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We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

February 2006, Issue #82

Guide to This Issue 

 

Arts & Photography

Elizabeth Catlett: An American Artist in Mexico by Melanie Anne Herzog (Jacob Lawrence Series on American Artists: University of Washington Press)

Widely acknowledged as a major presence in African American art, Elizabeth Catlett was born in Washington , DC , in 1915. Catlett’s work is celebrated as a visually eloquent expression of African American identity and pride in cultural heritage, but this is not the whole story. She has lived in Mexico for 50 years, as a citizen of that country since 1962, and she and her husband, artist Francisco Mora, have raised their children there. For 20 years she was a member of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (Popular Graphic Arts Workshop) and she was the first woman professor of sculpture at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Her career has stretched from her years at Howard University during the 1930s through various political and social movements – including the Chicago Renaissance of the 1940s, the Black Power and Black Arts movements, the Mexican Public Art Movement, and feminism – which have informed her art.

Elizabeth Catlett is the first monograph to document the full range of Catlett’s life and work. In addition to thoroughly researching primary source materials and to critiquing individual art works with sensitivity and erudition, Melanie Ann Herzog has conducted numerous interviews with Catlett and has analyzed with clarity the political context of her work and her diverse sympathies and allegiances. Herzog, associate professor of art history at Edgewood College in Madison , Wisconsin , examines artistic influences and shows how Catlett transformed an extraordinary stylistic vocabulary into a socially charged statement. In tracing Catlett’s long and continuing career as a graphic artist and sculptor, Herzog in Elizabeth Catlett explores the period in Catlett’s life between the 1950s and the 1970s about which almost nothing is known in the United States. She examines the ‘Mexicanness’ in Catlett’s work in its fluent relationship to the underlying and constant sense of African American identity she brought with her to Mexico.

… a graduate of Howard University and the University of Iowa , Catlett was inspired by her grandmother's stories of slavery and empowered by her academic parents. Believing that art can effect social change, Catlett traveled to Mexico in 1946 and discovered a vital arts community relatively free of racism and far more supportive of her progressive politics than McCarthy-era New York. She also fell in love, married the Mexican artist Francisco Mora, had three sons, and became the first woman professor of sculpture at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico . Herzog's chronicle of Catlett's achievements and cross-cultural aesthetics enriches the impact of her proud and compassionate figurative art in which tremendous fluency of form expresses an abiding humanitarianism. – Donna Seaman, Booklist

In Elizabeth Catlett , Herzog shows Catlett speaking across cultural divides, voicing her concern for the past and future of humanity. Herzog’s interpretation offers a new way to understand Catlett’s work and reveals this artist as a pivotal intercultural figure whose powerful art manifests her firm belief that the visual arts can play a role in the construction of a meaningful identity, both transnational and ethnically grounded. This richly illustrated and informative monograph demonstrates how Catlett celebrates her sense of identity as an American artist in all its complexity.

Arts & Photography / Entertainment / Music

The Steinway Collection: Paintings of Great Composers with essays by James Huneker (Amadeus Press)

Chopin, Wagner, Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Handel are among the composers celebrated through paintings by great American artists and prose portraits by noted writer and music critic James Gibbons Huneker in The Steinway Collection:.

Music lovers will delight in the beautiful color paintings and eloquent prose portraits in The Steinway Collection:. The paintings by esteemed American artists and accompanying essays are intended, in Huneker's words, to "evoke musical visions; for music is visionary, notwithstanding its primal appeal to the ear." An introduction by acclaimed broadcaster and writer David Dubal, Juilliard professor of piano literature, gives the book historical perspective.

One of the paintings showing a critical moment in Chopin's close relationship with the novelist George Sand is depicted in award-winning artist A. I. Keller's painting The Raindrop Prelude. In Wagner & Liszt, N. C. Wyeth, father of contemporary realist painter Andrew Wyeth, illustrates the relationship between the composers Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. In the painting's accompanying essay, readers learn how Liszt befriended and aided the career of the political exile and revolutionist Wagner, giving him musical ideas and producing his Tannhauser at the Weimar Opera House. An image of Berlioz's Fantastic Symphony, painted by Harvey Dunn, brings to life an autobiographical work about the composer's obsessive love for a beautiful woman. Award-winning artist Charles E. Chambers portrays The Death of Mozart.

Readers read about the haughty, domineering Handel, painted in his powdered wig and court costume, sword at his side, who wept bitter tears while composing "He was despised and rejected of men" from the Messiah, and who was himself rejected by his chosen love. Readers witness his inspiration for his E minor fugue, later christened the "Fire Fugue," which expresses the composer's passionate love and anger. These are but a few of the gems of biography, aesthetic commentary, and artistic vision in The Steinway Collection:.

The author of more than 20 books, including the classic Chopin: The Man and His Music, Huneker (1857-1921) was a writer and music critic for the New York Times and various other newspapers and periodicals. The influential journalist H. L. Mencken called him "the one critic among us whose vision sweeps the whole field of beauty. It is unquenchable, contagious, inflammatory." The Steinway Collection: is his last published work. This brilliant and historic book, paying tribute to the great composers, was originally printed in 1919 as an in-house publication of Steinway and Sons but has never before been released to the public. Huneker's biographical commentary on the composers puts the paintings in perspective with telling details of how life influenced art.

Arts & Photography / Literature & Fiction

Harold Pinter's Politics: A Silence Beyond Echo by Charles Grimes (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press) examines the expression of Pinter's political beliefs across every aspect and era of his artistic career.

The fierce political stances of Harold Pinter have been embodied in plays, screenplays, and in his career as a theatrical director. Pinter's name is now a byword for antiauthoritarian and anti-American politics, and his artistic embrace of these stances can be seen from the earliest phases of his writing. His uniqueness as a political artist is that he is pessimistic about changing his audience or making it see its complicity in the horrors of the modern world. These horrors are dramatized through images of torture and oppression culminating in moments of silence that index the full extent of the destruction unleashed by power against dissidence.

Harold Pinter's Politics by Charles Grimes, assistant professor of English and Theater at Saint Leo University , examines Pinter’s politics. Chapter 1 describes how Pinter diverges from previous political playwrights such as Shaw and Brecht by refusing to seek moral or intellectual conversion in an audience complicit in established oppression. Chapter 2 shows how Pinter's early plays, set in a dramatic world of uncertainty and mystery, condemn authoritarian organizations that demand conformity at the price of death. The Dumb Waiter is a world organized on observation, discipline, and punishment, central characteristics of social modernity according to Foucault. The Birthday Party evokes historical facts such as the emergence of torture as a tool of religious repression in medieval Europe and the Nazi tortures of Jews. The Hothouse even more explicitly protests against a world in which ruthless power co-opts and destroys opposition to render itself increasingly invulnerable.

Chapters 3 and 4 in Harold Pinter's Politics investigate Pinter's recent openly political plays, including the two latest, Celebration and Press Confe­rence. In these plays, power, intimately connected with language use, contempt for social others, and misogyny, ruthlessly asserts itself by destroying dissidence, triumphing in the enforced silence of so-called enemies of the status quo. Stylistically in these minimalist plays, comedy and depth of character are consciously rejected, and Pinter's trademark ‘menace’ is stripped of psychological peculiarity, becoming social generality. Pinter's repres­sive regimes tie social exclusion to political violence, utilizing a dynamic, not unknown in our current political climate, of delegitimizing oppositional ideas. In addition to a literary study of these texts, Grimes illumines their creative qualities by describing performances of the plays and by analyzing Pinter's working drafts and notes from the British Library.

Pinter's politics emerge in aspects of his career other than his playwriting. His adaptations of Ian McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers and Joseph Conrad's Victory connect oppression to moral and intellectual certitude as they dramatize the sacrificial costs of political opposition. Chapter 6 of Harold Pinter's Politics examines Pinter's career as a theater director, as it expresses his concern with the historical consequences of fascism, and his principled anti-Americanism in regard to U.S. military actions in Kosovo and the Middle East .

Pinter's political theater finds its culmination in Ashes to Ashes, a meditation on the vanishing possibility of a moral and empathetic politics in our post-Holocaust world. The play embodies the struggle between dissident conscience, which adopts the strategy of narrative projection into iconic stories of twentieth-century atrocity, and a complacent status quo, ending in silence evoking the specter not only of a world past any political redemption but of a rigid separation between history, memory, and conscience.

Harold Pinter's Politics is the finest study I've seen of Pinter's passionate but complicated place within the tradition of contemporary political theater. Grimes's book is insightful in its readings, balanced in its assessments, and rich in its command of historical, literary, and theatrical backgrounds. Working closely with authorial drafts and other archival material, the author explores the shifting emphases of Pinter's political plays throughout his career and while composing individual plays. At the same time, it provides a persuasive account of the recurrent occupations that link such early plays as The Birthday Party and The Dumbwaiter with One for the Road, Ashes to Ashes, and Pinter's explicitly political plays of the 1980s and 1990s. A particular virtue of this book is Grimes's attention to Pinter's work as a screenwriter, director, and actor. By including Pinter's life and career as a whole, he is able to discuss Pinter's often controversial public statements in the context of his work as an artist. Harold Pinter's Politics will help shape the debate on Pinter's political dramaturgy for years to come. – Stanton B. Garner, Jr., Lindsay Young Professor of English, University of Tennessee

Harold Pinter's Politicswill appeal to students of the performing arts, as well as those at the arts’ intersection with political activism and its history.

Biographies & Memoirs / Arts & Literature

Beckett Remembering/Remembering Beckett: A Centenary Celebration edited by James Knowlson & Elizabeth Knowlson (Arcade Publishing)

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) was born in Ireland and spent most of his life in France , where, during the Nazi occupation, he was a member of the Resistance. His plays Waiting for Godot and Endgame revolutionized modern theater, and his trilogy, Molloy, Mallone Dies, and The Unnamable, ranks among the major works of twentieth-century fiction. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.

In life, Beckett was one of the most private of men, preferring to let his writing speak for itself. In the first half of Beckett Remembering/Remembering Beckett he reveals many of his inner thoughts and honest opinions about his life, work, friends, and colleagues in candid interviews published for the first time. The second half of the book includes dozens of pieces written about him by those who knew him best, worked with him most closely, or admired him for his enduring influence.

In the first part of Beckett Remembering/Remembering Beckett, Beckett talks candidly with his official biographer, James Knowlson, about his family, his youth, his school years in Dublin, his early life in Paris as lecteur at the famed Ecole Normale Superieure, his friendship with James Joyce, his work in the French resistance movement during the Nazi occupation, his precipitous flight from Paris when his involvement was discovered by the Gestapo, his clandestine years in the Vaucluse region of southern France, his postwar volunteer work with the Irish Red Cross Hospital in Saint-Lo, and his return to Paris in the late 1940s to resume his literary life.

In the second part, friends and colleagues share their memories of Beckett as a schoolboy, a teacher, a struggling young writer, and a sudden success in 1953 with the appearance of Waiting for Godot, which propelled him from virtual unknown to famous. Actors with whom he worked, including Hume Cronyn, Jean Martin, Jessica Tandy, and Billie Whitelaw, relate their experiences; fellow playwrights and authors Edward Albee, Paul Auster, E. M. Cioran, J. M. Coetzee, Eugène Ionesco, Edna O'Brien, and Tom Stoppard speak of his work and its influence on theirs. One entire chapter is devoted to Beckett as director, for as time went on Beckett, first modestly, then authoritatively, oversaw the direction of many of his plays in France, Germany, and England.

Most tribute volumes necessarily focus on the later years of their subject's life, especially when that life has been a long one and when the number of those who are still alive to remember the early years is very small. With Beckett Remembering/Remembering Beckett, published to commemorate the centenary of Samuel Beckett's birth in 1906, the Knowlsons have, however, been able to portray Beckett at many different periods of his life: as a child, a youth, a student, a reluctant teacher and lecturer, a struggling young writer, a member of a British Special Operations Executive cell in Paris during the Second World War, then working with a French Resistance group in the south of France.

The Knowlsons note that quite different views of the man and the writer can be set alongside each other in an oral record in a way that is much more difficult to achieve in a biography. The widely divergent views of Beckett as a lecturer by his former students at Trinity College , Dublin are a case in point. Some regarded him as brilliant; others found him bored and boring. In other chapters, those interviewed stress the human traits of a man whom in many cases they knew long before he ever achieved any measure of success.

Alongside these earlier interviews, the editors also invited a number of Beckett's friends and those who had worked with him over the years to set down their memories of him. It seemed important for instance to reflect his hypersensitivity to pain and suffering and to point to the significance of this in his writing.

In the specially commissioned pieces, contributors were given the freedom to write whatever they wanted but, in order to focus the mind, were asked to limit themselves to about 2,000 words. The only one to whom this rule did not apply was Beckett himself, for the writer gave so few interviews during his lifetime that to possess a whole set of verbatim talks with him, especially ones in which he is speaking about his personal life, is unusual, perhaps even unique.

A few years ago, Knowlson was contacted by Mrs. Grace West (nee McKinley), one of Beckett's former students at Trinity College, Dublin in 1930, who had kept all her notes on his university lectures on the plays of Jean Racine, and the volume closes with the thoughts of the 24-year-old lecturer Beckett on a dramatist who mattered a lot to him at the time and whose own later theatrical development was to be influenced by his meditations on the theatre of that dramatist.

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) wrote that we are all ‘born astride the grave.’ Now on the centenary of the absurd dramatist and writer's birth, noted Beckett scholar and biographer Knowlson and his wife offer a valuable literary memorial. As the title suggests, the book is a collection of the notoriously private Beckett's reminiscences about his life and remembrances of Beckett from scholars and those who knew, worked or were impacted by him. The abundant glimpses Beckett provides are remarkable for their openness as much as their scarcity: these pieces, drawn from Knowlson's interview transcripts, haven't appeared elsewhere and cover topics like his friendship with painter Jack Yeats ("I think he thought he was the only painter.") and his doomed teaching career ("I didn't intend to be a writer. That only came later when I found out that I was no good at all at teaching."). …Organized chronologically, the anthology includes a chapter on Beckett as a theater director and an appendix containing notes on Beckett's lectures on Racine during his stint at Trinity College . Formatted like George Plimpton's biographies of Edie Sedgwick and Truman Capote or Legs McNeil's oral histories of punk and porn, Knowlson's Beckett tribute straddles the absurdist's immortality. – Publishers Weekly

Published to coincide with the centenary of Samuel Beckett's birth, this intimate, revealing collection offers fresh insights into one of the twentieth century's greatest, most enigmatic writers. Although many of the interviewees are now dead, their memories have not been lost with them and can now be included alongside the tributes of the living in the present book, a companion volume to Beckett’s biography. Beckett Remembering/ Remembering Beckett gives more substance and significance than is usual in a tribute volume. For those familiar with Beckett's work, Beckett Remembering/Remembering Beckett will enhance their knowledge and understanding. For those who are not, it will serve as a useful and revealing introduction to the Nobel Prize-winning author's life and work.

Business & Investing

The Gilded Age: Industrial Capitalism and Its Discontents by Robert R. Dykstra & Jo Ann Manfra (The Anvil Series: Krieger Publishing Company)

The years between the effective end of Reconstruction (1870) and the advent of Theodore Roosevelt's presidency (1901) constituted a uniquely transforming era. From an essentially rural, commercial, mono-culturally British, and diplomatically insular nation, the United States remade itself as an urban-industrial, multicultural, and militarily vigorous global power. The nation's breathtaking and economic modernization, its citizens' invention of such essentials as the telephone, plastics, barbed wire, and laundry washers and dryers, plus Americans' development of the key instruments of modern warfare (the submarine, the machine gun, the airplane, the tank-tread), and even the emergence of such staples of worldwide popular culture as movies, the mythic cowboy, and jazz music basically occurred during the Gilded Age.

The Gilded Age is a survey, written by Robert R. Dykstra and Jo Ann Manfra, both of whom hold doctorates in history from the University of Iowa ; dividing the Gilded Age chronologically into its three decades; identifying the dominant economic, political, social, and intellectual characters; and treating each decade as a more or less discrete period.

The Gilded Age is meant to introduce students to various effects of the Industrial Revolution on American society in the late nineteenth century. The readings include documents that have not been, or at least have been infrequently, reproduced for instructional purposes. The selected bibliography of books published since 1980 provides stu­dents with suggestions 14 further reading and possible project topics.

Targeting their work at students, Dykstra and Manfra hope that the narratives and associated documents in The Gilded Age will stimulate class discussion of this fundamental dimension of the Gilded Age, while freeing instructors to introduce material on social and cultural themes less easily treated at linear narrative form – gender, race, immigration, westward expansion – imperialism, literature, and the arts.

This uniquely organized survey is part of the Anvil Series whose series editor is Hans L. Trefousse.

Business & Investing / Economics / Free Enterprise / Public Policy / Political Philosophy

The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon Series, 7 volumes by Arthur Seldon, edited & with an introduction by Colin Robinson (Liberty Fund, Inc.)

Volume 1: The Virtues of Capitalism

Volume 2: The State Is Rolling Back: Essays in Persuasion

Volume 3: Everyman's Dictionary of Economics

Volume 4: Introducing Market Forces into "Public" Services

Volume 5: Government Failure and Over-Government

Volume 6: The Welfare State: Pensions, Health, and Education

Volume 7: The IEA, the LSE, and the Influence of Ideas

Arthur Seldon has been writing on classical liberal economics since the 1930s, when he was a student at the London School of Economics during Friedrich Hayek's time there. He was a Founder President of the Institute of Economic Affairs . The classical liberal ideas he re-animated over 30 years in hundreds of its publications on the market process and the economics of political democracy, and in his own writings, have had a revolutionary impact on the political and intellectual life of our day. From the late 1950s, he was Editorial Director of the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs , where his publishing program was one of the principal influences on governments around the world, persuading them to liberalize their economies. He is a First Class Honours graduate of the London School of Economics, and has been a university tutor in economics, and economist in industry, adviser to the Government of Australia, and Vice-Present of the Mont Pelerin Society of world liberal scholars.

The series is edited by Colin Robinson, a business economist, was appointed to the Chair of Economics at the University of Surrey , Guildford , where he founded the Department of Economics and is now Emeritus Professor. He is the author of 23 books and editor of many more. For many years he has been associated with the Institute of Economic Affairs and from 1992 to 2002 he was the IEA's Editorial Director.

Volume 1: The Virtues of Capitalism lays the foundation of Arthur Seldon's views and theories of capitalism and its alternatives. The volume is a tenacious and elegant ‘celebration’ of capitalism despite its faults. The first part, "Corrigible Capitalism; Incorrigible Socialism," explains why, Seldon believes, capitalism is susceptible to correction and improvement in the light of experience and why socialism resists such attempts to change theory to fit reality. Traditionally, socialist critics have contrasted capitalism as it is in the world we have known with socialism as it is envisaged in a world they have yet to demonstrate is possible. It creates a false debate that socialism must win and capitalism cannot win whatsoever its achievements. Using the methodology of the critics of capitalism in the opposite direction, the book places socialism as it is against capitalism as it could be. Arthur Seldon argues that neither system is without faults and failures, but that an informed choice is properly made by assessing the degree to which it can be corrected. The Virtues of Capitalism argues that, unlike socialism, the weaknesses of capitalism are not inevitable nor fundamental to the system it creates and concludes that it is with capitalism that the choice must lie. The second part, "Capitalism," a much longer work, is a celebration of capitalism and a detailed account of its virtues.

Volume 2: The State Is Rolling Back is a collection of fifty-four of Arthur Seldon's shorter articles on the shortcomings of state welfare, on government failure, and on the advantages of allowing markets to work. It analyzes a wide range of economic and social problems, demonstrating the damaging consequences of intervention by government with short time horizons.

Volume 3: Everyman's Dictionary of Economics provides over nineteen hundred concise, desk-encyclopedia-style articles on economic terms and concepts, as well as on significant people working in the field, in plain, nontechnical English. The articles challenge readers' acceptance of the conventional wisdom on such subjects as government intervention in economic matters.

Volume 4: Introducing Market Forces into "Public" Services includes six of Seldon's most pivotal writings ("Which Way to Welfare?" "Taxation and Welfare," "Remove the Financing Flaw in ‘Public’ Services," "Charge," "Micro-economic Controls – Disciplining the State by Pricing," and "The Riddle of the Voucher") that discuss ways of paying for ‘public’ services other than through general taxation, with focus on tax reductions and restoring purchasing power to consumers.

Volume 5: Government Failure and Over-Government presents Seldon's pivotal book The Dilemma of Democracy and five related works. In them, Seldon persua­sively argues in favor of limiting government to areas of true public interest, such as national defense, and allowing market forces to control such areas as education, health care, and housing. Seldon condemns over-government, in which government encroaches on the private sector, forcing individual pref­erences to bow to the desires of large interest groups.

Volume 6: In The Welfare State, Arthur Seldon critiques the universalist approach of most government welfare programs, in which the neediest are provided too little and the rest get more than they need. The collection of eight articles and one book explains how state-run welfare, such as national pensions and health care, suppresses innovation, diminishes personal choice, undermines personal responsibility, and ends by providing only mediocre services.

Volume 7: The IEA, the LSE, and the Influence of Ideas includes six works in which Arthur Seldon discusses the way ideas influence policy. He explains how he worked to bring about a revival of classical liberal ideas, in particular through the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs , which had remarkable success and on which many other think tanks around the world have been modeled.

Arthur Seldon’s Collected Works in these seven volumes are a major contribution to classical liberal thought.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Personal Finance

Billionaire Secrets to Success by Bill Bartmann (Brown Books Publishing Group)

Plenty has been written on the topic of Success & Failure. Like many others, this book claims to be different from all the rest, but Billionaire Secrets to Success is the first success and failure book written by a person who has personally experienced being a millionaire three times, being bankrupt twice, and being a billionaire once. Bill Bartmann is the leading authority on entrepreneurship in America . He has created seven successful businesses in seven different industries, including a $3.5 billion, 3900 employee international company that he started from his kitchen table with a $13,000 loan. He has been named National Entrepreneur of the Year by NASDAQ , USA Today, Merrill Lynch and the Kauffman Foundation. Bartmann's successes have been the subject of more than 470 news articles in publications ranging from Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Inc., People, and The Wall Street Journal. His journey from poverty to the twenty-fifth wealthiest person in America , with several ups and downs along the way, has given him a unique perspective from which to share his experiences and the lessons he learned. He shares with readers his nine principles for attaining success.

These nine principles are not the product of academia. Bartmann has personally tested these nine principles, not once, but four times over the past twenty five years and they have worked every time. According to Billionaire Secrets to Success these nine principles will work for anyone, no matter education, social status, financial situation, or how many times they failed in the past. According to Bartmann, once readers understand how these processes work, they can begin to change their lives. His attitude shows when he tells readers, it is not too late – no matter where they are or what they have done or failed to do – each person can become the person they deserve to be.

The people I know who are successful, the people who contribute to our society, are people who have failed many times, who have been frustrated many many times, who have been broke, like Mr. Bartmann, many times. But somehow, they never quit. Soak in from Mr. Bartmann these positive energies, this advice, this counsel, this plan. Take it back with you, implement it. – Clarence Thomas , U.S. Supreme Court Justice

I like, trust, admire, and recommend that you drink in his great wisdom. – Mark Victor Hansen; co-creator, New York Times Best Selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul and coauthor, Cracking the Millionaire Code and The One Minute Millionaire

Follow Bartmann’s advice and become a success in life...he shows you how to use the tools you already have. – Sam Donaldson, ABC News correspondent
Bartmann has experienced more success and failure as an entrepreneur than anyone I know. Learn from his experience. – Jim Stovall, Emmy Award winner, President of Narrative Television Network and author of The Ultimate Gift

Bartmann's book is unique in that it explains in plain language the mechanics of the mental processes that guarantee success or failure. Billionaire Secrets to Success is a powerful book, full of wisdom and experience that will make readers rich – if they follow it.

Children / Young Adults / Historical Fiction

Ithaka by Adele Geras (Harcourt, Inc.), at the 10-12th grade reading level, is written by Adele Geras, celebrated author of many stories and novels, including Troy and the Egerton Hall trilogy: The Tower Room, Watching the Roses, and Pictures of the Night.

In Ithaka ten years have passed since the end of the Trojan War, and Penelope, faithful and devoted, is still waiting for her husband, Odysseus, to return home. The peace of the city of Ithaka has been shattered by the arrival of ill-mannered strangers from the surrounding islands who are vying for Penelope's hand in marriage. But Penelope is certain that her husband has survived the destruction of Troy and will, with the protection of Pallas Athene, return.

Also caught up in the games orchestrated by the gods is Klymene, a young handmaiden who is like a daughter to Penelope – and who longs for more than friendship from Penelope's son, Prince Telemachus. Told through Klymene's eyes, Ithaka captures the quiet strength and patience of a woman's enduring love for her husband and the ensuing chaos that threatens all as Penelope is pressured to remarry.

Then, when a naked, half-drowned man washes up on the beach, everything changes. . . .

In Troy (2001), Geras retold The Iliad through the coming-of-age experiences of two orphaned sisters. Here she reimagines The Odyssey. As in the previous book, Geras revisits a classic epic through young protagonists – predominantly Klymene, a kindly servant girl who attends Penelope in her island castle while the Queen waits faithfully (for the most part) for King Odysseus' return from the Trojan War. Instead of focusing on Odysseus' fantastical journey toward hearth and home, this story remains with those the hero left behind, including his volatile son, Telemachus, and his loyal hunting dog, Argos . Hordes of unsuitable and highly unscrupulous suitors arrive to entrench themselves within the castle, hoping to claim Penelope's hand and lands when she finally accepts that her king will never return. The unwilling Penelope plays a tense game with the increasingly aggressive suitors, which impacts the lives of virtually all of Ithaka's denizens. Filled with intrigue and subterfuge and replete with visits from the gods, this visceral, lusty, tragic retelling will draw older teen readers. – Holly Koelling, Booklist

Ithaka captures the quiet strength and patience of a woman's enduring love for her husband. Told with grace and passion, Geras paints the story of the women left behind when their men go off to war.

Education / Administration

Effective School Leadership: Strategies for Successful School Administrators by James Johnston (Crown House Publishing Company)

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self. – Aldous Huxley

Effective leadership generates a school culture that fosters effective learning. But how do readers acquire the personal qualities and interpersonal skills so vital for a successful administrator? The good news is that they can be learned. Effective School Leadership, written by James Johnston, former teacher of 15 years, former vice-principal and head of a history department, is for readers if they want to

  • Improve their self-management skills such as time management and dealing with interruptions.
  • Manage difficult situations such as a conflict situation with a student, colleague, or parent.
  • Maintain a sense of purpose and direction under pressure.
  • Create a positive attitude in their team so all members are valued and productive.
  • Communicate effectively, whether conversing with a colleague, a student, or a parent.

