| Web Exclusives|
|Editors' Picks. Choice, v.50, no. 04, December 2012.|
To highlight the wide range of publications reviewed in Choice, each month Choice editors feature some noteworthy reviews from the current issue.
Atlas of Yellowstone, ed. by W. Andrew Marcus et al. California, 2012. 271p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780520271555, $65.00.
50-1795 G1477 2011-37533 CIP
As the world's first national park, Yellowstone has a special place in the US landscape. Its geysers and grizzlies loom large in the American psyche. Atlas of Yellowstone is a collaborative project from several organizations, including the University of Oregon, the University of Wyoming, and Montana State University. Originally developed as a class project, the atlas features a plethora of cartographic resources. Major headings include "Geographic Setting," "Human Geography," "Physical Geography," "Wildlife," and "Reference Maps." Most of these sections are heavily illustrated with images, graphs, and time lines that accompany maps and text. For example, the section on wolves contains a two-page time line highlighting important milestones and epochs in the wolf population from 1870 to 2010. Graphs provide data on wolf populations, and maps show the geographical extent of reintroduction and current population. The overall content and layout of this atlas are exceptional. This resource would make an excellent model for students in geography, biology, and geology classes who are looking for ways to visually display data in PowerPoint slides, posters, and related formats. Given the national nature of Yellowstone and the outstanding quality of this atlas, all academic libraries should acquire it; additionally, it is highly recommended for public libraries. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty. -- T. Dolence, Minnesota State University Moorhead
The Book of books: 500 years of graphic innovation, ed. by Mathieu Lommen. Thames & Hudson, 2012. 464p bibl index; ISBN 9780500515914, $65.00.
50-1810 Z4 MARC
Drawing on the collections of the University of Amsterdam and the talents of nine contributors associated with the university, this work is slightly Eurocentric but nevertheless presents an excellent introduction to the history of Western book design. The books, 128 of them, are presented chronologically, from Nicolas Jenson's 1471 book, published in Latin, to one published in 2010 by Irma Boom (James Jennifer Georgina). Each book is illustrated by three to seven color photographs and has a short, informative text about the printer or artist and a separate text block about that book's typeface or graphic features. Some 360 double-page spreads, 185 illustrations of single pages or covers, and 120 illustrations of details or typefaces from the books are included. A short essay introduces each era or movement in book printing, e.g., "The Invention and Spread of Printing," "The Sixteenth Century," "The Dutch Golden Age," and "Modernism and Swiss Typography." With its beautiful presentation of so many fine illustrations from the pages of so many key books in the Western canon, this large, elegant, well-designed publication is a must for libraries supporting collections in the history of bookmaking, the graphic arts, or even Western culture. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. -- W. S. Johnson, George Fox University
Burroughs, William S. Rub out the words: the letters of William S. Burroughs, 1959-1974, ed. by Bill Morgan. Ecco, 2012. 444p bibl index; ISBN 9780061711428, $35.00.
50-1915 PS3552 MARC
This volume starts where The Letters of Williams S. Burroughs: 1945-1959, ed. and introd. by Oliver Harris (CH, Dec'93, 31-1945), left off, with the publication of Naked Lunch. The earlier correspondence was mostly directed to a circle of Beat Generation friends. The letters in the present volume show Burroughs (1914-97) reacting to notoriety and building a new network of experimental artists and writers, for example, Alexander Trocchi and Ian Sommerville. His artistic relationship with painter and writer Brion Gysin is traced in a number of letters. The relation of Burroughs with his son, Billy, is documented, as is Burroughs's involvement with Scientology. In these letters, Burroughs often explains his work and clears up misconceptions about it. Morgan has kept annotation brief, perhaps too brief in places. The photographs are excellent, and the opening chronology is very useful. Including a thorough index, this volume illuminates an important writer and his impressive body of experimental writing. Summing Up: Essential. All readers. -- B. Almon, emeritus, University of Alberta
Denny, Mark. The science of navigation: from dead reckoning to GPS. Johns Hopkins, 2012. 261p bibl index afp; ISBN 9781421405117, $65.00; ISBN 9781421405124 pbk, $30.00; e-book ISBN 9781421405605, contact publisher for price.
