Go to Chronological Review List for previous issues.
The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 by Emil Schürer, revised & edited by Geza Vermes, Fergus Millar & Matthew Black, with literary editor Pamela Vermes (Bloomsbury T&T Clark)
Arts & Photography / Business & Economics
Pricing Your Portraits: High-Profit Strategies for Photographers by Jeff Smith (Amherst Media)
There is a long-running joke about the typical photographer's business skills. Back when I started in photography, I was told, "Look at what all the other photographers are doing – and then do something else!" That is advice that, sadly, has served me well. – from the book
Portrait photographers agree that one of the most important
yet shrouded aspects of running a successful business is accurately pricing
products for profit. Some charge too little, and then scramble to photograph and
edit photos for throngs of clients, only to become overwhelmed and burn out.
Others price too low initially, just to get people in the door, but soon mark up
their prices and lose clients to new photographers who charge rock-bottom
prices. There are still others who price themselves out of the game right out of
Jeff Smith, owner of two thriving portrait studios in Pricing Your Portraits teaches photographers how to tackle one of photography’s most vexing problems – working out a pricing structure that allows them to cover their costs and clear a profit that they can live comfortably with. Smith is an award-winning portrait photographer and the author of numerous books.
Smith begins by showing readers methods that he – and countless other pros – have used in a misguided attempt to reap a great cash flow, helping them avoid time-and-revenue-burning missteps. Next, he walks them through the process of figuring out where their money goes – How much should they shell out for new equipment? What falls into the category of ‘overhead?’ How much do they need to pay their staff and themselves? – and then moves on to show ways to cut costs, price individual prints and packages, maintain their desired business volume, retain existing clients, and delegate tasks in order to work smartly toward profitability – all while enjoying their work and achieving professional and creative satisfaction.
Pricing Your Portraits covers:
In Pricing Your Portraits, Smith does not tell readers what to charge; he teaches them how to calculate their prices to ensure a profit and to grow a business.
Jeff Smith has nailed it with a realistic blueprint to follow for a profitable photography business. This book is as essential as memory cards, cameras, and lenses! – Derrick Walters, Walters Photography
These are real strategies for permanent success – not just `quick fixes.' What you have here is truth. – Sasha Sobaszkiewicz Griner, Sobas Photos
Pricing Your Portraits helps photographers develop pricing strategies to ensure profitability and long-term success. With the tools provided in the book, readers are on their way to profitable, sustainable careers.
Audio / Psychology & Counseling / Self-Help
Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Your Ultimate Brain-Body Makeover (The Amen Clinics Audio Learning) Audiobook, 6 CDs, running time 6 hours by Daniel G. Amen MD (Sounds True)
Through his nationally televised programs, bestselling books, and renowned treatment clinics, Daniel G. Amen, MD, has enhanced the emotional and cognitive well-being of millions. With Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, an immersive audio learning program, he turns readers’ attention to a crucial ‘missing link’ in medicine today: how the brain affects every facet of health.
Amen, the founder and medical director of the Amen Clinics, is a double board-certified psychiatrist and author of nine New York Times bestsellers.
Amen and his colleagues guide listeners step by step to a fit, energized, and youthful body – while achieving optimal brain health along the way. According to Amen, the key to a better body – energized, youthful, and in shape – is a healthy brain. Using current medical research that includes Amen's own two decades of pioneering work transforming the lives of his patients, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body shows readers how to improve their total physical health by caring for their brain – the essential organ that guides every dimension of their well-being.
This audio course invites readers to learn with Amen directly as he guides them through the principles of his bestselling book. Based on current insights, many pioneered at the Amen Clinics, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body teaches readers how to:
Whether readers are seeking to overcome longstanding health obstacles or are already fit and want to take their well-being to the next level, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body shows them how – by engaging the potential of their brain-body connection.
Business & Investing / Management & Leadership
Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win by Fred Kiel (Harvard Business Review Press)
Does the character of our leaders matter?
What has been missing from this debate is hard evidence: data that shows not only that leadership character matters for organizational success, but how it matters; and concrete evidence that it leads to better business results. Now, in Return on Character, respected leadership researcher, adviser, and author Fred Kiel offers that evidence – data that demonstrates the connection between character, leadership excellence, and organizational results.
Kiel is a founding partner of the leadership development
and strategic analytics firm KRW International and a pioneer in the field of
executive coaching. After seven years of rigorous research based on a landmark
study of more than 100 CEOs and over 8,000 of their employees' observations,
Kiel's findings show that leaders of strong character achieved up to five times
the ROA for their organizations as did leaders of weak character.
Return on Character reveals:
Between 2006 and 2013, KRW's research group enrolled 121 CEOs from around the United States in the ROC study. They included leaders from Fortune 500 and 100 companies, privately held firms, and non-profits. In the end, they had full data sets on 84 of the leaders, which included interviews with the leaders and anonymous surveys with those who work for these leaders. They obtained the stated and/or published financial results of their businesses for forty-four of these leaders.
Kiel and team created a metric for assessing the character-driven behaviors of the leaders and their executive teams and for determining their impact on the specific financial results of the businesses they lead. Return on Character offers an in-depth look at the close and inextricable link between CEO character and value creation they found in their research.
The leaders in their research earned character scores that created a broad curve representing leadership behavior. They home in on the differences between the ten most highly principled CEOs in the study – individuals they labeled ‘Virtuoso CEOs,’ described by their employees as demonstrating strong character habits – and the ten CEOs whose character scores were the lowest in the study. The employees of this latter group described their leaders as often warping the truth for personal gain and as mostly concerned about themselves and their own financial security. In keeping with these employee descriptions, Kiel called this second group ‘Self-Focused CEOs.’
Return on Character describes how the CEO character is formed, and how character habits and ingrained beliefs are reflected in the way leaders select and interact with their executive teams. Beyond a mere profile of individual leaders and their experiences, the book also outlines a methodology – ideas, advice, and techniques for improving readers’ own business results and those of their organization by strengthening the character habits that drive success and nurture an engaged workforce.
The information in Return on Character is organized into three parts. Part I, "ROC and the Path toward Leadership," examines the fundamental ideas upon which we based our research. Chapter 1, "Character Defined: Populating the Character Curve," explores the basis of character and how CEOs and other leaders demonstrate it.
All leaders come equipped with the same generic hardware of a working brain, but chapter 2, "The Human Nature of Leadership: Upgrading an Outdated Model," looks beyond those physical givens to understand the ideas and practices that form the software of moral intuition, motivational drives, and personality traits that make each person unique – and determine the leadership approach of any CEO or senior executive.
Chapter 3, "The Journey from Cradle to Corner Office: Reading the Road Map," investigates the inner and outer journeys that form the keystone habits of leadership, and how the life experience of a CEO shapes his or her ability to develop as an integrated person who demonstrates the best of those attitudes and behaviors.
Part II of Return on Character, "ROC Leadership at Work," goes beyond the examination of what makes CEOs and senior executives who they are to take a closer look at what these leaders do. Chapter 4, "ROC Leadership in Action: Mastering the Essentials," details KRW's research on the day-to-day actions, decisions, and influence of Virtuoso leaders in the workplace. Chapter 5, "The Executive Team and ROC: Guiding the Organization to a Win," discusses the importance of the executive team to even the best CEO or executive leader. Chapter 6, "The ROC Ripple Effect: Bringing Every Stakeholder into the Winner's Circle," looks closely at leadership character as the relevant factor in achieving sustainable results for every stakeholder in any business.
Part III, "The ROC Habits Workshop," examines what people – and organizations – can do to improve their ROC by developing stronger character habits that boost the results of their own ROC effect. Chapter 7, "Becoming a Virtuoso Leader," explores specific ideas and concrete techniques for developing the character habits of successful leadership at any age and in any position or environment. Chapter 8, "Developing an ROC Organization," looks at how boards of directors, CEOs, senior executives, and leaders at any operational level can undertake a sensible approach to improving the overall character of their business or organization.
In the conclusion to Return on Character, "Steering toward a New Direction in Leadership," Kiel calls for a movement toward character-driven leadership and explains why he is optimistic that the time has come for a shift in the character habits that guide our businesses, government, and other critical institutions.
This book breaks new ground. Its central finding: organizations led by a CEO
and executive team of high character will, on average, produce a materially
higher ROA than other organizations. Readers will find the results convincing
and the suggestions for how to attain that kind of leadership quite valuable. –
Irvine Hockaday, former President and CEO, Hallmark Cards
This book is an extraordinary source of insight about how the personal characteristics of leaders translate into significant economic consequences for the organizations they lead. The examples are concrete, the chapter takeaways are penetrating, and the guidance for becoming a ‘Virtuoso leader’ is essential reading for anyone with leadership aspirations or responsibilities. – Shane S. Dikolli, Associate Dean for Faculty Engagement, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Fred Kiel's breakthrough research demonstrates that character is a leadership differentiator that resonates with employees and has a positive impact on business results. His findings clearly illustrate that greatness need not be achieved at the expense of virtuosity, and that the self-focused CEO will always be part of our history but does not need to be part of our future. – Yvonne K. Franzese, Chief Human Resources Officer, Allianz of America
Fred Kiel, the global dean of CEO coaches – in the masterpiece of his career – argues two truths gleaned from his practice and scholarship: 1) High personal character in corporate leadership yields far higher ROI and ROA for the company; and 2) Growth in character is a matter of choice and discipline and, as such, available to us all. Thirty years of clinical practice built into a playbook for leaders and their teams. – David G. Bradley, owner and Chairman, Atlantic Media
In my experience, the global leaders who obtain the best results are indeed like the ones whom Fred Kiel has identified as `Virtuoso leaders.' It's great to have this confirmed with hard financial metrics. – Paul J. Fribourg, Chairman and CEO, Continental Grain Company
I intuitively knew that Fred Kiel's groundbreaking research was true – but I did not expect to have it so soundly confirmed with hard data. This book finally provides the justification for boards to embrace scientifically validated character assessment as part of their evaluation of senior management teams. – Richard J. Harrington, former President and CEO, Thomson Reuters
Kiel's book makes the case that moral leadership pays off for the company's bottom line. More important, the book provides a methodology for leaders and companies to develop talent and institutionalize moral leadership across the organization. – Vern Kimball, CEO, Calgary Stampede
Uniquely combining art, science, and soulfulness, Fred Kiel provides business leaders with a compelling case for true human decency. It drives profits, it rewards people, and it does good. Every person leading – or hoping to lead – an organization should read this book. – Daniel McCarthy, Principal, Gallarus Ventures, LLC
Return on Character, a groundbreaking book, provides the blueprint for readers to build their own leadership character and create a character-driven organization that achieves superior business results. The process and tools outlined in part III helps leaders see themselves as others do – and work to improve that image, from the inside out. Members of the board selecting the next CEO will also find this book particularly helpful in learning how to avoid critical errors.
Children’s Books / Picture / Science / Ages 5-7
Sweet Dreams, Wild Animals! by Eileen R. Meyer, illustrated by Laurie Caple (Mountain Press Publishing)
The sun has set; the sky is
Bright stars shine in the night.
It’s time to rest, to dream sweet dreams,
then wake with morning’s light.
The animals will slumber, too.
Some near, some far away.
How will they settle down to sleep?
Each has a special way. – from the book
Fourteen animals, including the cuddly koala, the hairy anteater, and the wise owl, are featured in Sweet Dreams, Wild Animals!, a lyrical bedtime story about the unusual ways that animals sleep. Natural history notes explain how each animal sleeps, from the magnificent frigatebird, which naps while flying hundreds of feet above the sea, to the walrus, which sleeps with its tusks anchored in floating ice. Whimsical watercolors of dozing animals will help weary children fall to sleep with a smile.
The author is Eileen R. Meyer, whose poetry has appeared in numerous children's magazines, who is also the author of Who's Faster? Animals on the Move. She presents writing workshops to grade school students. Illustrator Laurie Caple is a children’s book illustrator and natural history artist.
