Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Selected Letters of Langston Hughes

Selected Letters of Langston Hughes
by Langston Hughes (Author), Arnold Rampersad (Editor), David Roessel (Editor), Christa Fratantoro (Editor)

This is the first comprehensive selection from the correspondence of the iconic and beloved Langston Hughes. It offers a life in letters that showcases his many struggles as well as his memorable achievements. Arranged by decade and linked by expert commentary, the volume guides us through Hughes’s journey in all its aspects: personal, political, practical, and—above all—literary. His letters range from those written to family members, notably his father (who opposed Langston’s literary ambitions), and to friends, fellow artists, critics, and readers who sought him out by mail. These figures include personalities such as Carl Van Vechten, Blanche Knopf, Zora Neale Hurston, Arna Bontemps, Vachel Lindsay, Ezra Pound, Richard Wright, Kurt Weill, Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Alice Walker, Amiri Baraka, and Muhammad Ali. The letters tell the story of a determined poet precociously finding his mature voice; struggling to realize his literary goals in an environment generally hostile to blacks; reaching out bravely to the young and challenging them to aspire beyond the bonds of segregation; using his artistic prestige to serve the disenfranchised and the cause of social justice; irrepressibly laughing at the world despite its quirks and humiliations. Venturing bravely on what he called the “big sea” of life, Hughes made his way forward always aware that his only hope of self-fulfillment and a sense of personal integrity lay in diligently pursuing his literary vocation. Hughes’s voice in these pages, enhanced by photographs and quotations from his poetry, allows us to know him intimately and gives us an unusually rich picture of this generous, visionary, gratifyingly good man who was also a genius of modern American letters. [Description provided by the publisher]


The Weary Blues

The Weary Blues
by Langston Hughes (Author)

Nearly ninety years after its first publication, this celebratory edition of The Weary Blues reminds us of the stunning achievement of Langston Hughes, who was just twenty-four at its first appearance. Beginning with the opening “Proem” (prologue poem)—“I am a Negro: / Black as the night is black, / Black like the depths of my Africa”—Hughes spoke directly, intimately, and powerfully of the experiences of African Americans at a time when their voices were newly being heard in our literature. As the legendary Carl Van Vechten wrote in a brief introduction to the original 1926 edition, “His cabaret songs throb with the true jazz rhythm; his sea-pieces ache with a calm, melancholy lyricism; he cries bitterly from the heart of his race . . . Always, however, his stanzas are subjective, personal,” and, he concludes, they are the expression of “an essentially sensitive and subtly illusive nature.” That illusive nature darts among these early lines and begins to reveal itself, with precocious confidence and clarity.

In a new introduction to the work, the poet and editor Kevin Young suggests that Hughes from this very first moment is “celebrating, critiquing, and completing the American dream,” and that he manages to take Walt Whitman’s American “I” and write himself into it. We find here not only such classics as “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and the great twentieth-century anthem that begins “I, too, sing America,” but also the poet’s shorter lyrics and fancies, which dream just as deeply. “Bring me all of your / Heart melodies,” the young Hughes offers, “That I may wrap them / In a blue cloud-cloth / Away from the too-rough fingers / Of the world.” [Description provided by the publisher]

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
by Manning Marable  (Author)

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew. [Description provided by the publisher]


A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything 1st Edition
by Bill Bryson  (Author)

On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight. [Description provided by the publisher]


Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter

Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir  (Author)

A superb autobiography by one of the great literary figures of the twentieth century, Simone de Beauvoir's Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter offers an intimate picture of growing up in a bourgeois French family, rebelling as an adolescent against the conventional expectations of her class, and striking out on her own with an intellectual and existential ambition exceedingly rare in a young woman in the 1920s.