There has been a great deal of change in education in the past fifteen years. The No Child Left Behind Act, the advent of graduation tests, the increasing pressures for school accountability, and the requirement to hire only certified teachers have all placed new demands on teachers and administrators in schools. The traditional roles and responsibilities of principals, vice principals, and administrators at all levels in both primary and secondary schools have expanded to incorporate a plethora of new responsibilities and pressures. A great deal of time and money has been invested in training school leaders in a range of management tools and techniques. Many of these have focused on improving the effectiveness of the organization and on getting the job done with the greatest efficiency.

Much has been written on school administration. Schools have become immersed in management initiatives and jargon. Despite the preoccupation with ‘management,’ many teachers have seen their workloads increase, their morale drop, and innovation fatigue set in at all levels of the school.

According to Johnson, it is time to reassess management approaches in education. Education is about leadership as well as management. For those who have spent a career in teaching, it is plain to see that ‘management by the stick’ approaches, which invest little trust in the professional judgment of teachers and ultimately dis-empower them, have little to offer schools. In the long run stick management stultifies creativity and innovation, breeds fear and mistrust, saps motivation and succeeds only in encouraging people to avoid taking risks and making mistakes. In the context of our schools, the ‘effectiveness’ experiment has simply encouraged teachers and administrators to become ever more creative at finding ways to avoid the stick.

Effective School Leadership aims to restore the human dimension to the debate about what makes schools effective and what makes them improve. It is less about management than managing less about managing than leading.

Effective School Leadership is intended to help existing and aspiring school leaders and administrators – principals, vice principals, deans of students, department heads, team leaders, and others – develop greater self-knowledge, understanding, and skill in leadership. The result, according to Johnston , is interactions with colleagues that are positive and constructive and achieve shared goals. Part 1 focuses on the development of personal skills and resources to manage and lead oneself effectively. Before readers can manage and lead others effectively, it is important to manage and lead themselves. Chapter 1 focuses on the importance of outcome thinking and creative goal setting for success. Chapter 2 introduces a range of practical strategies for effectively managing time and priorities. Chapter 3 focuses on the importance of state of mind and the beliefs that underpin behavior and how readers can use them to increase their personal effectiveness as an administrator. It introduces techniques to effectively manage resource states and to explore relationships between a person's beliefs and performance.

Part 2 introduces a range of techniques that improve the quality of interpersonal encounters. Chapter 4 addresses the importance of rapport and congruence in dealing with people. Chapter 5 introduces a model for recognizing and responding to other people's language patterns. Finally, chapter 6 introduces a range of processes for resolving conflicts between people in a sensitive and constructive manner.

Overall, Effective School Leadership contributes to the debate about what schools are for and how school administrators can operate more effectively. The ability to communicate effectively with oneself and others is vital to successful learning in schools.

In attempting to motivate others, an effective leader begins by articu­lating the vision for a school. This vision needs to reflect the shared goals and values of the entire staff if it is to help move others forward. Leaders motivate people by taking the time and making the effort to find out what is important to them. Only by investing in people and applying the kinds of skills described in this book can school administrators embody the necessary personal, interpersonal, and organizational values.

The premise of Effective School Leadership is that to lead others readers must first be capable of leading themselves. The ability to build rapport with and between others, and to create a school or departmental culture in which colleagues value and support each other, results from self-belief and explicit modeling. Unless readers believe in what they are doing and act in accordance with those beliefs, few will join them and the task of meeting their avowed objectives will be all the more complex and difficult.

If some of the procedures described in the book seem unusual, it is because they are adapted from training activities. The live and shared experiences of a recognized personal development training program provide the most effective vehicle for learning and practicing the skills that will improve personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Whatever their leadership position – principal, vice-principal, department head, or curriculum specialist – the strategies and techniques in Effective School Leadership will help readers succeed.

Education / Professional & Technical

Leading the Curriculum in the Primary School by Neil Burton & Mark Brundrett (Paul Chapman Educational Publishing)

The focus of teacher training is shifting away from specialized subject knowledge. There has been an acknowledgement of the need for teachers to develop management and leadership skills to achieve a state where they possess transferable skills, which can be employed in coordinating any area of the primary curriculum.

Leading the Curriculum in the Primary School examines the management and leadership techniques that trainees and practicing teachers need, providing trainees, as well as beginning and experienced teachers with the techniques that they need in order to develop, with appropriate experience and opportunities, into subject leaders or effective members of a senior management team. From establishing a direction through working with resources to leading and motivating colleagues, Leading the Curriculum in the Primary School deals with the theoretical, practical and technological issues facing teachers as they create and manage curricula.

The book was written by Neil Burton and Mark Brundrett. Burton is currently the MA Education Programme leader at De Montfort University, Bedford , where he also teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate initial teacher training courses. He has worked in senior positions in primary and secondary schools, advised on primary science and technology in a large Local Education Authority, and taught on MBA and EdD programmes at various universities. Brundrett is a Senior Research Consultant at the Centre for Educational Leadership at the University of Manchester, who previously taught in secondary, middle and primary schools and was a head-teacher for five years. He has also taught at several higher education institutions and was Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Hull .

The structure of Leading the Curriculum in the Primary School is conceived in four sections that take readers through the following areas: an overview of the issues associated with middle leadership; a detailed discussion of leadership and the emergent notion of the role of the middle leader in managing and accounting for change in schools; the resource issues that a middle leader may justifiably be expected to address; and, finally, the ways in which staff can be led by middle leaders. The final section concludes with a chapter on school-based research and evaluation for evidence-based practice.

Section A provides an overview of the components of middle leadership in primary schools. Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to the text and its title – ‘In search of subject leadership’ – reveals the fact that we still seek to define the role of middle leaders in key Stages 1 and 2. Chapter 2 reflects on the effective classroom practitioner and Chapter 3 attempts to show how the skills built up in the classroom can be extrapolated and developed as teachers take on such middle leadership roles and move from subject to curriculum leadership.

Section B guides the middle leader in establishing the direction of his or her subject area or department and commences with Chapter 4, which offers a more expansive and detailed analysis of what is actually meant by the terms leadership and management and then goes on to explore the role of the middle leader within the distributed leadership structure of a primary school. Chapter 5 provides a theoretical overview on middle leaders managing change and some detailed guidance relating to contemporary notions of strategic planning and target-setting. Chapter 6 offers guidance on monitoring and evaluating progress, and Chapter 7 discusses issues of accountability and the middle leader, especially as they relate to the Ofsted model of external inspection.

Section C is devoted to resource issues, within which Chapter 8 concentrates on identifying and organizing learning resources and Chapter 9 adumbrates the problems and possibilities associated with a topic that is often new and challenging to middle leaders – that of budgeting for the most of learning resources.

The final element of Leading the Curriculum in the Primary School, Section D, focuses on what the writers consider to be a key issue in enhancing schools, that of leading and motivating colleagues and pupils. Chapter 10 outlines the way in which colleagues need to be lead and managed to improve performance. Chapter 11 focuses on the various models of curriculum leadership and suggests that a co-constructed model of teaching and learning should be adopted which can both motivate pupils to learn and mirror the overall methods of relating to adults within the school. Chapter 12, the final chapter of both the section and the text as a whole, addresses classroom and school-based research for evidence-based decision-making.

Leading the Curriculum in the Primary School is an invaluable resource for trainees and teachers at every level as they confront the rapidly shifting demands of their profession.

Education / Professional & Technical

Learning to Practise: Professional Education in Historical and Contemporary Perspective edited by Ruby Heap, Wyn Millar, Elizabeth Smyth ( University of Ottawa Press )

How does one become a professional?

The interdisciplinary collection in Learning to Practise offers insights into that fundamental question. Employing a wide variety of approaches and methodologies, the original and thematically linked essays discuss such problematic issues as the most appropriate site for professional education, the proper focus and content of the initial and on-going preparation of professionals, and the nature of both continuity and change in professional education. In the process, they raise challenging questions about the development of professional education in Canada and elsewhere from the early 19th century to the present day, in fields as diverse as the health sciences, law, engineering, social work, theology, and university teaching. Learning to Practise is edited by Ruby Heap, professor of history at the University of Ottawa, whose teaching and research focuses on the history of women in the professions and the history of education in Canada; Wyn Millar, an independent scholar living in London, Ontario and co-founder of the journal Historical Studies in Education, for which she is both co-editor and managing editor; and Elizabeth Smyth, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum Teaching and Learning at the OISE and a founding member of the Women and Professional Education Network.

The essays in Learning to Practise arise out of a previous three-year collaborative effort, the outcome of which was Challenging Professions: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Women's Professional Work. That volume clearly demonstrated the strengths of interdisciplinary approaches to research on the professions. In addition, some of authors represented in this volume found the process of regular meetings over several years, and the concomitant critique of work and discussion of the larger issues, so productive, that they decided to begin a second cycle. This time, however, they had a somewhat different focus: the education of professional women and men.

Under the rubric of ‘learning to practice,’ these essays investigate the nature of professional education as it developed in particular social, political, and economic milieus, and at particular times and places.

As might be expected, since the second cycle of work grew so directly out of the first, the essays in Learning to Practise focus more on the experience of women than of men. Nevertheless, the collaborative enterprise spans a fairly wide range of interests and approaches. It examines the impact of critical periods of economic, political, and social change, such as, in the twentieth century, the two world wars, the rise of the social welfare state, and the women's movement, as well as the changing technological and scientific knowledge base of a number of professions.

Three main themes characterize the essays in Learning to Practise. The first is the problematic issue of the most efficacious place to carry out professional education, and how the site affects educational pedagogies and content, students and teachers, control and governance. The second focuses on the initial and ongoing preparation of professionals: what they learn, how they learn to put it into practice, and what the connection is between the two. And the third considers the presence of both continuity and change in the education of professionals, over time and across occupations.

In the first essay, "Madame How and Lady Why," R. D. Gidney sets the stage for an examination of the site of professional education, exploring how and why it became linked to the modern university, and the pros and cons of alternative methods. In the second, William Westfall tackles the subject of clerical formation by tracing the development of the theological and practical preparation, in a number of different locations, of those Anglican clergy who were to practice in nineteenth-century Ontario . Ruth Compton Brouwer in the third examines another important aspect of professional education: how and where it is delivered beyond the initial preparation of the practitioner.

The preparation of professionals is closely tied to the efforts of both established and aspiring professions to set limits to recruitment. Linda Quiney's essay analyzes how the Voluntary Aid Detachment workers of World War I were perceived by trained nurses as a threat to the status of their nascent profession. Tracey Adams turns the progress-to-university model on its head. Her case study of Ontario dental hygienists illustrates how, during the 1970s, the rapid growth of the health-care sector and the provincial government's intervention led to transfer of their professional education from Toronto 's Faculty of Dentistry to the community colleges.

The second theme concerns the content of professional education: learning to practice, or how professional skills and knowledge are taught and learned, in both overt and hidden ways. Its two main components, as Gidney's essay puts it, are learning how and learning why. There are other ways in which this dichotomy can be expressed, such as theory versus practice or skills versus knowledge, but there is no hard line between the two, and, as Westfall's chapter shows, the content, the delivery, and the very site of the academic component might constitute, under certain conditions, the teaching of practice.

The essays in Learning to Practise illustrate the shifting and uncertain terrain of the enterprise: the pertinent body of knowledge for any given profession was and remains both contested and elusive. For example, the preparation of Quiney's VADs throws into sharp relief the often arbitrary distinction between what was learned in the classroom and on the job; Adams ' dental hygienist leaders also illustrate the mismatch between their training for fairly precise and narrowly defined work, and the academic degrees they acquired.

In her essay, Cathy James examines in close detail the complexities of how theory and practice informed each other. Using fieldwork reports, she shows how social workers in early-twentieth-century Toronto learned their craft by performing on the job what they had studied in the classroom. Thus they were initiated into "the culture, the persona, the language, and the patterns of thought and behavior" that distinguished the trained professional.

A further dimension of this theme is revealed in several essays that examine in various ways how learning to practice is a gendered process. Westfall's clerical students were considered to be ‘gentlemen in the making.’ Jean McKenzie Leiper's study of contemporary women law students explores the range of their experiences with the gendered nature of a legal education and documents the ways in which women might accept or resist the dominant model of learning. That tension is also evident in the essay by Ruby Heap and Ellen Scheinberg, which focuses on the small but significant minority of women who studied engineering at the University of Toronto during the Second World War and the post-war period. The authors illustrate the diverse ways in which women students penetrated this male-dominated institution and responded to its masculinist curriculum and learning environment.

Three of the essays explicitly compare the preparation of different professions. While the authors are now beginning to amass a number of accounts, including the essays in Learning to Practise, of professional education in particular occupations, it has been more difficult, given the state of research and literature on the subject, to make such comparisons. Gidney's essay is intended to provide a broad overview and draws examples from several different occupations in order to shed light on the various components, and varying development, of professional education. Alison Prentice compares and contrasts the ways in which early- to late-twentieth-century women prepared for careers as university professors teaching history or physics. Using a cross-generational approach, she documents a wide range of experiences and illuminates the differences between the two disciplines in the covert messages that neophytes received during training, and the varying degrees of success they enjoyed in putting their learning into effect. And in their essay comparing the demographic and academic records of students in medicine, engineering, and dentistry at the University of Toronto in the first half of the twentieth century, Wyn Millar, Ruby Heap, and Bob Gidney comment on the meaning of the diversities, as well as commonalities, they find.

The third theme that runs through these essays is that of continuity and change. On the one hand, there are important shifts in the site of professional education, in the gender relations between and among students and teachers, and in the processes and development of pedagogies and knowledge. On the other, there remain significant continuities of institutional and professional control, societal norms and expectations, social class and the gendered nature of institutions.

Westfall concludes that both continuity and change can be discerned in the formation of clergy in the nineteenth century; though essential components of their preparation remained constant, there was a shift in "the proportion and placement of these elements within the general larger schemes of clerical formation." The work of Heap and Scheinberg, McKenzie Leiper, Prentice, and Brouwer demonstrates that in spite of the growing number of women in the fields of engineering, law, and medicine, and the disciplines of history and physics, the male models of professional identity remain dominant. The presence of women may subtly alter the norms but does not substantially change them. Indeed, one of Heap and Scheinberg's subjects considered herself ‘just one of the gang.’ The law students in McKenzie Leiper's essay, as well as Prentice's academics-in-­training, had conflicting and conflicted experiences and attitudes toward the kind of professional preparation they received.

Many essays allude to the difficulties of determining the decisive factors in the making of a professional. In the essays by Quiney and Adams, the extrinsic factors of war, job markets, government intervention, and competing interest groups remain crucial in shaping change in professional preparation. McKenzie Leiper's essay reminds readers of the multiple ways in which social class, ethnicity, age, and gender affect the process of learning to practice. Prentice reflects convincingly on the vagaries and convolutions involved in each individual's choice and pursuit of a career.

Change may also occur in unexpected ways. The essays by Prentice and by Heap and Scheinberg point to the more diversified ethnic and cultural backgrounds of female entrants to physics and engineering in the post-war period – a direct result of post-war immigration – and note the significant support that these women received in such academic pursuits from their families. Millar, Heap, and Gidney suggest there was some diversification occurring in all three professional schools during the post-World War II period. They demonstrate how the growth of socioeconomic and religious diversity occurred at a different pace in each school, however, and caution that it was perhaps less than lasting.

Hemp, Millar and Smyth are the first to acknowledge that the essays in Learning to Practise encompass only a few of the elements that could be explored in analyzing the history and practice of professional education. Many of these chapters have touched on other topics that invite further investigation. These include, for example, the impact of social class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and the historical moment upon the ways in which professional education is taught and learned. The role of sexual orientation, however, remains unexplored. Many of the essays examine the reciprocal influence of the professional schools and their students, but there is more to be said. They have hinted at, but need to tease apart, the complex relationship between the professional schools and the university in which they are embedded. In what ways does ‘the authority of experts’ confer upon the professional schools the mantle of superiority within the hierarchy of disciplines? And in what ways is that contested by the traditional view of the university as purveying a liberal education?"

According to Heap, Millar and Smyth, there are a number of subjects that would merit additional consideration. The moral curriculum of the professional school, including explicit codes of ethics and implicit socialization, should be examined. The relationship of the school to professional practitioners and their governing bodies would form a natural extension of the work here. An examination of the role of outside agencies, including public and private funding bodies, would be both topical and controversial. An analysis of the transition from professional school student to professional practitioner would yield insights for both the field and the academy.

How then does one become a professional? Learning to Practise supplies an array of complex answers. Above all, it highlights the extent to which professional education is and continues to be a field of scholarly investigation that holds great promise for the shaping of both theory and practice. An essential resource for those studying the professions, Learning to Practise will also appeal to practitioners, professional associations, administrators, and faculty in professional schools, and to all those interested in the past, present, and future state of their professions.

Entertainment / Movies

The Art of Ray Harryhausen by Ray Harryhausen & Tony Dalton, with a foreword by Peter Jackson (Billboard Books) is about the grandmaster of special effects in the pre-digital era.

The Lord of the Rings is my ‘Ray Harryhausen movie’. Without that life-long love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made – not by me at least. – from the foreword by Peter Jackson

The huge ape of Mighty Joe Young. The fighting skeletons of Jason and the Argonauts. And, of course, the angry T. Rex of Leland of the Guangi. This and so much more is the work of Ray Harryhausen, the father of special effects, the man revered among film historians, animators, special effect designers, and everyone who's ever seen his inspired stop-motion creations.

In An Animated Life, Harryhausen told the story of his career. As one of the most highly acclaimed stop-motion animators in movie history, he was responsible for the dinosaurs, aliens, and mythological creatures in such classic films as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Earth vs the Flying Saucers, 20 Million Miles to Earth, One Million Years B.C., and Mysterious Island , as well as his Puppetoons and Mother Goose Stories. The Art of Ray Harryhausen is a companion volume; in it the focus is not on the movies themselves but on the vast hoard of artwork that Harryhausen has preserved in his London home, much of which is published here for the first time. Reproduced to the highest standards, this artwork includes preliminary sketches and elaborate drawings of key scenes and carefully plotted storyboards, all produced as he prepared to undertake the laborious task of animating the creatures that stole scene after scene from the human actors. Also depicted here are the tiny, elaborately articulated models that Harryhausen created to play these roles and the bronzes which he cast to preserve their forms in perpetuity. Concise essays and lavish illustrations look at each of Harryhausen's specialties, including aliens, prehistoric creatures, and mythological monsters.

Lavishly illustrated and infused throughout with Harryhausen ‘talking’ about his craft, The Art of Ray Harryhausen is a visual celebration of his art and artistry. The volume is coauthored by Tony Dalton, formerly a film publicist and historian, who now runs his own research company, and who has known Harryhausen for over thirty years and collaborated with him on An Animated Life.

Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in the special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much. – George Lucas, producer/director

We're joined the hip and we're joined at the brow and joined in our imagination. – Ray Bradbury, writer & visionary

One of the world's great manipulators. – Kermit Frog

In my mind he will always be the king of stop-motion animation. – Nick Park, producer, writer & animator at Aardman

The stunning array of images in The Art of Ray Harryhausen is a tribute to the vast scope of Harryhausen's imagination and artistic skills. This is a book that fans will treasure since they can see the progression of the master's work over time. It is a collection that no one interested in special effects or cinema history can afford to be without.

Entertainment / Movies

Multiculturalism and the Mouse: Race and Sex in Disney Entertainment by Douglas Brode ( University of Texas Press ) is a spirited defense of Disney entertainment which argues that Disney paved the way for today’s multicultural values through its positive portrayal of women, ethnic minorities, gays, and non-Christian spirituality.

In Multiculturalism and the Mouse, Douglas Brode – the only academic author/scholar who dares to defend Disney entertainment – argues that ‘Uncle Walt's’ output of films, television shows, theme parks, and spin-off items promoted diversity decades before such a concept gained popular currency in the 1990s. Fully understood, It's a Small World – one of the most popular attractions at the Disney theme parks – encapsulates Disney's prophetic vision of an appealingly varied world, each race respecting the uniqueness of all the others while simultaneously celebrating a common human core.

In this volume, Brode makes a case that Disney's consistently positive presentation of ‘difference’ – whether it be race, gender, sexual orientation, ideology, or spirituality – provided the key paradigm for an eventual emergence of multiculturalism in our society. Using examples from dozens of films and TV programs, Brode, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and journalist who teaches cinema studies and popular culture at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, in Multiculturalism and the Mouse demonstrates that Disney entertainment has consistently portrayed Native Americans, African Americans, women, gays, individual acceptance of one's sexual orientation, and alternatives to Judeo-Christian religious values in a positive light. Assuming a contrarian stance, Brode refutes the overwhelming body of ‘serious’ criticism that dismisses Disney entertainment as racist and sexist. Instead, he reveals through close textual analysis how Disney introduced audiences to such politically correct principles as mainstream feminism.

Brode emerges [as] a worthy proponent of Disney's democratic vision, wielding a powerful argument for Disney as a forerunner of multicultural values in America . The significance of his work cannot be overstated. – Deborah C. Mitchell, Westminster College , author of Diane Keaton: Artist and Icon

In Multiculturalism and the Mouse, Brode challenges the popular perception of Disney fare as a bland diet of programming. Providing a long overdue and thoroughly detailed alternative, Brode makes a convincing argument that with an unwavering commitment to racial diversity and sexual difference, coupled with a vast global popularity, Disney entertainment enabled those successive generations of impressionable youth who experienced it to create today's aura of multiculturalism and our politically correct value system.

Entertainment / Music

Bluegrass Guitar: Know the Players, Play the Music (Spiral-bound) by Sid Griffin & Eric Thomson (Fretmaster Series: Backbeat Books)

Bluegrass , the most exciting and infectious sound in American roots music, has found a whole new audience in recent years. Stars like Alison Krauss & Union Station – and the success of the Coen Brothers' bluegrass movie 0 Brother, Where Art Thou? – have brought the music into the mainstream, while the booming festival circuit has attracted countless young players and listeners.

Barely older than rock'n'roll, bluegrass represents the culmination of a folk tradition going back centuries. At its heart is the acoustic guitar.

Bluegrass Guitar, the newest title in Backbeat’s Fretmaster series, is a playing guide and history that includes biographies of key artists, music transcriptions, original recordings, and style demonstrations.

In Bluegrass Guitar, two bluegrass guitarists join forces to help readers get to grips with the music. Sid Griffin introduces readers to the great players, from pioneers like Maybelle Carter and Clarence White through to daring experimentalists like Tony Rice and Bryan Sutton. Meanwhile, Eric Thompson – who grew up playing with Jerry Garcia and David Grisman – gives readers a comprehensive course in bluegrass playing, from rhythm strumming to complex runs, fills, bass melodies, and flat-picking patterns.

The package includes:

  • A 51-track CD of licks, exercises, and songs.

  • Advice on instruments and technique.

  • Recommendations for listening and reading.

Bluegrass Guitar serves as a solid introduction to bluegrass, but it is also useful to intermediate to advanced players. The accompanying CD offers exclusive backing tracks that give readers a helpful way to play along and hone their technique.

Health, Mind & Body

The Potbelly Syndrome: How Common Germs Cause Obesity, Diabetes, And Heart Disease by Russell Farris & Per Mårin (Basic Health Publications, Inc.)

Potbelly syndrome (PBS) is a metabolic disorder that affects about one-third of the adults in industrialized countries. Its most important symptoms are abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

People with potbelly syndrome are usually told to eat less and exercise more, but dieting almost never works, say Russell Farris and Per Mårin; weight is controlled by hormones, not willpower. Some foods are better than others, but no change in the kind or amount of food eaten will ever eradicate the germs that cause heart disease. Furthermore, exercise, while good for everyone, cannot eliminate the stress caused by chronic infections. In The Potbelly Syndrome, Farris, retired artificial intelligence researcher and Mårin, M.D., Ph.D., distinguished scientist, physician and clinical teacher from Sweden , explain that heart disease and potbellies are caused by stress and chronic infections. Common germs that reside in the bodies cause heart disease; germs increase stress levels; stress causes subtle hypercortisolism (potbelly syndrome); and chronic subtle hypercortisolism causes insulin resistance, potbellies, high blood pressure, and type-2 diabetes. To have healthy hearts and flat stomachs, according to The Potbelly Syndrome, readers need to:

  • Reduce exposure to stress.
  • Increase resistance to stress.
  • Eradicate chronic infections.

The signs and symptoms of potbelly syndrome develop slowly, but they are predictable and consistent, the authors say. Armed with the knowledge of what these signs are, readers can improve their chances of having ‘spontaneous’ remissions. The Potbelly Syndrome walks readers through steps that can make a preventive or healing difference.

Readers can lower their stress levels through various means, Farris and Marin point out, but they will need the help of doctors to deal with this new approach to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and for the tests and the means to eradicate the chronic infections that cause them.

Farris and Mårin begin by describing some of the germs that can cause cortisol-related illnesses that include high blood pressure, obesity, Cushing's syndrome, and type-2 diabetes, which is the last and worst state of potbelly syndrome. They discuss:

  • Arguments against lowering cholesterol, as well those for lowering it.
  • The pluses, as well as the negatives, of hypertension.
  • The interplay of infections and insulin resistance.
  • How low stress affects appetite.

For those readers who feel they did everything they were supposed to do and still gained weight, became diabetic, or had a heart attack, or for medical professionals who suspect that there are serious gaps in the current understanding of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, The Potbelly Syndrome will provide a new set of possibilities.

Health, Mind & Body / Diet & Weight Loss

The Fat Resistance Diet: Unlock the Secret of the Hormone Leptin to: Eliminate Cravings, Supercharge Your Metabolism, Fight Inflammation, Lose Weight & Reprogram Your Body to Stay Thin – Forever by Leo Galland (Broadway)

Cutting-edge scientific research shows that losing weight is not about carbs, calories, or even willpower – it’s about a hormone called leptin and how it functions in the dieter’s body.

An expert in the field of nutritional medicine, Dr. Leo Galland, who has studied the link between hormones and obesity for years, says in The Fat Resistance Diet that if readers have struggled to lose weight on diet after diet but still can’t shake those excess pounds, chances are they are ‘leptin resistant’ – a state in which body no longer responds to leptin, making it impossible to slim down, no matter what size portions or how few carbs they eat. But, by adding the right foods to the diet, they can reverse leptin resistance and reprogram their bodies to start melting away the pounds.

"When our bodies are working properly, we eat what we want, and if we inadvertently gain a few pounds, the leptin in our system works to suppress our appetite, rev up our metabolism, and reestablish our original weight . . . The problem comes when this natural ability is disrupted, most often by a condition known as inflammation . . . Inflammation is an important part of conditions like arthritis, asthma, allergies, heart disease, and diabetes

... But there's another condition that some scientists now realize is caused by inflammation – obesity. This is because inflammation triggers leptin resistance, which in turn contributes to sluggish metabolism, unchecked cravings, and eventually, unwanted pounds," says Galland.