How animals rest, sleep, or nap varies widely. Readers of Sweet Dreams, Wild Animals! learn that
Lyrical poems introduce each animal and its sleep habits, and natural history notes explain how each animal sleeps.
Slumber and science in harmonious combination, equally suitable for bedtime reading or for sharing with wakeful groups.… A cozy combination of restful rhymes, natural history notes and close-up pictures of snoozing creatures. – Kirkus Reviews
Sweet Dreams, Wild Animals!‘s gently rhythmic measures create a properly
soporific tone for this look at animal downtimes. Meyer bids all the chosen
creatures sweet dreams, and Caple depicts them in accurate detail and quiet
settings yawning or posed fetchingly with younglings. Children and adults will
enjoy learning new facts about wildlife.
Cooking, Food & Wine
Puerto Rican Cuisine in America: Nuyorican and Bodega Recipes, revised edition by Oswald Rivera (Running Press)
Puerto Rican cuisine holds a unique place in the culinary world with its blend of Spanish, African, and Native Caribbean influences. In Puerto Rican Cuisine in America, Oswald Rivera shares over 250 family-favorite recipes that explore this one-of-a-kind style of Caribbean cooking. The book includes everything from hearty soups like Sancocho (chicken vegetable stew) to savory delicacies such as Cabro Borracho (drunken goat) and Camarones Guisados (stewed shrimp) to rich desserts like Flan de Calabaza (pumpkin flan).
Rivera is the author of two cookbooks in addition to Puerto Rican Cuisine in America and two novels.
Throughout Puerto Rican Cuisine in America, Rivera explores Puerto Rico’s unique history, its people’s migration to New York City, and his youth growing up in Harlem, as well as the growth of the Nuyorican (New York Puerto Rican) culture in the United States. Refreshed with new illustrations throughout, this edition features a new preface by the author.
In this revised edition of Puerto Rican Cuisine in America, Rivera explores the spicy, hearty, and flavorful cuisine of Puerto Rico and how it traveled from a tiny island in the Caribbean to New York City and across the United States. Rivera’s recipes range from traditional dishes to the latest Nuyorican creations. With a mixture of history and personal lore, he shares delicious Puerto Rican recipes, including:
Puerto Rican Cuisine in America shares this unique style of Caribbean cooking – a great way to celebrate the Puerto Rican experience in America and try some delicious new tastes. With a suggested wine pairing for every dish and 90 delicious drink recipes, readers can enjoy the perfect Puerto Rican meal.
Education & Training / Fashion / Merchandising / Retailing
Retail Buying: From Basics to Fashion, fifth edition by Richard Clodfelter (Fairchild Books, Bloomsbury Inc.)
Retail Buying is a comprehensive book providing students with the skills and savvy needed to become successful buyers in any area of retail. With a simple and straightforward approach, Richard Clodfelter presents step-by-step instructions for typical buying tasks, such as identifying and understanding potential customers, creating a six-month merchandising plan, and developing sales forecasts. Clodfelter is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management at the University of South Carolina.
With coverage of math concepts integrated throughout Retail Buying, this fifth edition contains up-to-date coverage of important retailing trends, including more coverage of international buying and sourcing, integration of product development concepts throughout, and more math practice problems in chapters. Updated Snapshot and Trendwatch features present current information and new case studies from the fashion industry. Activities – drawn from real-world merchandising and incorporating current trends – give students the opportunity to apply critical skills as they would in a professional environment.
New to this edition:
Throughout Retail Buying, students are introduced to basic concepts, principles, and techniques used by retail buyers as they complete their day-to-day duties and responsibilities. Up-to-date information about current buying practices and techniques can be found throughout the text. Many special features are used in Retail Buying to explain buying concepts in a challenging and practical manner. An instructor's manual is available with the text, which presents suggested teaching ideas. There is also a test bank of questions for each chapter.
Chapter highlights of Retail Buying include:
Part I: Understanding the Retail Environment Where Buying Occurs contains three chapters introducing buying practices and procedures of various types of retail businesses. In Chapter 1, students are introduced to buying and are presented a marketing orientation to factors that will influence many of the decisions that buyers make. In Chapter 2, students examine merchandising careers in retailing. Information is also presented on how to plan for an internship or career in retail buying. In Chapter 3, students learn how the buyer's job differs in various types of retail formats. Retail organizational structures are presented, and the relationship of merchandising to other departments is highlighted.
Part II: Getting Ready to Make Buying Decisions discusses how, once buyers understand the marketplace, they need to develop an understanding of customers and trends affecting future sales. In Chapter 4, students examine sources of information that would be available to them when making buying decisions. Internal and external sources are described. In Chapter 5, information is presented to help buyers better understand their customers. In Chapter 6, students gain an understanding of what types of products customers purchase. New product trends, especially products with fashion appeal, are studied. Product life cycles and fashion adoption theories are explained.
Part III of Retail Buying: Planning and Controlling Merchandise Purchases deals with making purchasing plans once retail buyers understand their customers and the retail environment in which they will be operating. In Chapter 7, the scope of forecasting is described, and students examine the steps for developing effective sales forecasts. In Chapter 8, students learn how to develop merchandise plans for fashion and basic merchandise. In Chapter 9, students plan merchandise assortments and develop an assortment plan. In Chapter 10, different inventory control plans are presented, and the mathematical calculations needed by buyers are explained.
Part IV: Purchasing Merchandise concerns how buyers who have prepared their merchandise plans are now ready to select vendors from whom to make purchases. In Chapter 11, students examine various types of vendors and learn how to identify criteria for selecting them. The development of partnerships between retailers and vendors is emphasized. In Chapter 12, steps for planning a market trip are explained in detail. The focus is on developing a negotiation strategy that results in a win-win outcome. In Chapter 13, students examine a step-by-step process for using foreign sourcing to make planned purchases. In Chapter 14, terms of the sale and special buying situations are described. Procedures for placing the final order are presented.
Part V: Motivating Customers to Buy in Retail Buying concerns how, once merchandise has been purchased for the store, buyers may be responsible for other retailing activities to motivate customers to buy. In Chapter 15, students examine the mathematical calculations needed to price incoming merchandise and make price adjustments on in-stock merchandise. In Chapter 16, students examine promotional activities that can be used to promote merchandise purchased by the buyers.
Very user friendly, easy to navigate through, examples are clear and
uncomplicated, examples /case studies are interesting. Well written and
understandable at all levels. Overall, I feel it is probably one of the best
text books I have ever used. – Carol Lazich, George Brown College, Canada
Covers retail math throughout the text instead of in its own section. Snapshot and trend watch are better than many articles I supplement from WWD. They are great, fresh applicable for classroom discussion. The overall text is a great, one-stop-solution to teach both buying concepts and actual retail math execution. – John Conte, Wade College
The text has good information relating to a buyer's role in retailing.... A good text for a Basic Buying course. – Marla Green, LIM College
A good comprehensive text to show the traditional role of the buyer within the US market. With an easy to follow and logical sequence, it shows the breadth of tasks in the buying and merchandising function well. – Helen Beney, University of Westminster, UK
Challenging, practical, and comprehensive, Retail Buying prepares students for merchandising careers in retailing. For those chapters that include retail math concepts, students apply those concepts by developing and using downloadable Excel spreadsheets, and enhance their knowledge with printable worksheets featuring step-by-step solutions to common retail buying math problems. Students study smarter with self-quizzes featuring scored results and personalized study tips. They review concepts with flashcards of essential vocabulary and basic retail math formulas.
Entertainment & Sports / Humor / Essays
Unplayable Lies (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need) by Dan Jenkins (Doubleday)
"I've always wanted to do something for the golfer who has everything. I thought about a suede golf cart, or maybe a pair of cashmere Footjoys. Then I settled on writing this book." So begins Dan Jenkins's latest collection of golf essays.
Forty-one essays on golf – half of the essays are brand
new, the others are reworked and rewritten, based on pieces that were originally
published in Golf Digest.
Unplayable Lies, all of them, as Jenkins says in the first essay, are
"literally throbbing with opinion."
In this book he delves into the greatest rounds of golf he's ever seen; the funniest things said on a golf course; the rivalries on tour and in the press box; the game's most magical moments – and its most absurd. Unplayable Lies is an ode to the game Jenkins loves. But it is Dan Jenkins, so nothing – even the game of golf – can escape his wrath, his critical eye, or his acerbic pen.
In "Titanic and I" – probably the most hilarious and
surprising essay in
Unplayable Lies, telling true stories of Titanic Thompson: gambler, golf
hustler, accused murderer, legendary storyteller – Jenkins explains how Titanic
would win a wager by saying he could knock a bird off a telephone wire: "Titanic
would drop a ball on the ground and take out his four-wood, waggle it, and
pretend to aim at the bird on the wire. When some sucker would bet him he
couldn't do it, Ti would pull out a gun he carried and shoot the bird off the
In "The Greatest Rounds": "Show me a man who doesn't know what Arnold did in the last round of the '60 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills, and I'll show you a soccer fan in Paraguay."
This is a perfect follow up to His Ownself with an Introduction by Sally Jenkins, one of the country's top sportswriters and Jenkins's own daughter.
Often biting, usually cranky, always hilarious and surprising – Unplayable Lies is Jenkins at his best, writing about the sport he loves the most.
Entertainment & Sports / Music / Biographies & Memoirs
Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth by John Szwed (Viking)
When Billie Holiday stepped into Columbia’s studios in November 1933, it marked the beginning of what is arguably the most remarkable and influential career in twentieth-century popular music. Although she died when she was only forty-four years old and never had a truly big hit while alive, her music has remained a constant influence on other musicians and has never gone out of fashion among the public. Her voice weathered countless shifts in public taste, and new reincarnations of her continue to arrive, most recently in the form of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele.
Most of the writing on Holiday has focused on the tragic details of her life – her prostitution at the age of fourteen, her heroin addiction and alcoholism, her series of abusive relationships – or tried to correct the many fabrications of her autobiography. Published in celebration of Billie Holiday’s centenary, Billie Holiday is the first biography to focus on the singer’s extraordinary musical talent. This portrait of the great singer brings readers closer than ever to the self she created and put on record and on stage.
Drawing on a vast amount of new material that has surfaced in the last decade, critically acclaimed jazz writer John Szwed in Billie Holiday considers how her life inflected her art, her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a number of her signature songs, and her legacy. Szwed, the author of sixteen books, is Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. As a jazz musician, he played professionally for more than a decade.
In 1956, Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, was published to the heated response of critics and reviewers who felt the book was sensationalist, with some complete fallacies, such as her birthplace and facts about her parents. Szwed sets the record straight, distinguishing between fact and myth and restoring controversial and previously unreleased stories that have never been published, including her involvement with Orson Welles, Tallulah Bankhead, Charles Laughton, and Elizabeth Hardwick.
Billie Holiday also provides a detailed look into her most controversial and best-known songs – "Strange Fruit," "Gloomy Sunday," "My Man," and "God Bless the Child" – provides a background for both the singers who influenced her as well as the long list of artists she inspired.
"[Szwed] offers a portrait of Lady Day as artist and mythmaker rather than tragic victim .... As with the best of Holiday's music, this elegant and perceptive study is restrained, nuanced, and masterfully carried out. – Kirkus, starred review
An unfiltered view of one of America's most important musicians, Billie Holiday is a story of the many personas Holiday donned throughout her fiery career. Jazz historian and author Szwed boldly uncovers the legendary singer's life in this biography.
History / American West / African American Studies
Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend by Ron J. Jackson Jr., Lee Spencer White, with a foreword by Phil Collins (University of Oklahoma Press)
If we do in fact ‘remember the Alamo,’ it is largely thanks to one person who witnessed the final assault and survived: the commanding officer’s slave, a young man known simply as Joe. What Joe saw as the Alamo fell, recounted days later to the Texas Cabinet, has come down to us in records and newspaper reports. But who Joe was, where he came from, and what happened to him have all remained mysterious until now. In Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend, authors Ron J. Jackson, Jr., and Lee Spencer White have restored this pivotal yet elusive figure to his place in the American story.
