SirReadaLot.org

SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

April 2013, Issue #168

Contents this page:

Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity by Steven Snyder and Bill George (Berrett-Koehler Publications, Inc.)

The Power of the Herd: A Nonpredatory Approach to Social Intelligence, Leadership, and Innovation by Linda Kohanov (New World Library)

Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan by Francesca Gino (Harvard Business Review Press)

The New Jewish Table: Modern Seasonal Recipes for Traditional Dishes by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray, with David Hagedorn (St. Martin’s Press)

Fit Quickies: 5-Minute, Targeted Body-Shaping Workouts by Lani Muelrath (Alpha Books)

Workers Go Shopping in Argentina: The Rise of Popular Consumer Culture by Natalia Milanesio (University of New Mexico Press)

Bush Wars: Africa 1960-2010 by Ambush Games and Ramiro Bujeiro (Force on Force Series: Osprey Publishing)

Fallen Timbers 1794: The US Army's First Victory by John F. Winkler, illustrated by Peter Dennis (Campaign Series, Vol. 256: Osprey Publishing)

Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies by Anne-Lise Head-König, in collaboration with Péter Pozsgai (Rural History in Europe Series, Vol. 7: Brepols Publishers)

Around the World in 80 Days (Excelsior Editions) by Jules Verne, translated by Frederick Paul Walter (Excelsior Editions: SUNY Press)

Clinical Care Conundrums: Challenging Diagnoses in Hospital Medicine edited by James C. Pile, Thomas E. Baudendistel and Brian Harte, with series editors Scott A. Flanders & Sanjay Saint (Hospital Medicine: Current Concepts Series: Wiley Blackwell)

Anthony deMello: The Happy Wanderer by Bill deMello (Orbis Books)

The High Deck: A New Universe of Symbols by Arthur Amberstone & Wald Amberstone (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.)

Storm Kings: The Untold History of America's First Tornado Chasers by Lee Sandlin (Pantheon Books)

Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter by The Committee on the Assessment of and Outlook for Nuclear Physics, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences and National Research Council (National Academies Press)

Maverick Genius: The Pioneering Odyssey of Freeman Dyson by Phillip F. Schewe (Thomas Dunne Books)

Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction, 3rd edition by Alan Aldridge (Polity)

National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways, 4th Edition: The 300 Best Drives in the U.S., 4th edition by National Geographic (National Geographic)

Arizona Rocks!: A Guide to Geologic Sites in the Grand Canyon State by T. Scott Bryan (Geology Rocks! Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity by Steven Snyder and Bill George (Berrett-Koehler Publications, Inc.)

Leadership and the Art of Struggle provides you with the opportunity to learn from Snyder’s remarkable wisdom. It is a living guide that you can return to time and time again as new situations arise. – from the foreword by Bill George, former CEO, Medtronic; Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School; and author of True North

Leadership is often a struggle, and yet strong taboos keep us from talking openly and honestly about our difficulties for fear of looking weak and seeming to lack confidence. But Steven Snyder in Leadership and the Art of Struggle shows that this discussion is vital – adversity is precisely what unlocks a person’s greatest potential. Snyder, an early executive at Microsoft, is the founder of Snyder Leadership Group, an executive fellow in leadership at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and CEO of the Internet startup Net Perceptions, where he won the World Technology Award for Commerce.

Using real-life stories drawn from his research studying 151 diverse episodes of leadership struggle – as well as from his experiences working with Bill Gates in the early years of Microsoft and as a CEO and executive coach – Snyder in Leadership and the Art of Struggle shows how to navigate intense challenges to achieve personal growth and organizational success. He details strategies for embracing struggle and offers a host of unique tools and hands-on practices to help readers implement them.

"Clearly, struggle and leadership are intertwined,” Snyder states. "Great leaders use failure as a wake-up call." In Leadership and the Art of Struggle, Snyder shows that to learn from it, readers must be prepared to face its painful realities.

The realities that Snyder addresses represent a fundamental building block required to develop healthy, effective leaders who are committed to building a society devoted to the well-being of all. Snyder's book asserts that struggle is an ‘art to be mastered;’ an intrinsic aspect of leadership and an opportunity for leaders to realize their potential. That runs directly contrary to the macho image cultivated by many powerful leaders who deny their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. With that denial, they rob themselves of opportunities for deep introspection and a clearer understanding of themselves.

Snyder takes these fundamental truths of human nature and converts them into a set of well-conceived strategies and practices that enable leaders to become grounded. Of course the real work of leaders who are getting grounded in their authenticity, their humanity; and their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, as well as their strengths, is exceptionally hard work.

In Leadership and the Art of Struggle Snyder pairs his strategies with a series of techniques and exercises that enable readers to stay grounded and explore new pathways to grow from their experiences. In the end he shows us how to develop the adaptive energy required to prepare for the greater challenges we will face in leadership. Through this rigorous process, readers can develop the focus and the discipline to work through their issues and, ultimately, to celebrate what really matters in their lives.

Leadership is never as easy as it looks and that's exactly as it should be, says executive, entrepreneur, and leadership coach Snyder, currently executive-in-residence at Minnesota's University of St. Thomas. Leadership requires extreme courage and strength, but as Snyder argues, the best leaders have to get past the expectation of perfection while still striving for greatness. The author asked corporate, nonprofit, and government leaders to speak to the times of struggle in their careers and shares 151 of these stories to illustrate how the acceptance of the hard work of leadership can create true greatness. Snyder walks readers through the all-important steps of what he terms ‘The Pathway to Adaptive Energy’: becoming grounded, exploring new pathways, and deepening adaptive energy. In addition, he addresses the everyday difficulties of beating self-doubt, facing change, establishing balance, and getting the necessary support. This is a practical, thoughtful guide to creating sanity, as well as ‘purpose and meaning’ within leadership. – Publishers Weekly
The leadership journey is rewarding but definitely not easy.
Leadership and the Art of Struggle gives you clear and compelling advice on transforming pitfalls into possibilities. – Jodee Kozlak, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Target
A very fresh and inspiring perspective that constructively embraces the natural tensions that all leaders encounter every day. I heartily recommend it to any leader who aspires to lead and contribute more fully. – Douglas R. Conant, former President, CEO, and Director, Campbell Soup Company, and coauthor of TouchPoints
Leadership and the Art of Struggle contains compelling stories of great leaders who have struggled with various facets of their leadership responsibility. It offers practical advice and tools to help you deal more effectively with the inevitable struggles of leadership. – Trudy Rautio, President and CEO, Carlson
If you are leading an organization of any kind today or desire to lead one in the future, you need to read this book. – Frank Russomanno, former CEO, Imation
 This is the right book for these times. Leadership has become more difficult in the chaotic world we live in; Steven acknowledges that and draws on his own deep experience and the lessons learned of others to help any new, aspiring, or well-worn leader! – Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International and coauthor of Love ’Em or Lose ’Em and Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go

Leadership and the Art of Struggle deserves to be a leadership classic! Snyder brilliantly charts a course to strengthen ourselves through the important crucibles of challenge and adversity. If you want to build more authentic leadership in yourself and others, get this life-changing book! – Kevin Cashman, Senior Partner, Korn/Ferry International, and bestselling author of The Pause Principle and Leadership from the Inside Out

A remarkable book. Using extensive research, Leadership and the Art of Struggle shows how facing one’s challenges and failures, facing one’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities, strengthens leaders. By mastering the art of struggle, readers will be better equipped to meet life’s challenges and focus on what matters most.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Animals / Self-Help / Relationships

The Power of the Herd: A Nonpredatory Approach to Social Intelligence, Leadership, and Innovation by Linda Kohanov (New World Library)

Linda Kohanov is beloved for her groundbreaking articulation of ‘the way of the horse,’ an experiential wisdom known to riders for centuries but little studied or adapted to off-horse use. In The Power of the Herd Kohanov, international speaker and teacher, takes those horse-inspired insights on exceptional communication and leadership into the realms of workplaces and relationships. The book explores the benefits of ‘nonpredatory power’ in developing assertiveness, fostering creativity, dealing with conflict, and heightening mind-body awareness.
In the first part of this book, Kohanov profiles cultural innovators who employed extraordinary nonverbal leadership skills to change history, usually on horseback. She also draws on the behavior of mature horse herds, as well as the herding cultures of Africa and Mongolia, to debunk theories of dominance hierarchies, challenge ingrained notions of ‘survival of the fittest,’ and demonstrate the power of a consensual leadership in which governing roles are fluid.
Kohanov in The Power of the Herd adapts these lessons into twelve powerful guiding principles that everyone can incorporated into their work and personal lives.

Kohanov is the bestselling author of The Tao of Equus and Riding Between the Worlds.

In the first part of The Power of the Herd, she explores the nonverbal elements of exceptional leadership, turning to history to highlight the remarkable connections between experienced horse riders and effective leaders, from the Buddha and Alexander the Great to George Washington and Ronald Reagan.

Drawing on her work socializing stallions and raising young horses, Kohanov demonstrates why many humans in leadership roles are often so emotionally inept. It is in part two that she applies the fundamental lessons of the ‘wisdom of the prey’ to common leadership struggles. She presents techniques for:

  • Developing emotional strength training.
  • Mastering boundaries and assertiveness versus dominance and micromanagement.
  • The importance of developing tolerance for vulnerability.
  • Preparing for difficult conversations.
  • The importance of conserving energy for true emergencies.
  • Managing contagious emotions.
  • Finding efficient ways of dealing with conflict and performance feedback.

An innovative path to leadership and a journey of self-discovery. – Peter A. Levine, PhD, author of Waking the Tiger and In an Unspoken Voice
Once again, Linda Kohanov shows us a much-needed alternative to business-as-usual in our relationships with each other and with other species. –
Christian de Quincey, PhD, author of Radical Nature and Radical Knowing
Linda Kohanov has created a unique synthesis of myth, symbology, psychology, neuroscience, and, most important of all, the insight she has gained from horses to give us a manual to guide ourselves and our leaders through the twenty-first century and beyond. In this book, a must for every leader, or everyone who wants to be one – in his or her own life and in our world at large – she takes horsemanship from a personal level to a global one. –
Allan J. Hamilton, MD, FACS, author of Zen Mind, Zen Horse
In
The Power of the Herd Linda Kohanov reveals the ways in which humans can learn from the behavior and social infrastructure of horses. Well written and well researched, this book is a valuable contribution to the literature on interspecies communication. – Andrew Weil, MD, author of Spontaneous Happiness
Belongs at the top of your list of books to read this year. Sweeping in scope, Kohanov’s latest work is a blend of scholarship and storytelling so finely crafted that you’ll want to pause occasionally just to marvel at the quality of the writing. It’s a fascinating read, brought to life with examples drawn from historical figures and the evolution of human development as well as lessons learned from years of working with her beloved horses. This is a book to be savored. –
Bob Wall, author of Coaching for Emotional Intelligence
For millennia we humans were mere prey. We’re here only because some of our ancestors could mimic the animals who knew how to run the gauntlet of the great carnivores. Horses are one of those creatures still amongst us. Linda Kohanov is that rare twenty-first-century watcher with the wit to see the lessons horses can still teach us and the talent to harness it in this remarkable book. She lays out a powerful case that our evolution still rides on the shoulders of these giants. –
Meg Daley Olmert, author of Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond

Eloquent and provocative, well researched, this is horse sense for everyone who seeks to thrive in the herds they run in – communities, careers, families, and friendships. A groundbreaking and far-reaching book that turns established leadership theories on their head, The Power of the Herd will appeal both to those already touched by Kohanov' s previous writing and a new audience of people looking for innovative ways to cultivate visionary leadership.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Self-Help / Relationships

Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan by Francesca Gino (Harvard Business Review Press)

Simple, irrelevant factors can have profound consequences on decisions and behavior, often diverting people from their original plans and desires. Sidetracked helps readers identify and avoid these influences so the decisions they make do stick – and they finally reach their intended goals.
Psychologist and Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino has long studied the factors at play when judgment and decision making collide with the results of choices in real life. In Sidetracked Gino, Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations, & Markets Unit at the Harvard Business School, explores inconsistent decisions played out in a wide range of circumstances – from roles as consumers and employees to the choices that readers make more broadly as human beings. From Gino’s research, readers see when a mismatch is most likely to occur between what they want and what they end up doing. What factors are likely to sway decisions in directions they did not initially consider? And what can readers do to correct for the subtle influences that derail their decisions? The answers to these and similar questions will help readers negotiate similar factors when faced with them in the real world.