She vividly evokes her friendships, love interests, mentors, and the early days of the most important relationship of her life, with fellow student Jean-Paul Sartre, against the backdrop of a turbulent political time. [Description provided by the publisher]

The Woman Destroyed

The Woman Destroyed (Pantheon Modern Writers) Paperback
by Simone De Beauvoir (Author), Patrick O'Brian (Translator)

In three “immensely intelligent stories about the decay of passion” (The Sunday Herald Times [London]), Simone de Beauvoir draws us into the lives of three women, all past their first youth, all facing unexpected crises.

Enthralling as faction, suffused with de Beauvoir’s remarkable insights into women, The Woman Destroyed gives us a legendary writer at her best. [Description provided by the publisher]


Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary

Profiles the late African American leader, providing a startling picture of the life of the controversial and important historical figure.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gateway to freedom : the hidden history of the underground railroad

More than any other scholar, Eric Foner has influenced our understanding of America's history. Now, making brilliant use of extraordinary evidence, the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian once again reconfigures the national saga of American slavery and freedom.

Building on fresh evidence—including a detailed record of slave escapes secretly kept by Sydney Howard Gay, one of the key organizers in New York—Foner elevates the underground railroad from folklore to sweeping history. The story is inspiring—full of memorable characters making their first appearance on the historical stage—and significant—the controversy over fugitive slaves inflamed the sectional crisis of the 1850s. It eventually took a civil war to destroy American slavery, but here at last is the story of the courageous effort to fight slavery by "practical abolition," person by person, family by family. [Description is provided by the publisher.]

The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire

The Jazz Standards, a comprehensive guide to the most important jazz compositions, is a unique resource, a browser's companion, and an invaluable introduction to the art form. This essential book for music lovers tells the story of more than 250 key jazz songs, and includes a listening guide to more than 2,000 recordings.

Many books recommend jazz CDs or discuss musicians and styles, but this is the first to tell the story of the songs themselves. The fan who wants to know more about a jazz song heard at the club or on the radio will find this book indispensable. Musicians who play these songs night after night now have a handy guide, outlining their history and significance and telling how they have been performed by different generations of jazz artists. Students learning about jazz standards now have a complete reference work for all of these cornerstones of the repertoire.

Author Ted Gioia, whose body of work includes the award-winning The History of Jazz and Delta Blues, is the perfect guide to lead readers through the classics of the genre. As a jazz pianist and recording artist, he has performed these songs for decades. As a music historian and critic, he has gained a reputation as a leading expert on jazz. Here he draws on his deep experience with this music in creating the ultimate work on the subject.

An introduction for new fans, a useful handbook for jazz enthusiasts and performers, and an important reference for students and educators, The Jazz Standards belongs on the shelf of every serious jazz lover or musician. [Description is provided by the publisher.]


The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder

In the bestselling tradition of The World Is Flat and The Next 100 Years, The Accidental Superpower will be a much discussed, contrarian, and eye-opening assessment of American power.

For most, that is a disaster-in-waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep an increasingly dangerous energy market. Only the United States boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Most important, geography will matter more than ever in a de-globalizing world, and America's geography is simply sublime. [Description is provided by the publisher.]


Those Girls: Single Women in Sixties and Seventies Popular Culture

This entertaining and insightful study examines familiar characters caught between the competing fears and aspirations of a society rethinking its understanding of social and sexual mores. Those Girls reassesses feminine genres that are often marginalized in media scholarship and contributes to a greater valuation of the unmarried, independent woman in America. [Description is provided by the publisher.]


I Pity the Poor Immigrant: A Novel

In 1972, the American gangster Meyer Lansky petitions the Israeli government for citizenship. His request is denied, and he is returned to the U.S. to stand trial. He leaves behind a mistress in Tel Aviv, a Holocaust survivor named Gila Konig.

In 2009, American journalist Hannah Groff travels to Israel to investigate the killing of an Israeli writer. She soon finds herself inside a web of violence that takes in the American and Israeli Mafias, the Biblical figure of King David, and the modern state of Israel. As she connects the dots between the murdered writer, Lansky, Gila, and her own father, Hannah becomes increasingly obsessed with the dark side of her heritage. Part crime story, part spiritual quest, I Pity the Poor Immigrant is also a novelistic consideration of Jewish identity. [Description is provided by the publisher.]