As the first weight-loss plan specifically designed to combat the hormonal imbalance called ‘leptin resistance,’ The Fat Resistance Diet lays out a three-stage program that reverses the imbalance and delivers a loss of six to ten pounds in the first two weeks and at least five pounds a month thereafter. The Fat Resistance Diet incorporates a variety of superfoods (foods that help fast-track weight-loss by healing inflammation and restoring the body's sensitivity to leptin) into an assortment of recipes and weekly menus. Some of the superfoods include: salmon, spinach, broccoli, carrots, apples, unsalted almonds, egg whites, pomegranate juice, and so on. The program presented in the book has three stages.

Stage 1 jump-starts the weight-loss process by healing inflammation through the consumption of superfoods. This sudden intake of high-level nutrients improves body chemistry and lowers insulin levels, allowing the body to regain its sensitivity to leptin and begin shedding weight. The recipes in Stage 1 include: a Tuscan Frittata, a Parsley and Tomato Omelet, a Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wrap, Grilled Sirloin with Garlic and Herbs, and Grilled Vegetables with Tofu.

Once the chemical balance has been reinstated and leptin resistance has begun to improve, Stage 2 offers a wider variety of foods to filter into the diet. This expansion of dietary options makes The Fat Resistance Diet work for long-term weight-loss and enables people to lose two pounds per week. The recipes in Stage 2 include: a Banana Strawberry Smoothie, Insalata Caprese, Chicken Caesar Salad, Ginger Lime Grilled Tuna, and Stir-Fried Vegetables with Beef or Tofu.

Stage 3 is designed to help dieters maintain their diet weight while keeping inflammation down. Whole-grain breads and pastas are now integrated into the mix and offer dieters more variety and choice without derailing the progress they have already made. The recipes in Stage 3 include: Carrot Raisin Muffins, Orzo Salad, Pasta with Tuscan White Beans, and Chicken Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa.

With a wide array of recipes and choices, the three stages of The Fat Resistance Diet offer an eating plan that can be followed for an extended period of time. In addition, all three stages are so effective on their own that Galland encourages dieters to stick to just one of the stages if they are achieving the results they desire.

The book also contains chapters on relaxation, detoxification and exercise as well as shopping lists and resources.

The Fat Resistance Diet teaches us how to alter our biological hardwiring to lose weight and keep it off. Dr. Galland spotlights Leptin Resistance – a condition that drives millions to gain weight, despite futile dieting efforts. – Mehmet Oz, M.D., author of You: The Owner's Manual
In a world of fad diets, Dr. Leo Galland’s The Fat Resistance Diet brings leading-edge science to bear on the problem of obesity. This program revolutionizes our understanding of weight loss and health enhancement. – David Perlmutter, M.D., F.A.C.N., author of The Better Brain Book
Dr.
Galland cuts through the diet myths to reveal the critical relationship between hunger, inflammation, and body weight, and provides delicious ways to reduce all three. – Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D., Director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center
A welcome change from the most recent diet fashions, Galland’s book deserves a wide readership. – Library Journal

A potential breakthrough for dieters, The Fat Resistance Diet claims to works with dieters’ hormones to curtail appetite, boost metabolism, and help them lose weight – making readers essentially ‘fat resistant’ – so they will never put the weight on again. A wonderful assertion, and one this editor would love to hear the effectiveness of.

Health, Mind & Body / History / Americas

Jailed for Possession: Illegal Drug Use, Regulation, and Power in Canada , 1920-1961 by Catherine Carstairs (Studies in Gender and History Series: University of Toronto Press)

As rates of illegal drug use increase, the debates over drug policy heat up. While some believe penalties should be harsher, others advocate complete decriminalization. Certainly, debate over the ‘war on drugs’ is not new. In Jailed for Possession, Catherine Carstairs examines the impact of these drug laws on users' health, work lives, and relationships.

Prior to the passage of Canada 's first drug laws in 1908 and 1911, Canadians could purchase opium, cocaine, and morphine at their local pharmacy and at Chinese shops. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the non-medical use of opium, morphine, heroin, and cocaine became increasingly disreputable. When legislation controlling the sale and possession of opium, cocaine, and morphine came before the House of Commons in 1908 and 1911, it was seen as a necessary public health measure, needed to prevent addiction, poisoning, and recreational use, and it met with strong support.

The penalties for violating the Opium and Drug Act of 1911 were fairly minor. This changed when a huge anti-drug panic, closely tied to the drive for Chinese exclusion, emerged in the early 1920s. In chapter 1 of Jailed for Possession, Carstairs, assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph , explores the anti-drug panic and its legal consequences. In the economically troubled years that followed the First World War, the Asiatic Exclusion League and BC politicians renewed their campaign to end all Asian immigration, and drugs became an important aspect of their campaign. Newspapers, moral reformers, and parliamentarians accused evil Chinese traffickers of bringing innocent young girls and boys to ruin through drugs, providing yet another reason for keeping them out of Canada . As a result, Canada ’s drug laws were significantly strengthened, leading to six-month minimum sentences for possession – penalties that were removed only in 1961.

The state also put far more resources into enforcement, starting in the 1920s. The Opium and Drug Branch (renamed the Narcotic Division in 1923 and the Division of Narcotic Control in 1949) was established in 1920, as part of the new Department of Health, and it took charge of coordinating enforcement efforts and managing the licensing system. The newly created Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), formed in 1920 from a merger of the Royal North West Mounted Police and the Dominion Police, was asked to enforce the act, along with other federal statutes. Thus, in just a few short years, the state acquired the ability to fully enforce the act, and the penalties for violation had skyrocketed.

As Carstairs explores in chapters 2 and 3 of Jailed for Possession, these changes had a dramatic impact on the lives of users. At first, police targeted Chinese opium dens, where it was easy to make large numbers of arrests. Faced with constant raids and severe penalties, many Chinese stopped using, or switched from smoking opium, with its strong fumes and bulky equipment, to taking morphine and heroin. White working-class users like Edgar A. were not policed as intensively as the Chinese users, but they received strict sentences when they were caught. Some middle- and working-class drug users continued to obtain morphine from doctors on prescription, although it was becoming increasingly difficult to do so. During the 1920s and '30s, the high penalties for drug use and the greater difficulty in obtaining drugs seem to have led to a slow decline in use. This was not an entirely positive development, as the laws created much more dangerous conditions of drug use, including the replacement of the milder opium with morphine and heroin, and the substitution of the hypodermic needle for the opium pipe.

By the 1930s and especially during the Second World War, when smuggling all but ceased, it was very difficult to obtain drugs. Many drug users roamed the country seeking sympathetic doctors willing to prescribe. In Vancouver, where there was a more regular supply, users started injecting impure opium that was prepared for opium smoking, leading to serious abscesses and other health problems. Other users switched to codeine (a weaker opiate that was not subject to the strict provisions of the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act), Benzedrine (an amphetamine), barbiturates, or alcohol. Others grew their own poppies and make poppy tea. Despite the relative scarcity of drugs, a new generation of rebellious young people started using during the war years, attracted to drugs' pleasures and the dangers of using them.

After the war, shipping resumed, and drugs became easier to obtain and use, but users faced a vastly different situation. There were few Chinese drug users left. Instead, in the 1940s and '50s, there was a far more homogeneous group of white, working-class drug users, many of whom were quite young. These users had usually been in trouble with the law from an early age and had spent time in juvenile institutions. Surveillance of drug use by the police and the Division of Narcotic Control vastly intensified. The division carefully monitored doctors' prescriptions and quickly wrote to any physician who was prescribing more than what the division thought was normal. The RCMP and municipal police forces in Toronto and Vancouver, where most of the known drug users lived, carried out a vigorous campaign against drug users, and as the stories of Kitty and Edgar show, it was nearly impossible to be a drug user in post-war Canada and not spend a great deal of time in penal institutions. Only drug-using doctors escaped the constant cycle of arrest and imprisonment.

In chapters 4, 5, and 6, Carstairs examines the impact of JHS social workers, doctors, and police officers on drug users, but she also explores how each of these groups of moral agents were themselves regulated by the state and by their own training and beliefs.

There is a large body of work on moral regulation that shows how regulated ‘others’ fought back and exerted agency, but there has been less emphasis on how the regulators themselves were governed by state and non-state institutions, by budgets, by professional associations, and by their own sense of ethics and justice. In Jailed for Possession, Carstairs show that power was exercised (in unequal ways) by police officers, parliamentarians, social workers, doctors, government bureaucrats, journalists, and drug users themselves. She shows that the doctors, police officers, and social workers from the JHS faced numerous constraints. JHS social workers faced funding and institutional limitations. The nature of police work was dictated by evidentiary requirements imposed by the law and the courts, and by commands from the Division of Narcotic Control. None of these groups had unrestricted power and there were, in fact, some ironies in how power was exercised.

On the basis of their class status, we tend to think of doctors as being the most powerful of these three groups, but it was police officers, not doctors, that had the ear of the Division of Narcotic Control, and who exercised the most control over policy-making. It was police officers, not doctors, who were most preoccupied with the bodies of drug users, as they inspected their bodies for signs of drug use and tried to physically prevent their consumption of drugs. And it was social workers, not doctors, who were most interested in ‘curing’ the drug user. It was the police who had the most to gain in terms of claiming drug addiction as a particular area of expertise. They had the most personnel in the field, and narcotic policing was an interesting step up from the daily grind of police work – it was a way of gaining prestige and respect. Like doctors, few social workers took an interest in drug addic­tion in this time period, from 1920 to 1961, but those that did, such as the John Howard Society of British Columbia , did so out of a larger interest in advocating for the disadvantaged, and they had little to gain professionally from the field.

The chapter on policing (chapter 4) explores the growing sophistication and effectiveness of narcotic policing in Canada from 1920 through 1961. Policing caused drug users considerable stress and anxiety; it led drug users to distrust even their closest friends and their families, and to create secret (and dangerous) rituals of drug use to avoid detection. The chapter on doctors (chapter 5) shows the pressure placed on physicians by drug users who begged them to prescribe, and by the Division of Narcotic Control, which carefully monitored their prescribing practices and reprimanded them for violations. Conventional wisdom in medical history argues that the professionalization process was complete by the early part of the twentieth century, but chapter 5 shows that doctors' professional authority was questioned in the 1920s and that it was only in the 1950s and '60s that doctors gained greater autonomy in treating drug users. The chapter also demonstrates how the public looked to doctors, and especially to psychiatrists, to put forward solutions for the treatment of drug users in the 1950s, even though relatively few doctors had much interest in the field. Chapter 6, the third chapter on moral regulation, examines the work of the John Howard Society of British Columbia . It shows how these left-wing social workers were restricted in their efforts to achieve social change by their need to cooperate with the criminal justice system, and by their limited funds. Instead, social workers encouraged drug users to engage in a careful and prolonged process of self-examination and to find within themselves the reasons for their use of drugs.

Jailed for Possession concludes with a final chapter on policy. In the 1950s, psychological explanations of drug use and sympathy for the drug users, who were now mostly white and young, led to growing demands for treatment. In 1952 the Vancouver Community Chest and Council, which was the forerunner of the United Way , wrote a report suggesting that daily doses of heroin be provided to addicts. RCMP officers countered with the suggestion that addicts be imprisoned for life. In 1961 a new Narcotic Control Act removed the minimum penalties for possession. Instead, in Part II of the act, users could be sentenced to indeterminate periods of custody in a penitentiary for treatment. Part II was never signed into effect, because the necessary treatment institutions were never built, but because the new act made possession an indictable offence, judges still had to give prison terms, and six-month sentences remained quite common. In the mid-1960s, the use of marijuana and other drugs exploded. Suddenly, many middle-class young people ap­peared before the courts – a very different population from the heroin users that had dominated since the Second World War. Sentence length fell dramatically, more people were given suspended sentences or probation, and finally, in 1969, the act was amended to make it possible to proceed by summary conviction, ending mandatory prison terms. Drugs remained illegal, but the extremely harsh penalties of the ‘classic period’ had come to a decisive end.

Jailed for Possession is a fascinating and well-written piece of original research. Catherine Carstairs demonstrates how discourses of race, gender, and class have influenced drug regulation in Canada, and, even more intriguing, emphasizes the significant impact that regulation had on drug users. This book makes a significant contribution to the field. – Robert Campbell, Department of History, Capilano College

With Jailed for Possession, Catherine Carstairs provides a unique perspective on the development of policies on drug use in Canada – an essential historical view of how our current attitudes and laws have evolved. This extremely well-written book is important and very timely, as we are in the midst of changing social, legal, medical, and moral attitudes toward those who use marijuana, who have addictions to narcotics, and who profit from the drug trade, and we need this dispassionate reflection on how we arrived where we are. – Jock Murray , Medical Humanities Program, Dalhousie University

Jailed for Possession, the first social history of drug use in Canada , provides a careful examination of drug users and their regulators, including doctors, social workers, and police officers. Most of the drug users examined in Jailed for Possession were poor, troubled, and the subject of considerable attention from regulatory agents. This history of drug users therefore provides an interesting case study of the state, and of professional power, in Canadian society at a time when the state's capacity for regulation was vastly increasing. It also raises important questions about the dangerous consequences of strict drug control. Jailed for Possession shows that a harsh enforcement approach failed to bring an end to drug use, destabilized users' lives, harmed their health, and made drug use attractive to a small community of rebellious users. A more lenient approach to drug use will undoubtedly come with its own set of harms and dangers, but the strict approach that characterized the classic years was even worse.

Health, Mind & Body / Relationships

The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wife's Heart Forever by Scott Haltzman, with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo (Jossey-Bass)

Marriage and relationships are in crisis. The breakup and divorce rate remain high, despite all the couples therapy, afternoon talk shows, and other books in the marketplace, many of which describe men as abusive commitment phobic creeps who'd  better change fast or else. But The Secrets of Happily Married Men presents a different way of looking at how to build a successful long-lasting relationship from a man's point of view, from men who are happy in their partnerships, who have figured out what works for them in accomplishing the goal of a loving, intimate, lifetime commitment. Scott Haltzman, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University , has devised a method for improving relationships. Men are different, Haltzman says. They don't approach relationships with the same skills and techniques that women do – and viva la difference. Haltzman presents eight techniques that he developed from his research and through the confidential correspondence to his highly successful Web site, including

  1. Make Your Marriage Your Job
  2. Know Your Wife
  3. Be Home Now
  4. Expect Conflict and Deal with It
  5. Learn to Listen
  6. Aim to Please
  7. Understand the Truth about Sex
  8. Celebrate Your Love

The Secrets of Happily Married Men is filled with stories, anecdotes and confessions from real men. It provides specific analysis, guidelines, and techniques that are based on male biology, neuroscience, brain differences, and unique developmental stages from youth to seniority.

At last, a book by real men for real men focused on the prize (a happy and contented wife) and filled with the secrets to getting more and better sex, health, wealth, and happiness. It’s a road map for men, women, or anyone who works with them – straight to the promised land. No man who is married, or plans to get married, should be without this book. – Diane Sollee, founder and director, SmartMarriages.com

Scott Haltzman writes clearly of the gender-specific issues of men and their response to marital conflict.  His commonsense language invites readers, regardless of gender, to want more. – Andrew Slaby, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., clinical professor of psychiatry, New York University

Scott Haltzman writes the perfect playbook for marriage. The Secrets of Happily Married Men teaches you all the right moves. It is a powerful book. – Stephen Baker, “The Touchdown Maker,” New York Giants Super Bowl Champion

This book is brilliant! It’s that rare ‘relationship book’ that men will actually like. Frankly, if all married couples read this book and followed its guidance, the divorce rate would plummet like a rock and the level of satisfaction in marriage would skyrocket. –Peggy Vaughan, DearPeggy.com; author of The Monogamy Myth

Once in a generation a book is published that changes the discourse about men and marriage. The Secrets of Happily Married Men is that book.  Dr. Haltzman weaves a compelling yet humorous argument for a man’s ability to master the skills necessary for understanding his wife and developing a marriage he can be proud of. Haltzman obviously relishes controversy and has several provocative discussions about traditional feminist-based marriage therapy being unfair to men, as well as the brain- and hormone- based differences between women and men. – Barry McCarthy, Ph.D., professor of psychology, American University ; author of Getting It Right the First Time and Rekindling Desire

Written in the language of men, this brave, take-no-prisoners, highly practical, pro-marriage book is a must-read for men and women alike. I read it from cover to cover. – Pat Love, Ed.D., author of The Truth About Love

This book will reach married men (and women) in their minds and hearts. Rather than portraying men as deficient in relationships, Scott Haltzman shows men how to bring their unique strengths to their marriage and how to manage their unique challenges. He blends neuroscience, clinical experience, and everyday stories of men in marriage in a compelling way. A gift to the married men of the world. – William J. Doherty, Ph.D., professor of family social science, University of Minnesota

Haltzman, founder of www.secretsofmarriedmen.com, reveals in The Secrets of Happily Married Men his proven method for improving relationships, based on a man's special and unique skills, strengths, and powers – as a responsible and motivated worker, manager, leader, problem solver, partner, husband, and father. The result is a practical, entertaining, totally original way to build successful relationships for men and their partners, girlfriends, and wives. For a lasting commitment, a continuing guide to solving inevitable problems and bumps in the road, for more fun, better sex, genuine intimacy, and a life-long partnership – Haltzman shows the way in a manner that finally includes an authentic male perspective.

Health, Mind & Body / Self-help

My Hero: Extraordinary People on the Heroes Who Inspire Them, Unabridged Audio, 5 CDs, running time 5.5 hours, by The My Hero Project, read by Alan Sklar & Ellen Archer (Tantor Media, Inc.) is composed of essays by American heroes – about their heroes.

In My Hero, some bright lights from around the globe share – in their own words – stories about the people who have been the greatest source of strength and inspiration to them. With essays by military heroes, political leaders, and Nobel Prize winners, sports heroes, firefighters, scientists, and schoolteachers – and with an introduction by basketball legend, businessman, and philanthropist Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson – this collection gathers individuals who themselves are shining examples to tell us about the people who have illuminated their own lives.

  • How did Dana Reeve come to find such grit and grace when her fairy-tale prince was thrown from his real-life steed, paralyzed from the neck down?
  • What traits of baseball great Ted Williams have inspired war hero Senator John McCain since childhood?
  • What impact did Nelson Mandela have on boxing legend Muhammad Ali?
  • Why does one of the all-time greats of baseball, Yogi Berra, believe that he owes each of his legendary home runs to his brothers?
  • How did Michael J. Fox find a woman who would walk away from a spectacular career in finance in order to fight for a cure for Parkinson's disease at the helm of his nonprofit foundation?
  • Why does John Glenn, a man who flew into space twice and served a quarter century on the Senate floor, look up to his own wife, Annie Glenn, as the true hero in the family?
  • How did Stan O'Neal, the grandson of a former slave, manage to become Chairman, President, and CEO of Merrill Lynch?

In a world hungry for good examples, My Hero reminds us that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, that the words and deeds of those who inspire us are as varied as the stars that illuminate the night. The editors of My Hero and the contributors are donating all royalties from this book to the nonprofit My Hero Project.

Health, Mind & Body / Self-help

The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene (Viking)

Throughout human history, war has yielded some of the most important lessons and strategies for living. In fact, the word ‘strategy’ comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘to position an army.’ And now, from Robert Greene, comes The 33 Strategies of War, a handbook of strategies for life from the ancient wisdom of war. As he did with The 48 Laws of Power and The Art of Seduction, Greene has extracted timeless lessons from the events of history to help readers gain advantage in the modem world.

Spanning world civilizations, synthesizing dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts and thousands of years of violent conflict, structured in Greene’s trademark style, The 33 Strategies of War is the I-Ching of conflict, the contemporary companion to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Illustrated with examples from history, including the folly and genius of everyone from Napoleon to Margaret Thatcher, Shaka the Zulu to Lord Nelson, Hannibal to Ulysses S. Grant, as well as movie moguls, Samurai swordsmen, and diplomats, each of the thirty-three chapters outlines a strategy that will help readers win life’s wars. Other sources include Pericles, Xenophon, Jericho, Moses, Tacitus, Sun Tzu and Sun Pin, Empress Theodora, The Koran, Al Tabari, Sa'di, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, Queen Isabella of Sweden, General William T. Sherman, Abraham Lincoln, Friedrich Engels, and T.E. Lawrence.

In Strategy #2, Do Not Fight the Last War: The Guerrilla-War-of-the-Mind Strategy, Greene shows how Napoleon's crushing defeat of the Prussian army in 1806 demonstrates a most important cautionary tale: readers not allow themselves to be so rooted in tradition that they fails to see reality. The Prussians were so intent on following an age-old formula for success that had served them well in previous generations that they failed completely to account for Napoleon's ingenuity, his speed, and his fluidity – even though they'd witnessed his triumphs for nearly a decade.

For other examples, readers can learn from The 33 Strategies of War the offensive strategies that require them to maintain the initiative and negotiate from a position of strength or the defensive strategies designed to help them respond to dangerous situations and avoid unwinnable wars. And they can learn the importance of the element of surprise, of employing and shielding themselves from strategies that are not just unconventional but unapologetically dirty.

With The 33 Strategies of War, Greene has crafted an important new addition to his ruthless and unique series. The 33 Strategies of War is a comprehensive guide to the subtle social game of everyday life informed by the most ingenious and effective military principles in war. Philosophically abstract, beautifully presented, and near-spiritual in tone, The 33 Strategies of War is an ingenious handbook for those who seek control over the chaos of their lives. Business people, students of human nature, the broken-hearted, the disenfranchised, and lovers of the lessons of history will all be thrilled by this new book.

History / Africa

The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1: 1960-1970 by South African Democracy Education Trust (Zebra Press)

The Road to Democracy is planned as a five-volume work aiming to redress the lack of historical material on the events that led to democracy in South Africa over a period of four decades. In The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1, which covers the years between 1960 and 1970, a dedicated and experienced team of researchers unravels and analyses events that would eventually lead to a negotiated settlement, focusing specifically on:

  • The Sharpeville and Langa massacres as a turning point in the struggle.
  • The banning of liberation movements and the imprisonment of struggle activists.
  • The measures taken by the apartheid state to suppress resistance.
  • The underground activities of, among others, the ANC and PAC.
  • The decision to resort to armed resistance.
  • Life in exile for political activists.
  • The activities of mainly white activists in above-ground organizations.

The South African Democracy Education Trust (SADET) was established as a project Trust after President Thabo Mbeki indicated his concern about the paucity of historical material on the arduous and complex road to South Africa ’s peaceful political settlement after decades of violent conflict. SADET’s mission is to examine and analyze events leading to democracy in South Africa . The project management and research team consist of Ben Magubane, Gregory Houston, Sifiso Ndlovu and Elsa Kruger.

Against the background of the defeat of fascism and the emergence of newly independent countries in Africa and Asia , 1960 was a watershed year for South Africa . The year of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's 'Wind of Change' speech to the joint Houses of Parliament in Cape Town, the Sharpeville and Langa massacres, and the banning of the ANC and PAC, it heralded a political tempest that engulfed the southern tip of the continent for the next three decades. It marked the beginning of the most intense period of repression and gave impetus to the struggle for freedom in South Africa . The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1 records the history and the voices of the individuals and organizations that laid the foundation for a new South Africa, who carried the people's quest, from Kwazakhele to Kongwa, Tembisa to Tanzania, Langa to London, Soweto to the heart of the Soviet Union and, ultimately, to the steps of the Union Buildings, where Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the country's first democratic president on 10 May 1994.

The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1 provides insight into the operation of the liberation movements during the 1960s by drawing on previously untapped documentary sources such as trial records, state archives and those of the liberation movements. It includes the voices of scores of liberation veterans whose battle against the apartheid regime in the 1960s exact­ed a high price, in the form of lengthy prison sentences, exile, or both. Their experiences have been recorded by a team of researchers working throughout the country, whose labors have yielded a rich archive of taped personal testimony. As subsequent volumes will do, this book relies on oral history. The narrative is that of the foot soldiers, their memories recorded, in some instances, before they were silenced by death. Some stories, such as those of ‘Gizenga’ Mpanza, Matthews Meyiwa, White Sekhukhuni and Curnick Ndlovu, were retrieved just in time.

The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1 challenges the notion that the 1960s was a decade of political quiescence. Compared with the mass defiance campaigns of the 1950s, or the revolutionary upheavals that followed the Soweto uprising in 1976, the period under discussion marked a low point in the history of the liberation struggle.

Chapter 1, written by Bernard Magubane, explains how the National Party came to power in 1948 and examines the nature of its rulership during the 1950s and 1960s, with particular attention to the premiership of HF Verwoerd (1958-66). It also charts the evolution of resistance from the early 1940s and focuses attention on the mass struggles of the 1950s that culminated in the massacre at Sharpeville in March 1960.

Chapter 2, with contributions from Phil Bonner, Bernard Magubane, Jabu­lani Sithole, Peter Delius, Janet Cherry, Pat Gibbs and Thozama April, deals with the African National Congress turning to armed struggle after the banning of the key liberation organizations in early 1960. Among the issues dealt with are factors that led to the ANC's decision to abandon peaceful forms of resistance and adopt violent means instead. The chapter also analyses the establishment of MK and the early underground structures in various regions, as well as the activities of certain regional MK commands until the Rivonia arrests.

Siphamandla Zondi (Chapter 3), Sukude Matoti and Lungisile Ntsebeza (Chapter 4) focus on the rural struggles of the 1950s and early 1960s as part of the radicalization of the broader anti-apartheid resistance movement within South Africa, and as manifestations of the increasingly ruthless intrusion of apartheid into the countryside. At another level, therefore, it is this underlying tension that is captured in greater detail in Chapter 3, with studies of the rural uprisings at gaMatlala and Zeerust, and Chapter 4, which covers Mpondoland and Thembuland.

One of the first organizations in South Africa to decide on the use of violent methods of struggle in the early 1960s was the National Liberation Committee (NLC), later renamed the African Resistance Movement (ARM). Magnus Gunther's chapter (Chapter 5) transports readers from the NLC's humble beginnings under the leadership of Monty Berman and John Lang, to the final betrayal by one of its leaders and its ultimate dissolution. Chapter 5 of The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1 describes the events and circumstances that led to the formation of this underground sabotage organization; outlines the evolution of the NLC strategy and tactics on a year-by-year basis; compares what the NLC actually did by way of sabotage with what was done by MK, the other major sabotage unit of the time; and evaluates the assessments of critics and commentators.

Two chapters are devoted to the activities of the Pan Africanist Congress and Poqo. In Chapter 6, Brown Maaba looks at the PAC's militant activities in Langa and Nyanga near Cape Town , the Transkei and other parts of the Eastern Cape . The study shows that although many of the organization's activities were sporadic and ad hoc, they did have an impact on the South African regime. Sello Mathabatha's chapter (Chapter 7) focuses on the development of PAC activities in the Pretoria region from 1959 to 1965. It concentrates on the growth of this organization in the Pretoria townships of Lady Selborne, Hebron , Atteridgeville, Mamelodi, Hammanskraal and Wallmansthal. In Chapter 8, Robin Kayser and Mohamed Adhikari examine the history of APDUSA during the 1960s. APDUSA's role has been overlooked both in general histories of South Africa and in accounts of the libera­tion struggle, partly because of the focus on the ANC.

