two foundational articles. The first introduces creative acts of narration as a form of agency, and the second offers a theorization of creative acts of citizenship. Jon Gordon's "Displacing Oil: Towards `Lyric' Representations of the Alberta Oil Sands" explores the literal displacement of the earth under their feet (as in the stripping away of land in the Alberta oil sands project) and that process's eventual displacement of indigenous people. Displacement is uniquely extrapolated from its anthropocentric assumption and is instead situated within a complex relationship among land, ecosystem, economy, and human experience. Gordon’s essay reminds readers that human displacements are fundamentally about removal of and from the land. And, by showing how creative ‘lyric’ and literary expression have been used to protest the oil sands project, Gordon draws readers’ attention to the way displacement is often countered in cultural forms. The essay that follows, Jean McDonald's "Citizenship Studies and Migrant Illegality," parallels Gordon's topographical groundwork by providing a theoretical grounding for Countering Displacements in her literature review of citizenship studies. Her essay familiarizes readers with the conversations in international relations regarding nation-state sovereignty. McDonald's focus on the work of No One Is Illegal illustrates how those who are excluded from statehood and citizenship can creatively express their protest and, by taking up their own assertions of citizenship, erase clearly defined lines between insiders and outsiders.

The next four essays in Countering Displacements by Mazen Masri, Catherine Graham, Pavithra Narayanan, and Subhasri Ghosh outline various experiences of displacement and the complex relationships between indigenous and refugee-ed populations, ranging from studies in Israel and Palestine to Manipur and West Bengal. Masri and Graham both address Palestinian displacement. Graham examines a play about a Western male journalist at an Israeli checkpoint who is certain that he can be ‘objective’ and thereby detached from the huge imbalance of power in this situation. His mindset in fact deepens the displacement that the Palestinians at the check-point are experiencing. Displacement through detachment is also the subject of Masri's chapter, but his focus is on how the Israeli-built segregation wall detaches Palestinians from the necessities of life: public justice, livelihoods, access to health care, and freedom of movement. While Graham depicts theatre as a witness to this displacement and as a confrontation with a supposedly objective audience, Masri demonstrates the many ways that the illegitimacy of the wall is highlighted through organized political resistance outside of conventional citizenship paths.

In her contribution, Narayanan describes the way indigenous peoples of the Manipur region have experienced internal displacement, first by the British Raj and then by the state of India, while Ghosh's chapter focuses on refugees who fled East Pakistan and squatted on marshy lands outside Calcutta. Both chapters trace the initiatives displaced and disempowered peoples have taken up under very adverse conditions. In response to the government in New Delhi making life in Manipur increasingly precarious through the abuses of the Indian army and through intentionally keeping the area underdeveloped, Narayanan describes how women's groups, called Meira Paibis, have organized themselves to patrol neighborhoods and guard them against military abuse. For her part, Ghosh shows how refugees around Calcutta have organized in creative ways over the years to win clear title to their once marginal, now valuable lands. Even as these four essays describe detailed conditions of displacement, they focus on the ways in which the peoples' agency and resilience gives birth to theatrical performances and other creative forms of protest that declare ‘we are here’ and insist upon their own citizenship.

The final two essays bring Countering Displacements back to the place where it is being edited and published (Canada), to specific internally displaced indigenous and refugee-ed communities there. Both essays highlight how they have creatively found ways to speak in their own voices, rather than being represented or spoken for by others. Agnes Kramer-Hamstra's chapter explores how Mohawk film-maker Shelley Niro's work takes up stereotypical representations of Indigenous peoples in Canada, replacing ‘cardboard characters’ with Aboriginal actors who translate their own tradition so that it reverberates in contemporary contexts. While Niro counters inert stereotypes of internally displaced First Nations people, Maroussia Hajdukowski-Ahmed's chapter draws attention to the resilience of women who have been forced to migrate to Canada. Her study of women's healing from traumatic experiences of displacement through art contributes to the volume's focus on the complex relationships between indigeneity, migration, colonialism, and settlement, as well as the role of human agency and creativity in navigating these experiences.

Countering Displacements as a whole offers a study of the cultures of displaced people from within the discipline of cultural studies. Eschewing associations of culture with an elite or with ‘high art,’ the version of cultural studies associated with Raymond Williams examines the everyday life that people engage in to discover the complex ways their activities and practices shape a public culture. The authors’ emphasis on the agency of displaced peoples is informed by this focus on the ‘ordinary.’

A helpful link can be made between Williams's comments on the advent of mass media in the 1950s and the authors’ take on displacement studies. Both share a concern with the way a complex context and diverse peoples can become simplistically fixed in the public mind. Refugee-ed and internally displaced indigenous peoples often have had to struggle against reductive definitions of their identity that have little to do with their lived reality. However, as Lawrence Grossberg puts it, "For cultural studies, the fact that people do use the limited resources they are given to find better ways of living, to find ways of increasing the control they have over aspects of their lives, is significant, not only in itself, but also in terms of understanding the structures of power and inequality in the contemporary world and the possibilities for challenging them". Compared to studies that examine displacement in relation to political economy, international relations, or citizenship law, then, they focus on the cultural domain in order to track and emphasize people's everyday agency. The case studies in Countering Displacements each document how particular peoples have, in their unique responses to displacement, been active in reshaping their lives in public ways. Collectively, these case studies demonstrate the resilience of displaced people, creatively countering unequal political and cultural – power through political, communal, and artistic acts, taking up and speaking back to discourses that appear to be ‘natural, universal and eternal’.