50-2025 VK559 2011-37777 CIP
Navigation is both an art and a science. Successfully moving from a starting location to a destination requires successfully blending human understanding and scientific data. Covering such a broad topic is no easy task, but this book successfully takes readers through an overview of the history, technology, and human skills involved in navigation. In these days of ubiquitous GPS signals, people often forget the detailed level of training and precise attention to detail needed in the past when navigating with compasses, sextants, and early electronic navigation systems. Denny, a theoretical physicist and prolific author (Gliding for Gold, CH, Mar'12, 49-3917; Their Arrows Will Darken the Sun, CH, Sep'11, 49-0228), impresses his audience with the immense knowledge and effort that has been expended in developing methods for people to navigate from place to place. The author has successfully presented detailed subjects, such as celestial navigation, succinctly and with accuracy. Though many people now routinely depend on car and phone GPS units to get from place to place nearly effortlessly, it is certainly worth understanding the history, underlying efforts, and scientific endeavors that made the ease of modern navigation possible. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. -- M. W. Carr, US Army Watercraft & Riverine Operations
Edelman, Peter. So rich, so poor: why it's so hard to end poverty in America. New Press, 2012. 184p index afp; ISBN 9781595587855, $24.95.
50-2177 HC110 2011-52784 CIP
The debate on income inequality has never been more important in the US than in this 2012 election year. Familiar rhetoric includes terminology such as the increasing gap between rich and poor, the shrinking middle class, unemployment, stalled real wages, and concentrated poverty. Edelman (Georgetown Univ. Law Center) demystifies the politics behind it all in this volume. He draws on decades of insider experience as an adviser to politicians including Robert Kennedy and President Bill Clinton and on a wealth of public policy and political analyses to answer the most crucial question Americans face today: how can a country with an annual gross domestic product of $15 trillion have profound income inequality, an ever increasing gap between rich and poor, and an escalating poverty rate? Edelman traces the progress made in US public polices to reduce poverty and their erosion in recent years, identifies current factors exacerbating the decline in social mobility and the rise in poverty, and offers policy recommendations to reduce poverty. This timely book is must reading for students, faculty, and professionals in the fields of political science, economics, public policy, and public finance. Summing Up: Essential. Academic audiences, upper-division undergraduates and up; professionals; general readers. -- S. Chaudhuri, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
Federici, Michael P. The political philosophy of Alexander Hamilton. Johns Hopkins, 2012. 291p bibl index afp; ISBN 9781421405384, $50.00; ISBN 9781421405391 pbk, $24.95; e-book ISBN 9781421406602, contact publisher for price.
50-2332 JC211 2011-46456 CIP
Hamilton has often gotten a bum rap: monarchist, elitist, enemy of American revolutionary ideals. Federici (Mercyhurst Univ.) has made an excellent addition to the "The Political Philosophy of the American Founders" series. This fine-grained analysis of Hamilton's political, economic, and constitutional writings canvasses the vast and contending literatures on Hamilton's writings and political career by his contemporaries and by later scholars. Federici locates a morally realistic philosophical anthropology as the animating feature of Hamilton's politics, best seen in his constitutionalism and in his writings and policies in foreign affairs. Like the English Whig Edmund Burke, Hamilton was a fiscal and constitutional reformer and an implacable enemy of both French Revolutionary ideology and the institution of slavery. Few founders were as willing to go public with their views as he (a testament to his republicanism), and few were as eloquently frank and pugnacious in clarifying hard public choices. Combined with his energy and talent, he was an easy mark for those whose careers, then and now, batten on flattery, favors, and false hopes. Federici deepens readers' understanding of Hamilton's political thought and his enduring legacy in The Federalist Papers. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduate, graduate, and research collections. -- E. J. Eisenach, emeritus, University of Tulsa
From parents to children: the intergenerational transmission of advantage, ed. by John Ermisch, Markus Jäntti, and Timothy Smeeding. Russell Sage Foundation, 2012. 506p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780871540454 pbk, $59.95; e-book ISBN 9781610447805, $59.95.