Gino in Sidetracked says she has observed experienced managers plan carefully for their negotiations but end up with very different deals than those they had planned because they were caught up ‘in the heat of the moment.’ She has seen friends make plans to improve their relationships but fail to follow them due to their inability to put themselves in their partners' shoes. She has watched thoughtful managers planning new incentive schemes to motivate their employees, only to find the employees focused more on cheating the system than on working harder. And she has also noted similar inconsistencies in her own behavior. Why do plans so often go astray, and how can readers keep on track? Over the last ten years, she embarked on a number of research projects that focused on answering those questions.

Three different sets of forces influence decisions in ways people commonly fail to anticipate: (1) forces from within themselves, (2) forces from their relationships with others, and (3) forces from the outside world. Throughout Sidetracked, she describes the results of various studies examining the power of these forces and how they operate. She suggests that readers can make more successful decisions by understanding these forces and that they can learn to account for them as they set goals or clarify plans of action. She concludes each chapter by describing one principle for readers to consider in order to avoid getting sidetracked in the future.

Forces from within are factors that reside in both our minds and our hearts, and exist because of the very nature of being human. Gino explores the accuracy (or lack thereof) of readers’ beliefs about their abilities and competence (chapter 1), the effects of their emotions on unrelated decisions (chapter 2), and the consequences of having an (overly) narrow focus when evaluating information and making decisions (chapter 3).

Forces from relationships are factors that characterize our relationships and interactions with others. Readers are all social human beings, but their bonds with others often derail their plans. The second part of Sidetracked, examines how this happens. Gino discusses the difficulty of putting oneself in others' shoes (chapter 4), how sharing even superficial features with others (such as having the same first name) colors one’s viewpoint and decisions (chapter 5), and how they are affected by comparing themselves to others (chapter 6).

Finally, forces from the outside are factors that characterize the context in which everyone operates and makes decisions. Gino explores the effects of irrelevant information on decisions (chapter 7), examine why subtle differences in the way a question is framed lead to different solutions (chapter 8), and discuss how the structure of the environment can cause readers to veer off track (chapter 9).

If you have always yearned to feel more secure in your decision-making, or at the very least, understand better why even your best-laid plans often go awry, Sidetracked is a straight-forward examination of the forces that affect our decisions which can help raise your awareness and keep you from veering off course. – 800 CEO READ
We are often unaware of the many forces that affect our decisions – sometimes with devastating consequences. In
Sidetracked, Francesca Gino identifies and illuminates many of these forces to help us all make decisions that we, our mothers, and our kids will be happier with. – Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Duke University; author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth about Dishonesty
Francesca Gino is one of the smartest and most insightful decision researchers in the field. Her clever research informs every page of this book and it will change the way you think about decision making. –
Chip Heath, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business; co-author, Made to Stick and Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
Sidetracked is an indispensable guide for those interested in gaining insight into how we make decisions and the invisible forces that affect the process…. The book reveals the truth – through example after example of carefully structured research – of just how easily influenced we are and concrete strategies for how to stay on track. – John Engates, Chief Technology Officer, Rackspace
Why do so many of our decisions go awry? Francesca Gino says the answer might be staring at us in the mirror. In
Sidetracked, she reveals the many forces that distract our attention, distort our reasoning, and ultimately lead us astray. Reading this rich mix of experimental evidence and lively stories will help you rethink – and improve – how you make decisions in your life. – Daniel H. Pink, author, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and A Whole New Mind

For fans of Dan Ariely and Daniel Kahneman, Sidetracked will help them better understand the nuances of their decisions and how they get derailed – so they have more control over keeping them on track.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Kosher

The New Jewish Table: Modern Seasonal Recipes for Traditional Dishes by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray, with David Hagedorn (St. Martin’s Press)

D.C. chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray's modern update on Jewish cooking – blending food, fresh flavors, and family stories.

The New Jewish Table is filled with the lore of Ellen's family's passion for Jewish food and Todd's youthful explorations of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and his chef's training. It is a delightful blending of recipes, tips, and tales, with the culinary traditions that nurtured both, reinterpreted for every cook in Todd's sure and professional hand. – from the foreword by Joan Nathan, author of Jewish Cooking in America

Just in time for Passover, The New Jewish Table explores the melding of two different cooking cultures, seasonal American and Eastern-European Jewish, sharing the mouth-watering recipes that result from this flavorful union from authors, chef Todd Gray and his wife Ellen Kassoff Gray. More than a love story about what one can do with fresh ingredients, Todd and Ellen talk about the food they grew up with, their life together, and how rewarding the sharing of two people’s traditions – and meals – can be. When Chef Todd married his wife, Ellen, who is Jewish, their union brought about his initiation into the world of Jewish cooking. In 1999, Todd combined his love for farm-to-table ingredients with his passion for Jewish cuisine, opening the acclaimed Equinox Restaurant in Washington, D.C. The restaurant is a gathering place for Washington lawyers, deal makers, and it even welcomes Presidents and their wives who want a quiet meal alone in the real world.

The New Jewish Table has over 125 recipes that reinvent traditional Jewish cooking with fresh seasonal ingredients and innovative approaches to traditional Jewish dishes.

  • Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Latkes
  • Not Exactly Aunt Lil's Matzo Ball Soup
  • Cabernet-Braised Lamb Shanks with Root Vegetables
  • BBQ Wild King Salmon with Sweet Corn
  • Matzo-Stuffed Cornish Game Hens
  • Fig and Port Wine Blintzes
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Rugelach

This book represents the blending at their table in the truest sense, a culinary convergence, as their friend and mentor, Joan Nathan, referred to it. According to the Gray’s The New Jewish Table would not have come to be were it not for Joan, who penned an article in The New York Times in 2009 entitled, "At Hanukkah, Chefs Make Kitchen Conversions," highlighting culinary blending in marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Joan was the one who recognized that the Gray’s would be an interesting story to tell.

Above all, though, the emphasis of The New Jewish Table is on seasonality, with the hope that readers make every effort to source locally and support the nation's farmers, food artisans, and watermen. To that end, they divide the book into four seasons – Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer – each with six chapters: Brunch, Starters, Lunch, Dinner, Sides, and Desserts. Sidebars linked to specific dishes throughout the book relay anecdotes, moving memories, or pertinent food methodology. Every recipe has a dairy, parve, or meat designation.

The Grays include comprehensive menu suggestions for four Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Passover) and an Appendix of culinary fundamentals – readers find recipes for many of their favorite dressings, sauces, condiments, and stocks; basic prep information for various ingredients; and explanations of frequently used cooking methods.

Gray and Kassoff Gray look to change the traditional Jewish table by 'blending' tastes and histories... this book has a very personal and inviting feel, asking the reader to focus on enjoying the food. – Publisher's Weekly

Fresh and appealing, this book reflects a unique blend of traditions. Great for families interested in contemporary Jewish cuisine. Highly recommended. – Library Journal

The New Jewish Table has found an open and eager spot in my kitchen! A refreshing take on Jewish food, that is wholesome at the same time as scrumptious. With an emphasis on a seasonal approach, it offers a load full of ideas for everyday meals as well as how to give a much needed lift to Holiday menus. As I was flipping the pages of the cookbook and jotting down which recipe I want to try first, I gave up: I want to try them all. – Pati Jinich, host of the PBS’s series Pati's Mexican Table, cooking teacher, food writer and official Chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, DC

Todd and Ellen Gray’s Equinox Restaurant is a perfect balance between one of Washington’s best chefs and one of its warmest hosts, and whether you’re a Virginia homeboy like him or a city-bred Jewish girl like her, these elegant, seasonally-sensitive and clan-friendly recipes will make you feel you’re mishpacha – or, as they say in the Old Dominion, ‘Fam’ly.’ Mazel tov! to them, and good eats for the rest of us. – Todd S. Purdum, national editor, Vanity Fair, and previously award-winning journalist The New York Times

With this book, Todd and Ellen show us how creative chefs are preserving food memories from their cultural background by incorporating them into modern American recipes. – Nora Pouillon, chef and owner of Restaurant Nora and author of Cooking with Nora

These are recipes for every occasion that the entire family will enjoy. With gorgeous design, appetizing full-color photographs and sidebars from Washington's elite, The New Jewish Table is sure to please everyone from traditional Kosher cooks to high-holiday hosts.

Health & Fitness / Diet & Exercise

Fit Quickies: 5-Minute, Targeted Body-Shaping Workouts by Lani Muelrath (Alpha Books)

Readers transform their bodies 5 minutes at a time with Fit Quickies.

Few people love absolutely everything about their bodies. Often there's a trouble spot or two – that muffin top that just won't go away, thighs they wish were firmer, or a rear end they would like to be a little higher off the ground.

In Fit Quickies, health and fitness expert Lani Muelrath gives readers a collection of quick, easy-to-follow body-shaping exercises that zero in on their problem areas and give them a solid challenge for change. Readers lift and shape their bodies and soon see a flatter belly, shapelier thighs, firmer arms, a tighter tush, a whittled waist, and a strong core. Each illustrated step-by-step exercise helps them get motivated, stay focused, and avoid common errors.

Award winning Muelrath, who has helped thousands of people transform their bodies and their lives, is Associate Professor in Kinesiology at Butte College, presenter and celebrity coach for the 21-Day PCRM Vegan Kickstart and VegRun Programs and the Complete Health Improvement Project (CHIP), and Fitness Adviser for the Dr. John McDougall Health and Medical Center Discussion Boards.

Fit Quickies is actually three books in one:

The Fitness: An effective, research-driven collection of exercises for functional fitness and body shaping that cuts through the confusion of trends and complicated weight loss routines. It minimizes the time investment needed to see results, yet is honest about what is needed to achieve fitness and body-shaping goals.