As they emphasize the cultural domain's relation to the explic­itly political one, the contributors' discussions of creativity, agency, and indigeneity in relation to refugee-ed people brings a fresh voice to broader studies of displacement. Countering Displacements avoids the tendency towards determinism that can occur in some cultural studies theories on power and ideology. Instead, it celebrates the ‘ordinary’: that is, the agency of humans as it is expressed in everyday neighborliness, in daily life, and social interaction. As the authors highlight the many voices that make up each particular context, these case studies are manifestations of neighborliness and of insistence on neighborliness. Countering Displacements is an indispensable resource for displaced peoples everywhere and the policy makers, social scientists, and others who work in concert with them.

Politics & Social Sciences / Biographies & Memoirs / African-American

With Edwards in the Governor's Mansion: From Angola to Free Man by Forest Hammond-Martin Sr., edited by Tom Aswell (Pelican)

Three weeks before his high school graduation, college-bound Forest Martin was sentenced to life in prison. With Edwards in the Governor's Mansion records his intense journey from his school days until his pardon from Gov. Edwin Edwards. In the interim he became the victim of a severe beating, an inmate lawyer, the light heavyweight champion of the underground boxing ring, and one of the numerous convict servants in the governor's mansion.

"The secret to fighting is to never panic when you suffer a disadvantage." As told in With Edwards in the Governor's Mansion, Forest ‘Saint’ Hammond attempted to live his life the same way a boxer survives a fight, continually recovering from disadvantages. When he was twelve years old, he lost his mother under tragic circumstances. Still, Saint worked hard in school, made good grades, and earned an athletic scholarship to college. It seemed all was lost, however, when this bright young man got caught up by the criminal activities infecting his neighborhood. A headstrong teenager, he misevaluated a situation, made a terrible judgment call, and wound up accused of murder. In a single day, Saint went from the loving brother who braided his little sister's hair and the dependable employee at his father's janitorial service to a target of legal corruption and prison brutality. Determined to win his freedom, he studied the law to educate himself. Saint also became the light heavyweight boxing champion of the prison and earned himself a spot working at the governor's mansion for Edwin Edwards, giving him the chance for a pardon. Much like the boxer he was, Saint took his blows in life, dancing from one opportunity to the next without letting his opponents see the extent of his damages. Saint was a champion fighter who wasn't above pulling punches as a form of mercy. He was always an athlete and a warrior but never a murderer. In this way Saint grew from boy to man in one of the harshest environments in the United States – Angola Penitentiary.

Most guests who entered the Louisiana Governor's Mansion in the 1970s had no inkling the building's staff were convicted murderers. The governor's butlers, among other workers, came from Angola Penitentiary, one of the most violent prisons in the United States, to refill crystal glasses and pull out chairs for the elite members of society. Forest "Saint" Hammond was one of them. This autobiography of a teenage athlete turned prison inmate tells his story of a corrupt justice system and its attempt to keep one man in prison for a crime he did not commit.

With Edwards in the Governor's Mansion tells how Saint, now known as Forest C. Hammond-Martin, Sr., is a boxing instructor devoted to mentoring youth and being a role model to his growing family. He has received many certificates of appreciation for his presentation with the R(eality) A(t) W(ork) Tour Training Program addressing youth at risk for criminal behavior. He has worked as an investigator, paralegal, and legal assistant for the Baton Rouge Public Defender's Office and boxed for Sugar Ray Leonard's Boxing Gym in Maryland. He is the proud father of six and grandfather of seven and lives with his wife in Alexandria, Louisiana. Editor Tom Aswell is an award-winning journalist, reporter and editor for multiple Louisiana newspapers including the Baton Rouge Advocate, the Monroe News-Star, and the Ruston Daily Leader.

In With Edwards in the Governor's Mansion, Saint says that despite the prejudice with which he was treated, it was Divine guidance that fueled him to move on and learn to survive in every situation. It takes great sacrifices to get a second chance at freedom, but the tenacity with which Saint approached his tasks parallels the prowess he practiced as light heavyweight boxing champion of the prison.

The Forest Martin story is a story of achieving success against great odds. Imprisoned at an early age for a crime committed by others and in which he had no involvement, he spent his time in prison improving his brain and his body by study and exercise. He was released and rather than rail against injustice and society he furthered his education and now devotes his life to improving his community and discharging his obligation to his family and his God. He has earned and deserves great respect for the way he has lived his life. – Edwin Edwards

With Edwards in the Governor's Mansion is the poignant story of one man clinging to hope and faith revealing insider secrets and conspiracies related to the state's politics and judicial system.