Thursday, February 19, 2015

The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City

As a kid growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father they called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line and ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood there. Decades later, Helmreich teaches university courses about New York, and his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever.

Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs--an astonishing 6,000 miles. His epic journey lasted four years and took him to every corner of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Helmreich spoke with hundreds of New Yorkers from every part of the globe and from every walk of life, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former mayors Rudolph Giuliani, David Dinkins, and Edward Koch. Their stories and his are the subject of this captivating and highly original book.

We meet the Guyanese immigrant who grows beautiful flowers outside his modest Queens residence in order to always remember the homeland he left behind, the Brooklyn-raised grandchild of Italian immigrants who illuminates a window of his brownstone with the family's old neon grocery-store sign, and many, many others. Helmreich draws on firsthand insights to examine essential aspects of urban social life such as ethnicity, gentrification, and the use of space. He finds that to be a New Yorker is to struggle to understand the place and to make a life that is as highly local as it is dynamically cosmopolitan.

Truly unforgettable, The New York Nobody Knows will forever change how you view the world's greatest city. [Description provided by the publisher]


Walking New York: Reflections of American Writers from Walt Whitman to Teju Cole

In this idiosyncratic guidebook to New York, celebrated writers ruminate on questions that are still hotly debated to this day: the pros and cons of capitalism and the impact of immigration. Many imply that New York is a bewildering text that is hard to make sense of. Returning to New York after an absence of two decades, Henry James loathed many things about "bristling" New York, while native New Yorker Walt Whitman both celebrated and criticized "Mannahatta" in his writings.

Combining literary scholarship with urban studies, Walking New York reveals how this crowded, dirty, noisy, and sometimes ugly city gave these "restless analysts" plenty of fodder for their craft. [Description provided by the publisher]


By Order of the President: The Use and Abuse of Executive Direct Action

Scholars and citizens alike have endlessly debated the proper limits of presidential action within our democracy. In this revised and expanded edition, noted scholar Phillip Cooper offers a cogent guide to these powers and shows how presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama have used and abused them in trying to realize their visions for the nation. [Description provided by the publisher]


Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. [Description provided by the publisher]


The Twilight of Human Rights Law (Inalienable Rights)

In The Twilight of Human Rights Law--the newest addition to Oxford's highly acclaimed Inalienable Rights series edited by Geoffrey Stone--the eminent legal scholar Eric A. Posner argues that purposefully unenforceable human rights treaties are at the heart of the world's failure to address human rights violations. Because countries fundamentally disagree about what the public good requires and how governments should allocate limited resources in order to advance it, they have established a regime that gives them maximum flexibility--paradoxically characterized by a huge number of vague human rights that encompass nearly all human activity, along with weak enforcement machinery that churns out new rights but cannot enforce any of them. Posner looks to the foreign aid model instead, contending that we should judge compliance by comprehensive, concrete metrics like poverty reduction, instead of relying on ambiguous, weak, and easily manipulated checklists of specific rights.

With a powerful thesis, a concise overview of the major developments in international human rights law, and discussions of recent international human rights-related controversies, The Twilight of Human Rights Law is an indispensable contribution to this important area of international law from a leading scholar in the field. [Description provided by the publisher]


A Language and Power Reader: Representations of Race in a "Post-Racist" Era

A Language and Power Reader organizes reading and writing activities for undergraduate students, guiding them in the exploration of racism and cross-racial rhetorics. [Description provided by the publisher]