Jackson is a professional journalist and author of Alamo Legacy: Alamo Descendants Remember the Alamo and Blood Prairie: Perilous Adventures on the Oklahoma Frontier. White is an independent researcher, preservationist, and consultant for the History Channel, Dearg Films, and the BBC.
The twenty-year-old Joe stood
with his master, Lieutenant Colonel Travis, against the Mexican army in the
early hours of March 6, 1836. After Travis fell, Joe watched the battle’s last
moments from a hiding place. He was later taken first to Bexar and questioned by
Santa Anna about the Texan army, and then to the revolutionary capitol, where he
gave his testimony with evident candor.
With these few facts in hand, Jackson and White searched through plantation ledgers, journals, memoirs, slave narratives, ship logs, newspapers, letters, and court documents. Their decades-long effort has revealed the outline of Joe’s biography, alongside some startling facts. Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend traces Joe’s story from his birth in Kentucky through his life in slavery – which, in a grotesque irony, resumed after he took part in the Texans’ battle for independence – to his eventual escape and disappearance into the shadows of history.
Jackson writes in the preface that piecing together Joe's life became an obsession to him and White. They sifted through stacks of bound volumes of legal documents in dusty, courthouse attics and basements. They read hundreds of slave narratives, ship logs, census records, journals, and letters in hopes of finding any scrap of information related to Joe.
Here is the most amazing part of the story as told by Jackson in Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend:
… on December 27, 1999, we made a monumental discovery that would forever alter Joe's history. It was Christmas break and I was sitting in a nearly vacant Bizzell Memorial Library at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.… I pulled from the stacks a couple of books on early St. Louis, hoping at best to discover some color on the city at the time Mansfield lived there. I first began to read 'Ain't But a Place': An Anthology of African American Writings about St. Louis, edited by Gerald Early. As I thumbed through its pages, I instantly took an interest in passages of a slave narrative written by the famed fugitive slave, abolitionist, and author William Wells Brown, who had lived in St. Louis in 1827. Having in mind Mansfield's appearance in the 1830 census, I figured that if Joe was owned by Mansfield in St. Louis, then Brown's account might give us some valuable insight regarding slave life in the city during that period. My eyes scanned each page for details. Suddenly, on the fifth page, Brown's words struck me like a bolt of lightning: "My mother, my brothers Joseph and Millford, and my sister Elizabeth, belonged to Mr. Isaac Mansfield, formerly from one of the Free States (Massachusetts, I believe). He was a tinner by trade, and carried on a large manufacturing establishment." My mind raced. I stood up from my chair, and looked around the empty library in speechless euphoria. I wanted to yell. I sat down and reread the passage once again to make sure my mind wasn't playing tricks on me. Heart pounding, unable to sit, I again sprang to my feet. "Yes!" I cried out in a restrained voice. "Yes!" Suddenly, as if delayed by shock, I realized that I was reading the slave narrative of Joe's brother.
Not only had Jackson and White now identified the names of Joe's mother and siblings, but Jackson was now holding excerpts from a narrative written by his brother. Within minutes, White downloaded an electronic version of Brown's entire book, Narrative of William W. Brown, An American Slave. The narrative opened the window to Joe's childhood home of Marthasville, confirmed that he was born in Kentucky, and told us that the slave who survived the Alamo battle was the grandson of legendary trailblazer, Daniel Boone. Within a twenty-four-hour period, their research morphed into a full-fledged biography of Joe – hence Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend.
The stunning discovery that Joe – the slave of Alamo commander William Barret Travis – was the brother of the abolitionist William Wells Brown has opened an entirely new chapter in the history of Texas. Now their two stories are blended into a fascinating narrative that puts the experienced lives of slaves squarely within the story of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. – James E. Crisp author of Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett’s Last Stand and other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution
This is an amazing piece of historical detective work. The authors have solved the mystery of Joe’s life, before and after the Alamo, and have woven their findings into a most entertaining tale. – William Groneman, author of Eyewitness to the Alamo and David Crockett: Hero of the Common Man
In this fascinating example of the historian as detective, the authors have tracked down the incredible story of an Alamo survivor and key witness – the slave owned by Lieutenant Colonel Travis and known to history only as Joe. In unraveling the tortured history of Joe and his family, the authors not only present the story of this Alamo hero for the first time but also illuminate the important role slavery played in American society, westward expansion, and the origins of the Texas Revolution. This is a magnificent work. – Paul Andrew Hutton, author of Phil Sheridan and His Army
The writing in Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend is unique and strong, the shared knowledge is deep and fascinating and the overall impact is brilliant. – Michael Blake, author of Dances with Wolves
A remarkable feat of historical detective work, Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend recovers a true American character from obscurity and expands our view of events central to the emergence of Texas.
History / Environment / Travel
Peconic Bay: Four Centuries of History on Long Island's North and South Forks by Marilyn E. Weigold (New York State Series: Syracuse University Press)
I remember the day I hauled my first net, though I better recall day's end. My back hurt. My hands were cut. I smelled like fish. I felt suffocated by my foul weather gear. I was queasy from the unfamiliar roiling and rolling of a windy tide ... and I wanted more. – John Cronin, from the foreword
Bordered on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and on the north by Long Island Sound, the Peconic Bay region, including the North and South Forks, has only recently been recognized for its environmental and economic significance. The story of the waterway and its contiguous land masses is one of farmers and fishermen, sailing vessels and submarines, wealthy elite residents, and award-winning vineyards.
Peconic Bay examines the past 400 years of the region's history, tracing the growth of the fishing industry, the rise of tourism, and the impact of a military presence in the wake of September 11. Marilyn E. Weigold introduces readers to the people of Peconic Bay's colorful history – from Albert Einstein and Captain Kidd, to Clara Barton and Kofi Annan – as well as to the residents who have struggled, and continue to struggle, over the well-being of their community and their estuarine connection to the planet. Weigold is professor of history, University Historian, and assistant chair of the Department of Economics, History and Political Science at Pace University.
In the foreword of Peconic Bay, Cronin says that Peconic Bay has a rich sense of place built over the course of centuries. There is surprising depth to its history and Weigold's telling of it. Readers can imagine a place where farmers and fishermen, sailing vessels and submarines, Native Americans and the wealthy elite are all jostling for their rightful place in history; where the dictum of a long-dead English colonial governor could trump contemporary state and federal statutes.
Through the lens of Peconic Bay history Weingold reveals the role of one locale in the destiny of the nation while also performing the historian's duty to link that history to the present day. She sees an America imprinted by its past and challenged by its future, and a people still wondering "whether humans can live in peace and harmony with the natural environment and ... with our fellow human beings on a global level."
According to Weigold in the preface to Peconic Bay, the idea for a book about the Peconic Bay region of Eastern Long Island originated a decade before a significant part of the area – the North Fork, then a sleepy agrarian area with an emerging wine industry – was ‘discovered.’ In time, largely because of the expansion of the acreage devoted to the cultivation of wine grapes, the awards won by selected vintages, and increased press coverage of the burgeoning wine industry, the North Fork became well known. Gone were the days when few people living only a hundred miles to the west in the great metropolis of New York City had heard of the North Fork. At the very time the north side of Peconic Bay, the beautiful waterway separating the North Fork from its glitzy cousin, the South Fork, home to the various communities comprising the Hamptons, was becoming better known, the bay was being recognized for its environmental and economic significance. Long overshadowed by the mighty Atlantic Ocean bordering the south shore of the South Fork and the Long Island Sound bordering the north shore of the North Fork, Peconic Bay was designated a national estuary in 1992. A year later it was recognized as an Estuary of National Significance. The story of the waterway and contiguous land masses on both forks of Long Island's East End, however, began centuries earlier and that is the tale that is recounted in Peconic Bay, which utilizes a combined topical and chronological approach to such aspects of the region's development as lifestyles, from the seventeenth century to the present; economic activities, both on land and sea; tourism; conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism; and the struggle to find solutions to the challenges facing the area in the twenty-first century.
Weigold notes that in June 2012, when the twentieth anniversary of the Peconic Bay Estuary's federally recognized status as an estuary of national significance was celebrated, residents of the Hamptons and the North Fork took note of the fact that the Nature Conservancy had termed the estuary "one of the last great places in the Western Hemisphere."
At last! A comprehensive overview from prehistory to today of a unique and most interesting area – the Peconic Estuary with its encircling North and South Forks. Fascinating for newcomers as well as old timers and historians. – Gaynell Stone, director, Suffolk County Archaeological Association
An indispensable addition to the bookshelves of those interested in Long Island history, with special appeal to those living or visiting on the East End who want to delve into its past. – Natalie A. Naylor, Professor Emerita, Hofstra University
America is a great story and its waters are on every page, to paraphrase the inestimable Charles Kuralt. But great stories call for great storytellers. We are fortunate for Marilyn Weigold's voice and her reminder that even on our own home waters we are each part of something larger than ourselves. – John Cronin, Director and CEO, Beacon Institute for Rivers & Estuaries, Managing Editor, EarthDesk.org, Senior Fellow for Environmental Affairs, Pace University and Clarkson University.
With this book in hand, readers are the beneficiaries of the bay’s historian and storyteller. Peconic Bay provides a fascinating look at four hundred years of the social, economic and environmental history of Long Island's world famous East End. Weigold brings to life the region's rich sense of place and shines a light on its unique role in the nation's history.
History / Military / World War II
Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor by James M. Scott (W.W. Norton & Company)
Target Tokyo is the dramatic account of one of America’s most celebrated – and controversial – military campaigns: the Doolittle Raid. Written by a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, award-winning James M. Scott.
In December 1941, as American forces tallied the dead at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered with his senior military counselors to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo. Four months later, on April 18, 1942, sixteen U.S. Army bombers under the command of daredevil pilot Jimmy Doolittle lifted off from the deck of the USS Hornet on a one-way mission to pummel the enemy’s factories, refineries, and dockyards and then escape to Free China. For Roosevelt, the raid was a propaganda victory, a potent salve to heal a wounded nation. In Japan, outraged over the deaths of innocent civilians – including children – military leaders launched an ill-fated attempt to seize Midway that would turn the tide of the war. But it was the Chinese who suffered the worst, victims of a retaliatory campaign by the Japanese Army that claimed an estimated 250,000 lives and saw families drowned in wells, entire towns burned, and communities devastated by bacteriological warfare.
At the center of this incredible story is Doolittle, the son of an Alaskan gold prospector, a former boxer, and brilliant engineer who earned his doctorate from MIT. Other fascinating characters populate this narrative, including Chiang Kai-shek, Lieutenant General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, and the feisty Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey Jr. Target Tokyo includes indelible portraits of the young pilots, navigators, and bombardiers, many of them little more than teenagers, who raised their hands to volunteer for a mission from which few expected to return. Most of the bombers ran out of fuel and crashed. Captured raiders suffered torture and starvation in Japan’s notorious POW camps. Others faced a harrowing escape across China – via boat, rickshaw, and foot – with the Japanese Army in pursuit.
Based on scores of never-before-published records drawn from archives across four continents as well as new interviews with survivors, Target Tokyo is World War II history of the highest order: a harrowing adventure story that also serves as a pivotal reexamination of one of America’s most daring military operations.
The Doolittle Raid is a feat of legend: a daring, some thought suicidal, bombing mission designed to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor by taking the fight to the heart of the Japanese Empire – Tokyo. The raid's success became a rallying point for the United States, destroyed Japan's sense of its own invulnerability, and helped force a confrontation at Midway, a critical turning point in the Pacific War. Shrouded in secrecy at the time, the raid quickly entered the realm of myth, almost literally: the White House and the American press began using ‘Shangri-La,’ the name of a fictional mountaintop utopia, as a stand-in for the undisclosed launching point of the operation.