Religion & Spirituality / History / Biographies & Memoirs

The Pope and I: How the Lifelong Friendship between a Polish Jew and John Paul II Advanced Jewish-Christian Relations by Jerzy Kluger with Gianfranco Di Simone (Orbis Books)

The Pope and I describes the surprising, lifelong relationship between Pope John Paul II and his Jewish friend, Jerzy Kluger. Their friendship played a role in shaping Karol Wojtyla’s early views toward the Jewish people, and his later efforts, as pope, to overcome the legacy of anti-Semitism. Though their story has been previously recounted, here for the first time Kluger offers his own account of their relationship. The story begins with their friendship in grade school in Poland, Kluger’s extraordinary survival of the war, followed by his reunion with Archbishop Wojtyla in Rome during Vatican II.

The Pope and I is Kluger’s story, written with the help of Gianfranco Di Simone.

After his friend's election as pope, their relationship unfolded against the background of extraordinary advances in Jewish-Christian relations, including the first papal visit to the synagogue of Rome, John Paul's pilgrimages to Jerusalem and Auschwitz, and the Vatican recognition of Israel (for which Kluger served as a back-channel Vatican emissary).

Jerzy Kluger (1921-2011) grew up in the Polish town of Wadowice, where he befriended Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II. While most of his family perished in Auschwitz, Kluger escaped and fought with the Allies. After the war he moved to Rome and trained as an engineer. He died on December 31, 2011, after completing this book. The Pope and I is the poignant story of a friendship deepened by the great human tragedies that swirled around it in their youth and the international controversies that defined so much of their mature years together. It is the story of young Karol ‘Lolek’ Wojtyla, and Jerzy ‘Jurek’ Kluger, the story of a pope and of a survivor of the Shoah, as told from the perspective of the latter. As such, the background for the remarkable friendship is nothing less than the entire history of the ancient, covenantal relationship between the Christian Church and the Jewish People, a relationship, many Jews and Christians today attest, that can illumine and deepen our understanding of the larger relationship between humanity and its Creator, the One God, the God of Israel.

As Eugene Fisher says in the foreword to The Pope and I, though fraught with large historical and theological implications, the story told by ‘Jurek’ of his friendship, lost and found, with the Catholic boy ‘Lolek’, is at the same time a deeply personal one, narrated in simple and engaging language that draws in readers and enables them to feel that they are sitting together at the table, whether in the Vatican or in the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, enjoying the pasta, the Italian wine, a sip of vodka, reminiscences of their youth, and hopes for the present and future of Catholics and Jews alike.

When it became known that one of the pope's best friends in Rome was a Polish Jew who had known Wojtyla from boyhood, of course, the larger Jewish community reached out to Jurek in the understandable hope that he might be able and willing to communicate Jewish concerns to the leader of the Church, which of course he was and did, relying on the equally open and willing ears of the pope in so doing. One of the key Jewish leaders in Rome to contact Kluger with this in mind was Jozef Lichten, himself originally a Polish Jew who had for many years been in charge of interfaith relations for the Anti-Defamation League (then of B'nai B'rith), especially with Catholics, and who had retired to live in Rome.

In the discussions between Kluger and Lichten, also often over pasta and good wine, the latter gives the former quite digestible lessons in Jewish-Christian history and in the current controversies of the day, whether matters evocative of the Holocaust, such as the convent of nuns built adjacent to the death camp of Auschwitz, or the need, from the Jewish viewpoint, for the Holy See to exchange ambassadors with the state of Israel and thus make manifest for all the recognition by the Church of the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, indeed as a safe haven for Jewish survivors of the Shoah and for Jews of future generations who may need what the European Jews of the Second World War did not have, a refuge from persecution whether by Christians or others. The Pope and I, then, is informative not only about the psychology and inner spirituality of a great pope, but also about the larger issues that faced the Church in his time, and which no less face the Church today.

Remarkable. – Booklist

History rarely turns on personal friendships, but an exception must be made for Blessed John Paul II and his lifelong friend, Jerzy Kluger. Their friendship helped move Catholic-Jewish relations in a nobler direction and opened lines of conversation that had been closed for centuries. Mr. Kluger's telling of this remarkable human story is full of insights into the character of his friend from small-town Poland who became one of the most consequential figures of the late twentieth century while reforming the Office of Peter for the twenty-first. – George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, and biographer of John Paul II

Friendship is sometimes a more powerful avenue to interreligious reconciliation than theological discourse. This certainly was the case in Kluger's relationship with John Paul II. The volume is a marvelous example of such a dynamic. – John T Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.D, Director, Catholic Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union

The Pope and I tells how the lifelong friendship between a Polish Jew and Pope John Paul II advanced the cause of Jewish-Christian relations. It is a fascinating tale, highlighting the surprising confluences of history, politics, and religion sealed by friendship and mutual respect. And it is both illuminating for those who wish to understand why John Paul was so deeply motivated to further the Catholic Jewish dialogue, and a good read, communicating sometimes complex truths with human warmth and a dollop of humor.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age

Dowsing Beyond Duality: Access Your Power to Create Positive Change by David Ian Cowan and Erina Cowan (Weiser Books)

David Cowan's first book, Navigating the Collapse of Time, introduced readers to the consciousness shift in ‘reality’. Dowsing Beyond Duality draws on those principles and theories and presents a means to keep our energy balanced in this time of change. Working with his wife and partner Erina Cowan, Licensed Spiritual Health Coach and teacher of alternative healing practices, David Cowan, biofeedback trainer and teacher in spiritual communication, presents a comprehensive course based on the Course in Miracles principle that we know all we need to know within our divine selves. They teach readers to use the science of spiritual dowsing to access physical, mental, and emotional healing.