The Food: Readers find out how to be full without being fat. They don't have to go hungry or exercise like maniacs to achieve their body ideals. Once they get the food right, the fitness is much easier. They carve their figures with their forks – and there's a simple, delicious solution with a whole-foods, plant-based diet.

The Frame of Mind: The piece that brings solid backbone to the food and the fitness – that gives the glue to everything else is mindset. When readers change their minds, they change their bodies and their lives.

Lani Muelrath's wonderful book is filled with heart and joy. Presenting ‘food, fitness and frame of mind’ as the three pillars of health, she shows you how to be full without being fat, while having an environmentally kind and compassionate kitchen. This is one exercise book that understands that you don't have to exercise like a maniac once you get the food right. Highly recommended. – John Robbins, author The Food Revolution, Diet for a New America

Lani Muelrath's Fit Quickies has the diet right. With simple, effective exercises, the powerful message to be less sedentary, and steps for positive change, Lani takes you forward on the path to a better body – and a healthier life. – John McDougall, MD, author and founder of the McDougall Program

With honesty, expertise, and inspiration, Lani Muelrath offers the perfect prescription for a healthier, happier you. Fit Quickies is comprehensive, easy, and sure to change your life. – Rory Freedman, coauthor, #1 NY Times best seller Skinny Bitch

As a dietitian, a runner, and someone who has followed a vegan diet for nearly two decades, I'm thrilled to finally see a one-stop resource that empowers people to meet their highest health potential though diet and exercise. While never losing sight of everyone's capability to achieve a healthy lifestyle, Lani captivates the reader with her own personal and insightful story toward this goal. She brings us along for the ride and prepares us to take the wheel for the long haul. – Susan Levin, MS, R.D. Director of Nutrition Education, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

I believe that a properly put together plant-based whole food nutrition plan is the greatest performance advantage an athlete can have. With this book, Lani Muelrath will get you on track – get ready to reap the many benefits! – Brendan Brazier, former pro Ironman triathlete, bestselling author of Thrive, and formulator of Vega

Losing weight – and more importantly true wellness – cannot be achieved and sustained by virtue of fad diets. It requires a comprehensive approach that contemplates the optimum health and harmony of mind, body and spirit. Lani Muelrath's Fit Quickies beautifully embraces this perspective, deftly providing the reader with expert advice to change not just your waistline, but your life – the plant-based way. – Rich Roll, plant-based ultra-athlete and bestselling author of Finding Ultra, Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

… Beautifully detailed, comprehensive, an excellent and friendly recipe on your journey to improved health and fitness, Fit Quickies inspires you to get serious about changing your body – and gives you the tools to do it. – Steve Henderson, PhD, Department of Biology and Kinesiology California State University, Chico and owner, SportFit Performance Training

The body readers have always dreamed of can be theirs: Fit Quickies provides the tools to make it happen, including specific strategies on exactly what to do for success.

History / Americas / South America / Politics & Social Sciences / Anthropology

Workers Go Shopping in Argentina: The Rise of Popular Consumer Culture by Natalia Milanesio (University of New Mexico Press)

In 1951 an Argentine newspaper announced that the standard of living of workers in Argentina was ‘the highest in the world.’ More than half a century later, Argentines still look back to the mid-twentieth century as the ‘golden years of Peronism,’ a time when working people, who had struggled to make ends meet a few years earlier, could now buy ready-made clothing, radios, and even big-ticket items like refrigerators. Natalia Milanesio, assistant professor of history at the University of Houston, in Workers Go Shopping in Argentina explores this period marked by populist politics, industrialization, and a fairer distribution of the national income by analyzing the relations among consumers, consumer goods, manufacturers, advertising agents, and Juan Domingo Perón's government (1946-1955).

Combining theories from the anthropology of consumption, cultural studies, and gender studies with the methodologies of social, cultural, and oral histories, Milanesio shows the exceptional cultural and social visibility of low-income consumers in postwar Argentina along with their unprecedented economic and political influence. Workers Go Shopping in Argentina reveals the scope of the remarkable transformations fueled by the new market by examining the language and aesthetics of advertisement, the rise of middle- and upper-class anxieties, and the profound changes in gender expectations.

In Workers Go Shopping in Argentina, Milanesio examines the conditions that triggered the transformation of the national market culture and, in particular, what changed when vast sectors of Argentina's population became participants in practices of consumption they had rarely or never enjoyed before. Her study unfolds in the mid-twentieth century – a period marked by economic development, social modernization, and nationalistic populist politics that peaked during Juan Domingo Peron's government between 1946 and 1955 – and focuses on the emergence of working-class consumers as a powerful, modernizing force that shaped a different commercial ethos, transformed social relations and collective identities, and redefined the role of the state as a mediator between business and consumers. These remarkable shifts were far-reaching: from the new language and aesthetics of advertisement to the new form and content of consumer goods, from the rise of middle- and upper-class anxieties to the changes in gender expectations, from the redefinition of working-class standards of living to the creation of new government institutions. Milanesio's Workers Go Shopping in Argentina demonstrates that, when the time came, the working class made a grand entrance to the world of consumption, stretching the limits of inclusion to impressive new levels.

Eloquently explains how the Argentine working class made a grand entrance into a preexisting world of consumption during the period of Juan Domingo Peron. Milanesio convincingly argues that Peron supported such an entrance because the making of workers into consumers complemented his plan for industrial growth, reinforced his image as an advocate of the working class, and served as a source of political legitimacy. Once developed as a social and cultural category, workers-consumers transformed advertising – giving this field a national flare – and created a distinctive working-class consumer identity that democratized access to public space, altered gender norms, and threatened middle-class status and conservative factions of Argentine society. – Julio Moreno, author of Yankee Don't Go Home!: Mexican Nationalism, American Business Culture, and the Shaping of Modern Mexico, 1920-1950

Natalia Milanesio's fascinating account of working-class consumer culture generates a series of eye-opening insights that will reshape the dominant inter­pretations of Peronism. Her analysis of advertising as well as her attention to shifting gender roles constitute original contributions to the scholarship on what many historians consider the critical juncture in the modern history of Argentina. Equally impressive is her expert use of oral history to uncover what expanded consumption meant for workers themselves. This is a terrific book that is a must read for all historians of modern Argentina and for anyone interested in consumption and consumerism throughout Latin America. – Matthew B. Karush, author of Culture of Class: Radio and Cinema in the Making of a Divided Argentina, 1920-1946

Insightful, convincing, this book of oral history describes a remarkable transformation in Argentina. Workers Go Shopping in Argentina is a must read for historians.

History / Military / Africa / Gaming

Bush Wars: Africa 1960-2010 by Ambush Games and Ramiro Bujeiro (Force on Force Series: Osprey Publishing)

With its many tribal, political, religious, and cultural divisions, Africa has long been a continent at war – both with itself and with others. For much of the 20th century, there has been a near-constant state of military unrest, from Cold War proxy wars with Soviet and Western powers supporting their African allies in live-fire incarnations of this ideological struggle, and revolutions against established regimes, to foreign interventions under the banner of peacekeeping and mercenary operations alike. Bush Wars, the latest book in the Force on Force Series, brings this hotbed of unrest to the wargaming table, with scenarios, orders of battle and background information.

The author is Ambush Alley Games, the producers of historical, horror, and science fiction miniature games including Force on Force, a rule-set for asymmetrical and kinetic warfare in the post-war to modern period.

Bush Wars is a departure from the usual format of Force on Force campaign books. Rather than focus on a single conflict in recent history, the purpose of the series is to give a cross representation of conflicts in a specific region of the world drawn from several wars. As one would expect given the diversity in African warfare, these range from small counter-insurgency actions to large combined arms battles. Players find a mix of both kinetic and asymmetric scenarios and games suitable for solo and small groups of players up to large games designed for team play.

Given the huge number of conflicts that have occurred in Africa since 1945, they chose to draw from several representative examples. Most of the scenarios presented in Bush Wars are based closely upon historical events, although some have been slightly altered to make for a better gaming experience. Presenting several fictional scenarios that are designed to represent a general type of engagement; there are 22 scenarios drawn from the following wars:

  • Portugal's Wars in Angola and Mozambique. These are the last of the true colonial wars, the aftermath of which set the stage for further conflict in the region.
  • The Congo Crisis of 1960–66. A fascinating, multi-faceted war that was at the same time both a civil war and a superpower proxy conflict.
  • The Rhodesian Bush War of 1964-79. Rhodesia is arguably the most well-known of the post-colonial conflicts (second only to the Congo Crisis) and took the form of a long and brutal counter-insurgency war pitting highly capable security forces against Communist-backed guerrillas.
  • The South African Border War and the SADF intervention in Angola. South Africa's war to secure its borders began as a counter-insurgency very similar in nature to the Rhodesian conflict. With the eventual involvement of the new Communist-backed Angolan government and the intervention of Cuba, it escalated into a conventional war that saw the largest tank battles on the continent since World War II.
  • The 1991-2002 Civil War in Sierra Leone. This conflict is an archetype of protracted civil strife that occurred in numerous African countries in the post-colonial period, leaving behind a wake of virtual anarchy. The war in Sierra Leone would only come to a close with the introduction of UN forces and a British military intervention.

Included along with the scenarios are sample unit organizations for many of the major combatants, game statistics for a large number of military vehicles in use in Africa, as well as information on dress and equipment of the forces involved.

Bush Wars gives a good cross representation of conflicts suitable for various sizes of groups and individual diversion.

History / Military / Americas

Fallen Timbers 1794: The US Army's First Victory by John F. Winkler, illustrated by Peter Dennis (Campaign Series, Vol. 256: Osprey Publishing)

After the formidable Ohio Indians destroyed the US Army at the battle of the Wabash in 1791, President George Washington recalled Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne from retirement to create and lead a new army against them. As Wayne trained his soldiers and devised new tactics and weapons to use against the Indians, the obstacles he faced multiplied. Ahead of him, British and Spanish armies seemed likely to join the Indians. Behind him, a French army of American volunteers in Kentucky and a rebel force in western Pennsylvania threatened to cut his army off from the United States. Within his ranks, a treasonous conspiracy led by his principal subordinate endangered his command and his life.

According to Fallen Timbers 1794, the famous Revolutionary War commander Major-General ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne organized and trained the new army, and then led it into the Ohio wilderness in 1794. To defeat the Indians, he had to overcome not just the logistical and intelligence problems that had doomed his predecessor's 1791 campaign, but also a conspiracy of officers and contractors led by his principal subordinate, and threatened opposition by British and Spanish forces. On August 20, 1794, Wayne defeated the Indians at Fallen Timbers. His decisive victory led to the 1795 Treaty of Greeneville, which ended 20 years of conflict between the Americans and the Ohio Indians, and opened to American settlement the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Chapters in Fallen Timbers 1794 include:

  1. INTRODUCTION – The strategic situation.
  2. CHRONOLOGY
  3. OPPOSING COMMANDERS – American. Indian and Canadian.
  4. OPPOSING ARMIES – American. Indian and Canadian. Orders of battle.
  5. OPPOSING PLANS – American plans. Indian and Canadian plans.
  6. THE FALLEN TIMBERS CAMPAIGN – From Legionville to Fort Greeneville. From Fort Greeneville to Fort Recovery.
    From Fort Recovery to Fallen Timbers.
    The battle of Fallen Timbers.
    From Fallen Timbers to Fort Greeneville.
  7. AFTERMATH
  8. THE BATTLEFIELD TODAY

Fallen Timbers 1794 has full-color battle scenes, illustrations, three-dimensional bird’s eye views and maps. It is written by John F. Winkler, a prolific chronicler of history, and illustrated by Peter Dennis. It also contains a guide to further reading and an index.