Consideration needs to be given not only to the activities of organizations, but also to the repressive conditions under which they operated and the treatment of their members by the state once captured. In Chapter 9, Madeleine Fullard examines the various legislative and institutional countermeasures developed by a state faced with sustained and evolving militant forms of opposition. The 1960s are shown as a decade in which the state used legislation such as the Sabotage Act to crush extra-parliamentary opposition, while presenting an image of acting within the rule of law.

In Chapter 10 of The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1, Noel Solani and Noor Nieftagodien use the experiences of prisoners on Robben Island as an example of political imprisonment in South Africa between 1960 and 1970. The authors take readers through the experiences of a few prisoners, whose accounts of the journey to Robben Island, their integration into prison life, relationship with common-law prisoners and those belonging to different political organizations, their daily routine and treatment by warders, their struggle for the right to education and how they found ways to cope with incarceration, offer some insight into the sacrifice and contribu­tion made by so many.

Chapter 11, written by Sifiso Ndlovu, examines the ANC in exile. Chapter 12, written by Moses Ralinala, Jabulani Sithole, Gregory Houston and Bernard Magubane, covers Umkhonto we Sizwe's first major military campaign in the Wankie and Sipolilo areas of then Southern Rhodesia . In Chapter 13, Sifiso Ndlovu turns attention to one of the main pillars of the ANC's revolutionary strategy – attempts to marshal international support for its struggle against apartheid.

Nhlanhla Ndebele and Noor Nieftagodien (Chapter 14) use four key decisions taken at the Morogoro Consultative Conference – to concentrate the alliance leadership in Africa; to trim the National Executive Committee (NEC) so as to promote efficiency; to create a Revolutionary Council to integrate both the political and military aspects of the struggle; to create a restricted ANC membership for non-African alliance members in exile – and the issues giving rise to them as the basis for discussing the background and factors leading to the confer­nce, and the proceedings. The focus in Chapter 14 is on why and how the ANC resolved to transform the NEC and to build a new leadership cadre, not only to replace those incarcerated, but also to deal with the internationalization of the South African struggle.

Gregory Houston's chapter deals with the post-Rivonia ANC and South African Communist Party underground. Chapter 15 examines what survived of MK and the ANC and SACP underground in South Africa in the years between the Rivonia arrests and 1970.

Resistance politics in South Africa during the 1960s was not restricted to the type of activities and organizations mentioned above. After the banning of the liberation movements in April 1960 forced them underground, some opponents of apartheid continued their activities above ground within the country. As the decade progressed, the most prominent of these were various ‘liberal’ organizations, their members largely, though by no means entirely, white. These gained prominence in the vacuum left by the banning of the ANC and the PAC and the suppression of associated organizations. Martin Legassick and Chris Saunders deal with the contributions of individuals (such as Helen Suzman), various sectors of society (such as the press, lawyers and students) and organizations (such as the Liberal Party, the Progressive Party, Black Sash, the National Union of South African Students and the Coloured Labour Party) to internal resistance. Aboveground activity by predominantly white liberals had its limitations, which are dealt with in some detail.

The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1 (and those to follow) is largely based on the collective memo­ries and views of veterans of the struggle. SADET believes that the voices and/or experiences of ‘ordinary’ people, if there is anything of the sort, come much closer to the ‘truth’ than history books that lack their voices, however skillfully written. There is no question that there were lapses of memory and therefore many inaccuracies. In some cases, these were corrected by interviewing others who participated in the same events, such as the Wankie campaign. They augmented personal accounts by using archival material to support the arguments of interviewees. SADET also acknowledges that a volume of this sort – given the limited resources and time restraints – cannot cover all significant aspects of South African history during the period under study. Since it is more than likely that they have left out important areas of their country's history, this volume should be viewed as a work in progress. Work has already begun on Volume 2 of The Road to Democracy in South Africa, which will cover the 1970s.

The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1 provides new insight into how anti-apartheid movements operated in the 1960s – a decade generally known as ‘the golden age of apartheid’ – drawing on previously unexploited documentary sources, such as trial records and state archives, as well as the archives of the liberation movements. Most importantly, it includes the voices and experiences of liberation veterans recorded during hundreds of interviews. As a complete recounting of the events that led to liberation and a democratic society, The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1 is a document of immense historical importance about an extraordinary process of change.

History / Americas

The Declaration of Independence: The Story Behind America's Founding Document and the Men Who Created It by Rod Gragg (Rutledge Hill Press) is a museum in a book, featuring removable documents, letters, diaries, and artifacts.

In the years between 1763 and 1776, the citizens of the thirteen colonies faced rising tensions and a difficult decision: declare independence from England or endure further injustices imposed by the king and parliament. For years, the colonists had been taxed without representation and made to house an increasing number of unwelcome British troops. The situation quickly escalated into warfare and bloodshed during the Boston Massacre and the Battles of Lexington and Concord . The revolutionaries in the Continental Congress knew action was necessary. Overcoming widespread opposition, they put their minds to the task of writing the Colonies' declara­tion of independence.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America , in General Congress, Assembled . . . solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States . – from the Declaration of Independence , July 2, 1776

The fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence, created a nation and launched a movement the world had never seen. The Declaration of Independence is the extraordinary story of drama and daring, sacrifice and selflessness, danger and potential death.

Now award-winning historian Rod Gragg brings to life the drama of 1776 in a way that is unprecedented in the literary world. More than a book, The Declaration of Independence, is actually a ‘museum in a book,’ and includes replicas of the diaries, private journals, news publications and artifacts related to the drama of U.S. independence. Readers experience the bravery of the men who risked their lives and honor for independence by examining, among other things:

  • A full-size replica of the Declaration of Independence.
  • John Adams's diary from a 1774 session of the Continental Congress.
  • John Dickinson's draft of the Olive Branch Petition.

And for the Support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence , we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred honor.

With those concluding words, a body of Americans declared to the world the birth of a new nation uniquely founded on ‘sell-evident’ truths. Their bold but thoughtfully crafted proclamation bequeathed to generations of Americans yet unborn the blessings of liberty, the benefits of a democratic republic, a respect for individual rights, the ethics of a traditional faith, and the hope of a promising future. They were remarkable men, graced with an opportunity, and despite their failures, frailties, and shortcomings, they rose to meet their responsibilities unlike few leaders in any age. Their story, unlike any other, is presented in The Declaration of Independence amid the words, documents, and deeds of their day.

This is a fascinating and informative testament to the fifty-six signers who risked everything they had to found a nation. The Declaration of Independence defies pigeonholing and appeals to readers, historians and plain-old Americans of all ages.

History / Americas

Lincoln's Wrath: Fierce Mobs, Brilliant Scoundrels and a President’s Mission to Destroy the Press by Jeffrey Manber & Neil Dahlstrom (Sourcebooks, Inc.)

Monday, August 19, 1861, was a quiet and unassuming night in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester, Pennsylvania – an ordinary night in an extraordinary time. Through the shadows, as the clock on the towering courthouse nearby read almost midnight , a faceless group of men slid unnoticeably into the borough.

The intent of these unknown loyal Union men was to destroy the printing office of a legally publishing newspaper that had for years passionately argued politics between its eight pages. Amidst the high emotions of the day, its sole crime was that it stood squarely against the administration of Abraham Lincoln and its prosecution of the war.

Within several hours in the dead of night the Jeffersonian's vital subscription lists were destroyed, the printing type thrown out of the window, and the huge printing press broken as best as possible by the sheer strength of the men. As such, it appeared a simple act of thuggery. But the actions on this evening also set in motion one of the most calculated attacks on American liberty since the exploding cannon and dull thud of Revolutionary muskets ceased. – from Lincoln's Wrath

In the blistering summer of 1861, the North was ablaze. At night, thuggish mobs entered newspaper offices, burning papers and tossing printing presses out of windows. In broad daylight, army units attacked their fellow townsmen, threatening the lives of publishers and their families. In Baltimore , a prison housed governors, members of Congress, mayors and editors. All who faced this wrath shared one thing: they had publicly opposed President Lincoln and the dawning Civil War.

Lincoln's Wrath tells the story of the overlooked chapter of the Civil War, when the government pressured and physically shut down any Northern newspaper that voiced opposition to the war. The effect was a complete dismantling of the free press.

In the midst stood publisher John Hodgson, an angry bigot so hated that a local newspaper gleefully reported his defeat in a bar fight. He was also firmly against Lincoln and the war – an opinion he expressed loudly through his opposition newspaper.

When his press was destroyed, first by a mob, then by U.S. marshals, Hodgson decided to take on the entire United States in a dramatic courtroom battle. Thus began a trial in which one small-town publisher risked imprisonment or worse, and the future of free speech hung in the balance. Through the course of the trial, one question loomed:

How far did the conspiracy against the press go? Was it the work of local thugs or state officials? Or did the orders come from the Executive Mansion in Washington from President Lincoln himself? To discover the answer Hodgson would risk imprisonment or worse – and the answer would determine the future of free speech in the United States .

At the center of this overwrought Civil War account is the tiny town of West Chester , Pa. , where John Hodgson ran a pro-Southern Democratic newspaper, the Jeffersonian. …The questions this book raises couldn't be more timely: how does one criticize a president in wartime, and how can we ensure the freedom of the press at those moments when we need it most? – Publishers Weekly

… After vandals destroyed his press in 1861 and marshals barred him from the premises, Hodgson had his day in court, where federal officials testified they had acted on Lincoln 's order. Vindicated by the jury, Hodgson impresses the authors – setting his views aside – with his irascible indomitability, and their animated recovery of this forgotten character will mesh with the great interest in Civil War journalism. – Gilbert Taylor, Booklist 

Based on ten years of original research, Lincoln's Wrath brings to life one of the most gripping, dramatic and unknown stories of U.S. history. The book could not be more timely.

History / Europe / Politics / Social Sciences

German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing 1920-1945 edited by Ingo Haar & Michael Fahlbusch, with a foreword by Georg G. Iggers (Berghahn Books)

It is striking how little has been done in West Germany to examine the role of the historians in the Nazi period and their participation in the genocide, much less so and much later than in some other academic disciplines.

Recently, there has been a major shift in the focus of historical research on World War II towards the study of the involvements of scholars and academic institutions in the crimes of the Third Reich. The roots of this involvement go back to the 1920s. At that time right-wing scholars participated in the movement to revise the Versailles Treaty and to create a new German national identity. The contribution of geopolitics to this development is notorious. But there were also the disciplines of history, geography, ethnography, art history, and archeology economists in: archeology, sociology, demography that devised a new nationalist ideology and propaganda. Its scholars established an extensive network of personal and institutional contacts. German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing 1920-1945 deals with these scholars and their agendas. They provided the Nazi regime with ideas of territorial expansion, colonial exploitation and racist exclusion culminating in the Holocaust. Apart from developing ideas and concepts, scholars also actively worked in the SS and Wehrmacht when Hitler began to implement its criminal policies in World War II.

This collection of original essays, written by the foremost European scholars in this field, describes key figures and programs supporting the expansion and exploitation of the Third Reich. In particular, they analyze the historical, geographic, ethno­graphical and ethno-political ideas behind the ethnic cleansing and looting of cultural treasures.

Editor Ingo Haar, a research fellow in the Berlin Centre of Research on Anti-Semitism, a member of the Austrian Historical Commission on History of National Socialism, lives in Berlin and has worked extensively on the involvement of historians in the policies and ideology of the Third Reich. Co-editor Michael Fahlbusch, a geographer, lives in Switzerland and has written several books and numerous articles on the history of science, ethnic cleansing and ethno-politics in 20th-century Europe .

The essays in German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing 1920-1945 trace the path of scholarship from its early attempts to legitimize German claims to the East, through scholarship which claiming to be scientific, to the role this scholarship played increasingly after 1933 and particularly after the conquest of Poland in 1939 and the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 – in the Nazi program of ethnic cleansing and the annihilation of European Jews. Two of the main themes of these essays are the institutionalization of Ostforschung after 1933 and the specific tasks it carried out in the expulsion of Poles and others and the genocide of Jews and Roma. Editor Haar outlines the main themes of the volume, the role that demographic and historical studies played in defining ethnic groups and in laying the foundations for segregation and ultimately expulsion or annihilation. By collecting demographic data on the composition of Eastern European areas, the Ostforscher participated directly or indirectly in the segregation of ethnic groups in the Eastern areas and in the deportation and genocide of the Jews. Haar examines the role of a number of historians, such as Theodor Schieder, Werner Conze, and Hermann Aubin, who in a scholarly capacity contributed to the Nazi program. Editor Fahlbusch describes the highly organized network in which Ostforschung and Volkstumsforschung were carried out in collaboration with the SS. He thus refutes postwar accounts that maintain that Landes- (regional) and Volksforschung had been conducted in a serious, scientifically innovative way and had not been subject to Nazi infiltration and control. The chapters that follow deal with research groups as they related to the transfer of populations with the aim of germanization and genocide in various areas surrounding Germany . In their chapter on the ethno­graphic research of Georg Leibbrandt and Karl Stumpp in Ukraine, Eric J. Schmalz and Samuel D. Sinner make the important point that deportations, resettlements, repatriations, and mass murder were not sudden visitations from on high, but the result of the exact, modern, ‘scientific’ encompassing of persons with card indexes, card-sorting machines, charts, graphs, maps and diagrams. Alexander Pinwinkler's chapter deals with Erich Keyser's activities in basing Ostforschung on a history based on the study of population along ethnic lines in specific spatial areas. As early as the 1920s he considered the history of population to be an appropriate instrument for restoring Germany 's lost position as a superpower. The chapter by Christof Morrissey highlights the Institut für Heimatforschung (Institute for Local Research), which started as a modest center for the study of German culture in Slovakia but was soon integrated into the vast network that prepared the research groundwork for German expansion and ethnic cleansing. Michael Wedekind addresses the research intended to prepare the way for Germany 's ethnic cleansing and annexation of areas in Slovenia and Northern Italy in the predominantly Italian regions of the Trentino.

Vlore Achim's essay, "Romanian-German Collaboration in Ethnopolitics: The Case of Sabin Mantilla," goes in a somewhat different direction from the other essays in German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing 1920-1945, which all deal with Nazi-directed studies aiming at the displacement of non-German minorities in Eastern, Southeastern, and Western Europe to make room for German settlement and the physical elimination of Jews and Gypsies. Manuila, whose main area of expertise was ethnic demography, had specifically Romanian goals in mind.

The chapters by Wolfgang Freund and Hans Derks turn to West­forschung, which worked to legitimize the removal of French populations in large areas of Walloon Belgium and Northeastern France that at one time supposedly were inhabited by Germanic Franks. Hans Derks focuses primarily on Franz Petri, who in close cooperation with the military occupation in Belgium conducted racial population studies for the reorganization and germanization of populations in Belgium and Northeastern France . The essay by Eric Kurlander deals with Otto Scheel, of an older generation, from Schleswig Holstein, who even before World War I had supported ultranationalist, often volkisch policies. Although he had originally combined liberal reforms with racist exclu­sion, including virulent anti-Semitism, he placed himself fully into the service of the Nazis after 1933. Frank-Rutger Hausmann follows the establishment of cultural institutes in the countries occupied by, or like Bulgaria or Hungary , dominated by Nazi Germany to propagate the Nazi ‘scientific’ doctrines as well as in a small number of neutral countries. Finally there is the essay by the Polish scholar Jan M. Piskorski, who surveys German Ostforschung as it emerged in the 1920s aiming to provide ‘scientific’ proof of Germany's right to a major part of Polish territory, and the Polish response of a Westforschung (mysl zachodnia), admittedly less widespread and with less governmental support, which sought to establish historic claims to territories up to the Elbe River once inhabited by Slavs who were forcefully Germanized. Karl Heinz Roth's chapter presents a biographical, political sketch of the same Hans Rothfels we have already discussed, who played an important role in the emergence of a school of ethnic, expansive historiography and who, after he had been designated as a Jew and forced into emigration, returned to Germany to play an important role in the reconstitution of the historical profession in post-World War II Germany.

But the story does not end here. Whereas in East Germany there occurred a virtually complete exchange of elites, there was virtually none in Western Germany after 1945. The historical profession was no exception. Thus, almost all of the historians and other scholars involved in the Nazi planning and carrying out of programs of ethnic cleansing and extermination were restored to important positions in the western half of Germany soon after the end of World War II. The essays in German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing 1920-1945 document the continuity. A new generation of historians, among them Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Wolfgang Mommsen, and Hans Mommsen, who received their university education in the Federal Republic as students of Schieder and Conze, and in Hans Mommsen's case also of Rothfels, applied the concepts of modern social history to a critical examination of the German past. Now Hans Rothfels, Theodor Schieder, Werner Conze, and Theodor Oberlander, in a major compilation sponsored by the West German government, docu­mented the expulsion of the Germans from the East16 without adequately dealing with the context of German genocidal practices that had led to it.

It is striking, as the essays in German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing 1920-1945 point out, that from 1945 until the early 1990s there was complete silence about the criminal activities of the scholars involved in the planning for ethnic cleansing. Their colleagues honored them as committed scholars who had not misused their research to aid the Nazi cause. It took a new generation of scholars to raise these questions on the basis of new materials, some of which had been available before but not utilized. As Nicolas Berg points out in an extensive study published in 2003 on how historians in the Federal Republic dealt with the Holocaust, there was a conscious attempt to shield scholars who had been deeply involved in the Nazi regime. The Holocaust was seen as a horrendous crime carried out from the top by the party but not involving the broad masses of scholars who remained dedicated to honest scholarship. The reaction of the students of Conze and Schieder, when confronted with the evidence, was to defend them.

Nevertheless, the involvement of German scholarship in the Third Reich has finally become a burning issue to which the German Historians' Congress (Historikertag) devoted a special session in 1998. The controversy about the complicity of German historians under National Socialism is by no means over. Passionate debates rage even today between those like Heinrich August Winkler, who wish to exoner­ate their mentors, and those like Haar and the contributors to German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing 1920-1945, who through a careful analysis of the sources engage in a critical examination of how historians and other social and humanistic scientists actually functioned under the Nazi dictatorship.

History / World War II / Biographies & Memoirs

Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model – Hitler's Favorite General by Steven H. Newton (Da Capo Press) is the first English-language biography of one of Germany 's top battlefield commanders – Hitler's favorite field marshal.

Steven H. Newton in Hitler's Commander follows Field Marshal Walther Model's career from his heroic service as a young lieutenant on the Western Front in WWI through his meteoric rise to the command of an army group during WWII.

Before taking his own life, Model (1891-1945), destroyed most of his papers. Newton , writer and associate professor of history at Delaware State University , collects a variety of original German sources, including material from the Wehrmacht archives, to construct this historical study.

Hitler's Commander tells the extraordinary story of one of Hitler's most loyal henchmen. An extremely capable and aggressive German commander who rose through the ranks of the Wehrmacht's high command during World War II, Model's expertise in rebuilding broken fronts earned him the nickname the ‘Führer's Fireman.’ Throughout World War II, Hitler relied on, rapidly promoted, and gave preferential treatment to the general, who returned the favor by saving the army in several desperate situations – despite the fact that Model sometimes brusquely disagreed with his erratic Führer and was imperious to those who served under him. (Hitler once remarked, "I trust that man, but I wouldn't want to serve under him.")

Model's greatest achievement was the restoration of stability along the Eastern front in June 1944. In August he was sent to restore the deteriorating Western front, where he reestablished a strong defensive line along the West Wall in September. He was second-in-command at the Battle of the Bulge, and was leading the German army when it collapsed at the end of the war. Rather than surrender, Model shot himself in April 1945.

Model has ‘languished in relative obscurity.’ Newton hopes to remedy that in this first English-language biography...Drawing on his extensive research in German and American archives, German war diaries and memoirs... Newton manages to reconstruct Model the commander but not Model the man. – Publishers Weekly

Model is less well known than many of his General Staff contemporaries. Newton 's biography offers a useful portrait for students of military history. – Kirkus Reviews

Rescuing Model from obscurity and rehabilitating his reputation as a ‘Hitler sycophant’ to some degree, Newton in Hitler's Commander draws on a wide variety of original German sources, including extensive Wehrmacht archival material, to tell the authoritative story of this exacting and effective commander.

Home & Garden

The Welcoming Garden: Designing Your Own Front Garden by Gordon Hayward (Gibbs Smith, Publisher)

A front garden should be more than a walkway to the door.

The Welcoming Garden invites homeowners to embrace the new American front garden with renowned garden designer Gordon Hayward. Readers learn how to create a front-yard garden that encourages people to relax, visit with neighbors, and enjoy nature. Hayward explores unique front gardens that reveal the personalities and passions of the families inside. Whether they want more privacy, a low-maintenance/high-impact display of color, or spare and dramatic gardens with plants native to the area, homeowners make their front garden more than just grass and a concrete pathway. In The Welcoming Garden, the front garden is presented within a variety of inspiring photographs and illustrations that show fundamental design principles readers can to put to work in their gardens; no matter how big, the smallest patch of lawn can be transformed into a beautiful, stylish space. The book outlines a step-by-step process that will help any budding gardener create an inviting front-yard space. The photographs and water color illustrations from gardens across North America and Canada – along with design principles and guidelines for action – provide the blueprint for imaginative front-yard combinations. Hayward 's style makes finding ‘The Big Idea’ easy, and guides homeowners through the process of making the smaller decisions that apply no matter where or in what type of climate they live.

Chapters include The Style of Your Front Garden; Driveway, Cars and Front Garden; Walkways to the Front Door; A Lot of Lawn, a Little Lawn?; Creating Edges: Walls, Fences and Gates; Sitting Areas; Putting It All Together – The Whole Front Garden and regional growing guides for the Northeast, Southeast, Mountain West, Upper Plains, Northwest, and Southwest. Readers discover how to:

  • Find a comfort level and gain confidence in their gardening abilities.
  • Choose the style of their front garden to reflect their personality and home.
  • Create edges with walls, fences and gates.
  • Transform the strip between sidewalk and street.
  • Design sitting areas that are open and inviting or cozy and intimate.

… The lush color photographs and illustrated landscape plans alone make this a valuable addition to any serious gardener's library. But there's an even more compelling reason everyone who enjoys gardening books should own this one: it's based entirely on Haywood's analysis of existing photographs. Explanations of his approach help readers learn to look at these images, manipulate them, change them in your mind so that the gardens in these photographs become an inspiration for your own garden making. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In The Welcoming Garden, garden expert Hayward offers gorgeous design ideas, gorgeous photographs, and a step-by-step approach to redefining any front-yard garden, sharing his process for creating exciting entry gardens.

Home & Garden / Gardening & Horticulture

The Apple Grower: Guide for the Organic Orchardist by Michael Phillips (Chelsea Green)

Apples represent ‘organic's final frontier’ for many backyard and commercial growers. The number of insect pests and diseases that can plague this popular fruit have made a completely organic approach seemingly next to impossible.

Yet despite the challenges, it is possible to grow healthy, flavorful apples with little or no need for synthetic chemicals. In The Apple Grower, author and organic orchardist Michael Phillips combines the forgotten wisdom of our great-grandparents with the best research and techniques available today. The secret to applies, according to Phillips, farmer, writer, and orchard consultant, is that they can be produced only on the small farms and in the backyards of people who are intimately involved with their trees.

Apples and other tree fruit have been grown organically for many centuries. Conventional chemical methods, by contrast, have been used only for the past hundred years or so. Yet most orchard consultants today will say it's impossible to grow fruit organically. The paradox lies in the economy of these times, not in the orchard itself. In fact, a handful of apple growers across North America are successfully producing beautiful organic fruit, employing both the intuitive practices of great-grandparents and the scientific discoveries of today's integrated pest management research.

The Apple Grower is intended to bring the stewards of orchards – and those who dream of doing the same – together.

Phillips says: “I realize that I am not promoting the orthodoxy of the day in The Apple Grower. … Orchardists tap into a wide knowledge base in trying to figure out what works for them, both practically and economically.

Our discussion of holistic disease management will take a revealing look at the role of nitrogen fertilizers and fungicides in increasing tree susceptibility. …Holistic connection takes into account far more variables that affect overall health, rather than merely repressing disease symptoms by allopathic means. Knowing why the apple tree thrives in a forest-edge ecosystem suggests under story practices by which orchardists can abet Nature's way. Promoting the health of the soil is the means by which orchardists produce life-enhancing fruit that in turn promotes human health. The right kind of yields and financial rewards follow from there.

Our attitude toward ecosystem diversity determines the pest reality we manage in our orchards. Growers who acknowledge that all beings have a rightful place will subsequently find gentler ways of balancing insect dynamics in order to achieve a decent crop share. Growers who resort to tactical warfare will spend far more of their time and resources in annihilating anything that moves. The allies to be found in a systems approach to orcharding will more likely be absent if we focus instead on remedial inputs that impact each situation anew. Nature insists we become wiser, and that requires an open mind.”

A ‘must read’ for anyone who grows apples or is contemplating doing so. – Lee A. Reich, garden author and Associated Press syndicated columnist

This is a book I'd love to have written – the best source available of all the best information on growing healthy apples. – Eliot Coleman, author of The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest

The lure of the apple has been the undoing of many a would-be fruit gardener. But with experience comes wisdom, and nowhere has this wisdom been more generously and articu­lately revealed than in the pages of this book. Apples will never be easy to raise, but to taste of these pages is to be blessed with fresh hopes for one's own harvest. – Roger B. Swain, science editor, Horticulture Magazine

Michael Phillips bridges the small but precar­ious chasm between organic and IPM apple growing. This book is full of facts, lore, and a lot of heart and soul. – Chuck Souther, Apple Hill Farm, Concord , New Hampshire

Since it first appeared in 1998, The Apple Grower has been widely acclaimed as the gold standard for anyone who wants to grow apples wisely and naturally. This new, colorful, fully revised and expanded edition features much new informa­tion on cutting-edge topics. There are definite answers to some long-standing dilemmas in The Apple Grower, and the depth of detail may inspire growers to workable ideas.

Home & Garden / Home Improvement

Good House Parts: Creating a Great Home Piece by Piece by Dennis Wedlick (The Taunton Press)

From traditional homes to modern contemporaries, a well-designed home, regardless of the style or era, starts with a thoughtful composition of ‘good house parts.’ … How these parts are conceived, designed, and uniquely combined is at the heart of every well-designed home. – from the Introduction

Drawing on 15 years' experience as a nationally known author and residential architect, Dennis Wedlick empowers homeowners to make a distinction between the whole house – and its unique components. He identifies hundreds of examples of quality house parts – from doors, windows, and roofing to dormers, columns, and fireplaces. With over 500 color photos and drawings, and by featuring a broad range of house styles from prominent American architects, Good House Parts invites readers to look at their homes in a whole new light.

