Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gentlemen Callers: Tennessee Williams, Homosexuality, and Mid-Twentieth-Century Drama

Gentlemen Callers provides a fascinating look at America's greatest twentieth-century playwright and perhaps the most-performed, even today. Michael Paller looks at Tennessee Williams's plays from the 1940s through the 1960s against the backdrop of the playwright's life story, providing fresh details. Through this lens Paller examines the evolution of mid-twentieth-century America's acknowledgment and acceptance of homosexuality. From the early one-act Auto-da-Fé and The Glass Menagerie through Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Garden District and the late Something Cloudy, Something Clear, Paller's book investigates how Williams's earliest critics marginalized or ignored his gay characters and why, beginning in the 1970s, many gay liberationists reviled them. Lively, blunt, and provocative, this book will appeal to anyone who loves Williams, Broadway, and the theater.

PS3545.I5365 Z799 - Homosexuality and literature - Sexual orientation in literature - Gay men in literature - Sex in literature

Timothy Leary: A Biography

To a generation in full revolt against any form of authority, "Tune in, turn on, drop out" became a mantra, and its popularizer, Dr. Timothy Leary, a guru. A charismatic and brilliant psychologist, Leary became first intrigued and then obsessed by the effects of psychedelic drugs in the 1960s while teaching at Harvard, where he not only encouraged but instituted their experimental use among students and faculty. What began as research into human consciousness turned into a mission to alter consciousness itself. Leary transformed himself from serious social scientist into counterculture shaman, embodying the idealism and the hedonism of an age of revolutionary change.

Timothy Leary is the first major biography of one of the most controversial figures in postwar America.

BF109.L43 G74 - Biography - LSD - Drug Culture - Psychedelics - Hallucinegens - Psychology

Monday, November 27, 2006

City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara

City Poet is the first, and will stand as the definitive, biography of Frank O’Hara, the poet who was at the heart of New York’s literary and artistic life during the 1950s and the 1960s. In this book, Gooch tells the unforgettable story that was suddenly cut short on 25 July, 1966, when O’Hara, just turning forty and at the height of his powers, was struck down by a jeep on the beach at Fire Island. This biography celebrates the life of one of the great American poets of the twentieth century.

PS3529.H28 Z687 - O'Hara, Frank Biography - Intellectual life of the 20th century - American poets 20th century

Daddy's Girl: Young Girls and Popular Culture

When she's itty bitty and blond, wearing ribbons and curls and an aura of money, she's adorable and vulnerable, the tiny, innocent heart of our culture. But when the little girl comes from the working class, she's something else. Just what, and why so little is said about it, are the questions Valerie Walkerdine asks in Daddy's Girl, a book about how we see young girls, how they see themselves, and how popular culture mediates the view.

At the center of this work is the issue of how girl children are taught to think of themselves and how their depiction puts them in their place. This concern leads Walkerdine to questions about television and parental control, about Freud's seduction theory and the origins of fantasy, about the political and erotic meaning of the ubiquitous gaze our culture trains on the little girl, and about academics' approach to the subject.

HQ777.W36 - Girls in popular culture.

Vengeance : the true story of an Israeli counter-terrorist team

Vengeance is a true story that reads like a novel. It is the account of five ordinary Israelis, selected to vanish into "the cold" of espionage secrecy -- their mission to hunt down and kill the PLO terrorists responsible for the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
This is the account of that secret mission, as related by the leader of the group -- the first Mossad agent to come out of "deep cover" and tell the story of a heroic endeavor that was shrouded in silence and speculation for years. He reveals the long and dangerous operation whose success was bought at a terrible cost to the idealistic volunteer agents themselves.

JQ1830.A56I6.J66 - Terrorism - Israel

Friedrich Nietzsche

Curtis Cate’s new biography, written for the layperson rather than the academic, goes far towards clarifying Nietzsche’s ideas and the reactions they elicited. The author does equal justice to the musical as well as philosophical influences to which Nietzsche was subjected, the subtle workings of his incomparable mind, and the accurate physical suffering he combated from his adolescence until his mental collapse of January, 1889.