In lucid prose, this well illustrated book elucidates the U.S. Army’s first battle.

Fallen Timbers 1794 is part of the Campaigns Series, with series editor Marcus Dowper, which provides accounts of history’s greatest conflicts, detailing the command strategies, tactics and battle experiences of the opposing forces throughout the crucial stages of each campaign.

History / World / Social

Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies by Anne-Lise Head-König, in collaboration with Péter Pozsgai (Rural History in Europe Series, Vol. 7: Brepols Publishers)

Conventional wisdom holds that, over a long period of history in rural Europe, many women and men in the countryside were prevented from marrying because they lacked access to land. Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies offers an up-to-date discussion of the interaction between inheritance practices, marriage and household formation both for those who inherited and those who did not. It asks why and to what extent inheritance patterns and household structures differed between countries and regions in Europe right up to the present day.

Dealing with both impartible and partible inheritance, it examines how retirement practices and choices between ante-mortem or post-mortem property transfers gave rise to a wide range of specific strategies. The chapters in Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies cover rural Europe from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, ranging from semi-subsistence and seignorial societies to highly market-oriented economies. They offer case studies drawn from the Iberian Peninsula to Scandinavia and from the British Isles to Russia.

The editor is Anne-Lise Head-König, professor emerita of social and economic history at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Her collaborator is Péter Pozsgai, associate professor of social and economic history at the Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary.

Chapters in Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies and their authors include:

  1. Inheritance regulations and inheritance practices, marriage and household in rural societies. Comparative perspectives in a changing Europe – Anne Lise Head-König
  2. The formation of new households and social change in a single heir system: the Catalan case, eighteenth century – Rosa Congost, Llorenc Ferrer Alos and Julie Marfany
  3. Inheritance, marital strategies, and the formation of households in rural North-Western Spain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: an overview – Ofelia Rev Castelao
  4. Marriage and property transfer in rural Western Bohemia 1700-1850 – Alice Velkova
  5. Too poor to marry? 'Inheritance', the poor and marriage/household formation in rural England 1800-1840s – Steven King
  6. Household formation, inheritance and class-formation in nineteenth century Ireland: evidence from County Fermanagh – Jane Gray
  7. Marriage, household division and headship attainment in nineteenth century Central Russia, Bun'kovskaia volost', Moscow province, 1834-1869 – Herdis Kolle
  8. Inheritance, marriage and household formation in nineteenth century rural Serbian life courses – Siegfried Gruber
  9. Family strategies or individual choice? Marriage and inheritance in a rural Swedish community, 1810-1930 – Sofia Holmlund
  10. Marriage, inheritance and household formation on a Greek island, Mykonos (mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century) – Violetta Hionidou
  11. Farm transfer, marriage, household and parental power in rural Switzerland, 1860-1960 – Anne-Lise Head-König
  12. The transfer of farms in North Groningen (the Netherlands), 1591-1991. From sale towards family succession? – Richard Paping

Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies is part of the series Rural History in Europe. The main objective of the Rural History in Europe collection is to provide keys to unlocking the changes experienced by present-day European rural societies in the light of their historical experience. It develops the historical knowledge which allows readers to conceptualize the future of European country-dwellers, as they face the kinds of problems which historians grapple with in examining societies in the past.

According to the introduction to Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies, in the last four decades much attention has been given to analyzing the impact of inheritance systems on marriage and household formation in European rural societies. The cases in this volume, which are based on a micro-level approach, show that marriage and household patterns in rural societies cannot be explained by inheritance customs alone. Peasant households employed a great variety of strategies to ensure either that only the successor to the family landholding should marry or that he/she as well as his/her siblings had the possibility of marriage. Clearly, the landless poor without any material inheritance prospects were obliged to resort to quite different means when it came to marriage and to establishing an independent household.

Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies originated in a workshop organized by Peter Pozsgai which took place in Sarospatak in May 2008 and is one of twelve that were funded under the auspices of COST Action A35 and its Programme for the Study of European Rural Societies. The varying perspectives in this book provide a more precise understanding of how inheritance progressively lost its impact on the formation of marriage and the household and how in the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries socio-economic factors and the market came to be influential factors in the transmission of peasant holdings. This was true not only in many parts of western and southern Europe but also up to a point even in parts of eastern Europe. Even in the case of heirs, and contrary to what has long been regarded as evident for the whole of western and central Europe, intrafamily peasant property transactions were not a matter of simply passing on property from one generation to another. Instead, they were very often designed as formal property sales, or as a gift when an heir married, as in Mykonos (Hionidou, chapter 10), but a gift with strings attached based on reciprocity, with the parents giving some land to use in exchange for all the work done by the son on his father's land from adolescence until his marriage.

What also emerges from Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies are the intrinsic limits of both impartibility and partibility systems. There was hardly a single European region where the rules were applied without some sort of compromise, since both systems would ultimately have led a society to a dead end.

A close look at the situation in regions of strict impartibility where the goal was to preserve a viable property generating sufficient income to sustain a family and sometimes to pay heavy taxes and levies reveals the necessity for compromise, either with the use of communal land, postponement of the transfer of the land titles for as long as possible and the expulsion of surplus children, or in the demesne economy, with the development of a housing policy which allowed for the establishment of non-successors. On the other hand, partibility, as the current state of research shows, was a system which offered such a wide range of possibilities with regard to age at first marriage (from early age to late age), celibacy (from a low rate to a high rate) and households (from nuclear to multiple family households) that in fact no region resembles any other.

But it is also important to stress other variations in the approach to accumulating sufficient resources to marry. Indeed, many people in rural societies were not concerned with the land at all when marrying. One of the most original approaches can be seen in the fact that, thanks to their settlement rights, the poor in rural England could often expect some support from their Poor Law overseers to be able to marry and establish a household.

According to Head-König in the conclusion, the papers presented in Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies examine why in rural societies inheritance practices, that is to say landed property transfers, were often inadequate to explain marriage and the formation of a household.

In respect of the timing of land transfer in connection with marriage we can clearly observe major differences within Europe. In Eastern Europe (Russia, Serbia) young people married and lived in the groom's father's household long before they inherited land. Then, in parts of Spain, when the heir married, the property transfer was often only conditional, the successor in fact having little responsibility in the management of the family farm and parents tending to retain authority as well as part of the farm income for as long as they were able. Elsewhere, the land was only given in usufruct while the parents were alive, and they did not necessarily favor an early marriage of their heir. Then again, in the Groningen area, in the nineteenth century, parents often kept the ownership of a large farm and rented it out to their heir and successor. Yet in other parts of Europe, such as in Greece, succession was a process and there was a period of transition during which the control of the family and farm economy gradually passed from the father to the successor. However, as long as few alternative opportunities for employment existed, access to land could still play a role as a prerequisite for marriage, especially for the heirs' siblings when they could be compensated with parcels of land.

Significant new factors were emerging in many parts of Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century with regard to the transmission of the family farm. With the increase in the value of land, a successor's siblings were often no longer prepared to be bought off for an amount which might be well below the market value of their share, nor would they agree to work hard on the successor's farm and never marry. Since by remaining on the farm many such people had hardly any prospect of marrying, the most able, with young women being in the majority, left the countryside for good in order to work in industry or in the towns.

There is need for a reassessment that takes into account not only environmental, institutional and legal constraints and the changes within these, but also cultural values, the land market, agricultural changes, proto-industry and openings away from the farm. As one of the books in the Rural History in Europe collection, this book fulfills that need. The varying perspectives in the chapters of Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies provide a more precise understanding of how inheritance progressively lost its impact on the formation of marriage and the household and how in the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries socio-economic factors and the market came to be influential factors in the transmission of peasant holdings.

The volume takes into account the role of history as an explanatory factor for contemporary European Societies. It develops the historical knowledge which allows readers to conceptualize the future of European country-dwellers. Up to date, it detects measures and interprets the range of recent changes by illuminating those that have taken place in past centuries in a European context.

Literature & Fiction / Classics

Around the World in 80 Days (Excelsior Editions) by Jules Verne, translated by Frederick Paul Walter (Excelsior Editions: SUNY Press)

Part manhunt, part love story, part social satire, but mostly a race against the clock, Around the World in 80 Days is Jules Verne's most rollicking novel. When Phileas Fogg, a wealthy British gentleman who lives his life ‘with mathematical predictability,’ bets the fellow members of his club £20,000 that he can circle the earth in just eighty days, he and his new valet, Passepartout, set out on a whirlwind tour of the globe that will challenge their luck, their wits, and their wallets. En route they ride an elephant smack into an exotic murder cult, steer an undersized sailboat through rampaging storms, and outrun sharp-shooting Sioux, man-eating wolves, and Scotland Yard's dimmest detective – only to see everything go hopelessly haywire until Verne springs the slyest of surprise endings. Around the World in 80 Days is one of the planet's favorite thrillers, and Frederick Paul Walter's reader-friendly translation captures its roguish wit and humor, packages its Americana with exceptional accuracy (one-fourth of the tale takes place in the United States), and is complete and unabridged down to the smallest substantive detail. Walter is a scriptwriter, broadcaster, librarian, and amateur paleontologist who has produced many media programs, articles, reviews, and papers on aspects of Jules Verne and has translated many Verne novels.

Jules Verne (1828-1905) was born into a French lawyering family in the Atlantic coastal city of Nantes. Though his father sent him off to a Paris law school, young Jules had been writing on the side since his early teens, and his pet topics were the theater, travel, and science. Predictably enough, his legal studies led nowhere, so Verne took a day job with a stock brokerage, in his off-hours penning scripts for farces and musical comedies while also publishing short stories and novelettes of scientific exploration and adventure.

His big breakthrough came when he combined his theatrical knack with his scientific bent and in 1863 published an African adventure yarn, Five Weeks in a Balloon. After that and until his death, Verne was one of the planet's best-loved and best-selling novelists, publishing more than sixty books. Other imaginative favorites by him include The Mysterious Island, Hector Servadac, The Begum's Millions, Master of the World, and The Meteor Hunt. Verne ranks among the five most translated authors in history, along with Mark Twain and the Bible.

According to Walter in the preface, Around the World in 80 Days has a futuristic concept, or at least did for its time: circumnavigating the earth in a record-breaking eighty days or less. It's a feat that America's Nellie Bly actually pulled off just seven years later. How so? Because, in contrast to other favorite novels of his, Verne plays fair and doesn't concoct any fictitious contrivances or contraptions: from schooners to steam locomotives, his tale uses only established forms of transportation; even the book's single far-fetched vehicle, a sail-powered sled, turns out after investigation to be nothing new – the Dutch had been riding on them for years.