Sex Scene: Media and the Sexual Revolution

Sex Scene suggests that what we have come to understand as the sexual revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s was actually a media revolution. In lively essays, the contributors examine a range of mass media—film and television, recorded sound, and publishing—that provide evidence of the circulation of sex in the public sphere, from the mainstream to the fringe. They discuss art films such as I am Curious (Yellow), mainstream movies including Midnight Cowboy, sexploitation films such as Mantis in Lace, the emergence of erotic film festivals and of gay pornography, the use of multimedia in sex education, and the sexual innuendo of The Love Boat. Scholars of cultural studies, history, and media studies, the contributors bring shared concerns to their diverse topics. They highlight the increasingly fluid divide between public and private, the rise of consumer and therapeutic cultures, and the relationship between identity politics and individual rights. The provocative surveys and case studies in this nuanced cultural history reframe the "sexual revolution" as the mass sexualization of our mediated world. [Description provided by the publisher]


Screening Sex

For many years, kisses were the only sexual acts to be seen in mainstream American movies. Then, in the 1960s and 1970s, American cinema “grew up” in response to the sexual revolution, and movie audiences came to expect more knowledge about what happened between the sheets. In Screening Sex, the renowned film scholar Linda Williams investigates how sex acts have been represented on screen for more than a century and, just as important, how we have watched and experienced those representations. Whether examining the arch artistry of Last Tango in Paris, the on-screen orgasms of Jane Fonda, or the anal sex of two cowboys in Brokeback Mountain, Williams illuminates the forms of pleasure and vicarious knowledge derived from screening sex. [Description provided by the publisher]


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DVD: Rise of the Hackers

Examine the fast-paced world of cryptography and meet the scientists battling to keep our data safe.
Our lives are going digital. We shop, bank, and even date online. Computers hold our treasured photographs, private emails, and all of our personal information. This data is precious and cybercriminals want it. Now, NOVA goes behind the scenes of the fast-paced world of cryptography to meet the scientists battling to keep our data safe. They are experts in extreme physics, math, and a new field called "ultra-paranoid computing," all working to forge unbreakable codes and build ultra-fast computers. From the sleuths who decoded the world's most advanced cyber weapon to scientists who believe they can store a password in your unconscious brain, NOVA investigates how a new global geek squad is harnessing cutting-edge science all to stay one step ahead of the hackers. [Description provided by the owner of the rights to this item]


DVD: The Rape of Europa

The Rape of Europa tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Third Reich and the Second World War. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes the audience into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But young art professionals as well as ordinary heroes, from truck drivers to department store clerks, fought back with an extraordinary effort to safeguard, rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures.The Rape of Europa begins and ends with the story of artist Gustav Klimt's famed Gold Portrait, stolen from Viennese Jews in 1938 and now the most expensive painting ever sold.Today, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.  [Description provided by the owner of the rights to this item]


DVD: The Face: Jesus in Art

Narrated by Mel Gibson, Edward Herrmann, Star Herrmann, Stacy Keach, Juliet Mills, Ricardo Montalban, Bill Moyers, and Patricia Neal, this Emmy-winning program, as seen on public television, traces the dramatically different ways in which Jesus has been represented in art by people throughout history and around the world. Spanning the early 3rd century to the present, this sweeping program is an unprecedented travelogue of art and monuments. State-of-the-art digital technology virtually reconstructs precious works that were destroyed or lost.   [Description provided by the owner of the rights to this item]


DVD: Let the Fire Burn

In the astonishingly gripping Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial Black Power group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.  [Description provided by the owner of the rights to this item]


DVD: Let the Right One In

Oscar, a 12-year-old fragile and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl he befriends, who moves into his building.   When Oscar discovers that Eli is a vampire it does not deter his increasing feelings and confused emotions of a young adolescent.  When Eli loses the man who protects and provides for her, and as suspicions are mounting from her neighbors and police she must move on to stay alive.  However when Oscar faces his darkest hour, Eli returns to defend him the only way she can. [Description provided by the owner of the rights to this item]


Islam in Liberalism

In the popular imagination, Islam is often associated with words like oppression, totalitarianism, intolerance, cruelty, misogyny, and homophobia, while its presumed antonyms are Christianity, the West, liberalism, individualism, freedom, citizenship, and democracy. In the most alarmist views, the West’s most cherished values—freedom, equality, and tolerance—are said to be endangered by Islam worldwide.