Wedlick says that after designing and building dozens of homes over the last 20 years, he has come to appreciate four qualities that are essential to composing a good home with a thoughtful collection of good house parts. The four qualities are character, comfort, harmony, and quality, and the book focuses on these four qualities. A home with character reflects the owner's lifestyle while conveying a strong sense of personality and visual appeal. The uniqueness of homes with character is evident from rambling kitchens for sociable cooking to private retreats for music or meditation. A good new home starts with a building lot or a plot of undeveloped land. Creating a house that is a true harmony with its surrounding landscape involves choreographing a series of good house parts that accentuate the natural setting. For example, the windows may be designed to frame a special view or to capture the cooling breezes on a summer’s night. Finally, the thoughtful use of quality materials, whether in the front porch columns or the breakfast nook benches, provides a sense of timelessness, creating a house that is built to last for generations. Wedlick organizes this rather substantial book around these four qualities.

Good House Parts' reader-friendly home design ideas and thoughtful selection of projects will no doubt help homeowners achieve the results they've been dreaming of. – Good House Parts is proof that common sense is alive and well in the land of McMansions . Listen up, America : There's still time to build a home that's worth living in. – Mitchell Owens, Interior Design Director, ELLE Decor

Good House Parts is a clear, thoughtful, accessible, and understandable introduction to the ideas and principles that make the houses celebrated in the book so livable and sensible. – Carol Sheehan, Editor in Chief, Country Home magazine

Good House Parts demonstrates that quality and inspi­ration reside in the details as much as in the whole; that details invigorate the design of a house in unexpected ways. – Dr. Frances Fergusson, President, Vassar College

A great house really is the sum of its parts – this is the thinking that makes Good House Parts required reading for anyone who imagines living in the ‘perfect’ home one day.

Home & Garden / Interior Design

Choosing Blue: Color You Can Live With by Stephanie Hoppen, with photography by Andreas von Einsiedel (Watson-Guptill Publications)

Think about decorating with blue and most people think of blue and white with maybe a touch of sunflower yellow. The many colors of blue:

ice blue, pale blue, baby blue, soft blue, cool blue, Atlantic blue, Gustavian blue, sky blue, gray blue, faded blue, weathered blue, Wedgwood blue, slate blue, satin ribbon blue, powder blue, washed-out blue, sea blue, smoky teal, Capri blue, aquamarine, azure, Mediterranean blue, green teal, turquoise, teal blue, French blue, French country blue, cornflower blue, traditional blue, Willow blue, Georgian blue, sapphire blue, Chinese blue, Ming blue, Persian blue, marine blue, lapis lazuli, ultra-marine, Air Force blue, lavender, lavender blue, hydrangea, mauve, periwinkle, aubergine, violet, prune, purple, twilight blue, sapphire blue, cobalt, navy blue, indigo, duck-egg blue, denim blue, Cape Cod blue, ink blue, blue black, electric blue, blue berry, midnight blue, to name just a few.

Choosing Blue says it's time to stop thinking small and start think­ing big – big like the sky, big like the ocean, big like the countless number of words for blue. The book shows readers how to use blue, in all its many shades and tones, to create distinctive, personal palettes for the home without the stress of experimenting. Author Stephanie Hoppen, the owner of a London gallery and author of many best-selling interior design books, says success is guaranteed every time, whether the interior is traditional, modern, country, luxury, or eclectic. Choosing Blue is packed with practical design advice on matching and choosing shades of blue as well as selecting color accents, textiles, and accessories for blues. In interviews and quotes throughout the book, international designers share their thoughts and tips on using blue in interior design. And paint charts featuring commercial paint colors in every hue of blue, and all its accents, make it easy to choose the right colors for walls, floors, furniture, and accessories every time.

With 35 years' experience in the industry and her ability to communicate design fundamentals in a simple and accessible way, Hoppen helps readers achieve their own blue heaven. An imaginative and inspirational guide, organized from baby blue to midnight blue, Choosing Blue provides a new way to look at color in the home and the stunning full-color photography by Andreas von Einsiedel, an internationally known photographer for architecture and interior design books, is eye-candy all the way.

Leaders & Notable People / Biographies & Memoirs

Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life by Charlene Smith (Struik Publishers)

We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. – Nelson Mandela

As president of a free and democratic South Africa , Nelson Mandela became an inspiration for South Africans and for millions of people around the world.

Mandela traces the life and work of South Africa 's first democratically elected president. Beginning with his early years in a tiny village in the Transkei , the book follows him to Johannesburg , and his studies and involvement with the liberation movement. It describes Mandela's evolution as a politician from his leadership of the ANC Youth League, through the grim years of imprisonment on Robben Island , to the delicate talks that preceded his release from prison, and the complicated and often tumultuous negotiations that culminated in April 1994, with the first democratic election. Mandela covers his many achievements as president and respected international statesman, his life as husband and father, and his relationship with his current wife, Graca Machel.

Mandela describes the challenges faced by Mandela, and those who followed him, in trying to heal his land. Mandela, written by Charlene Smith, political writer and documentary maker for CBC, CBS and ABC, then examines Mandela’s relationship with his successor, Thabo Mbeki, before concluding with the death of his closest friend, Walter Sisulu, and Mandella’s 85th birthday celebrations.

Interviews with fellow leaders and friends offer insight into the many sides of Mandela's character and personality. The book depicts Mandela the politician, the patient and the angry, the man who is never too busy to stop and listen to a child. For example, in a society where class renders some people invisible, such as security guards, cleaners and waiters, and where most fail to acknowledge their presence, it shows Mandela stopping and clasping them by the hand and talking to them. Mandela's inimitable 'Madiba magic' continues to weave its spell in Mandela, and this handsomely illustrated tribute captures the spirit of a man whose devotion to freedom and justice have made him a towering figure.

Literature & Fiction

Queen of the Underworld: A Novel by Gail Godwin (Random House) is the eagerly awaited new novel from New York Times bestselling author Gail Godwin.

In Queen of the Underworld it is the summer of 1959, and Castro is clamping down on Cuba . Cuba ’s first wave of exiles flees to the States to wait out what they hope to be his short-lived reign.

Just out of college, Emma Gant takes the train to Miami to begin a job as a reporter at the Miami Star. Fiercely ambitious and confident, she imagines her first front page story about Castro's Cuba , while quickly writing obituaries and dutifully tackling the small assignments sent her way.

As told by Godwin, three-time National Book Award nominee and the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels, in Queen of the Underworld Emma’s avid curiosity about life thrives amid the tropical charms and intrigues of Miami . She spends her nights rendezvousing with her married lover, Paul Nightingale, owner of a private Miami Beach club.
As Emma experiences the historical events enveloping the city, she trains her perceptive eye on the people surrounding her: a newfound Cuban friend who joins the covert anti-Castro training brigade, a gambling racketeer who poses a grave threat to Paul, and a former madam, still in her twenties, who becomes both Emma’s obsession and her alter ego. Her most fortuitous assignment occurs when she goes to a local hospital following a tornado to report on the injured and meets Ginevra Brown, aka the Queen of the Underworld, a notorious Miami madam once betrothed to a mobster whose story has fascinated Emma since the day she arrived.

Emma is quickly swept up into the historical events taking place in Miami . Many Cuban exiles are staying at her hotel, The Julia Tuttle, and she becomes captivated by their stories, their vibrant personalities, and exotic food and clothes. While some of them hold out hope that they will return to Cuba within a few months, others are joining the anti-Castro training brigade, while her mother's friend, Tess, is helping to smuggle in weapons for the revolutionaries. All the while, the sultry, surreal atmosphere of Miami pervades everything, and Emma is dancing as fast as she can to keep up with this wonderful, scary, and unpredictable new world.

… Godwin, a three-time National Book Award nominee, taps into her experiences as a fledgling Florida journalist to render a tale whose ambling, amiable plot is redeemed by a cast of memorable characters. … – Publishers Weekly
… Shrewdly observant, Godwin's goddess-in-the-making quickly learns how to go with the flow in a radiant bildungsroman that is kin to Ward Just's An Unfinished Season (2004), albeit far more blithe and optimistic. A master stylist with a dozen novels to her credit, Godwin has never written more voluptuously, nor had as much fun with a character or setting. Readers will want to search for the autobiographical inspiration for this ravishing novel in Godwin's early journals, which are due out soon. – Donna Seaman, Booklist
Queen of the Underworld will be a delight to [Godwin’s] many admirers for whom The Odd Woman and A Mother and Two Daughters remain luminous in memory, like old, dear friends. Here is the irresistibly readable Godwin voice, tender and sardonic, warmly romantic and unflinchingly funny. Godwin’s new heroine Emma Gant is as alive on the page as any ‘fictitious’ character has a right to be and when Emma takes leave of us, as she does in the startling ending of Queen of the Underworld, we miss her, and can’t help but hope that her adventures in Florida at the time of the Cuban Revolution will be continued. – Joyce Carol Oates
Gail Godwin’s excellent new novel seems to me to be a muted tragedy about a soul inside the body of a modern woman navigating through the terra incognita of modern times. – Kurt Vonnegut

With Queen of the Underworld, Godwin, who draws on her own experiences as a young reporter in Miami , has written the novel that she was destined to write and one that will be savored by readers for years to come. Sweeping and sultry literary fiction, the book features a memorable young heroine, a perfectly realized world and engaging characters whose intimate dramas interconnect with hers. Through Emma's keen and curious eyes, the world of a daily paper – during the time of typewriters, cigarettes, copy paper and women in heels clustered over fashion layout pages – comes vividly to life.

Literature & Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels

Jetlag: Five Graphic Novellas by Etgar Keret & Actus Comics, translated by Dan Ofri (The Toby Press)

Etgar Keret's stories are described as ‘surreal,’ ‘inventive,’ ‘absurd,’ ‘full of black humor’ and even ‘wildly popular.’ With a style that combines the normal with the utterly abnormal, it's no surprise then that Keret is Israel 's most popular young author.

Internationally acclaimed, Keret is back with Jetlag, and he has added pictures. The book is illustrated by the team of artists at Actus Comics – Mira Friedman, Batia Kolton, Rutu Modan, Yirmi Pinkus, and Itzik Rennert. Jetlag tells five simple stories, stories that start out mundane, and then take a sharp turn left….

  • A drab traveling salesman who falls in love with a Romanian circus acrobat.
  • A young woman who lives next door to the entrance to Hell.
  • A magician who loses control of his magic.
  • A piggy bank named Margolis.
  • A young woman who claims she is a porn obsessed dwarf, on a flight to nowhere.

Keret's stories play with the mind and tug at the heart. But the beauty of his stories is that they capture the Israeli experience so well. They give a glimpse into the dichotomy of living a Western way of life, but with the ongoing war wreaking havoc on their normalcy.

Keret's Hebrew editions have all been bestsellers and each of them was awarded the Israeli Book Publishers' Association Platinum Book Prize. He received the Israeli Prime Minister's Prize for literature and the Israeli Ministry of Culture Cinema Prize.

Keret was born in Tel Aviv in 1967. He is undoubtedly the most popular writer among Israeli youth, who feel he expresses their world, and his unique style has been widely imitated. Critic Nissim Calderon writes that Keret is ‘the Amos Oz of his generation,’ and the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth chose his book Missing Kissinger as one of the fifty most important Israeli books of all time.

These wry writings wring the truth out of the fabric of everyday life. – Boston Herald

One couldn't have hoped for a finer way to herald this major new voice in world literature. – San Francisco Chronicle

Keret's stories are extremely short and witty, like comic sketches. – Wall Street Journal

Hard to resist, with its distinctive mix of insight, humor, tenderness, indelicate language, and a hopeful kind of cynicism... Exceptional. – Boston Globe

Keret serves us plenty of good laughs. – New York Times

All of the stories in Jetlag are developed more fully than most American comics pieces of a similar type... revealed several wonderfully nuanced and subtle narrative moment – The Comic Journal

… the artwork is consistently terrific in its own right – the Actus group's stately compositions and calculated distortions owe more to modern art than to the comics tradition. – Publishers Weekly

Israel 's most popular writer with Jetlag puts the graphic in graphic novel. The art work is simply marvelous.

Literature & Fiction / Historical Novels

The Time in Between, Library Edition, 6 Unabridged Audio Cassettes, running time: 8 hours, by David Bergen, narrated by Anna Fields (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

Haunted by a horrible memory from the war after his grown children move out and in search of love, absolution, or forgiveness, veteran Charles Boatman in The Time in Between leaves the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and returns to Vietnam, the country where he fought twenty-nine years earlier as a young, reluctant soldier. But his new encounters seem irreconcilable with his memories.

When he disappears, his daughter Ada , and her brother, Jon, travel to Vietnam to search for him. Their quest takes them into the heart of a country that is incomprehensible, impassive, and beautiful. Chasing her father’s shadow for weeks, following slim leads, Ada feels increasingly hopeless. Yet while Jon slips into the urban nightlife to avoid what he most fears, Ada finds herself growing closer to her missing father – and strong enough to forgive him and bear the heartbreaking truth of his long-kept secret.

In The Time in Between David Bergen’s characters include Lieutenant Dat, the police officer who tries to seduce Ada by withholding information; the boy Yen, an orphan, who follows Ada and claims to be her guide; Jack Gouds, an American expatriate and self-styled missionary; his strong-willed and unhappy wife, Elaine, whose desperate encounters with Charles in the days before his disappearance will always haunt her; and Hoang Vu, the artist and philosopher who will teach Ada about the complexity of love and betrayal. Readers also come to learn about the reclusive author Dang Tho, whose famous wartime novel pulls at Charles in ways he can’t explain.

Shifting between Charles's and Adi’s points of view, the journey become increasingly colorful and complex. The suspense builds, dreamlike, to a paradoxical climax of revelation and obfuscation, love and grief.

A beautifully composed, unflinching and harrowing story. Perhaps the best fiction yet to confront and comprehend the legacy of Vietnam . – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[ Bergen ] preserves the exquisiteness of the Vietnamese culture, lending a unique beauty to the story. Highly recommended. – Library Journal

David Bergen’s The Time in Between is about how children inherit their parents’ ghosts and the elusive nature of grace. It also makes a stunning connection between the wars that are fought out in the world, and the ones that cleave families in private. Ravishingly told and deeply felt, it’s a huge accomplishment.– Michael Redhill, author of Martin Sloane
In this elegant novel, David Bergen weaves a precise and resonant prose through the connected histories of people touched by love, death and war. A lovely, sad, and ultimately redeeming work of fiction. – Brady Udall, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

Moving between father and daughter, the present and the past, The Time in Between is a luminous, unforgettable novel about one family, two cultures, and a profound emotional journey in search of elusive answers. A hauntingly beautiful story of family ties and human longing by the prize-winning, critically acclaimed Canadian author Bergen , the audio version is read beautifully by Anna Fields.

Literature & Fiction / History & Criticism

Fears and Fascinations: Representing Catholicism in the American South by Thomas F. Haddox (Fordham University Press) charts what has been a largely unexplored literary landscape relating Catholicism and the South.

Thomas F. Haddox, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Tennessee , Knoxville , takes a look at the work of such diverse writers as the gens de couleur libre poets of antebellum New Orleans , Kate Chopin, Mark Twain, Carson McCullers, Margaret Mitchell, Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and John Kennedy Toole. Fears and Fascinations shows that Catholicism and its Church have always been a presence, albeit in different ways, in the southern cultural tradition.

For some, Catholicism has been asso­ciated with miscegenation and with the political aspirations of African Americans; for others, it has served as the model for the feudal and patriarchal society that some southern whites sought to establish; for still others, it has presented a gorgeous aesthetic spectacle associated with deca­dence and homoeroticism; for still others, it has marked a quotidian, do-it-yourself ‘lifestyle’ attractive for its lack of con­cern with southern anxieties about honor.

Fears and Fascinations argues that beginning in the 1840s, Catholicism repeatedly figures, in the work of both Catholic and non-Catholic southern writers, as a linchpin that connects anxieties about and emotional investments in southern identity. The fears and fascinations that Jenny Franchot traces in nineteenth-century antebellum culture function quite differently in a southern context. Not only do they first emerge at a slightly later historical moment, establish themselves more gradually in the culture, and persist well into the twentieth century, they also tend to cluster around a distinctly southern set of preoccupations. Indeed much of the force of southern representations of Catholicism derives from the tension between the changelessness and universalism often invoked by the church evident in the very word catholic – and the culturally specific, historically variable objects of desire and terrors that southerners found in or projected onto the church. Catholicism becomes evocative and powerful precisely because it eludes fixed definition and encompasses opposites: universal equality and local, coercive hierarchy; decadent eroticism and transcendent spirituality; the promise of racial justice and the guarantee of white supremacy.

Regardless of whether Catholicism figures as an evil, a splendid fetish, or a focus of white southern cultural nostalgia, it becomes, from about 1840 on, a presence that cannot be ignored in southern self-definition. It also becomes invariably disruptive – either because it is perceived as a challenge to that self-definition or because the arguments used to affirm the church's southernness prove counterintuitive and require a complex elaboration. The diversity of these representations of Catholicism in southern literature – and of the ideological uses to which they have been put – is the focus of Haddox’s investigation.

The chapters in Fears and Fascinations attempt to do justice to the variety of ways Catholicism has been viewed in the South – to catalog and investigate the full range of quadroons, decadents, priests, and others that emerge as figures of Catholic southernness. Chapter 1 ("Catholic Miscegenation’s: The Cultural Legacy of Les Cenelles") examines the most persistent source of anxiety surrounding Catholicism in the South – the association of the church with miscegenation that began to emerge in southern texts in the 1840s. This association begins with the poems of Les Cenelles, an anthology published by a group of free people of color, ethnically and culturally French, in New Orleans in 1845. In these poems, Catholicism plays a key role in the construction of both racial and ethnic identity: even as Anglo-Protestant Louisianans deny the gens de couleur libres their distinct racial identity and their privileges, grouping them together with all African-Americans, the Les Cenelles poets appeal to Catholicism as a space within which they can preserve their identity. Yet even as they affirm their faith, the Les Cenelles poets criticize the church for turning a blind eye to the institution of plaçage, the system of concubinage that simultaneously preserved some free black Creoles' material well-being and ensured white sexual exploitation. The poems of Les Cenelles thus contribute to a perception that the church encouraged miscegenation, integration, and a general laxity in the maintenance of racial distinctions. Later southern writers, such as George Washington Cable, Grace King, and Alice Dunbar-Nelson, continue to explore the associations between Catholicism and miscegenation, providing unwitting justification for the anti-Catholic propaganda of politicians such as Tom Watson and religious leaders such as Eugene P. Alldredge. The association of the church with miscegenation reaches its imaginative zenith in the figure of Charles Bon, the most famous and most resonant Catholic of uncertain race in southern literature.

Even as the church began to figure in many white southerners' minds as a frightening force that enables miscegenation, some white southern intellectuals contested this picture, valorizing Catholicism as the ideal southern religion, uniquely suited to the quasi-feudal and racialist order of a plantation economy. Chapter 2 ("Medieval Yearnings: A Catholicism for Whites in Nineteenth-Century Southern Literature") focuses on this effort, beginning with the attempt of John England, the Catholic bishop of Charleston, to declare southern slavery compatible with Christianity despite the presence of abolitionist Catholic voices. George Fitzhugh and George Frederick Holmes, two of the white antebellum South's leading political theorists, would build upon England 's position, erecting the first theoretically developed characterization of the South as a feudal, anti-Enlightenment, highly cultivated, and unconsciously Catholic society. The figure of Abram Ryan, the "Poet-Priest of the Confederacy" who became popular in the decades following the Civil War, would combine this discourse of a feudal Catholicism with a celebration of chivalric southern heroism on the battlefield. Like Robert E. Lee, Ryan would function symbolically as an embodiment of southern bravery and eloquence, memorializing the Lost Cause and implicitly contrasting its glories with the bankrupt capitalist values of the North. Such medievalist ideology, however, did not go unchallenged by southern writers: most famously, Mark Twain responded to these developments with a scathing critique of a feudal Catholicism in The Innocents Abroad and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Twain's depiction of Catholicism would prove both inconsistent and oddly productive. On the one hand, he would repeat in his hagiographic Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc some of the same lineaments of the feudal heroic myth that he rejected in the earlier works. On the other hand, he would, by connecting Catholicism with decay and necrophilia, anticipate later formulations of southern Catholicism as decadent.

Chapter 3 (“The Pleasures of Decadence: Catholicism in Kate Chopin, Carson McCullers, and Anne Rice”) traces the emergence of this decadent Catholicism around the turn of the century, with its homoerotic undercurrents, its preoccupation with languor and terror, and its affinities with today's queer theory. This Catholicism figures most prominently in the work of Kate Chopin, who participates in the fin de siecle tradition of Catholic decadence most commonly associated with such European writers as Oscar Wilde and Joris-Karl Huysmans. Just as associations between the church and miscegenation were taken up by southern writers across the political spectrum, the image of a decadent and homoerotic Catholicism would recur for decades, celebrated by some writers and reviled by others. The same tropes of a decadent and ‘queer’ Catholicism on display in the stories of Chopin's A Vocation and a Voice reappear in texts as different as Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding and Anne Rice's The Feast of All Saints – the latter a historical novel about the New Orleans gens de couleur libres whose continued popularity suggests that associations among miscegenation, homoeroticism, aristocratic privilege, and Catholicism persist today.

Chapter 4 ("Agrarian Catholics: The Twentieth-Century Catholic Turn in Southern Literature") turns first toward Flannery O'Connor, the most canonical of southern Catholic writers, and, through a reading of her short story "The Displaced Person", argues that she takes part in a continuing effort to connect Catholicism to a conservative and medievalist southern politics. The key figure behind this effort is Allen Tate, whose tortured efforts to align Catholicism with the Agrarian movement in the 1930s would eventually culminate in his own religious conversion. In his essay "Remarks on the Southern Religion," his novel The Fathers, and his essays of the 1950s, Tate mounted the most comprehensive attempt to equate the tenets of the white southern order with the unchanging dogmas of Catholicism – an attempt that comes in for implicit critique in that most popular of southern novels, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind. Although Tate's theories about Catholicism in the South remained contradictory, both O'Connor and Caroline Gordon attempted to put them into practice, asserting in such novels as The Strange Children and The Malefactors and in the essays of Mystery and Manners a virtual equivalence between southernness and Catholicism. Here, however, we see also the collision of competing discourses of Catholic southernness: Gordon's The Malefactors simultaneously embraces Catholicism as a mark of a conservative southern identity and revels in its affinity with the decadent and the flamboyantly queer. The effort to characterize southern culture as essentially Catholic, always historically dubious, lost much of its force in 1965, the year that saw the end of the Second Vatican Council and demonstrated that the Catholic church was no more immune to historical change than the South.

Indeed the rapid changes produced in the church by Vatican II, com­bined with the changes produced in the South by the civil rights movement, were instrumental in bringing about a new set of southern Catholic tropes that began to appear in the early 1960s: a ‘deconstructive’ brand of Catholicism that rejects the metaphysical grounding of its earlier incarnations and comes increasingly to function as a marker of what we would today call ‘lifestyle.’ Chapter 5 ("Toward Catholicism as Lifestyle: Walker Percy, John Kennedy Toole, and Rebecca Wells") charts this new development, beginning with Percy's complex, ‘post southern’ portrayal of Catholicism as an attempt to reject the stoic and quasi-feudal traditions of white upper-class southernness while acknowledging the lingering presence of those tra­ditions' tropes. Though Percy sought to make Catholicism a substitute for southern identity, one that would be comparable in its metaphysical gravitas, he portrays Catholicism in such novels as The Moviegoer, The Last Gentleman, and Love in the Ruins as a relentlessly ordinary and domestic set of practices that rejects both southern medievalism and decadence. Such portrayals sug­gest a postmodern ‘micronarrative,’ a way of life that works best when it does not seek to establish a new and totalizing framework of identity despite Percy's intense, even apocalyptic desire that Catholicism do just that. At the same time, whatever politically progressive potential Percy's depiction of southern Catholicism may have quickly finds itself co-opted by the blandishments of consumerism, which transforms Catholicism into a practice that can be either working-class and cheerfully tacky – as in John Ken­nedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces or middle-class, feminist, and multicultural – as in Rebecca Wells's Little Altars Everywhere and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood but which in both cases signifies as a solipsistic, consumer-driven practice that contributes to little more than the accumulation of goods on the one hand and smug, therapeutic self-satisfaction on the other.

Throughout Fears and Fascinations, Haddox foregrounds the contested nature of both southernness and Catholicism in the literature he examines. Certain styles and characterizations of both may come into being, flourish for a time, disappear, and reappear, but their variety precludes any stable definition of either term in the larger American cultural arena. Each new text does not simply take its place in an unbroken and self-evident tradition, but plunges into a welter of ongoing debates. The aesthetic, historical, and political significance of each new text is neither known in advance nor determined for all time.

Haddox makes a major contribution by writing a wide-ranging history of the representational relationship between Catholicism and southernness that begins with the antebellum origins of ‘southern literature’ and ends in the ‘post southern’ present. Fears and Fascinations provides an indispensable synthesizing account of the relationship of these two key ideas in American Literature. – Jennifer Rae Greeson, Princeton University

This is an innovative book exploring a largely unexplored literary landscape. Haddox shows that the work of cultural analysis must involve grappling with each instance of southern, Catholic, and American representation in its own context, fashioning a literary and cultural history that at any given moment might offer grounds both for pessimism and hope. By focusing on the shifting and contradictory ways Catholicism has signified within southern literature and culture, Fears and Fascinations contributes to a more nuanced understanding of American and southern literary and cultural history.

Literature & Fiction / History & Criticism

Single Imperfection: Milton , Marriage and Friendship by Thomas H. Luxon ((Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies Series: Duquesne University Press)

Single Imperfection takes a fresh look at John Milton's major poems – Paradise Lost,  Samson Agonistes and Paradise Regained – and a few of the minor ones in light of a new analysis of Milton's famous tracts on divorce. Thomas Luxon, Cheheyl Professor and director of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning and professor of English at Dartmouth College , contends that Milton 's work is best understood as part of a major cultural project in which Milton assumed a leading role – the redefinition of Protestant marriage as a heteroerotic version of classical friendship, originally a homoerotic cultural practice.

Schooled in the humanist notion that man was created as a godlike being, Milton also believed that what marked man as different from God is loneliness. Milton 's reading of Genesis – ‘it is not good for man to be alone’ – prescribes a wife as the remedy for this ‘single imperfection,’ but Milton thought marriage had fallen to such a degraded state that it required a reformation.

As a humanist, Milton looked to clas­sical culture, especially to Plato, Aristotle and Cicero, for a more dignified model of human relations – friendship. Milton re-imagined marriage as a classical friendship, without explicitly theorizing the issues of gender construction. Nor did he allow the chief tenet of classical friendship, equal­ity, to claim a place in reformed marriage.