Dowsing Beyond Duality goes beyond just getting 'yes and no' answers from a pendulum. The Cowans show how to use the pendulum – not only to find lost objects or make daily decisions – but also to deepen one's self-realization, to move beyond the duality of the third dimension, and create positive change in one's life and in the world. With more than 75 charts and extensive explanations and instructions, the Cowans guide readers through specific movements of the pendulum that release limiting beliefs and unconscious resistance.

As dowsing is, in one sense, an amplification or focusing of a human potential to interact with Nature on many different levels or dimen­sions, its scope is potentially limitless. The general theme in Dowsing Beyond Duality is that we are more powerful than we may have been led to believe, particularly in the power of our minds. The Cowans believe the True Awakening lies in coming to realize what we already are as Divine and creative beings. The accumulated research into quantum physics has begun to explain how the mind, or consciousness, has always played a role in determining our particular experience of reality.

Dowsing Beyond Duality can be read as a study or overview of an interesting topic to satisfy curiosity. However, unless readers actually ‘dive in’ and ‘play along,’ they may never truly appreciate the ideas presented. The Cowans invite readers to do the work, and they will be rewarded.

Duality means the apparent co-existence of opposites. It is rooted in a deeper assumption of the ‘reality’ of the separation of objects and events in space and time. Duality is neither good nor bad. Once recognized, we can perceive the inherent limitations in the dualistic view, along with the broader possibilities in a non-dual perspective. Conflict is rooted in duality – opposite opinions, positions, moral judgments, and beliefs are only possible within a dualistic framework. The upside of duality – and duality demands that there be an upside – is that being in such a state forces one to exercise one’s will in navigating all of the choices one must continuously make. In so doing, one may ultimately become empowered to the point of consciously directing every thought and activity toward an altruistic goal and higher purpose, or to evolve as a conscious being. We can thus overcome the limitations of victimhood, blame, and projection; all mental habits that threaten the very survival of the human race.

Dowsing Beyond Duality looks at dowsing in a more expanded or non-dual manner. When we dowse to correct or remove an energetic blockage for example, we do so not to emphasize the power of the blockage so much as to clear the mind of its belief or attachment to it. By clearing the mind of its belief in a condition established in duality, we not only address the fundamental level of the cause of all phenomena (the mind), but we open a clear space, as it were, to experience wholeness, peace, and ‘now awareness’ – all states of mind pointing to the non-dual reality waiting beyond the battlefield of dualistic conflict and confusion.

Dowsing Beyond Duality offers not just another means to stay mired in suffering, but a means to free the mind of all deeply condi­tioned attachments and return with full awareness to the original self.

Dave Cowan attended my class several years ago and was remembered because of his intelligent comments. Meeting him again recently, he impressed me with his knowledge and abilities. I believe you will find this book interesting and helpful. – Raymon Grace, author of The Future Is Yours

The healing wisdom of Spiritual Dowsing is a practical way to bring us to the state of peace, love and joy that is a natural result of communication between our conscious and superconscious mind. In that state, all answers are available to us through accessing One Consciousness. This is the most incredible experi­ence of Love and Blessings that Spiritual Dowsing brings to our lives. Dowsing Beyond Duality not only reflects the philosophy of Oneness but also presents the way to live it. In my experience as a Spiritual Dowser and Healer, this book offers the most practical, complete, and effective processes for transformation into Oneness, Consciousness, and Spiritual Healing. – Miriam Divinsky, M.A., Ph.D., founder of Center for Wellness, New Jersey

The Cowans’ method as described in Dowsing Beyond Duality will give readers and students a tool to help them take control of their own minds and steer their lives in the direction they want to go. The book helps them grasp the open-ended potential and explore their own possibilities, discovering new horizons of insight and empowerment along the way.

Religion & Spirituality / Social Sciences / Mental Health

The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement by Seth Farber Ph.D. with a foreword by Kate Millett (Inner Traditions)

We believe we have mad gifts to be cultivated and taken care of, rather than diseases or disorders to be suppressed or eliminated. By joining together as individuals and as a community, the intertwined threads of madness, creativity, and collaboration can inspire hope and transformation in an oppressive and damaged world. – Mission Statement of the Icaras Project

The Spiritual Gift of Madness is a call for the ‘insane’ to reclaim their rightful role as prophets of spiritual and cultural transformation. The volume:

  • Explains how many of those diagnosed as schizophrenic, bipolar, and other forms of ‘madness’ are not ill but experiencing a spiritual awakening.
  • Explores the rise of Mad Pride and the mental patients’ liberation movement.
  • Reveals how those seen as ‘mad’ must embrace their spiritual gifts to help the coming global spiritual transition.

