Thursday, March 27, 2008

The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square

New Orleans is the most elusive of American cities. The product of the centuries-long struggle among three mighty empires--France, Spain, and England--and among their respective American colonies and enslaved African peoples, it has always seemed like a foreign port to most Americans, baffled as they are by its complex cultural inheritance.

The World That Made New Orleans offers a new perspective on this insufficiently understood city by telling the remarkable story of New Orleans’s first century--a tale of imperial war, religious conflict, the search for treasure, the spread of slavery, the Cuban connection, the cruel aristocracy of sugar, and the very different revolutions that created the United States and Haiti. It demonstrates that New Orleans already had its own distinct personality at the time of Louisiana’s statehood in 1812. By then, important roots of American music were firmly planted in its urban swamp--especially in the dances at Congo Square, where enslaved Africans and African Americans appeared en masse on Sundays to, as an 1819 visitor to the city put it, “rock the city.”

This book is a logical continuation of Ned Sublette’s previous volume, Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo, which was highly praised for its synthesis of musical, cultural, and political history. Just as that book has become a standard resource on Cuba, so too will The World That Made New Orleans long remain essential for understanding the beautiful and tragic story of this most American of cities [Description provided by the publisher]


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Trappings: Stories of Women, Power, and Clothing

What do you wear that makes you feel powerful? How about the woman next to you at the bank? In line with you at the store? Think about your mother. What would she put on to reveal her power source to the world? These are the questions that inspired Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki to embark on a n interview journey across the United States. Over a period of six years, they talked with more than 500 women and girls, ages four through ninety-two, who ranged from office workers to drag kins, stay at home moms to attorneys, fashion industry executives to elected officials and students to cowgirls.

It is these women's sensitive, funny, and always revealing thoughts that are at the heart of Trappings--a book that although begins with a question about clothing is not about fashion at all. Here, clothing is simply a vehicle to access a larger dialogue about a diverse range of issues women face related to power and identity, including what expectations and limitations are placed upon them by their affiliation with a specific gender, culture, race, class, or profession. [Description provided by the publisher]

About the Author
Tiffany Ludwig is an artist and media consultant. She received her BFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and currently lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

Renee Piechocki is an artist and public art consultant. She received her BA from Hunter College of the City University of New York and currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Together, they are known as the artist group "Two Girls Working."


This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War

An illuminating study of the American struggle to comprehend the meaning and practicalities of death in the face of the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War.

During the war, approximately 620,000 soldiers lost their lives. An equivalent proportion of today’s population would be six million. This Republic of Suffering explores the impact of this enormous death toll from every angle: material, political, intellectual, and spiritual. The eminent historian Drew Gilpin Faust delineates the ways death changed not only individual lives but the life of the nation and its understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. She describes how survivors mourned and how a deeply religious culture struggled to reconcile the slaughter with its belief in a benevolent God, pondered who should die and under what circumstances, and reconceived its understanding of life after death.

Faust details the logistical challenges involved when thousands were left dead, many with their identities unknown, on the fields of places like Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg. She chronicles the efforts to identify, reclaim, preserve, and bury battlefield dead, the resulting rise of undertaking as a profession, the first widespread use of embalming, the gradual emergence of military graves registration procedures, the development of a federal system of national cemeteries for Union dead, and the creation of private cemeteries in the South that contributed to the cult of the Lost Cause. She shows, too, how the war victimized civilians through violence that extended beyond battlefields—from disease, displacement, hardships, shortages, emotional wounds, and conflicts connected to the disintegration of slavery.