Single Imperfection traces the path of friendship theory through Milton 's epistolary friendship with Charles Diodati, his elegies, his divorce pamphlets, and his major poems. The book begins from a fairly straightforward observation: that John Milton devoted himself to one of the broadest Puritan efforts to transform social and cultural practice – the supersession of friendship by marriage as the most fundamental and most human of human relations, and that the failures and successes of that supersessionist project leave significant traces throughout Milton's work, traces that help readers understand the major poems in important new ways.

Most humanist authors suppressed the problems attendant upon redefining a heteroerotic relation using insistently homoerotic models. They tried to ignore these problems or invent work­arounds. The introduction to Single Imperfection lays out the difficulties, acknowledged and ignored, faced by this humanist project. Chapter 1 summarizes versions of the project from Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, the official Church of England homilies, and Edward Tilney's Flower of Friendship. Chapter 1 also presents a reading of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors as an example of a comic treatment of the peculiar difficulties encountered by treating marriage as a friendship. That so many comedies poked fun at the project shows how pervasive an effort it was. It also demonstrates that problems like applying classical notions of self-identity and likeness across gender difference, translating the Bible's ‘one flesh’ into friendship's ‘one soul,’ and trying to work around the principle of equality, could surface as jokes on the early modern stage, even as more serious writers tried to suppress or ignore them altogether.

According to Luxon, Milton 's work, especially the divorce tracts and the major poems, can be read as major documents in this struggle for redefinition and supersession. That reading, including several minor poems and letters, is the chief project of Single Imperfection. Chapter 2 explicates and explores the problems of Milton 's doctrine of mar­riage in the divorce tracts as ‘fit conversation’ and produces a fresh reading of Epitaphium Damonis and several sonnets and elegies. It also challenges previous understandings of Milton 's friendship and correspondence with Charles Diodati, whose death Epitaphium Damonis laments. Understanding their letters, sonnets and friendship in the light of classical and pastoral doctrines of friendship proves far more useful than thinking of them as protomodern homosexuals or schoolboy lovers.

Chapters 3 and 4 focus on Paradise Lost and its representations of both homoerotic and heteroerotic conversations. Here we can see Milton 's successes and, even more interesting, failures, at trying to reimagine the first marriage as a classical friendship like those celebrated by Plato and detailed by Aristotle and Cicero. Milton intends to promote marriage as a friendship, but denies the rela­tionship the mutual equality friendship doctrine requires. Inadvertently, Luxon thinks, the poem depicts marriage, God's remedy for Adam's loneliness, as just as much a barrier to as an icon of lost Paradise . Conversations with God, with Raphael, and with Eve, all become trapped in a Ciceronian elegiac version of friendship as irrecoverable loss.

Chapter 5 re-reads Milton 's Samson as a hero of and by divorce. Milton offers a Samson who is insistently Hebrew, not Hellenized as was usual, and insistently married, even though the Scripture account says nothing of that. Milton uses Samson to imagine a pre-Christian, old covenant attempt to reclaim the manly liberty lost when Adam shamefully submitted to his fallen wife. Samson ultimately fails, but he did one thing Adam could not manage: he divorced an unfit wife. Finally, Luxon reinterprets the temptation of the Son in Paradise Regain'd as two forms of a classical pederastic temptation. Satan tempts the Son to take him on either as his philerast, his beloved, or his pederast, his lover. In this way Milton completes the demonization of Athenian homoerotics even as he presents the Son as free of Adam's ‘single imperfection’ – the need for a partner in conversation, male or female. Paradoxically (and unsatisfactorily), Milton imagines that the Son restores a paradise of manly dignity by demonstrating he has no need of any partner aside from God his father, and so he restores humanity by doing away with its chief defining trait – the need for a fit partner in conversation.

Single Imperfection will prompt even more reinterpretations of Milton 's poetry in an age that is anxiously redefining marriage once again.

Literature & Fiction / Novels

The Life All around Me by Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons (Harcourt Inc.)

Anyone considering making an underage change in life, such as who you're going to live with, should know there's no way to avoid the government getting in on the decision, so try to be kind to the lady they'll send with a stack of tests. Try to stay calm and do your best on them. – from the book

Two decades ago, a young girl by the name of Ellen Foster impressed herself on the hearts and minds of millions of readers, leaving many longing to know about her fate. Now Ellen Foster has more to tell, and now she's older and wiser.

Now fifteen in The Life All around Me by Ellen Foster, Ellen has found a new mother and settled into a permanent home, though she still carries the burden of her mother's death and her father's abuse. Strengthened by adversity and blessed with enough intelligence to design a salvation for herself, she still feels ill at ease in the world. She negotiates her way and sets her sights high – on Harvard.

Her sole surviving ritual – a visit to the county fair – takes on totemic importance. While she holds fast to the shreds of her childhood – humoring her best friend, Stuart, who is determined to marry her; and protecting her old neighbor, slow-witted Starletta – she sells her poetry to pay her way to a camp for gifted students. "I believe that anything is possible if you have the combination of love for what you're doing and the will to sit down and not get up until it's done." How Ellen does what she needs to do is a story of love, fear, grief, need, hope, wit, and ingenuity.

In this folksy sequel to the 1997 Oprah pick Ellen Foster, Gibbons' plucky heroine is 15 and hoping for early admission to Harvard … Even as good guys falter, readers can trust that all will be right in the end in this extended curtain call for a fondly remembered character. – Publishers Weekly
… But despite the stability Ellen has found, everyone recognizes that a small North Carolina town isn't the place for a girl of her fierce intelligence. Ever determined to be the mistress of her own fate, she herself sets the stage for the next phase in her life by writing a letter to Harvard president Derek Bok proposing herself as a student. … But Ellen is still a remarkable creation, and her narrative voice, while it has matured and grown more sophisticated, remains compelling and unique. – Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist (starred review)

The Life All around Me by Ellen Foster stands on its own as a portrait of a redoubtable adolescent making herself up out of whole cloth. With a singular mix of perspicacity, naïveté, and compassion, Ellen draws readers into her life and makes them fall in love with her all over again.

Literature & Fiction / Poetry

Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century edited by Michael Dumanis & Cate Marvin, with an introduction by Mark Doty (Sarabande Books)

These poems are thrillingly energetic, funny, passionate, deftly inventive, and bracingly inclusive. – from the preface by Mark Doty

In the tradition of such classics as the 1968 The Young American Poets and the 1985 The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets, Legitimate Dangers offers a broad and representative introduction to some of the most exciting, fresh, ambitious, and original new voices on the contemporary poetry landscape by gathering generous selections from the work of eighty-five younger American poets. Some are the recipients of numerous awards, while others, who are making their first appearance, are quickly making significant contributions to twenty-first-century poetry.

These poets were born after 1960, did not publish a first book before 1995, and have no more than three books published. While they are extraordinarily diverse in their aesthetic sensibilities and approaches to craft, they are all distinguished by their inimitable voices, their virtuosity, their willingness to take meaningful risks in terms of form and content, an intellectual depth, an emotional honesty, and an ability to take the reader's breath away. The poets include Rick Barot, Joshua Beckman, David Berman, Nick Flynn, Matthea Harvey, Terrance Hayes, Major Jackson, James Kimbrell, D.A. Powell, Spencer Reece, Matthew Rohrer, Rebecca Wolff, Kevin Young, Matthew Zapruder, Andrew Zawacki, and many others.

Legitimate Dangers was edited by Michael Dumanis, poet, editor, and Assistant Professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University ; and Cate Marvin, poet, author and Assistant Professor of English at College of Staten Island , City University of New York.

The editors said they put together Legitimate Dangers because of the significance of a similar book in their young lives and because such a book was needed. Cate said in an interview that they had both long been engaged in a discussion about the merits of their generation, and about poetics and the tradition of poetry in general. They both admire many of the same qualities in poems: daring, ambition, vulnerability, sophisticated wordplay, musicality . . . yet they have different tastes. They respected one another's approach toward reading poetry, and trusted the other's aesthetic compass. Michael for his part said that they chose not to make an open call for submissions and to do most of the initial legwork themselves. They started with more than a hundred names of writers they liked, generated off the cuff, and then set about reading the work of younger writers they were not as familiar with, soliciting recommendations, tearing through literary magazines, emptying the poetry sections of independent bookstores, searching online. Michael also said that three of the poets in Legitimate Dangers are genuinely less well-known in that they don't have a book of poems of their own published in the U.S. at present – Monica de la Torre, Monica Ferrell, and Erica Bernheim – but both editors felt all three had amassed very impressive bodies of work in literary journals and were on the verge of publishing their first books. For Michael, these three poets were incredible discoveries, as was Richard Siken, who had not yet won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award when they stumbled upon his work and decided that they needed to include him.

How does one communicate the intersection of life and the imagination – its sources, questions and preoccupations? This anthology of new American poets variously, and more often than not, exquisitely explores this puzzle. Comprised of discordant voices – 85, to be exact – from the gritty, near-confessional wordplay of Olena Kalytiak Davis and Paisley Rekdal to the terse experiments and mini-saga prose poems of Matthea Harvey and Joel Brouwer, this anthology uncaps the concerns of contemporary life, releasing vapors to mix with the contemporary imagination. … Even the titles (compare Maurice Manning's "On God" to Timothy Donnelly's "Twenty-Seven Props for a production of Eine Lebenszeit") reveal the historical, philosophical and aesthetic sources of these poems that often speak to ‘you,’ the ‘Bare-faced, flint-hearted, recoilless / Reader’ (Olena Kalytiak Davis, ‘sweet reader, flannelled and tulled’), inviting intimacy, assuming courage and requiring immersion in the moment. – Publishers Weekly

Here are the opening salvos and refusals, the forms and fragments – the combustible texts – of a talented new generation. Legitimate Dangers is rich and varied, decisive, wide-ranging, and unexpected. It is explosive. – Edward Hirsch

Comprehensive, groundbreaking, and diverse, Legitimate Dangers may inspire the inner poet in its readers.

Professional & Technical / Criminology

Criminal Justice: Mainstream and Crosscurrents by John Randolph Fuller (Pearson Prentice Hall)

Written by John Randolph Fuller, professor of criminology at the University of West Georgia for more than 24 years, the 1991 Arts and Sciences Faculty Member of the Year and the 2001 Honors Professor of the Year, Criminal Justice covers law enforcement, courts, and the correctional system – as well as breaking new ground in the teaching of criminal justice. Criminal Justice is designed to be, first and foremost, a mainstream text that covers the canon required in the first course that most criminal justice majors are exposed to. Additionally, the book serves as an introduction to the discipline for those students who have not yet chosen a major.

At the heart of this textbook are the Crosscurrents, which contrast the successes and reforms of the criminal justice system by emphasizing contemporary cases as well as the unpopular laws, ill-funded agencies, and honest mistakes that impact the quality of American justice. Linked closely to the theme of each chapter, the Crosscurrents feature reveals the multiple facets of crime and the solutions we are searching for.

Having taught the introduction to criminal justice course for many years using many books, Fuller says he embarked on the journey to tell the story of criminal justice in a way that will help students grasp both the excitement of the field and the im­mense responsibility of serving the country and community. Fuller sought to provide a fresh approach to the teaching of the class, one that his students have found to be particularly relevant and interesting. To that end, he wrote this book to reflect a theme that captures the excitement and potential of studying crime and the criminal justice system: the mainstream and crosscurrents.

Fuller describes the field of criminal justice as a fast-moving stream with currents, cross-currents, eddies, rapids, and hydraulics. Heraclitus' observation that one cannot step into the same stream twice is also true of the field of criminal justice, which can change just as dramatically. Criminal Justice is intended to reflect those changes. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 , the field of criminal justice has become even more complex and challenging to study and to write about. The basic mission of some criminal justice agencies, such as the FBI, have been altered; a new cabinet-level department in the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security, has been created; and state and local criminal justice agencies now have the additional duties of being the first responders to terrorist attacks. Yet, in spite of this new and unprecedented threat, the fundamental job of the criminal justice system remains. Protecting individuals and property within the rule of law has always been a difficult mission. The delicate balance between public safety and individual rights and liberties is being stretched anew by the additional requirements of terrorist threats; the laws designed to address those threats, such as the USA Patriot Act; and the emotions of citizens, which range from legitimate concern to paranoia.

To develop a healthy perspective on the field of criminal justice, students must have an appreciation for the history of social control, an understanding of the limits of science and the government, and a willingness to think critically about how the system might be reformed. Many of Fuller’s students and former students have been law enforcement officers, probation or parole officers, corrections workers, and rape crisis center employees, and he says he continually learns from them about their successes, concerns, and frustrations of working in the criminal justice system. Having been there himself (he was a probation and parole officer in Broward County , Florida , as well as a criminal justice planner), he knows that practical experience gives one a perspective that cannot be duplicated in the classroom. Therefore, Criminal Justice is written with the view that the criminal justice system is not as neat and orderly as is often portrayed in textbooks.

Criminal Justice is organized in a manner that introduces the student to the field of criminal justice, follows cases through the criminal justice process, and highlights some of the pressing unresolved issues and concerns that continue to challenge criminal justice practitioners. Part One features four chapters. The first chapter identifies some of the ways we understand crime, highlights the structure of the criminal justice system, and relates the system to other institutions that affect criminal justice. Chapter 2 deals with the history and issues concerning the measurement of crime and why this is such an important task. Chapter 3 reviews the major schools of criminology and the important biological, psychological, and sociological theories that attempt to explain crime. Chapter 4 provides an introduction to criminal law and identifies the different types of laws, sources of law, and features of what constitutes a crime.

Part Two is concerned with enforcing the law. Chapter 5 presents the history and organization of law enforcement. Chapter 6 highlights some of the issues and problems with controlling the police, and Chapter 7 considers some of the pressing issues facing contemporary law enforcement.

Part Three deals with the court system. Chapter 8 provides a history of how courts were developed and how they are currently organized. Chapter 9 covers the courtroom work group and explains the roles of the prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge. Chapter 10 covers plea bargaining, the trial, and sentencing.

Part Four deals with the correctional system. Chapter 11 covers the history of social control and capital punishment, and Chapter 12 deals with life in the contemporary prison. Chapter 13 explains how corrections are used in the community setting by covering probation, parole, and intermediate sanctions.

Finally, Part Five highlights some of the pressing problems that continue to challenge the criminal justice system. Chapter 14 deals with the special issues of juveniles who break the law and differentiates between the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems. Chapter 15 covers how personal and public values affect the criminal justice system, exploring how drug abuse, gambling, and sex work are sometimes considered crimes and sometimes considered legitimate enterprises. Chapter 16 explores the future of criminal justice by contrasting the war-on-crime metaphor with the growing movement toward peacemaking criminology and restorative justice.

I like the narrative style that explains the legal concepts in a clear and comprehensible manner without losing the reader in legal jargon...The boxes which serve as supplemental material are some of the best that I have seen. – Robert P. Griffiths, Esq., Suffolk County Community College

The strategy of presenting the mainstream and the crosscurrent is excellent. The crosscurrent discussion questions are especially insightful and relevant... It is the best – clear and concise – overview of the subject I have seen. – Dr. Paul Katsampes Norwich University

I would argue that this is the best introductory criminal justice text available. It is highly readable, interesting, up-to-date, supported with empirical work and critical…plus it just reads so well. – Kim Davies, Augusta State University

This is one of the best texts I have reviewed in some time. Its portrayal is balanced, offering both main-stream and critical perspectives for benefit of the reader. – Robert Bing, University of Texas Arlington

The combination of solid scholarship and an emphasis on critical thinking makes Criminal Justice the text of the future for a new generation of informed and inquisitive criminal justice students. Building upon Fuller’s experience as a criminal justice practitioner, scholar and teacher, Criminal Justice encourages readers to think critically about the goals and processes of the criminal justice system and introduces them to important ethical dilemmas faced by criminal justice professionals. This highly readable, interesting, contemporary book offers a comprehensive introduction to criminal justice supported with empirical work. The narrative style explains legal concepts in a clear and comprehensible manner without losing the reader in legal jargon. The crosscurrents feature emphasizing the challenges faced by practitioners in today's criminal justice system, make this text the most relevant, thought provoking, and intellectually challenging book on the market by showing students exciting and provocative crosscurrents of the US criminal justice system.

Professional & Technical / Nursing

Home Care Nursing Handbook, 3rd edition (Spiral-bound) by Carolyn J. Humphrey (Aspen Publishers, Inc.) is a pocket-sized, practical manual for nurses and students addressing clinical and planning aspects of home care nursing.

Home Care Nursing Handbook, now in its third edition, is a highly acclaimed resource for improving care and patient outcomes. The book has been reorganized for quicker access to expert guidance and significantly expanded.

Although home care nursing continues to change significantly since Carolyn J. Humphrey wrote the first edition of the Home Care Nursing Handbook in 1986, she says that her goal for this edition remains the same – to provide the home care nurse with a concise, compact guide of practical clinical information that can be conveniently carried and referred to when making visits and documenting care. Home Care Nursing Handbook, 3rd edition, is meant to be a quick resource that the nurse can consult in order to deliver and record home care services more efficiently. As a staff nurse working with patients experiencing a variety of situations, problems, and diseases, Humphrey, RN, MS, a nationally known leader in home care nursing, currently editor of two national journals on home care, Home Healthcare Nurse and Home Care Manager, found it difficult to remember all the things she needed to in the field. She felt that if all the bits of practical information could be put into one reference, she could save herself a great deal of time. By sharing realistic approaches, tips, hints, and practical information learned from the work with experienced nurses and the patients and families experiencing the problems, she could help others be more productive, deliver better care, and save patients, families, and the agency a great deal of money.

Humphrey’s vision became a reality when the first edition of Home Care Nursing Handbook was published 12 years ago. Since that time she has heard from many nurses who have found the material to be a helpful way of learning about home care, and a source they refer to time and time again.

Home Care Nursing Handbook, 3rd edition, marks a major reorganization of content to better meet the needs of nurses who work with critical paths, OASIS, point-of-care computers, telehealth, and outcome measurement systems. These tools, by design, lack the specific depth, practical approaches, and clinical teaching information that readers will find in this handbook. The information is presented in a way that assists the nurse in clinical decision-making after being cued by programs such as critical paths or computerized point-of-care systems. The material also has been reorganized to make it easier to reference. Input from over a hundred home care nurses using the book every day helped Humphrey determine what content should be added and what format would best meet their needs. Chapter 2 provides a unique overview of assessment cues not found in any other home care book. According to Humphrey, previous readers have commented that this chapter alone has helped them on numerous occasions to clarify assessments in order to determine a more accurate plan of care, commu­nicate a patient's situation to the physician, and document more accurately.

The most common diagnoses and patient situations found in home care have been strengthened in this edition. Each of the most frequently found diagnoses and system impairments encountered by home care nurses has a chapter with essential assessment, intervention, patient teaching, documentation, helpful hints, and nutritional material. A highlight of the new edition of Home Care Nursing Handbook is the new chapter on infusion therapy guidelines, which includes the 1998 revised guidelines for infusion services by the Intravenous Nursing Society (INS).

The numerous appendixes can be used to access information while on home visits. The extensive directory of national resources, the entire OASIS-B data set, Medicare coverage guidelines, common lab values, equivalent weights and measures, and general helpful hints and improvised equipment allow nurses to act efficiently in the home rather than calling a supervisor or waiting until returning to the office to find this information.

Although there is some discussion of medications, the nurse should use Home Care Nursing Handbook in conjunction with a current drug reference that is updated every year. Humphrey recommends to readers that as they use this book in their daily practice; she wants them to feel as if they are consulting with home care experts. The contributors have shared critical information readers may need to reference while caring for patients. Each one has a wealth of experience, an understanding of high quality clinical practice, and a deep understand­ing of the importance of home care nursing.

Humphrey's book has been my beacon of excellence in home health nursing. It is a diverse, versatile, and highly readable resource that has applications in many nursing and ancillary settings... My dog-eared copy has followed me to every job and holds an important place on the bookshelf of every office I have inhabited. – Kriss Ann Loughman, MSN, RN, C, Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist SIGNET Project, Kaiser Permanente, Parma , Ohio

...It's an excellent resource, especially for new nurses going into the home care field... in this economic age where people are watching their money, this book offers recipes for solutions so people don't have to buy them. – Joan Grasso, Boulder Community Home Care Boulder Community Hospital , Boulder , Colorado

Before I discovered Carolyn Humphrey's Home Care Nursing Handbook, I used to feel I was alone in the field, without colleagues or resources. Now that I keep this helpful reference in my nursing bag, I always have a place to turn for immediate excellent advice. – Mary Curry Narayan, Specialty Nurse, Inova VNA Home Health, Vienna , Virginia

The home care professionals who have helped Humphrey develop Home Care Nursing Handbook provided state-of-the-art information that provides readers with a concise synopsis of years of educational and practical expertise. For the nurse new to home care or for one who is an experienced veteran, the material in this book can be used to assess, teach, and practice at the highest level. Referring to this book on a daily basis can mean increased productivity for the nurse and assistance in achieving better patient outcomes. Readers will find a wealth of information presented in a concise format. If carried with the nurse and used in the field, Home Care Nursing Handbook is an important tool in accomplishing home care nurs­ing practice.

Reference / Foreign Languages

Pronounce it Perfectly in Spanish: with Audio CDs, 2nd edition (3 Audio CDs, total running time 3 hours, 14 minutes by Jean Yates (Pronounce it Perfectly Series: Barron’s Educational Series)

When mastering a new language, nothing is more important than learning to pronounce words and phrases so they are understood. Authentic pronunciation enables readers to be readily understood as they master basic conversation and grammar patterns. Native Spanish speakers are immediately pleased, supportive, and encouraging when they realize that readers are learning their language and that they can converse. This builds confidence and encourages readers to use their new skills often.

Pronounce it Perfectly in Spanish helps readers master the sounds of Spanish. Developed by Jean Yates, Teacher, George Washington University , this CD-and-book program emphasizes speaking, sound discrimination, and accurate sound creation. It helps readers understand and be understood by Spanish-speakers from all parts of the world.

This updated language program includes three audio CDs, which replace the previous edition's tape cassettes. Pronounce it Perfectly in Spanish presents exercises in sound discrimination and accurate sound creation, for example, instructing in pronunciation of the ‘ñ,’ which does not occur in English. Words and phrases are put into a variety of conversational contexts for students of Spanish to practice and perfect. Sentence intonation patterns are presented to help students master the Spanish language as it is really spoken, and English-Spanish cognates are presented and analyzed. Spanish speech inflections are explained, as are the varying Spanish accents from different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Practice is offered in accented and unaccented vowel combinations such as ua, ie, aú, and dozens more.

There are five parts. Part One contains lists of Spanish words and place names that are well-known in the United States , and that are included here to get readers ear tuned to the way Spanish sounds. Parts Two and Three describe every pronunciation of each Spanish letter and explain when each variation is used. Diagrams of the mouth are provided to show readers the exact mechanics of producing each sound. The Practice in Context sections are broken down into syllables to give practice in the important feature of linkage in fluid Spanish speech.

In Part Four, the basic stress and intonation patterns of Spanish are explained. Again, words and sentences illustrating the patterns are included for readers to practice.

Part Five, Putting It All Together, presents dialogues that illustrate the fundamental verb tenses in Spanish. These are broken down into single-syllable units, spoken on the CD slowly at first, then at normal speed, thus providing practice in combining words as they are spoken in sequence. These are followed by a collection of authentic tongue-twisters, also practiced at two speeds to help readers become proficient in pronouncing difficult sounds, to listen to, repeat, record, write down, and memorize. Readers may use them as the beginning of their own personal collection of Spanish materials to practice saying aloud.

Pronounce it Perfectly in Spanish is ideal for language students who need more practice with the spoken word. It is also valuable for travelers and business people learning a new language by themselves.

Religion & Spirituality / Archetypes

The Language of Archetypes Unabridged, 11 Audio CDs, running time 12 ¼ hours by Caroline Myss (Sounds True)

In her work as a medical intuitive, Caroline Myss examined the patterns of hundreds of archetypes that exist in human consciousness, and uncovered an ‘alchemy of spirituality’ readers can use for self-understanding and healing.

According to Myss, all individuals have a ‘sacred support team’ of twelve primary archetypes. Once identified, these archetypes allow them to discover their highest purpose – what she calls their Sacred Contract. Now, on The Language of Archetypes  this three-time New York Times best-selling author brings to life her ‘gallery of archetypes’ in an 11-CD audio curriculum over a decade in the making. Her first complete training course on how to identify and work with the nine major archetypal families, this landmark program brings readers face-to-face with:

  • The Survival Family: four archetypes everyone is born with – Child, Prostitute, Saboteur, and Victim – and the tests of faith, strength, and self-esteem they offer.
  • The Feminine and Masculine Families: restoring the natural balance of anima/animus within and around us.
  • The Divine Family: from the Monk and the Nun to the Shaman and the Martyr, how to reconcile the forces that manage ‘lessons of truth’.
  • The Wisdom Family: how the Mystic, Sage, Seeker, and others reveal the choices that best support personal empowerment.
  • The Healer Family: the grace behind the passion to serve others.
  • The Creative Family: from the Starving Artist and the Stateswoman to the Pioneer and the Prophet, readers meet companions in the realm of creativity.
  • The Action Family: building a ‘spirit with stamina’ with the Hero, Rebel, and more.
  • The Wild Card Family: how to access the deeper wisdom in the most misunderstood archetypes – the Addict, Vampire, Pirate, and Femme Fatale.

"When you learn to speak and see in archetypes," teaches Myss, "you start to comprehend the world and everything in it in an altogether different way."

  • How to determine the 12 primary archetypes on one’s own sacred support team.
  • The universal struggle for empowerment and sell-esteem.
  • Shadow archetypes: how to face them and neutralize their negative impact.
  • Divine motivation and the need for ‘spiritual accountability’.
  • Stepping outside the personality to view the journey of the soul.
  • Fate vs. destiny: how to stop fear from conquering the impulses of the soul.
  • Congruency: how to mend a divided mind and heart to balance inner power and clarify personal direction.
  • Why practice, not perfection, is the goal in speaking archetype.
  • How to use archetypal insights to cultivate courage and hope – two essentials for restoring health and achieving life goals.

Delivered with masterful storytelling, The Language of Archetypes gives listeners a personal introduction to the many dynamic yet often hidden characters that impact health, relationships, and career – every facet of their destiny – delivered as only Myss can.

Religion & Spirituality / Archetypes

Sacred Contracts: The Journey – An Interactive Tool for Guidance (Game) by Caroline Myss & Peter Occhiogrosso (Hay House)

Caroline Myss’ New York Times bestseller Sacred Contracts invited readers to gain perspective on their lives by working with a family of personal archetypes and their location on the Archetypal Wheel, similar in format to an astrological chart. Sacred Contracts: The Journey – An Interactive Tool for Guidance expands on the insights contained in that book and introduces new levels of awareness. Anyone who has read Sacred Contracts will want to experience Myss’s new insights firsthand. Those who may be unfamiliar with the book will find its essence contained within the structure of this interactive experience.