Free of high-tech encumbrances, Verne's plot is arguably his best built. It moves with speed and economy, plus he has a matchless knack for spotting which parts of his material have the liveliest dramatic potential: an elephant ride through a murderous cult of East Indians ... facing a rampaging storm in an undersized sailboat ... the slapstick antics of a Japanese acrobatic troupe ... and a rollicking wild west sequence that takes up a good fifth of Around the World in 80 Days and comes complete with mob violence, high-noon shootout, and train holdup. In this last instance, too, Verne writes of places he hadn't actually visited, yet he has a sharp eye for the most telling details in his sources, and his descriptions are convincing even to readers who are personally familiar with the territory.

He knows what to keep and what to dump. Right off, for example, he skips Europe and heads straight for exotic Egypt. Similarly he crosses the entire Pacific (a third of his journey) in a single chapter, the eastern U.S. in a single paragraph. Other storytelling shortcuts are downright clever: when he supplies an expository flashback in Chapter 7 to indicate the ground just covered, it's a few lines scribbled in an itinerary. Finally, at the climax of this marvelously managed yarn, everything goes hopelessly wrong – till Verne springs one of literature's choice surprise endings.

The manhunt subplot is driven by relentless Inspector Fix of Scotland Yard – that's ‘fix’ as in fixation or idee fine. Finally, sketched with delicacy and restraint, there's an unexpectedly charming love story. En route Fogg rescues the voluptuous East Indian widow Aouda, who turns out to be surprisingly emancipated and an egalitarian partner for Fogg – she's not only a good looker, she's a good shot, a good card player, and even, it's hinted, good in bed.

Social satire? Verne is full of sly wonderment at England's colonizing virtuosity. Halfway around the globe in Hong Kong, the rubbernecking Passepartout finds he's "pretty much still in Bombay, Calcutta, or Singapore. It's as if a trail of English towns runs all around the globe." Does this mean Fogg winds up in exactly the same place when he gets back to Britain? Actually it doesn't....

A witty mixture of manhunt, love story, social satire, and race against the clock, Around the World in 80 Days is the entertainment gem in Verne's output.

Professional & Technical / Medicine / Internal / Clinical / Diagnosis / Reference

Clinical Care Conundrums: Challenging Diagnoses in Hospital Medicine edited by James C. Pile, Thomas E. Baudendistel and Brian Harte, with series editors Scott A. Flanders & Sanjay Saint (Hospital Medicine: Current Concepts Series: Wiley Blackwell)

Clinical Care Conundrums presents the first evidence-based casebook for hospitalists and other hospital-based physicians, associated staff, and trainees. Each clinical chapter concludes with practical ‘pearls’ for application to the user's own practice. Based on and expanded from the wildly popular Clinical Care Conundrum (CCC) series in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, this new volume combines high-quality images and text to form a reference and study text for the wards or the classroom.

Clinical Care Conundrums introduces illustrated, evidence-based clinical cases drawn from real-world hospital practice. The book focuses on sharpening reasoning and diagnostic skills, giving readers to recognize and diagnose a wide array of diseases, while promoting diagnostic safety in hospital medicine.

Written by leading experts on the topics under discussion, this volume offers a hand-picked collection of case studies. Each presents a case to an expert clinician, who explains his or her approach to diagnosing challenging medical dilemmas. Each chapter concludes with a concise review of recent literature and, if applicable, with discussions of cognitive errors that may impact clinical diagnosis and patient care. Readers of Clinical Care Conundrums find:

  • Coverage of both common conditions and uncommon but important diseases encountered in the hospital setting.
  • A look at the state of the art of clinical reasoning, an area of critical interest to clinicians.
  • Practical ‘pearls’ for each case study that readers can apply in their own practice.

The editors are James C. Pile, MD, Departments of Hospital Medicine and Infectious Diseases Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland; Thomas E. Baudendistel, MD, Department of Medicine, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Oakland; and Brian J. Harte, MD, South Pointe Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Health System, Warrensville Heights, Ohio. Clinical Care Conundrums has 62 contributors.

Chapters in the book and their authors include:

  1. Introduction to Clinical Care Conundrums in Hospital Medicine – Robert M. Wachter
  2. Improving Diagnostic Safety in Hospital Medicine: Can Clinical Care Conundrums Help? – Edward E. Etchells, Kaveh G. Shojania, and Donald A. Redelmeier
  3. Cracking the Case – Jennei Wei, Patrick P. Kneeland, and Gurpreet Dhaliwal
  4. A Midlife Crisis – Jennifer R. Lukela, Rajesh S. Mangrulkar, Lawrence M. Tierney Jr., John Del Valle, and Sanjay Saint
  5. Fishing for a Diagnosis – Colin R. Cooke, John V. L. Sheffield, and Jan V. Hirschmann
  6. A Rash Decision – Brian J. Harte, Gurpreet Dhaliwal, Wendy Armstrong, and James C. Pile
  7. One Hundred Years Later – Thomas E. Baudendistel, Nima Afshar, and Lawrence M. Tierney Jr.
  8. The Third Time's the Charm – Sara Mekuria, Esteban Cheng Ching, S. A. Josephson, Jinny Tavee, and Brian J. Harte
  9. A Frayed Knot – Thomas E. Baudendistel, Irena L. Ilic, and Harry Hollander
  10. Better Late Than Never – Anuradha Ramaswamy, Maytee Boonyapredee, Ramakrishnan Ranganath, Brian J. Heine, and James C. Pile
  11. Thinking inside the Box – Damon M. Kwan, Gurpreet Dhaliwal, and Thomas E. Baudendistel
  12. Are We There Yet? – Lisa H. Williams, Gregory J. Raugi, Gurpreet Dhaliwal, Sanjay Saint, and Benjamin A. Lipsky
  13. A Distinguishing Feature – Sanjiv J. Shah, Aubrey O. Ingraham, Sandra Y. Chung, and Richard J. Haber
  14. Consequences of Missed Opportunities – Julia C. Dombrowski, Helen Kao, Natasha Renda, and R. J. Kohlwes
  15. In Sight But out of Mind – Letizia Attala, Adam Tremblay, Giampaolo Corti, Sanjay Saint, and Alessandro Bartoloni
  16. A Change of Heart – Jonathan P. Piccini, Adrian F. Hernandez, Louis R. Dibernardo, R. Joseph G. Rogers, and Gurpreet Dhaliwal
  17. Missing the Forest for the Trees – Satish Gopal, James C. Pile, and Daniel J. Brotman
  18. A Pain in the Bone – John Fani Srour, Julia Braza, and Gerald W. Smetana
  19. A Diagnosis of Exclusion – Iris O. Yung, Thomas E. Baudendistel, and Gurpreet Dhaliwal
  20. Making a List and Checking It Twice – Satyen Nichani, Sandro Cinti, and Jeffrey H. Barsuk
  21. Caught in the Web: E-Diagnosis – Yasuharu Tokuda, Makoto Aoki, Saurabh B. Kandpal and Lawrence M. Tierney Jr.
  22. In the Face of It All – Amit Garg, Thomas E. Baudendistel, and Gurpreet Dhaliwal

Geared to the needs of hospital clinicians, the book compiles the best of the CCC manuscripts, along with an introductory chapter on clinical reasoning and cognitive error by three experts, Drs. Etchells, Shojania, and Redelmeier. Written in an appealing presentation style that combines high-quality images and text, the cases in Clinical Care Conundrums will challenge and enhance clinicians’ diagnostic reasoning skills. This is an indispensable reference for hospitalists, hospital-based physicians and midlevel providers, physicians-in-training, and the many other medical practitioners who come up against difficult cases on a daily basis.

Religion & Spirituality / Biographies & Memoirs

Anthony deMello: The Happy Wanderer by Bill deMello (Orbis Books)

Anthony deMello’s brother in Anthony deMello lovingly recounts the life and message of a modern mystic and spiritual master.

I have known Tony since the time both of us were in our early twenties. We were students of philosophy in a Jesuit college near Barcelona in Spain. We soon became friends and remained so until the end. From what I know of Tony since those early days, I can vouch that the pages that follow have succeeded in portraying him, his character, his freedom, his talents, and his spirituality fairly accurately.

Contrary to what often happens, especially when there is a blood relationship, Bill deMello seems to have managed to harmonically combine love with objectivity. The outcome is a book which is less a panegyric than a faithful portrait. True, if the personage written about is beyond the common stock of us mortals, it is not the fault of the writer of the book, who simply narrates what is truly extraordinary. The Tony whom I knew and whom the reader will find in these pages was indeed extraordinary, normal beyond what is normal, jovial to the extreme, and with a high degree of intelligence that showed itself more in his intuitive abilities than in discursive thinking.

Tony was indeed a theologian but only in the sense that he was familiar with God. He expressed himself via simple stories about the spiritual insights with which he was enlightened. He may have seemed to be a borderline Christian, but in fact he was a man who never crossed the line drawn by Jesus, assuming that the good Lord ever drew such a line. Tony was at the crossroads and frontiers of faith and had a unique vision of reality that many questioned because they did not share this vision. His spirituality was not constrained by creeds but all the same found both inspiration and expression very much within the Catholic Church.

Many of us owe a deep debt of gratitude to Tony beyond what mere words can express. Many who were walking now fly and to many who were simply obedient to the rule, Tony demonstrated that there is something higher than simple obedience, namely, the fulfillment one finds through the free acceptance of God's loving plan for each one of us. Finally, after the personal example of Tony, many have discovered the joy of working indefatigably and enthusiastically to the very end. – Joseph M. Feliu SJ Mumbai, India

Anthony deMello, an Indian Jesuit who died in 1987, was one of the great spiritual teachers of our time. Through his books and popular retreats he achieved a world-wide following that has only continued to grow in recent years. Integrating western and eastern sources, he developed a new approach to Christian spirituality that brought enlightenment to people of all backgrounds. But who was Anthony deMello? What were the sources that nourished his own spiritual development? Twenty-five years after his sudden death comes Anthony deMello, an intimate biography by his younger brother Bill, a perfumer who runs a small company in Sydney, Australia. Beginning with an account of their last meeting, the night before Tony died, Bill goes back to his early life in India, his formation as a Jesuit, the emergence of his spiritual teachings and his role as a world-traveler and teacher. Acknowledging that his own understanding and appreciation of Tony’s message began only after his brother’s death, Bill conveys that message in Anthony deMello, an invitation to awaken to the experience of God in daily life and the impact it has had on countless people. He reflects as well on the controversies that have dogged Tony’s legacy, including the surprising 1998 notification from the Vatican warning of dangers in deMello’s work.

Bill says that when he began writing the book he did not imagine, in his wildest dreams, the things he would discover about his own brother. After Bill joined the Jesuits they rarely had the chance to meet and discuss things at any great length. In the course of writing this book, however, a vast array of people came forward and shared their innermost thoughts and the experiences they had had with Tony. It is through them that he rediscovered a brother who left home when he was so young, one he had thought he had lost forever on that fateful night in 1987.

For all who have treasured Anthony deMello’s works, this long-awaited biography will be a great gift. Anthony deMello is a tribute, not only from Bill but from many others, to a brother whom Bill says he loves and admires and has finally come to understand.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Gaming

The High Deck: A New Universe of Symbols by Arthur Amberstone & Wald Amberstone (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.)