Scott not only recounts the gripping story of the mission, from its early planning stages to its final problem-plagued execution, but he takes readers inside the White House as the Roosevelt administration manages media spin and the diplomatic fallout from the attack. Tapping new Japanese sources, Scott details for the first time the raid's true destruction, including the unintentional deaths of civilians, including children, as well as the stories of the bomber crews who overcame terrific mental and physical trials on their long and desperate journeys home. In Target Tokyo, Scott also reveals the largely unknown story of heroic Chinese partisans who rescued the American fliers, and the terrible price many paid for their efforts.
Target Tokyo, James Scott has given us a superb new account of the
Doolittle raid, a daring and unprecedented gambit that altered the history of
the Pacific War. Scott’s narrative, which draws deeply on new archival sources,
will certainly take its place as the definitive history of the Doolittle raid.
That alone would be reason enough to recommend it – but
Target Tokyo is also a terrific story and a cracking good read. –
Ian Toll, author of Pacific Crucible, War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942
A beautifully told account of the legendary Doolittle raid, one of the most daring strikes in US military history. Thrilling and brilliantly researched. – Alex Kershaw, author of The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau
A superb writer and historian with a keen eye for detail, James Scott has created a meticulously researched account that undoubtedly will be considered the last – and best – word on the subject. – Flint Whitlock, Editor, WWII Quarterly magazine
The Doolittle raid on Tokyo is a fabulous story of bold decision-making and combat heroism. With a perfect blend of extensive research and exemplary prose, James Scott’s narrative shines. – Bruce Gamble, author of The Rabaul Trilogy
When I grew up in the house of a fighter pilot, it was a religious tenet with my father that the Doolittle Raiders were the bravest pilots in the history of flight. James Scott’s epic historical work, Target Tokyo, makes that opinion seem almost unassailable. Target Tokyo is one of the most incredible accounts of American military valor I’ve ever read. – Pat Conroy
… James Scott brings it [the Doolittle raid] back to the reader with you-are-there immediacy and drama. Filled with great characters, great heroism, and great suffering, Target Tokyo is at once thorough, realistic, and thrilling. – Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder and Ike's Bluff
… Target Tokyo is much more than another narrative account of Jimmy Doolittle’s famous air attack on Tokyo in April of 1942. It is a gripping tale of determination, tragedy, endurance, and redemption. Even those who think they know this story will be absorbed by this vivid account of adventure and peril. – Craig L. Symonds, author of The Battle of Midway
In this new work of powerful narrative history, award-winning historian Scott strips away the layers of the legend and provides the first truly comprehensive account of the raid, Impeccably researched and weaving together a gripping narrative of combat and survival, Target Tokyo is a groundbreaking and enlightening work. Scott packs his account with enough new insights and research that even the expert can expect to find a wealth of new detail. The result is a tale of bravery and sacrifice that forces readers to confront the human costs of heroism.
History / U.S. / Founding Fathers
The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation by Thomas Fleming (Da Capo Press)
A conflict between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson? Most Americans are unaware that such discord ever existed. Numerous historians have explored Jefferson's clash with Alexander Hamilton. But little has been written about the differences that developed between the two most famous founding fathers. – from Chapter One
In the months after her husband's death, Martha Washington
told several friends that the two worst days of her life were the day George
died – and the day Thomas Jefferson came to Mount Vernon to offer his
What could elicit such a strong reaction from the nation's original first lady? Though history tends to cast the early years of America in a glow of camaraderie, there were, in fact, many conflicts among the Founding Fathers – none more important than the one between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The chief disagreement between these former friends centered on the highest, most original public office created by the Constitutional Convention – the presidency. They also argued violently about the nation's foreign policy, the role of merchants and farmers in a republic, and the durability of the union itself. At the root of all these disagreements were two sharply different visions for the nation's future.
Acclaimed historian Thomas Fleming in The Great Divide examines how the differing temperaments and leadership styles of Washington and Jefferson shaped two opposing views of the presidency – and the nation. The clash between these two gifted men, both of whom cared deeply about the United States of America, profoundly influenced the next two centuries of America's history and resonates in the present day.
The Great Divide explains why and how the two greatest founders disagreed so intensely about so many issues, and ended their lives enemies rather than friends. At least as intriguing is the way James Madison began as Washington's advisor, then became, thanks to Jefferson, the President's toughest critic – and at the end of his life returned to Washington's side.
The Great Divide acquaints readers with the brilliant and idealistic Jefferson and the driven pragmatist Washington, and reveals how their personalities influenced their leadership styles and, ultimately, their vastly different blueprints for our country.
During the eight-year struggle for independence, Washington rose to worldwide fame as the commander of the American ‘Continental’ Army. He crowned his victory by rejecting pleas to banish the bankrupt Continental Congress and become the new nation's military dictator. Instead, he resigned his commission and returned to civilian life.
Jefferson's chief contribution to the struggle was drafting the Declaration of Independence. The opening paragraph's soaring insistence that every human being was entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would ultimately give the document world-transforming power. But few people emphasized this aspect of the Declaration – or thought of Jefferson as its author – during the War for Independence. Congress had heavily edited and revised his draft before issuing it on July 4, 1776. Jefferson was better known for his two years as governor of Virginia, during which he revealed a dismaying inability to deal with the crises that confronted him.
According to Fleming in The Great Divide Washington was first, last, and always a realist. "We must take human nature as we find it. Perfection falls not to the share of mortals," was one of his favorite maxims. But he combined this realism with a surprisingly strong faith that America was destined to become a beacon of freedom for men and women everywhere. One recent biographer has called him a realistic visionary.
Jefferson tended to see men and events through the lens of a pervasive idealism. He believed that if left to their own devices, free men would inevitably find the path to a good government. All they needed were visionary words to inspire them. Experience had convinced Washington that this happy outcome would only occur with the help of strong leadership.
… Tom Fleming rightly focuses on Jefferson and Washington, for it was in the
nexus of their competing visions of the nation's destiny that the United States
truly took shape. In this superb book, Fleming compellingly captures the drama
of this clash of titans, showing how its outcome made the difference between
national ruin and prosperity. – Edward G. Lengel, Director, Papers of George
Washington and author of General George Washington, A Military Life
… In The Great Divide, Thomas Fleming quarries a lifetime's study of America's turbulent Founding Era to recount a character-clash waged against the backdrop of chronic domestic discord and overshadowed by blood-soaked revolution in France. The author's robust prose leaves no doubt where his own sympathies lie, but all readers of history will relish his gripping exploration of a conflict between realism and idealism that still resonates today. – Stephen Brumwell, author of George Washington: Gentleman Warrior and winner of the George Washington Book Prize
Prolific historian Fleming delivers a vivid, opinionated history of this conflict.... Among historians, Jefferson’s star has been falling for 50 years. Fleming’s frank hostility puts him at the far end of the scale, but he makes a fascinating case that Jefferson’s charisma – which peaked early with the Declaration of Independence – was accompanied by fanciful political beliefs that continue to exert a malign influence on the office of the presidency. – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Fleming looks beyond the standard history of the founding and early years of the nation to detail the contrasts in the backgrounds and personalities of these men [Washington and Jefferson]…A fascinating look at American history from the perspective of personal relationships and political ideals. – Booklist, starred review
[An] impassioned defense of Washington's presidency, and more entertaining for its interest in the pettiness and foibles of our oft-lionized founders. – Publishers Weekly
The Great Divide is a great vehicle for… understanding the roots of conflicts that marked the country’s beginning and persist in some form today. – Roanoke Times
The Great Divide is a gripping and opinionated exploration of the personal relationships and foibles of the founding fathers. This vivid and entertaining history captures the drama of the nation in the early years.
Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers
False Tongues: A Callie Anson Mystery by Kate Charles (Callie Anson Mysteries Series: Poisoned Pen Press)
False Tongues, set in the 21st century church, is the fourth volume in the Callie Anson Mysteries series.
In False Tongues, the Reverend Callie Anson should have learned her lesson by now: revisiting the past is seldom a good idea. But she succumbs to peer pressure and attends a reunion at her theological college in Cambridge, where she is forced to confront painful memories – and the presence of her clueless ex, Adam.
Margaret Phillips, the Principal of the college, has a chance for happiness but before she can grasp it she has to deal with her own ghosts – as well as corrosive, intrusive gossip. Both Margaret and Callie learn something about themselves, and about forgiveness, from wise retired priest John Kingsley.
Meanwhile in False Tongues, in London, police officers Neville Stewart and Mark Lombardi are involved with the latest stabbing of a teenager. Was the victim – gifted, popular schoolboy Sebastian Frost – all he seemed to be, or was there something in his life that led inevitably to his death? The police find themselves plunged into the queasy world of cyber-bullying, where nothing may be as it seems.
While they're apart, Callie and Mark's relationship is on hold, and his Italian family continues to be an issue. Will Mark realize, before it's too late, that while his family will always be important to him, he is entitled to something for himself?
The author of False Tongues, Kate Charles, who was described by the Oxford Times as 'a most English writer', is in fact an expatriate American, though an unashamedly Anglophilic one. She has a special interest and expertise in clerical mysteries, lectures frequently on crime novels with church backgrounds, and is a former Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association.
An addictive read from one of my very favorite writers. – Deborah Crombie
A trip to her old college offers deacon Callie Anson (Deep Waters, 2009) both challenges and opportunities. Callie hadn't planned on attending Deacon's Week, her alma mater's conference for recent graduates.…Even her budding romance with Family Liaison Officer Mark Lombardi can't take the sting out of her memories of Adam's announcement shortly after their graduation that he'd be marrying parishioner Pippa instead of Callie.… Back home, Mark confronts his Italian family's coolness toward his relationship with Callie and their determination to find him a nice Italian girl instead. At work, he's involved in a heart-rending case: the stabbing death of Sebastian Frost, young, athletic and promising, the only child of Richard and Miranda Frost, a doctor and a surgeon. As Mark tries to guide the Frosts through the challenges of a police investigation they'd prefer was unnecessary, Callie confronts mysteries of her own: the mysteries of the human heart. Callie has never been more appealing than in this sensitive exploration of love and loss. – Kirkus Reviews
False Tongues is a warm and sensitive book in an appealing series.
Philosophy / Popular Culture / Business & Economics / Computers & Internet
Steve Jobs and Philosophy edited by Shawn E. Klein (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series, Vol. 89: Open Court)
Steve Jobs represents a whole
range of values and ideas in pluralistic American culture. He was a barefoot
hippy capitalist who did more to change our everyday lives than anyone since
Thomas Edison. Coming from modest means and education, he revolutionized several
key industries and became fantastically wealthy.
According to Shawn E. Klein, a visiting assistant professor at Rockford University, Jobs is one of the most iconic figures of the last fifty years. He revolutionized several of the most important contemporary industries: computers, cell phones, music, movies, and publishing. He represents the prototypical entrepreneur. He came from modest means and education. He was bold and brash. He had an inspiring vision of technology and what we all could do with it. Jobs set out to ‘make a ding in the universe’ and he seems to have succeeded in this goal.
At the same time, he was known to be petulant, insensitive, and sometimes cruel. He came out of the counterculture of the Sixties and had a longstanding interest in Eastern spirituality. He dabbled in recreational drug use. In these ways, Jobs stands in for a whole range of values and ideas in pluralistic American culture. He was a barefoot billionaire hippy capitalist who changed the world.
Steve Jobs and Philosophy 17 philosophers examine the inspiring yet
often baffling world of Steve Jobs. Not all the contributors to
Steve Jobs and Philosophy are Apple fans or customers, but they all
share an admiration and appreciation of what Steve Jobs accomplished. What can
we learn about business ethics from his example? What are the major virtues of a
creative innovator? How could Jobs defy conventional business practices? How did
he combine values and attitudes previously believed to be unmixable? What does
it really mean to ‘think different’? Can entrepreneurs be made or are they just
born? If Jobs didn’t make any major inventions, what was his contribution? What
does Jobs teach us about the notions of simplicity and functionality in design?