B3316.C38 Nietzsche - Biography - Philosophy

Einstein A to Z

The first accessible, handy reference to Einstein's world. From absentmindedness to Zionism, each entry features a fascinating account of one aspect of Einstein's world, from lucid explanations of his work to insights into his personal life, predictions, and interests.

QC16.E5 F68 Science, physics.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fundamentalism and American Culture (New Edition)

Fundamentalism and American Culture (New Edition) by George M. Marsden

Book Description:

Many American's today are taking note of the surprisingly strong political force that is the religious right. Controversial decisions by the government are met with hundreds of lobbyists, millions of dollars of advertising spending, and a powerful grassroots response. How has the fundamentalist movement managed to resist the pressures of the scientific community and the draw of modern popular culture to hold on to their ultra-conservative Christian views? Understanding the movement's history is key to answering this question. Fundamentalism and American Culture has long been considered a classic in religious history, and to this day remains unsurpassed. Now available in a new edition, this highly regarded analysis takes us through the full history of the origin and direction of one of America's most influential religious movements. For Marsden, fundamentalists are not just religious conservatives; they are conservatives who are willing to take a stand and to fight. In Marsden's words (borrowed by Jerry Falwell), "a fundamentalist is an evangelical who is angry about something." In the late nineteenth century American Protestantism was gradually dividing between liberals who were accepting new scientific and higher critical views that contradicted the Bible and defenders of the more traditional evangelicalism. By the 1920s a full-fledged "fundamentalist" movement had developed in protest against theological changes in the churches and changing mores in the culture. Building on networks of evangelists, Bible conferences, Bible institutes, and missions agencies, fundamentalists coalesced into a major protest movement that proved to have remarkable staying power. For this new edition, a major new chapter compares fundamentalism since the 1970s to the fundamentalism of the 1920s, looking particularly at the extraordinary growth in political emphasis and power of the more recent movement. Never has it been more important to understand the history of fundamentalism in our rapidly polarizing nation. Marsen's carefully researched and engrossing work remains the best way to do just that.

BT82.2.M37 Oxford University Press

Crime Control in America: An Assessment of the Evidence

Crime Control in America: An Assessment of the Evidence, John L. Worrall

Book Description:

The text covers policing, prosecution and courts, and legislative methods of crime control. It also moves beyond the justice system and examines the effectiveness of crime control at the individual, family, school, and community levels. Finally, it covers environmental criminology, juvenile crime control, and explanations of large-scale crime trends, particularly the reductions witnessed during the 1990s.

HV9950.W67 Pearson Education Press

Monday, November 13, 2006

Greater New Jersey: Living in the Shadow of Gotham

Book Description:

Living within the influence of one of the largest and most important cities in the world, how does New Jersey define itself? Is it simply a region of commuters, or have communities created effective local governments and satisfying cultural activities for one of the most diverse populations in the country?

In the state with the country's densest population, the region known as North Jersey has sacrificed more than 30 percent of its land area to the vast web of roads and highways that carry more than 300,000 commuters to work in New York. Greater New Jersey probes challenges posed to the identity of New Jersey by the New York-centered mass media, professional sports, and organized crime families, while examining pressures internal to the state itself, including extraordinary social diversity, high population, fragmented governments, extensive political corruption, and diminishing land and natural resources.

Greater New Jersey sets itself apart from other works about the state by virtue of the scope of its inquiry. While contemporary in outlook, the book underscores the role of history in shedding light on the Manhattan and New Jersey of today. Dennis E. Gale examines the complex interactions that knit together a region that has dual citizenship and argues that northern New Jersey is undergoing a gradual transformation to become symbolic of a new kind of suburban area, one that borrows culture, image, and economy from a metropolis but also maintains the day-to-day living patterns of heartland America in the face of rapid social change. Readers interested in the puzzling intricacies of modern life will find much to interest them in this account of a regional identity asserting itself in the face of a looming megalopolis.

Dennis E. Gale is Professor of Public Administration and Political Science at Rutgers University.

F134.G35 University of Pennsylvania Press