The High Deck brings to life and explains a whole new deck of cards, with new games and a new take on symbolism and psychology. Included are an originally conceived and illustrated card deck, explanatory manuscript containing games to play with the deck, an explanation of the fully formed symbolism of the deck with its far-reaching implications for users' lives, creating an archetypal mirror for personal use. The thirty-eight cards of the deck feature thirty-two characters divided into red and black houses and eight individual persons. Together these cards form the mirror, with which users may peer deeply into themselves by creating ‘The Motley Player,’ a symbolic being in one’s own image. There are a variety of symbolic games included for the Motley Player once this unique character is generated.

The High Deck was created by Wald Amberstone, a board game designer and his father Arthur Amberstone, who died in 1973. Arthur was a creator, an artist who worked in the rarefied medium of play and symbols. He created symbolic games, each of which was a world in its own right. One of these was The High Deck, which he completed shortly before his death. According to the son, Wald, of all Arthur’s creations it was the most fully manifested, consisting of a deck of cards beautifully conceived and illustrated, a complete explanatory manuscript containing wonderful games that can be played with it, a fully-formed original symbolism, and a mirror in which anyone can learn to see themselves with new eyes.

In the last stages of this creation, which took more than a decade, Wald says he grew up to play an important part in his father's work. All his talents, whatever they were and whatever form they took, were developed and shaped by this work and he was able to contribute to it. Through fate or fortune or the simple unfolding of personal destiny, his own creative identity found its expression in an older but very similar symbolic game form. Tarot became his life's love, and he imported into it the spirit and much of the substance of The High Deck. The High Deck has lived quietly with Wald and his circle of friends for more than forty years. The time has come for it to emerge into the light of the wide world. The High Deck is a very special deck of cards. In addition to its own special symbolism, it has a unique structure that gives its games a flavor all their own.

There are 32 cards in The High Deck, with 4 Houses (the equivalent of suits in a standard deck) and 8 Persons in each House. There are no numbers.

The High Deck is divided into two Colors, Red and Black. Each Color is divided into two Houses. The Red Houses are the House of the Sun and the House of the Flower. The Black Houses are the House of the Pyramid and the House of the Arrow. Each house has eight Persons: the Knight, Priest, Father, and Lover; the Vassal, Sinner, Child and Maid. The Knight, Priest, Father, and Lover are called Majors. The Vassal, Sinner, Child, and Maid are called Minors. Each Major has a corresponding Minor. The Knight has the Vassal. The Priest has the Sinner. The Father has the Child. The Lover has the Maid. There are thirty-two Characters in all. The double hierarchy of Majors and Minors makes games played with The High Deck pleasantly different in feel and mechanism from games created for the single hierarchy of a standard deck.

A beautifully conceived and illustrated deck of cards, The High Deck is a vantage point from which players can perceive themselves afresh. It provides a universe of symbols – beautiful, unique and complete, a source of the original work and perspectives of The Tarot School, new  card games, and an untapped resource for card game inventors.

Science / Environment / Weather / Biographies & Memoirs

Storm Kings: The Untold History of America's First Tornado Chasers by Lee Sandlin (Pantheon Books)

From the acclaimed author of Wicked River comes Storm Kings, a tale of supercell tornadoes and the quirky, pioneering, weather-obsessed scientists whose discoveries created the science of modern meteorology.

While tornadoes have occasionally been spotted elsewhere, only the central plains of North America have the perfect conditions for their creation. For the early settlers the sight of a funnel cloud was an unearthly event. They called it the ‘Storm King,’ and their descriptions bordered on the supernatural: it glowed green or red, it whistled or moaned or sang. In Storm Kings, Lee Sandlin explores America's fascination with and unique relationship to tornadoes. From Ben Franklin's early experiments to the ‘great storm war’ of the nineteenth century to heartland life in the early twentieth century, Sandlin recreates some of the most devastating storms in America's history, including the Tri-state Tornado of 1925 and the Peshtigo ‘fire tornado,’ whose deadly path of destruction was left encased in glass.

Drawing on memoirs, letters, eyewitness testimonies, and archives. Sandlin in Storm Kings brings to life the forgotten characters and scientists who changed a nation – including James Espy, America's first meteorologist, and Colonel John Park Finley, who helped place a network of weather ‘spotters’ across the country. Along the way, Sandlin details the little-known but fascinating history of the National Weather Service, painting a picture of the early Midwest and showing how successive generations came to understand and finally co-exist with the spiraling menace that could erase lives and whole towns in an instant.

Sandlin tells about his childhood fascination with tornados in the introduction to Storm Kings: “I think I was at the height of my tornado passion the summer I was twelve. That was when my family went to visit my father’s old home in Oklahoma, where my grandmother still lived. I spent the whole drive there staring at the clouds and expecting each one of them to transform before my eyes into a tornado.… I began to suspect that my father had been goosing his memories in order to scare me; he did always like scaring me. The night of our arrival, though, as we sat together on the front porch, a gigantic line of storms came rolling up over the southwestern sky.… Did that mean there would be a tornado? I asked. It was the wrong question. I couldn’t keep a quaver of fear out of my voice, and however much my father liked to scare me, I was supposed to bear up under it with stoic impassivity. He soon clumped off to bed and left me to the view. I watched for several minutes more as the storm advanced. Little flickers of yellow lightning were bursting silently all along the billows and crests like artillery fire; by the time I went to bed, I could hear the first mutterings of thunder.
Later that night I woke to find that the storm was exploding directly over my head. The thunder was making the walls quiver; the wind was in a fury, and it felt as if necessary things in the house were all bending over and were about to break. Rain rattled the windows like peltings of glass beads. The lightning bolts flared like searchlights. I went stumbling out of bed in a panic and fell forward down the hallway toward my parents’ room. I had the idea that we might have only a few minutes to reach the storm cellar. But at their door I froze; as frightened as I was by the storm, my father scared me more. I huddled up against the doorway and strangely, unwillingly, fell asleep.
That’s where my parents found me in the morning. Neither of them made any remarks about it.”

Sandlin deftly synthesizes and illuminates the duality of his title – both the tornado itself, which early settlers in America referred to as ‘the Storm King’; and the individuals who made it their life’s work to document, predict, and better understand those despots of the plains. Legendary storms roil throughout the text, from the funnel of fire – or as one eyewitness (whose eyeballs were consequently seared) described it, ‘the finger of God’ – that destroyed Peshtigo, Wis., in 1871, scorching over a million acres and killing 1,500 people, to the Tristate Tornado of 1925, which rampaged for 219 miles across parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.... Sandlin makes talking about the weather much more than a conversational nicety – he makes it come brilliantly to life. – Publishers Weekly, starred review
Sandlin offers a lively account of early investigators who, through both ‘grinding stupidity and unaccountable insights,’ eventually came to understand and learned to coexist with – but never tame – the furious force of tornadoes.... [A] well-constructed history of the politics and personalities of weather. – Kirkus
If the vast majority of climate scientists are right, the weather is going to become an increasingly important, and threatening, feature of our daily lives. Lee Sandlin's new book is a riveting history of our relationship with the funnel clouds of the Midwest. This is a story we need to know, and Sandlin tells it with uncommon grace and style. – Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers

With vivid descriptions, Storm Kings is a riveting exploration of tornados and our fascination with them.

Science / Physics

Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter by The Committee on the Assessment of and Outlook for Nuclear Physics, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences and National Research Council (National Academies Press)

Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter provides a long-term assessment of the outlook for nuclear physics.
The first phase of the report articulates the scientific rationale and objectives of the field, while the second phase provides a global context for the field and its long-term priorities and proposes a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond. In the second phase of the study, also developing a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond, the committee carefully considers the balance between universities and government facilities in terms of research and workforce development and the role of international collaborations in leveraging future investments.
Nuclear physics today is a diverse field, encompassing research that spans dimensions from a tiny fraction of the volume of the individual particles (neutrons and protons) in the atomic nucleus to the enormous scales of astrophysical objects in the cosmos. Its research objectives include the desire not only to better understand the nature of matter interacting at the nuclear level, but also to describe the state of the universe that existed at the big bang. Nuclear Physics explains how the universe can now be studied in the most advanced colliding-beam accelerators, where strong forces are the dominant interactions, as well as the nature of neutrinos.

The impact of nuclear physics extends well beyond furthering our scientific knowledge of the nucleus and nuclear properties. Nuclear science and its techniques, instruments, and tools are widely used to address major societal problems in medicine, border protection, national security, nonproliferation, nuclear forensics, energy technology, and climate research. Further, the tools developed by nuclear physicists often have important applications to other basic sciences – medicine, computational science, and materials research, among others – while its discoveries impact astrophysics, particle physics, and cosmology, and help to describe the physics of complex systems that arise in many fields.

As described in Nuclear Physics, the committee found that nuclear science in the United States is a vital enterprise that provides a steady stream of discoveries about the fundamental nature of subatomic matter that is enabling a new understanding of our world. The scientific results and technical developments of nuclear physics are also being used to enhance U.S. competition in innovation and economic growth and are having a tremendous interdisciplinary impact on other fields, such as astrophysics, biomedical physics, condensed matter physics, and fundamental particle physics. The application of this new knowledge is contributing in a fundamental way to the health and welfare of the nation. The committee's findings and recommendations are highlighted in the report.

According to Nuclear Physics, the nuclear physics program in the United States has been especially well managed. Among the activities engaged in by the nuclear physics community is a recurring long-range planning process conducted under the auspices of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation. This process includes a strong bottom-up emphasis and produces reports every 5 to 7 years that provide guidance to the funding agencies supporting the field. The choices made in NSAC's latest long-range plan, the Long Range Plan of 2007, have helped to move the field along and set it on its present course, and the scientific opportunities that process recognized as important will enable significant discoveries over the coming decade.

Exploitation of Current Opportunities

Finding: By capitalizing on strategic investments, including the ongoing upgrade of the continuous electron beam accelerator facility (CEBAF) at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and the recently completed upgrade of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory, as well as other upgrades to the research infrastructure, nuclear physicists will confront new opportunities to make fundamental discoveries and lay the groundwork for new applications.

Conclusion: Exploiting strategic investments should be an essential component of the U.S. nuclear science program in the coming decade.

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams

Finding: The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is a major new strategic investment in nuclear science. It will have unique capabilities and will offer opportunities to answer fundamental questions about the inner workings of the atomic nucleus, the formation of the elements in our universe, and the evolution of the cosmos.

Recommendation: The Department of Energy's Office of Science, in conjunction with the state of Michigan and Michigan State University, should work toward the timely completion of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams and the initiation of its physics program.

Underground Science in the United States

Recommendation: The Department of Energy, the National Science Foun­dation, and, where appropriate, other funding agencies should develop and implement a targeted program of underground science, including important experiments on whether neutrinos differ from antineutrinos, on the nature of dark matter, and on nuclear reactions of astrophysical importance. Such a program would be substantially enabled by the realization of a deep underground laboratory in the United States.