Sacred Contracts starts from the premise that everyone is born with a Sacred Contract, an agreement to learn certain lessons and develop wisdom in this lifetime. Among our allies in the pursuit of wisdom is a set of 12 archetypes drawn from the inexhaustible well of the collective unconscious. Recognizing those archetypes within the psyche helps readers learn how to benefit from their energies. Everyone shares four survival-oriented archetypes: the Child, Victim, Prostitute, and Saboteur. Part of the challenge of working with archetypal patterns consists in discovering how to select the other eight archetypes that make up one’s own inner support team of 12, and learning more about how energies help or hinder them.

According to Myss, medical intuitive, a leading voice in the healing arts revolution, those 12 archetypes, when placed on the Archetypal Wheel through an intuitive process, make up one’s Chart of Origin, a diagram of key forces at work throughout life. Although they are the primary archetypal patterns, they are not the only ones. There are countless archetypes in the collective unconscious, most of which come into play only in specific situations. Discovering the identity and function of the secondary archetypes in relation to one’s psyche is the goal of Sacred Contracts. It is an interactive experience that can be used alone or by up to four people, and can add new layers of insight to those provided by the Chart of Origin. These levels represent a heightened understanding of archetypes that Myss has developed since she wrote the book. Sacred Contracts is a way of seeking guidance for a particular question or issue in each participant’s life. Readers name the matter on which they are seeking guidance at the beginning of the Journey, and compile insights and guidance as they move along. It is not necessary to complete the Journey in one sitting, or even in one day. Readers may want to leave it out and return to it as time permits.

Supplies provided in Sacred Contracts include: 74 archetype cards, instruction booklet, 12 cards numbered 1–12, 4 felt-tip pens, colored red, blue, yellow, and green, 1 pad of 50 blank 3-wheel templates, and 1 die.

Myss first recounts how the concept of Sacred Contracts took form in myths and other cultural traditions through the ages. She then examines the lives of the spiritual masters and prophets – Abraham, Jesus, the Buddha, and Muhammad – whose archetypal journeys illustrate the four stages of a Sacred Contract and provide clues for readers to discover their own. Finally, Myss offers specific guidance for readers in locating their physical and emotional vulnerabilities and healing any susceptible areas.

… Part science, part ancient tradition, part magic, this book will gratify readers who are prepared to study the fine print of their Sacred Contracts. – Gail Hudson, Amazon.com 
As incongruous as it may seem at first glance to her legions of fans, Myss, a popular intuitive healer and teacher, and the bestselling author of Anatomy of the Spirit, thinks it makes perfect sense to describe her approach to spirituality as that of an archetypal ‘Saboteur.’ After all, it takes a thief to catch a thief, she explains in her latest work. … One value of Myss's ingenious system is that, like the I Ching, it teaches readers to use symbols not as one-dimensional descriptions but as a call to reflection and imagination and a means to see ourselves in a greater light. – Publishers Weekly

Caroline has done it again. With her brilliant writing style she is forging ahead to a new frontier of spirituality: awakening your full potential and revealing your contract with God. – Sylvia Browne, author of The Other Side and Back
Caroline Myss has weaved her magic spell once more. Having read her new book, I have a deeper experience of my own Sacred Contract. – Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love

Both visionary and practical, Sacred Contracts is a unique process of self-discovery and spiritual archaeology and a powerful work of spiritual wisdom. Based on her internationally popular workshop of the same name, Sacred Contracts is a synthesis of psychology, healing guidance, and spiritual insight.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

In Search of New Age Spiritualities by Adam Possamai (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Theology and Biblical Studies Series: Ashgate Publishing Limited)

The Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies series brings high quality research monograph publishing back into focus for authors, international libraries, and student, academic and research readers. Headed by an international editorial advisory board of acclaimed scholars spanning the breadth of religious studies, theology and biblical studies, this open-ended monograph series presents cutting-edge research from both established and new authors in the field.

The search for an adequate understanding of the New Age phenomenon is fraught with difficulties when examined within the perspectives of sociology of religion which have shed light on religion in modernity. New Agers cannot be located easily in the secularization narrative; they move through fluid networks rather than settled collectivities; they assemble personal syncretisms of belief, myth and practice rather than subscribe to codified doctrines and prescribed rituals. New Age is quickly found to be a label that is unacceptable to many of those designated as New Agers.

In Search of New Age Spiritualities, written by Adam Possamai, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Western Sydney , advances our understanding of the so-called New Age phenomenon by analyzing accounts of insiders' religious experience and orientations. This approach is brought to bear not only on the study of written documents relating to New Age and its putative antecedents, but on the analysis of in-depth interviews with thirty-five spiritual actors.

While other researchers on this subject tend to treat ‘New Age’ as a whole coherent spirituality with a single underlying logic of belief practice, Possamai allows the possibility that the term ‘New Age’ is a meronymy, i.e., a label bunching together unlike entities (e.g. neo-paganism and what he calls presentist perennism). He therefore seeks to identify and discuss some ideal-type characteristics which at once allow readers to see links between the diverse actors of the so-called ‘New Age’ movement, to discuss differences between them, and to distinguish between ‘New Age’ and other spiritualities included and hidden by this meronymy (e.g. neo-paganism).

Chapter 1 of In Search of New Age Spiritualities  (A Profile of the Respondents: Social and Spiritual Aspects) addresses the literature from which New Agers are profiled as urban, educated, middle-class, with a majority of women – a portrait mainly based on quantitative analyses. This chapter aims at providing a richer sociological description through a qualitative analysis of 35 interviews. This qualitative approach describes these actors as religious individualists, as technical mystics, and as people who locate authority in their inner self. They tend to move in or toward New Age through crises and through a consumption of New Age symbols that predispose, provoke and reinforce alternation to New Age. However, as seen in Chapter 2 (A Profile of the Respondents: Networking Aspects) even if they perceive themselves as unique in this spirituality, they also mix with other people in ‘affinitive’ networks.

Chapter 3 (Keeping New Age at Bay) elaborates an ideal-type, which Possamai dubs perennism and which is the element that links the respondents. It is constructed on the basis of outsiders' thematic interpretation of a variety of texts. Chapter 4 (Perennism) supports a Verstehen approach, which is returned to when the constructed type is made to confront insiders' accounts. The word perennism, inspired by Aldous Huxley's Perennial Philosophy, is used as a sociological tool, and should not be confused with this philosophy. Perennism is defined in In Search of New Age Spiritualities as a syncretic belief in: monism, the human potential ethic, and spiritual knowledge.

Chapter 5 (The Two Spiritual Knowledges) explores one differentiation among Possamai’s interviewees found in the former chapter by analyzing the putative ancestors (esotericism; including the Theosophical Society, Spiritualism, Occultism, Guénonism) of these contemporary alternative spiritualities. Chapter 6 (A Sociological Chart of the Age of Aquarius) and Chapter 7 (Neo-Paganism and Presentist Perennism) compare what is commonly known as ‘New Age’ to other contemporary spiritualities with a ‘family resemblance’. This is done through an analysis of its history and further analysis of the interviews. At this point, In Search of New Age Spiritualities shows what differentiates the supposed ‘New Age’ actors and their different spiritualities. From this, the book refines the definition of perennism and indicates diverse sub-types of perennist groups; these are Aquarian perennists (Chapter 6), neo-pagans and presentist perennists (Chapter 7).

Chapter 8 (Three Perennist Spiritualities) summarizes the findings from the previous three chapters, attempts to find more elements of dissociation among the three perennist sub-types, and finds theories of modernity/post modernity helpful. Chapter 8 thus analyses perennism and post modernity through their elective affinities and builds on a synchronic perspective of perennism.

Chapter 9 (Perennist Re-enchantment: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism and Communicative Action) attempts to evaluate the impact of these alternative spiritualities in mainstream culture, and argues that a re-enactment of a part of the world is occurring through their re-invasion in public spheres (mainly in consumer culture).

This is an excellent project, well grounded in the literatures of both the sociology of religion and religious studies. Adorn makes a substantial cutting edge contribution to both of these areas through a careful delineation and location of what have been loosely described as New Age Spiritualities. The text is conceptually and empirically most rigorous. – Gary D. Bouma, Professor of Sociology, Monash University .

The book provides many details about similarities and differences among those referred to as New Agers, revealing them to be quite diverse. First, In Search of New Age Spiritualities finds a common descriptor for the diverse orientations, practices and discourses of what it calls perennists. Second, it explores differences within the supposed family and to name and describe those differences. It should open the field to critical debate within religious studies, bringing contemporary religious/spiritual movements within the purview of academics.

Religion & Spirituality / Judaism

Understanding the Hebrew Bible: A Reader's Guide by Elliot Rabin (KTAV Publishing House, Inc.)

Understanding the Hebrew Bible is written clearly and jargon-free and provides an orientation to the vast compendium of biblical materials by explaining the different kinds of writing found in the Bible. Each section is informed by current biblical scholarship, but presented in a manner accessible to a general audience. Unlike other introductions that focus entirely on biblical history and its historical context, Understanding the Hebrew Bible surveys the full range of biblical writing. Author Elliott Rabin believes that people need to discover the meaning of the Bible for themselves. He says that the Bible is not a book of doctrine and there are few statements of dogma; he believes, instead, that it is a book that imparts its religious vision mostly through literary art, stories, and poems – that the Bible's stories describe human responses to God's presence: "God speaks to people, challenging them to live a life in His image." Asserting that the Bible is primarily a book of questions, Rabin holds that it is best approached by recognizing that it contains six types of writing: storytelling, law, history, prophecy, wisdom and poetry. A chapter is devoted to each, except for history, which is divided into sections on history in the Bible and the history of the Bible.

A preface establishes a conceptual model for understanding the Bible, and explores the differences between the traditional Jewish and Christian readings of this Scripture. Rabin, director of education at Makor, a program of the 92nd Street Y in New York City differentiates the Hebrew Bible from the ‘Old Testament’ as used by Christians, pointing out that both the order of the books and their significance are at variance.

A humane, good-humored, and reader-friendly introduction that Christians will enjoy just as much as Jews. – Dr. Jack Miles, Pulitzer prize winning author of God: A Biography and Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God
At last, a simple and lucid introduction to the Bible for lay readers! Elliott Rabin distills the one thousand years of literary productivity in ancient Israel, with genres ranging from law to narrative to prophecy, into this very readable, clearly written, and well organized book…Rabin engages modern scholarship at every turn, and yet writes without footnotes and without academic jargon, thus making the book a perfect introduction to the Bible. – Gary A. Rendsburg, Blanche and Irving Laurie, Professor of Jewish History, Rutgers University

Dr. Elliott Rabin's Understanding the Hebrew Bible deftly captures the modern study of the Bible. The book is a clear, concise guide to a century of scholarship. – Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary, and author of The Genesis of Ethics and Reading the Book: Making the Bible a Timeless Text

A timely and informative guide by a master teacher. This is a perfect way to go deeper and understand the holy, ancient text. – David Carr, Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York , and author of Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature

Understanding the Hebrew Bible provides a learned and lively introduction to the Bible and its many genres. Elliott Rabin displays a profound knowledge of the Bible in these pages, and draws on a wide array of historical and religious sources to deepen his narrative and analysis. Rabin also possesses the added virtue of writing in an entertaining style that will delight and capture the attention the reader so that new insights into a familiar topic can be derived. I recommend the book most highly! – Rabbi David Ellenson, President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Readers will discover in Understanding the Hebrew Bible a concise, useful companion to the Book of Books, and no one will disagree that Rabin succeeds in making the Bible easier to grasp. Modern readers of Understanding the Hebrew Bible will especially appreciate the contemporary analogies, which help bring the Bible to life and allow for greater insight and understanding.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Health, Mind & Body

Ritual as Resource: Energy for Vibrant Living by Michael Picucci, with foreword by Peter A. Levine (North Atlantic Books)

Michael Picucci has survived HIV, heart attacks, cancer, and the loss of many loved ones. Beyond merely coping, he has thrived – but how? Ritual as Resource explains, mixing vivid life stories and simple, step-by-step creative ritual exercises. Picucci offers readers a self-empowering path to energetic healing through contact with what he calls ‘healing resources.’ These resources are varied but center on a higher power that can be accessed through ritual.

Picucci, in Ritual as Resource, reveals ritual as a portal into the rich inner landscape of the true self. However, unlike in recent centuries, in which rituals have been set by hierarchal societies, moderns need to participate directly in the creation of their own transformational experiences through ritual. The tranquil feelings of aliveness and ecstatic self-transcendence that make humans fully human can also be accessed through ritual.

Picucci at first shows readers how to develop basic rituals involving the body, and its awareness of ‘felt sense,’ and the breath. Then, by breaking down ritual into its dynamic parts, including the special role played by the reptilian brain, Picucci helps readers to understand the power of prayer, in its various forms. He then weaves the idea of prayer as communication into the many rituals that follow. In addition, he provides schemas (open-ended models) that help readers visualize rituals and bring them into form. This includes inten­tion, resource, and the Curious Observer.

Ritual as Resource presents a course of action in which everyday activities like breathing, community-building, health and personal hygiene, house- and car-hunting, going to work, playing, praying, and just growing up, may be imbued with greater spiritual meaning through the power of ritual.

Picucci also provides rituals that help readers transform trauma. According to Picucci, there are the inevitable challenges that meet everyone on their journeys through life – loss, bereavement, separation, divorce, serious illness and injury – all have the power to halt forward movement. With the strength and resilience developed through ritual, even these devastating occurrences can be woven into the tapestry of life, bringing more depth, passion and power.

Picucci also leads readers through relationship and erotic rituals to help restore connectivity on many levels and awaken the sensuous body. Finally, he introduces the art of dynamic linking, a ritual in itself, which helps individuals cohere with each other, while taking the healing community movement another important step forward.

With the pure courage of writing ‘dangerously,’ Dr. Michael Picucci gives us the vision and clear air for breathing anew, in this heartfelt, beautiful work. Read it and dance toward wholeness. – Daphne Rose Kingma, author of The Future of Love

For anyone interested in healthcare, Ritual as Resource vibrantly explores a powerful tool to facilitate healing and integration for individuals, for communities, and perhaps most importantly, for a healthcare system that is itself fractured along fault lines of mental vs. physical, allopathic vs. homeopathic, and scientific vs. metaphysical. – Thomas Herington, M.A., M.D., Clinical Faculty, University of California , San Francisco

Michael Picucci has created an important and engaging work that brings the ancient practice of ritual into contemporary time and lifestyle, offering new insight and spiritual sustenance. – Clyde M. Hall, Shoshone Tribal Ceremonialist, Director, Naraya Cultural Preservation Council

Ritual as Resource shows how to stimulate dormant internal energy to heal and transform the troubled self. The book helps fill the gap between the self and the intelligence in the universe – a book to be read, meditated upon, and used as a resource for a life full life.

Science / Botany

The Naming of Names: The Search for Order in the World of Plants by Anna Pavord ( Bloomsbury ) traces the search for order in the natural world, a search that for hundreds of years occupied some of the most brilliant minds in Europe .

Redefining man’s relationship with nature was a major pursuit during the Renaissance.  In a world full of poisons, there was also an urgent practical need to name and recognize different plants, because most medicines were made from plant extracts. There was, of course, a practical need to recognize and differentiate between one plant and another: many medicines were made from plant extracts, but alongside this pharmaceutical reason for wanting to pin the right labels on plants was an urgent desire to make sense of the natural world.

Anna Pavord, gardening correspondent for the Independent and the author of eight previous books, including the bestselling The Tulip, in The Naming of Names takes readers on an adventure into botanical history, traveling from Athens in the third century BC, through Constantinople , Venice , the medical school at Salerno to the universities of Pisa and Padua .

Gradually, over a long period in Europe , plants assumed identities and acquired names. Plants acquired the two-part names that show how they are related to other plants, but who began all this work, and how was it done?

The Naming of Names is about the men who searched for the rules of nature’s games. What were plants to be called? What were their similar and differences? How should they be grouped and ordered? The world was surely more than a random, chaotic jumble, if only the right key could be found to unlock the puzzle.

For centuries, this search for order occupied some of the most brilliant minds in Europe Beginning in Athens , where Aristotle's pupil Theophrastus was the first person ever to a write a book about plants. The story then moves to the Italian Renaissance, when man’s relationship with nature was radically redefined. Aided by artists, who painted the first pictures of plants, scholars set out along the long road to consen­sus. Gradually a pan-European network was established, an information exchange that functioned as a kind of early Internet connecting all those who were interested in a better understanding of nature’s gifts. But two thousand years of looking, writing, and theorizing passed before the rules began to emerge.

Pavord, author of The Tulip and an expert gardener, traces the history of plant taxonomy from the ancient Greeks to 17th-century British botanist John Ray in this hefty tome, … Pavord, in prose as rich and colorful as the too-infrequent illustrations, contextualizes plant classification within larger intellectual, political and cultural spheres, … Pavord's prose dazzles, but it's not enough to carry readers with a casual interest in plants or gardening through an otherwise dense history. – Publishers Weekly

The Naming of Names is a thrilling adventure into botani­cal history. This lush and fascinating history, traced here for the first time, touches on everything from the culture of Islam to the first expeditions to the Indies to the settlers in the New World . Sumptuously illustrated, The Naming of Names is a compelling window into a world full of intrigue and ego.

Science / Mathematics

Statistics in Plain English, 2nd Edition by Timothy C. Urdan (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers)

Statistics are powerful tools that help us understand interesting phenomena. Many people distrust statistics, believing that statisticians can ‘lie with statistics.’ In fact, if a researcher calculates the statistics correctly, he or she cannot make them say anything other than what they say, but crafty researchers can interpret what statistics mean in a variety of ways. Those who do not understand statistics must then accept the interpretations the statistician offers.

Statistics in Plain English, 2nd edition provides a brief, simple overview of statistics to help readers gain a better understanding of how statistics work and how to interpret them correctly. Written by Tim Urdan, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Santa Clara University , the book presents brief explanations of statistical concepts and techniques in simple, everyday language. Each self-contained chapter consists of three sections. The first describes the statistic, including how it is used and what information it provides. The second section reviews how it works, how to calculate the formula, the strengths and weaknesses of the technique, and the conditions needed for its use. The final section provides examples that use and interpret the statistic. A glossary of terms and symbols is also included. The actual research examples in Statistics in Plain English are taken from psychology, education, and other social and behavioral sciences.

New features in the second edition include:

  • An interactive CD with PowerPoint presentations and problems for each chapter including hints and an overview of the problem's solution.
  • New chapters on basic research concepts including sampling, definitions of different types of variables, and basic research designs and on nonparametric statistics including the chi square test of independence.
  • More graphs and more precise descriptions of each statistic.
  • A discussion of confidence intervals in the chapter on statistical significance and effect size.

I have often recommended [this book] to education students when they ask for a 'statistics made simple' book. Their reactions have always been very favorable I would recommend a book such as this for an undergraduate course. – Shlomo Sawilowsky, PhD, Department of Evaluation and Education, Wayne State University

The book provides a brief, simple overview of the primary concepts associated with various statistics. The writing style and content is easy to understand. The examples are excellent...this text works well as an introductory text for my grad students to use outside of the classroom. – Juliet A. Davis, PhD, Department of Management and Marketing, University of Alabama

Statistics in Plain English, Second Edition provides concise explanations of a number of statistical concepts and techniques in easy-to-understand language. The book is an ideal supplement for statistics, research methods, courses that use statistics, or as a handy reference tool to refresh one's memory about key concepts.

Science / Technology

Nano-Hype: The Truth behind the Nanotechnology Buzz David M. Berube, with a foreword by Mihail C. Roco (Prometheus Books)

A handful of decades ago, everything was micro. That was followed by the dot-com craze. Today, it's nano-this and nano-that.

A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, and it takes about three to ten atoms to span the length of a nanometer. However, the prefix nano has been attached to dozens of words, all of which carry a host of different meanings. Truth be told, chemists have been working on the nanoscale from the beginning. In the last decade we have heard about scaling machines down to the nanoscale, an unfortunate image since these machines, while remarkably efficient on the macroscale, are highly problematic on the nanoscale.

Nanotechnology, the science of molecular engineering at the atomic scale, has captured the popular imagination. From movies to TV series to video games, utopian fantasies and horror scenarios involving nanotechnology have become a staple of the entertainment industry.

As Nano-Hype shows, there's a lot of money to be made in nanotech, and enthusiastic advocates as well as those who loudly oppose get the most attention. According to David M. Berube, professor of communication studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and associate director of Nanoscience and Technology Studies at the USC NanoCenter, attention gets researchers their grants, universities their budgets, and businesses their investors. Extraordinary exaggeration – ‘hype’ – surrounds all things nano and anti-nano. The claims and counterclaims are everywhere. The public and the private sectors need a guide to help them understand this nanotech buzz for what it is rather than what it claims to be, especially when there is some evidence to suggest that environmental safety and human health may be at risk.

In an effort to set the record straight, Berube has written this thoroughly researched, accessible overview of nanotechnology in contemporary culture. He evaluates the claims and counterclaims about nanotechnology by a broad range of interested parties including government officials and bureaucrats, industry leaders and entrepreneurs, scientists, journalists, and other persons in the media. Berube appraises programs and grand initiatives here and abroad, and he examines the environmental concerns raised by opponents, as well as the government and private responses to these concerns.

Nano-Hype builds a narrative based on an extensive review of the literature. Berube breaks down the cacophony of voices composing the buzz about nano to provide readers with the tools needed to look realistically at the many claims, both pos­itive and negative, about what government, science, commerce, and others have achieved and can achieve using nanotechnology. Finally, he builds a case for rational vigilance when confronted with press releases and reports that ask us to surrender our roles as thoughtful citizens and consumers.

It's refreshing to find a book that explores another aspect [to nanotechnology]: the hyperbole that surrounds nanotechnology in public discourse...Insightful and thought-provoking... perceptive and unflinching... a welcome addition to the field. – Small Times

Hold on tight! A captivating read at lightning speed that sets the record straight, dispels the fiction behind the facts, and creatively educates the novice to the history and politics of technologies.... A thorough analysis of questions and con­cerns raised by the unknowns associated with nanotechnology, the leaders involved with its development, and the international race to compete. – Sonia E. Miller, Founded and Global President, Converging Technologies Bar Association

Dr. Berube has done an excellent job of describing the people and organizations behind the nanotechnology revolution. This book is a must read for anyone wishing to invest in nanotechnology or manage a nanotech company. Many years from now, when nanaotechnology has permeated every aspect of our lives, Dr. Berube's book will still be referred to for telling how it all got started. – Kelly Kardzikl, President of the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative, Chair of the Nanotechnology Practice Group at Winstead Sechrest & Minick PC

With so much argumentation on both sides, it is difficult for anyone to determine what is true. Nano-Hype sets the record straight, providing up-to-date, objective information to inform the public. Based on over a decade of research and interviews with many of the movers and shakers in nanotechnology, this study helps readers separate the realistic prospects from the hype surrounding this important cutting-edge technology.

Social Sciences / African American Studies

Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America by John McWhorter (Gotham Books)

Four decades after the great victories of the Civil Rights Movement secured equal rights for African-Americans, black America is in crisis. Indeed, by most measurable standards, conditions for many blacks have grown worse since 1965: desperate poverty cripples communities nationwide, incarceration rates have reached record highs, teenage pregnancy and out-of-wedlock births are rampant, and educational failures are stifling achievement among the next generation. For years, prominent sociologists and pundits have blamed these problems on forces outside the black community, from lingering racism, to the explosion of the inner-city drug trade, to the erosion of the urban industrial base and the migration of middle-class blacks to the suburbs.

John McWhorter's 2000 best-seller Losing the Race took to task the culture of victim hood that he believed was hurting black Americans, instantly making him a prominent voice in the national debate over race relations. Now, in Winning the Race, he returns to that debate with a fresh look at the true causes of the serious problems facing African-American communities today – from the explosion of the inner-city drug trade to rising rates of incarceration and teen pregnancy.

In Winning the Race, McWhorter argues that black America ’s current problems began with an unintended byproduct of the Civil Rights revolution, a crippling mindset of ‘therapeutic alienation.’ This wary stance toward mainstream American culture, although it is a legacy of racism in the past, continues to hold blacks back, and McWhorter traces all the poisonous effects of this defeatist attitude. In an in-depth case study of the Indianapolis inner city, he analyzes how a vibrant black neighborhood declined into slums, despite ample work opportunities in an American urban center where manufacturing jobs were plentiful.

McWhorter takes a hard look at the legacy of the Great Society social assistance programs, lamenting their teaching people to live permanently on welfare, as well as educational failures, too often occurring because of an intellectual climate in which a successful black person must be faced with charges of ‘acting white.’ He attacks the sorry state of black popular culture, where indignation for its own sake has been enshrined in everything from the halls of academia to the deleterious policy decisions of community leaders to the disaffected lyrics of hip-hop, particularly rap’s glorification of irresponsibility and violence as ‘protest.’

In his conclusion, McWhorter acknowledges that racism still exists, but in a time when the number of black national leaders and CEOs is on the rise, he calls on blacks to put aside their claims of victim hood and pursue the opportunities that black people fifty years ago never had. In a stirring final chapter, Winning the Race outlines the possibility of a new social transformation in black America – and what we as a nation can do to realize it. But McWhorter sees the tide of therapeutic alienation receding; the overblown proclamations about the persistently racist nature of American society have gone on long enough, and blacks and whites are starting to see them as unrealistic. In Winning the Race, McWhorter foresees a future free of the harmful beliefs that have caused problems for generations.

… One does not have to agree with every position – or approve of the amount of time he takes swatting the gnats who have attacked him – to realize that this is the work of a serious man who knows what the demons are and realizes that they must be identified and fought, not glibly redefined so as to maintain the old order of mush-mouthed ineffectiveness. – Stanley Crouch, author of The Artificial White Man and The All-American Skin Game, or, The Decoy of Race

John McWhorter demolishes the liberal conventional wisdom about the sources of poverty, crime, family breakdown, and other social ills that afflict the black community today, and offers a compelling alternative vision of how to move beyond the current crisis. An engaging blend of scholarly analysis and personal observation, Winning the Race is a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the problem of race in modern America . – Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom, authors of America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible and No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning

… McWhorter focuses on what black America can do for itself despite remaining racism, and provides the painful but ultimately liberating strategy by which it can, and must, free itself from its self-imposed isolation and self-defeating behaviors. What shines through most clearly in Winning the Race is McWhorter's love for people, his belief in their Winning the Race the Race announces the determination of a devoted son to see those African Americans who have been left behind reach their potential and free themselves. – Debra Dickerson, author of The End of Blackness and An American Story

Winning the Race is a provocative new look at the true sources of the social scourges that are holding back black America . McWhorter tears down old theories to expose the roots of today’s crisis, and to show a new way forward. Powerful and provocative, Winning the Race combines detailed research with precise argumentation to present a compelling new vision for black America .