Many of the great prophets of the past experienced madness – a breakdown followed by a breakthrough, spiritual death followed by rebirth. According to Seth Farber, with the advent of modern psychiatry, the budding prophets of today are captured and transformed into chronic mental patients before they can flower into the visionaries and mystics they were intended to become. As we approach the tipping point between extinction and global spiritual awakening, there is a need for these prophets to embrace their spiritual gifts. To make this happen, we must learn to respect the sanctity of madness. We need to cultivate Mad Pride.
Exploring the rise of Mad Pride and the mental patients’ liberation movement as well as building upon psychiatrist R. D. Laing’s revolutionary theories, Seth Farber, Ph.D., psychologist, public speaker, and a founder of the Network against Coercive Psychiatry, in The Spiritual Gift of Madness explains that diagnosing people as mad has more to do with social control than therapy. Many of those labeled as schizophrenic, bipolar, and other kinds of ‘mad’ are not ill: they are seeing and feeling what is wrong with society and what needs to be done to change it. Farber shares his interviews with former schizophrenics who now lead successful and inspiring lives. He shows that it is impossible for society to change as long as the mad are suppressed because they are our catalysts of social change. By reclaiming their rightful role as prophets of spiritual and cultural revitalization, the mad – by seeding new visions for the future – can help humanity overcome the spiritual crisis that endangers our survival and lead us to a higher and long-awaited stage of spiritual development.

While writing The Spiritual Gift of Madness Farber says he discovered the writings of Paul Levy, who – as a mad person (a former mental patient who had spiritual visions) and a spiritual educator strongly influenced by the writ­ings of Carl Jung – takes an unabashedly messianic view of human potential. Following Jung, Levy writes of the ‘Christification’ of humanity: all of us are called on to act as ‘messiahs.’ Farber cite Levy on a number of occasions as his views are further confirmation of his own.

The emergence of Mad Pride and the foundation of The Icarus Project (TIP) was an auspicious development; it was initially an ‘evolutionary bid’ to change the consciousness of humanity. It is uncertain if Mad Pride will decide to forsake its more messianic aspirations and accommodate itself to the postmodern ethos.

Farber says that every person he interviewed was diagnosed as seriously mentally ill by the mental health system – either schizophrenic or bipolar and usually both at different times depending on the individual psychiatrist. Each of them in different ways proved the system wrong. All but one got off the psychiatric drugs that they supposedly needed to function. All are involved in creative work and/or working to change society.

Every person interviewed in The Spiritual Gift of Madness– and thousands of others he has met over twenty years – proves the mad are not ‘mentally ill.’ Every person who has been given a psychiatric diagnosis can read this book and be assured that she is not mentally ill and that with support she can also wean herself off of psychiatric drugs. Mad people can take heart from the extraordinary accomplishments of the persons interviewed in this book.

Among those interviewed: Sascha DuBrul is the cofounder of the organization that launched the Mad Pride movement in America. David Oaks is the leader of the largest patients' rights' organization that ever existed. In the late 1970s he had a breakdown/breakthrough and was diagnosed as schizophrenic by multiple psychiatrists. If psychiatry had been correct or if Oaks had followed their recommendations, he would be in ‘day treatment’ today, performing menial tasks and taking antipsychotic drugs. Paul Levy, who is a brilliant spiritual teacher today – consulted for advice by many teachers and therapists, including psychiatrists – was overwhelmed by madness for many years. He regards this ordeal as an initiation. However, he also believes that had he found help from the mental health system – family therapy, for instance – his problems would have been resolved in a brief period of time. Cary Simon spent years in anguish until she found that the solution for her problems was getting off of psychiatric drugs, assum­ing responsibility for her actions, and becoming a creatively maladjusted member of a Mad Pride community. It was the Mad Pride community, not the mental health professionals, that helped this woman who putatively was afflicted by ‘bipolar’ and ‘borderline personality disorder.’

There are many similarities between the experiences of the different subjects that would be fruitful to explore, but that is largely outside the scope The Spiritual Gift of Madness. However, and just to take one example: note how both DuBrul and Levy felt they were possessed by the spirit of their fathers, or rather a spirit that had taken over their fathers. Since DuBrul's father was dead, his theory may sound far-fetched – ‘delusional,’ Psychiatry would say. But Levy's account of the archetypal nature of this kind of experience makes DuBrul's account more plausible. DuBrul's father was far more benevolent than Levy's, but like Levy's father, DuBrul's father identified strongly with his adolescent son and wanted to guide him. There is no reason, besides metaphysical prejudice, to exclude the theory that he may have been attempting to do so from the other side of the grave.

The stories in The Spiritual Gift of Madness also convey a sense of what Mad Pride is doing. By creating alternatives to psychiatry, the Mad Pride movement is helping many of the mad to wean themselves off psychiatric drugs and is literally saving thousands (of course, this is only a small minority of those in the mental health system) from being inducted into lifetime careers as chronic mental patients, of being emotionally and intellectually disabled by psychiatric drugs, being infantilized and spiritually destroyed by Psychiatry, spending their lives as zombies in residential houses, and of participating daily in degradation rituals in day treatment.

An articulate, informed, and lucid exploration of the nature of madness, the Mad Pride movement, and ultimately what it is like to be deemed ‘mad’ by society. Seth Farber’s extensive interviews with leaders of the Mad Pride movement are particularly engaging and memorable. – Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
Seth Farber is one of the most provocative and original thinkers in America. He brings us to the threshold of the only questions that really matter: the demarcation lines between imagination and objective reality and between ‘madness’ and ‘sanity.’ The Spiritual Gift of Madness is an important book that could revolutionize the way progressive religious people regard what is called mental health. – Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

The argument Farber makes in The Spiritual Gift of Madness may prompt a reexamination – by Mad Pride and by all persons interested in social change – of the much maligned redemptive-messianic vision. The book encourages ‘patients’ by telling ‘true stories’ of persons who were caught up in the mental health system and diagnosed as chronically mentally ill, yet who broke away and far exceeded psychiatric expectations. Some of these who read this book may think “Aha! There is hope for me.”