50-2178 HB715 2011-53537 CIP
This substantial volume, a companion to Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting, edited by Timothy Smeeding, Robert Erikson, and Markus Jäntti (CH, Jul'12, 49-6398), provides an exhaustive, state-of-the-art, empirical picture of what is known about the correlation of parent and child characteristics related to potential economic advantage. The book provides a useful overview of what data are available for such studies and considers differences related to early, middle, and later childhood. Well-regarded researchers, mainly economists and sociologists, use cross-national comparisons to document both the prevalence of positive correlation between such parent and child characteristics as educational attainment, scholastic test scores, and adult earnings and the variation in the degree of correlation across 11 high-income countries in North America and western Europe plus Australia. Emphasis on early childhood learning tends to reduce differences in outcomes for those years, which then widen as children get older. The US stands out as having higher correlation in general; other countries, particularly those with a more compacted earnings structure, such as Australia and Sweden, have lower correlation. All chapters are substantive, and care has been taken to make them comparable in style. The volume closes with two reflective chapters considering whether more should be done to reduce intergenerational correlation. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through research collections. -- J. P. Jacobsen, Wesleyan University
Giucci, Guillermo. The cultural life of the automobile: roads to modernity, tr. by Anne Mayagoitia and Debra Nagao. Texas, 2012. 238p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780292728721, $55.00; ISBN 9780292737846 pbk, $24.95; e-book ISBN 9780292743595, contact publisher for price.
50-2038 HE5611 2011-46437 CIP
This wonderful book was originally published in Portuguese in 2004 and in Spanish in 2007. The University of Texas Press has done everyone interested in the automobile and culture a huge favor by finally publishing the book in English. Giucci (Rio de Janeiro State Univ., Brazil) covers every aspect of the subject--art, consumerism, manufacturing, advertising, poetry and prose, history, and daily life--in a scholarly yet approachable manner. This is an outstanding resource in a subject area that all too often centers on North America. The opening two chapters remind readers that Henry Ford was amazingly international; for example, a new 1919 Ford purchased in São Paulo was manufactured there, not imported from Detroit. Argentina embarked on a plan to modernize the nation in the 1930s with a broad highway development program. The index entries give some insight into the pleasures within the text, e.g., Francis Bacon and Jorge Luis Borges, Armando Discépolo and Oliver Hardy, Citroën and Chevrolet, and on and on. This should be a required text for an automobile and culture class; the prose, style, and content are first class. More pictures, in color of course, would be helpful, but that is the only criticism of this excellent work. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. -- C. J. Myers, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Halperin, David M. How to be gay. Belknap, Harvard, 2012. 549p index afp; ISBN 9780674066793, $35.00.
50-2379 HQ76 2012-9043 CIP
How does a nondominant culture transmit to the next generation its values, its norms, and its very cultural identity? What complications arise if the dominant culture actively attempts to subvert the nondominant culture and prevent said transmission? These are the questions that Halperin (Michigan) asks in this sociological review, which grew out of a course he offered in which these topics were discussed. While the study specifically only covers the subculture--or, more, accurately, subcultures--of gay men, there are many inferences that can be drawn for lesbian, transgender/transsexual, and bisexual subcultures. Parallels can be seen with the unsuccessful suppressions of various indigenous cultures around the world. How does a gay man know what is fabulous? What makes him connect with Judy Garland or Elizabeth Taylor? What makes him an interior decorator? Of course, not all gay men fit these stereotypes. But, there is still some indefinable thing that sets gay men apart--and it is not just sexual orientation. How this "indefinable thing" is transmitted across generations and across various ethnic and religious cultures, and how it is projected or not into the dominant culture, are questions well worth thought and discussion. This book provides a great starting point. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. -- S. J. Stillwell Jr., University of Arizona
Lee, Steven P. Ethics and war: an introduction. Cambridge, 2012. 328p bibl index; ISBN 9780521898836, $95.00; ISBN 9780521727570 pbk, $29.99.