How do Jobs’s achievements alter the way we think about technology in relation
to human life?
Steve Jobs and Philosophy covers vital issues in ethics, business, aesthetics, and technology. It includes a fascinating appendix listing all the philosophers mentioned in the book, along with explanations of their lives and key themes in their thoughts.
Jobs's innovations have inspired the innovative reflections about him in this fascinating and insightful volume. – Douglas J. Den Uyl, author of God, Man, and Well-Being: Spinoza's Modern Humanism
The provocative chapters in this book probe Steve Jobs's life and work, examining their impact on our daily lives and beyond. The result is an awesome contribution to our understanding of one of the world's greatest innovators. – Khalil Habib, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Pell Honors Program, Salve Regina University
Every fan of Steve Jobs will find something to chew on in this rich collection of new essays exploring his work and life from a philosophical point of view. – Tom Morris, author of Philosophy for Dummies and If Aristotle Ran General Motors
Steve Jobs may not be the genius some people think he is. But he has changed how we learn, what we learn, and how we communicate. Not bad for a kid who started his career in his parents' garage! – Al Gini, Professor of Business Ethics, Loyola University of Chicago
We're surrounded by high tech, to our considerable advantage. If we want to understand something about what it all means without necessarily becoming a geek, this user-friendly book is a good place to start. – Tibor Machan, author of A Primer on Business Ethics
Steve Jobs is a classic American entrepreneur. When you connect the dots and grasp Jobs's fundamental entrepreneurial philosophy, you will see why government regulations and bureaucrats are the enemy of innovation and true human flourishing. – John A. Allison, President and CEO, Cato Institute
Not only a thoughtful philosophical consideration of Job's life and work but a delightfully entertaining one too! – Douglas B. Rasmussen, Professor of Philosophy, St. John's University
Steve Jobs and Philosophy is neither an indictment or apology for Steve Jobs. The chapters are thoughtful, mostly philosophical, examinations, from different points of view, of Jobs's life and work, and their impact on our culture and the way we live. Together, they help readers to see Jobs in the context of the great adventure of human experience and reflection.
Steve Jobs and Philosophy is Volume 89 in the series, Popular Culture and Philosophy, with Series Editor George A. Reisch.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity
The Complete Cloud of Unknowing: With The Letter of Privy Counsel with translation & commentary by Father John-Julian OJN (Paraclete Press)
One must come to the point of saying, ‘God, I don’t really know a single thing about you or what you are like or anything except that I know there is a “you” and I love you and long to be with you.’ – from the introduction
In addition to commentary, The Complete Cloud of Unknowing contains translations of two documents: The Complete Cloud of Unknowing and The Letter of Privy Counsel, the authors of which are unknown.
The Christian mystical tradition has its roots in Holy Scripture but was enunciated most clearly by the late 5th century author writing under the name Dionysius the Areopagite. It was acquaintance with the medieval version of his work which inspired the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing and led him to develop his insights and perceptions of the obscurity and ‘unknowability’ of God. His understanding was that God was on an entirely different plane of existence from human beings – indeed, so different that time-bound human language was inadequate to describe God exhaustively or accurately. Intellect and emotion both fail in seeking God, who can only be encountered by rejecting all common earthly means in a ‘cloud of forgetting’ and the discovery of Godself in the dark ‘cloud of unknowing’ which can be pierced only with a ‘lance of longing love.’
This new translation is by Father John-Julian, OJN, an Episcopal priest and monk. He served parishes in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Connecticut and was the founding Dean of the Seminary of the Streets in New York City before founding the Wisconsin-based contemplative monastic Order of Julian of Norwich in 1985.
Father John-Julian OJN in the translator’s introduction to The Complete Cloud of Unknowing, addresses his readers:
Devout friend in God: When you open this book, you are opening the door on a profound mystery and on the deep struggle this devout author has undertaken to try to share that mystery with a younger, contemplative protégé. His efforts necessarily stretch and strain the language as he strives to explain what is virtually inexplicable and can only be ‘known’ by being experienced – but he is a serious and devout mystical guide who knows the territory from his own experience, and he provides hints, suggestions, and warnings that will serve any devout Christian sincerely committed to the development of a serious ascetical life of prayer.
This unknown monk is, preeminently and inescapably, a mystic.
The world in which a mystic lives is – for her or him – alive with God, pulsing with divinity, and overflowing with spiritual reality. God is no mere abstract concept but is present in all dimensions of life – in every breath, every movement, every object, every thought. A mystic is unwilling to live life at a level acceptable to most others – not in derision of their commitments and concerns, but simply in dissatisfaction with less than the heart-stirrings of grace that press one into the heart of the Divine Mystery itself.
Consequently, the mystic often moves along the knife-edge of metaphor, paradox, poetry, and enigma – aware of the contradictions of theodicy, the ambiguity of biblical incongruities, and the challenges of theological conundrums, but recognizing a divine reality deeper and more profound than all these matters. It was once put simply that a mystic is one who lives as though God actually existed – unsatisfied with anything less than Godself.
According to Father John-Julian in The Complete Cloud of Unknowing, although a true Christian mystic may be discovering dimensions of faith and reality not commonly or universally discerned, these intuitive insights are not ‘secret’ or ‘covert’ as were the teachings of the heretical Gnostics of the early centuries. They are not withheld from any Christian, but they often involve a deeper spiritual insight than most Christians take the trouble to seek, and also a dimension of vocation in which some are led by God's grace to pursue a life of deeper contemplative prayer than others.
The four notable identities that tend to be characteristic of the mystical way are (a) the repudiation of literalism; (b) the development and practice of some form of contemplation; (c) engagement with apophatic theology, known as the via negativa, focusing on what God is not rather than what God is; and (d) the goal of absolute identity and total union of the soul with God. The final goal for a mystic is immersion in God – the abandonment of ego in a perfect union of one's will with God's will in love. The operative human dynamic is neither intellect nor emotion, but the vision of the intuition and the action of the will – which is the agent of love/charity.
In The Complete Cloud of Unknowing, the author's comprehension of the human process of understanding basically describes the imagination and sensuality (the action of the five senses) as producing the raw material – that is, the senses give us information about the physical world around us, and the imagination produces information about what could be. Both of these feed into the reason/intellect, which in turn ‘organizes’ the input from the imagination and the senses and ‘passes it on’ to the mind, which then acts by way of the will to make choices and decisions. And the act of the will that is central to the author's purposes is the willful act of love – the choice to love unsentimentally, unselfishly, and sacrificially.
In that act of love, one utterly chooses God above and beyond all else – and thus one's own will comes into union with the Divine Will. "The exercise of the will directed solely to God pleases God more than any other exercise." For the mystic this union may be brief – even ephemeral – occasional, and rare. It is the transient momentary experience on earth of the ultimate eternal union of heaven. This process is often referred to as ‘divinization’ as the soul takes on itself a more and more celestial nature and shares more intimately with God's very Self. It must be pointed out that a proper contemplative's practice may aim less high and may aspire to opening the self to God simply in order to be silently available and vulnerable to spiritual insights, intuitions, or discernments short of divinization – and this less ‘strenuous’ approach to contemplation is not to be discredited: it is entirely mystically valid and spiritually beneficial.
The Complete Cloud of Unknowing includes two classics of medieval Christian contemplative spirituality – essential reading for anyone seeking to deepen their relationship with God through the practice of silent prayer. They are rich texts, full of nuanced wisdom that often gets lost in modern translations. Father John-Julian has captured the beauty, humor and literary elegance of the original versions, but also has supplemented his translation with detailed notes that convey the subtle spiritual insight that makes these works required reading. I'm excited about this book – it's a title I will recommend both to beginners and to longstanding students of The Cloud. – Carl McColman, author of Answering the Contemplative Call and The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader
With his mastery of the subtleties of language and local idiom, Fr. John Julian reclaims a classic of spiritual literature to its rightful place in the 21st century. By rediscovering the nuances that the Unknown Author of The Cloud of Unknowing embedded into the spiritual fabric of his work, the reader is drawn into the contemplative life with the fullness of its 14th century origins while being fully relevant in the 21st century. I would highly recommend this spiritual classic restored and recast for a modern world. – Dr. Jeffrey P. Wincel, author of Climbing the Mountain of God: The Path to Mystical Discipleship
In his translation of The Cloud of Unknowing, Fr. John-Julian presents us with an edition that is scholarly yet readable, learned yet spiritual. His lived experience as a monk combines with deep insight as a theologian to provide an approach to The Cloud that is contemplative in mind and soul. The book offers a rich introduction and enlightening, provocative notes that will satisfy both novice and veteran readers of the text. Fr. John-Julian's accessible version does not oversimplify the profundity of the text. This edition, with its wonderful resources, will keep the seeker journeying evermore back to the work, on both intellectual and practical roads. – Professor Frederick S. Roden, Department of English, University of Connecticut
If I could keep with me only two books and a journal, this book would be one of the books. As far as I’m concerned it’s the most important book (and among the most influential) on Christian prayer in the last two millennia. I'm delighted to endorse this fine new translation and commentary. – Chris Neufeld-Erdman
Subtle yet accessible, The Complete Cloud of Unknowing is a fine new translation of a spiritual classic recast for the modern world. The rich introduction and enlightening notes provide deep insight.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity
Morning Homilies: In the Chapel of St. Martha’s Guest House March 22-July 26, 2013 by Pope Francis, with an introduction by Inos Biffi, translated by Dinah Livingstone (Orbis Books)
From his morning homilies, Pope Francis in
Morning Homilies offers his unforgettable reflections on the gospel.
Each morning Pope Francis says Mass and offers a short homily for fellow residents and guests in the chapel of St. Martha's Guesthouse, where he has chosen to live. In Morning Homilies, taken from the first five months of his papacy, it is now possible to experience the Pope’s lively manner of speaking and his capacity to engage his listeners and their daily lives. Readers hear his reflections on the Emmaus disciples who were "simmering their lives in the sauce of their grumbling"; on Christians who must keep facing reality, "ready, like the goalkeeper of a football team, to stop the ball wherever it comes from." The pope speaks of the true God of faith and of "a diffuse god, a god-spray, that is a bit everywhere, but we don't know what it is"; of "intellectuals without talent" and "ethicists without kindness"; of "going to confession like going to the dry cleaners"; of a "holy picture face" which conceals our own sinfulness. But more important than these vivid images are the themes of Pope Francis: the importance of mercy and forgiveness, the role of Jesus as Savior, the dangers of a church closed in on itself, the gospel as a source of life and joy.
With the collection and publication of the accounts of Pope Francis' Morning Homilies, which have appeared day by day in L'Osservatore Romano, it is now possible to read a good number of them together and get to know and enjoy them as a whole.
According to Inos Biffi in the
introduction, ‘homilies’ is exactly what they are; the ‘homily’ is a particular
Christian literary form, with illustrious models in the Fathers. Jean Leclercq
defines it as a "friendly talk by a pastor of souls with his people during a
liturgical service on a biblical text suggested by the liturgy."
Of course the pithy content of these ‘friendly talks’ by Pope Francis is important. But what strikes one immediately is the originality of their style, their lively, simple language, rich with metaphors, graphic images, that involve the listeners, speak to them and engage with their actual daily lives, whose ups and downs the pope illustrates in the light of the gospel. The language doesn't dwell on the theological or speculative depths of the truths of faith, which of course are their source, but on their practical application.
One finds in Pope Francis' homilies a wise ‘discernment of spirits’, that is, the rare acute inner penetration and psychological acumen of someone with a habitual long familiarity with human situations, a lucid knowledge of the problems, reactions and feelings of communities and people in general. And through it shines a long experience and involvement, sometimes expressly and suggestively recalled.