Nuclear Physics at Universities

Finding: The dual role of universities – education and research – is important in all aspects of nuclear physics, including the operation of small, medium, and large facilities, as well as in the design and execution of large experiments at the national research laboratories. The vitality and sustainability of the U.S. nuclear physics program depend in an essential way on the intellectual environment and the workforce provided symbiotically by universities and the national laboratories. The fraction of the nuclear science budget reserved for facilities operations cannot continue to grow at the expense of the resources available to support research without serious damage to the overall nuclear science program.

Conclusion: In order to ensure the long-term health of the field, it is critical to establish and maintain a balance between funding of operations at major facilities and the needs of university-based programs.

A number of specific recommendations for programs to enhance the universities are discussed in Nuclear Physics.

Recommendation: The Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation should create and fund two national competitions: one a fellowship program for graduate students that would help recruit the best among the next generation into nuclear science and the other a fellowship program for postdoctoral researchers to provide the best young nuclear scientists with support, independence, and visibility.

Nuclear Physics and Exascale Computing

Recommendation: A plan should be developed within the theoretical community and enabled by the appropriate sponsors that permits forefront computing resources to be exploited by nuclear science researchers and establishes the infrastructure and collaborations needed to take advantage of exascale capabilities as they become available.

Striving to Be Competitive and Innovative

Finding: The range of projects in nuclear physics is broad, and sophisticated new tools and protocols have been developed for successful management of the largest of them. At the smaller end of the scale, nimbleness is essential if the United States is to remain competitive and innovative on the rapidly expanding international nuclear physics scene.

Recommendation: The sponsoring agencies should develop streamlined and flexible procedures that are tailored for initiating and managing smaller-scale nuclear science projects.

Prospects for an Electron-Ion Collider

Finding: An upgrade to an existing accelerator facility that enables the colliding of nuclei and electrons at forefront energies would be unique for studying new aspects of quantum chromodynamics. In particular, such an upgrade would yield new information on the role of gluons in protons and nuclei. An electron-ion collider is currently under scrutiny as a possible future facility.

Recommendation: Investment in accelerator and detector research and development for an electron-ion collider should continue. The science opportunities and the requirements for such a facility should be carefully evaluated in the next Nuclear Science Long-Range Plan.

Nuclear physics is a discovery-driven enterprise motivated by the desire to understand the fundamental mechanisms that account for the behavior of matter. Nevertheless, according to Nuclear Physics, for its first hundred years, the new knowledge of the nuclear world has also directly benefited society through many innovative applications. As we move into the second century of nuclear physics the recommendations in the report will ensure a thriving and healthy field that continues to benefit society from new applications. Recently the stewardship of the nation's isotope program has been placed in the DOE Office of Nuclear Physics. This reorganization is appropriate and provides a fresh opportunity for the nuclear physics community to serve society by applying its sciences to the most important of today's problems in energy, health, and the environment. The isotopes program under the auspices of that office is expected to benefit rapidly from new innovations and developments. NSAC and its subcommittees have provided insightful reports that constitute a roadmap for the revitalized isotopes program. This advice is timely, coming when important decisions must be made. The Committee on the Assessment of and Outlook for Nuclear Physics, the author of Nuclear Physics, sees these developments as an excellent example of how society's investments in nuclear physics can help resolve difficult challenges that face the nation.

Science / Physics / Biographies & Memoirs

Maverick Genius: The Pioneering Odyssey of Freeman Dyson by Phillip F. Schewe (Thomas Dunne Books)

Scientist. Innovator. Rebel.

For decades, physicist Freeman Dyson has been regarded as one of the world’s most important thinkers. The Atlantic wrote, “In the range of his genius, Freeman Dyson is heir to Einstein – a visionary who has reshaped thinking in fields from math to astrophysics to medicine, and who has conceived nuclear-propelled spaceships designed to transport human colonists to distance planets.” Salon.com says that, “what sets Dyson apart among an elite group of scientists is the conscience and compassion he brings to his work.” Now in Maverick Genius, the first complete biography of Dyson, author Phillip F. Schewe, director of communication at the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, examines the life of a man whose accomplishments have shaped our world in many ways.

From quantum physics to national defense, from space to biotechnology, Dyson’s work has cemented his position as a man whose influence goes far beyond the field of theoretical physics. It even won him the million dollar Templeton prize for his writing about science and religion. Recently, Dyson has made headlines for his controversial views on global warming, and he continues to make waves in the science community to this day.

A colleague of Albert Einstein at Princeton and friends with leading thinkers, Dyson is a larger-than-life figure. Many of his colleagues, including Nobelists Steven Weinberg and Frank Wilczek, as well as his wives and his children, Esther and George Dyson, were interviewed for Maverick Genius.

Dyson's notoriety notwithstanding, he is regarded as one of the most important scientists in the world and a notable thinker, speaker, and author. In a 2005 Wikipedia poll of the world's leading living intellectuals, Dyson ranked 25th, just ahead of Steven Pinker and above such other figures as the biologist Edward O. Wilson, the historian Niall Ferguson, the art critic Robert Hughes, and the genome pioneer Craig Venter. Who is Dyson and why does he rank so high?

Dyson was born in Britain in 1923 and immigrated to the United States in 1947. He is still alive and has spent most of his career as a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Dyson is esteemed for work in a variety of areas – including quantum physics, national defense and arms control, space exploration, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, nuclear weapons and reactors, biology, astronomy, pure mathematics, and history. He won the million-dollar Templeton Prize for efforts to reconcile science and religion. He is the author of many books. He has six children and sixteen grandchildren.

Dyson comes highly recommended. Nobel physicist Frank Wilc­zek: "Dyson is the most impressive pure intellect I've ever met. He thinks at the speed of light." Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke: "He is one of the few geniuses I have ever met." Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg: "Dyson is as smart as they come." Philosopher Avishai Margalit: "Dyson creates a moral climate for open discussion. He doesn't bullshit. He is never indifferent to the truth. Evidence counts." Physicist and New Yorker writer Jeremy Bernstein: "I have always felt Freeman Dyson knows more about everything than I know about anything."

Dyson is a cultural figure. He, or rather his futurist prediction of an energy-absorbing ‘Dyson sphere,’ was the centerpiece of an episode of Star Trek and several science fiction novels. He is said to be the model for the character Gordon Freeman in the computer game Half-Life, as well as being an inspiration for numerous other computer games.

This is a biography and not science history. Quantum physics is a fascinating subject; it represents an important part of Dyson's career, and merits attention in several early chapters. But Maverick Genius is not a history of quantum physics. Instead it concentrates on telling the story of Dyson's life. The same caveat is true for other important topics, such as space exploration, nuclear weapons, biology, and religion. Each of these subjects will be explored, but only insofar as it helps tell the story of Dyson's life.

Maverick Genius does not have a grand thesis other than to advance the notion that some of the great wide-ranging essayists of the past such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and George Bernard Shaw, if they were alive now, might have been scientists rather like Freeman Dyson – interested in poetry, nuclear weapons, and social justice. Dyson is exactly their sort of modern-day Renaissance man. Both Emerson and Dyson are bold in telling others how things ought to be. Both seek to reconcile the knowledge brought by science with the knowledge rendered by art, history, philosophy, and religion. Dyson does not shun technology, as Henry David Thoreau supposedly did, but he possesses the same abiding scruples and poetic outlook that made Thoreau so interesting a writer about machines and cultural change.

Dyson is a contrarian in the style of Shaw. He holds many politically liberal views and yet also believes, for example, that human space travel should not be scaled down but up (providing we find the right means of transport). Like Shaw, Dyson has had numerous powerful friends, some of whom are also his opponents. These friends include many of the science and technology titans and other notable figures of the past half century, such as Richard Feynman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, George Kennan, and Edward Teller.

Despite being so pragmatic, Dyson is a cosmic optimist. During the Cold War, he argued that we could survive any international crisis as long as we kept our heads, were patient, and took into the account the views of our adversaries. He sees the Internet and biotechnology as the sources of a coming revolution in world standards of living – allowing people in Cairo or New Delhi to be as well off as people in London or Princeton.

Maverick Genius proceeds generally in chronological order. Chapter 1 is about Dyson's childhood in Winchester, England, and his service with Bomber Command during World War II. Chapter 2 covers the immediate postwar years and his switch from mathematics into physics. Chapters 3, 4, and 5, taking place at Cornell, Princeton, and in Europe, respectively, cover the most illustrious years of his physics research, when he triumphantly helped to reform quantum science. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 carry the story through the 1950s, including a look at Dyson's family (and family problems), his coming to the Institute for Advanced Study, and his work at General Atomic on reactors and rocketships.

Chapter 9 concerns Dyson's role in the effort to find signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence, while Chapter 10 recounts some of the most dramatic moments of the Cold War and Dyson's role in achieving a partial test ban treaty with the Russians. Chapter 11 examines Dyson's part in the Jason program, the organization of elite scientists that advises the government, and his contributions to a report about the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the Vietnam War. Chapters 12 and 13 show Dyson at his busiest doing research in statistical mechanics, solid state physics, astronomy, and making his decisive swerve from science into writing.

The next few chapters chronicle Dyson's course through the 1980s: his crusade to abolish nuclear weapons, his provocative theory about the origin of life, and his many lectures and essays about science, art, and religion, culminating in his receiving the Templeton Prize. Chapter 17 explores Dyson's role as heretic and sage on such issues as climate, extrasensory perception, biotechnology, and his efforts to promote a visionary, long-term migration from Earth out into the cosmos.

Chapter 18 and Maverick Genius conclude with a look at Dyson's most recent few years. Officially retired from the Institute, he still goes to work every day, carries out a full schedule of speeches, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. The reviews he writes, on an astonishing range of topics, sometimes become news events all by themselves. He continues to speak out on genetics, space exploration, nuclear weapons, and, somewhat unwillingly, about the topic that won't go away – climate change, the study of which he helped to pioneer in the 1970s.

A compelling biography of a true renaissance man: Freeman Dyson, an iconoclastic scientist who writes like a poet and has stirred controversy over his views on climate change. By masterfully intertwining the multiple threads of Dyson’s life, this book has become a tapestry that illustrates the complexity of a passionate genius who cares deeply about the fate of humanity and has made major contributions to quantum physics, advanced mathematics, nuclear arms control, national security, and the reconciliation between science and religion. – Charles D. Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists and author of Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know

A fascinating account of an iconoclastic scientific polymath and the lively collection of scientists who were his friends. – Kirkus

Maverick Genius, Schewe’s definitive biography, paints a compelling and vibrant portrait of a man who has been both praised for his genius and criticized for his unorthodox views. The book should appeal to many kinds of readers – those interested in science, science fiction, Cold War history, genetic engineering, space exploration and the search for life outside of Earth, the uses of new technology and its impact on society, and the intersection (and clash) of science and religion.

Sociology / Religion & Spirituality

Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction, 3rd edition by Alan Aldridge (Polity)

In the new edition of the widely praised text, Religion in the Contemporary World, Alan Aldridge, former reader in the sociology of culture at the University of Nottingham, examines the complex realities of religious belief, practice and institutions. Religion is a powerful and controversial force in the contemporary world, even in supposedly secular societies. Almost all societies seek to cultivate religions and faith communities as sources of social stability and engines of social progress. They also try to combat real and imagined abuses and excess, regulating cults that brainwash vulnerable people, containing fundamentalism that threatens democracy and the progress of science, and identifying terrorists who threaten atrocities in the name of religion.