Science & Math / Biology & Life Sciences / Psychology

Marvelous Learning Animal: What Makes Human Nature Unique by Arthur W. Staats (Prometheus Books)

What makes us human? In recent decades, researchers have focused on innate tendencies and inherited traits as explanations for human behavior, especially in light of human genome research. Renowned psychologist Arthur W. Staats thinks this trend is misleading. As he shows in detail in Marvelous Learning Animal, what makes our species unique is our marvelous ability to learn, an ability that no other primate possesses. Staats argues that the immensity of human learning has not been understood.

He notes that evolution has endowed us with extremely versatile bodies and a brain of one hundred billion neurons, making us especially suited for a wide range of sophisticated learning. Already in childhood, human beings begin learning complex repertoires – language, sports, value systems, music, science, rules of behavior, and many other aspects of culture. These repertoires build on one another in special ways, and our brains develop in response to the learning experiences we receive from those around us and from what we read and hear and see. When humans gather in society, the cumulative effect of building learning upon learning is enormous.

Staats, professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in Marvelous Learning Animal presents a new way of understanding humanness – in human evolution, in the behavioral nature of the human body, in child development, in personality, and in abnormal behavior – a unified conception that provides new ways of solving human problems and lays the foundations for new areas of science.

Staats is internationally known as an innovator and is the inventor of time-out for use with children and the token-reward system (token economy). In 2006, Child magazine recognized him as one of "20 People Who Changed Childhood."

Passionate and persuasive... – Publishers Weekly

Compelling ... he incorporates enough personal narrative and case studies to reach even lay readers who are interested in human psychology and scientific theory. – Library Journal

The nature-nurture debate represents one of the fundamental questions in the field of psychology: Is human behavior wired into our genes or are we shaped by our learning histories and situational pressures? In recent years, advances in evolutionary theories, genomics, and neuroscience have focused considerable attention on `nature.' In lucid and accessible prose, Arthur W. Staats makes the case for `nurture,' arguing that human uniqueness derives from our capacity to learn. Not everyone will agree with Staats's conclusions, but all will find that his book represents a significant and compelling contribution to a critical debate. – Peter Salovey, Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, Yale University

Staats has thrown down a challenge to the currently fashionable biological and genetic determinism. Here he places our breathtaking capacity to learn front and center in the understanding of human nature in his forcefully argued account. – Frank Farley, PhD, Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia; former president, American Psychological Association; former president, American Educational Research Association

In this exciting book, Stoats challenges the biological focus that has come to dominate the study of human behavior and makes a compelling case for the central role of humankind’s inimitable learning ability in making us the unique species we have become. The importance of this insight cannot be overestimated. It creates the basis for a new paradigm providing a new way of conceptualizing human nature and a framework for uniting mug disparate fields of study and applications of scientific knowledge with real-world social and behavioral problems. The implications for the future development of the science of Inman nature are profound. – Karl Minke, Long-term department chair and associate professor (retired), Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Marvelous Learning Animal, an engaging, highly informative book, presents a new way of understanding human nature, a new paradigm, which should inspire a new wave of research seeking to validate the compelling case Staats has made.

Science & Math / Cognitive Psychology

Maximum Brainpower: Challenging the Brain for Health and Wisdom by Shlomo Breznitz and Collins Hemingway (Ballantine Books)

Did you know:

  • Mental stress can have more devastating impact on us than physical stress.
  • Experts are often less mentally agile than jacks-of-all-trades.
  • Hope, all by itself, is a major healing agent.
  • Mental exercises such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku are of minimal help in building brainpower.
  • A false alarm conditions us to ignore future alarms.
  • Multitasking is a formula for the failure to learn, for it works against the basic biology of the brain.

Most of us recognize that a fit brain is probably the most important contributor to a long, healthy and active life. Who we are is a manifestation of our brain activity. We are our cognitive life: our perceptions, our thoughts and memories, our personalities. There are 77 million Baby Boomers, many of whom are dealing with the mental decline of their parents as they themselves experience their first ‘senior’ moments.

If we understand the brain, then we understand the world. We cannot control our genetic predisposition to dementia, but we can control the amount of effort we demand of our minds, therefore building and maintaining our cognitive health is critical. By maximizing our brain power, we can change the inherent way we perceive and respond to the world.

Challenging our brains throughout our lives will do more to protect the health of our brain than any other factor, genetic or medical.