Each morning since Pope Francis's election, I have read his beautiful morning homilies, and their publication is something I've long been anticipating. These homilies – clear, brief, wise, often funny and always grounded in experience, are my favorite of all of the pope's talks and writings. It never fails to astonish how Pope Francis can find something new in these familiar Bible passages, and I hope that his surprising insights will lead you deeper into Scripture and help you encounter God in a new way. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. – James Martin, SJ, author, Jesus: A Pilgrimage
The homilies in Morning Homilies reflect the spontaneous and original style that has won hearts throughout the world, as well as his power to communicate the gospel message with depth and freshness. Thanks to the way fundamental themes, which are both traditional and given a new freshness, are resumed and recur, these homilies offer both faithful and clergy, including bishops, a whole compendium of considered advice and vigorous ascetic directions.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology
Faith, Freedom and the Spirit: The Economic Trinity in Barth, Torrance and Contemporary Theology by Paul D. Molnar (IVP Academic)
Distinguished scholar Paul Molnar adds to his previous work, Divine Freedom and the Doctrine of the Immanent Trinity, to help readers think more accurately about the economic Trinity, about divine and human interaction in the sphere of faith and knowledge within history. Molnar is professor of systematic theology at St. John's University in Queens, membership secretary of the Barth Society and a current board member of the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship.
Exploring why it is imperative to begin and end theology from within faith, Molnar in Faith, Freedom and the Spirit relies on the thinking of Karl Barth and of Thomas F. Torrance in dialogue with other contemporary theologians, both Catholic and Protestant, about divine and human freedom. Molnar's study begins with an extensive discussion of the role of faith in knowing God and in relating to God in and through his incarnate Word and thus through the Holy Spirit. From there he proceeds to consider the divine freedom once again as the basis for true human freedom, discussing how and why a properly functioning pneumatology will lead to an appropriately theological understanding of God’s actions within the economy. He considers perils of embracing a historicized Christology, proposing an alternative way of understanding the connection between time and eternity. And finally, he discusses at length how the doctrine of justification by faith relates to living the Christian life in the power of the Holy Spirit and the economy of grace.
Molnar’s first book on the Trinity was rightly perceived as a ground-clearing exercise that was meant to illustrate why a doctrine of the immanent Trinity was important and needed to function in theological reflection by directing theologians to the need to recognize and to maintain the freedom of God's grace. Faith, Freedom and the Spirit is a discussion of just how a properly conceived pneumatology would assist theologians speaking of the economic Trinity to think more accurately about divine and human interaction in the sphere of faith and knowledge within history.
Beginning and ending theology from within faith means that any attempted apologetic approach to Christology, to knowledge of God and thus to the doctrine of the Trinity that begins by focusing on our experience of faith instead of focusing on the God experienced in faith will always tend to confuse or separate not only nature and grace but reason and revelation. Any such confusion will weaken a strictly theological understanding of divine and human freedom and thus undermine the need for the Holy Spirit in order to see and to understand how exactly Christology relates with the doctrine of the Trinity and with pneumatology to point us to the constant need to rely on God himself both to know God and to love God within the sphere of history.
Faith, Freedom and the Spirit relies on the thinking of Barth and of Torrance to explicate such thinking in contrast to those theologians who do not begin and end their reflections in faith. He also argues against attempts to historicize Christology in inappropriate ways by discussing the kinds of resources that are available in the theology of Barth and Torrance from which one could develop a properly historical view of Christology, and thus of God acting within history in his Word and Spirit without falling into the Hegelian trap of making God in some sense dependent on history.
After discussing an appropriate understanding of faith and how theological knowledge operates within pneumatology, Molnar proceeds to consider in detail divine freedom once again as the basis for true human freedom. Relying on the thought of Torrance, he proposes an alternative way of understanding the connection between time and eternity that is christologically focused and pneumatologically informed.
Since there is a critical connection between Christology and the doctrine of the Trinity, Molnar in Faith, Freedom and the Spirit spends some time considering some of the perils of embracing a historicized Christology, that is, a Christology that is supposed to offer a view of Jesus' divinity without having to acknowledge the continued relevance of the Logos asarkos for reflection on the God who acts as our reconciler within the economy.
A consideration of Barth's early and later Christology follows, with a view toward explaining why Molnar thinks the evidence suggests that he never did and never would have abandoned his early position that the Word would still be the eternal Word without the incarnation, just as God would be none the less the eternal Father, Son and Holy Spirit if he had never decided to create, reconcile and redeem the world. Molnar explains how and why he thinks that those who claim that Barth's later Christology changed and required that he therefore should reject his earlier views or be considered inconsistent in his thinking are mistakenly engaging in ‘untheological metaphysical speculation’ just because their historicist presuppositions lead them to discredit Christ's antecedent existence as ‘authentic, definitive and essential?’ After considering this crucial issue, Faith, Freedom and the Spirit focuses more particularly on Christology once again to see where some of the problems bequeathed to contemporary theology come from.
To do this Faith, Freedom and the Spirit engages in a close comparison of the views of Torrance and Barth, comparing their understanding of the obedience of the Son as that act on the basis of which reconciliation and redemption become events within the sphere of history. The main issue discussed is whether and to what extent obedience and subordination can be read back into the immanent Trinity. When such a reading occurs, it is Molnar’s contention that the order of the Trinitarian persons actually is confused with their being because an extraneous concept of causality is, perhaps inadvertently, imported into the relations of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thus weakening the positive point that the Son of God did not hold himself aloof from us but in his incarnation, death and resurrection he really was God acting as man for humans both from the divine and the human side, reconciling the world to the Father. And as the ascended and advent Lord, he remains the one Mediator between individuals and the Father in the time between his first and second appearance within history. It is the Holy Spirit who enables humans to experience and to live that reconciliation that is our justification and sanctification by grace and by faith; this is what empowers Christian hope here and now as well. In connection with this issue he explains why he thinks that Torrance had a more consistently theological view of this matter than Barth.
Finally, in order to develop a positive view of how human beings may live within the economy by grace and thus through the Holy Spirit uniting us to Christ and therefore through faith, Molnar discusses at length how the doctrine of justification by faith relates to the living of the Christian life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul Molnar is one of the outstanding theologians of his generation. Everything he writes is worthy of the most careful attention.… Powerfully argued and meticulously documented, this book is a magisterial interpretation of Barth and Torrance on the Trinity in relation to election and the incarnation. – George Hunsinger, Princeton Theological Seminary
… Well-known for his insistence that the doctrine of the immanent Trinity
remains crucial for a Christian depiction of divine freedom, here he addresses
the related theme: What should a doctrine of the
economic Trinity say? In
dialogue with major figures in modern theology, Molnar offers a rich and highly
perceptive account of what the revelation of the eternal God in time does – and
does not – entail. – Ivor J. Davidson, professor of systematic and
historical theology, University of St. Andrews
… The interrelation of election and the Trinity has become a flashpoint in contemporary discussion. A main issue is whether and to what extent obedience and subordination may be read back into the immanent Trinity. Paul Molnar explores this by way of a close comparison of T. F. Torrance and Karl Barth. This is a demanding book which sets out technical issues helpfully and with great clarity. – Iain R. Torrance, pro-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, president emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary
Few Protestant, let alone Catholic, interpreters of Karl Barth read him with as much skill and conviction as does Paul Molnar. Here again we find him making important and timely interventions not only in Barth studies, but also in theology in general, challenging the present dominance of a 'historicized Christology.' Molnar shows the deep difficulties such a Christology generates, and how Barth is not their ally. He then situates the Barth-Torrance position within the contemporary theological landscape defending its viability admirably. The result is compelling and deserves the attention of evangelical, Protestant and Catholic theologians. – D. Stephen Long, Marquette University
I consider Professor Paul Molnar to be the most outstanding Roman Catholic theologian in North America today. Erudite, perceptive and staunchly Trinitarian, Molnar writes with a passion for the gospel and the truth revealed in and through Jesus Christ. His new book is a tour de force.… This is a crucial and sparkling work for everyone concerned about the future of Trinitarian theology! – Elmer M. Colyer, professor of systematic theology and Stanley Professor of Wesley Studies, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
Powerfully argued and meticulously documented, Faith, Freedom and the Spirit explores God's relations with humans and their relations with God within the economy by focusing on the activity of the Spirit who enables faith and freedom. When the full picture is considered in detail, thoughtful readers will see just why God's freedom as the one who loves must be upheld at all costs, even and especially when speaking about Christian life as the life of those who are justified and sanctified in and through the one Mediator precisely as the Holy Spirit actualizes that reconciliation in our lives here and now.
Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology
The Incarnation of God: The Mystery of the Gospel as the Foundation of Evangelical Theology by John Clark & Marcus Peter Johnson (Crossway)
It’s at the heart of the
It’s the central fact of human history.
It’s the defining reality of all existence.
In The Incarnation of God, theology professors John Clark and Marcus Johnson explore the doctrine of the incarnation of Christ – an unquestionably foundational yet oddly neglected topic in contemporary evangelical theology – examining its implications for the church’s knowledge and worship of God, appreciation for salvation, approach to the Christian life, and understanding of human sexuality. Clark and Johnson are both assistant professors of theology at Moody Bible Institute.
According to Clark and Johnson in the preface to The Incarnation of God, the book was born of the conviction that, at bottom, the modern church does not sufficiently see and savor the astounding mystery at the very heart of Christian confession: God the Son, without ceasing to be fully God, has become fully human. The eternal Word became flesh, entering our existence, the deepest ground of our being, to forevermore live his divine life in our human nature.
Clark and Johnson say that God entered the world in and as the man Jesus Christ, such that the meaning of God, man, and the world – the meaning of the Creator, the human creature, and all creation – is given full and final, concrete and definitive, expression in him. The incarnation of God is the supreme mystery at the center of Christian confession, and no less at the center of all reality. Consequently, all conceptions of reality that fail to see and savor that all things hold together in Christ, and that he is preeminent in all things, can never be anything but abstract conceptions of virtual realities – that is, hollow and vacuous concepts pulled away from reality.
Because the incarnation of God lies at the heart of all reality, all books about the incarnation are necessarily noncomprehensive and nonexhaustive, and The Incarnation of God is no exception. Its aim is to explore the relation of the incarnation to other major facets of the Christian faith, demonstrating that Christ holds together, and should indeed be preeminent in, the whole of Christian confession. Clark and Johnson say they long to see the great central fact of the incarnation deeply penetrate and captivate the hearts and minds of modern Christians, to the end that the modern church might more robustly delight in Jesus Christ.
The Incarnation of God is a theological juggernaut grinding into dust all modern dichotomous thinking about the person and work of Jesus Christ. Reclaiming grossly neglected biblical, patristic, and reformational teaching, Clark and Johnson reestablish the incarnation as the proper center and ground for all evangelical theology, and demonstrate with profundity and potency the tectonic implications of our Lord’s assumption of human flesh. – Joel Scandrett, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology & Director of the Robert E. Webber Center, Trinity School for Ministry
Clark and Johnson clearly and eloquently lay out the significance of the incarnation as the centerpiece of Christian theology. Their fascinating reflections on the relation of the incarnation to other aspects of Christian faith introduce us to depths of truth that most Christians have never dreamed of, let alone explored.… It is a pleasure to recommend this book. – Donald M. Fairbairn, Jr., Robert E. Cooley Professor of Early Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; author, Life in the Trinity and Grace and Christology in the Early Church
The Incarnation of God is an engrossing and stunningly well-conceived book. The theological significance of the great central miracle of Christian faith is laid forth with clarity and conviction. Reflecting an impressive range of research and timely apologetic concern, this is a book for thoughtful reading. I endorse it with enthusiasm. – Andrew Purves, Jean and Nancy Davis Professor of Historical Theology, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; author, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology and The Crucifixion of Ministry
Recent attention to the theme of the believer’s union with Christ has stimulated renewed interest in the person of the Christ with whom Christians are united. In dialogue with the best of the Christian tradition and recent theology, Clark and Johnson explore the incarnation in ways that both academics and pastors will find helpful. – William B. Evans, Younts Professor of Bible and Religion, Erskine College; author, Imputation and Impartation and What Is the Incarnation?