50-2000 B105 2011-38187 CIP
This book deserves to become a classic. Titling it "an introduction" is misleading. Lee (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) begins with two standards introductory to the field--jus ad bellum and jus in bello--but then his scholarship drastically complicates things. The author's brilliant historical research shows that the way these standards are understood varies greatly, depending on whether they are treated in the just war paradigm, the regular war paradigm, or the human rights paradigm. Thus, the six traditional jus ad bellum and the three traditional jus in bello criteria can mean very different things in different paradigms. Not only that, but he expands the two standards to include three more--jus extendere bellum, jus post bellum, and jus in abolitione belli. Lee draws on authors from all historical periods in his 225-item bibliography and 686 footnotes to argue for and against the questions framing each topic. His knowledge of the literature is encyclopedic. The simplest topics divide before his powerful mind into, at first, the most troublesome, complex parts, but then, finally, after his examination, the most revealing parts. He applies the adopted and rejected positions primarily to wars of the contemporary era. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers. -- J. M. Betz, formerly, Villanova University
Lopenzina, Drew. Red ink: Native Americans picking up the pen in the Colonial period. SUNY Press, 2012. 396p bibl index afp ISBN 1-4384-3979-2, $95.00; ISBN 9781438439792, $95.00.
49-6739 PS153 2011-9763 CIP
Covering the years from 1492 to 1785, Lopenzina (Sam Houston State Univ.) provides a subtle rereading of the complex lineaments of assimilation and resistance by New England's Native peoples and the duplicitous "unwitnessing" of Colonial powers working to contain and expel the natives. The author writes that the book "centers upon the nature of power, how it constructs its own provisional realities through the superstructure of master narratives, and how Native American writers have historically endeavored to reassert their own identities in the face of such power." The "red ink" of the title has three senses: Natives' use of their own and Colonial literacies to represent themselves and both accommodate and resist the Colonials; "corrective" narratives Colonials used to justify appropriation of lands and sovereignty; and writing in blood of Colonial genocidal "erasure" of Native resistors. Lopenzina provides nuanced, balanced treatment of five figures; Samson Occam, a Native minister called the "Indian Moses," ambassador to England, and tribal leader, is especially notable. Others include King Philip, a vivid example of Colonial overwriting or "unwitnessing"; John Eliot, the translator of an official Native-language Bible; James Printer, a native who worked with Eliot; and Eleazar Wheelock, Occam's putative mentor and founder of Dartmouth College. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, faculty. -- M. F. McClure, Virginia State University
Prescott, John. Taste matters: why we like the foods we do. Reaktion Books, 2012. 208p bibl index; ISBN 9781861899149, $30.00.
50-2058 GT2850 MARC
It is a fact that obesity in the modern world has become widespread (no pun intended) and very visible. Since various life-threatening diseases are linked to it, the call has gone out to label food packages, to control portion sizes, to shun high-calorie ingredients, and to listen to the ever-changing advice from nutrition gurus. This book may hold the answer to the dietary quandary facing society. Prescott (psychology, Univ. of Newcastle, Australia) spells out the evolutionary history of how Homo sapiens became wired for sweet and fatty foods. These particular cravings are still with people today. Both chefs and parents know about these taste preferences, and they obviously apply the principles of food choices to please and satisfy their customers and families. Some have argued, absurdly so, that it is unethical to exploit this human weakness for pleasant taste. However, a food enterprise, small or large, will thrive as soon as it embraces the insight that people will buy what they like. This book is not only an interesting read for the layperson; it will especially be a welcome supplementary resource for practitioners of the culinary arts and students of food science and technology. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels. -- M. Kroger, emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus
Shaheed, Farida. Great ancestors: women claiming rights in Muslim contexts, by Farida Shaheed with Aisha Lee Shaheed. Oxford, 2012 (c2011). 220p bibl index; ISBN 9780195476361, $22.00.