Providing a look at how the mind works on a biological and functional level (and how it sometimes doesn't work), Maximum Brainpower offers a framework for people to maximize their brain health for life. Written by internationally renowned cognitive psychologist and visiting professor at the London School of Economics and Stanford University Shlomo Breznitz and technologist Collins Hemingway, it provides both an in-depth look at how the brain works and proven methods to increase its capabilities. The book demonstrates ways to improve one’s day-to-day existence and protect oneself from brain disease. Armed with the results of cutting-edge research, Breznitz and Hemingway champion the challenge and stimulus of continual change over the deadening effects of comfortable routine. They show how to separate good mental stress from bad, and demonstrate how hope and socialization can help delay or even fight off the worst symptoms of dementia.
Maximum Brainpower undertakes an exploration of the private mental world where our humanity and humanness both reside. It is about becoming more capable in our daily lives: being able to accurately assess and navigate the world, knowing what to pay attention to and what not to, thinking and planning ahead, and making the right decisions.

Dr. Shlomo Breznitz is, by virtue of his lifelong ingenuity, a rare combination of scientific creativity and sobriety, and decades of research on two of the most important areas of brain research – how to protect the brain from stress and how to develop it through mental exercises – one of the most suitable people on the planet to write this interesting, realistic, practical, clear book on what most people need to do to preserve and maximize their brain capacity. Written with technologist Collins Hemingway, Maximum Brainpower is a wonderfully helpful book, for young and old, on how to keep the brain invigorated and developing into old age. After reading it, you will understand what you must do for your brain, and why you must do it. – Norman Doidge M.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself
Everyone knows the importance of physical fitness; less appreciated is the necessity of cognitive fitness. How do you maintain an exercised, stimulated, flexible brain? Start by reading this book. – David Eagleman, New York Times bestselling author of Incognito
Maximum Brainpower is well written and each page stimulates the reader to read the next. Moreover, the topic itself – the brain and its secret powers – is profound, rich, and enriching. In other words: Because of its forceful suggestions, its analyses, and its wide knowledge, this book is well worth reading. And re-reading. – Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author
Most books about healthy brain maintenance just give you the ‘how’; this one tells you why. And it helps you do it. – Rita Carter, author of Mapping the Mind

Maximum Brainpower is a fascinating, eye-opening and inspiring book, giving readers all the tools they need to improve the mind's ability and the brain's health. People of all ages can learn how to develop and maintain their mental fitness throughout life. Young people can improve their studying skills, driving skills, and their ability to handle risky situations. Older people can recover mental capacity. People who have survived physical brain trauma can substantively recover their mental and physical abilities.

Filled with colorful real-life stories and fascinating psychological experiments, this revelatory work will help adults of any age build and retain their mental acuity. With intriguing real-world examples and the most up-to-date science, it is a book every person should own.

Science & Math / History & Philosophy / Politics & Social Science / Evolution

Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott (Spiegel & Grau)

Christmas, 1859.

Just one month after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received an unsettling letter. He had expected criticism; in fact, letters were arriving daily, most expressing outrage and accusations of heresy. But this letter was different. It accused him of failing to acknowledge his predecessors, of taking credit for a theory that had already been discovered by others. Darwin realized that he had made an error in omitting from Origin of Species any mention of his intellectual forebears. Yet when he tried to trace all of the natural philosophers who had laid the groundwork for his theory, he found that history had already forgotten many of them.
Evolution was not discovered single-handedly, Rebecca Stott argues in Darwin's Ghosts, contrary to what has become standard lore, but is an idea that emerged over many centuries, advanced by daring individuals across the globe who had the imagination to speculate on nature’s extraordinary ways, and who had the courage to articulate such speculations at a time when to do so was often considered heresy. Stott is a professor of English literature and creative writing at the University of East Anglia and an affiliated scholar at the department of the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University.

Darwin's Ghosts tells the story of the collective discovery of evolution, from Aristotle, walking the shores of Lesbos with his pupils, to Al-Jahiz, an Arab writer in the first century, from Leonardo da Vinci, searching for fossils in the mine shafts of the Tuscan hills, to Denis Diderot in Paris, exploring the origins of species while under the surveillance of the secret police, and the brilliant naturalists of the Jardin de Plantes, finding evidence for evolutionary change in the natural history collections stolen during the Napoleonic wars. With each chapter focusing on an early evolutionary thinker, Darwin's Ghosts provides an account of the diverse group of individuals who, despite the very real dangers of challenging a system in which everything was presumed to have been created perfectly by God, felt compelled to understand where we came from.

Stott does a superb job of setting the scene for her protagonists, whether on the island of Lesbos, 18th-century Cairo, or revolutionary Paris. But her real strength lies in intellectual history. She demonstrates conclusively that evolutionary ideas were circulating among intellectuals for many centuries and that, for most of that time, those who promoted these ideas found themselves under attack by religious and political leaders. Darwin’s scientific breakthrough, therefore, did not occur in a vacuum, but rather provided the most fully conceptualized theory. Stott has produced a colorful, skillfully written, and thoughtful examination of the evolution of one of our most important scientific theories. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A lively account of the ‘pathfinders, iconoclasts, and innovators’ who were Darwin's spiritual kin…. Stott masterfully shows how Darwin, by discovering the mechanism of natural selection, made a unique contribution, but he did not stand alone – nor did he claim to. – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The history of science comes alive as a drama of vibrant personalities wrestling with a dangerous idea. – Booklist
… Stott can make the nuances of ideas emerge in descriptions that suddenly bring the person close…. Gripping as well as fair-minded… Darwin's Ghosts is a book that enriches our understanding of how the struggle to think new thoughts is shared across time and space and people. – The Telegraph (UK)
Beautifully written and compelling…These mavericks and heretics put their lives on the line. Finally, they are getting the credit they deserve. – The Independent (UK)
Impressively researched... A gripping and ambitious history of science which gives a vivid sense of just how many forebears Darwin had. – The Times (UK)