The third edition of Religion in the Contemporary World has been revised to make sure it is up to date with recent developments and debates. Major themes in the revised edition include the recently erupted ‘culture war’ between progressive secularists and conservative believers, the diverse manifestations of ‘fundamentalism’ and their impact on the wider society, new individual forms of religious expression in opposition to traditional structures of authority, and the backlash against ‘multiculturalism’ with its controversial implications for the social integration of ethnic and religious minority communities.

The secularization thesis, once the prevailing orthodoxy in the sociology of religion, holds that religious institutions, and the common culture of beliefs and practices that they had transmitted from generation to generation, have been undermined by the impact of modernization. Religious institutions have dwindling power and authority, religious practices are falling into disuse, and religious beliefs are losing credibility.

Two fundamental assumptions of secularization theory are that there is a sharp divide between the public and the private sphere, and that the public sphere has primacy over the private. Those assumptions explain why religion is described as being `confined' or 'relegated' to the private sphere. Privatized religion, it is argued, lacks social and cultural significance. It is the form of religiosity ideally suited to a consumer society: shallow, fickle, self-absorbed, a religion of options rather than obligations, of personal expression rather than social commitment.

Contrary to these assumptions, the relationship between the public and private spheres is not given but contested. Many of the controversies examined in Religion in the Contemporary World, such as the veiling of women, the teaching of religion in schools and the exemption of religion from various laws, reflect profound struggles over the definition of `public' and `private'. Religion is a matter of identity, and identity is neither private not trivial.

Arguing that the formal belief-system and authority structure of a given religious institution or movement should not be the only or even the main objects of analysis, some sociologists are focusing on the religious experiences, practices and beliefs of individuals as they live their everyday lives. The emphasis is on the multiple ways in which people creatively select and shape a path for themselves, often drawing on beliefs and practices that are not officially approved by the authorities of their faith community.

Whereas the secularization thesis expresses a deep cultural pessimism, a naive optimism can result from undue emphasis on the liberation of individuals from authority structures. Modernity has not abolished constraint and oppression. Instead, religion involves an interplay between choice and constraint, between identity as something people choose for themselves and identity as something that is imposed on them. At the same time profoundly individual and profoundly social, religion is a source of individual comfort and also anxiety, and of social cohesion and also conflict. According to Aldridge in Religion in the Contemporary World, it is a phenomenon of the utmost social and cultural significance.

The new edition of Religion in the Contemporary World is a timely guide to the social significance of religion. It is comprehensive, clear and convincing. Alan Aldridge is to be congratulated for writing such a well informed and readable account of both the routine and the eye-catching aspects of religion in various regions of the world. From ‘cults’ to civil religion, from secularization to state control, and from diversity to identity, the analysis of arguments and examples is challenging and shrewd. This is the sociology of religion at its best. – James A. Beckford, University of Warwick

Aldridge provides an insightful and thoughtfully engaged discussion of the many varieties of religion in contemporary society. His smooth narrative and timely examples make religion come alive on the page and illuminate why it continues to be such a significant social force. – Michele Dillon, University of New Hampshire

Impressive in its scholarly analysis of a vibrant and challenging aspect of human societies, fully updated, Religion in the Contemporary World, third edition will appeal to students taking courses in the sociology of religion and religious studies, as well as to everyone interested in the place of religion in the contemporary world.

Travel / US / Reference

National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways, 4th Edition: The 300 Best Drives in the U.S., 4th edition by National Geographic (National Geographic)

Travelers discover America's best scenic drives – plus 25 new drives – mile by mile, in this photo-filled, detail-packed National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways, 4th edition. There are famous drives, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Natchez Trace, and some of the prettiest sections of the Great River Road; and lesser-known drives as well, including the back roads of Pennsylvania's Dutch Country; Maryland's quiet Eastern Shore; and Michigan's remote Whitefish Bay.
Among the 25 new drives in Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways is the Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in Maryland; Scenic Byway 143 – Utah's Patchwork Parkway; and Washington's White Pass Scenic Byway.
Describing the scenery, history, and points of interest along each route, veteran National Geographic writers in Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways combine their regional knowledge and storytelling techniques to ensure that travelers’ road trips are successes. Included are 375 glorious photographs and four-color maps for every drive, along with information on road conditions, driving times, site addresses, visiting hours, admission fees, and more. The book includes guided routes, 280 detailed maps, and expert tips.

This best-selling guide showcases 300 of the greatest scenic routes across the United States. From Maine's rocky coastline to the West's majestic mountains, from North Carolina's Outer Banks Scenic Byway to Oregon's dramatic Columbia River Gorge, these spectacular getaways are close to home in all 50 states. Travelers find both famous and lesser known drives. Some drives are jaw­droppingly magnificent, whereas others possess quiet beauty. All, though, celebrate America's splendor, unique character, and storied past.

  • 300 distinctive drives with vivid descriptions, mile-by-mile directions, road condi­tions, best times to go, and all the practical information readers need.
  • 23 new drives for the 4th edition – covering 3,000 more miles.
  • Drives ranging from 5 to 1,000 miles – covering short jaunts and day trips to several-week-long vacations.
  • 375 color photos and 280 detailed and up-to-date full-color maps, including individual route and regional planning maps.
  • Expert guidance from National Geographic writers, describing the scenery and points of interest along each route.
  • Coverage of the federally designated Scenic Byways, and All-American Roads.
  • Handy size that fits conveniently in the glove compartment or backpack

The cream of the crop. With detailed maps, compelling photos and concise descriptions, it's a joy to use. – Minneapolis Star Tribune

They picked the right roads. Well illustrated, the Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways, 4th edition will appeal to the driving enthusiast in us all. It all adds up to a ‘must have’ reference for every adventurous motorist.

Travel / U.S. / Science / Geology

Arizona Rocks!: A Guide to Geologic Sites in the Grand Canyon State by T. Scott Bryan (Geology Rocks! Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Arizona is a geologist’s playground, with a scientifically intriguing story behind every rocky outcrop, dry playa, and sparkling spring. “Arizona’s spectacular landscape and variety of rocks are the end results of 1.8 billion years of geologic history,” observes T. Scott Bryan, emeritus professor of geology, astronomy, and physical science, and director of the planetarium at Victor Valley Community College, Victorville, CA, in the preface to his new book. Arizona Rocks! tells the stories of 44 of the best geologic sites in the state.

Not only do readers learn about well-known places, such as Barringer Meteorite Crater and Petrified Forest National Park, they also discover lesser-known sites, including Hopi Buttes, which formed from steam-driven explosions; Peridot Mesa, where gemstones from the Earth s interior are found; and Montezuma Well, a limestone sinkhole with a perennial supply of water. Ample color photographs compliment Arizona Rocks!, and maps help get travelers where they need to be.

Arizona Rocks! is the second book in the state-by-state Geology Rocks! series, which introduces readers to some of the most compelling and accessible geologic sites in each state.

Bryan says that people ask him why he would want to live in that ‘awful, hot desert.’ But, of course, the state is not all desert and it's not always hot. Much of Arizona is highlands and studded with forested mountains that reach above 10,000 feet. There are numerous rivers and riparian areas, deep canyons, and young volcanoes. Arizona's spectacular landscape and variety of rocks are the end result of 1.8 billion years of geologic history.

Eleven national parks include canyons and volcanoes, strange rock pinnacles and sinkholes, and a petrified forest. State parks preserve a fabulous limestone cavern, a huge natural bridge, and what looks like an old volcano but isn't. One of the state's many exposures of the Great Unconformity is within a Phoenix city park. Elsewhere are dinosaur trackways, the best-preserved meteorite crater in the world, and the remnants of immense explosive calderas. Indeed, Arizona boasts a geologic diversity that few other states can match.

Following an introduction that summarizes Arizona's statewide geology, Arizona Rocks! covers the geology of forty-four special places with short descriptions that make the setting of each site accessible to the casual visitor. An extensive glossary defines technical terms used in the text, and a list of published and online resources lead interested readers to more detailed information about each place.

All but one of the locations in Arizona Rocks! are open to the public; the single exception (Site 19) is closed to entry but still can be viewed closely from public roads. Some of these places are inside the limits of major cities, and others are more remote.

Many are national, state, or other parks where there are entry fees. Some are on Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands. A few places are privately owned but operated as public attractions. All sites are accessible via paved highways or (in just three cases) improved dirt roads where high-clearance vehicles are not necessary. Maps provided with the site descriptions should be all travelers need to reach them.


Contents this Issue:

Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity by Steven Snyder and Bill George (Berrett-Koehler Publications, Inc.)

The Power of the Herd: A Nonpredatory Approach to Social Intelligence, Leadership, and Innovation by Linda Kohanov (New World Library)

Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan by Francesca Gino (Harvard Business Review Press)

The New Jewish Table: Modern Seasonal Recipes for Traditional Dishes by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray, with David Hagedorn (St. Martin’s Press)

Fit Quickies: 5-Minute, Targeted Body-Shaping Workouts by Lani Muelrath (Alpha Books)

Workers Go Shopping in Argentina: The Rise of Popular Consumer Culture by Natalia Milanesio (University of New Mexico Press)

Bush Wars: Africa 1960-2010 by Ambush Games and Ramiro Bujeiro (Force on Force Series: Osprey Publishing)

Fallen Timbers 1794: The US Army's First Victory by John F. Winkler, illustrated by Peter Dennis (Campaign Series, Vol. 256: Osprey Publishing)

Inheritance Practices, Marriage Strategies and Household Formation in European Rural Societies by Anne-Lise Head-König, in collaboration with Péter Pozsgai (Rural History in Europe Series, Vol. 7: Brepols Publishers)

Around the World in 80 Days (Excelsior Editions) by Jules Verne, translated by Frederick Paul Walter (Excelsior Editions: SUNY Press)

Clinical Care Conundrums: Challenging Diagnoses in Hospital Medicine edited by James C. Pile, Thomas E. Baudendistel and Brian Harte, with series editors Scott A. Flanders & Sanjay Saint (Hospital Medicine: Current Concepts Series: Wiley Blackwell)

Anthony deMello: The Happy Wanderer by Bill deMello (Orbis Books)

The High Deck: A New Universe of Symbols by Arthur Amberstone & Wald Amberstone (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.)

Storm Kings: The Untold History of America's First Tornado Chasers by Lee Sandlin (Pantheon Books)

Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter by The Committee on the Assessment of and Outlook for Nuclear Physics, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences and National Research Council (National Academies Press)

Maverick Genius: The Pioneering Odyssey of Freeman Dyson by Phillip F. Schewe (Thomas Dunne Books)

Religion in the Contemporary World: A Sociological Introduction, 3rd edition by Alan Aldridge (Polity)

National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways, 4th Edition: The 300 Best Drives in the U.S., 4th edition by National Geographic (National Geographic)

Arizona Rocks!: A Guide to Geologic Sites in the Grand Canyon State by T. Scott Bryan (Geology Rocks! Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)