50-2214 HQ1785 MARC
Writing in an accessible style, women's rights scholars F. Shaheed (Shirkat Gah-Women's Resource Centre, Pakistan) and A. Shaheed offer a diverse picture of (mostly elite) Muslim women from the 8th to the 20th centuries. The authors' effort to overcome a perceived absence of struggle on the part of Muslim women that was analogous to that of western women is definitely successful. Readers learn about schools for girls, women in governmental positions, and women who led protests. As is typical in such works, many of the women in this text are in the upper classes, but their efforts are geared beyond their personal circumstances and, surprisingly, their impact is felt across classes in many countries. The stories of Muslim women from across the world provide a more cohesive examination of Muslim women pursuing rights in global contexts, rather than in a single region. Of course, as the number of women who can be known increases as the discussion enters modern times, so does the complexity of societal conditions. The authors have afforded those who study women's challenges in patriarchal societies, women and gender studies, or Muslim women a rare opportunity with this soon-to-be-classic work. A must read. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. -- A. B. McCloud, DePaul University
Shapo, Marshall S. An injury law constitution. Oxford, 2012. 284p index afp; ISBN 9780199896363, $85.00.
50-2358 KF1257 2011-36205 CIP
Shapo (Frederic P. Vose Professor of Law, Northwestern Univ. School of Law) argues that "the body of law Americans have developed concerning responsibility for injuries and prevention of injuries has some of the qualities of a constitution," namely, a fundamental set of principles that govern relationships among individuals and between individuals as well as corporate and government institutions. Shapo describes the three pillars of injury law: tort law, statutory compensation schemes, and safety statutes and regulation. The complexity of this injury law is a reflection of the political culture, the cluster of ideas, principles, and perceptions that gives rise to and shapes the operation of that law; the plurality of the US legal system, an artifact of federalism; and the competing values and principles (e.g., social versus individual goods) that injury laws must accommodate. Shapo concludes with a distillation and assessment of the overall principles underlying the "injury law constitution." Recognizing the inevitable tension between principle and pragmatism, he wisely eschews any easy academic formulas. Shapo captures the realities of how people respond to injury rights in diverse and sometimes tangled contexts as the system, in Burkean fashion, "stumbles towards justice." Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections. -- P. J. Galie, emeritus, Canisius College
Spivey, Donald. "If you were only white": the life of Leroy "Satchel" Paige. Missouri, 2012. 347p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780826219787, $29.95.
50-2128 GV865 MARC
Spivey (history, Univ. of Miami) offers an engrossing, exhaustively researched biography of Paige (1906-82), one of baseball's most memorable personalities. Spivey's work spans Paige's lifetime, and he culls information from a variety of sources. The book's title comes from a comment a white Mobile Bears player made to Paige after Paige struck out three Bears players and won a one-dollar bet. The title also compels readers to consider Paige's career and legacy had he been white, or at least welcomed in Major League Baseball prior to the late 1940s. Spivey includes the well-known stories of Paige's showmanship, but he also highlights Paige's awareness of racial prejudice and activism against racial discrimination. Paige felt deeply connected to the struggles African Americans faced in the mid-20th century. Despite his status and reputation, Paige endured racial prejudice and longed to play in the Major Leagues. Later in life, he graciously acknowledged that he would have been a poor candidate for breaking the color barrier and that Jackie Robinson was the better choice. As Spivey shows, Paige's life traced the arc of American race relations not only in baseball but in all of American society. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. -- C. M. Smith, Cabrini College
Unlikely allies in the academy: women of color and white women in conversation, ed. by Karen L. Dace. Routledge, 2012. 198p bibl index; ISBN 9780415809030, $140.00; ISBN 9780415809054 pbk, $35.95; e-book ISBN 9780203136690, contact publisher for price.