Grounded in Scripture and informed by church history, The Incarnation of God leads readers to reexamine afresh the greatest mystery of the universe: the Lord’s assumption of human flesh. Given that theology is done for the church, this book is intended to be read with benefit by those burdened to advance the work and witness of the worshiping community – including undergraduate and graduate theology students, pastors, and informed lay Christians.
Religion & Spirituality / History / Biblical Studies
The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 by Emil Schürer, revised & edited by Geza Vermes, Fergus Millar & Matthew Black, with literary editor Pamela Vermes (Bloomsbury T&T Clark)
Emil Schürer's Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, originally published in German between 1874 and 1909 and in English between 1885 and 1891, is a critical presentation of Jewish history, institutions, and literature from 175 B.C. to A.D. 135. It has rendered invaluable services to scholars for nearly a century. Schürer (1844-1910) was a German Protestant theologian. He lectured at Leipzig, Giessen, Kiel, and Göttingen and founded and edited the journal Theologische Literaturzeitung. He devoted most of his scholarly life to the creation of his magisterial work on the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ.
The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 offers a fresh translation and a revision of the entire subject matter. The bibliographies have been rejuvenated and supplemented; the sources are presented according to the latest scholarly editions; and all the new archaeological, epigraphical, numismatic and literary evidence, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bar Kokhba documents, has been introduced into the survey. Account has also been taken of the progress in historical research, both in the classical and Jewish fields. This work reminds students of the profound debt owed to nineteenth-century learning, setting it within a wider framework of contemporary knowledge, and provides a foundation on which future historians of Judaism in the age of Jesus may build.
Emil Schürer's Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi began its career in 1874 as Lehrbuch der neutestamentlichen Zeitgeschichte, acquired its definitive shape and title with its second edition (1886-1890), and was further enlarged and perfected in the so-called third-fourth edition (1901-1909).
The idea of a new Schürer was first conceived by the late Professor H. H. Rowley of Manchester University, but credit for the actual initiation and organization of the enterprise belongs to Matthew Black, F.B.A., Principal of St. Mary's College and Professor of Biblical Criticism in the University of St. Andrews. In 1964, he commissioned a team of translators to render into English the last German edition. Their work constituted the first phase of The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1. Subsequently, Professor Black invited Geza Vermes, Fellow of Wolfson College, Reader in Jewish Studies, and Fergus Millar, Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at The Queen's College, both in the University of Oxford, to join the Schürer project, and it was decided to follow a new policy which would entail the insertion of changes at the actual points where they were needed, instead of presenting, as was initially planned, a straight translation of the original accompanied by a special volume of supplements. To ensure a faithful, homogeneous and readable text, Pamela Vermes checked the revised copy against the German, retranslated it where necessary, and introduced throughout a quantity of stylistic improvements.
A modernization is justified because Schürer's History was not intended to provide a personal synthesis, but a critical and objective presentation of all the available evidence. Failing revision, it must either be declared obsolete, which would be a tragic waste, or meet an even more undeserved fate of becoming increasingly a source of error. The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 salvages all that is still valid of Schürer's monument and offers it in a form that permits the work to fulfill its original purpose. In consequence, the editors do not to mark additions, corrections and deletions in the text, but revise it directly.
Whereas the editors make available to readers all factual evidence affecting the fields covered by Schürer, they do not record every shade of opinion voiced since Schürer wrote, and do not refer to every book or article expressing such opinions. But, as well as the bibliographical lists, which give the major modern works, the text and notes do take account of the more important interpretations offered during the last sixty years or so.
The numbering of the notes of the latest German edition could not be retained, but the structure of the chapters and subdivisions has been preserved, so that any reader familiar with the original can understand what fresh material has appeared and what its relevance is. The only wholly new section in The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 is the documents from the Judaean desert.
The work remains, as far as the evidence now available allows, that of Emil Schürer. That so much survives is a tribute to his immense diligence, scholarship and judgment. In addition The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 offers material for historical research, but is not an interpretative synthesis or a summary of contemporary interpretations. And it does not lay undue emphasis on the views of the editors themselves.
Since it was from Judaism that Christianity emerged in the first century A.D., nothing in the Gospel account is understandable apart from its setting in Jewish history, no word of Jesus meaningful unless inserted into its natural context of contemporary Jewish thought. The task of the New Testament scholar, when enquiring into the phenomenon of the birth of Christianity, is to relate Jesus and the Gospel, not only to the Old Testament, but also, and above all, to the Jewish world of his time. Such an aim involves a full assimilation of the findings of students of inter-Testamental Judaism and of Hellenistic and Roman Palestine.
The chief characteristic of this period was the growing importance of Pharisaism. Together with the other Palestinian religious parties, the Pharisaic movement had its origin in the conflicts of the Maccabaean period. During that time, the trend towards legal conservatism not only acted as a unitive force within Jewry by defeating the pro-Greek faction, and thus contributed to the defense of Israel's patrimony; it also helped to create a highly influential class, that of the scribes. No other power, spiritual or political, was in a position to neutralize their impact. But the battles of the Maccabaean period were also crucial for Israel's political history since they laid the ground for the emancipation of the Jews from the Seleucid kingdom, and for the establishment of an independent Judaea under native princes which endured until the Roman conquest. Thus both the internal and external development of Judaism which took place at this time justifies the choice of the Maccabaean age for the terminus a quo of The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1.
Similar considerations help to fix the terminus ad quem. At the start of Roman rule a certain measure of political autonomy continued. The priestly line of the Maccabees was replaced by a newly created dynasty of Herodians. When they were removed by Rome, Judaea was administered by imperial prefects and procurators, but even so, a national aristocratic senate, the Sanhedrin, exercised many of the powers of government. It was only in consequence of the great insurrection under Nero and Vespasian that the independence of the Jewish people was taken from them, and only the suppression of the great rebellion under Hadrian that entailed its actual and final abolition. But if political considerations warrant the extension of the `age of Jesus' to the reign of Hadrian, the internal evolution of Judaism does the same, for it was precisely the second century A.D. that saw the commencement of the systematic recording of laws till then transmitted mainly orally, the foundation, in other words, of the Talmudic code. It was, moreover, the period in which Pharisaism, as a result of the downfall of Jewish institutions, acquired decisive influence, both as a spiritual power and as a secular authority. For the Sadducee priesthood disappeared with the destruction of the Temple; and in the Diaspora, inconsistent Hellenistic Judaism was unable to hold its own in face of the greater consistency of the Pharisees.
In The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1, community organization is discussed, Gentile as well as Jewish; for this belongs to internal history inasmuch as it concerns the self-administration of communes as opposed to the political history of the country as a whole. Included in the study of Jewish self-government is an examination of the Sanhedrin and the High Priesthood. But the two chief factors in interior affairs were, on the one hand, the priesthood and the Temple cult, and on the other, the study and teaching of the Bible by the scribes and rabbis. Whereas the leading priests in the Greek period, with the Sadducees grouped around them, were more interested in political matters than in religion, the scribes and their heirs, the Pharisees, propagated and preserved the knowledge of the Torah through the institutions of school and synagogue. The effects of their work upon the people at large are seen in an examination of Jewish life and religious practice. But most important of all, the reward for a faithful and rigorous observance of the law was looked for in the future; zeal for the Torah during this time was inspired by a vivid Messianic and eschatological expectation.
The exploration of mainstream Judaism in The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 is supplemented by an exposition of the community of the Essenes and of the distinctive features of Diaspora Judaism. Finally, extant Palestinian Jewish literature of the period, and to an even greater extent Hellenistic literature, where the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria merits special attention, reveal that, despite the predominance of Pharisaism, the spiritual interests and aspirations of religious Jews were many and varied.
..a first-rate textbook on the intertestamental period. – Menahem Stern,
Journal of Jewish Studies
The obsolete has been excised from text, notes, and bibliographies, which have all been revised. And of course a quantity of wholly new material, unknown to Schürer, has had to be incorporated, such as archaeological finds, the Qumran and Bar Kokhba documents and the Babylonian tablets which have recently been throwing light on obscure areas of Seleucid (and Parthian) chronology... All that was best in the original has been preserved: notably its depth of learning, laudable succinctness, and remarkable clarity of organization. – The Classical Review
The appearance of Vol. 1 of the new Schürer is of such significance that it is not exceeded in importance by any recent publication and approached by very few. Schürer is the handbook par excellence for scholars, who are now in greatest debt to the editors for a labor of devotion and an achievement of sheer excellence.... It is impossible to overpraise this volume. – The Classical World
The Vermes-Millar version of Schürer's justly famous history of the Jewish people in the age of Jesus Christ is a truly monumental achievement in its wellnigh total recasting of the entire work. The up-to-date bibliographical coverage alone, the wide trawl of the most recondite sources in many languages, Semitic, Greek, etc., and the cautious but firm exercise of judgement will ensure its authoritative survival deep into the 21st century. The publication of the eagerly awaited indexes, which places the key to this great compendium of both reference and literature into the hands of readers from many disparate disciplines, is bound to be a literary event of profound significance. – Professor Edward Ullendorff, F.B.A., Emeritus Professor of Semitic Languages, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
The editors have rendered a magnificent service to scholarship by this excellent translation and updating of Schürer's classic. – Catholic Biblical Quarterly
This is one of the few indispensable books. – Journal of Theological Studies
... it is the opinion of this reviewer that the new Schürer will be an indispensable resource for future historical work on this period... – Religious Studies Review
With the completion of this project, the world of scholarship will possess an indispensable tool for the study of this period, which is the heyday of Judaism. – Magen Broshi, The Jerusalem Post
Without any doubt ... a major work of scholarship ... – Journal of Jewish Studies
Here is a handbook of excellence for scholars, a truly monumental achievement. By reminding students of the inter-Testamental era of the profound debt owed to nineteenth-century learning, and by placing within the framework of the finest product of that scholarship, the vast accretion of knowledge gained in the twentieth century, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 will prove to be a secure foundation on which future historians of Judaism in the age of Jesus may build.
Social Sciences / Archaeology
Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians: A Multiscalar Approach edited by Ramie A. Gougeon & Maureen S. Meyers (The University of Tennessee Press)
In the last four decades, southeastern archaeology has increasingly developed a processual method of looking at archaeological data through varying levels of scale. By adjusting the scale, archaeologists can further define societal interactions and exchanges, which is particularly useful to those researching the Mississippian period, as the rise and fall of chiefdoms was both internally complex and externally influenced by broader regional factors. This use of the most current research methods has enabled a more comprehensive understanding of prehistoric and historic sociopolitical entities.
In Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians, Ramie A. Gougeon and Maureen S. Meyers have brought together a dozen archaeologists to delineate multi-scalar approaches to Native American sites throughout southern Appalachia. Gougeon is an assistant professor with the Division of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of West Florida and Meyers is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Mississippi.
The essays in Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians range in topic from ceramic assemblages in northern Georgia to public architecture in North Carolina to the frontiers of southern Appalachia in Virginia. Throughout the volume, the contributors discuss varying scales of analysis in their own research to flesh out the importance of maintaining different perspectives when evaluating archaeological evidence. Additionally, the volume makes particular reference to the work of David Hally, whose influence on not only the editors and contributors but on southeastern archaeology as a whole cannot be understated. While Hally was neither a pioneer nor vocal champion of scale variation, his impeccable research, culminating with the publication of his magnum opus King: The Social Archaeology of a Late Mississippian Town in Northwestern Georgia paved the way for younger scholars to truly develop research methods for holistic social archaeology.
