Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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.]
Posted by Mark Jackson at 7:05 AM
Labels: Antislavery movements--United States--History--19th century, Fugitive slaves--United States--History--19th century, Underground Railroad
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.]
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.]
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
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]
Posted by Mark Jackson at 8:06 AM
Labels: Neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- New York, New York (N.Y.) -- Social conditions -- 21st century
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]
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]
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]
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 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 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]
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]
Posted by Mark Jackson at 6:59 AM
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
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]
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]
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.]
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.]
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
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]
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]
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]
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]
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
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
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 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]
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
American Psychosis: How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness Treatment System, E. Fuller Torrey, Oxford University Press. RC443.T66
"Torrey's superb new book is a devastating indictment of America's mental health 'system,' a story of good intentions gone disastrously awry. Torrey combines a deep professional knowledge of severe mental illness with an unparalleled understanding of the politics and policy of mental health. His lively writing weaves together powerful and poignant examples of the problem with hard-headed and yet compassionate solutions to one of America's greatest public policy tragedies." -- Stuart M. Butler, PhD, Distinguished Fellow and Director, Center for Policy Innovation, The Heritage Foundation
Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, & Their Children in the United States since World War II
Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, & Their Children in the United States since World War II, Daniel Winunwe Rivers, The University of North Carolina Press, HQ75.28.R58
In Radical Relations, Daniel Winunwe Rivers offers a previously untold story of the American family: the first history of lesbian and gay parents and their children in the United States. [description provided by the publisher]
In Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann take the reader into back rooms and closed-door meetings, laying bare the secret history of the 2012 campaign for a panoramic account of an election that was as hard fought as it was lastingly consequential. [description provided by the publisher]
Norman Mailer: A Double Live, J. Michael Lennon, PS3525.A4152.Z7358
Michael Lennon knew Mailer for thirty-five years, and in writing this biography, he has had the cooperation of Mailer’s late widow, Norris Church, his ex-wives, and all of his children, as well as his sister, Barbara. He also had access to Mailer’s vast, unpublished correspondence and papers, and he interviewed dozens of people who knew Mailer. Norman Mailer: A Double Life gives us the man in full, a remarkable and unique figure in the context of his times. [description provided by the publisher]
The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New World, Greg Grandin, HT1121.G73
From the acclaimed author of Fordlandia, the story of a remarkable slave rebellion that illuminates America’s struggle with slavery and freedom during the Age of Revolution and beyond. [description provided by the publisher]
Ebony & Ivory: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities, Craig Steven Wilder, Bloomsbury Press. LC212.42.W53
Ebony and Ivy is a powerful and propulsive study and the first of its kind, revealing a history of oppression behind the institutions usually considered the cradle of liberal politics. [Description provided by the publisher]