Joseph Massad’s Islam in Liberalism explores what Islam has become in today’s world, with full attention to the multiplication of its meanings and interpretations... [Description provided by the publisher.]


1995: The Year the Future Began

A hinge moment in recent American history, 1995 was an exceptional year. Drawing on interviews, oral histories, memoirs, archival collections, and news reports, W. Joseph Campbell presents a vivid, detail-rich portrait of those memorable twelve months. This book offers fresh interpretations of the decisive moments of 1995, including the emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web in mainstream American life; the bombing at Oklahoma City, the deadliest attack of domestic terrorism in U.S. history; the sensational “Trial of the Century,” at which O.J. Simpson faced charges of double murder; the U.S.-brokered negotiations at Dayton, Ohio, which ended the Bosnian War, Europe’s most vicious conflict since the Nazi era; and the first encounters at the White House between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, a liaison that culminated in a stunning scandal and the spectacle of the president’s impeachment and trial. As Campbell demonstrates in this absorbing chronicle, 1995 was a year of extraordinary events, a watershed at the turn of the millennium. The effects of that pivotal year reverberate still, marking the close of one century and the dawning of another. [Description provided by the publisher.]


Talking 'Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap

From Two Live Crew's controversial comedy to Ice Cube's gangsta styling and the battle rhymes of a streetcorner cypher, rap has always drawn on deep traditions of African American poetic word-play, In Talking 'Bout Your Mama, author Elijah Wald explores one of the most potent sources of rap: the viciously funny, outrageously inventive insult game known as "the dozens."

So what is the dozens? At its simplest, it's a comic chain of "yo' mama" jokes. At its most complex, it's an intricate form of social interaction that reaches back to African ceremonial rituals. Wald traces the tradition of African American street rhyming and verbal combat that has ruled urban neighborhoods since the early 1900s. Whether considered vernacular poetry, aggressive dueling, a test of street cool, or just a mess of dirty insults, the dozens is a basic building block of African-American culture. [Description provided by the publisher.]


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Ragged Road to Abolition: Slavery and Freedom in New Jersey, 1775-1865

Contrary to popular perception, slavery persisted in the North well into the nineteenth century. This was especially the case in New Jersey, the last northern state to pass an abolition statute, in 1804. Because of the nature of the law, which freed children born to enslaved mothers only after they had served their mother's master for more than two decades, slavery continued in New Jersey through the Civil War. Passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 finally destroyed its last vestiges.

The Ragged Road to Abolition chronicles the experiences of slaves and free blacks, as well as abolitionists and slaveholders, during slavery's slow northern death. Abolition in New Jersey during the American Revolution was a contested battle, in which constant economic devastation and fears of freed blacks overrunning the state government limited their ability to gain freedom. New Jersey's gradual abolition law kept at least a quarter of the state's black population in some degree of bondage until the 1830s. The sustained presence of slavery limited African American community formation and forced Jersey blacks to structure their households around multiple gradations of freedom while allowing New Jersey slaveholders to participate in the interstate slave trade until the 1850s. Slavery's persistence dulled white understanding of the meaning of black freedom and helped whites to associate "black" with "slave," enabling the further marginalization of New Jersey's growing free black population.

By demonstrating how deeply slavery influenced the political, economic, and social life of blacks and whites in New Jersey, this illuminating study shatters the perceived easy dichotomies between North and South or free states and slave states at the onset of the Civil War. [Description provided by the publisher]


The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution

We know it simply as "the pill," yet its genesis was anything but simple. Jonathan Eig's masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters: the fiery feminist Margaret Sanger, who was a champion of birth control in her campaign for the rights of women but neglected her own children in pursuit of free love; the beautiful Katharine McCormick, who owed her fortune to her wealthy husband, the son of the founder of International Harvester and a schizophrenic; the visionary scientist Gregory Pincus, who was dismissed by Harvard in the 1930s as a result of his experimentation with in vitro fertilization but who, after he was approached by Sanger and McCormick, grew obsessed with the idea of inventing a drug that could stop ovulation; and the telegenic John Rock, a Catholic doctor from Boston who battled his own church to become an enormously effective advocate in the effort to win public approval for the drug that would be marketed by Searle as Enovid.