Gougeon and Meyers say that their intent with Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians is to demonstrate how archaeologists have developed rich interpretations of Southeastern native societies at different scales of analysis. The end result of this examination is to show both the uses and the constraints of these approaches in reconstructing various lifeways across the Southeast. First, Gougeon and Meyers present chapters that demonstrate different ways of examining material culture at different scales to develop interpretations of social phenomena. In light of Hally's work, the chapters presented in the first section are based primarily on ceramic data. Next, other scholars reconstruct the life of the household at different sites, using ceramic, architectural, and other datasets. Finally, they present community and regional analyses of different areas of the Southeast.
These chapters form a coherent whole. First, they use many of the methodologies of scale in the same way Hally's work did, through the use of artifact, household, or settlement data – and usually use two or three types of data. Second, they expand on Hally's initial work in these different areas. In Chapter 1, Julie Markin examines the differences between Late Woodland Woodstock and Early Mississippian Etowah occupations using spatial site clustering analysis. She adds to Hally's work on polity identification by examining changes in site clustering over time in north Georgia and uses the data to demonstrate how inequality could have arisen out of egalitarian societies.
In Chapter 2, John Worth creates a model for explaining ceramic stylistic variability in the Southeast by focusing on such variability at the Little Egypt and King sites. He applies ceramic stylistic theory to a region where it is both necessary and overlooked, and identifies the role of agents in creating stylistic diversity and the meaning behind that diversity. Marvin Smith, in Chapter 3 of Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians, also examines style and ethnicity through ceramic attributes in an analysis of Lamar ceramics on the Coosa River in Georgia and Alabama. Building methodologically and temporally on Hally's work, he is able to identify attributes that signal both homogeneity and markers of ethnicity during the protohistoric period, something long needed in the region.
In Chapter 4, Ramie Gougeon examines the designs of spaces in late prehistoric societies, from the largest to smallest scales, using the King site as an example. This chapter is an important addition to both Hally's household analyses and his King site analysis, particularly its architecture. Gougeon uses the concept of pattern language to analyze how space was conceived by those living in this late prehistoric community, and in so doing complements Hally's work while identifying other important insights.
In Chapter 5, Chris Rodning examines a specific structure type, the Cherokee townhouse, at Coweeta Creek and compares it with similar structures in the Southern Appalachian region. Through a social archaeology theoretical framework, he uses extensive data to present a new perspective on townhouses as historic structures that are equal to prehistoric mounds in terms of both effort and monumentality, forcing a reconsideration of their meaning that is also tied to Cherokee cosmology.
Jared Wood uses the results of excavations from three sites along the Savannah River to test three previously suggested competing models about the structuring of simple and complex chiefdoms. The case study presented in Chapter 6 brings several lines of evidence together, including ceramic typological descriptions, radiometric data, architectural analyses, labor estimates, and geographic spacing, which are contextualized at the scales of the village, chiefdom, and larger region. Wood suggests that Hally's notions about chiefdom organization are the best fit for the region, though he notes that this fit is not conclusive support for the model.
The authors of Chapter 7 of Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians provide an interesting contrast to Wood's work in their consideration of the same interior Coastal Plain region addressed in Chapter 6. Keith Stephenson, Adam King, and Karen Smith begin with an innovative reexamination of the pottery seriation and radiometric data from 10 sites along the Savannah River. They propose a more refined chronology for these sites and, coupled with site distributions, environmental data, and evidence of specific subsistence and funerary patterns, develop an interpretation for the region through a political economy framework that is an alternative to the models presented in the preceding chapter.
John Chamblee and Mark Williams provide in Chapter 8 a multi-scalar examination of Savannah period (A.D. 1250-1450) settlement patterns across what is now Georgia. Drawing upon multiple spatial and temporal scales, Chamblee and Williams demonstrate that what Stephenson, King, and Smith suggest for the middle Savannah River valley is in evidence across the entirety of the region, namely that the ‘classic’ chiefdom patterns observed in the Piedmont were short-lived in the interior Coastal Plain in the Middle Mississippian period.
In Chapter 9 of Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians, Maureen Meyers takes readers to the edge of the Mississippian Southeast with a study of trade, exchange, and households at the Carter Robinson site in southwest Virginia. Like Hally's use of multi-scalar analyses of intra- and intersite variability, Meyers demonstrates how individuals obtained and maintained power through the advantages afforded them by being located at the frontier of other chiefdoms in the Southern Appalachian region. In Chapter 10, Patrick Livingood tests Hally's model of territories in the late prehistoric Southern Appalachians by simulating travel times instead of straight line distances between constituent communities of chiefly polities.
Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians concludes with an Afterword by Robbie Ethridge, who provides a bookend to this festschrift that considers the intersections of the participants' works and Hally's research in a broader regional and theoretical context.
Archaeological interpretations of past societies as a desired end result fits well in the early twenty-first century, processual-plus era of theory-based interpretations of the prehistoric and early historic Southeast. Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians demonstrates how archaeologists develop rich interpretations of native societies at different scales of analysis. It honors a scholar whose career has been marked by a long series of awe-inspiring, small yet significant moments of discovery that have led archaeologists to a comprehensive understanding of a substantial piece of Southeastern prehistory.
Social Sciences / Critical Theory
Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities: Resisting a Dangerous Order by Shawna Ferris, with a foreword by Amy Lebovitch (The University of Alberta Press)
Our voices scrubbed out and forgotten. There are those who research and write about sex workers who often forget we are human. – Amy Lebovitch
Canadian cities are striving for high safety ratings by eliminating crime, which includes ‘cleaning’ urban areas of the street sex industry. Shawna Ferris in Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities interrogates sanitizing political agendas, analyzes exclusionary legislative and police initiatives, and examines media representations of sex workers. In the name of urban safety and orderliness, street sex workers face stigma, racism, and ignorance. Their human rights are ignored, and some even lose their lives. Ferris gives a voice to sex workers who are often pushed to the background, even by those who fight for them. She reveals the cultural dimensions of this discrimination through literary and art-critical theory, legal and sociological research, and activist intervention. Ferris is assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, teaching and researching in the areas of sex work/prostitution studies, critical race studies, and violence against women, with an emphasis on representation and resistance.
The discussion throughout Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities considers the effects of transnational free-market economics, ongoing urbanization, and growing concerns regarding home and homeland security on contemporary representations of and responses to street-involved sex work in Canada. Canadian leaders regularly cite the rigorous policing or elimination of the street-involved sex industry as key components of urban ‘cleanup’ projects that will make cities into attractive, or ‘safe and clean’ global investment centers. Analyzing a combination of legislative initiatives, media representations, police and sex worker activist-produced texts, and literary texts, Ferris interrogates such sanitizing urban agendas. Foregrounding the current legality of prostitution in Canada, as well as the growing number of serial kidnap and murder cases involving inner-city sex workers across the country, Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities brings together two broader cultural debates: one regarding the moral and cultural legitimacy of prostitution in Canada and one regarding the socio-economic disposability of the poor and other culturally marginalized populations in an emergent global order.
Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities interrogates the tension between globalization's sanitizing neoliberal and neoconservative agendas in Canadian urban centers and Canada's current reputation as a liberal democracy concerned with the rights of all of its citizens. Currently, state governments tend to do more to protect private property than to ensure the rights and public welfare of their state citizens. Despite a recent more hopeful turn, in terms of street sex work in Canada, particularly stringent legislation over the past three decades has had dire consequences for already racialized and otherwise disenfranchised populations of street-involved sex workers. The free-market economics that seems so often to precede the emergence of renewed interests in urban law and order moved many sex workers onto city streets as brothels, or ‘bawdy houses,’ were outlawed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Former brothel properties, now prime real estate in downtown cores, were taken over by less socially contentious businesses, and anti-bawdy house legislation in cities across Canada paralleled international urbanization trends in the late twentieth century. Subsequent Not In My Backyard, or NIMBY, activism in Canada that responds to prostitution as a social problem and resulting zero-tolerance policing parallel the rise of neoliberalism and neoconservatism in North America.
Despite the current rash of serial kidnappings and murders of street-involved women in cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg, anti-prostitution neighborhood policing and activism continues to proliferate in these same centers. According to Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities, the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people among poor urban populations in Canadian cities means that such criminalization and victimization is distinctly racialized as well as classed and gendered.
The chapters in Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities analyze cultural incarnations of and responses to the discourse of disposal about prostitution in Canada, noting ways that even those who seek to prevent more kidnappings and deaths often perpetuate the linguistic, imagistic, and cultural conditions that call this violence and murder into being. Chapter 1 examines the many important ways in which "literary, artistic, and mass media discourses not only document a compensatory imagination, but also serve to record the city's dramas, what is lost in the city and what is transformed". This chapter further establishes the theoretical and methodological framework for Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities. Toward this goal, Ferris traces the intimate relationship between serial killers and sex workers from mid-nineteenth-century London's Whitechapel, or Jack the Ripper, murders, to contemporary Vancouver's Downtown Eastside multiple Missing and Murdered Women. Examining both similarities and key differences between these two oft-compared cases, the chapter explores how the contemporary Canadian city registers both the ongoing violence of colonization and the changing role of the human – or the humane – in relation to the revisions to urban imagery and infrastructure that global business often demands.
Chapter 2 of Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities examines how sensational stories provide little analysis of either legislative or socio-political factors contributing to, for example, the high visibility of prostitution at this time in Canadian history, or the growing numbers of Aboriginal women and youth in the survival sex industry. This chapter concludes by highlighting and exploring the influences of prostitution-related legislation and stigma-laden cultural ideology on private citizens' groups, police, and other public institutions that promote increasingly exclusive visions of legitimate citizenship and of the safe streets to which such legitimate urban inhabitants are supposedly entitled.
In Chapter 3, Ferris analyzes how some sex worker activist groups have begun to intervene in mainstream narrations such as those discussed in the first two chapters, providing alternative images of sex work and sex workers and promoting counter-discourses about the need to decriminalize prostitution. Whereas Chapters 1 and 2 analyze dominant media representations of sex workers and murdered women, Ferris focuses in Chapter 3 on sex worker activists' use of web-based media to respond to these violent and stigmatized representations. Given that sex worker activists in the period under consideration speak, through their websites, to wide but often silent communities, their cultivation of community and education through this representative forum appears to constitute absolutely central components of their community activism.
Following sex worker activism to the Internet, Ferris in Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities analyzes the ways that groups like SWAV (Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver), SPOC (the Toronto-based Sex Professionals of Canada), and Stella of Montreal work to reclaim – at least virtually – the space of the city, insisting on positive connections between themselves, their sex work, and the cityscape. This chapter focuses on these three sex worker activist groups in particular because their online forums include a variety of photographs of group members and events that provide powerful rebuttals to the pejorative popular representations and narrations of prostitutes and prostitution discussed in previous chapters. This chapter also considers both the need for hybrid on-offline activism, and the substantially different levels of political power to which pro- and anti-prostitution activists currently have access.
Responding to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal women in the most vulnerable ranks of the street-involved sex trade and among the victims in the Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg cases, Chapter 4 of Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities examines in more depth some of the intersections between Canada's violent colonial history, ongoing racist public policies, and whore stigma in contemporary culture as they converge around Indigenous women working in Canada's inner-city sex trade. This chapter examines whether, for an Indigenous survival sex worker, ‘a blowjob's better than no job’ (as former SPOC spokesperson, the late Wendy Babcock once argued), whether her racial heritage as well as her poverty force her to her knees and whether, in assuming this position, she unwillingly embodies a culturally pervasive, historically damaging, and degraded stereotype of Indigenous womanhood.
Destigmatization of sex work encourages efforts toward legal changes to create safe communities for all. The volume exposes and interrogates the necropolitics, or privatization of the right to secure, police, or take deadly action against private citizens who are considered ‘disposable’ and the subsequent cultural portrayal of already marginalized victims as enemies of the state. Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities has much to offer to educators and activists, sex workers and anti-violence organizations, and academics studying women, cultural, gender, or indigenous issues.
The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 1 by Emil Schürer, revised & edited by Geza Vermes, Fergus Millar & Matthew Black, with literary editor Pamela Vermes (Bloomsbury T&T Clark)