Social Sciences / Anthropology / Religion & Spirituality

The Anthropology of Religion: An Introduction, 2nd edition by Fiona Bowie (Blackwell Publishing)

The second updated and extended edition of The Anthropology of Religion, a popular introduction to the topic, now features new chapters on mythology (Chapter 10) and pilgrimage (Chapter 9), as well as coverage of topics such as religious syncretism and urban legends. The book, written by Fiona Bowie, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Bristol is intended as an introductory text for undergraduate students and for anyone who wishes to know something about the subject.

The Anthropology of Religion combines discussion of the origin and development of ideas and debates within the anthropology of religion with a look at where the subject is going today – the interests and preoccupations of current practitioners. Links with other disciplines, particularly religious studies, are discussed wherever possible. Although there is a development of ideas throughout the book, each chapter is self-contained, with its own bibliography, and the chapters could be approached in any order. The appendix consists of a list of ethnographic films and videos that could he used to illustrate or extend the issues raised in the various chapters.

Each chapter aims to introduce central theoretical ideas in the anthro­pology of religion and to illustrate them with specific case studies. Links are made between the work of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century scholars, the founding figures or ‘ancestors’ of modern anthropology, and contemporary ideas and practices. In Chapter 1, Theories and Controversies, Bowie provides a key introduction to many of the debates and issues that follow, and could usefully be read at both the beginning and the end of the book. Both methodological issues in the study of religion and the historical development of the subject are discussed.

Chapters 2 and 3, The Body as Symbol, and Maintaining and Transforming Boundaries, focus on symbolism, embodiment, politics, and gender. Symbolic classification is a key theme in both chapters, looking in particular at ways in which the body expresses the relationship between individual and physiological identity, and the formation of groups, cultures, and societies. Although the sociological influence of Durkheim and Mary Douglas is much in evidence, psychological and cultural approaches are also included.

Chapter 4, Sex, Gender, and the Sacred, takes a slight detour in order to look more closely at gender and sexuality, and the influence of feminist theory on the anthropology of religion. Chapter 5, Religion, Culture, and Environment, introduces various cosmological systems and interpretations of cosmologies as being either adaptive or dysfunctional, as well as exploring the links between mythology, gender, and the environment. Chapter 6, Ritual Theory, Rites of Passage, and Ritual Violence, forms a central part of the book. Ritual is a major theme in the anthropology of religion, and after some theoretical discussions, rites of passage, and in particular women's initiation ceremonies, are taken as an example to illustrate some of the ways in which anthropologists have approached this topic.

Chapter 7, Shamanism, deals with another key issue in anthropological studies, although one in which there is little agreement. Both ‘classical’ shamanism in the Arctic and contemporary ‘neo-shamanism’ are discussed, raising questions concerning the effects of globalization and the exchange of cultural ideas between so-called ‘indigenous’ and industrial societies. Chapter 8, Witchcraft and the Evil Eye, introduces three interrelated themes. First, witchcraft in Africa is illustrated via Evans-Pritchard's famous study of the Azande and witchcraft in modern Cameroon . Bowie in The Anthropology of Religion then looks at contemporary discourses of witchcraft in France , which lead on to related discussions concerning belief in the Evil Eye in Europe and elsewhere. The final section of the chapter introduces the debate on ‘mentalities,’ the nature of cognition and its universal or relative expressions in different cultures.

The bibliographies are fairly extensive and should be useful in following up both texts referred to in the chapters and related themes that Bowie has not discussed in any detail.

The Anthropology of Religion is an accessible textbook, which will inspire students to explore the field further and encourage them to see that anthropology is not just about reading or doing fieldwork, but offers an enriching way of looking at world. Anthropology is a way to appreciate richness and variety, and to become self-conscious practi­tioners within the own culture. While this process may be unsettling, it is certainly never dull. Bowie (and this reviewer) closes with what might be seen as a blessing or a curse: May readers enjoy the challenge of always asking ‘Why?’

Social Sciences / History

The Book of Touch edited by Constance Classen (Sensory Formations Series: Berg)

After my immersion in work on touch, the newspaper seems permeated with accounts of tactility. Three photographs adorn the front page. In one a former Olympic biathlete puts her arm around her daughter as the girl plays the piano. In another, tropical ‘kissing fish’ ‘exchange a peck’ at a shop in Shanghai . The third shows a hockey goalie clearing a puck from his net. – from The Book of Touch

The Book of Touch puts a finger on the nerve of culture by delving into the social life of touch, our most elusive yet most vital sense. From the tortures of the Inquisition to the corporeal comforts of modernity, and from the tactile therapies of Asian medicine to the virtual tactility of cyberspace, The Book of Touch, written by Constance Classen, author of Worlds of Sense: Exploring the Senses in History and Across Cultures, offers excursions into a sensory territory both foreign and familiar.

As can be gathered from newspapers, tactile culture involves embraces and stabbings, the culture of religion and the culture of politics, the values of individuals and the values of nations, among much else. Yet in the academic world touch has often passed under the radar. Like the air we breathe, it has been taken for granted as a fundamental fact of life, a medium for the production of meaningful acts, rather than meaningful in itself. We enter a largely unfamiliar terrain when we ask what histories, what politics, what revelations of touch have animated social life? How do we communicate through touch? What are the cultural dimensions of pleasure and pain? Do women and men inhabit distinct tactile worlds?

This is not to say that no work has been done in the field. The very contributions to The Book of Touch`indicate otherwise. In recent years particularly, a number of scholars have bucked the trend to provide ever more analyses of visual culture and have applied themselves to specific issues concerning tactile culture. The sense of touch was taken up, at least edgewise, by a number of prominent French philosophers in the late twentieth century, such as Deleuze and Guattari, Derrida, Irigaray, and Nancy. From there it has been trickling into a range of scholarly works. So perhaps France will do for touch in academic circles what it once did for the tango in social circles – make it respectable. However no attempt has yet been made to undertake a broad approach to the subject of touch. The aim of The Book of Touch, therefore, is to provide some of the building blocks for the construction of a cultural history of touch by uniting relevant material from a diverse variety of sources.

As a construction of building blocks, The Book of Touch invites manipulating and rearranging. The essays are arranged in nine sections, yet certain essays placed in one section would be equally relevant to and, indeed, take on a new meaning in, another.

Each of the sections of the book centers on a basic quality or function of touch within culture, from the role of touch in communication, to the social control of touch, to the ways in which touch is affected by technology. No one section is allotted to kinesthesia, but the body in motion is a theme that runs, leaps and dances throughout the book. Touch, in fact, relies on movement for its full expression, for both stroking and striking. The section titled "Uncommon Touch" explores unusual experiences of, and approaches to, touch, including a nineteenth-century account of phantom limb pain and a twentieth-century call for the creation of a tactile art. Together these contributions oblige us to think through touch in new ways and not simply think around it.

The history of touch, as presented in The Book of Touch, contains a number of strands. Contributions dealing with earlier eras of Western history describe a time when touch was an essential means of interacting with the world, when social kissing was universal, hand-to-hand combat dominated warfare, touch was a recognized medium of healing, and diners dipped their fingers into communal pots. As we enter the modern period we find many of these earlier uses of the sense of touch circumscribed at the same time as sight is promoted as a more civilized and rational way of relating to the world. However, as John Crowley describes in his contribution, during the modern period we also see a culture of comfort developing in which the sense of touch is increasingly protected and pampered – an era of umbrellas and easy chairs. Other contributions similarly bring out ways in which the sense of touch has been indulged and catered to in modernity.

The two sections in The Book of Touch dealing with gendered touch do not attempt to present a comprehensive coverage of the subject, but rather strive to examine historically key issues in the cultural construction of masculine and feminine tactile identities. Classen says that the central themes of women's work and men's sociality emerged as she gathered together material relating to gender and touch. Interestingly, these themes contrast with the usual trope of men being work oriented while women are people oriented, bringing out ways in which the reverse could be said to be true.

An edited volume is necessarily limited to work that is being or has been produced on the subject being covered. Given that the cultural study of touch is an emerging domain of scholarship, and that touch is often strangely absent even from discussions to which one would think it would be central (such as sexuality), Classen was not able to find essays on all the topics that she would have liked to see treated here. By way of compensation for what might seem to be missing, there are a number of extraordinary contributions that offer intriguing new approaches to and information on the role of touch in culture.

While the essays contain the substance of the book, much of the spirit of The Book of Touch breathes through the cracks in the excerpts between the essays. These excerpts have been culled from classic and contemporary works for their ability to convey, in a few potent words, the diversity of ways humans interact with each other and the world through touch. Like moss in the chinks of a stone wall, the excerpts both supplement and challenge the surrounding structure, adding interest and vitality to the whole. They also make The Book of Touch a source book as much as it is an anthology. Rather than trying to weave the numerous accounts into one continuous narrative, as in a standard authored work, Classen lets them stand alone in order to encourage readers to create their own patchworks of meaning, and to supplement or counter the pieces presented with material from their own knowledge and histories.

Due to its emphasis on cultural experience, The Book of Touch does not offer any scientific information about touch. Classen believes, however, that attempts to explain tactile culture through scientific models are often more informative about the culture of science than about the scientific basis of culture. Certainly, a book of touch consisting of essays written by scientists – even though an occasional nod might be made in the direction of culture – would be a very different book.

For the most part, work dealing with the philosophy of touch has also been excluded, along with writings on representations of touch in art and literature. What is included here is work dealing with the sense of touch in non-Western cultures. The West can hardly be presumed to have the last word on touch when so many remarkable tactile traditions exist around the world. The notion of a cultural history of touch, in fact, implies the existence of a cultural anthropology of touch, for if touch has a cultural history it must have many, which vary as cultures vary. This diversity is brought out in The Book of Touch by a range of striking essays and excerpts that explore such topics as the experience of pain, gendered tactility, the colonized body, and tactile therapeutics across cultures.

When a book is a good book (as is The Allegory of Love), it will be more than something to touch, it will also leave its mark on readers. Though they be detached from their authors, books still make an intimate impression. This is true as well, of The Book of Touch. The overall subject of the book is the cultural formation of touch, but at its heart lies the personal experience of individuals, and it is this vibrant core that gives it the power to move its readers. Classen believes that those who touch this book – even if only to dip or delve – will experience something similar and find themselves touched by the lives and works of many women and men.

This encyclopedic collection of writings on touch places the subject at the very centre of culture, sociality and technology. – Chris Shilling, University of Portsmouth

The Book of Touch provides a fulfilling and imaginative traversal of the many landscapes of touch. Constance Classen's deft introductions provide both context for, and commentary on, a constellation of texts – academic and literary, historical and contemporary – whose appearance makes a major contribution to the burgeoning study of the senses. – Tim Barringer, Yale University

Bringing together classic writings and new work, The Book of Touch is an essential guide for anyone interested in the body, the senses and the experiential world.

Social Sciences / History / South Africa / Ethnic Studies

Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community by Mohamed Adhikari ( Ohio RIS Africa Series: Ohio University )

The concept of Colouredness – being neither white nor black – has been pivotal to the brand of racial thinking particular to South African society. The nature of Coloured identity has always been a matter of intense political and ideological contestation. Not White Enough, Not Black Enough is the first systematic study of Coloured identity, its history, and its relevance to South African national life. Mohamed Adhikari engages with the debates and controversies thrown up by the identity’s troubled existence and challenges much of the conventional wisdom associated with it. A combination of wide-ranging thematic analyses and detailed case studies illustrate how Colouredness functioned as a social identity from the time of its emergence in the late nineteenth century through to its adaptation to the post-apartheid environment.

Adhikari, writer, editor and lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies, University of Cape Town , demonstrates how the interplay of marginality, racial hierarchy, assimilationist aspirations, negative racial stereotyping, class divisions, and ideological conflicts helped mold peoples' sense of Colouredness over the past century. Knowledge of this history and of the social and political dynamic that informed the articulation of a separate Coloured identity are vital to an understanding of the present-day complexities in South Africa .

Not White Enough, Not Black Enough aims to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the manner in which Colouredness functioned as a social identity from the time the South African state was formed in 1910 to the present. It analyzes the fundamental social and political impulses behind the assertion of a separate Coloured identity and explains processes of continuity and change in its ex­pression throughout that period. This is achieved through close analysis of a range of key texts written by Coloured people in which they give expression to their identity as Coloured and reflect on the nature of their community, its past, and its place in the broader society. In addition to broad thematic analyses of Coloured identity, a series of chronologically arranged case studies are used to demonstrate the book's thesis.

The central argument of Not White Enough, Not Black Enough is that Coloured identity is better understood not as having undergone a process of continuous transformation during the era of white rule, as conventional historical thinking would have it, but as having remained essentially stable throughout that period. This is not to contend that Coloured identity was static or that it lacked fluidity but that the continuities during the period were more fundamental to the way in which it operated as a social identity and a more consistent part of its functioning than the changes it experienced. Adhikari argues that this stability was derived from a central core of enduring characteristics rooted in the historical experience and social situation of the Coloured community that regulated the way in which Colouredness functioned as a social identity under white domination. The principal constituents of this stable core are the Coloured people's assimilationism, which spurred hopes of future acceptance into the dominant society; their intermediate status in the racial hierarchy, which generated fears that they might lose their position of' relative privilege and be relegated to the status of Africans; the negative connotations with which Coloured identity was imbued, especially the shame attached to their supposed racial hybridity; and finally, the marginality of the Coloured people, which caused them a great deal of frustration.

Adhikari in Not White Enough, Not Black Enough says his initial intent was to provide a history of Coloured identity through the twentieth century and to show how it changed and developed during that period. The original assumption was that after its late nineteenth-century genesis, Coloured identity continually evolved through the twentieth century, with new departures such as the rise of' the radical movement in the 1930s, the emergence of Black Consciousness thinking in the 1970s, and Coloured rejectionism in the 1980s representing periods of accelerated transformation. Faced with the empirical evidence and the actual task of explaining the evolution of Coloured identity, he was instead struck by how stable that identity had been throughout the era of white domination and how superficial the influences of earlier radical politics, Black Consciousness, and the rejectionist movement were. With the evidence failing to confirm his initial hypotheses, based on orthodox approaches within the discipline and assumptions in existing writing on the subject, a reconceptualization of Coloured identity and its history was clearly necessary. The result is a counterintuitive argument that through the era of white supremacy, Coloured identity is better understood as having been stable rather than as continually changing.

Although it is recognized that broad parameters for the production and reproduction of Coloured identity were set by an authoritarian, white ruling establishment in control of an increasingly prescriptive state and that Coloured perceptions of the world were framed within a hegemonic racist ideology, Not White Enough, Not Black Enough is emphatic about Coloured identity being primarily and in the first instance a product of its bearers. The analysis focuses mainly on the manner in which processes of Coloured self-definition were influenced by the marginality of the Coloured people; their intermediate status in the South African racial hierarchy, class differences, ideological and political conflict, cultural affinities, and popular stereotyping. Adhikari argues that their marginality was central to the relative stability of Coloured identity because of the limitations it placed on their possibilities for independent action. Their status of relative privilege was also critical in maintaining this equilibrium because it rewarded Coloured exclusivism and conformity with white racist expectations while discouraging alternative strategies, particularly association with a broader black identity. Their resultant assimilationism and fear of being cast down to the status of Africans were further incentives for maintaining the status quo.

By concentrating on the role that Coloured people themselves played in the making of their identity and by exploring the ways in which ambiguities and contradictions within their group identity shaped their consciousness, Not White Enough, Not Black Enough  elucidates complexities in Coloured social experience hitherto neglected by historians and social scientists.

Travel

Fodor's Central America, 2nd Edition (Fodor's Gold Guides) edited by Felice Aarons & Pamela Lee (Fodor’s Travel Publications) is part of the travel guide series known for using local writers who have traveled throughout the area to find the best hotels, restaurants, attractions and activities.

This volume invites readers to lose themselves in a gargantuan cloud forest, discover a deserted island, hike up the rim of a volcano's crater, navigate white-water rapids past toucans and iguanas or wander among ruins still tangled in jungle. Fodor's Central America, 2nd Edition offers all these experiences and more.

The book gives readers the planning tools they need to tailor their trip, and options for all budgets, so they can customize their dream vacation. In addition, Fodor’s has an extensive website at www.fodors.com where readers planning their trip can find up-to-date travel bargains, mini-guides to worldwide destinations, information on local festivals, drives, maps, and vacation planning tips.

Fodor’s guides rating system helps readers decide on the worthiness of sites. But by default, there's another category – any place they include in the book is by definition worth travelers’ time, unless they say otherwise. Hotels and restaurants are categorized by price and attractions have their admission fees included.

Fodor's Central America focuses, of course, on Central America . Altogether, Central America is only the size of Arizona and Utah combined. But each of its seven countries has a distinct identity, with its own culture, traditions, and flavor. The land itself – an isthmus fusing North and South America – contains far more than the beaches and rain forests that most people imagine. The sun bears down over lowland fields of sugarcane and cotton that seem to expand, then melt away in the wavy, dreamlike heat. In the highlands the invigorating mountain air provides a respite from the taxing climate. The fertile volcanic soils from these looming peaks yield most of the region's material wealth. Evanescent clouds hover over the agricultural patchwork, lending an opaque, mystical twist. On a clear day, if travelers climb high enough and they may be treated to a view of both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean , a sight so stimulat­ing it leaves their knees weak. Fodor's Central America includes Belize, Guatamala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Belize . Wedged between Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula , Be­lize is a sliver of land along the Caribbean Sea . Along its 174-mile coastline are 175 cays, some no larger than a tennis court. In the Maya Mountains – the central highlands that form the watershed for Belize 's thousands of streams and rivers – there is dense rain forest; in the north, savannas and fields of sugarcane. Because it has the lowest population density of any Central American nation – El Salvador , though far smaller, has 10 times the population – most of this green interior is still the province of scarlet macaws, tapirs, kinkajous, pumas, and howler monkeys. Even reduced to vapid statistics – 300 species of birds, 250 varieties of orchids, dozens of kinds of butterflies – the sheer variety of Belize 's wildlife is breath-taking. The same goes for its nearly 600 Maya ruins, which range from the metropolitan splendor of Caracol to the humble burial mounds sprinkled throughout the countryside.

Guatamala. Belize may have the beaches, but Guatemala has just about everything else – misty cloud forests, tremendous mountains ranges, smoldering volcanoes, and rain forests of massive mahogany trees draped with mosses, bromeliads, and rare orchids. In the highlands around Lake Atitldn are sleepy villages that come to life each week with vibrant markets. Here readers will find Antigua , the colonial capital filled with quaint cobblestone streets, crumbling monasteries, and the country's finest restaurants and hotels. Travelers can take a white-water rafting trip to the Pacific coast, or go bathing in the Atlantic Lowlands. Water sports are popular on the Atlantic coast, which spices things up with its distinctive Caribbean flavor. Everywhere are traces of the Maya, especially m El Petcn, where the stately pyramids of Tikal rise from the steamy jungle.

El Salvador . Only 124 miles from end to end, El Salvador is the small­est country in Central America – but it is also the most densely populated. This relative crowding is most apparent in the cen­trally located capital city, but respite is available only a short distance away in any direction. A quick drive from San Salvador , two beautiful lakes – Lago de Coatepeque to the west and Lago de Ilopango to the east – lure visitors with swimming, boating, and scuba diving. Farther east stretches a mountain chain where volcanic pools, hot springs , and some serious off-the-beaten-path hiking await. The rugged grandeur of the thinly populated northwest is home to the beautiful Montecristo cloud forest and the stunning Lago de Guija. The Pacific coast is a long and relaxing string of good beaches ranging from the surfing mecca of La Libertad to the quaint fishing village of Las Playitas .

Honduras . Once dubbed the ‘Athens of Central America,’ the ancient Maya city of Copdn lies in the western jungles of Honduras , where its soaring pyramids are today guarded by a team of scarlet parrots. But all of this country's attractions are not histor­ical. Populated by the Garifuna people, the northern coast has a distinctly Caribbean flavor. Towns like La Cieba are sleepy during the day but come awake at night with music and dancing. Not far from shore are the Bay Islands , surrounded by pristine coral reefs that are a scuba diver's dream. Mountainous central Honduras has national parks and reserves that are well worth the effort it takes to reach them. In the undisturbed lowland forests visitors might see a jaguar or a tapir, while in the highland cloud forests they can still spot the holy grail of bird-watchers, the emerald-plumed quetzal.

Nicaragua . No one lists Managua , arguably the world's most peculiar capital, as their favorite place in Nicaragua , but it's easy to get from the city to the country's more compelling spots. Only one hour away, the Pacific Ocean laps at miles of desolate, unspoiled beaches. Even closer are the colonial towns of Leon , an hour north, and Granada , which borders Lago Nicaragua , with its islands large and small. The largest and most spectacular is Isla de Ometepe, a volcanic island perfectly suited for hiking, wildlife spotting, and investigating pre-Columbian stone carvings. Also near Granada is Volcan Mombacho Natural Reserve, a gorgeous cloud forest. The north-central region's pleasant climate, soaring mountains, and coffee farms around Matagalpa and Jinotega fuse to create the ideal environment for hiking. Off the Caribbean coast, on the laid-back Corn Islands , travelers will find Creole and indigenous Miskito fishermen their only companions.

Costa Rica . The variety of Costa Rica 's landscape belies its compact size. The Pacific coast contains a beach to satisfy everyone from nature lovers (Manuel Antonio) to party animals (Quepos). On the more remote Caribbean coast visitors will find smaller crowds and opportunities for snorkeling and sportfishing. Between the shores visitors will find a variety of stunning locales. The rain forests in the north provide an ideal spot for a morning spent bird-watching as a colorful kaleidoscope of birds – scarlet-rumped tanagers and yellow-billed toucans, bright blue honeycreepers and great white egrets. (With 25% of its land set aside as nature reserves and national parks, Costa Rica is home to more species of birds than the United States and Canada combined.) A visit to the cool, damp Mon­teverde Cloud Forest after dark reveals creatures less flamboyant but no less intriguing, from frogs the size of a fingernail to tarantulas the size of a fist. If travelers want to stretch their legs, they can climb Volcan Arenal, which still shoots lava into the air on a regular basis; or, if they would prefer to relax, they can soak in the hot springs at the volcano's base and watch the fireworks against the night sky.

Panama . Of course, the defining feature in Panama 's landscape is the canal – one of the world's greatest engineering marvels, and well worth a visit. But there's more to this narrow isthmus than that all-important waterway. In fact, some of the world's most accessible rain forests line the canal itself, reachable in minutes from Panama City . Farther east, the Darien Gap offers one of the region's most pristine jungles. Tropical beaches and coral reefs line the Caribbean coast, while the sedate villages along the shores of the Azuero Peninsula in the south offer sunbathing and surfing in relative seclusion. The western part of the country has cool mountains cut through by raging rivers, ideal for rafting enthusiasts who want to ride the rapids.

Fodor's guides are saturated with information. – San Francisco Chronicle

Sometimes travelers find terrific travel experiences and sometimes the experience seems to find the traveler. But usually the burden is on the visitor to select the right com­bination of experiences – that’s where Fodor’s descriptions and ratings help – a lot. In addition, unlike other travel books, Fodor's guides rely heavily on local experts who know the territory best – so readers know they are seeing the real Central America . Readers won't find a more accurate, current guidebook anywhere than Fodor's Central America.

True Crime

The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles by Donald H. Wolfe (ReganBooks)

Movie star wannabe Elizabeth Short went to Hollywood in 1946 to become famous and see her name up in lights. Instead, the dark-haired beauty became immortalized in the headlines as the ‘Black Dahlia’ when her nude and bisected body was discovered in the weeds of a vacant lot. Despite the efforts of more than 400 police officers, homicide investigators, and the arrest of numerous suspects, the heinous crime was never solved.

Now, in The Black Dahlia Files after endless speculation, theories, and false claims, author Donald H. Wolfe reveals new evidence of the sealed autopsy – buried in the files of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office for more than half a century. Furthermore, Wolfe, bestselling author and film editor, discloses that the brutal murder of Elizabeth Short was the work of one of the most notorious mob leaders of the era, a brazen playboy known for his explosive temper and pathological bouts of violence – Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel.

How did this ordinary young woman from Medford , Massachusetts , end up the victim of Los Angeles 's most powerful political and criminal element? Wolfe in The Black Dahlia Files evokes the time, place, and converging circumstances that led her down a tangled trail to her death. Desperate for cash and showbiz connections, Short entered a labyrinthine world of Syndicate-run clubs, brothels, casinos, and other shady velvet rope operations that catered to Hollywood 's elite and preyed on naive, ambitious beauties. Soon after she took a job with Madam Brenda Allen's call-girl ring, which fell within Bugsy Siegel's vice-map, Short found herself involved with the most powerful political figure in the city, the mogul who ran the LA Times and Los Angeles – Norman  Chandler. Wolfe discovers that the real trouble began when Short became pregnant with his child. Based on evidence just released from the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, The Black Dahlia Files reveals the long hidden motive behind the murder of Elizabeth Short, her killers, and the case-breaking secret. In recounting the whole noir tale, Wolfe not only reveals the motive behind the murder and identifies the killer and his accomplices, but also unravels the large-scale cover-up behind the case. With the aid of more than 150 archival photos, news clippings, and investigative reports, Wolfe documents the story on the Black Dahlia case and casts a wider net – implicating an entire city and Hollywood way of life in the murder of an aspiring starlet.

A deliciously noirish real-life mystery – Elie Magazine

A haunting account, destined to become a true-crime classic. A must read! – John Gilmore, author of Severed

Riveting! If Don Wolfe is right, he has, done what the police and the D.A.'s office failed to do – come close to solving a murder that, sixty years ago, brought Jack-the-Ripper savagery to Los Angeles . Page by bloodstained page, he lays down the clues that point to a Mafia boss, a crooked doctor, and one of the most powerful men in California . – Anthony Summers, author of Goddess and Sinatra

Breakthrough revelations about the twentieth century's most bizarre and haunting homicide – a real page-turner! – Gus Russo, author of The Outfit

The most credible explanation to date.... This unsettling expose presents a comprehensive look at the case that captivated Los Angeles in the 1940s. Using files from the District Attorney's Office that were recently made public, Donald H. Wolfe connects Bugsy Siegel and Los Angeles Times publisher Norman Chandler to the Black Dahlia's death, detailing an extensive police cover-up and exhaustive efforts to mislead the press. – Publishers Weekly review (starred)

Hidden from the public for more than five decades, The Black Dahlia Files reveals the truth behind L.A. 's most shocking murder mystery. Wolfe's extensive research, based on the evidence he discovered in the recently opened LADA files on the murder, make The Black Dahlia Files the authoritative work on the mystery that has drawn endless scrutiny but remained unsolved – until now.

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