Throughout, the voices of soldiers and their families, of statesmen, generals, preachers, poets, surgeons, and nurses, of northerners and southerners, slaveholders and freedpeople, of the most exalted and the most humble are brought together to give us a vivid understanding of the Civil War’s most fundamental and widely shared reality. Were he alive today, This Republic of Suffering would compel Walt Whitman to abandon his certainty that the “real war will never get in the books.” [Description provided by the publisher]

About the Author

Drew Gilpin Faust is president of Harvard University, where she also holds the Lincoln Professorship in History. Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study from 2001 to 2007, she came to Harvard after twenty-five years on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of five previous books, including Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, which won the Francis Parkman Prize and the Avery Craven Prize. She and her husband live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Critical Companion to Emily Dickinson

Critical Companion to Emily Dickinson is an encyclopedic guide to the life and works of Emily Dickinson, one of the most famous and widely studied American poets of the 19th century. Known for her wit and preference for seclusion from the outside world, Dickinson rarely left her home in Amherst, Massachusetts, preferring instead to write quietly from the confines of her bedroom.This title contains close readings and critical analyses of more than 150 of Dickinson's best-known poems, including "Because I could not stop for Death," "I felt a funeral, in my Brain," "I died for Beauty—but was scarce," and "I like to see it lap the miles." The different aspects of Dickinson’s life that influenced her work are also discussed, including family, friends, teachers, townspeople, editors, and correspondents. In this single-volume reference, admirers, general readers, and lovers of poetry will discover hundreds of entries covering every aspect of Dickinson’s life and work. [Description provided by the publisher]

PS1541.Z5 L376

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vincent Van Gogh, Painted with Words: The Letters to Emile Bernard

This important, groundbreaking publication contains the illustrated letters between two great modern artists–Vincent van Gogh and Émile Bernard. The original letters were previously in private hands and have not been seen for approximately seventy years. Here they are published in association with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and an exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York. In addition to the letters, the book also includes paintings, photographs, and drawings by both artists, as well as works by artists of the period, such as Paul Gauguin and Jean-François Millet. These letters, written between 1887 and 1889, are among the most important and relevant sources of insight into van Gogh’s life and art. They bridge the time when van Gogh was living and working in Paris, where he painted most of his self-portraits (mainly because he was unable to afford models), to the small town of Arles, in Provence. Here he adopted new types of compositions and developed new ideas about color–all of which he describes in detail in letters to his friend and fellow painter Bernard. Only a year later, in July 1890, van Gogh died, at the age of thirty-seven. The authors have carefully placed each letter in context of relevant events and have written authoritative commentaries on the content of the letters. [Description provided by the publisher]


Kaplan Scholarships 2008: Billions of Dollars in Free Money for College

Kaplan Scholarships, 2008 Edition features information on programs that offer significant and unrestricted scholarships combined with tips and advice on how to get them:
* Each scholarship is worth at least $1,000, not restricted to any one school, and does not require repayment of any kind.
* Detailed summaries list for each scholarship financial data, duration of scholarship, eligibility requirements, and provides application and contact information.
*Expert tips and advice on how applicants should research their options, set a timetable, apply for the best opportunities, and avoid scholarship scams [Description provided by the publisher]

The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation

In a work of history that will make headlines, New York Times reporter Philip Shenon investigates the investigation of 9/11 and tells the inside story of most important federal commission since the the Warren Commission. Shenon uncovers startling new information about the inner workings of the 9/11 commission and its relationship with the Bush White House. The Commission will change our understanding of the 9/11 investigation -- and of the attacks themselves. [Description provided by the publisher]


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Economic Facts and Fallacies

From one of America's most distinguished economists, a short, brilliant and revelatory book: the fundamental ideas people most commonly get wrong about economics, and how to think about the subject better.

Economic Facts and Fallacies exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues--and does so in a lively manner and without requiring any prior knowledge of economics by the readers. These fallacies include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as fallacies about urban problems, income differences, male-female economic differences, as well as economics fallacies about academia, about race, and about Third World countries.

One of the themes of Economic Facts and Fallacies is that fallacies are not simply crazy ideas but in fact have a certain plausibility that gives them their staying power--and makes careful examination of their flaws both necessary and important, as well as sometimes humorous.
Written in the easy to follow style of the author's Basic Economics, this latest book is able to go into greater depth, with real world examples, on specific issues.

About the Author: Thomas Sowell has taught economics at a number of colleges and universities, including Cornell University, University of California, Los Angeles and Amherst College. He has published both scholarly and popular articles and books on economics, and is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.


[All descriptive information provided by the publisher]

Domestic Violence (Contemporary World Issues)

A comprehensive overview of domestic and family violence.