Charles Darwin provided the mechanism for the evolution of the exquisite adaptations found in plants and animals, but the awareness that species can change had been growing long before him. With wonderful clarity Rebecca Stott traces how ideas about biological evolution themselves evolved in the minds of great biologists from Aristotle onward. Darwin would have loved this brilliant book – and so do I. – Sir Patrick Bateson, president of the Zoological Society of London
Clever, compassionate, and compellingly written, Darwin's Ghosts interweaves history and science to enchanting effect. The evolution of the theory of evolution is a brilliant idea for a book, and Rebecca Stott has realized it wonderfully. – Tom Holland, author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
From Aristotle onward, evolutionists have – thank God – always been a quarrelsome lot, and not much has changed. Rebecca Stott shows how dispute, prejudice, and rage have accompanied their science from the very beginning. Darwin's Ghosts is a gripping history of the history of life and of those who have studied it, with plenty of lessons for today – perhaps for today’s biologists most of all. – Steve Jones, author of Darwin’s Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated
The concept of evolution was not created fully formed and placed in the garden one day for our delight and terror but, as Rebecca Stott demonstrates in her inspiring book, evolved as much as we did. Darwin's Ghosts is a beautiful tribute to the buried tradition of curious, courageous observers who, before Darwin explained how evolution worked, witnessed the mutability of species for themselves and recorded what they saw. – Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature

Darwin's Ghosts presents a groundbreaking new theory of an idea that has changed our very understanding of who we are. Ultimately, Stott demonstrates, ideas – including evolution itself – evolve just as animals and plants do, by intermingling, toppling weaker notions, and developing over stretches of time.

Sports & Outdoors / Coaching

Peter Leone's Show Jumping Clinic: Success Strategies for Equestrian Competitors by Peter Leone and Kimberly S. Jaussi, with a foreword by George Morris (Storey Publishing, LLC)

For equestrian athletes of all levels, the ultimate dream is a place on the Olympic equestrian team. In Peter Leone's Show Jumping Clinic, Silver Medalist (1966) Peter Leone shares his winning methods to help up-and-coming riders master the elements of first-rate horsemanship and the foundations of competitive show jumping.

Authors are Leone, winner of more than 50 Grand Prix competitions, coach to professionals, amateurs, and juniors for the world's top show jumping, equitation, and hunter competitions and Kimberly S. Jaussi, PhD, rider, coach, leadership professor, and author. Leone coaches riders on the elements of horsemanship and show jumping, sharing his techniques for improving both the physical aspects of riding and the mental strength and focus that are essential to successful competition.

In Peter Leone's Show Jumping Clinic readers discover one champion's secrets to show-ring success. Leone shares the lessons and habits he has developed over three decades of riding at the highest levels of competition, and he helps readers achieve their personal riding goals, whatever they might be.
Solid riding mechanics and a trusting and respectful friendship between horse and rider are the key elements of Leone's formula for successful showing and jumping. Good form and position give riders the confidence, awareness, and presence to connect and communicate with their horse, establishing a ‘horse to rider, rider to horse’ relationship. When riders and their horses work together, they bring out the best in each other.
In each section of Peter Leone's Show Jumping Clinic, Leone describes an important riding or jumping principle. He lays out related practice activities and offers checklists for self-evaluation. Descriptions and photographs of top riders bring his principles to life. Readers work their way through the secrets to Leone's success, and learn to be ‘riding the ride you know is right.’
While paying attention to the physical aspects of riding, Leone also shares his philosophy for building the mental strength and focus that is essential to successful competition. Equally important is the relationship between rider and horse. Each chapter covers one of Leone's principles of riding, with bulleted descriptions of concepts; profiles of top riders; and discussion of how to best leverage the concept. Signature phrases, such as ‘ride the body,’ highlight Leone's philosophy and appear throughout Peter Leone's Show Jumping Clinic, helping riders remember the key take-aways from each section.

Presented in a thoughtful, detailed, yet simple style, this book will improve your riding and horsemanship whether you are beginning your riding journey or trying to improve your current skill level. – McLain Ward, Double Olympic Gold Medalist

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in taking their riding and horsemanship to the next level. – Missy Clark, Top Equitation Trainer

The art of teaching riding is about the process of doing things in an excellent way. Peter's book symbolizes all that is best about equestrianism. – Robert Cacchione, Founder and Executive Director, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association

A must-read for anyone involved with riding or training horses, this book will remind seasoned riders of the basic fundamentals and teach less experienced riders the important lessons that are necessary for achieving success in this sport. – Georgina Bloomberg, Top International Rider

Peter Leone's Show Jumping Clinic is the ultimate resource for riders at any level, but particularly those who compete in show jumping, as well as trainers looking for ways to help their students build strong foundations and advance on the show circuit. It is the must-have book for all equestrian athletes. With Leone's keys to riding and winning presented so simply and powerfully, competitive riders will easily take in the information and take the prize. 

 

Contents this Issue:

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