50-2148 LC1568 2011-44262 CIP
This must-read book for all, in and out of the academy, opens with the contributors' candid responses about the status of cross-race relations among women and the challenges associated with creating alliances across race. Five women of color and four white women pull readers in as they engage in conversations, inviting readers to listen to and continue the discussions across campuses. In part 1, the rationale for the book is given. Women of color talk in part 2, white women talk in part 3, then all speak together in part 4. After reading about healing relationships, presumption of innocence, opportunities and challenges, the need for solidarity, the meaning of tears, history, friendships, whiteness, and tenure, readers will be primed for conversations regarding trust, faith, love, mentoring, and the politics of belonging. The book closes with more honesty about racial scripts. These conversations are long overdue; it is time for dialogue. The contributors need to be commended for encouraging deeper and more meaningful conversations. Summing Up: Essential. All academic levels/libraries. -- A. A. Hodge, Buffalo State College
Wharton, Edith. My dear governess: the letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann, ed. by Irene Goldman-Price. Yale, 2012. 296p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780300169898, $30.00.
50-1947 PS3545 2011-48136 CIP
Some books of letters featuring prominent artists and writers help shape the reader's perception of that person, transforming the famous figure into a real and tangible being. Goldman-Price's collection of Wharton's letters to her governess--and later secretary--Anna Bahlmann accomplishes that and more. The letters give readers access to Wharton's early life, providing information ranging from the illuminating to the simply delightful--that Wharton learned to ice skate in two days; that she reported her weight to Bahlmann as evidence of her health; that before she toured Europe in her motorcars, she enjoyed riding her bicycle with her husband, Teddy, at times riding as much as 20 miles, sightseeing and stopping along the way. More seriously, this collection rebuts long-held notions about Wharton's social isolation as a debutante in New York City and, perhaps most significantly, peels away the artifice of Wharton's self-created narrative of herself as a young artist toiling away without the support and understanding of her family. In a phrase, this book changes everything one knows about Wharton's early life and development as a writer. Absolutely required reading for those interested in Wharton or in turn-of-the-century New York and New England society. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. -- S. Batcos, Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta
Williams, Kimberly A. Imagining Russia: making feminist sense of American nationalism in U.S.-Russian relations. SUNY Press, 2012. 287p bibl index afp ISBN 1-4384-3975-X, $90.00; ISBN 9781438439754, $90.00.
50-2331 HQ1190 2011-9762 CIP
Williams (Mount Royal Univ., Canada) has written a masterful look at the gendered rhetoric produced in the West (and sometimes by Russians themselves) to describe post-Soviet Russia in the aftermath of the Cold War. She examines the ways in which both Russian women and Russia itself are described in popular culture (examining episodes of the TV show The West Wing and the 1998 film Anastasia) and advertising. She also examines how Russia and Russian women have been depicted in congressional hearings on the subjects of human trafficking and the Freedom Support Act of 1992. Williams calls readers' attention to the ways in which history and culture have led to the creation of a triumphalist notion in which a masculinized US is seen as rescuing, taking care of, or looking after a defeated Russia that is alternately portrayed as childlike, senile (a "babushka"), or ill. This discourse has consequences for US military policies, as well as for Western policies toward real-life issues like human trafficking. Awarded the 2009 SUNY Press Dissertation/First Book Prize in Women's and Gender Studies, this book advances the fields of international relations, foreign policy, and women's studies. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. -- M. B. Manjikian, Robertson School of Government, Regent University
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