Spanning the years from Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, this is a grand story of radical feminist politics, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes. Brilliantly researched and briskly written, The Birth of the Pill is gripping social, cultural, and scientific history. [Description provided by the publisher]


The Case Against the Supreme Court

Most Americans share the perception that the Supreme Court is objective, but Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers, shows that this is nonsense and always has been. The Court is made up of fallible individuals who base decisions on their own biases. Today, the Roberts Court is promoting a conservative agenda under the guise of following a neutral methodology, but notorious decisions, such as Bush vs. Gore and United Citizens, are hardly recent exceptions. This devastating book details, case by case, how the Court has largely failed throughout American history at its most important tasks and at the most important times.

Only someone of Chemerinsky’s stature and breadth of knowledge could take on this controversial topic. Powerfully arguing for term limits for justices and a reassessment of the institution as a whole, The Case Against the Supreme Court is a timely and important book that will be widely read and cited for decades to come. [Description provided by the publisher]


Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice

Biskupic, the author of highly praised judicial biographies of Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, now pulls back the curtain on the Supreme Court nomination process, revealing the networks Sotomayor built and the skills she cultivated to go where no Hispanic has gone before. We see other potential candidates edged out along the way. And we see how, in challenging tradition and expanding our idea of a justice (as well as expanding her public persona), Sotomayor has created tension within and without the court’s marble halls. [Description provided by the publisher]


Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Jack E. Levin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of George Washington: The Crossing, presents a beautifully designed chronicle—complete with maps, portraits, and other Civil War illustrations—detailing President Abraham Lincoln’s historic Second Inaugural Address. [Description provided by the publisher]


Monday, September 29, 2014

Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion And The Search For Transformation

For decades, leaders in Newark, New Jersey, have claimed their city is about to return to its vibrant past. How accurate is this prediction? Is Newark on the verge of revitalization? Robert Curvin, who was one of New Jersey's outstanding civil rights leaders, examines the city, chronicling its history, politics, and culture. [Description provided by the publisher]


What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data--Lifeblood of Big Business--and the End of Privacy as We Know It

“Data may be to the 21st century economy what oil was to the 20th, a hugely valuable asset essential to economic life and often a source of conflict. This entertaining yet deeply informative book is a great guide to what has, or hasn’t, happened and to what lies ahead.” Lawrence Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, & President Emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor of Harvard University


Gendering the Recession: Media and Culture in an Age of Austerity

This timely, necessary collection of essays provides feminist analyses of a recession-era media culture characterized by the reemergence and refashioning of familiar gender tropes, including crisis masculinity, coping women, and postfeminist self-renewal. Interpreting media forms as diverse as reality television, financial journalism, novels, lifestyle blogs, popular cinema, and advertising, the contributors reveal gendered narratives that recur across media forms too often considered in isolation from one another. They also show how, with a few notable exceptions, recession-era popular culture promotes affective normalcy and transformative individual enterprise under duress while avoiding meaningful critique of the privileged white male or the destructive aspects of Western capitalism. By acknowledging the contradictions between political rhetoric and popular culture, and between diverse screen fantasies and lived realities, Gendering the Recession helps to make sense of our postboom cultural moment. [Description provided by the publisher]


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in the Post-Soviet Era

Conceiving Cuba offers an intimate look at how, with the island’s political and economic future in question, reproduction has become the subject of heated public debates and agonizing private decisions. Drawing from several years of first-hand observations and interviews, anthropologist Elise Andaya takes us inside Cuba’s households and medical systems. Along the way, she introduces us to the women who wrestle with the difficult question of whether they can afford a child, as well as the doctors who, with only meager resources at their disposal, struggle to balance the needs of their patients with the mandates of the state. [provided by the publisher]