Friday, April 18, 2008

The Age of American Unreason

Combining historical analysis with contemporary observation, Susan Jacoby dissects a new American cultural phenomenon--one that is at odds with our heritage of Enlightenment reason and with modern, secular knowledge and science. With mordant wit, she surveys an anti-rationalist landscape extending from pop culture to a pseudo-intellectual universe of "junk thought." Disdain for logic and evidence defines a pervasive malaise fostered by the mass media, triumphalist religious fundamentalism, mediocre public education, a dearth of fair-minded public intellectuals on the right and the left, and, above all, a lazy and credulous public. [Description provided by the publisher]


The Literature of Islam: A Guide to the Primary Sources in English Translation

This book introduces the literature of Islam as it is an English translation. For scholars in other fields who need to understand the vast and complex literary heritage of this erudite and vigorous faith community, but are unable to devote years to achieving reading proficiency in classic Arabic; for faculty members called upon to teach introductory or survey courses outside their own disciplines; and for graduate students in theology, medieval studies, world religions, or related fields who need access to these translated primary sources, the literature of Islam is a welcome resource. In addition, lay readers who are interested in understanding the modern Arab or Islamic world might grasp something of the currents of thought and belief through the centuries that produced these important works, which continue to exert a powerful influence upon Muslims. [Description provided by the publisher]

The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order

Grand explanations of how to understand the complex twenty-first-century world have all fallen short–until now. In The Second World, the brilliant young scholar Parag Khanna takes readers on a thrilling global tour, one that shows how America’s dominant moment has been suddenly replaced by a geopolitical marketplace wherein the European Union and China compete with the United States to shape world order on their own terms. [Description provided by the publisher]

Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy

Violent video games are successfully marketed to and easily obtained by children and adolescents. Even the U.S. government distributes one such game, America's Army, through both the internet and its recruiting offices. Is there any scientific evidence to support the claims that violent gamescontribute to aggressive and violent behavior? [Description provided by the publisher]



Studying Shakespeare on Film

A hands-on introductory guide to analyzing and discussing Shakespeare on screen. Part One establishes the differences between Shakespeare on stage and film, with Part Two providing a historical introduction to Shakespeare on film. Part Three explores the key modes and genre conventions used in Shakespeare on film and Part Four contains a series of critical essays, while Part Five discusses Shakespeare on TV. At every stage students are provided with critical knowledge and vocabulary to analyze Shakespeare on screen. [Description provided by the publisher]

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936

The torch relay—that staple of Olympic pageantry—first opened the summer games in 1936 in Berlin. Proposed by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, the relay was to carry the symbolism of a new Germany across its route through southeastern and central Europe. Soon after the Wehrmacht would march in jackboots over the same terrain.

The Olympic festival was a crucial part of the Nazi regime's mobilization of power. Nazi Games offers a superb blend of history and sport. The narrative includes a stirring account of the international effort to boycott the games, derailed finally by the American Olympic Committee and the determination of its head, Avery Brundage, to participate. Nazi Games also recounts the dazzling athletic feats of these Olympics, including Jesse Owens's four gold-medal performances and the marathon victory of Korean runner Kitei Son, the Rising Sun of imperial Japan on his bib. 25 b/w photographs.

About the Author

David Clay Large is an acclaimed historian of modern Germany and an accomplished marathoner. He and his family live in Bozeman, Montana, and San Francisco, California.

[Description provided by the publisher. Photo: Stanford University]